Hello and welcome to The Cat’s Pajamas Winter Blog Hop and the Winter Coffee Lovers Blog Hop. Yes, you read right, it’s the COFFEE Loving Cardmakers who are organizing this hop, but this time with extra attention to the Tea and Cocoa drinkers, too. I fit into all categories. : )
So, I’m starting off with a tea party card. It’s a winter card because, here in South Florida, I only feel like having tea parties in the winter as the rest of the year it’s so hot I usually only want cold drinks. I see we might dip into the 60s next week with mid 70’s for highs. Finally! Yay! It’s also a winter card because several of my orchids bloom in winter, like this lovely lady:
Have you ever been able to enjoy the experience of a high tea, low tea or afternoon tea at a tea house? They’re becoming more and more popular and are quite a delightful indulgence!
On a more budget friendly scale, I love hosting tea parties for my friends and their kids and there’s always some kind of shenanigans going on, like on this card. : )
Speaking of tea parties — Who doesn’t love to play dress up and eat fancy food? Here are some of the yummy goodies at tea parties I’ve had recently (as always, you should be able to click the picture to enlarge it):
I usually have lots of hats, boas, scarves and clunky necklaces on hand for everyone to dress up…
Sometimes there are extra little handmade gifts like the Kanzashi pins on the flowers and hats – everyone was allowed to choose one to take home.
I usually start with a blooming tea for show. So far, these have been much more fun to watch than to drink as I haven’t been wild about the flavor of the ones I’ve tried so far.
Once the show’s over, we quickly move on to the tiny sandwiches and quiches. Usually there are cucumber sandwiches, shrimp and cream cheese, and tiny quiches. Sometimes there are also chicken salad on croissants, bacon wrapped scallops and guacamole on Parmesan chips. I usually serve a fruit tisane with lunch.
The highlight of the party is always dessert! There are usually chocolate cups filled with cheesecake, strawberries dipped in Nutella, scones with lemon curd, and stroopwafles which can sit on top of your tea cup, melting the yummy honey or caramel inside. Sometimes there might be divinity, persimmon loaf, chocolates and other incredible goodies. A great dessert tea that most everyone loves is the chocolate macadamia nut tea. It’s fabulous by itself, but we recently tried it with mint spoons and it was incredible! I had trouble finding more mint spoons, so have been investigating making my own. More on that in a later post. (HERE.)
I usually print out a couple of pages of tea facts on filly stationery to put in the little gift packages for the guests.
Since I don’t know how to link a document for download yet, I’ll put them at the end of the post and you can copy them for your own party if you like. Have fun!
Now, getting back to the card…
I hope you have a joyful day!!
- The Cat’s Pajamas stamps:
- K-0707 Coffee, Tea or Meow
- S-5852 First
- W-5833 Patterned Petals (sentiment)
- Spellbinders Card Creator A2 Tranquil Moments
- Spellbinders Create-a-Flower: Orchid
- Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink
- Copic Markers: C1, 3, 5; E02, 23, 25, 33; R20; RV34; V04, 06, 12; Y17, 28; YG61, 63
- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen Gold
- Kuretake Zig Wink of Luna green
- Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents
- Craft Smith Flutterbloom paper pad
- WorldWin Purple Swirls Floral Vellum
- Queen & Co. Pearls
- DCWV card
- Misc. cardstock, adhesive
I’m playing along in the following hops and challenges:
- Coffee Lovers 2015 Winter Blog Hop: http://wp.me/p5K3PQ-4w
- The Cat’s Pajamas Winter Blog Hop: http://thecatspajamasrs.com/TCP/blog-2/
- And, since they’re having a jolly good time, this fits this week’s Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge: http://www.simonsaysstampblog.com/mondaychallenge/?p=3301
I hope you’ve had fun partying with me. I have more fun cards (and shorter posts!) coming up on the hop, but for now, I’m off to see the other entries and thank our generous sponsors. Enjoy the hop!
p.s. Any ads you may see are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed by me.
Bonus: Fun tea facts and uses
Please note: All of the information below was gathered from various sources and is provided for informational purposes only. None of it is intended for medicinal purposes nor is it guaranteed by dannscraftingwhims.
With a little bit of know how you can brew a superb cup of tea.
Bring fresh cold water to a full boil for Black teas, Herbals, Tisanes and some Oolongs. Use water that is just below boiling for Whites, Greens and Darjeelings. Using a teaspoon, (which is the perfect tool for measuring tea), measure one level teaspoon of loose tea for each cup. Pour the prepared water over the tea. Steep according to the brewing instructions below, or to your own personal taste. Enjoy!
Water Temp / Steep Time
- White tea 180F (pre-boil) 3-5 minutes
- Green Tea 180F (pre-boil) 1-2 minutes
- Oolong Tea 180-212F 2-5 minutes
- Black Tea 212F 3-5 minutes
- Herbals& Tisanes 212F 5-7 minutes
- Rooibos 212F 5-10 minutes
** Most Green and White teas taste better after steeping for only 1 to 2 minutes and can usually be infused multiple times. Over-steeping can cause the tea to taste bitter.
** Darjeelings, with their delicate, fruity aroma can quickly become bitter and should usually not be infused for more than 3 minutes. Fifteen seconds more or less can make a huge difference in taste. Also, keep water just under a boil.
**When preparing Oolongs “washing” the leaves is common in Asian cultures–the thought is that the first washing preps the leaves for the first brewing. Hot water is very quickly swirled over the leaves and then poured off before adding more water to steep the tea.
Preparing a good cup of loose-leaved tea is neither difficult nor time consuming. The human palate is much more sensitive to moderately warm beverages than to very hot ones. Therefore, please have the patience to let the tea cool until you can comfortably touch the cup.
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Helpful uses for tea and tea bags
1. Clean carpets: Clean up musty, dirty carpets by sprinkling dry, used green tea leaves on the carpet. Let them work their magic for about 10 minutes and then vacuum them up. Delicate Persian and Oriental rugs can also benefit from a sprinkling of tea leaves. In this case, sprinkle nearly dry, used whole tea leaves on the rugs, and gently sweep them away.
2. Shine wood floors: The tannins in black tea can help shine and color hardwood flooring. Follow your regular floor cleaning routine by carefully rubbing some brewed tea into the floor (don’t use too much water on hardwood flooring) and letting it air dry.
3. Polish furniture: Brewed tea also can help clean and shine wood furniture. The tannins in tea will re-color light spots and scratches in wood surfaces. Dip a soft cloth in a small amount of strongly-brewed tea, and use it to wipe down scratched tables, chairs, and more. Woodworker Jim McNamara suggested using “regular orange pekoe (Lipton’s) or other dark tea” in Woodworker’s Gazette.
4. Clean mirrors and windows: Tea can remove stubborn, greasy fingerprints from glass, and make it sparkle. Simply rub a damp teabag on the glass or fill a spray bottle with brewed tea.
5. Clean toilet stains: Rumor has it that used tea leaves can magically remove stubborn stains in the bottom of the toilet bowl. Just leave them in the toilet for several hours, then flush the toilet and brush the bowl.
6. Eliminate odors: The herbs and flowers in used herbal tea bags may have run out of flavor, but they often still have a good scent. Dry out herbal tea bags and add to potpourri or scented sachets. Likewise, you can freshen up the car without a chemical-laden commercial air freshener. Put lavender tea or other soothing herbal tea in a bag under the seat to fight odors. Rinse your hands with tea after eating or preparing fish (or other stinky foods) to eliminate odors. Instead of baking soda (or maybe in addition), try used tea bags in the fridge to absorb odors. Likewise, used tea leaves can help deodorize litter boxes when mixed into the litter. Dry, green tea leaves are recommended.
7. Soothe sunburn: Tea can soothe sunburns and other minor burns. Dr. Oz suggests sponging sunburned skin with “cooled chamomile tea” for its anti-inflammatory effect. Don’t try this if skin is broken. For full-body sunburn, soak in a tea bath.
8. Soothe tired eyes: Warm, wet tea bags can reduce puffiness and soothe pain around tired eyes — and tea bags on your eyes look a little less ridiculous than cucumber slices. You can also use warm, wet teabags as a compress to soothe the pain of a sty.
9. Dental use: After a tooth extraction or when an older child loses a tooth, try putting a cold, wet tea bag in the mouth where the tooth was lost and bite down on it. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “The tannic acid in tea helps healing blood clots to form (blood clots function similarly to a scab on an open wound). It can reduce bleeding and soothe pain.” Similarly, toothaches and other mouth pain can be soothed with a rinse of antiseptic peppermint tea mixed with a little salt
10. Shine dry hair: Brewed tea makes a good conditioner for dry hair. Rinse with (unsweetened) tea and leave to dry for a while and then rinse again with water.