Happy Thanksgiving dear family and friends!
May the light of gratitude continue to shine through the coming winter.
Three weeks filled with amazing food, great scenes and warm family. Wow! I was hoping to update my blog while there but computer access was minimal. Sorry for my long absence. I missed sharing with you all! I’ll post more over the coming weeks.
This jet lag is tough. There must be a better way to get over it. Today I woke at 4:30 am and needed supper. And then later today I lay down for a little nap and slept six hours. Oh dear! Any tips for getting past jet lag? The time difference was …. 13 hou…r…. zzzzzzz.
Oh, did my head hit the keyboard just now? Yep, I’m struggling with jet lag.
Here’s one photo, taken at Nijo Castle in Kyoto. It was a warm, rainy fall day and very peaceful.
I’m packing today and I’ll see my daughter and her husband soon! In Tokyo!
Despite all the trip preparation, I still fit in crafting time. My granddaughter had her heart set on a “Princess cone hat” so here is the hat I made for her to wear with her princess costume this year. We worked with the materials on hand… a poster board cone, pink acrylic paint, plastic gems and pearls, and an antique silk handkerchief. The ties are made of a multi-stretch fabric, I can’t remember the name right now. It’s the kind of fabric used for bathing suits and worked beautifully for a comfortable fit.
She loved the hat!
The timing was right… It was Rosanna’s 8th Annual Tablescape Contest, my daughter-in-law’s birthday, and I was finally healed enough to tackle an ambitious baking event. What better way to celebrate all three than with a Dessert Tea!
Here is the table before I started adding all the desserts. I made the tablecloth from an old bedspread with fringed edge. (You can see scraps from that old tattered bedspread in the photos of Tea by the Sea. Crafters don’t waste any scrap. Ha!)
I adore Rosanna’s style and was hoping to enter her 2013 tablescape contest last summer. But we didn’t get the remodel done in time and I wasn’t very mobile back then. The china cabinet was emptied so we could move it around and all the china was stacked on two tables in the living room. That’s when I got the idea for a blue and white and yellow theme for a table.
After I decided on the serving dishes, I wrote a list of tasks, desserts and a tentative baking schedule.
There were two main focal points for the table, Rosanna’s elegant Luxe Moderne mugs for the centerpiece, and her La Mode fashion plates.
I used four of Rosanna’s mugs on a vintage dessert pedestal to make the centerpiece. I was so excited about this design. It has a lot of potential and I plan on using four mugs as a centerpiece base for other tablescapes.
Sugar cookies were painted following Rosanna’s designs on her mugs. I wrote about the cookies here. It was challenging to paint the designs! I have new respect for Rosanna’s design skill.
The fashion plates are so pretty!
This tiered server used to be bright red, yellow and blue but I painted it all white with acrylic paint. Instead of using round plates on the server, I used two rectangle trays on the bottom. It looked great!
To continue the fashion theme, I cut 6″ to 8″ squares of fabric for petite tea napkins and fringed the edges. Each napkin was folded and draped over hangers to look like dresses. Most were folded diagonally. Each was tied at the “waist” with ribbon, a little flower tucked in the waist and a small piece of trim was draped over the top to look like a collar.
The tea service was on the back of the table, behind the desserts. I wrote how I made the Sugar Bonnets here.
On the tiered server, top to bottom: Spritz, squares of Fudge and Shortbread, Butter Cookie Dresses.
I experimented with a new baking pan to make the Layered Desserts. They were delicious and so pretty! I will post the recipe some time.
I only had four covered glass dishes but that was enough to place four Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel and Macadamia Frosting.
The birthday cake was a White Chocolate Praline Cake with homemade Strawberry Raspberry Jam topping.
All together, the table looked lovely and the event was a huge success!
I submitted my photos and won an honorable mention in the tablescape contest… happy face! =)
My daughter-in-law was thrilled with her birthday, the girls loved the dress napkins and all our guests enjoyed the delicious desserts.
And it was the perfect event to celebrate the return of my health and stamina after such a long recovery. A sweet day indeed!
It’s been two years since surgery. That’s very hard for me to understand. It seems like just yesterday I got the surgery and yet forever ago. The first year and a half was lost in a time warp. I know young people heal quickly from Scoliosis surgery but for older folks like me, it took a long time, especially since my back was broken and damaged even before the surgery. The past couple months have been very very good and I’m glad I got the surgery! Life is good and getting better all the time. =)
I don’t have any photos to share today but I will share here…
A Prayer of Thanksgiving.
Thank you, God, for this time in my life. It hasn’t been easy recovering the past couple years but you have been with me through it all. I remember the night a couple months after surgery and the pain was so great that I couldn’t sleep. I asked you if I could fall asleep in your palm and I fell asleep instantly. Many nights after that I would pray “Can I please fall asleep in your palm tonight?” and not ten seconds passed when I was asleep, even despite the piercing pain. You are amazing, God. Thank you for the comfort.
Thanks, God for helping me not panic. The times I lay there looking at the ceiling and couldn’t move without assistance, the times when I couldn’t move my arms, the times when I thought I would break all over again. But I didn’t and you calmed me down and let me know that it was ok to just rest. It was ok to not move. It was ok for weeks to go by and seasons to pass. Thank you for the calm that covered my spirit.
Thank you, God for letting my husband and sons be so amazing. You knew I didn’t have parents or sisters nearby. You knew it was just me and the boys. Thank you for all that encouragement and loving patience from my sons. They were amazing! Thank you for the two years of cooking they did. Thank you for their diligence in picking things up from the floor and getting things out of cupboards for me and moving stuff when I needed it. God, they gave up so much to take care of me. Thank you for their huge hearts, their abundant energy and their unstoppable encouragement. Thank you for their laughter. Bless them over and above what they gave away.
Thank you, God, for always thinking kind thoughts toward us. We mess things up so much. Thank you for giving us order when there is chaos and direction when we’re lost. Thank you for helping us when we make stupid mistakes. God, I made a really stupid mistake when I didn’t seek medical attention when my back broke. We humans truly are bleating sheep sometimes. Thank you for guiding us and steering us in the right direction.
God, I love living on this earth. Even with disability, I LOVE being here. There are beautiful people here. The heartbeat in this world is beautiful and worth sustaining. Please forgive us when we have a “broken back” and don’t seek the right solution, when we try to fix things on our own. Please help us go through the hard times to get to the better times, the times that you planned for us. Thank you for being incredibly patient with us all.
And God, thank you so much for letting me be able to walk.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
She’s six now. Last year she carried a ship to the beach. This year she carried a picnic basket.
The delicious treats filled the tray.
The blooming tea was still warm.
Coconut Cream glaze dripped down the blueberry pomegranate jam-filled cakes. Some were topped with toasted coconut and macadamias, others were topped with sugared rose and lilac petals. Vanilla pearls were sprinkled on top of shell-shaped spice Madeleines. Tiny oranges looked like blooming lotus blossoms and green and Concorde grapes filled the bowl. Crumbly Lavender Lemon Shortbread squares and tea cups were piled on the picnic basket top.
She poured a cup of tea and waited by the sea.
The sunset was soft and dreamy.
The breeze was warm and welcome.
The colors were slipping away and still she waited.
She didn’t stop hoping
And finally her mom sat down. Even when the sunset is gone, Tea by the Sea is best with mom.
[We had a wonderful time making the treats for this, setting up the table and photographing it all. Thank you, Gabriel Monroe, for being second shooter and lighting expert. Thank you, Uncle Butch and Aunt Dilly, for the use of your beautiful chair! We had a splendid time and it was perfect.
The lovely lace-embossed Filigree appetizer plates, bowl and infinity tray are by Rosanna, Inc.]