tea

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Attire

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, holding-teapot

Since the Ladies Garden Tea was supposed to be in a garden, I had originally planned to wear one of my big pouffy 1950’s style floral dresses. However, because the party was moved indoors, I decided (for the second year in a row) that crinolines and petticoats, crowds of people and fine china don’t make the best of friends. I also decided that, even though it can be incredibly fun to dress in all your vintage finery, because I was hosting, it might be a better idea to wear a simpler style for ease of movement and comfort of the guests. This floral dress, which is so bright and vibrant that it coordinates with hardly anything else in my wardrobe, and is completely contrary to anything else I own (I was planning on creating a more cohesive wardrobe, but you know how that goes . . . ) is what I decided to wear instead. I got this dress just at the end of summer last year, and hadn’t had a chance to wear it yet, so the party was the perfect place to “debut” it. Not that anyone cares about that but me. (Do you like to save new garments for the perfect occasion?)

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, teacup-4

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, floral dress

I got this dress last August, from a thrift store, which is where I get the majority of my clothing. It was originally listed for a lot of money. By “a lot” I mean, not only am I spoiled by the prices of buying the majority of my clothing second hand (“They want two whole dollars for this!? Oh right. . .”) but you actually could have bought a new dress, from a cheap fashion chain, for the same price, or less than this one was listed for. Oh, and the belt was missing. And, it was not from a very expensive or high quality brand. I obviously was not going to go and buy a new cheap dress instead, but it really bothers me that some thrift stores have raised their prices to a point where you actually can buy new clothes cheaper. This is so irrational, and it’s so frustrating as it just contributes to the entire cheap fashion cycle, and throwaway culture we live in. There are many people who won’t shop second hand if they can buy new clothes cheaper, and there are people who legitimately can’t afford the prices of even cheap new clothes, so where can they go for clothing if they can’t go to the thrift stores? I am not in this position, thankfully, but I expect to find lower prices at a second hand store. I think this is one of the unfortunate side effects of thrifting and vintage becoming “trendy” – so many thrift shops have become unattainable for the very people who need them, and have drifted from their original purposes. Is this something that is happening elsewhere in the world? I see it here in Canada (not in all of the thrift shops, mostly in the thrift store chains).

Anyways, that was a bit of an aside . . .  so how did the dress end up in my wardrobe after all? Well, it just so happened that the day after I saw this dress, tried it on and fell in love with it, there was a 1/2 price sale. I put the dress back on the rack, fully aware that it might not be there when I returned the next day- but it was! A couple other pieces I had put back were gone, but this was was still waiting for me 🙂 And I’m so glad. It was a lovely thing to wear on a grey and dreary day, and it does have a very garden feel about it. Because it literally has flowers on it.

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, drinking tea and bouquet

I would have paired it with my white shoes (the only thing in my wardrobe that matches the dress) and a straw hat (I guess that straw also matches) if we’d had it outside, but as it was held inside I was stocking-foot and hatless (scandalous!). However, for the benefit of these photos, which we took outside half an hour after the party ended, because it stopped raining (of course), I did wear the shoes. 😉

Have you ever put something back at a thrift store, and gotten it later, or did it end up being the one that got away? What would you wear to a tea party?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, tea-table-3

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, tasting desserts

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, floral dress 1

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, teacup-3

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): My Outfit, the artyologist, pouring tea

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea table, the artyologist

I am beginning to think that the second weekend of June is marked for rain. For the second year in a row now, I have planned to host a Ladies Garden Tea, in our backyard, and though we have had sun in the days leading up to, and sun in the hours and days that follow, during the hours of the party itself, it has rained. We have decided that it will now be called simply, “The Ladies Tea”, and have given up on hoping that gardens will have anything to do with it at all!

I’m not too worried about it though, because this year we planned to host it indoors, and made our preparations accordingly, so there was no last minute scramble to move the party indoors when the day dawned with grey clouds. An added benefit of holding the party indoors, is that even if it doesn’t rain, you sometimes must contend with wind, sun in your eyes, sunburn, flies in the lemonade and mosquitoes that refuse to leave you alone. By setting up the party indoors, you avoid all these problems, and you can always open the windows to let the fresh air in (and the bugs out) 🙂

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teapot, the artyologist

We changed things around this year, (because we were thinking ahead for once) and set up the sideboard and a table along the side of the living room, so the food and drinks would be close at hand. It worked so much better, rather than having the food in the kitchen like we did last year, as people didn’t have to break up the party in order to go in search of sweets. Last year we had so many leftovers of desserts that hardly even got touched, and this year we had very few leftovers. On second thought, maybe we should have the food in the kitchen again next year; I wouldn’t have minded a few leftovers. . . 😉

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food table

Since the party was supposed to be a Garden Tea, it had to have a summery and “gardeny” feeling to it. So, the morning of the party we went in search of flowers for bouquets. Last year we had peonies, but this year the season is late and so the peonies had not started to bloom. However, we managed to catch the very last of the dark purple lilacs. Two days before the party, I thought to myself, “The lilacs are still in bloom, and should stay so until the party”, but the very next day when I looked at them again, they had started to wilt, turn brown and fall off the hedges. Only one day before the party!!! We thought that we wouldn’t be able to get any for a bouquet, but fortunately the dark purple ones still had flowers. They were falling fast though, and if you even looked at the bouquet, I think that petals were dropping off. We got two lovely bouquets though, and paired the purple flowers with Caragana branches. Caragana is a rather strange bouquet material, but I love how sculptural and fluid the bouquets turned out to be, and yellow and purple is such a lovely colour combination. For the rest of the smaller bouquets, which we placed on the tables, we gathered wildflowers and weeds, and came up with enough material to make several miniature bouquets. All in all, the room did have a rather summery and festive feeling to it, despite the rain.

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lilac bouquet and menu

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup and table

And of course, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the party! There were sixteen of us, some of whom were new acquaintances who came with friends, and we all had a lovely afternoon of tea and sweets and conversation. I can’t wait for next year!

Do you enjoy tea parties? Have you ever hosted an event? And have you ever been rained out?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea-table-2

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lemons

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tablescape

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups and bouquet

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, desserts

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup-collection

Lilacs & Love Letters (And The Post That Almost Wasn’t)

Love Letters and Lilacs (And the post that almost wasn't) the artyologist, feature-with-parasol

Oh! Could it be the postman at the door? I am not expecting anything, yet I can’t be sure. . .

lilacs and love letters, (and the post that almost wasn't), the artyologist reading the letter, lilacs

There among the parcels, is a letter addressed to me! Folded and sealed- who is it from? What could it be?

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, poem-over-shoulder

It is poetry written in letters so fair, with sweet phrases meant only for us two to share. . .

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, portrait

And though he is absent, his words are so dear; I whisper them softly and he seems to be near . . .

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, letter-in-hand

So here among the garden hedge, only the flowers and me,

I read those secrets that will secrets remain, and remember them pleasantly.

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, lilacs-3

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, parasol and poem

This, dear readers is an exciting day for me, because this is the post that almost wasn’t.

I had an idea to dress up and do a themed photo shoot last month, since the lilacs were in full and glorious bloom and I wanted to take advantage of it somehow (and also I haven’t done a “dress up” post in a while). However, despite the fact that I thought we would be able to get some pretty fun photographs, everything seemed to be against me and my sister, who was helping to take the photos. We battled the sun shining where it oughtn’t to have, the attack of the killer mosquitoes, the hot day that had not yet cooled off, despite the fact that it was heading into evening, and the gale force winds that came up just as soon as we stepped outside. We conquered the elements, but once we managed to get a few photographs, my camera battery died. So, fortunately we were able to switch to using my sister’s camera, but then my memory card which has been having problems lately, started saying that it was full (when it wasn’t) and so we kept having to delete outtakes as we went along (which you are not supposed to do directly from your camera). Well, finally we managed to get our photographs, and we weren’t too mosquito bitten either!

We looked over the photographs, and I saved them off of my memory card. Then, I did a bit of research to see what was causing the problem with my card. I discovered that it probably needed to be reformatted on my computer and not just my camera. So I erased the memory card clean with the disk utility on my computer, and then reformatted it on my camera for good measure. Every step of the way, the computer and camera asked me “Are you SURE you want to delete all photos/data on this card”. I kept clicking “yes”. Well, you can probably see where I am going with this story. . .

I was visiting my friend a couple of weeks ago, and wanted to show her the photos, but when I went to pull up the lilacs photos on my external harddrive- they weren’t there. They weren’t there! That was one of those moments where your heart drops right out of your chest and settles somewhere down around your feet. I searched through every single folder; even the folders from nine years ago, but the photos were not there. I looked through the folders on my computer too, in case somehow they had got dropped in a different location. I was pretty heartbroken over it (as much as you can be about photographs, I mean) but then I just had to accept that they were gone forever. Remember how I erased that memory card?

Well, once I got home, my sister suggested that I look in my iphoto folders. It didn’t make any sense that they would be there, because I don’t use iphoto all that often, and I always upload my images straight to my harddrive for safekeeping. I had already looked before, in my recent iphoto folder uploads, but they weren’t there. However, when I looked under “events”, what should appear before my eyes but the very photos I had despaired of never seeing again! I didn’t tear up when I thought I had lost the photos, but I did when I found them again! My sister can vouch for my excitement upon finding them!

So, I have no idea how those photos were mislaid and managed to find their way to the iphoto folders, but I am so glad that they did. And the moral of the story today is, don’t change up your routine and put photos in one place, when you always put them somewhere else. And, double and triple and quadruple check that you have your photographs saved, BEFORE you erase your memory card clean!

Have you ever lost photographs due to a technical error, or were you able to get them back somehow?

(ps- I don’t have a “him” in my life right now, so this is all entirely make believe, but wouldn’t it be sweet to read love letters amongst the lilacs? Also, that “letter” is a handwritten poem I found online, called “Night” written for “Miss Mary L. Jacob’s Album” by “A.G. Archer Henry”. So who knows, maybe it was a “love letter” after all?)

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, portrait feature

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, teatime

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, walking

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, tea and portrait

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, parasol-silhouette

Afternoon Tea and Cream Coloured Roses

Afternoon Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, the artyologist

Last month, when Spring had not yet arrived, (who am I kidding- Spring still hasn’t really arrived!!!) but we were aching for some sign of life, my mom splurged and bought a bouquet of roses. Although cut flowers don’t last for long, and can be expensive to buy regularly, they are such a nice treat during the long long days of Winter and the early days of Spring when there is nary a sign of green to be seen anywhere out of doors. It is amazing what a pretty bouquet of flowers can do to lift the spirits! And a bunch of beautiful cream coloured roses, with just a hint of blush pink in the centre, paired with a cup of afternoon tea- what a perfect combination.

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, detail, the artyologist

You might think, judging by the photographs I often take, that all I do is drink tea. And yes- you would be correct. 😉 At any given moment of any day, you will most likely find me with teacup in hand, sipping away. The most often answered question in the house is, “Shall I put the kettle on?” And the answer is almost always a resounding, “Yes!”

For me, it must always be black tea (Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Ceylon or Orange Pekoe are my favourites), lightly steeped and without anything else added to it. (Although, yes I do occasionally enjoy a cup of green as well) I used to drink my tea strictly the English way- with milk and sugar, if you please, but now I enjoy drinking it plain. I once read that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water- and I don’t doubt it! For me, it is most definitely the second most consumed- and some days I have to remind myself that water should come first, not tea 🙂

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, teacup, the artyologist

What better way is there to spend an afternoon, than enjoying a pretty bouquet of roses, and a small tea party for one?

Do you enjoy drinking tea, and how do you take it? Do you do “afternoon tea” or do you just drink it whenever you feel like it? And do you like to get bouquets of cut flowers?

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, roses and tea at desk, the artyologist

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, roses closeup, the artyologist

Tea and Cream Coloured Roses, tea detail, the artyologist