Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer on the Porch . .

Hello Again, Dear Friends of The Tearoom,

Today was another cool, rainy and very-un-summer-like day.  I know the trees and flowers love it, so we will rely on our memories of warmer days until the sun comes out once again.

Last week, we had a small birthday tea for our friend Elaine and so here are some fun pictures to share with you!  Mr. V helped me set up a little buffet on the diningroom table and then, we took our treats out to the porch to eat.

(As always, you may click on the images in 
order to see them larger.)

Between what I have collected from flea markets and what my mother had collected and left to me, I have a fun collection of vintage glass, china and silver, along with some new pieces, none of which match, but which I happen to love together!  

The glass platter with the dandelion was one we got for our wedding to put candles on to have a candle-lighting ceremony.  However, the breezes that night had other ideas and the candles didn't stay lit!  Luckily, the tray has turned out to be entirely more useful for serving tea sandwiches!!

I picked some our pansies from the porch to float in a tea cup and small pitcher.  The napkins are from a trip to Sur La Table some months ago and ferreted away for such an occasion.  The glasses were the monogrammed ones owned by my parents, silver iced tea spoons and plates from my mother's collection and the sugar bowl from my own collection.

Here is our menu:

Open-Faced Tea Sandwiches:
Egg Salad
Cucumber with Scallion/Dill Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese and Green Olive
(a unusual but nostalgic choice for Elaine and myself!
My mother always made them for me for summertime lunches
and so they just taste like summer to me!)

Iced Tea:
Peppermint, Double Bergamot Earl Grey and Strawberry

Macarons (from Whole Foods)
(vanilla, chocolate/strawberry, green tea, lemon, coconut, red velvet)

 The day was lovely and warm so we brought our luncheon
out to the porch to eat.

The last time we visited the porch was last month before I
had planted my tomato and herb seedlings, which I planted
and grew in boxes in the sunny diningroom windows.
(If you look carefully, you can see our two hummingbird
feeders as well!)

But now, my little porch farm is going well!

The largest of these tomato plants is a variety from the UK
called Tigerella, which will be an early striped red variety.
The ones in the middle are Black Tula from Russia.
They will be a dark red variety with black seeds.
The ones at the end are Flamme from France,
which are an early yellow variety.
Hoping for some really warm weather because it really is
what tomatoes need most at this point!

Do you remember this box of pansies with small shoots of
morning glories from last month?

This is the same box now!
And the morning glories have sprouted up and I have begun
to train them to climb up the lilac branches I have tied to the
post!  One of our returning hummingbirds just loves to perch
on one of these branches and seems to like the leaves around
him so he can hide and guard his feeders!

Another view of the morning glories growing
up the lilac branches!

And this is the rest of my little porch farm!
From top left: German Striped Tomato (an orange variety),
Black Tula and Flamme in the middle pot,
two mystery varieties of heirloom tomatoes,
sent by one of the seed vendors.
Bottom row, from left: Cilantro, Dill & Chives,
Curly Leaf Parsley & Basil, Sage & Oregano

Here are one of my lovely pansies,
growing in the pot on the East side of the porch.

June 7th was the birthday of one my favorite
artists, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
I follow 78 Derngate on Twitter, which is
the only house in England designed by
Mackintosh and on his birthday, they asked
that their followers tweet photos of flowers,
in honor of his beautiful watercolors of
flowers.  I tweeted the image above and
the two below for the event and they were
included in their Facebook album to
commemorate the event!

And now, back to my work on my Mad Tea Party
post for the blog party at A Fanciful Twist!

What in the world (or out of the world)
are Victorienne and Purple Kitty up to now?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

It's That Time of the Year Once Again...!

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
The day we wait for each year about this time has arrived!  Our invitation to The Mad Tea Party Blog Party at A Fanciful Twist!  Each year, Our Dearest Dear Friend Miss Vanessa throws the most wonderful blog hop parties in honor of one of our favorite topics, The Mad Tea Party!  Can we ever really get enough of them?  I don't think so!

Ideas had been whirling around in my head and so now, the serious work must start in order to be ready!  This year, as you can see from the poster above and the button on the right, the party will be held on July 11th.  You can participate by letting Vanessa know you will be part of the fun and then creating a Mad Tea Party post for viewing on that day (further instructions on her blog post here).  Or, you can also have fun by simply visiting all the participants on that day and leaving them comments!  Either way, it is always a day of fun (actually, so many people participate, it always turns into a whole weekend of fun for most of us!).

The scrambling through the attic of treasures of The Tearoom will now begin as we start to work on our adventure for this year!  Please don't mind the dust and the noise!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Long We Have Waited . . .

Welcome, Dearest Friends of The Tearoom!
It was such a long and cold winter, here in The Land of The Tearoom, but the weather has finally warmed and once again, we find ourselves on our porch, our own small portion of paradise.  I spent so many gloomy and snowy days this winter, dreaming and planning.  My work there is not finished yet, but I think you will find a good start has been made.  We look forward to having tea with friends, lunches with each other, here in the company of our dear friends, The Pansies!

(Please ignore the state of the porch in need of painting!)

As always, please click the images in order to see them larger.

All of the shades of purple just make me happy!

I used some pots I had had for a while, but the yellow & grey pots
and the chartreuse ones are new.

I love the mixed designs they came in!

In one pot, I planted an ornamental thyme and pansies to make
a Pansy Jungle, like the one that Victorienne was peddling
through on her tricycle here!  I plan to create a few different
tableaux on The Thyme Lawn this summer, including other
possible visits from Victorienne!

But today, two new friends who have come to live with us 
here at The Tearoom are enjoying the The Thyme Lawn!
This is Wuzzy and Tiddley, the Jackabunnies and they are 
the creations of my new Twitter friend Kit Lane!  I had 
admired her dear little needle-felted creatures for such a 
long time and decided that now was the time to adopt a
couple of them!  When they aren't enjoying some time
outside, they live on top of the small bookcase in our
room.  If you find yourself in need of some happiness in 
your life, I must highly recommend to you a visit to Kit's Etsy
shop. She is always working so hard to make them, but you 
may find the shop empty.  Please don't let this discourage
you, but instead, take a peek at her "Sold"section and then 
contact her to make a special friend for you too!

As you can see, our small patch of lawn is covered in
dandelions, violets and clover.  We like it that way, in spite of
the disapproving looks of others.  After reading a recent
article on how many birds, butterflies and bees benefit from
not chopping it all down, we are even more devoted to the idea
of our technicolor lawn!!

More of the lovely pansies, including that lovely bright yellow
trailing variety that smells like some intense version of honey!
The hummingbirds and furry, fat bees love them and so do I!

This planter has seen its better days, but it was here in the time
of my Great-Aunt Edith living here, before my parents did.
My mother loved planting pansies and petunias here and I think
I can get a few more seasons of doing the same from it, the
lovely, shabby old thing!

I usually plant morning glories in this planter and let them trail up
the lilac branch in the corner and then up the corner post of the
porch.  But I bought a few too many pansies and needed to
plant them here instead...

...but in spite of the fact that I didn't plant morning glories here 
last year and turned over the soil in the pot, adding new potting
soil and fertilizer, these are little morning glory shoots, peeking 
up between the pansies!!  And, they are growing up right next
to the old lilac branch, so when they get bigger, I can train them
to go up the branch and the hummingbirds will have morning
glories on the favorite perch in the garden after all!!!  Mr. V says
that nature is an amazing thing and I would have to agree!

These are the rest of the pots, filled with soil and fertilizer and 
waiting to be planted.  I am growing seedlings of heirloom
tomato varieties and herbs in the sunny East and South windows
of the diningroom and soon, they will be ready for planting.
After some careful research, the herbs will be planted together in 
the smaller pots and the tomatoes will be planted in the larger
pots.  We actually had quite good success with tomatoes
in this spot two years ago, and I'm so looking forward to
dinners of fried green tomatoes!  Yum! 

The East end of the porch.
In the corner, I keep my gardening equipment (vintage small 
hand-rake,  trowel and well-loved Queen Bess serving spoon), 
old tin watering can, dead branches from the white lilacs in the 
back for staking tomatoes and training morning glories, bits of 
broken pots to put in the bottom of other pots to provide irrigation.  
I like to find new uses for old and discarded things I find around 
the house and the yard.  Admittedly, many of the things left
here by Aunt Edith and Mommy still come in handy to me!

But once in a while, one deserves to indulge and have some 
new things too!  These new periwinkle Adirondack chairs
have been in my sights for a while and so, this year, they
join our household!

If you look carefully, you can see two of our three hummingbird
feeders!  It's a non-stop job making nectar and cleaning and filling 
feeders to feed those brightly-colored little cuties!  

My work here is not quite finished, but I'm happy with the
progress to make it lighter and brighter so far.  I will blog about
the porch again later in the summer.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Dabble With Fan Art . . .

Greetings, Dear Friends of The Tearoom!
As many of you may already know, music is an important part of our lives!  Mr. V and I met in a record store in 1984 and ended up working together there.  We love listening to all kinds of music!

Today, I'm making a collage just for fun, inspired by one of my favorite albums so far this year "The Velvet Trail" by Marc Almond.  There are so many great songs on this album!  One of the ones I loved the most is "Pleasure's Wherever You Are".  I really love the visual imagery of it and it inspired me to create a piece of fan art for it!  I do hope Marc does not mind being portrayed as The Dragon Boy!

(Please click on any of the images to see them larger.)

Images used in my collages today are from the following sources:

Image one: Background revised from an image from the extensive public domain collection at The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Image two: Background from itKuPiLLi Imagenarium on Mischief Circus
Image of Marc Almond from his Twitter site
Dragon image composed of several vintage images from The Rijksmuseum collection
Geisha adapted from a vintage image from Pinterest

Image three: Background made of decayed vintage daguerreotypes from The Public Domain Review.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Science Experiment...

Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
Today's collage is for the challenge at Collage Obsession and our paperdoll daughter Victorienne is back!  She is such a curious little girl and so when I told her that the prompt at Collage Obsession was "Science", she wanted to be the one to conduct a science experiment!

She had a theory that she could turn perfume into music!  In spite of my skepticism, her experiment seems to have been a success!  She explains it to me and so I will try and explain it to you.  When she was doing her spelling lessons, she saw that the names of some flowers and scents contained the letters which are also the names of musical notes.  She built a machine from some of the things that her Daddy helped her find in the attic of The Tearoom.  When she added drops of perfume into the machine, the letters which were musical notes went to the gramophone to make music and the left over letters in the names of the scents and flowers left the process in the form of purple-colored smoke!  How did she come up with this?  I'm not sure, but perhaps she has a future career ahead of her as a scientist!

(Victorienne asks that you click the image to see it larger.)

Images used in my collage today from Tumble Fish Studio
from Mischief Circus and my personal collection.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Breakfast Amongst the Flowers...

Today's collage is for the challenge at The Three Muses!  The prompt this week was to make a book cover collage or base your collage on a book.  I used an image I had of a lovely cookbook from the 1930's and added vintage images of flowers from my postcard collection to create a book from my imagination.  I don't know what this book is about, but I like the image it invokes of a warm summer morning, surrounded by flowers, enjoying soft boiled eggs, sourdough toast and fresh fruit!

(Click to see the image larger)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Not So Sure

(Please click on the image in order to see it larger.)

Some of the members of The Ladies' Explorers Club of Upper Jam-Pot have entered The Butterfly Enclosure, in order to more closely examine some of the more exotic species kept there.  However, Lady Peony Petunia-Petal is not so sure.  It may come as some surprise, but I share Lady Peony's trepidation!  In as much as I like the way butterflies look and have used them in my artwork numerous times, I do not care for them to flutter around me and tend to avoid them!  I know how silly this is, but I've been a bit phobic of them for as long as I can remember!  I think I might be slowly getting over my silly fear and hope that doing artworks like this will help!

My collage today is for the challenge at Take A Word, where the prompt was "Black and White".  Some color was also allowed, so I hope the nice folks there will not mind that Black and White's cousins Charcoal, Sepia, Ecru, Espresso and Dust were invited to the party at The Tearoom today!  Images from Tumble Fish Studios of Mischief Circus and my own collection.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cycling Through the Pansy Jungle

(My collage today is for the challenge at Collage Obsession, where the prompt this week was "Cycle.  All images from my collage today from my own personal collection, with the exception of the tricycle, which is from The Graphics Fairy.)

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
Even though there are still some small piles of snow on the ground here in The Land of The Tearoom, we know that spring is on it's way.  And, no one is more excited about the emerging springtime than Our Little Victorienne!  Although she can't yet ride her tricycle through the pansies, All Friends of The Tearoom should view this collage as being a view of a time to come...

(Victorienne says, "Won't you please click the image for a 
larger view?")

Please keep checking back, as Victorienne has adventures galore in the Pansy Jungle, located in The Wilds of The Tearoom Porch, later this summer!  Also, keep watch for your introduction to a new member of Our Doll and Animal Family and a possible fashion show or two, as well!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

An Easter Treat...

Wishing all Dear Friends of The Tearoom a Most Happy Easter!

These nice rabbits told me they would like to share their special Easter cake with you!  How nice of them!

It's been such a long time since I have posted here!  Our laptop had been experiencing some issues, which were resolved only last week.  So, I have a lot of catching up to do on many projects, not the least of which is my book project on Victorienne and a new collage sheet project!

Won't you please keep checking back as I post about all the new and fun goings-on in The Tearoom?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Happy First of April!

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
I know a bit of the day has already gone by, but I didn't want to miss the chance to wish everyone a Most Happy April 1st and for those friends in places where it is celebrated, a Bonne Poisson d'Avril as well!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Steampunk Blossoms

Hello Dear Friends!
Today's collage is for the challenge at Take A Word, where the prompt this week was "Steampunk".  I decided to make a bouquet of steampunk blossoms!  I'm a bit obsessed with all things springtime right now, so, since we are weeks and weeks away from seeing anything bloom here in The Land of The Tearoom, I have created some blooms myself!

Now it's back to my book project!  We're snowed in again for the I-don't-know-how-many-times-now and so I've just been working on creative projects to chase away the potential bouts of cabin fever!

(Images used in my collage today from Cemerony on Etsy, Tumble Fish Studios and itKuPiLLi on Mischief Circus, my own personal collection and the ink bottle was from Google.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adventure Time Again for Victorienne...

Hello to you, Dearest Friends of The Tearoom!

Tonight, our very adventuresome little girl Victorienne is off on yet another adventure!  And this time, the idea for her adventure has come not from me, but from her Daddy, Mr. V!  Having her swinging on a swing suspended by balloons was entirely his idea and I was more than happy to bring his idea to life!  Our little girl is dressed warmly in her snowsuit and mittens and is having fun swinging in the air over Paris, her favorite place!  So, this is OUR submission for The Three Muses Collage Challenge this week, whose prompt was "Balloons".

The images I used in this collage came from Tumble Fish Studios and my own personal collection!

I have been having a fun time the last few days working on some of the elements for the illustrations for the book I am working on.  Late last summer, I painted some watercolor stripes on some old dictionary pages.  I scanned them in and stored them in the memory stick I am using for the book.  This week, I opened those files again, stained them with some more colors in Photoshop, digitally added some slightly torn edges and now, we have some wallpaper for the hotel where Victorienne and Purple Kitty will find themselves in the course of the story!  

Wishing everyone a lovely day!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

It's Magical...

Happy Sunday to you, Dear Friends of The Tearoom!

This Magic Love Potion Machine collage is one I made for two collage challenges this week:  the challenge at Collage Obsession, where the prompt is "Love" and for Take A Word, where the prompt is "Be My Valentine".  I had fun making it and used images from itKuPiLLi Imagenarium and Tumble Fish Studios (both from Mischief Circus) and from my own personal collection.  

Who could possibly resist its charms, glowing purple, emitting mysterious potions, designed to inspire love in all who come in contact with it?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Colors to Cheer Us...

Hello Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
I know it is not this way everywhere, but here in The Land of The Tearoom, we have had so much snow and now are expecting even more, leaving us dreaming of springtime, hoping it is not so far away!

So, I'm happy to participate in the collage challenge at The Three Muses this week!  The prompt this week is "Frame" and this is the frame I created:

(The pieces I used for my collage today are pieces from various kits from Tumble Fish Studios and one piece from Crowabout StudioB from The Misfit Dollhouse Kit, all from Mischief Circus.)

Hooray for bright colors to help chase away our winter blues!

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Hello to you, Dear Friends of The Tearoom!

Wishing one and all a most...

And to celebrate, I am so excited to be able to participate in the Take a Word Collage Challenge today! The prompt this week was "Hearts" and I had made a collage a couple of weeks ago that I was saving especially to celebrate the gorgeous reds, pinks and purples that are so much fun to use this month!  

Created mostly from the XOXO Digital Collage Sheet Set from Tumble Fish Studios at Mischief Circus, I call it "A World of Love in Our Hearts"!

Here in the world of The Tearoom, there has been snow, snow and more snow!  All we can do is sit, bundled up, dreaming of spring, sipping our tea and keeping ourselves busy with creative ideas that take us out of our world of snow!  As I mentioned in my blog post here, I am back to working on my book project about Victorienne!  It is set in a much more temperate time of the year, so working on it is like taking a vacation to a much warmer place!  More about this project soon...

February is a special month for us!  It is my birthday month (on the 8th), it was the birthday month of my Dear Mommy Cupcake (on the 11th) and two years ago, on February 12th was when I ordered the first postcards from an Etsy seller that, through The Magic of Photoshop, became our Paperdoll Daughter Victorienne, so it is her birthday as well!

As always, the tea is waiting for you, steaming in the samovar, in front of the fire.   You are always welcome to come and visit with us here and share a cup to warm you!

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Think It Is Entirely Possible...

...that, even as a child, 
Zero dreamed of becoming a Lobby Boy
in a Grand Hotel...!

I found this little doll stashed away
in my mother's things.
He was dressed in some horrible little outfit
my mother had made for him from a sock!
So, with his big, bright eyes,
I took one look at him and thought
I could transform him into Zero The Lobby Boy
from The Grand Budapest Hotel,
one of our favorite movies of last year!

I repurposed a used pillowcase
and with a bit of thread and paint
"Et Voila!"

Mr. V very kindly took the pictures for me!

(This great .gif of Zero is from my Pinterest Board

And just so we are clear, my next project will NOT be frozen blood popsicles from our other favorite movie of last year, Only Lovers Left Alive...

But you can have fun watching Tom and Tilda as Adam and Eve enjoying theirs and having a very interesting conversation!

Oh, and in case you missed seeing Ödland live on Friday afternoon, their mini concert is here, where they performed a new electronic version of "Les Yeux de l'Oiseau":

I see they also have other installments of their "Bedroom Sessions" planned as well!

Bravo à nos amis d'Ödland!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

On This Snowy Night at The Gossamer Tearoom...

Hello Dear Friends,
Come closer to the fire and I will bring you a cup of tea to warm you...

Here at The Tearoom, we are hoping all our friends are having a wonderful New Year so far!  Ours is good here with lots of days and nights just staying in, working on projects.  Luckily, we have some fun things to look forward to, as well!

Tomorrow, Ödland, our new favorite band that we discovered last year will be performing their first live online concert!!!  Click here for more information!  They will be playing live at 8 pm Paris time , which will be 2 pm on the East Coast of the U.S.  And in case you won't be able to see the performance live, Lorenzo will be posting it to YouTube as well, to be watched later!  To whet your appetite for the concert, here's a concert they gave in Lyon a few years ago (I've posted this video before, but it's a great show!)

Here's another great video from the band for their song Østersøen from from album "Sankta Lucia":

Here's a great article about Lorenzo and his directorial partner Vincent Pianina, their video work and a Young Director's award they won for a video they made for a Gustave Doré exhibit at the Musée D'Orsay in Paris!

Also, as usual, our Paperdoll Daughter Victorienne always wants to be someplace else and we are a little less than one month away from Valentine's Day, so I designed a new digital collage sheet, which is now on sale in Velvet Revived:

This fun new banner coordinates with two sheets I designed
last year for Valentine's Day:

I am also currently working on a secret book project with Victorienne...more on that later (I'm seriously considering learning animation, in order to bring her story to life even more!)

And keep checking back as I will show photos from a small project I have been working on in honor of one of our favorite movies from last year The Grand Budapest Hotel!