Monday, May 29, 2006

May 29, 2006: 10:32 am

Hello Everyone!

It's been a pretty crazy week! I just realized that I had forgotten to mention June's tea of the month in my last posting, so here it is...

My tea of the month for June will be Red Velvet. Some of you may remember Red Velvet, as I carried it for a brief time last year. This is a recipe I devised for a customer who was looking for a tisane that was similar to another tisane she had tried. I really like this one too, it's a real burst of delicious fruit flavors. I begin with a base of hibiscus and rosehips, and add the flavors of sun-ripened Washington pears & juicy-sweet blood oranges. The result is a velvet-y smooth, delightful flavor. It's a spectacular choice for iced tea... I love this one as a sun tea!

Well, that's all for my updates for now, I'll be working on my newsletter next. Have you signed up to receive my newsletter? If not, click here to sign up!


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Thursday, May 25, 2006

May 25, 2006: 11:54 am

As I think I may have mentioned before, I lost a contact lens... I hate not being able to see. For whatever reason, I don't have as much trouble using the computer as I do doing other daily tasks, such as cooking or washing dishes... LOL! Some may think it's just me not wanting to do those things, but I think it actually has something to do with the fact that the computer screen is illuminated, and since I do have a mild case of night blindness, the light definitely helps with my vision.

Anyway, I have a few updates concerning tea:

Chocolate Rose Romance: will be ready to sell on June 2nd.
Sweet Caramel O'Mine: A slight delay in this one, it will be ready June 9th.
LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend: A very small batch will be ready June 2nd.
Honeybush with Vanilla: Will be ready June 9th.
Earl Grey Creme: Will be ready June 9th.
Starry Night: Will be ready June 9th.
Shangri-La: Will be ready June 9th.
Candy Shoppe: Will be ready June 30th.

I'm sorry about the delays on some of these... I had hoped they'd be ready for shipment on May 31st, but after a quick sampling last night of these, I realize they need some extra time.

Regarding After Dinner Mint... I am not sure that I'll be restocking this one, at least not for the time being. Perhaps when the cooler weather begins again in the fall, I'll be more in 'the mood' for this desert beverage, and I'll bring it back. If, in the meantime, you just CAN'T WAIT for it, please email me and let me know! I like to hear from the customers to know what you guys think of everything.


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Saturday, May 20, 2006

May 20, 2006: 1:54 pm

Ack! I've lost my contact lens. I guess I should have prefaced that by saying, without some sort of vision aid, I can't see very well... I'm currently hunched over the comp screen to read it... with the screen about 2 inches in front of my face.

So... needless to say, I need new glasses... wanna help me get them? visit my website, purchase at least 25 dollars in tea and other stuff, and get a 25% discount on your total order, just use the coupon code "newglasses" in the coupon field at check out, and 25% will be deducted from your final order. This offer is only valid through May 26th.

Anyway... I guess I should be glad that ... if I had to lose my contact, I lost it now, instead of say, a couple of days ago... when I was going nuts finishing up two projects. I finished them before losing the contact, I'm glad to report! Want a sneak peak at what I've been working on? Here ya go......
This is an altered tea tin. I first sent it to an artist (Anne-Marie Richardson) in Australia, who added the wool papers. She did it in a pattern to represent the sea, mountains, soil and meadow. Then she sent the tin to an artist (Crystal Calhoun) in Florida, who added a wool fiber palm tree and the shells. Then she sent it to me, and I added the heron (porcelain air-dry clay) and the tree, as seen in the photo to the right.

The tree is a little hard to see with the lighting... but because it's dimensional so it's very prominient in the finished piece. Also, the leaf bunches on the trees were done with wool fibers. I also finished the lid with batik paper and porcelain tea leaves, and a sun charm. I really like the finished product... it's very nice. :)

I'll be including tea with the tea tin when it's purchased at my etsy store. (Note: It's not added to the store just yet, it will be up there a little later today though!) The teas that will be included are my new Namaste Chai (Fair Trade, 100% organic), Ming Jasmine (A sample of this tea I obtained for this project), and my Heron's Sanctuary tisane. Also included as a bonus will be an altered book style journal of the trials and tribulations of this project written from the tin's perspective.

The second project I've worked on is a 'zine!

This is the cover of the 'zine. (front and back outer cover). The paper is handmade by Crystal Calhoun and hand drawn by Ria Seaton. The title plates were created by Amber Dawn Goldish-DeLaCruz (BeauIdeal Zine), and I bound the zines with macrame knotting using hemp fibers). This 'zine is amazing... 7 articles written by 7 different artists, with different interests... it has a little something for every artist out there!!!

This was printed in limited quantities (Only 16 are available for sale) so my recommendation is to buy one AS SOON AS IT'S LISTED because it will go FAST!

Well... so that's what I've been working on... neato...huh?


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Monday, May 15, 2006

Blending Updates...

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick update on my blending activities... as I mentioned before, I'm sold out of my Sweet Caramel O'Mine... and we simply CAN'T hav that, can we? It's my best seller!

So, I got to work on this one right away... and I'm happy to report that Sweet Caramel O'Mine will be ready for shipment on May 31st.

Also ready for shipment on May 31st: LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend (also a best seller!), Honeybush with Vanilla, Earl Grey Creme and Starry Night... and of course, my newest tea blend: Shangri-La.

Because I blend in small batches, it's always a good idea to snatch up the teas you want as soon as they become available.

The following teas will be ready in June (actual dates to be released when I know them!): Chocolate Rose Romance & After Dinner Mint. I am not sure when I'll be blending more of the Heron's Sanctuary, but it should be in either June or early July.

To see what I DO have available... click here to visit my website!

Thanks everyone for your support! I really appreciate it greatly!

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May 15, 2006: 11:04 am

First things first: I've had a few requests to post pictures of a few things, so here goes:

This first is a picture of an art doll I made some time ago, as visual inspiration for my popcorn issue of EccentricPastiche...

I think I may have posted this one previously to the blog... but, I like her, so she bears reposting!

These next pictures are of a shrine I made some time ago as part of an 'altered dollhouse furniture' swap, called "My Cluttered Mind" ...

This is the outside of the shrine. Since the cabinet is made of wood -- I didn't want to cover up the natural wood grain with gobs of opaque paint, so I opted to give it a thin coat of Twinkling H20 wash instead, which gave it a nice color and shimmer, but didn't detract from the beautiful grain of the wood. I did the outside simply, because I wanted the real action to be on the inside of the shrine...

Now, I just love the inside of the shrine, I got to use a bunch of the nifty little objects that I've been stashing (yeah, I'm a packrat -- like most altered art artists, I guess!), so in reality, it was kind of a bittersweet creation for me, because I loved making it... but, I was sad to say goodbye to the shrine when I sent it off to be swapped! I didn't want to let it go, because a large portion of my stash was going along with it!!! haha!

On a more serious note, this shrine represented something big (artistically) for me... a big step for me, but to completely understand it, you'll have to indulge me in telling you a bit of a long story, I'll try to condense it as much as I can!

Before the birth of my first daughter, my art was very limited (not my art attempts, but the art that I completed... was very limited... to say... oh... ZERO!) because I was never very satisfied with what I was creating. I had convinced myself somehow that I wasn't a real artist because I didn't paint or draw the way I 'wanted' to... and since these were the only real artforms (at least in my mind) ... I wasn't a real artist... so I struggled with this for many years. It took me a long time to embrace and accept the fact that collage was a true artform and an amazing path of expression.

Once my oldest was born, my art voyages became limited because well... I was a single mom without much time on her hands, between work and daycare, and running around doing the things that I had to do. At this point, I became a crafter. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The stuff I was making... was fun, but it was craft, not art. I was just going through the motions to create something because I felt incomplete without at least creating something... but, I wasn't really creating art. I was making a lot of dried floral wreaths and polymer clay ornaments... but they were crafty... not arty.

Of course, this delves in to the whole art vs. craft debate, which I don't wish to start right now... so I'll just part this section of the story by saying, it was craft by my own standards, not art by my own standards. :)

Onward... when I returned to college, I explored many avenues of art, but most of my art education was limited to art history and the study of other artists... rather than a study of the artist within... because I didn't have much patience for that. I tried taking sketching classes, drawing classes, painting classes, but I'd end up dropping the class before long, because I simply didn't have the patience to have someone tell me how to create. The only techniques class that I actually completed was my ceramics course, which I simply loved.

Shortly after I completed college, I met my current husband, and we had my second (and last!) child, also a girl. She is a bit more exploratory than my first... who would be content if I sat her down with a pile of toys... where as my youngest... wanted to help me with my art... so I had to put that stuff up for a while. At this point, I was beginning to explore the joys of collage... and lets face it... you just can't really do a lot of cutting and pasting if you have a 8 month old on your lap who wants to help! :)

So, I put my stuff away for a couple of years, until she was able to let mommy have her art time. Still... the stuff I was creating was rather cutesy (Nothing wrong with this either, a lot of the stuff I still make is cutesy, but, I find myself more satisfied artistically when I am doing stuff... not so cute), and I still felt like I was crafting -- going through the motions, and not really creating art.

Even as I started the progression of getting in to altered art and ATCs, much of my stuff had a sort of 'pretty' appeal and felt not quite like the artistic expression that was clammoring inside me.

This shrine represents for me an escape from that oppression... I really felt -- for the first time -- that I was making art... and this shrine will stand as a monument (in whose-ever hands it has been entrusted) as that first real step I needed to take toward embracing the fact that I am indeed an artist, and an altered art artist at that!

So... no real news on the tea front... except... PLEASE VISIT my tea website and buy tea! LOL

Thanks for reading along!


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Thursday, May 11, 2006

May 11, 2006: 8:33 pm

Yeah, I just posted yesterday, but I have some exciting tea news!

My Momoko Melon Oolong tea is ready for shipment NOW! This is a delicious flavored Oolong -- imagine the flavors of sweet, juicy summer melons combined with the uniquely smooth flavor of Formosa Oolong! It's absolutely delightful! I can't decide if I prefer this one served hot or cold -- both are truly wonderful!

My Masterpiece Chai is also ready for shipment NOW! This is one that you should get while it's available because it GOES FAST! My Masterpiece Chai is unlike any other chai you've tasted! This is my very own top secret recipe!

Finally, I have one more NEW chai tea to tell you about: Namaste Chai! This is a 100% organic, fair trade certified tea. Fair trade certified teas offer you the opportunity to enjoy top quality and flavorful teas while directly benefitting the lives of the tea pickers and their families. Namaste Chai is Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International.

And... now for an update on my sold out list: Heron's Sanctuary, Sweet Caramel O'Mine, LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend, Chocolate Rose Romance, Earl Grey Creme, Honeybush with Vanilla, Candy Shoppe, Starry Night, & After Dinner Mint. ZOUNDS! I better get busy blending!!!

Thanks for checking in!

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May 10, 2006 ~ 11:06 am


So it's been a couple of weeks since my last blog entry. I finally got my new and improved website up and running! I'm really excited about it. It's exactly the website I've always wanted! (Thanks RD -- for all your help with it!)

What's really great about the website (besides everything!) is that I also get a great shopping cart that goes along with... it allows me to offer discounts, which is really cool!

So, what's new in the world of teas?

This week, my Momoko Melon tea will debut! It was actually supposed to be April's tea of the month (it's just late!). It begins as my Formosa Oolong-Choicest tea with a delightful summer melon flavor!

Coming soon: Shangri-La! This is a blend of Chinese & Japanese green teas, and a malty Assam, blended with the tropical notes of coconut and lime. It's amazing! I love this tea served both hot and iced!

Also... my Tisane with no Name... is nameless no more! I've decided to exalt the town that has become my home... Ridgefield, WA! Our town is home to a Wildlife and Bird Refuge, and our annual BirdFest is a pretty big deal! This year, the Great Egret is the celebrated bird, and since not many people recognize "Egret" -- I decided to embrace a similar bird... the Heron! So, now, my newest Tisane is called Heron's Sanctuary. It is a blend of lemongrass, mint, orange peel, hibiscus and rosehips. The flavor is refreshing and light. And... best of all, $1.00 from each sale of Heron's Sanctuary Tisane will go to the Refuge to support their continued efforts to preserve our wildlife.

Currently Sold Out: LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend (will have more available May 21), Honeybush with Vanilla (will have more the week of May 28), Potpourri (not sure when this will be restocked), Earl Grey Creme (will have more the week of May 28), Sweet Caramel O'Mine (will have more in June).

That's all for now! Thanks for reading along!

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