Saturday Morning Tea

I’ve become fascinated with roofs lately. Yes, you heard me correctly – roofs. In particular, the big chunks of ice and icicles hanging from their edges.

This has been such a rough winter in New England with a foot of snow arriving every week it seems and so many people are dealing with collapsed roofs and leakages from ice dams. On the news, they recommend shoveling the snow off your roof. However, when you live in a 3-story house such as I do, that task seems monumental. I’ve been lucky and have had only a minimum amount of leaking from one of my windows.

Ok, on to my tea…

Introducing Moonlight white tea. For me, the name conjures up images of a huge, full moon illuminating a tropical sea, a path of glitter from shore to horizon. Hey, I think that all of this snow is inspiring daydreams of a warm place. A much warmer place…

The leaf of this white tea from China is enormous and beautifully variegated, ranging in color from dark olive to silvery green.

I steeped the leaves in 180 degree F water for 3 minutes which produced a lovely pale yellow liquor.

The aroma is soft and floral, the floral notes carrying on into the flavor. Notes of honey and apricot whisper in the delicate taste. This would be a wonderful treat for white tea lovers to try.

Speaking of a treat, I treated myself to a pair of new teamugs this week. Made by Bodum, they’re double-walled, insulated borosilicate glass mugs.

I was amazed at how light they are! I just love anything glass and now I can see my tea while I’m drinking it.

Like my glass teapot, I’ll treat my new mugs with extra TLC and handwash them. So far, I think they’re great. I see from the brochure that came with my mugs that there’s a whole line of these glasses in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Hmmm, perhaps a pair of tall glasses this summer for iced tea…

Does anyone have any experience with these glasses?

Rain is in our forecast for later today so it’s a good day for staying inside and playing in my studio. Now that I’ve finished my Towers and Turrets necklace (see last post), I’m ready to start on a brand new project!

“Ah!  There’s nothing like staying home for real comfort.”

~Jane Austen

My Towers and Turrets pendant necklace

Last August I signed up for an online class called “Of Towers and Turrets”, a wonderful melding of mixed media collage with metalwork and resin, taught by Sharon Tomlinson and Deryn Mentock. I wrote about the first step here, creating my collage.

Once my collage was created, I started work on my metal Towers pendant, which taught me about cutting metal shapes, soldering filigree and bezel wire as well as riveting, all new techniques that I was quite excited to add to my jewelry making repertoire.

Once the pendant was crafted, I chose a part of my collage to display. As this was the first face I’ve ever painted, the choice was easy! Once she was cut out and gently placed in my bezel, I carefully covered her with Ice resin, a product I’ve never used before and absolutely love now. It’s tricky mixing it up, adding just the right amount to the bezel and then getting rid of all of the tiny bubbles but the results are so worth it. A desk lamp placed right over my pendant got rid of all of the bubbles very nicely. The heat of the light bulb draws up the bubbles so they can pop.

Once the pendant was complete, I decided to create a necklace using deep purples, reds and blues to bring out the colors in my pendant image. My goal was to create a richly colored necklace full of facets and sparkle.

A queenly necklace.

I chose amethyst, iolite, garnet, pearl, crystal, moonstone and 2 raku beads. I wire wrapped each bead, adding them on one at a time. Creating a necklace in this fashion is very tedious and time consuming but gave me just the look I wanted.

The S-clasp was crafted from a thicker wire and then wrapped with a thinner wire coil and an iolite bead.

It took me 5 months to complete this process but it was an amazing journey that taught me so much about myself.

“The eyes of my eyes are opened.” ~e.e. cummings