Monday, November 12, 2007

Tea For You And Me

Nothing like a tea party to make us all feel pretty special. You can have your tea party any time of the year. We've had Christmas Teas, Harvest Teas, Valentine's Teas. But the most favorite time of year for a tea party is around Mother's Day. Here are some of my ideas (and a few of some other folks) to create a nice Tea party for all ages! We have even used our Tea Party as a fundraiser. For years, my parents (in particular, my dad) were collectors of vintage china, especially, Homer Laughlin china (you might be familiar with their Fiesta Line....which I love...especially the red stuff (hint, hint). They searched flea markets everywhere for inexpensive, yet pretty and unique tea cups and saucers. We charged $10 for each ticket for our tea party and one of the take home favors was a cup and saucer set. It was a big hit!

You’re Invited!
*Find some very pretty ceramic tea pots or tea cups at the dollar store. Attach a poem to the handle or make teapot or teacup shapes.

*Or go to one of the following sites and print off tea bag favors. You can include on them the date and time of your tea party. You can purchase a box of herbal tea makes a nice little treat. more plain templates (in fact, lots and lots of templates!)
Tea Poems
A little cup of friendship
With a bag of tea
When you drink this
Think of love from me.
-source unknown
I'm not sure where I got this poem from
Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting,
Favorite chairs anticipating,
No matter what I have to do,
My friend there's always time for you
All the Pretties
Focal Point:
*A small table and set it up for a child’s tea party, complete with stuffed bears and all.
*A nice idea for the serving table is to lay down a white cloth and spread twinkle lights all around. Then cover the table with tulle (in any color) bunched up here and there. (don't spread it out want it to look like airy fluff). Arrange your food (be sure it is presented very nicely) around the table and poke flowers and greenery sprigs here and there. I also like to set up a few boxes (hiding under more tablecloth) for a tiered effect. Consider using a few porcelain decorations, etc. I have a Precious Moments figurine that is of two little girls having tea. I like using it.

The Tables
*First start by gathering up all the stuff you can find. Tea cups and saucers, linens, anything pretty that you can use.

*Consider assigning each table a theme. You can do so by color, flower, or my favorite, kind of herbal tea, herb or anything in between. Let’s say you have a yellow table cloth, and a few cups and saucers with yellow on them. Stick some fresh lemons in a dish, add a few daisies and call that table The Lemon Drop or something of that nature. Do the same with all your other tables. I have done this on a number of occasions. It is a lot of fun for all the gals attending your party.

*Use a mirrored glass (can be purchased at home improvement stores) for a base in the middle of your table…so pretty!
Purchase some little girl dress up items. Tiaras, boas, jewelry, etc. and arrange them in the middle of the tables.
*Use fresh flowers and candles in simple glass bowls or goblets. I have also used tea cups themselves as candle holders.
*Purchase a set of matching teacups w/ saucers and flipped the cup upside down and placed the saucer on top like a pedestal. Use as a place setting or centerpiece with chocolate kisses. *Another cute idea is to purchase some inexpensive porcelain children's tea sets (the dollar store usually has them). Set up your tea set in the middle of a mirrored tile with bits of ribbon roses or chocolates around it. Give away the tea sets as favors or door prizes.
On the Menu
Here are a few food ideas. I have included a few recipes.
Chicken Salad with Croissants*
Cucumber sandwiches without crusts, PBJ cut with flower cookie cutters and deviled ham.
Miniature scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, and raspberry tarts (cut pre-rolled pie into circles and pressed into mini muffin pans. Filling was raspberry jello mixed with Cool Whip and topped with a raspberry).
Fresh Fruit & Dip*
Veggies & Dip (display your veggies in a basket and use a hollowed out cabbage to hold your dip. Angel Food Cake
Chocolate Covered Strawberries*
Strawberry & Spinach Salad
Mini Muffins
Lemonade or punch
Bonnet cookies*
Teapot Cake*
And of course, an assortment of herbal teas
Bonnets - I think I found this at the Pillsbury website.
Makes: 16 bonnets
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create 'n Bake® refrigerated sugar cookies
16 lemon or orange mini muffins (from bakery)
2 cups vanilla creamy ready-to-spread frosting (from two 1-lb containers)
Green and red food color
Heat oven to 350°F. Cut cookie dough into 1/2-inch slices. On ungreased cookie sheet, place slices 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.
If necessary, remove papers from muffins. Cut 3/4-inch slice from bottom of each muffin to use for bonnet. Reserve muffin tops for snacking. Spread cut side of each muffin bottom with frosting; attach to cookie, frosting side down. Place bonnets on rack over 15x10x1-inch pan.
Place 1/2 cup frosting in resealable food storage plastic bag. Add green food color; squeeze bag until well mixed and desired color.
Place remaining frosting in microwavable measuring cup. Microwave on High 30 to 40 seconds or until pourable. DO NOT BOIL. Stir in enough red food color for desired pink color. Pour pink frosting over bonnets in circular motion to cover completely. Reheat frosting as necessary to keep it pourable. Let stand 10 minutes or until set.
With small spatula, remove bonnets from rack, smoothing edges of frosting. Cut tiny hole in corner of bag with green frosting. Pipe ribbon of frosting for hatband; add bow design. Make dots and flower designs on each hat as desired.

Beke’s Famous Chicken Salad
1/2 cups diced and chilled, cooked chicken meat
1 cup chopped apple
1 cup sliced, seedless grapes
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon squeezed
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
In your food processor give the chicken a quick whirl.
Combine meat, celery, grapes, almonds, parsley, salt, and mayonnaise with whipped cream. Chill.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries
16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves
Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture. Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into Styrofoam for the chocolate to cool
Beke’s Easy Fruit Dip
1 container of marshmallow cream
1 package of cream cheese
a little dash of cinnamon or mint, if desired
Whirl around in your food processor until well blended then chill.

This is a link for a whole bunch of tea party games. There are organized into types/countries/etc.
*Have a special speaker.

*Play old fashioned Parlor games

*Gather a few craft projects together, such as decorating straw hats or scrapbooking

*Have a mother/daughter fashion show

Some of these ideas, plus more at Creative Ladies Ministries website (link at the end of this post)

Favors and Such

*A special tea gift basket.
*Individual Tea cups - Sprinkle candy inside of the tea cups. Wrap with cellophane tied up with ribbons or raffia.
*Other tea items like tea strainers, special herbal tea or cute little tea spoons
*candy necklaces, jewel ring pops, bead bracelets, hair clips and bands, play tea sets (for the girls)
Tea Cup Refrigerator Magnet
One year I cut out tea cups out of scrapbook paper and glued them together leaving a pocket open. I wrote "My Cup Runneth Over" on them and inserted a folded paper doily and a bag of tea. I then glued a small magnet on the back. Very cute.
Tea Card - I'm not sure where I found this idea...possibly at a craft website?
Materials and Supplies
Medium Weight Card Stock Paper: 8-1/2" x 11"
Envelopes: 4-3/8" x 5-3/4"
Steam-a-Seam sticky back
Holiday or other fabric of choice: 6" x 3-1/2" for each cup
All-purpose glue
Tea bags
Water-soluble pen
All purpose thread or machine embroidery thread
90/14 needle
Open toe foot
Important Note: These project instructions are specific to the Brother ULT2001, ULT2002D, ULT2003D sewing machines; however, the project can be adapted for use on other machines.
1. Cut the 8-1/2" x 11" card stock paper in half.
2. Fold each piece in half to form a card.
3. Cut out the oval over the cup area (see pattern).
4. Cut a piece of card stock to 5-1/4" x 4". This will cover the stitches and form the pocket on the inside of the card. Note: If you do not have a paper cutter, a rotary cutter will cut the paper very evenly.
5. Set up the sewing machine for sewing.
6. Select the zigzag stitch (1-10) and set the width to 3.0 and the length to 1.0.
7. Trace the cup and saucer on Steam-a-Seam sticky back and press it to the fabric.
8. Cut out and clip around the cup handle.
9. Place the cup on the card.
10. Press the cup in place with an iron.
11. Draw lines to form a stitch guide for the cup and saucer.
12. Starting at the right hand corner of the cup, sew with a zigzag stitch across the top, down the side, and around the right hand corner of the cup.
13. Stitch around the upper edge of pocket oval.
14. Cut and tie off threads.
15. Place needle at the saucer on the left side, stitch around the saucer and cup handle, and then tie off threads.
16. Use all-purpose glue to secure the 4-3/8" x 5-3/4" piece of card stock to the back of the card.
17. Finally, sign and date your card on the back.
Tip: The needle on the zigzag should be half on the fabric and half on the card. When sewing curves, stop with the needle down and turn the card slowly to obtain a smooth look.
Other Resources

Julia has some great tea party ideas at:

Some I might even taken from her over the years! She has a little bit of everything.

My one of my favorites artists, Mary Englebreit, has a cute tea party coloring page. Here is the link.

Here are some more of Mary's Coloring Pages. lots and lots of tea links

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