Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Garden Tea Party Extravaganza!

There has been a lot going on with this Crafty Crusader® lately, keeping me detoured from my blog, so I sincerely apologize for neglecting you! I am back with a bang, so grab a cup of tea and a cookie and have a good read...

Recovery from my recent Garden Tea Party Reunion Luncheon for 60+ dear friends, has finally been achieved and I am relishing in the memories! Anyone who knows me has a pretty good idea that my events are out of this world, both in the edible particulars and the creative details, and this party was no exception! It was a labor of love, in the works for 6 months, from the moment the idea crept into the cockles of my mind. 

Those Tippy Tea Cups...they did it to me!

"Tippy Tea Cups" by Deanne Crim - Crafty Crusader®

I'm getting ahead of myself, but that's where the seed was planted. 
I should explain... 

My online friendship with a wonderful lady I met on Facebook (many years ago), led to a gifting of several antique tea cups when she discovered my penchant for them, discussing my inheritance of a portion of my Granny Annie's extensive tea cup collection. Wendy had a few tea cups from her own grandmother that she didn't use and felt guilty about, so when she heard I wanted to do some crafting with tea cups, she surprised me with a box in the mail! She felt that having them immortalized would be a good thing to honor her grandmother. What a great friend, eh?!! 

Wendy's grandmother's tea cups were soon followed onto my porch by one of Wendy's friends who had seen her Facebook post to me regarding my thank you message for said tea cups, got my address and surprised me with four more treasures from her own family cupboard. How lucky am I?!! They had been sitting in my craft room with Wendy's for over a year, daring me into some kind of tangible action!

Ideas swirled in my mind for crafting with tea cups. I was fairly certain I didn't have the heart to take perfectly good tea cups and smash them into bits for mosaics, as I initially intended. A few were broken from shipping but I was able to reconstruct them with E6000® adhesive, and not a crack was visible. Phew!

It was my desire to create something whimsical and worthy of the heirloom treasures they are. Then I remembered the intriguing floral decorations I had seen a few years prior, with teapots and tea cups, flower cans and if they were 'pouring' out the contents into a saucer or receptacle of some kind, with magical gravity-defying splendor! 

My creative intention came with specific thoughts on how to assemble my own version, less heavy handed then the ones I had seen - something I could assemble with a more delicate touch that created a better sense of motion and 'tumbling out' of the contents. But what actual reason did I have to make these wonderful centerpieces? that is where my extravagant tea party plans began! 

Garden Tea Party Extravaganza - Part 1:

When it comes to entertaining, FOOD IS KING! At least it is to me. It has to be pretty, somewhat simple to prepare for a large group of people, hopefully made easily at the last minute, or at best, frozen ahead of time. Most of all it must be DELICIOUS!! 

I have a thing for small bites. I could actually live on hors d'oeuvres, and if I'm being totally honest, I would prefer to! So this kind of a party is right up my alley. 

The extensive menu of savory delectables and sweet treats included: Candied Bacon Skewers (non-traditional tea party fare but DEVOURED by guests!), Fruited Curry Chicken in Endive Cups (overheard to be "The best thing I've ever eaten" by an oohing guest), Cucumber rounds with Herb 'Cheez' Smoked Salmon and Fresh Dill Garnish, Strawberry Delight Bites, Classic Egg Salad Bites w/ Chives, Traditional Tuna Salad Bites, Strawberry Candied Pecan Baby Greens Salad w/ Strawberry Vinaigrette, Krab Melange Salad, Crazy Rice Salad, Greek Salad, Strawberry Delight Bites, Apple Walnut Cinnamon Salad (Charoset), Vanilla Bean Scones, Homemade Rose Petal Jelly, Chocolate Dipped Strawberries, Lemon Cake 'Butterflies' with Homemade Clotted Cream and Lemon Curd, Pecan Tartlets, Springerle Hand-painted Cookies, and favor bags with 'Sweet & Garlicky Party Mix' (otherwise dubbed 'Party CRACK' by my close friends who cannot get enough of the addictive snack!)

My dear childhood friend, Marcelle and me, getting the buffet ready for the tea party reveal!

Do we look as exhausted as we felt? I was up until 3am the night before with last minute food preparation, and Marcelle had to get up at 4am to drive home to get her makeup case which she had forgotten!! Its a miracle we were upright for the party, but the energy and buzz of guests kept us going strong...don't ask about the next 2 days of being a useless wet noodle on the couch! 

The tempting buffet table of scrumptious food...
Special Thanks to my Mom and her EXTRAORDINARY collection of
Sterling Silver - on display in her SPECTACULAR Dining room! 

Fruited Curry Chicken in Endive Leaves

Strawberry Delights w/ Fresh Basil - Strawberry Jam & Cream 'Cheez' (vegan)

Traditional Egg Salad with Chives on soft (gf) bread diamond shapes.

Classic Tuna Salad on soft bread fluted squares.

Cucumber rounds with Herb 'Cheez' (vegan) & Smoked Salmon with Fresh Dill

Chocolate Hand-Dipped Strawberries

Springerle Molded Cookies - drying for 24 hours - made with Vintage Replica Cookie Presses.

Hand-painting Glaze Details on Springerle Cookies.

Springerle Molded Cookies - Lemon Cake Butterflies w/ Lemon Curd (background)

Baby Bundt Chocolate Bites w/ Raspberries and Pecan Tartlets.

 Sweet & Garlicky Party Mix

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

It was quite the affair, to say the least! Friends are still talking about it and sharing their photos with me. They felt the LOVE that I infused into the party...the entire reason for doing it was to show APPRECIATION for a lifetime of friends whom GOD has chosen to be the golden threads in the tapestry of my life!

It is my hope that this inspires you to do it a small tea party for two of your friends with a few special nibbles, or a giant charity event with your church family...start thinking outside the box! Being a facilitator of JOY and GOOD TIMES is truly a GIFT to the lives of others...don't underestimate how much you can lift another person's spirit just by including them in something fun, be it big or small...its always the thought that makes the biggest include others is a HUGE BLESSING!!

If you are interested in getting any of my tea party recipes
please leave your comments and requests below! :) 

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts...
Here is a sneak peek: 

(Learn how I made these EXTRAORDINARY Centerpieces)
"Tippy Tea Cup" Centerpiece by Deanne Crim - Crafty Crusader®

Table Setting Decorations, Favor Giftings, Napkin Ring 'Bling'

Floral & Bling Photo Frame - for Unique Technicolor Guest Photo Experiences!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Happy Crafting!

Deanne Crim - Crafty Crusader®


  1. Gasp, Gasp, and Gasp again! Nothing surprises me that Deanne (& yes, Ruthann) can accomplish. But though not surprised, I'm ASTONISHED at what a fertile mind is behind all this, dreaming up one spectacular surprise after another. What a truly high level of accomplishment this really is - even the signage is spectacular. Methinks these amazing photos are crying out for a book to be published. Congratulations, Deanne. And BRAVO!