Saturday, 10 September 2011

A Spring Festival

Oh hello..I'm so glad that you have're just in time for tea.
Did you manage to find a pretty dress?
No..what about one of these then?

Aren't they lovely! via tumblr
 Do come in & take a seat. I have so much to tell you about. I am dying to share these thoughts with you from my lovely book "If Tea Cups Could Talk.. sharing a cup of kindness. An invitation to tea." by Emily Barnes.
Even the chapter titles tell you all you really need to know to be inspired & enriched by this wonderful book.
1) Fill me with serenity~ Islands of calm in an ocean of chaos.
2) Fill me with friendship~ The art of being with one another.
3) Fill me with tradition~ A short history of tea & sympathy.
4) Fill me with memories~ The legacy of the tea cup.
5) Fill me with courage & comfort~ The vulnerable lessons of porcelain.
6) Fill me with beauty~ Creating & experiencing loveliness.
7) Fill me with celebration~ A perfect excuse for a party.
Can you believe that fly!!?
Emily says in her chapter
Fill me with beauty....
"The spirit of the tea party is, at least in part, the spirit of beauty.
 And I am fully convinced that we humans need beauty in order to live rich & fulfilling lives.
People wither when their lives are deprived of beauty."
Isn't that the most amazing statement!! If only someone had told me that when I was a girl.. so much more about my life would have made sense a long time ago.
"People grow & flourish when they are able to respond to the beauty around them & create their own forms of beauty. And the ritual of teatime allows room for both receiving & giving loveliness. The very act of preparing for tea is an act of creating beauty."
And I don't think she means boiling the jug, finding a teabag in the cupboard & plopping it in a mug!
"There is an art to placing tea cakes just so on a platter, adding the perfect touch of a garnish, arranging fresh flowers in a sparkling crystal vase & polishing silver until it gleams.
Our 30th Wedding anniversary Tea Party last December
...I also find that being involved in making things beautiful increases my sensitivity to the lovely things around me. Or more likely, it is the other way round. How can I possibly create a thing of beauty if I have not first experienced the beautiful? 
....Beauty is all around us, of course. Our world with all it's sordid problems, still brims with breathtaking loveliness. And one of the benefits of the teatime ritual is that of slowing us down enough to notice what is beautiful around us."
Would you like to choose a cup?

Which tea pot shall we use today?
The camelia is Spring Festival : )
 So many pretty combinations we could choose.

I thought you might like to help me go through my doilies & tray they are in my hat box.

We could pop some serviettes in to a pretty jug perhaps.
Flowers..they could be a single bud,
 a small posy
or something more exuberant..all will bring grace & sweetness to our tea party.
The most profound sentence in the whole book for me:
"Being surrounded by beauty opens little windows that allow our souls to breathe"
Emily goes on to tell the most beautiful story to complete this chapter, she says "My heart still sings when I remember the beauty of that perfect summer's day" Emily had planned a tea party so that her friend Toni could meet her family & friends. She goes on to describe the day "The garden area near our pond was the chosen spot for our tea that day. I felt that little thrill of anticipation as I set out small tables & covered them with white cloths. I carried out my silver tea set, my delicate china plates, & of course my by dish the food table was filled- a lovely carrot cake, dainty cucumber sandwiches, tempting chocolate mints & lemon squares, dishes of clotted cream & homemade jam from Great-Grandma Gertie's kitchen. The intoxicating fragrance of raspberry tea floated over it all.
Four generations of woman in our family gathered that day to celebrate Toni's visit. My mother-in-law Gertie Barnes came. So did my daughter Jenny & my "daughter-in-love" Maria & of course my granddaughter Christine. Each brought her dearest friend, so there was 9 of us who sat down to tea in our flowing dresses & flower-trimmed bonnets. A lovely soft breeze swept the skirts of our dresses: I felt almost like Scarlett O'Hara serving tea on the grounds.
That day gave us all a gift...the gift of beauty.
....You see the most beautiful part of any tea party are the faces of friends...the sounds of their voices...the touch of their hands...& the fragrance of friendship mingling with the lovely aroma of the tea.
I really do believe:
The beauty I see
over tea
is thee." 
Hat anyone?
I suspect it could be tea party season..hope to see you again soon.



  1. Dear Catherine,

    Call me presumptuous but we are indeed kindred spirits. Your post is bursting with beauty and I have believed for many years now that my role in life is to share beauty with others. The interesting thing about beauty, however, is that it is subjective and that is when things become interesting for surely if anyone is passionate enough they can communicate their form of beauty to you. When I say we are kindred spirits it is simply because your beauty is my beauty. Does that make sense?

    Thank you.


  2. I love that wonderfully well laden and pretty tea table - I actually think that tea party food is my favourite really - and I'd rather have a cup of tea than a glass of wine!

    Pomona x

  3. I've just recommended your beautiful blog to a friend. Not sure if she has 'discovered' you yet, but if not I bet she will love what she finds.

    A beautiful post Catherine and I love the music as well. I don't normally like music on blogs, but you have such wonderful taste :-)

  4. I'm a high tea lover too. Your wedding anniversary table looks stunning. I especially love the wooden tiered cake plate x

  5. What a lovely post with devine pictures.
    I am currently on the look out for my perfect tea pot so I can start making a bit of a fuss over the tea experience.

    Have a lovely day.


  6. You have such a pretty collection of feminine tea things, Katie!

  7. i had a wonderful time at yr tea party Catherine - thank you so much for inviting me!!!

    my faveourite piece from the book was:
    "the most beautiful part of any tea party are the faces of dear friends.......


  8. A big sigh...a sigh of WOW that was a beautiful post. I love this quote, "Being surrounded by beauty opens little windows that allow our souls to breathe".
    Anne xx


So lovely of you to leave a comment. Thank you!! ♥

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