I’m a member of the Rhode Island polymer clay guild and last Saturday was our monthly meeting. It is a day of sharing ideas and delicious food, inspiring and being inspired, laughing and supporting and, most importantly, being part of a tribe of very creative and talented artists. I always come away from each meeting feeling rejuvenated, like my artist spirit has received a wonderful massage.
Dora demoed her version of a feather cane (shown above), cutting a Skinner blend up and stacking the pieces in a unique and interesting way to make the cane. I made a blend of blue and orange with white in between the colors so as not to end up with a muddy blend. I’m looking forward to creating something with it after the holiday season!
If you live in the Rhode Island area and are interested in joining us for a meeting, please do let me know.
I’ve always loved the image of early spring flowers peeping up through the last remnants of winter snow. Just experiencing our first significant snowfall of the season, we seem very far away from that magical spring moment. To bring us all a little closer, especially with another storm on its way, I have chosen another hand-tied display tea called Golden Flowers in Full Bloom for my Saturday morning tea. What a glorious name.
The green leaves are carefully formed into a mushroom cap shape around a beautiful golden flower. I carefully poured 180 degree F water over the bud and then sat back to watch the birth of the flower inside.
I left the tea leaves and flower in my bowl and gently touched the rim to my lips to experience my first sip. It was mellow and smooth with light floral/nutty notes. Very soothing. With each sip, I felt words rising up from inside of me, just as the flower came forth in the water.
A golden flower
births itself in my tea bowl
I sip its beauty
Most Darjeeling lovers are familiar with Darjeeling tea as a black tea. However, some tea gardens produce at least one green tea from the harvest season. Pictured above, the dried leaves of Arya estate Emerald green tea are very dark green in color and long and twisted in shape.
Located high in the Himalayan mountains of northeastern India, record has it that the Arya tea estate was started by a team of Buddhist monks who carefully developed their tea plants from Chinese seeds. They practiced Aruyvedic medicine and their original house may still be found on the grounds of the estate. All teas from this estate are organically produced.
I steeped the leaves in 160 degree F water for 3 minutes and they opened up to reveal a large olive green leaf. The pale liquor has a fresh, delicately vegetal aroma and notes of pear and fresh fruit. The lingering finish is quite smooth. A delightful cup!
As the early morning sun delicately lights everything up outside my window, I am preparing for another Saturday adventure. This week I’m going to my polymer clay guild meeting in Rhode Island. It’s an hour and a half drive so I’m up early to gather my art supplies together. I am looking forward to our demos today – a leaf cane and vintage buttons!
Tomorrow morning I will brew up a cup of a green Darjeeling called Emerald, a rare gem indeed because most of our Darjeelings are black teas.
I am taking a day of silence today. A day with no ringing phones and no talking. This is the time of year at my regular day job when the phones are ringing non-stop and everyone in customer service is continually on the phone, taking orders and answering questions, talking about tea. Multiple voices speaking at the same time in the same room. I am beginning to feel overwhelmed by all of this exterior stimulation so it is time for some balance. That balance will come in the quiet solitude I am creating for myself today.
Taking time to contemplate the pattern in a few tea leaves on a beautiful fan shaped porcelain dish, I am able to just “Be” and find my center once again. I see a mountain scene with a couple of streams or they could be paths. The paths could be coming down from the mountains or they could lead you up into the mountains. The streams are bringing life nourishing waters to the gardens and trees in the valley. Anything is possible in the realms of your imagination. What do you see?