Saturday Morning Tea

I just love my little glass teapot.

This morning dawned clear and bright so I ventured out onto our backyard deck with my teapot and my camera. The light is fabulous out there before the sun rises over the trees and the deck becomes bathed in full sun.

My teapot holds a China black tea called Bohea Classic. You can see why Chinese black teas are also called red teas. The liquor is a gorgeous warm reddish brown.

The name Bohea, pronounced bu-i or boo-hee, comes from the name of the hills in Fujian province in China where this tea originated and is grown. I have read that Bohea black tea was created because the Chinese needed a way to preserve the green leaf on its voyage from Canton to London. Thus, they oxidized and dried the leaf more than they had been doing and Bohea black tea was born. It is listed in newspapers and shipping records of the American colonies from the 1700s. You can read more about that here. It was also part of the shipment tossed into Boston Harbor during the famous Boston Tea Party. So, this tea has quite the history.

The leaf is very dark and even colored and has a faint smoky aroma. The liquor has an earthy fragrance and silky smooth full mouth feel with smoky nuances. This would be a good tea for the addition of milk and sweetener as it is very rich and strong. I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes in boiling water but you could steep them longer. I have never experienced a China black tea turning bitter from oversteeping. Another bonus if you don’t use a timer and get lost in a project while you’re making tea!

The color of the liquor matches the clay in my tea bowl. Time to go sit on the deck and enjoy another cup…

A good neighbor, even in this,

Is fatal sometimes, cuts your morning up

To mince-meat of the very smallest talk,

Then helps to sugar her Bohea at night

With your reputation.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Aurora Leigh”, Book 4

The Birth of a Blog

Today a kindred art spirit and friend of mine, Dora, has written her very first post on her brand new blog, Dora’s Explorations. Dora is a polymer clay artist extraordinaire and a fellow guild member in the Rhode Island Polymer Clay Guild. Her passion is canework and the photo above illustrates her fabulous talent. She is also our demo coordinator and always brings the most delicious coffee and on special occasion her decadent to-die-for Palm Beach brownies. If you get a chance, please do pay her a visit.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Dora!

I’ve been Tagged

It’s wonderful when friends come for a visit. In that spirit, I’ve been tagged by Vivage for an internet meme. It’s a fun game where someone tags you to, in this case, answer some questions about yourself. It gives your friends, new and old, the opportunity to learn some things about you.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago my children were 17, 14 and 10 so, depending upon the time of year, I was very much involved in their ice hockey, field hockey, baseball, band practice and various other activities. I was also working part-time at the tea company and creating jewelry and selling it at arts and crafts shows in my area.

2. 5 things on today’s to-do list:

*Work in my studio (yay!)
*Work on my April BJP page.
*Help my son take care of some things before he leaves for Air Force basic training next week.
*Take Jack (our dog) for a walk.
*Do some more unpacking (ugh).

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Haagen daz vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh raspberries (Yum!)
Any kind of fruit
Anything chocolate

4. Things I’d do if I were a billionnaire!

Wow, I’m such a frugal person who has always lived on a limited budget so this is a hard one to contemplate. Anyway, here goes.

Quit my job.

Travel all over the world, first to Hawaii, and bring my family and friends, too.

Pay off all the debt that my family owes like mortgages and student and car loans.

Build a beach house with a fabulous studio with lots of windows overlooking the ocean and have workshops and retreats there.

Donate a lot of money to help all types of living beings.

Play in my studio a lot more

5. Places I have lived:

New Jersey
Ohio
Illinois
Massachusetts
Kansas

6. Peeps I want to know more about

Anyone who would like to play along!

March Beaded Journal Page

Well, after 3 months, my March page is finally finished. I’ve gone through a lot of changes since my original idea and beading start, the biggest change being a physical move to a new home.

I’ve named this page “Looking Out from my Healing Place”. The tree represents a journey of healing that I took after my divorce 4 years ago. There were a lot of twists and turns in this journey but I was always reaching for the sky and growing. My tree has grown in strength and wisdom and now it is time to look out upon the world with awakened eyes and find out where this person that I have become will fit. I don’t have one face because there are 3 aspects of me, who I was, who I am now and who I will be. My past, my present and my future self. Which face is which? The tree roots are not yet firmly in the ground but I have hope that they will find their place, too.

Many thanks to Robin for her inspiration with this twisted tree branch stitch. The timing of receiving her new book, “Heart to Hands Bead Embroidery” was perfect for what I needed to express with this piece. I wrote about that here.

I have just begun my April page. The colors are much more vibrant than my March piece. Right now the title that has come to me is “Home is Where my Heart Grows”. Stay tuned for photos of this work in progress. I started this piece watching “Ethics and the World Crisis – a Dialogue with the Dalai Lama”. What an amazing human being he is.

Saturday Morning Tea

This has been a weird week full of stress at work. Have you ever had one of those weeks where it seems like the universe is pointing you in a brand new direction but it is happening with more of a wack over the head than a gentle nudge? So, this morning it is time to slow way down, sip some gentle light tea and contemplate the week. My choice for a gentle tea is a very unique green from Korea called Jung Jak, meaning “medium sparrow tongue” for the shape of the leaf. This is the first time I’ve ever tried tea from Korea and it is a delightful experience. The leaves were plucked from young spring buds in April and processed entirely by hand.

Like the Arya White Pearl from last week, the leaf is exquisite with full leaf sets. This tea is so light that the aroma is a whisper and the taste is very delicate and subtle. The liquor is smooth and buttery as it brushes against my tongue with light vegetal notes. I steeped the leaves at 160 degrees F for 3 minutes.

One of the high notes of the week was when a colleague/friend at work gave me this sweet little glass teapot complete with glass infuser. It is perfect for full leafed teas like this one. Thanks Rebecca!

With temps soaring into the 90s this weekend, I am headed out to the backyard deck to sit in the sun and journal about the week.