Time for a Tea update!
The last few updates have involved art, now it's time for some tea time updates! July is right around the corner -- OK... it's tomorrow! July's tea of the month is Strawberry. This is a flavored black tea with a sweet and subtle touch of sun-ripened strawberries! Nothing says "summer" quite like strawberries! Some of my favorite childhood summertime memories involve strawberries, like my gramma's delicious strawberry shortcake, and visiting the strawberry fields for freshly picked strawberries! Yum! (NOTE: I'll be moving the strawberry tea over to the 'tea of the month' category tomorrow)
I love my strawberry blend because the flavor is delicate, and allows the flavor of the black tea to shine through. Most of the fruit flavored teas that I've tried have masked the flavor of the black tea rather than celebrated it! Being a tea lover through and through, I found this practice to be disappointing. My strawberry blend is one of my favorite iced tea flavors too! It's very refreshing served chilled!
Speaking of berries, I believe that I spoke recently of a new berry blend on the horizon. That's still in the works. I'm still trying to perfect the recipe, and I've not come up with a balance that pleases me. But, I'm still working at it!
Other tea news: I'm taking my Chocolate Rose Romance down from my website (temporarily!) because during my 'tea blending playtime' I've found a way to improve the flavor! So, I've blended up a full batch of the NEW and IMPROVED Chocolate Rose Romance. It will be available after July 15th. The new flavor brings a richer flavor... a true dessert tea! Sinful chocolate flavor without the fat and calories!
I've developed a very timely herbal blend! I suffer from horrendous allergies this time of the year, and they really drag me down! Some days they're so dreadful that I can barely function! I used to take benadryl, and while it does help knock the symptoms out, it also knocks ME out... for a good 24 hours, I'm in a fuzzy haze! I've had no real success with any of the over the counter options, so I turned to a herbal approach. I've come up with a blend that I'm really pleased with, and it helps with the symptoms, and allows me to keep alert!
Well, that's all for this update. Thanks for reading along!
Friday, June 30, 2006
Time for a Tea update!
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Well, just one piece. here's one of the centerfolds for the 'zine I'm working on. As I think I mentioned before, each one is handmade, so each centerfold & cover will be different... The text content will all be the same in each 'zine made, but the artwork will all be different
So that's it for now... Have an artful day!
More Updates: Well, for the next couple of days, I'll be super busy, trying to bind some 'zines. Back in April/May, I was part of a collaborative group that made a 'zine for a contest for Etsy. Don't know what Etsy is? Well you should! It's a great site for the artists... by the artists! It's a great place for artists to display and sell their artwork. The people of etsy have worked to make the costs of posting work to sell on etsy affordable (which is a must for artists... we're constantly starving!). Anyway, I strongly recommend that you support Etsy! Here's a link to my store at etsy.
Anyway, we did a 'zine for the coproduction contest at Etsy, where we needed at least 3 but not more than 7 participants (we went with 7). We made a 'zine -- and it sold out within 26 hours! Woot! So... needless to say, I don't have any of these left, but if you want to get a quick glimpse of what the cover looks like, here it is:
Anyway, each contributor to the 'zine gets 2 copies (one for themselves, one for a gift) and I need to bind the rest of them. See that binding >>>
I hand knotted it. I thought it would be a simple task, unfortunately, I learned it took a lot more concentration that I realized. See... once upon a time, back in college, I used to make and sell the hemp bracelets... and I could whip out a dozen or so of those in an evening... but using the same knotting technique on a book... is quite a different thing indeed.
Anyway, I need to get those finished this weekend, so that's what I'll be doing! :)
After that I can focus all my energy on the few things I also need to get finished up -- my 'zine for the Gleaner swap, for example. I'm making each of these by hand, so each will be a one of a kind original. I won't be making many of these, needless to say. ha! Yeah, they're fun, and I love making 'zines, I love the process... so I'm not complaining. My muse just hasn't been really cooperating with me! When I have very little time, it seems like she comes up with the most time consuming projects! It would have been a lot easier if she came up with a 'zine that didn't require this much attention.
Here are a few other things I've worked on in the past few months...
I made the photo as large as I could with this one, so that hopefully you could see it amid the blur...
This is an altered bottle cap. The reason the center is so blurred is that it's filled with a crystal lacquer, so it didn't take to the scan very well. The petals are made of a air dry porcelain compound, and then painted with acrylic paints and acrylic glaze. The center features a small picture of a fairy with a sparkly background, and then is filled with the aforementioned lacquer. I wish the scan could have come in better, I think these are a lot nicer than the scan represents.
I made a total of 8 of these, all with different fairies, and all look slightly different, since I hand sculpted the petals, and mixed the glazes and colors as I went along... so they all have their own little quirks. I made them a swap I hosted with my yahoo group, EccentricPastiche.
Hmmm... what else? How about some tea information? did I mention previously that I have concocted an herbal blend that helps keep my allergy symptoms under control? I need to get blending more of this! I made just a small amount of it to test it... and I like it so much!
Anyway... that's it for today... I have to go get busy!!!
Thanks for reading along...
Friday, June 23, 2006
OK... I'm back... and here to post a few more pictures of my altered book. The last two pictures I posted feature recipe card pull-outs... the first one has a library pocket, and inside is a card with tea time recipes on it. The second one has a tag with a recipe for chocolate tea bread. Here is a better view of the left side of the second set of pages... without the tag.
This is the last set of pages....
Here's the back cover....
Here is a scan of the cover with the ribbon tied... I made the tassels too!
Anyway... so that's it, my first real altered book. Even if it's not really, technically an altered book, at least, not an altered EXISTING book. I've found it's somehow easier to alter the blank books than it is to alter an existing, published, printed book. I'll get over this though. I will!!!
Thanks for reading along!
I have been working like crazy to get myself all caught up with my various art projects that I've got going! Here are some recent pieces I've worked on...
The right is a scan of the cover of an altered book I made as a gift for a friend. The theme I chose was "Victorian Tea Journal" since we both have a passion for tea. The altered book is an accordian book -- yeah, I'm still not quite over my hesitancy to alter a 'real' book and chose a blank book to alter this time. I'm getting better though, and I learned so much throughout the journey of creating this book.
I'm going to show the rest of the pictures of the pages gallery style....
I guess I'll need to make another post for the rest of the pictures.... I'll try to plot this so that this post will be on top, and the other pictures will be below.... But... no promises!!!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Yeah, it's early... I'm kind of a night owl. I have a couple of updates that I wanted to post here...
Back on the shelves:
*My sampler tins are back in stock. I have a limited quantity of them, but they're here! I'll be posting them to my website soon, keep an eye out for them. Click here to access my website.
Out of stock:
*Momoko Melon ~ I will probably have this restocked by the end of July at the latest. This is my favorite iced tea, so I don't think I could be without it too long!
*Storage Tins ~ These were supposed to be in the same crate with my sampler tins, but were not. I probably won't get these in now until the end of July. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Of interest (possibly):
*I've been working on a new berry blend. I've been working on this blend for some time now (by request of a favorite customer of mine who wanted a nice mixed berry blend), but you know me, I'm not very easy to please when it comes to the right flavors for my teas. I think this is a good thing. :)
*I'm also looking for the best darjeeling I can find. I've been sampling several different varieties from several different estates... I hope to have decided upon one soon.
OK... so that's all the updates for now. Thanks for catching up with me!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Well, it's been a couple of weeks since my last journal entry, so I figure it's definitely time to update it, and everyone who reads it! :) I was away from the 'tea cupboard' for about a week, but I'm back now and ready to serve you!
For everyone who has been keeping up with my happenings:
*As I posted previously, Red Velvet is in stock... and it is NEARLY sold out! So if this is one of those you've been meaning to try, I recommend you order some right away! It is June's tea of the month, so it's available at a special discounted price! This is one of my favorites for hot weather, because it's so refreshing served iced! Yum! To order or to learn more about Red Velvet Tisane, click here.
*My Earl Grey Creme is back in stock!
*My Sweet Caramel O'Mine is back in stock too! This one is one of my very best sellers -- so you better get it now while the gettin's good! I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to restock this one after my current supply is gone...
*Shangri-La is finally ready for shipment! For all you tea of the month club members, your May and June teas will be shipped out together (Shangri-La for May, and Red Velvet for June), and will be going out this week! This is a truly unique blend -- perfect for the warmer weather that's ahead! It's so delightful when served iced!
*Starry Night is also finally back in stock! This one is a very popular green rooibos blend that I've found to be nearly impossible to keep stocked! As soon as I get it back on my shelves, it's sells out! Hey... I'm not complaining!
*Chocolate Rose Romance is back in stock! Another popular blend!
*Liberteas Breakfast Blend is in stock, but I have a very limited quantity!! I won't be blending this one until next month at the soonest, so if you want some of this... you better get it now!
Here are a couple of other updates:
*Candy Shoppe will be ready for shipment around June 22nd.
*Honeybush with Vanilla will also be ready for shipment around the same time!
Well, that's all for my updates for now! Thanks for catching up with me!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Well, since I got my vision restored, I've been working like crazy trying to get caught up. Wanna see what I've been working on?
This is a chunky book page that I've been working on. It's my first real attempt working on 4x4s and also my first time working on a chunky book page. So it was an adventure, and a lot of fun.
I had to make 12 of these, so the background papers and the torsos are all different on them. The faces are all the same, except for small variations in color, because I used milk paints (reconstituted with water rather than milk) and watercolors so the color wasn't consistant. I liked it though, it make for an interesting look.
The wings are made of muslin that I dyed and then painted with metallic paint.
Rolodex cards! Been altering them like a crazy woman too! The theme this month was a self portrait with contact info on the back. So, I made a larger, 6x6 of my self portrait (as seen below) then I shrunk it in psp and printed it out for the rolodex cards.
The title of the piece is "painting a self portrait" -- the gnome is an inside joke (Hi Gail!) unfortunately, everyone else who is receiving the cards probably won't get the joke. Oh well. It was a lot of fun to do.
My next project is to make 2 mini-books for another group I'm in. I've already begun this, I've cut the covers out of some very thick book cover stock, and have bound the cover. Now, I'm working on the inside pages.
These have been really challenging because I'm stepping outside of my box, having never really bound a book before, but, I feel like my work with the zines has really prepared me for things like that, so it's been fun and I've not felt too lost or overwhelmed, except for maybe by the list of things I've gotta get done!
Anyway, that's all for now. Remember, Shangri-La will be ready to ship tomorrow! YUM!