Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wow... I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted on my blog! I'm really sorry (for those of you who actually read this thing!) but I've been really busy working on 'zines. Since I last posted, I've published 4 'zines, 3 for various swaps I've been in, and 1 is my full-scale 'zine. The 'zine is currently being assembled, which takes a lot of time, so that is why I haven't been here blogging much.

To the left is my first attempt at a zetti-ish artwork, and also my first attempt at an art doll. I think she turned out ok. I made her for one of my aforementioned 'zines... the "Popcorn Issue." I made this 'zine for the 'Zine Pool swap that ended September 30th. I thought the little clapperboard that I used for this doll was really neat and I wanted to do some sort of project that highlighted this alterable item. (I also included one of these clapperboards -- not the finished doll -- just the clapperboard -- as a freebie goodie in the 'zine)

Tea-wise ... I have a great deal to report! My Masterpiece Chai is finally back in stock! Another tea that is back in stock (in limited quantities!) is my Sweet Caramel O'Mine. These two teas are my best sellers!

To the right is one of my newest additions to my inventory --tea gift bags! These bags are lovingly handmade, with vintage materials such as ivory satin, ribbons and beads. The picture simply does not do these bags justice, they really are beautiful.

These bags are available on my Tea Time Gift page.

Other great additions to my inventory include J&M Tea Cookies... these are so good. They are light and delicious, and simply melt in your mouth.

Well... I don't have a lot to report this time around, mostly because my mind is on my 'zine and assembly... which I need to return to now~

Thanks for reading along!

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

September 10, 2005 ~ 2:16 pm


Again, quite a lapse between postings... but with good cause! I've been busily working on my 'zines, trying to meet my deadlines. I'm still working on the discipline issues, maybe eventually, hopefully, I'll be able to work on it so that I'm posting nearly every day.

To the left is one of my more recent efforts, an ATC that I made using Grace's Hand Dyed Silk Fibers. I used them, gluing them in strips, side by side, overlapping only just slightly. The result is a funky kind of pattern that plays off nicely with the dancing blue abstract figure that I painted(using Twinkling H20s) on foreign text ephemera.

I would post a link for the twinklers, but, I don't have a current link... my previous supplier has decided to stop carrying the twinkling H20s... so now I need to find a new source! They are wonderful watercolors! I just love them!

Now... on to tea matters... this morning, I've had 3 cups of tea already, now working on cuppa #4! I started out with two cups of my new breakfast blend (LiberTEAS breakfast Blend - available soon!) -- quite an interesting side effect with tea blending... is that in the course of working on just the right blend... you make a blend that is equally as delicious (if not more so) than the blend you're looking for, but still doesn't exactly fit what you're looking for.

That happened to me as I worked on blends for my breakfast blend... I made a blend that is quite adaptable as a breakfast blend, although it wasn't quite what I was trying to acheive for my "LiberTEAS" blend... so now I have 2 breakfast blend recipes!

The second one won't be introduced to my line for some time however, perhaps not until next year... which will give me ample time to think about how I will market it, and what to call it!

The second tea that I have enjoyed today is my Sweet Caramel O' Mine (Yes, I'm an Axl fan). The depth of flavor to this tea is really remarkable, it surprises even me! I created a complex base of tea, using High Grown Ceylons and Malty Assams. The result is a full bodied, robust yet smooth and malty tea which compliments the rich and smooth creamy flavor of the caramel. It's so delicious... it may just qualify as my new (current!) favorite tea!

To the right is one of my ATCs I made a couple of months ago, featuring a background technique I call "Wax Splotch". I paint Twinkling H20 quickly on the surface of the cardstock, and while the paint is still wet, I turn the cardstock over, and press it firmly against a piece of wax paper, creating a "splotched" appearance on the background. It looks really cool... even though the pic doesn't really show it... it's much more impressive in person. I use this technique on dominos (works really well on dominos because the twinklers don't absorb or dry on the dominos quite as quickly as they do on cardstock) and on puzzle pieces (primed with gesso first).

Well, that's all for today... thanks for reading along!

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

September 3, 2005 ~ 11:04 pm

Hello Everyone~ Wow... I'm actually posting to my blog 2 days after I posted previously... something I've not done in a while... so, I'm proud that I've mustered the disicpline to do so.

To the left is a picture of one of the first ATCs I ever made, called "Pretty Tied Up," inspired by one of my favorite songs by my favorite band, Guns N' Roses. The ATC was made as part of a Song Title/Lyric swap I took part in several months ago, and it remains one of my favorite ATCs that I've created.

Today I've injured my shoulder, not sure exactly what I did, not sure if I slept on it wrong or what... although I don't recall it hurting earlier this morning, so I'm thinking I must have reached wrong or something... either way, it's left my right side pretty stiff and painful. Hopefully after a good night's sleep, it will be less painful tomorrow.

However, the pain has kind have left me somewhat unable to work on anything artistic, because my shoulder won't let me forget it hurts! I guess it is fortunate that over the past couple of days I've been somewhat productive... and hopefully this won't keep me disabled too long.

To the right is a picture of a puzzle piece I've recently altered for a swap. This wasn't for a group puzzle effort, but instead just a puzzle piece swap with an Asian theme.

I enjoyed several wonderful teas today, after several months of not trying any new teas (trying to focus onnot over expanding my collection) I've decided that instead I'm going to change my collection pretty regularly, this way I'll have the opportunity to enjoy many different teas, as will my customers.

So with that thought in mind, I tried the following flavored green teas today: blueberry green, lemon green, Earl Grey green and Vanilla Green. I really enjoyed all of them, but I think my favorites thus far are the blueberry and the Earl Grey. The vanilla in the vanilla green was a bit too delicate for me -- which is something I've found with most of the vanilla flavored teas I've tried. I find that I prefer vanilla as PART of a blend, rather than being the main focus of flavor.

To the left is my final picture to be featured this evening. It's a picture of a porcelain mask that I recently embellished for another swap I took part in. These little masks are a lot of fun to paint... I love working with Twinkling H20s on them because the porcelain really absorbs the colors so deeply. One of my favorite techniques (and one I used for this particular mask) is to paint a base color (or several base colors as I did here, with a dark blue, a raspberry and a bronze colored paint), then, after the paint has dried, I take it to the sink and rinse it off. Remnants of the color remains deeply embedded in the porcelain, and while it looks like the color is completely gone under water, when it begins to dry, the color reappears. Then, I take the mask and paint a coating of white twinkling H20 over it and it gives it an almost pearlescent look.

You can get a mask of your own at B-muse and if you click on the gallery, you'll see some more examples of amazing masks for inspiration! Be sure to tell Vickie (the owner of B-Muse that I sent you! She's a wonderful person... fast with shipping out orders too!

OK, so I think I'm going to head off to bed, and hopefully some rest is just what this shoulder needs.

Thanks everyone for reading along! Have a perfectly tea-lightful, artful day!


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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hi Everyone! It's been a lonnnnng time since I've posted anything to my blog... and I decided it's time to change it just a bit... it's going to still be a tea journal, but I'm going to add some visual interest as well... I mean, I've got my art, why not include it?

To the right, you'll see one of my very first ATCs I ever made, for a 'color' themed swap. ATCs are "Artists Trading Cards" -- much like baseball cards are trading cards amongst baseball fans... ATCs are trading cards amongst artists.

So, you're probably wondering what the heck I've been up to, to keep my blog dangling for so long! Well... I've been working hard to get my site back up, I had a bit of a problem with my server. Now that it's back up, I am making changes to it left and right, including a big change to the way I handle my Tea of the Month club. These changes were designed to make the club more efficient and a better experience for my customers.

I've also been very busy trying to make my dream of creating a 'zine a reality. I'm actually at the point where I see the light at the end of the tunnel and have started to accept pre-order payments! I've already SOLD OUT of my artist edition... the Artist Edition is the same as the first edition except that the Artist Edition will include a different, unique, one of a kind, hand collaged cover, where the first edition will be a printed cover. If your interested in purchasing your own copy, email me at mailto: or you can join my yahoo group at:

Above is a scan of one of my most recent works. This is an "Altered Sherriff's Badge" (Purchased from ) that was part of an art challenge from one of the yahoo groups I'm a member of. I really wasn't sure what I was going to do with the badge... but I knew I wanted to cover it with clay, since clay is one of my favorite mediums. So I started working the clay to make it soft, and I came out with this really cool blue green swirl that reminded me of the painting Starry Night by Van Gogh (my favorite painting) so I let my muse take it from there.

As far as tea blending goes, I've been busy in that department too! I've been working on 2 new blends, the first, my own breakfast blend. I felt a little weird being a business called "LiberTEAS" and selling English Breakfast Blend... it just sounded weird, you know? So, I decided I needed a LiberTEA blend! And I set out to create a deliciously different breakfast blend that would be deeelish! I wanted it to have a unique base of flavors, so I brought together the exceptional flavors of High grown Ceylons, Flavorful Yunnans, Robust Assams, and Lively Nilgiris. Then I added a bit of honeybush to give it a nice, rounded flavor with a hint of sweet honey-like flavor and then I added just a touch of vanilla to make it smooth and creamy. The results is a taste sensation unlike any you've yet to experience! This blend will be available in October.

The second blend is a Caramel flavored tea. I wanted something smooth and yummy... something that made you want to curl up in front of a fireplace with a cuppa on a chilly fall evening. Something that whispered of the delights of Autumn! What more enticing than Caramel? My caramel blend combines the finest Ceylons and Assams together providing a full-bodied, malty textured base along with the sweet buttery flavor of caramel... making a smooth, rich flavorful cup!


I had a cup of the caramel this afternoon, and all I can say is that this tea definitely met my expectations... I recommend trying it with a sprinkling of sugar (brings out the sweetness of the caramel) and a splash of milk (brings out the creamy consistency of the caramel) and then let it cool just a few moments before indulging. It's a much tastier tea when it's had a chance to cool just slightly (where it's not piping hot, but still quite warm!)

Well, I guess that's enough for me for today... maybe I can keep my commitment to posting to this on a regular basis now that I've decided to incorporate my art into it too! Let's hope so!

Tea-lightful Cheers to all!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

June 22, 2005 ~ 6:14pm

Oh wow! It's been well over a month since my last entry... I'm sorry to those of you who check regularly on this only to find that I've not entered anything! I can't believe a whole month has passed! Wow, time really does fly when you're having fun (or... in my case... drowning in a pile of work!)

The weather up in the Pacific Northwest has been quite odd... it's been cold and rainy, rather than warm, which is the norm for June. Not that I'm complaining... I actually enjoy the change... but it has been really rough on my allergies, which has left me pretty debilitated, I have to rinse out my contact lenses at least 4 times daily just to see, because of the buildup.

I guess it could be worse, couldn't it? I'm not going to bore my readers with a bunch of fodder!

Well, even though the weather hasn't been extraordinarily warm, I've pretty much switched my tea drinking to iced tea! I still enjoy my hot cup of tea in the morning to get me started, and I usually wind down at night with a warm tisane, but during the day, I'm drinking lots of iced tea! My favorite teas to drink iced have been:

  • Strawberry -- this tea tastes extraordinary iced! It is so refreshing, not overly sweet, with just enough of a strawberry taste to taste like Summertime!
  • Sweet Summer -- this is a tisane made from Rooibos. The flavor is a sparkling, tingling sensation! It reminds me of sweet berries that have been macerated in wine, and then served over bread pudding! It's one of those flavors that you've to got to try!!! It's also great because it's naturally caffeine free... plus you get lots of health benefits from Rooibos!
  • Mango Tango -- This was the first tea that I started brewing as iced tea... and for a week, it was all that I was drinking, because it just tasted that good! A nice tropical taste shines through on this one!

I've tried others iced too, and they've all been really great... but these three have been my absolute favorites!

To make Iced Tea: I boil enough water for 3 cups of tea. I then add 5 heaping teaspoons of tea to my teapot, and when the water has acheived a boil, I pour it in to the teapot over the loose tea leaves. I allow this to steep for about 4 minutes, and then I pour it in to my pitcher. I usually add about a fourth of a cup of sugar (I don't like my iced tea too sweet, but, I like a little sugar to bring out the natural qualities of the essential oils in the teas), and I add the sugar before adding cold water or ice, so that the sugar can dissolve into the concentrated brew.

Then I fill the pitcher (it's a half gallon pitcher) the rest of the way (after the tea and sugar have been added to the pitcher) with cold water. I know that many people will tell you that this will lead to a cloudy tea, but, it's worked for me.

If you get a cloudy tea, and you don't want a cloudy tea, you shouldn't add the cold water, but instead, the water should be room temp, and allow the tea to come to a room temperature before you refrigerate.

Anyway, that's it for now... I promise to at least TRY to keep my blog up to date... sorry again!


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Friday, May 13, 2005

May 13, 2005 ~ 10:25 am

Wow! It's Friday the 13th!

I made some changes recently to my website. In particular, quite a few changes to my art page, and I've included links to my group, Eccentric Pastiche, as well as a few art supply business links. I will probably add a few more to this list, right now, it includes a couple of sites that I've conducted trades with, that I'm extraordinarily impressed with both their customer service and their products and like my teas, I feel proud to stand behind them.

I have yet another busy day ahead of me, although not as busy as the past few days have been. I've made most of the major overhauls to my website, now there is a little bit of fine tuning to do, as well as work on the tea of the month club.

I'm going to keep it short and sweet today, so that I can really focus on the things I need to get done! Thanks for reading, and keep drinking tea!


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Thursday, May 12, 2005

May 12, 2005 ~ 9:17 am

Good morning everyone!

Wow... it's early! For me it is, anyway... I had a late night last night -- when I'm working on art, the time seems to fly by and before I know it, it's the wee hours of the morning. And when you have a young one... you have to get up when they do! (otherwise, wake up to a house in ruins!)

Oh well, the tea I'm drinking this morning seems to help me shake off the drowsy feeling... I'm drinking LaVert Pear! Yum! I love the fragrance of this tea. It really helps those sleepy eyes pop open and bring a smile on my face!

This morning, in one of my yahoo groups, I found someone asking me what a "tea artist" is. Well, I recently started calling myself a tea artist, and it wasn't actually me who started calling me the tea artist, but someone I correspond with via email (and a very good customer!) who started calling me a tea artist. I think she decided I was a tea artist based on the fact that I am an artist, and also that I blend teas... and I strive to make my teas as visually exciting as they are to taste, and from that, she started calling me a tea artist.

Basically, tea artist is just a fancy title for someone who blends teas! I make my own blends, and even from the blends that I buy already "blended" from my suppliers, I tend to embellish to enhance flavors or appearance. There are very few blends that I get direct from my suppliers that I do not further embellish.

Anyway... I have a lot of orders to fill today! Yay! So, I better get busy on them!!! (enough chit chat!

Thanks for reading along!

PS: Oh... for my Rockin' Rooibos Chai fans... It's back in stock! The blend has "mingled" long enough for the right flavor, so those of you that have ordered it while it was on backorder, will be getting your shipments very soon! (Note: The website will read "temporarily out of stock" for a few more days, I have a few more changes to the website before I can publish the changes!)

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

May 11, 2005 ~ 9:38 am

Good Morning!

This morning, I pulled out an "old friend" - my Cherry Almond Tea! I "found" this tea because I received a customer request to locate a "cherry almond" black tea. She told me that her local tea shop used to carry the Cherry Almond tea that she loved, and then they discontinued it. Another local tea merchant had tried to imitate the flavor by blending cherry teas and almond teas, but the flavor was lacking. I contacted my merchants and found the flavor for her.

I love this tea too! I'm so glad she turned to me to help her find the tea. The flavor has a smooth, silky flavor. The almond flavor is very subtle and adds just a touch of nutty sweetness to the cherry, with just enough of the quality black ceylon tea shining through. When I sip this tea, it makes me think of wrapping myself in satin, it's just so smooth and nice.

Since this is a tea that I've never featured as a tea of the month, I'm thinking that I should do so, probably when the weather is cold once more (the flavors make a better hot tea than an iced, although it is quite palatable iced as well.), perhaps in November.

Yesterday was quite a productive day! I had finally gotten my sample bags in, so I'm busily preparing the orders I have in backlog.

Artistically, I had a great day as well, I didn't finish a lot of projects, but I managed to get myself a little less unorganized. Right now, my art supplies are in our "mud room" on the shelves, in tattered and torn boxes. I'm slowly replacing the cardboard boxes with organizer type bins.

Plus, I managed to get my puzzle pieces set for mailing (I'm in a "puzzle art" group, where we decorate one piece of a puzzle sent out by the host of the puzzle, in the theme they request, and then mail it back to the host, and she puts it together to make a different sort of collage. ) My current puzzle is a Tea puzzle! big surprise? I'd like to hang the finished puzzle in my kitchen, so I can't wait to see what the others come up with.

Anyway, it's a busy morning, with lots to do, so it's time to stop typing and time to get to work!

Thanks for reading along!

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Monday, May 09, 2005

May 9, 2005 ~ 9:13 am

Good morning everyone!

As I sit here with my tea, (enjoying a cup of English Breakfast this morning), I'm trying to shake off the remnants of my dream last night. I told of this dream in my EccentricPastiche yahoo group too...

My dream is that I visited a relative, and this relative (Name with-held to protect the not-so-innocent), had a "dream" art studio. In the center of the room was the most "pimped out" art table you can imagine! It had everything! It had little drawers and compartments and organizers to keep every gadget, gismo, tool, glean and embellishment that an artist could ever dream of using! It had a place for every thing... it even had a nifty little organizer for fibers (which is the bane of my organization... that and ephemera organization)... It was something that really could only be conceived of in one's dream... because a table like this just simply doesn't exist.

So, in my dream, I'm just in awe of this table. Kind of like a mechanic or car nut might be in awe of a vintage auto in cherry condition. Or maybe the way a sports card fanatic might be in awe of some old, rare card.

So, what does my dream mean? Any ideas? Does it mean that I'm overwhelmed in my feelings of guilt over my lack of organization?

Anyway... I thought I'd share that with you, in case you're interested, if you're not... oh well, too late now, huh?

I have so many things I have to get done today, so I really can't sit here and type very much...

To all, keep creating, and don't forget the tea!


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Sunday, May 08, 2005

May 8, 2005 ~ 10:38 pm

Hello Everyone, and good evening! (And Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!)

It's kind of late for me, I'm not usually typing this late... I'm usually busy at work putting away my art supplies about this time!

You ever have one of those days where it feels like you didn't do anything? I mean, I know I was busy at work on my ATCs today, and also a puzzle piece, but, I just don't feel like I accomplished anything with it! I guess it's because I've got one swap kind of looming over my head, that has been extremely challenging for me and the deadline is approaching quickly. I will have these finished tomorrow... I'm nearly finished with them as it is... I just had hoped to have them finished by now, and I guess that's what's plaguing me.

Today I drank several outstanding teas, among them: my Strawberry Tea, my Potpourri Tea and my Honeybush Vanilla. The Strawberry tea is simply amazing. I used to add just a dash of sugar to this tea, but I've found that it's so much better with honey instead. It really adds to the flavor of the strawberry.

Well, it's time to get off to bed now, thanks for reading along! Have a great week!


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May 8, 2005 ~ 10:38 pm

Hello Everyone, and good evening! (And Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!)

It's kind of late for me, I'm not usually typing this late... I'm usually busy at work putting away my art supplies about this time!

You ever have one of those days where it feels like you didn't do anything? I mean, I know I was busy at work on my ATCs today, and also a puzzle piece, but, I just don't feel like I accomplished anything with it! I guess it's because I've got one swap kind of looming over my head, that has been extremely challenging for me and the deadline is approaching quickly. I will have these finished tomorrow... I'm nearly finished with them as it is... I just had hoped to have them finished by now, and I guess that's what's plaguing me.

Today I drank several outstanding teas, among them: my Strawberry Tea, my Potpourri Tea and my Honeybush Vanilla. The Strawberry tea is simply amazing. I used to add just a dash of sugar to this tea, but I've found that it's so much better with honey instead. It really adds to the flavor of the strawberry.

Well, it's time to get off to bed now, thanks for reading along! Have a great week!


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May 8, 2005 ~ 10:38 pm

Hello Everyone, and good evening! (And Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there!)

It's kind of late for me, I'm not usually typing this late... I'm usually busy at work putting away my art supplies about this time!

You ever have one of those days where it feels like you didn't do anything? I mean, I know I was busy at work on my ATCs today, and also a puzzle piece, but, I just don't feel like I accomplished anything with it! I guess it's because I've got one swap kind of looming over my head, that has been extremely challenging for me and the deadline is approaching quickly. I will have these finished tomorrow... I'm nearly finished with them as it is... I just had hoped to have them finished by now, and I guess that's what's plaguing me.

Today I drank several outstanding teas, among them: my Strawberry Tea, my Potpourri Tea and my Honeybush Vanilla. The Strawberry tea is simply amazing. I used to add just a dash of sugar to this tea, but I've found that it's so much better with honey instead. It really adds to the flavor of the strawberry.

Well, it's time to get off to bed now, thanks for reading along! Have a great week!


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Friday, May 06, 2005

May 6, 2005 ~ 11:52 am

Well, here I am... wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since my last post!

As most of you are probably very aware, life has a way of taking hold and distracting you from things!!! I've been busily trying to get myself caught up after my illness, which really seemed to throw me for a loop!

I have a few more orders to get completed, and then I'll be all caught up! Yay!

In the meantime, what kind of teas have you been indulging in lately? This morning, I brewed up a pot of Earl Grey Cream. I love how the vanilla blends so nicely with the bergamot, which can be a bit overpowering in traditional Earl Grey (at least, for my palate!)

I've been making some changes (slowly) to my website as well. I'm going to be changing the Tea of the Month Club around a bit, and also adding a more "artsy" look to the page.

Artwise, I've not been too busy, because my muse has been asleep at the helm! Waking her can prove to be difficult at times! I am hosting a couple of ATC swaps... a Map swap for the Outside the Margins group (run by Aileen, of Outside the Margins) I am a member of, and the second is a Time for Tea swap, for the B-Muse group (run by Vickie, of B-Muse) . The artwork that has been filtering in from both these swaps has been phenomenal! I love it all!

And of course, there have been developments with my own group, Eccentric Pastiche. I've gotten new members! Woo Hoo! :) This group is in the very early development stages, but if you join now... you'll be the "proud" recipient of a copy of the mini-trader 'zine-ette which will precede the full sized 'zine-ette that I'm working on.

Anyway, that's all for now, thanks for reading! Hopefully, I'll be able to contribute more to my blog more often!


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Monday, April 25, 2005

April 25, 2005 ~ 2:17 pm

Hello Everyone!

I'm very sorry that I've taken such a long absence from my journal. I've been a bit under the weather, which has delayed several orders (sorry!) as well as cut back on my time to do anything except sleep! I couldn't even sit up for any length period of time without feeling queasy (sp?).

I'm still a bit weak, but stronger than I was yesterday.

I'm going to be making some changes to my website (and business) over the next few weeks, so those are things to be watching out for on the tea horizon.

Other than that, I just need to CATCH UP on everything! Thanks for reading!


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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

April 20, 2005 ~ 9:55 am

Hello Everyone!

Well, I wasn't able to get to posting a journal entry yesterday, it was a hectic day... I only got to indulge in 2 cups of tea! (My normal daily tea intake is about 6 - 8 cups)

This morning, I made up for yesterday's abstinence by starting my day with my Strawberry tea with a small scoop of creamed honey. I generally use creamed honey as my sweetener because it's not nearly as messy as regular honey. I rarely add milk or cream to my teas, unless I'm feeling in the mood for it or I'm having a breakfast blend, but I almost always sweeten my tea. I'm sure that purists would scoff at the idea... but I've found that -- especially with the flavored teas -- the sweetener tends to bring out the flavors a little better than drinking the tea without embellishment.

This morning's post is going to be a bit short, because I do have a few things I need to get started this morning. I hope to be able to take a moment or two to add to the journal tonight. Until then... take care, and remember... take time to enjoy tea ~ it's something that makes life worthwhile!

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Monday, April 18, 2005

April 18, 2005 ~ 9:45 am

Well, here I am again! Sometimes it seems the time passes by so quickly, as was the case for this weekend. I can't believe how quickly it flew on past me!

So, it's Monday, and that means processing the orders that I received over the weekend. I've had such a huge demand for my sample packs (note: I'm not complaining! I'm thrilled), that I've had to temporarily remove the sample packs from my website, as I don't have enough sample bags at this point to fill any new orders. (sorry!) However, I'll be placing an order for more, and will be getting them in next week... then it will be back to business as usual.

There will be a new improvement to the way I handle samples. Rather than pre-filling the two T-Sacs with enough tea for a cup each and selling this as a sample, I'll be measuring out enough loose tea into smaller, foil lined bags (which are better for tea storage). This will eliminate the "pre-filled" T-Sac, so I will also include a small package of T-Sacs for the customer to use when they steep my samples.

I think that this will be a better way to handle my samples, I know it will eliminate much of the bulkiness that is associated with my samples at the current time (makes it more of a challenge to ship with the bulky packaging).

So what tea are you sipping today? I'm indulging in a cup of Orange Grove this morning. I love the fresh, bright taste of this tea. I must admit that when I first started drinking teas, I was rather "turned off" by the grassy nature of the green teas. I liked it alright in small "doses" -- like if I were to visit an Asian restaurant, I would always partake of the green tea, it just seemed like the thing to do! But, as far as brewing the green tea myself, I didn't really care for it.

I think that this was due to two factors:

  1. I didn't know the proper way to brew tea back then. I didn't know that the water should be slightly cooler for green tea and that you shouldn't steep as long as you would black teas. Since learning otherwise, I have come to appreciate even the more earthy notes in green teas.
  2. I hadn't tried flavored green teas, I had tried only dragonwell and bancha without embellishment, and I wasn't very fond of either. I have since grown to appreciate some unfettered green teas, such as Sencha and Genmai-cha (which some would consider an embellished tea due to the brown rice addition).

Since my disaster days with green tea, I've grown to become rather fond of green teas, especially those in my collection. My favorite often changes from one to the next... right now, my favorite has been the potpourri tea, which I'll no doubt enjoy a little later today.

Art... I actually was able to get creative yesterday. It took some doing... normally, I'm itching to get into my goodies and start playing right away! But over the past couple of days, I've just not had much of an inclination. I think that part of it stems from the guilt I've felt over one particular swap that I had to bow out of, much to my own personal disappointment. I feel terrible about this, because I don't like committing to something and then not being able to deliver the goods.

In my own defense, I will only say that I just couldn't find the inspiration to create this series. I thought I'd really enjoy it, but, I just couldn't get with it, and find what I needed inside to create this collection. I feel like I did the right thing, to contact the hostess before the due date, rather than keep her waiting for my cards that weren't going to arrive.

Oh well, I'm not going to continue to dwell on this. It will only depress me.

LOL I was looking for a way to neatly and discreetly slide my friend Aileen's name into that discussion about art, but I failed miserably. So, I'll just be overt about it. She owns Outside The Margins and it was her blog that inspired me to get my blog. So you have her to thank (or blame) for this.

OK... so I'm going to log off now -- gotta get those orders filled! Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

April 17, 2005 2:03 pm

I am procrastinating again. I should be working on something creative. How do you avoid procrastination? Is there some trick that I've put off learning?

It's pouring outside right now... it was sunny what seems a few moments ago, and all the sudden I hear this pounding on the window... I look toward the window, and it's pouring down rain. I've failed to notice that the light has gotten considerably dimmer around me.

I love that it's gotten cooler, because it means that I can indulge in hot tea a bit longer. I love my teas iced too, but, there is just something so rewardingly comforting about a hot cup of tea. Plus... I have my favorite mug, which is one of those mugs that has a replica of a painting printed on it... mine has Van Gogh's Starry Night on it. I love this painting. It's not exactly an "iced tea" drinking vessel.

Today, I continue my passion with my potpourri tea... the smell of this tea, both before brewing and after, is just so captivating. I love it.

I finally have a member to my group too! ha! Now we are a group of three... me, myself and my new member, which is someone completely separate from myself. Really, she is. Unless I'm more disturbed than I realize, which is a possibility, although, I think that this being an example of my sickness is unlikely. Unless I've taken to mailing myself blank puzzle pieces to alter. That would be really weird.

By the way, I've started working on the puzzle piece. In case you're wondering.

OK... so I think I might just sign off now, and go create something... the last 2 ATCs that I've completed I've been less than thrilled with, so I may just need to scrap those. which makes me sad. Usually, when I do something that makes me feel dissatisfied, I'm usually able to embellish upon that dissatisfaction and bring the piece in a different direction that I am happy with... but that is just not the case with these two. Oh well.

Look at me, still typing. Hopeless procrastination. Hopeless.

So, I'm really going now.

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April 17, 2005 - 9:32 am

Hello Everyone!

Well, this blog thing is new to me, I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing, or even if I'm going to be able to make it work on my site! But it sounds like fun, so I figured I'd give it a try.

I've never really kept a tea journal before, although I'm told that this is something that I'm supposed to do. What exactly do people write in a tea journal? Do they write about their tea experiences? If so... I am wishing that I had this blog back when I was working on my Masterpiece Chai to come up with the recipe, because I think that would have been interesting to have logged.

In this blog, I also plan on keeping my art journal. Of course, that will be a lot less "tidy" because my art is so rarely organized. I would like it to be, I would like to be able to call upon my muse and just create exactly what it is that I want to create, when I want it created. With the swaps I'm involved in, there are deadlines, of course... so it would be nice to capture that inspiration whenever I would like to. Unfortunately, it seems that as deadlines loom near, I get less and less inspired to work on the things that I actually NEED to, but instead, become completely hypnotized by something completely different. Maybe with this blog, it will help me become inspired, or maybe it will just cause me frustration. Either way, it will provoke emotion, which is not a bad thing, in moderation.

Maybe I will eventually start another blog for my art. That seems like a lot of work though... so maybe not.

This will also probably serve as my blog about my 'zine-ette, that yes... I am still working on. I now foresee a early fall, possibly August? release for it. If you want to join that yahoo! group, you can do so with this link: Please keep in mind that this is a group in it's infancy, so there are no members, except for me and myself... I haven't yet publicized this group, I figured I'd do that sometime closer to the actual print date. I'd hate to get members that were chomping at the bit for something that isn't ready to go yet.

So, as you can see, this is a multi-purpose blog. Feel free to comment on my musings as you feel you must. Let me know what you think about me, my tea, my art, or whatever! Tell me what tea you're sipping! (I'm currently enjoying a cup of Earl Grey Cream, it's a great eye opener in the morning... not only the caffeine, but the smell of this tea is just so amazing that it makes my eyes want to open and live for the day instead of wishing I were still dreaming!)


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