Saturday Morning Tea

This past week has been sooooo cold here in New England and it’s not even officially winter yet. Yesterday morning brought single digits temps to our area. Brrr… 10 more days til Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year. I’ve often thought about how our early ancestors must have felt, experiencing the growing darkness and not knowing that it would eventually recede and the lighter days would come back again. No wonder there was much celebration at this time of year, honoring the Return of the Sun.

Ok, on to tea. My morning tea is an Oolong from China, appropriately called Eastern Beauty with its gorgeous full leaf and amazing honeyed aroma.

Back in August, I dedicated the whole month to Oolong, or Wulong, teas. You can start reading about this wonderful type of tea here.

I steeped the tea leaves for 4 minutes in 180 degree F water.

The intense honey aroma greeted me as I poured my first cup. Mmmm….

I love how the color of the liquor reflects the distinct aroma of this tea.

So warm and inviting.

The flavor is silky smooth with notes of honey and flowers and a hint of chestnut in the finish. At this gift buying time of year, a sample of this tea would make an exquisite gift for the Oolong lover on your list. I know that it’s going in a few of my stockings.

You’ve probably noticed the amazing art paper I’ve used as a background today. My dear friend, Amy, found it during her recent trip to Italy. Over dinner the other night, she told us how when they discovered the shop that her husband knew she would be in there for awhile. I’m honored with her beautiful gift. Thanks Amy!

I know that I’ve been sorely neglecting the “art” part of my blog these past months. During this busy time of year, it’s been so challenging to get any kind of time in my studio. What I have been up to though is gift making with my pointy sticks to bring warmth to heads, necks and hearts. My goal in the new year is to get back to my art and sharing it with all of you.

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday Morning Tea

In choosing this morning’s tea, I realized that in my nearly 3 years of reviewing teas here on my blog that I’ve never chosen one from the Nilgiri district in India. This tea growing district is located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. While its leaf is very dark, in fact, I’ve seen some first flush Darjeelings with more green leaf than this tea, it is a green tea from the Korakundah estate.

Nilgiri, meaning Blue Mountain, has many tea plantations, most of them owned by small growers. This particular plantation, or estate, is Fair Trade certified, meaning that a portion of the tea sales go directly to the workers, helping them invest in community development, improved healthcare and education, to name a few. You can read more about Fair Trade certification and practices here.

As with most green teas, I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water.

The golden amber liquor has a pronounced fruity aroma. Quite full-bodied for a green tea, I found the pungent flavor very tasty with hints of asparagus and smoky notes that linger in my mouth.

Now that my teapot is empty, it’s time to don my overalls and head out into the garden for some Saturday gardening time. Last night I stopped at the garden center right up the street from work and got a gorgeous hydrangea bush adorned with big balls of periwinkle flowers. It reminds me so much of my beloved getaway spot, Nantucket Island, where hydrangeas bloom abundantly throughout the summer. Now in my garden, I’ll have my own little reminder of wonderful time spent there every year with my parents.

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

“So the rising sun is reason enough for thankfulness, in that another day has come.¬† Let us see the beauty in ourselves and one another.”

~Dhyani Ywahoo

Creating a Flickr Gallery for Inspiration

I recently read a post by Libby Mills on making a flickr gallery for inspiration. What a cool idea, thanks Libby!

I made some of my own galleries to inspire and delight.

Tea Bowls

Antelope Canyon

Fractal Art

That was so much fun! What inspires you?

“The glow of inspiration warms us; it is a holy rapture.” ~Ovid

Saturday Morning Tea on Sunday

I am craving more comfort this morning, this time in the form of chocolate. Chocolate Earl Grey tea, that is. I know, not my usual choice in a cuppa but I am always intrigued to try new types of tea. To close your mind and your palate in saying that you wouldn’t enjoy something before you try it is not the way that I’d like to approach life.

Not only does this black tea Earl Grey contain chocolate pieces and cacao beans, it also has lemongrass, lemon peel, corn flowers, jasmine flowers and sunflower blossoms in the blend.

A very colorful mix indeed as you can see in my photo above!

I steeped the tea for 4 minutes in boiling point (212 degree F) water.

A chocolate aroma wafted from my teapot along with tangy notes of bergamot and lemon. Comforting and refreshing…

This tea was a delight to photograph with all of the little colorful bits mingling in with the tea leaves.

It’s a crystal clear day here on Ramble Road. My jewelry show yesterday was a wonderful success in that it gave me the opportunity to share my work with many visitors to my booth. It’s always gratifying to receive positive feedback and appreciation for one’s artwork.

While I find many Earl Greys to be too “perfumy” for my taste, the addition of chocolate and lemon gave it such an interesting combination of flavors – the light tang of the lemon along with the deep, rich flavor of the chocolate.

What a perfect gift for the chocolate lovers on your list!

Today will be spent moving art supplies over to my new place and setting up my studio space. Have a lovely Sunday, my dear tea friends.

There is much beauty in a simple cup of tea…

Taos Journey – Last Day

NM09Taos41

The last day. So final.

This is the day that you find yourself trying to fit in everything that you wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to on all of the other days. So, it turned into a “bits” day – a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

NM09Taos23

A little bit of knitting.

NM09Taos5

A little bit of walking around the grounds, poking in and out of all of the wonderful nooks and crannies of Mabel’s house.

NM09Taos7

Here’s the door to that fabulous doorway.

NM09Taos16

A little bit more shopping. There’s Dad relaxing while we buy more yarn at Weaving Southwest.

NM09Taos46

A nice scenic drive for a little bit of picture taking.

NM09Taos4

Relaxing in the living room.

NM09Taos6

And the sitting room.

NM09Taos44

I sure will miss this wild, beautiful land.

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted any photos of my shrug yet. Weeeelllll…it is almost done with just the sleeve seams to be sewn and the little yarn ends to be woven.

Stay tuned for the “ta-da” moment of my Taos Shrug!

It is not a country of light on things.

It is a country of things in light.

~Georgia O’Keeffe (on New Mexico)