Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's New...

Dear Friends,
It has been a busy summer for us and we are still trying to get some more summertime in before it is over!

One of my Etsy customers in Velvet Revived asked me last week if I had sold her some printable tea bag envelopes.  I had not, but, after giving her a small hint about where she could see where she had bought them, I did some research and decided to design some to match my two most popular printable invitations!  All you would need to do is print, cut and paste the envelopes, remove your favorite tea bags from their packaging (I would do this at this very last minute to prevent the loss of flavor), attach the new tags and presto!  I'm grateful my customer brought this to my attention!

So, here is the Printable Tea Bag Envelopes and Tags set to match The Mad Tea Party Invitations!

(Also, both of these items match the Alice in Wonderland Tea Set Collage Sheet, as well as The Mad Tea Party Printable Bunting!

And, for those craving Tea in Paris, here is the Printable Tea Bag Envelope and Tag Set...

...which also match the Tea in Paris Printable Invitation!

My next project?  I'm waiting to see the reaction to my two new items and then I might make a Tea Bag Envelope Set for the Floral Tea Party Invitation as well!

and then there is The Book Project...
that I haven't shared with you yet...
but I will soon...!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Heal Your Heart Art - Class Four

Hello To You Again, Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
This week, I was a bit sad to be working on the final project in my friend Bill's online class Heal Your Heart With Dollar Store Art at his Purple Moose Heart Art site.  Where did the time go?  I was having so much fun creating projects for this class that I am quite sad it is done!  (And just because I'm done, doesn't mean the class is no more!  You can go to Bill's site and sign up for the class anytime!)

In this last class, Bill talks about some of his favorite art friends and their websites and blogs and then asked us to create our own art friend, from a toilet paper roll and googly eyes from the Dollar Store!  We don't currently have any pets, but we do now.  From the paper roll, eyes, scraps of paper and a bit of fluff I use for stuffing in some of my art projects, I created a puppy!  Mr. V calls him "Mr. Woofums, The Wonder Pup"!

Yesterday, I took him outside so he could have a peek
at the flower garden!

I think he liked it!

Next, Mr. V took him out in the yard to let him run around!

I hope our friend Bill has another class soon!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Heal Your Heart Art - Class Three

Hello to you, Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
This week, in his class Heal Your Heart With Dollar Store Art, my friend Bill of Purple Moose Heart Art talked to us about thinking of nice things to say about yourself and being a friend to yourself.  He had us fill in the blanks of a few sentences where we would compare ourselves to something positive.  In this exercise, I compared myself to a hummingbird because I am creative and colorful (at least on the inside!)  Bill also asked us to take pictures and make a zetti self-portrait.  In case you didn't know, zetti was a term coined by the great and creative digital artist Teesha Moore to describe collages where faces are made up of different parts and many times, stripes are involved in the design somewhere!  But mostly, zetti just kind of means "anything goes"!  So, in my self-portrait, I have somehow morphed into an orchid cat, but I must still be part hummingbird because I'm still creative and colorful and he must recognize me as one of his own because he doesn't seem a bit bashful about getting a bite from the blackberry I am eating!

So, here is my self-portrait for this week's class!

(click to see larger)

I will have a couple of more projects to show you from this fun class!  And by the way, even though I am coming to the end (very sadly), it is definitely not too late for you to take the class and have all of the fun I have!  So be sure and go check out Bill's extra-fun Purple Moose Heart Art site!  I can't wait for Bill's next class!!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

This Summer in Paris...

(I dedicate today's post to our friend Al, who now lives in Heaven after losing his battle with leukemia at the end of May.  He loved reading my blog and once commented that he liked reading the posts where I talked about "all of those little cakes".  I'm glad to have brought some light into his life.  He was a neighbor and childhood friend of my Mr. V and more recently, brought joy to my life when I got to know him.  We miss you, Al.)

Dearest Friends of The Tearoom,
It has been sometime since I gave an update on what is new in the lovely pastry houses of Paris.  This summer seems to be full of invention and innovation there, much of which seems to have been inspired by the Heavens Above!

First of all, from Fauchon, who are always innovators in the art of patisserie, comes their line for summer entitled "Fruit Fiction" and clearly the imagination that has gone into this collection is just amazing!  So many gorgeous and delicious-looking pastries and gift items!  I wish were there to see it in person this summer!

From their website:
"From the 8th of July to the 3rd of September 2014, FAUCHON is inviting food lovers to discover previously unexplored taste universes. Seasonal fruit and vegetables are the basis for pairings and recipes that you could never have possibly imagined. So get on board for a sophisticated and playful journey through the tangy flavours of fruit and the unsuspected sweetness of vegetables. Our destination is the Fruit Fiction galaxy."

The collection includes such temptations as:

"Enjoy a truly fantastic gourmet dessert. A light cherry mousse conceals a Morello cherry compote and a pistachio pain de Gênes cake on a crushed shortcrust pastry base. A chocolate cherry-tail tops the dessert while an unbelievable dark chocolate disk delicately rests atop as a ring. A spherical delight, kept in place as if by magic.  Audacity and expertise. One for all food lovers."

"This constellation of gourmet pairings is impossible to resist. The dexterity of FAUCHON’s chefs lends itself to a range of fruity constellations. In this specific case, the pink sphere of the dessert combines white peach mousse and compote with a delicious Madagascar Bourbon vanilla biscuit. The creation sits atop a crushed shortcrust pastry base, encircled by a white chocolate ring. A truly enticing new creation from FAUCHON."

"Apricot constellation. An apricot surprise. Incredible and irresistible. Our third destination is the apricot constellation. A delicious apricot mousse contains apricot compote and a little pain de Gênes almond cake, surprisingly seasoned with olive oil. The apricot constellation sits on a sweet shortcrust base and is encircled by a white chocolate ring."

milk chocolate and fruit essences

And before you leave the Fauchon site, be certain to check out their savory pastry creations for summer as well.

One of the newer patisseries in Paris is Patisserie Ciel.  True to its name (the word "ciel" means both sky and Heaven in French), their little sponge cakes are called "Angel Cakes".  These beautiful creations come in a dazzlingly creative range of flavors including chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, raspberry, sakura griottes (cherry and cherry blossom), yuzu, matcha tea, earl grey, rose praliné, mango, black sesame seed, sunset (a combination of passionfruit, banana and pineapple), even a savory one with basil and olive oil.  They also serve their own soft serve ice cream in such flavors as green tea and orange blossom.  During the day, they serve tea, these lovely cakes and even their own creative sandwich creations; in the evening, Japanese-inspired cocktails.  Their website is just gorgeous and you can take a peek at it here.  They are located in the 5th Arr., so they will be on our list for the next time we visit Paris.

And lastly, Christophe Adam of L'Éclair de Génie (formerly with Fauchon, now on his own), has two concept stores in Paris, one in Le Marais (only a few blocks away from our beloved Musée Carnavalet) and one in Passy.  His creativity is truly mind-boggling as he continues with his line of amazing éclairs (work which made him so famous in his time at Fauchon) and other creations.  His site is here and is just incredible!  Today, I'm showing you his range of chocolate "bonbons", which to my eyes, look like a galaxy of delicious little planets of chocolate! They are only numbered, not named, like some as-yet- undiscovered solar system!

No. 14
Caramel and passionfruit, enrobed in dark chocolate

No. 15
Caramel Yuzu, enrobed in milk chocolate

No. 17
Vanilla caramel, enrobed in dark chocolate

No. 18
Vanilla pecan praliné, enrobed in milk chocolate

Pistachio, enrobed in dark chocolate

For more on what is new in the universe of pastry in Paris, please check out this great online article in the Wall Street Journal, written by Lindsey Tramuta, who writes the fun blog Lost in Cheeseland.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Heal Your Heart Art - Class Two

Hello Dear Friends,
This was the second week of the online class, taught by my friend Bill of Purple Moose Heart Art.  This week, he was teaching us how to practice gratitude.  He talked about starting a Gratitude Journal in a composition notebook and made a very simple routine that would be easy to follow, even if your Inner Critic is following around too close by!  But as I started the project, I realized I wanted to do it just a little bit differently!  First of all, I thought I had saved out a composition book in my stash of art supplies that I pulled out of our garage sale items, but then realized I had sold it after all (ooops!).  So, always being one looking for a reason to make a book from scratch, I made one!  I found some rolled up brown kraft paper that I had hoarded away and used that for the cover.  Then, I used some torn out pages from an old dictionary that a friend had given me that was falling apart and used them for the pages, turning some upside-down and leaving some right-side up.  I then punched holes along the sides and tied the whole thing up with some purple ribbon from my ribbon collection.  Then, it was time for the stack of old magazines to come out!  Instead of just a picture to illustrate what I was grateful for, I made some collages from the pictures I tore out of the magazines.  Also, he had asked us to start with writing a list of what we were grateful for and I did do that to guide me, but decided not to use my list in my notebook, mainly because I don't like how I write, so I tore out letters from the magazines to make my captions.  What I found was that making it a bigger project, I felt like I was more fully practicing and being mindful of being grateful.  Here is how my journal turned out (click the images to see them larger):

I rubberstamped the cover and colored the orange
of the "O" in "Journal" with crayons.

The first page...

And now...

...I unfold the piéce de resistance!

I can't wait for Bill's next class!

And speaking of vivid colors,
wait until you see my next blog post,
when I take you to Paris and outer space
at the same time!!!