Saturday, December 31, 2011

Wishing You All...

May we all have a Happy, Bright, Creative and Prosperous 2012!

I will be doing my visiting to say hello to most of my blog friends tomorrow!

With hugs,


(I know this is a bit of a low-key celebration of what I hope will be a great year, so if you are in the mood for more festivities, please see my post from New Year's Eve last year! xoxo)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Wish for All of Friends of The Tearoom...

Wishing a Merry Christmas and a Most Happy Holiday Season to all of our lovely friends all over the world!

You are our angels.

Betty & Victor

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Fairy Tale...

It is Christmas Eve.
And still,
snow swirls past our windowsill in silky silence.

You’ve not a care in the world, Dear Ones.
In our comfy nest of pillows, Mommy tucks us into bed.

Our little hands hold her most special espresso cups,
filled with rich hot chocolate.
The sweet steam tantalizes our noses and warms our faces.
“Please sip carefully, so as not to spill," reminds Mommy.

What a special treat it is to drink
hot chocolate in bed while Mommy reads to us
this Christmas Eve night!
As we snuggle closer together in the bed
(oh! there is the hot water bottle at your feet, you selfish thing!),
miraculous tales unfold.
There are no surprises,
as we know all the stories by heart.
Our eyes lose their battle with sleep and
we find ourselves boarding that Aeroship of Slumber,
which will rise into The Aether of Dreams.

Our fellow passengers accompany us there...

...the Red Riding Hoods,
Fairy Princesses
Maids in Distress.

But worry not, the prince in never far behind...

....and just when you thought Mommy was done,
she reads more stories of princes and princesses...

(the empty cups are gently taken from our hands,
so as not to wake us...)

Our Mommy is a clever one, she is!
She has lured us to our slumber,
knowing that Santa will only visit while you are sleeping...

...Is it sleighbells you hear?
Is it the prancing of reindeer hoofs on the roof?
The sliding down the chimney of that Wonderful Dear Santa?
The shuffling of his big black boots as he fills your stockings
with all of the treats you like the best?
Go back to sleep, Dear Ones.
All is quiet again as Santa partakes of the yummy snack
you have left for him!
Mommy knew he would be cold,
so she has left a large serving of the hot chocolate for him in the samovar,
where it will stay warm for a while.
She has also left some of those cookies that we helped her to make today.

Happy Christmas to you, my Dear Ones.
"...and to all, a Good Night!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow White and Rose Red Christmas Tea

It's Christmas and the snowflakes fall without sound outside...
Inside, we are cozy, warm and safe.

It's so fun when it is just you and I
having tea together here,
but it really is a bit of an extra treat
to see so many friends here in The Tearoom tonight.

Welcome back, Dear Friends,
to the refuge of our imaginations.
Real Life is turned away at the door tonight.

And what for tea?
Only just a few jewel-like treats...

(Since it is a virtual tea,
we may be as extravagant as we wish.
It is Christmas, after all.)

Of course, there is tea....
I love Christmas, but I love Spring and Summer and more.
So, I could not resist selecting the Summer Blend Tea
from Betjeman & Barton of Paris
(Those beautiful citrus flavors will perfectly complement
the other treats
and remind us that
warm weather will be with us again soon...

...and a Buche de Nöel
(this one is called "Ella"
from The House of Pierre Hermé),
all shiny and crimson
with the flavors of red berries,
olive oil.

....and a most beautiful and savory treat,
a Lobster and Asparagus Charlotte
from The House of Dalloyau

(I'm not certain who has invited the squirrels,
but all are welcome here.
Of course it would be rude
not to provide a treat for them,
as well as all of the other
sweet and furry ones who are visiting)

The Secret Chef of The Tearoom
has quickly whipped up some little round
nut biscuits for the squirrels,
bone-shaped peanut-butter biscuits for Twisby
(the sweet whippet who is the companion
of Lady Tweaze-Whickle,
seen arriving at the party in the first
of the pictures of the guests),
and fish-shaped salmon biscuits for
our own Dear Dapple.

More of our Dear Friends, chatting with each other...

My Aunt Hazel once told me
that if a squirrel takes something from you,
they leave something in return.

And look...

What polite guests they were!

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit today.
Mr. V and I are wishing you and your family
a beautiful Christmas and Holiday Season.

(Please check back tomorrow as there will be one more treat....
Please wear your most comfy jammies
and bring your favorite friend...)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Worry Not, Dear Ones...

Santa will still be coming to The Tearoom this year. Even Real Life cannot stop him.


Friday, December 16, 2011

For My Father....

Dearest Friends,
In more sad news from Real Life, my father passed yesterday morning.

He is at peace and we are grateful.

We did not always understand each other, but he is now in a place where all is understood and forgiven.

Above is a moment of happiness from a Christmas before I was born, found in my mother's locket.

Good-bye Daddy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Gift for You...

I'm happy to offer you
25% everything
(except for special listings)
in both shops...

The Etsy coupon code is:

Sale applies for both
The Gossamer Tearoom Shop
Mirabella Morello...
Until midnight on Tuesday...

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Welcome to Christmas Time!

Have you ever read the story of Snow White and Rose Red? If not, you can read a very nice abridged version here or a more complete version here. I had a set of little story books that came with little yellow records. Before I could read, My Mommy and I would listen to the records as we turned the pages of the little story books (as the story was read, there was a "ping" sound when it was time to turn the pages!) This sweet story was a favorite of My Mommy's, as well as mine. I remember she got this one for me sometime around Christmas, so it always made me think of her at this time of the year. So, in honor of her and her great love of roses and fairy tales, my theme for this Christmas season is "Snow White and Rose Red". You will find red and white roses nearly everywhere in my world between now and Christmas Morning. There will be vintage Christmas items in Mirabella Morello and a new line of silk brooches in The Gossamer Tearoom Shop. And won't you please keep checking back for even more surprises...more roses....more fairy tales...and of course, this being The Tearoom of The Aether, another virtual tea, just in time for Christmas...

Above is my own rendition of this image of Snow White and Rose Red. I started with this beautiful image, painted by Jessie Wilcox Smith in 1911. We had not heard from The dAdA Dolls in such a long time, but when they heard I was working on this project, Rose de Blanc and Blanc de Rose begged to be included. Blanc de Rose transformed herself into Rouge de Rose for the occasion and so they appear here as Snow White and Rose Red.

I look forward to spending Christmas here with you, Dearest Friends of The Tearoom!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Keep Watching...

...for the newest from The Tearoom....

A Christmas holiday filled with red and white roses....

and Faerie Tales,

A Christmas Tea,

and The Very Sweetest of Dreams

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

For Love of Black Cats (and Dogs)

My Dearest Sweet Friends,
Above, you can see our Dearest Violetta, holding her Dear Purr-Muffin, who answers to "Dapple" most of the time (as in "dappled sunlight). Dapple is here to tell you something. Even though he is black like the night, he is just like any other kitty cat. He loves ear scratchings, cat crunchies and taking a nap in that spot of sunshine on your bed. If he runs across your path, it is just because he is checking if it is time for more crunchies (and he knows that anytime is a good time to have your ears scratched!)

This collage started out as my contribution to one of the collage challenges whose subject this week was "black cats". I wanted to post it there, but decided to only post it here because they are having some fun with the superstitions that still follow black cats like Dapple around and I would prefer to stand on my soapbox in The Tearoom and not dampen anyone's fun.

Have you ever heard of Black Dog/Black Cat Syndrome? I was not aware until a couple of years ago that animal shelters have problems finding forever homes for black dogs and black cats. In addition, some shelters have made it a policy not to let anyone adopt black cats anytime in the month of October, due to abuse and neglect.

Dear Love Muffins like Dapple are just like any other cat and we are so happy he is a family member here at The Tearoom.

My Dear Mr. V and myself have not adopted a Baby of Fur of our very own yet, but someday, when our lives are settled, we will. When we do, we will definitely be looking at Sweet Ones of ALL colors. If you are considering adopting a pet from a shelter, please don't overlook black cats and black dogs.

Thank you to Karen of The Graphics Fairy and Marsha of Tumblefish Studios for the components of this collage.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Simple Explanation. . .

(When last you left us at The Halloween Blog Party...)

Dear Lina!!

What is the meaning of this??

You cannot mean...

Oh no, please...!

Oh, Miss Lina!

But, of course...

It is obvious to me now...

This is your costume for Halloween!

You gave me SUCH a fright!
You are such a silly, silly thing, aren't you?

And of course, there is a most simple explanation... over-exposure to MOONLIGHT!

I must admit to you, Dear Friends, that I too, have shown the obvious effects of entirely too much moonlight.
(And yet, I seek pools of moonlight on the carpet and the bed when the moon is full in the same way a cat seeks the pool of sunlight on a bright day...)

So, although I freely admit to indulging in moonlight to excess, I feel fairly compelled to provide to you irrefutable evidence that too much moonlight can just render you quite silly...!

Lina has asked me to tell you that she was only joking when she said she was thinking of leaving us! What good news this is! I regard her as a Dear Friend, as I am sure you all do and I cannot imagine This Lovely Den of Distraction without her. But she has also said that she found Transylvania MOST interesting and is not ruling out other possible visits in the future. Perhaps we will have to keep a close eye on her after all..

An additional note to you...
Thank you again for all of the kind words you all have sent me this week. They mean the world to me. I dedicate this post to My Dear Mommy, who was not the biggest fan of Halloween, but made my costumes, took me trick-or-treating and watched The Addams Family with me. She did have an occasional taste for the darkness herself, however. She adored the original Dark Shadows series and scared me nearly to death with them when I was little! She was also a huge fan of those fun and awful B-movies like "Plan 9 From Outer Space" and "The Blob"!

Wishing you all a wonderfully spooky and fun Halloween!

Just added: Can you believe I forgot this last year and nearly forgot it this year too? I hope if you have not made acquaintance with Charlotte and Vendetta yet, you will take this chance to do so:
Just click the section of the picture labelled "Web Episodes".

Tee-Hee! I heard you laughing from HERE!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Note to The Friends of The Tearoom

Dearest Friends,
This is a short note of sincere thanks to all who have left notes of comfort regarding the passing of My Dear Mommy. I cannot tell you how much each note has meant to me. I will be responding to every person individually throughout the course of the weekend.

Wishing you a wonderful night.
I am hoping to be able to return to the business of The Tearoom by Monday.

Biggest hugs to you all,


Sunday, October 23, 2011

How She Will Be Remembered...

These are pictures of My Mommy and I, five years ago. My Darling Mr. V had just moved to Washington to start our life together and he had asked me to marry him during Fourth of July fireworks about two weeks before. He took these pictures and we both adored him (can you tell?).

This morning, just before 1 a.m., I got the call telling me that My Mommy's struggle with life was over and that her soul was no longer a hostage of a body and mind that were too ill to hold it.

I will miss her, but I am happy in the thought that she is at the big party in Heaven that I had told her was waiting for her. Her mother, her beloved older sister and so many other people she had loved and lost were waiting for her there. And she could drink root beer again (I hope she had left some for someone else!). And My Darling Mr. V's Beloved Daddy Russell is there, meeting my mother for the first time. He's riding his motorcycle around and she's got all the tuna and peanut butter sandwiches she can eat.

I love you Mommy and I am glad you are finally Home.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blood and Chocolate

(Before we begin, please allow me to thank the following for their wonderfully inspirational collage sheets and blogs:
Marsha of Tumblefish Studios
Karen of The Graphics Fairy
Kirsi of Itkupilli
Cristina of Asunder Ephemera and
Hollie of Holliewood Studios
And especially to My Dear Mr. V for his amazing photos of shadows and spiderwebs, which I then turned into wallpaper and tablecloths for The Tearoom. Thank you, My Love!)

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
Tonight, there is something so special in the air, isn't there?

I am so glad you have made your way through the fog...

I welcome you to the annual Halloween blog party, which is hosted by the brilliantly creative Mademoiselle Vanessa of A Fanciful Twist. Please be certain to visit her party, as well as the other participants in this creative gathering of souls, here in The Aether.

I have been so remiss, Dear Ones. I have hosted Teas of the Aether for you with so many types of tea and so many sweets, but I had not yet given a special tea, just for my friends who love chocolate. So, please sit, make yourself comfortable and indulge in that which is rich and dark, sweet and irresistible.

The Tearoom is simply enveloped in the scent of chocolate tonight...
It just might be Kusmi's Chocolate Tea! I imagine it must be just perfect with cream and sugar. Or a cloud of vanilla-scented whipped cream...

Our treats are from The House of Pierre Hermé, where I am happy to introduce you to his newest macaron flavor: Caraquillo. It's an intriguing mix of chocolate, coffee and anise, dark and warm. It comes to you in one of his newest macaron boxes, designed by Nicolas Vial, embellished with a lovely chocolate-colored kittykat! And please, won't you help yourself to some lovely chocolates too! (Did you notice how slick and gorgeous Monsieur Hermé's new site is? I have been sadly remiss in pointing it out to you before, so I hope you will take a moment to browse and dream now...)

Ladurée's new macaron flavor is Black Forest! They describe it thus: "Its mahogany shells contain a delicious chocolate ganache combined with cherry jam and tasty bursts of cherry-flavoured Kirsch." I'm sure this is sublime! Black Forest is one of my favorite flavor combinations!

Our special guest tonight is Mademoiselle Madeleine. She specializes in growing a particular type of flower. She developed a variation of the dragon lily, which is spectacular, but generally smells very bad! Her variation has kept the lush, beautiful color and shape, but changed the fragrance to chocolate! As you saw when you had a seat, she has gifted us with them for this very special Halloween soirée and the entire Tearoom has smelled wonderful all day! Merci Beaucoup, Mademoiselle Madeleine!

As promised, Lina shares with us tonight some of her photos from her recent trip to Transylvania!

The lovely hotel where she stayed...

And, nearby...The Chocolate Garden. Along with the marble chocolate pansies and white chocolate tulips. The very special Chocolate Dragon Lilies are growing there as well.

As you saw when she returned to The Tearoom, she had spent much time in the rays of the full moon, which gave her skin that lovely pallor...

What a lovely beach it was...All of the girls she met seemed to have their own beautiful beach cabanas.
They seemed to spend a lot of time in them during the day, but at night, they came out to play in the moonlight and surf.

The moon looked on as the beach balls bobbed in the tide....
So sweet...
But what do you think those odd sea-birds are?

Here are some lovely pictures that Lina took of her new friends that she met there at the beach...

Lina tells us that she feel very compelled to return there soon, perhaps to stay. Oh, we hope not, we would miss her so...
LINA! Why are you standing so close to me?....
You really are making me quite uncomfortable...

(To Be Continued...)