Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Paper Quilt: A New Exhibit at Le Musée Trouvé

Greetings Once Again, Dear Friends of The Tearoom!

It is time for another fun exhibit at my miniature museum, Le Musée Trouvé!

Welcome to the opening of "The Paper Quilt"
(As always, please click on the images in order to see them larger.)

The Paper Quilt is a collection of paper quilt collages, made from various ephemera that was collected by my mother, with some pieces I had collected as well.  The quilts are probably a symbol of some sort of sense of home, however, they are mostly made up of stamps from all over the world, which my mother collected, not flat in books, but just stuffed in a covered tin, which once held buttons.  I found it, along with a lot of old letters she had saved, when I was sorting through everything in this house.  As I planned to use them for this project, I realized that, for me, their subject matter is of much less importance than their colors and designs.  Stamps and postmarks are a common theme in the additional ornaments and overly large "floral" arrangements I've made for this exhibit.  These quilts seem to symbolize the comforts of home engaging in a playful game of tug-of-war with the novelty of travel.

Welcome to the first room and the quilt I call "Welcome".

Paper Quilt/Collage
Blocks made of rubberstamped paper and cut into squares.
Frame made of torn paper: vintage envelopes and 
torn pages from shorthand magazines that belonged
to my mother

As you can see, even on this opening day, there are already
plenty of visitors to the museum today!

Won't you join me in the next room, which  
houses two quilts:
Princess One and Princess Two?

Princess One
Paper Quilt/Collage
Image of princess rubberstamped, pillow made of vintage
dictionary page with tassel and piping of embroidery floss.
Quilt of marbelized ribbon and vintage postage stamps,
with vintage shorthand paper edging. 

These tiny plastic bug friends have been with me for a long time.
They were tucked away in the box of tiny toys from my childhood
that held many of the items I have used here in my museum.
The little red bee was a cereal box prize and is able to hold
onto the edge of your cereal bowl as you eat.
The chair is something I just made for the museum.

Princess Two
Paper Quilt/Collage
Image of princess rubberstamped, pillow made of vintage
dictionary page with tassel and piping of embroidery floss.
Quilt of marbleized ribbon and vintage postage stamps,
with vintage shorthand paper edging. 

We are grateful for so many visitors on our first day of the 
exhibit and are happy you are joining us, as well!

Moving along to the next room...

In the this room, we are able to see the next quilt,
which I call "The Three Alices".

The Three Alices
Paper Quilt/Collage
Image of Alices and doll rubberstamped, pillow made of vintage
dictionary page with tassel and piping of embroidery floss.
Quilt of vintage postage stamps,
with vintage shorthand paper edging. 
Decorations on quilt made with embroidery floss.

The settee is made from the same marbleized ribbon as the
chair in the previous room.
Museums, as fascinating as they can be, can also be
exhausting and so it is always nice to be able to rest for
a moment before going on.

In the next room, we find the quilt "Mickey & Planes"

Mickey & Planes
Paper Quilt/Collage
Quilt made of vintage stamps and images of Mickey Mouse, 
which were torn from notebook paper I used in junior high school. 
Edged in torn pages from shorthand magazines and decorated with
crayon wrapper from Crayograph crayons that belonged to my
mother.  Decorations on quilt made with glitter twine.

We see that Professeur Reine-Claude has brought his class to
the museum again today!  We are so glad and hope they are
enjoying the exhibit!

And now, on to the next room...

Here in this room is where the quilt "Warm" is being shown.

Paper Quilt/Collage
Quilt made of vintage postage stamps and
edged in torn pages from shorthand magazines and
decorated with vintage crayon wrappers.  
Decorations on quilt made with embroidery floss.

The quilt in this room is called "Red Reaching to Blue"

Red Reaching to Blue
Paper Quilt/Collage
Quilt made of vintage postage stamps, edged in torn pages
from vintage maps and decorated with vintage crayon wrappers.
Decorations on quilt made with embroidery floss and glitter twine.

And off we go to the final room...

Paper Quilt/Collage
Quilt made of vintage postage stamps
Edged in torn pages from shorthand magazines and
decorated with crayon wrappers and tea tag.
Decorations on quilt made with embroidery floss.

Thank you most sincerely for joining us here today at
Le Musée Trouvé for the opening day of our exhibit
"The Paper Quilt"!

Please keep watch for more summer fun here
at The Gossamer Tearoom...

Coming soon:
Our annual summer Teeny Tea on the Porch
another exhibit at Le Musée Trouvé,
The Magical Garden!

(Boring note:  I don't know if Blogger has bothered to fix the issues with the comment system, so I'd just like to thank anyone who visits, but is unable to leave a comment.  If you would still like to leave one, please feel free to do so on either my Twitter or Instagram pages and I will be more than happy to publish your comment here myself!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Valentine's Day Teeny Tea...

Greetings to you, Dear Friends of The Tearoom!

Welcome to my Teeny Tea today, in honor of Valentine's Day!  For me, this holiday holds a lot of special meaning.  My mother loved making things and giving gifts for most of the holidays and because both of our birthdays were close by, I believe that Valentine's Day was probably one of her favorites!

My mother

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

I also love Valentine's Day because all of the reds, pinks and purples are so cheerful in the middle of the coldest part of the winter.

Where I grew up in Casper, Wyoming, there was a small shopping center only about a block away from our house and she and I could walk there and go shopping at the Ben Franklin's Five-and-Dime Store, Ralph's Bookstore (which sold paperback books and was also a card store) and Donnell's Candies (which made most of their own candy right there in the store!  Oh, the lovely smell of the caramel and vanilla corn and caramel apples being made in the back!!).  With all the little items we got from these places, we put together some very special holiday celebrations!

Nostalgia is very much a part of this holiday for me and so I have decided that today's tea will not only celebrate Valentine's Day, but will also be a Foundling Tea, and so today, we welcome some of the more shy members of The Doll and Animal Family who have come to live with us.  Most of the family members who are joining us today have been adopted or rescued in some way and we celebrate each of the imperfections.  We are so glad they are all with us today.

Let's go meet all of the family members before we begin our tea, shall we?

Some of the dolls who are members of my vintage Doll and Animal Family belonged to my mother.  She told me that she didn't remember ever naming them (which I found surprising), so I've named most of her dolls to make reference to names in her family.

You will notice that, sadly, her dolls are not in the best condition any more.  Knowing how careful she was about taking care of her possessions, I would tend to think that she may have received them in the condition in which you see them.  My mother was a small girl during the Depression and her parents could not afford to buy Christmas presents for their children, so there was a local organization which gave toys to families such as this.  I really do believe that this organization must have put these dolls together from different doll parts!  Bébé Agnes' arms are too small for her body and Bébé Noisette's arms were attached to her body with nails!  Some of the dolls' legs look as though they were repaired with some kind of cloth tape. When I came to live here and adopted them, I took some of my old clothes and made some new clothes for them, which they desperately needed.

Everyone is welcome in our family of the broken, the lost, but now, not forgotten.

This is Bébé Agnès, who is named for my mother Agnes.  She never liked her name very much, but the way it is pronounced in French (ahn-yes) sounds so much nicer, I'm sure she would have approved!

Bébé Noisette is named for my mother's older sister Hazel (Noisette is French for Hazelnut, something my mother called her sister sometimes!).  Sadly, the paint on her eyes has worn off (and I don't trust my skills at repainting them without causing further damage) so she hopes you will excuse her slightly disturbing appearance, as she must wear this mask in order to see.

Baby Adin is named for my mother's eldest brother.  Adin was the middle name of her brother Sherwood.

Here he is, wearing the steampunk top hat I made for him!  As you can see, it comes with a very impressive monocle for seeing things better!

The monocle is able to be moved out of the way and held in place by repurposed clock spring when not needed!

Baby Petunia is another of her very well-loved babies.  My mother loved flowers and petunias were one of her favorites.

Canelle and Clafouti, the twins.  She adopted them from the toy department of the five-and-dime store where she worked for a time.  They are mischievous babies!  Can you tell?

The rest of the guests became members of our family when I adopted them from various places.

Mr. Bun-Bun was found by me, in the rain, on the sidewalk outside of our apartment in Washington, DC.  You can read more about him here.

Willow was sent to me by my dear friend Richard.  He found her on the streets of Washington (Richard is a genius at finding useful things there) and sent her to me.  I cleaned and repaired her carefully and made a dress for her.  Now she is ready for our lovely tea today.  Oh how we wish our Richard was here with us to have tea!  We all send hugs to you!!

As you may remember, Mr. Bear, Thursday and Tulip were all adopted by me from the Eagles' Hall Flea Market where I used to shop where I grew up in Casper, Wyoming!  As Mr. Bear is very fond of reminding people, he has been with me a very long time!

Baby Hoobert was adopted into our family from an Etsy seller.  What a good baby he is!

Mr. Mookie and Crispina came to us from my dear friend Laura.

Hyacinthe was sent to live with us, courtesy of my friend Liz.

Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle is the only attendee today who was bought at a store and not adopted, but it is appropriate that she is here today since we are thinking so much of my mother.  Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle was a gift to me from her and she got her in a lovely-smelling department store in Casper, a special place where we only shopped if we were looking for special wedding presents or shower gifts.  Also, I bought my first copy of a lovely cookbook called Teen Cuisine from there and it was from that book that I taught myself the basics of French cooking and pastry making!  It was made all the more wonderful because it is filled with the brightly-colored psychedelic art of Peter Max!  I still use that cookbook (actually, I'm using the second copy I've owned!  I wore out the first one!)

And so, the table is all set and ready for tea...!

As usual, getting fresh flowers this time of year can be problematic (considering the snow keeps us house-bound for much of the time right now!).  Luckily, there are rubberstamps and vintage buttons to be made into cheerful bouquets!

Here is our menu for today, which is all sweets and tea (what more appropriate holiday for an all-sweets tea than Valentine's Day?)

I love using rubberstamps to create my menus!

Alice wanders through The Dessert Garden...

And speaking of gardens, our party is just full of flowers today...

Coconut cream cakes with chocolate ganache
and topped with chocolate roses

Delicious coconut cake (which I made from this recipe), covered in the chocolate ganache recipe which topped a chocolate banana marble cake recipe from Jill Colonna's Mad About Macaron blog, baked in a rose chocolate mold from Lékué and then, finally, topped with chocolates, made from the same mold!  Frankly, I am obsessed with these chocolate molds!  They not only make chocolate-making a breeze, the silicone is able to withstand temperatures up to 428 degrees F (and as low as -78), so they made creating my tiny cakes today so easy.  I just can't say enough about them!  So many creative uses for them.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen this photo I posted a few days ago:

I made this white chocolate pansy pop with the beautiful antique French chocolate mold, given to me by my friend Laura.

What a treasure!!  It just made my imagination soar to think that there were once chocolates made in such beautiful shapes as this!

Since we were not aware of what metal the mold is made from, I made an impression of it from food-safe silicone and then made a mold of that impression.  The chocolate was melted and molded from this mold.  After it hardened, this is what I did next...

Did you know there was such a thing as edible paint?  I didn't, until I started to do research for another project (which is still a secret, but one I hope to be able to let you in on soon).  So, I ordered a couple of bottles and I painted the chocolate!

And lastly, our cookie tray...
Strawberry and raspberry shortbread hearts
(adapted from a recipe from Truffles the Sheep on Twitter)
and kourabiedes (recipe here).

This beautiful little box holds a single tea bag from a very special place!  Laura visited Paris and Versailles for the first time last summer and she sent me a box of special things she had gotten while she was there.  This tiny box was one of them!  The tea in it is from Nina's in Paris and it is made especially for the Marie Antoinette collection at Versailles!  It is a black tea, delicately scented with roses and apples from the Potager du Roi (The King's Kitchen Garden)!  To find out more about the tea, the garden and Nina's tearoom in Paris, please take a look at this link.  There is also an excellent fictionalized account of the Potager du Roi and other gardens in Versailles in the movie "A Little Chaos", about André LeNôtre, who did actually design the gardens there (as well as many other gardens in Paris).  The late Alan Rickman directed it and in one of his last roles, plays King Louis XIV.

Our music for today is from the wonderful French composer Eric Satie:

We have so many lovely guests today that we didn't have room at the table for everyone, so everyone is just having a nice time, enjoying their treats on their laps, picnic-style!

And so, may I offer you some tea?
Do you take cream and sugar?

Hyacinthe, Crispina and Thursday enjoying their tea treats!

Tulip and Mr. Mookie are watching out for their baby brothers and sisters and making sure they have some cookies!  What a good big brother and big sister they are!

Thank you so very much for joining us for tea today
and Happy Valentine's Day!!


(Completely boring note:  Apparently, Blogger is no longer allowing Open ID and Google + comments.  If you have been trying to leave me comments here and they have failed, this may be the reason.  If you wish to leave me comments and find you cannot, I can always be reached on Twitter and Instagram from the links in my sidebar.  I do sincerely appreciate each person who takes the time to read my blog posts, even if they cannot or choose not to leave a comment!)