Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Happy New Year...

Dear Friends of The Gossamer Tearoom,
Once again, I would like to thank everyone for joining me here this year. When I started this blog exactly a year ago tomorrow, I had no idea that I would meet so many nice people and there would be such a nice reaction to what I do here. I am sincerely grateful and hope our friendships through the aether continue for a long time!

Tonight, my dear Mr. V and I will be having a special New Year's Eve Tea! Here is the menu...

tea sandwiches:
egg salad with dijon mustard
cucumber with watercress spread
smoked salmon with wasabi mayonnaise

fresh raspberry tarts
chocolate madeleines
french nougatine with almonds

earl grey tea
sips of champagne

...and the reason for our special celebration tonight? It's not just the beginning of a new decade, but the beginning of a new life for us soon. Late next month, we will be moving from Washington, DC to Maine! It will be a big change for us, but one we look forward to.

So, if it seems as though my time here will be scarce for a while, there will be a reason. Please be assured that I will miss you all, my dear friends, and will be back having our lovely salons in our imaginary tearoom just as soon as I am able.

In the meantime, I will still be blogging, in between packing everything we own for the move!

Bonne Annee and Happy New Years to you all, Dear Friends,


Don't Forget to Treat Yourself!

Dear Friends,
I have made the nicest discovery! I have found a wonderful Etsy shop called 5 Dollar French Market! These ladies make very sweet glittered, rubber stamped and tea-stained handmade items and everything in the shop is just $5 (plus a small amount for postage)! This is what I got from them . . .

. . .Five yards of gorgeous ivory seam binding, hand rubber stamped with French text. It comes on a tea-stained, hand-stamped tag. There were also very sweet surprises in the package and each item was packed in stamped glassine bags! In addition, the order was shipped very quickly! What fun!

I think that the next time you are not having the best day in the world (or even to celebrate if your day is going great!!), I would recommend ordering a little something for yourself! The prices are great and the minute you open the package, you can feel the love these ladies must have for making things!

Look for another post later today with my big news . . .

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas Night

(I started this collage with an image from my new friend Marie-France's blog)

Dear Friends of The Blogging World,
I do hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend! I am so grateful for every person who comes to read my blog!

Christmas hugs for you all,


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Post from Outside The Gossamer Tearoom...

Dear Friends,
Today, I ventured outside The Beloved Tearoom in my mind to take tea in the real world with a very dear friend of mine, one who I don't get to see nearly as often as I would like. We went to Teaism in Penn Quarter, here in Washington. There, they serve a rather eclectic, Pan-Asian menu, which includes a really lovely traditional afternoon tea (with some slight Asian twists). Here was our menu:

Tea-Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches with Miso Mayonnaise
Cucumber and Watercress Tea Sandwiches with Wasabi
Ginger Scones with Jam
Two Tiny Lemon Mousse Tarts topped with Strawberries
Vanilla, Chocolate and Matcha Tea Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Truffles
A Pot of Tea (mine was Earl Grey, of course and hers was the Berry Tisane)

Very lovely. Also, there was a beautiful koi pond with huge orange, white and black koi!

Recently, I have been particularly interested in all the delicious looking Christmas teas from all our favorite Houses of Beautiful Tea in Paris. Which one would you pick if we could all have a lovely toasty afternoon in front of the fire, back at Our Tearoom of the Imagination?

-Soir de Noël (A Christmas Night) from Fauchon - with flavors of caramel, pineapple, sweet orange and marachino cherry.
-Any of the Christmas teas from Dammann Frères - Noël à Londres, Noël à Paris, Noël à Pékin, Noël à Prague, Noël à St. Petersburg, Noël à Venise, Noël à Vienne, Noël à Alsace, Noël à Provence (Christmas in London, Paris, Peking, Prague, St. Petersburg, Venice, Vienna, Alsace and Provence, respectively)
-Kusmi's Christmas tea (Chinese black tea flavored with orange, almond, vanilla and spices) or Ginger Lemon tea

The snow is falling outside.
Inside, all your favorite friends, the fireside and a delicious cup of steaming tea are waiting for you...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We Should All Have Treats...

Dear Friends,
Christmas is a time when we treat our loved ones and ourselves with delights that we save for just this time of the year. The image above is a digital collage that I have made for some very special cards this year. Doesn't the doggie look so happy to see the tree full of treats? Inside, it says, "My Mommy and Mr. Santa said I was a very good dog, so I may have treats! We hope you get all the treats you are dreaming of this Christmas!"

And speaking of treats, please go visit Karen at The Graphics Fairy! She is having a great giveaway! On top of all the beautiful images and project ideas she gives away on her site everyday, one lucky person will win a package of soap and lip gloss from the amazing company Tokyo Milk! They not only make very nice quality items, but their packaging is just beautiful! You can leave a comment everyday on this post of Karen's site until this Friday (December 18) to make yourself eligible to win these pretty things! And while you are there, be certain to browse through all the lovely images on her blog!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fête des lumieres (Festival of Lights)

Happy Holidays to you, Dear Friends!

Each year in Lyon, France there is a beautiful, creative spectacle of lights! Here is a taste from the last 10 years!

Hoping your holidays so far are full of beauty and light!


PS - More fun holiday news to come!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Think She Must Be Smiling...

Dearest Friends,
Two lovely bits of news from the world of haute patisserie...

The first, shown above is the new color that Ladurée has unveiled for its boxes for autumn. I am not always that much of a pink person, but isn't this just yummy?
This is what they had to say about it:
For the autumn season, Ladurée is cloaking its macaron box in moiré pink, like an haute couture fabric,decorated with a beautiful frieze featuring black interlacing motifs.
And in even more exciting news...
Ladurée chooses to open its first store as part of the Royal Courtyard at the Palace at Versailles.

In this refined place, Ladurée lovers can discover all of the "signature" items such as candles, perfumes, shopping bags, the embroidered pouches, beauty kits, stationery and Beauty fragrance collection Violet, Rose and Almond, without forgetting the essential and indispensable delicacies of Ladurée, macaroons and chocolates sold in their finest boxes.

I would like to think our Beloved Queen is somewhere in the purple aether, smiling...

Image of Marie Antoinette from Kirsi of Itkupilli, remainder of images from Ladurée.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Winner...!!!

(An Image from the collection of Les Museés de Strasbourg)
Dearest Friends,
There is a winner in my giveaway from our fun Halloween Blog Party!

It is....

sherry ♥ lee


Please e-mail me at so I can get your address and send you a deluxe package of my handmade cards!

This has been so much fun and I would like to thank everyone who participated!
And love and hugs to my very dear friend and blog party partner, LuLu!


Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Bats Have Left the Bell Tower...

My Dearest Friends,

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you

to The Gossamer Tearoom on this...

a very special...

It is such a dreary, rainy night.

Aren’t you glad you are on the inside?

Of course, The Tearoom has been decorated in a particularly dark fashion. . .

The Ghost of Lina Cavellieri wanders the halls of The Tearoom most nights. Tonight, in honor of this most magical of nights, she walks the catwalk, modelling the most glorious dresses, designed only for her. Please witness as she leaves you enchanted, enveloped in the deep scent of dark roses, the crackling sound of black taffeta, the touch of a cape as dark and soft as a bat’s wing...

The playlist for the show is a camp rock and roll extravaganza:
From The Rocky Horror Picture Show -
Science Fiction, Double Feature
The Time Warp (Remix)
Sweet Transvestite
And of course, some sexy snarl from Billy Idol-
Eyes Without A Face
Flesh for Fantasy

The tea table is set, dear ones. Please indulge yourselves in bat bane tea and spider-toe crumpets from Patisserie Nightshade.

Thank you to Julia of Cemerony and Kirsi of Itkupilli for some of the delicious images I used in my collages.

And biggest hugs to my dear, dear friend LuLu of Coastal Sisters for hosting this party with me! Please be sure and go visit her party also!

And now...please don't forget to leave a comment to be entered in my giveaway! The winner will get a deluxe package of my handmade cards and stationery from The Gossamer Tearoom!

Thank you so much to everyone who has visited!

Wishing you a happy and spooky Halloween!


Friday, October 30, 2009

The Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival
Film Six

On this final night of the festival, I bring to you a very fun, spooky video. This is the cover of "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Nouvelle Vague. This is a very good cover of the ultimate night-before-Halloween song, matching the darkness of the original by Bauhaus. Of course, a video was never made of their original version, unless you count their very spooky performance as the band playing in the bar in "The Hunger". What I really love about this version are the clips from "Dracula", with lots of fun and scary shots of Monsieur Lugosi himself!

I do so hope you have enjoyed your time here at the Film Festival!

And please let me see you again tomorrow for a very special Halloween blog event!

Happy Halloween Eve,


(All videos from YouTube.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival
Film Five

I do so hope you are enjoying the festival!

I am so very pleased to bring to you tonight a clip from one of my favorite movies ever. As I have mentioned before, if you haven't seen Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, please do so. Please make yourself a cup of your favorite tea, along with one, or better yet, two, of your very favorite tea-time treats, turn out all the lights and experience one of the creepiest, most romantic, most beautiful movies you will ever see.

Once in a while there are movies which are not really movies, but experiences. This is one of those movies.

(All videos from YouTube.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival
Film Four

Welcome back, Dear Friends!

My selection for this evening's video is "Dr. Mabuse" from the German band Propaganda.

The music is pop and fun, the images strange.

Relax and enjoy.

(All videos from YouTube.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival
Film Three

Dearest Friends,
I'm so happy to see you again today!

This evening's short is the second Quay Brothers video for the 4AD band His Name is Alive's song "Can't Go Wrong Without You".

Please make yourselves comfortable as the festival of strangeness continues...

(All videos from YouTube.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival
Film Two

Dear Friends,
Thank you for returning for another little video treat, on this, our fun Halloween week! And don't forget, there will be a new one each evening until the week ends with a very special blog post on Halloween Day!

Today's short is one of two from the very creative minds of The Quay Brothers. This is the video for the 4AD band His Name is Alive's song "Are We Still Married?".

Very cool. Very creepy.

(All videos from YouTube.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival
Film One

Dearest Friends,
As promised a few days ago, I'm beginning the Halloween festivities with the first ever Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival! Each day, I will show a short or video, each of which is "creepy, kooky, mysterious or spooky" (I will send a prize to the first person to comment and tell me where that line is from!)

I begin the festival with a short from a group called "Bats and Swallows" with "Noir comme l'ange" (Black As An Angel).

Please dim the lights. The first film is about to begin.

(All videos from YouTube.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Special Announcement...

Dearest Friends,
As the time for Halloween creeps closer and closer, so do the blog festivities planned by my friend LuLu and myself! We will be having so much fun posting especially spooky posts for your Halloween reading pleasure!

First off all, I will be having my first-ever giveaway!! Everyone who leaves a comment on the special Halloween post on October 31 will be entered to win! And what will they win, you might ask? I will be very busy between now and then making a special package of Gossamer Tearoom greeting cards, all handmade by me! I don't know about you, but even I find myself wanting to send a special card to someone and not having one I want to send! If you win this giveaway, I will send you this special package of cards to keep on hand just for when you need them! The package will contain some of the items I sell in my Etsy shop (I can't tell you which ones yet! It's a secret!), but also some new designs I have not yet produced to sell, so you will be the first one to have them! I promise you will love them all!

Second, because I love surprises, please check back next week before the event on Saturday as I will be posting the first ever Gossamer Tearoom Film Festival! Please join me for several days next week and as I promised when I opened the doors of the tearoom in January, " and white shorts will flicker before your eyes as the raspberry/rose pastry cream from your religieuse sticks to the end of your nose in a pink dot..."

(I love it when you have rose pastry cream on your nose!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Flavors of Autumn

Dear Friends,
In case you hadn't guessed before, the pastry houses of Paris are basically the edible version of the houses of couture (and yes, they do refer to themselves as "houses", just like Chanel and Christian Dior)! Each of the best patisseries have their new creations for each season and most of the flavors take their cue from the seasons. The Houses of Dalloyau, Pierre Herme and Laduree have named their flavors of the season and of course I love bringing that news to you!

Recently, The House of Dallayou announced its new macaron flavors for fall, Opera and Myrtille. The Opera is a delicious combination of chocolate and coffee and Myrtille is blueberry. The macaron is a re-creation of their own pastry classic. Dalloyau was the originator of the Opera cake in 1955, named for the Paris Opera. It is a delicious combination of layers of joconde biscuit (an almond sponge cake named after the Mona Lisa), coffee syrup, coffee buttercream, chocolate ganache and chocolate glaze. Now, you can find a version of the Opera cake in nearly every patisserie in Paris. They have now re-invented their own classic, called L'Opera 2010, composed of caramel joconde biscuit, chocolate hazelnut buttercream, chocolate hazelnut ganache and covered with white chocolate. They have also created what they call their "Religieuse de Rêve" or Dream Religieuse, which serves 6 - 8 people! Their new flavors in these lovely creations for fall are blueberry and orange-flower! This from their menu: "300 years of secrets in a Dalloyau macaron. Since the inception in 1682, the Dalloyau Dynasty at the court of Louis XIV and until today, the macaron is a flagship item and symbolic of the House of Dalloyau." There was a time talk like that would have gotten you thrown into The Bastille!

Not to be outdone, The House of Pierre Hermé has announced a new fetish flavor Chuao which is dark chocolate combined with blackcurrant. It is available in a macaron and an entremet. The entremet is a flour-less chocolate cake, covered in a ganache of single-origin chocolate from Venezuela and blackcurrants. The macaron is made of a chocolate macaron shell and the same dark chocolate and blackcurrant ganache. There is also a new limited-edition ballotin of macarons with four new flavors: Montebello (pistachio and raspberry), Médélice (hazelnut praliné & lemon), Imagine (green matcha tea and sesame) and Rose and Quince.

And in the news from Ladureé, the seasonal macaron flavor for autumn is Jasmine Mango. Also, Laduree has opened two new locations the airports serving Paris at Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Orly Ouest! Now you have no excuse not to bring back all the yummiest treats for friends (and yourself)!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween-A Hauntingly Magical Celebration

Tonight, The Gossamer Tearoom brings you a very special exhibit of photographs taken by my husband Victor. I have assembled them together for this very special holiday and this extra special blog event on A Fanciful Twist.

On this extraordinary night...

Won’t you please follow me through a trail of raindrop-kissed spiderwebs...

To a city street not far from here...

The moon gazes at us through her gauzy disguise.

Inside, the decorations have been carefully crafted by someone eagerly anticipating this night...

There are a million little lights in the window.

Betty and Teddy are there.

So are Minnie Mouse, Icebat and Big Toe. The Bearistas have been waiting all year for this.

And the friendly Twinklefish (who, for the occasion is thinking of himself as the Spooklefish!)

You can't leave without having a treat...
I once dreamed that Frida Kahlo served me cocoa from one of these cups so I am sure they must be enchanted...

A plate bearing the image of Mr. Warhol’s famous lips, holding a most yummy marble cupcake with cream cheese frosting and even little marble chocolate chips! The plate reminds me of the opening credits of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"!

Thank you for visiting and...