Saturday, October 16, 2021

Drawlloween 2021 - Week Three

Greetings Again, Dear Friends!

Welcome to the third week of my Drawlloween drawings! 






Fairy Tale


Again, thank you, my friends, for taking a peek at the drawings I have done this week!

Hoping to see you again next week for more!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Drawlloween 2021 - Week Two

Welcome, Friends, to the second week of my Drawlloween drawings! 


Night Circus





Classic Horror

Thanks, as always, for taking a peek at my drawings for the week!

I'm looking forward to showing you even more next week!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Welcome to Drawlloween 2021

 Hello Dear Friends and Welcome to October and Drawlloween 2021!

This first week is a short one, but keep checking back for a new blog post each weekend with the drawings I've done for the week.

My first drawing is for the prompt "Monster Self Portrait".  My favorite monsters are vampires, so here I am as one!

Monster Self Portrait


Thank you for taking a look and be sure and check back for more drawings for Drawlloween!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

A Very Mad Teeny Tea Party

 Hello There, Nice Friends of The Gossamer Tearoom


Welcome to all New Friends, as well!

(As always, click on pictures in order to see them larger.)

Today is a very special day!  It is not only the day of The Teeny Tea, but also the day of the Mad Tea Party on our friend Vanessa's blog A Fanciful Twist!  After you visit here with us, won't you please take a moment to go visit our lovely hostess at her blog, A Fanciful Twist, as well as the other guests.  You will find the links to their sites there on Vanessa's blog!

Every year, following the long and cold winters here in Maine, I am so happy for the arrival of summertime.  But, of course, some years are more special than others and if I am really honest, I would say that planning for my Teeny Teas each summer for the last few years has made them even happier for me.  So, just imagine how happy I was to read that Vanessa, our long-time Friend of the Tearoom was having another of her wonderful Mad Tea Parties on her blog "A Fanciful Twist"!  Of course, I jumped at the chance to RSVP her invitation to include our Teeny Tea in her blog party!

If you are a New Friend, visiting with us today for the first time, let me introduce myself.  My name is Betty and I've been doing my Teeny Teas for several years now, using tiny vintage dishes, serving edible miniature cuisine and with my vintage Doll and Toy Family in attendance!  Many of the members of my Family were rescued and adopted from flea markets and Etsy sellers.  Some of the Family members have been with me for most of my life and some were gifted to me by dear friends.  Our teas are held in our Porch Garden, surrounded by plants, many I've grown here from seeds and we have used to make the food we will enjoy (you can see more about them from my previous blog post)!  Also, I've made the clothes the family members are wearing and I've also made the table for our tea and the serving cart myself.  We are so glad you are joining us today!

Of course, being a Mad Tea Party, as well as a Teeny Tea, I've sprinkled today's festivities with just a bit more surrealism than usual!  There are magical surprises ahead...

Starting the day, equipped with vases filled with water and scissors for cutting flowers and other things we will need for our tea today!

Of course, due to it being a Mad Tea Party,
our choice of our best red and purple vintage dishes
seems most appropriate!

Also, I see the toy piano has arrived,
and where the toy piano is located...

...Brownie McNutt, the family toy piano virtuoso, is not far behind!

Shall we begin with some Avant-Garde music for a Mad Tea Party? 
Our toy piano virtuoso, Brownie McNutt is happy to oblige
with some Eric Satie!

Really, any of my Teeny Teas could probably be thought of as Mad Tea Parties, but today, of course a few more steps forward in culinary curiosity and creativity are in order...

Our menu for today's Teeny Tea, which I designed and rubberstamped:

First, we start with the drinks.  Even though both of our choices today are iced, we enjoy drinking them out of teacups to enjoy the colors the best (and we think they taste best that way, anyway)!

Have you heard about butterfly pea tea?  I had been curious about it and, luckily, was able to order some from a wonderful place called Teaism, in Washington, DC.  It was one of my favorite places when I lived there, not just for the wonderful tea and pan-Asian food, but the atmosphere as well, including a tiny front yard, where you could dine outside on warm days and evenings.

So, this tea of an unusual shade of blue is butterfly pea tea 
and it includes verbena and marigold petals as well.
It has a magical secret!

We have asked our friend, the clever kittykat pitcher to pour
a few drops of freshly-squeezed lemon juice into the cup...

Et voilà!!! 
The tea has turned a brilliant purple! 
Kittykat pitcher is just as surprised as we are!

All that is needed now is a sprinkle of something sweet
(we do love turbinado sugar).

Our other iced drink today is a Rhubarb Cordial, made with some syrup we made from a few stalks of rhubarb, given to us by our neighbor and cooked with Tazo Passion tea.  We might never make rhubarb any other way, after reading the great tip from Jill Colonna to cook it with some hibiscus tea to keep it redder!  Passion tea has hibiscus, but also orange peel, lemongrass, licorice root and even just a sprinkle of cinnamon, so it adds even more to the rhubarb than just the color!  We added it to some chilled ginger ale to make a refreshing cordial drink.  

Here comes Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle with our first course...

...a chilled pea soup, with fresh mint and lemon!

I found the wonderfully easy recipe on an Instagram account called Dinner Party Tonight.  You can find the recipe here.  The best thing about it, besides it being delicious, is that it requires no cooking, which makes it perfect for having on the hottest of summer days!  

Of course, we saw our much beloved Family member Eadwig, showing us the mint in our last blog post.  In case you did not see it, you can find it here and now, along with lemon juice, it makes our refreshing pea soup even more delicious!

On a warm day such as today, our iced tea and chilled soup is most welcome.

While everyone enjoys their tea and soup, let's meet everyone here today!

This is Mr. Bear.  He is the leader and protector of the family and always has a friendly hug and a smile for everyone he meets.  I adopted him from the Eagles Flea Market many, many years ago.

This is Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.  She and I work on menus together, harvest things we need to make our food from the porch garden, make and serve the food together.  She is the special sweetheart of Mr. Bear and she has been with me for so many years, a gift from my mother many years ago.  

Shown here with Mr. Bear is Thursday, the big sister of our family.  She came to me when I adopted her from the Eagles Flea Market.  She was in pieces, but I was able to restring and restore her.  She is named for the old rhyme which says, "Thursday's child has far to go...", as she did have far to go from when I bought her, in pieces, in a shoebox.  She is a very beloved member of the family.

This is Hyacinthe, the little sister of the family.  She came to us when a dear friend sent her to me.  We are so grateful to be able to include her and she has a lovely life here with us now.

This is Parsnip Rabbit, best friend of Mr. Bear.  He has so much fun attending these teas and is especially happy when the food is made from what we have grown in our own garden!

Here are Baby Hoobert, Mr. Mookie and Teddy.  Baby Hoobert was adopted from an Etsy seller, Mr. Mookie was re-created from a toy I bought from my dear friend Laura and Teddy has been with me all of my life, bought for me by my mother before I was born.  Mr. Mookie and Teddy are good big brothers to Baby Hoobert and make sure he is fed while they enjoy their tea.

You have already met Brownie McNutt and his piano.
Plinka Plinka Plink!

This is Eadwig Bug.
If you read the previous post, he remembers you
and waves all his arms at you warmly!

This is Miss Quizzical Cat.
She is one of our more shy family members,
but asked to join us today and we were happy to welcome her!

Enjoying our tea and soup
(which, somehow, looks more like paint supplies
than luncheon today!)

Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is very excited to reveal our next course!

If you have ever been to a French patisserie, you would have seen éclairs, religieuses, profiteroles, St. Honoré, filled with chocolate, custards, fruit curds, caramel, whipped cream.  I have made savory versions of them today!  The éclair is filled with smoked salmon mousse and the religieuse is filled with watercress mousse, both topped with a savory whipped cream!  They are surrounded by a botanical garnish of microgreens, flowers, leaves and herbs, all from the porch garden.

I would also like the tell you that I was very much inspired by a scene in the movie "Grand Budapest Hotel" when I created my savory patisseries.  You might remember a scene where Agatha and Zero are
discussing how she will be able to retrieve the painting "Boy With Apple" that Zero and Monsieur Gustave have hidden.  She is sitting in bed, holding a tray of tiny pastries, actually the miniature versions of the pastry which plays such a role in the movie that I am surprised it is not listed in the cast list: The Courtesan au Chocolat!  Of course, this is a clever little joke on the part of director Wes Anderson, as the pastry does resemble a religieuse, which means "nun" in French, and which he cheekily named a "courtesan" for this movie!

If you have seen our previous post,
you will have seen Eadwig showing us the dill...

...the nasturtium leaves...

...and the microgreens, all used in the beautiful and 
completely edible garnish for our savory patisseries!

Hyacinthe thinks it's too beautiful to eat!

Mr. Bear thinks it is beautiful, but doesn't think anything is too beautiful to eat!!

And now, it is time for dessert!

Our dessert today is an elderflower liquor molded jelly,
along with a luscious fresh blackberry
and sugared pansies and violas.

In a conversation with one of my Twitter friends, whose posts are about music and videos from the 80's, which was my inspiration for today's dessert.  The Eighties are one of my favorite times for music and one of my favorite bands from that time is the Scottish band The Cocteau Twins.  The names of their songs and lyrics (many of which do not seem to be actual words) were unique and enigmatic.  During this conversation with my friend, I once said I thought the names of their songs might be good names for desserts.  And so, today, I present to you my first Cocteau Twins-inspired dessert, Sugar Hiccup, owing to the boozy jelly and sugared flowers.

As usual, we are using our favorite pair of bird claw sugar tongs 
to help Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle plate and serve.

Here is Eadwig again,  in our previous post,
supervising the growing of the flowers he knew would
be used in our dessert today!

Baby Hoobert does not know what to make of dessert today,
but I suspect it won't stop him from eating it!

Mr. Mookie is amazed!

For a bit of context (in case you are not familiar with the music
of the Cocteau Twins, here is a video of Sugar Hiccup:

Of course, I am happy to make tinier portions for our tiniest guests.

Won't you join us in after-tea amusements?

This is the beautiful and fun Hansel & Gretel memory game, which I ordered from Benjamin Pollocks Toyshop in London.  They have such gorgeous and unique toys, and if you are in need of one, as a gift or for yourself, won't you please consider ordering from them, as they are such a small business and they are working hard to stay in business during the pandemic.  You can find them here.

The game was designed by the artist Clive Hinks-Jenkins
and is full of images of sweets and the characters from
the classic story, Hansel & Gretel.

The Family enjoys playing it to have fun and keep their
memories sharp!

And here is another game we are playing today, a lovely vintage
card game we ordered from our friend Laura's shop

Although it is in Dutch (and sadly, we do not read Dutch)
clever Mr. Bear has decided that it can be played like
the game of "Go Fish" and so, that is how they play it!

As you can see, both Mr. Bear and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle each have
collected one "book" of four related cards, so the game is tied
right now.  I wonder who will win?

Keeping your cards secret from the other player is always a good plan!

Our last amusement of the day is a fun optical illusion toy called a Thaumatrope.  The best part is that you can make them yourself, thanks for artist Mizna Wada and her DIY craft site!  If you click here, you will find the templates, instructions and lots of other fun projects as well!

I printed off two copies and the first one, I colored in the way
that we most commonly see Alice.

And, here is the "Drink Me" bottle.  After assembling it,
you can spin it and it looks as if Alice was inside the bottle!

Here's a little video I made, showing what it looks like.

Here is the second one I made, coloring Alice in more gothic colors.

And, again, the "Drink Me" bottle.

Another video demonstration!

And now, I do believe our Mad Teeny Tea Party has come to an end.

We all wish you a magical rest of your day
and thank you so much for visiting with us today!

OH and before I go, I'd like to wish my cousin Laurie a Happy Birthday!