Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Teatime on the Bunny Trail

Spring is in the Air
It seems the celebrated Puxatawney Phil did not, indeed, see his shadow this February 2nd, coyly tempting us with the promise of an an early Spring. Though science may not legitimize rodent's prediction of weather patterns, I'm optimistically faithful in Phil and thought I'd get a head start with a simple springtime themed little tea party suitable for a certain springtime bunny on the go.
Spritely rabbits, singing birds, and eggs, have always been the stars of the season. For this post, I opted for more "Spring is Here" than overtly "Easter" (that post is coming later), more neutral naturals than a plethora of pastels, and subbed in plain eggs for painted. Of course, these Spring projects can still easily carry over perfectly into your Easter celebrations and decor.

O, wind, if Winter comes,
can spring be far behind?

~Percy Bysshe Shelley



Set the Scene with a 
Spring Topiary Wreath
I have a neighbor who, with a simple pair of garden shears can wield graceful magical shapes from his plants and shrubs a la Edward scissorhands. Unfortunately my horticultural skills are much more limited. Recently I've attempted to tame small pots of supermarket ivy, winding the branches around a rounded dry clean hanger to create what I thought would be a lovely wreath shape I'd seen in floral shops. Instead it resulted in a wilted sad brown loop of twigs. To the rescue "faux" ivy and flowers, a 99 cent hula hoop and a few nature inspired Spring accessories. No watering required!
You'll Need
a child sized Hula hoop* or large one if you're feeling adventurous
1-2 garlands of faux ivy or flowers
accessories: birds, nests
a small bunny or garden theme statue if desired (mine is from Homegoods)
Paint
This is simply an inexpensive way to make basic wreath on a bit larger scale
 I gave my hula hoop a quick spritz of green paint, which didn't adhere particularly well but helped camouflage the color a bit. I then wrapped ivy or garland around hula hoop securing with tape or glue if necessary. Hot glue or wire on flowers or accessories as you like
 Display it with potted spring bulbs or statuary or you can hang traditionally on a door or wall.

 I set up part of the tea on an antique bench to free the dining table for sipping and nibbling. Here it is during the set up process and before the treats were put out.

Nibbles and Sweets
Simple Bunny-friendly Fare
Carrot Cake Scones
Cucumber Baskets
Assorted Herbal and Black Teas 
Strawberries and Orange whipped Cream

Of course for a heartier or more formal tea, any added assortment of tea sandwiches, salads or a lovely carrot soup would be wonderful

Carrot Scones
Of course carrots are a must have on the menu, and this buttery but not too sweet scone highlights their mild flavor. There are several recipes online, I adapted this delightful one from Created by Diane, and finding myself pressed for time, subbed her adorable icing for a simpler quick dusting of powdered sugar
Well I tried my cookie cutters and the result was a bit more post-modern than charming bunny- I also cut some into traditional triangles - No worries, with a dusting of sugar everything looks yummy.

Cucumber Cream Cheese baskets
This is a fun way to serve cucumbers and are a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the scones


You need just three ingredients
I used chive and onion cream cheese but other flavors would would work as well

 Peel strips from whole cucumber to make "striped" pattern and cut into small " cups"
Scoop a small well in center with a melon baller and let drain on paper towels


 Take a blade from a fresh chives and gently slip one cut end into either- far easier than it sounds
Hold upright to form basket handle while "gluing" on with flavored cream cheese
I used a icing extruder with a star tip - super easy and quick
add a garnish if desired

Berries and Orange Whipped Cream
Make the most of the first berries of the season by simply accenting with fresh orange whipped cream.
 I found this recipe from a lady named Grandma Berries; so I knew it had to be good. http://www.grandmaberries.com/recipes.asp?ID=15
I used blood oranges which I happened to have on hand and created a lovely pale pink shade
A sudden burst of sun brought the tea out on the deck
Mismatched cups and serving ware are in tune with the unfussy feel
Attach pretty gift tags to teapots to label different teas
pop bunny themed accents around room in unexpected places- the powder room, window sill etc

The 5 Minute Tiered Tray
I recently heard a tremendous crash in my dining room, running only to find the door of my armoire swinging on it's hinges, one of my glass cake stands in pieces on the floor and a somewhat guilty but not terribly distraught cat observing the scene. 
Since there are dozens of clever DIY ideas for cake stands and tiers online, I thought I'd look around to see what I could put together myself before I bit the bullet and bought a new one. Since this tea has a rustic picnicky feel, I reached for my old straw picnic plate holders (99 cents a pack) and some leftover plastic disposable glasses.

You'll Need
straw plates
clear plastic glasses
hot glue
faux flowers, moss or ribbon to accent



 Fill glasses with faux flowers or moss, making sure the arrangement looks nice from all angles. 
                               I quickly glued the flowers to moss before inserting in glass to secure
Run a rim of hot glue around glass top and press plate on top. Be careful to center plate to ensure stability. Repeat with next layer. 
If desired add some large pebbles to bottom glass for added weight.
Cut paper doily to fit around cup if you like


Top with a spring accent- I used the same bunny from my Secret Garden post but a small pot of flowers would be charming too
I think of these plates as "semi-disposable" and since the texture makes them a bit tricky to clean, if they get too many spills, you can just toss the tier and make a new one next year without breaking the bank.

PennyWise Tips
Fresh out of planters and Pots? Inexpensive Supermarket flowers get a quick makeover by replacing their paper wrappings with a square scrap of burlap- simply rewrap pot and secure with the original elastic.

Send guests home with a favor of a small pack of herbal tea or an individually wrapped scone topped with a printout of one of the recipes.

Wishing everyone all the Delights of Spring!

From the Graphics Fairy





74 comments:

  1. I love all your decorations and ideas. I am going to try the hula hoop wreath:)

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    1. Thanks so much Cathy! I wanted to try a bigger size and a 99 cent hula hoop it the bill :)

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  2. Hi Christina,
    I saw your post on Ivy and Elephants because I posted right after you. :)
    Clever idea for the wreath, it looks great! Very pretty, as are all of your other ideas. Have a great rest of your week!
    Gina

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting Gina! I'll pop back and check out your site:)
      Cheers

      Delete
  3. OMG SO MANY wonderful wonderful ideas............. I am now off totally inspired and ready to do an easter display! thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!

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    1. Thanks so much! These were super easy to make- so glad you liked them :) happy spring!

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  4. Great projects and such wonderful results! And the carrot scones sound wonderful! Haven't had one, but will be trying to make them. Thanks for your wonderful spring tea and linking to Thursday Tea Things And Talk!
    Ruth

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    1. Thanks so much Ruth,
      So glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for hosting Thursday Tea things and Talk- what a delightful group!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  5. What fabulous ideas! Thanks for leaving a comment on my post so I could find you. You're very creative and I love all of your pretty touches. I enjoy doing teas, too, and your recipes and tips are great. I can't wait to do the cucumber baskets!
    Heather from Friendship, Life and Style

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Heather!
      I had such fun visiting your blog!
      So glad you enjoyed the tea ideas!
      Cheers

      Delete
  6. Precious and darling and such fun ideas. Everything looks delicious too.

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    1. Thanks so much AllyJo!
      and Happy Spring!

      Delete
  7. Well, we certainly aren't having an early spring around here but your beautiful creations sure make it feel more like springtime. I especially loved the wreath.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and your kind comments!
      I know we're expecting snow (!) here in Pa. :(

      Delete
  8. Such wonderful spring time delights on your blog! I like them all. I especially like the wreath and it looks like something I might try soon.
    Kym

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    1. Thanks Kym!
      The wreath is super easy to put together!
      Happy Spring!

      Delete
  9. Everybunny should love these treats ! - especially those cucumber baskets. How cute are those! I found you at Creative Princess. I'm your newest follower.

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    1. Everybunny(!) hahaha
      Thanks so much for your kind words and I'm delighted you're following!
      just love bopping around these linky fun parties!
      Cheers

      Delete
  10. so charming! I love every single detail.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting Denise!

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  11. Wow! Topiary, moss covered bunnies, and those 3 layer stands are all favorites of mine! Every thing looks so sweet and transports me right into an English garden - where the sun shines, and the snow doesn't fall like it is right now!

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  12. Thanks so much for visiting and your kind comments!
    The English garden is just the look I love too-
    (We may reuse these for my nephews Peter Rabbit first birthday party)
    - we're having snow here too!- started as some flurries and is now a blanket of white-
    very March weather I suppose
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Christina, What a beautiful and creative Spring Topiary. I love the tutorial on how to make all your wonderful things for a English Tea. The food looks delicious and so pretty. Love it! Thanks for stopping by too with your wonderful comment. Have a Happy Easter too!


    Jody

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    1. Thanks so much Jody!
      The scones actually tasted a lot better than they looked -lol- thanks for visiting and your kind comments!
      I always look forward to your posts!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  14. Such lovely decors.

    Hopping by from Pink Saturday.

    My PINK
    Your comment is always appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks for visiting!
      just popped over to your site and your cute dog in the Irish hat is Adorable!
      what fun!
      Cheers

      Delete
  15. Oh my gosh, you are just TOO creative for words!!! What a beautiful spring post.
    And thank you for you rkind words on my mom!!!

    Donna

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    Replies
    1. Oh You're so nice!
      So glad you enjoyed it and Thanks so much for visiting :)

      Delete
  16. Love all of the Spring inspiration! Life to the full, Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

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  17. So pretty! I loved the straw plate tiered stand.
    Anjana @ http://happyandharried.wordpress.com/

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  18. As I'm between houses and all my wordly goods in boxes, one of the things I miss most is decorating for the season. Your post has made me realise I can't stand it any longer. Now off to the charity stores to see what I can find on an Easter theme.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan!
      Good luck with your move!
      If you don't want to dig through boxes I find a lot of items at my craft store (they're on sale now woopee) or the dollar store too. Thanks so much for visiting and have fun decorating!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  19. Hi Christina,
    What a lovely post! I enjoyed seeing all your wonderful ideas. The tea treats are lovely and your vignette is so sweet with the wreath and bunny. Thank you for sharing with us and coming to tea. Have a beautiful day.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much!
      I always look forward to your tea parties!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  20. Wow, you have made a beautiful tea time vignette with some wonderful decorating ideas and sweet treats. It looks so lovely! I am visiting from Tea Time Tuesday at Sandi's. Blessings, Pamela

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting and your kind words!
      Happy Spring!

      Delete
  21. An inspiring spring tea vignette, along with tips to recreate your nibbles and decor. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So glad you enjoyed the post!
      Happy Spring!

      Delete
  22. Everything looks divine! Thank you for sharing such an awesome post!
    Happy Spring!
    XO
    ~Wendy

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting Wendy!
      Happy Spring!

      Delete
  23. Love all of your Spring creations. The moss bunny with cart is so darling! Love all of your creative ideas with decor and food. I will be pinning the cuc baskets. Using a hula hoop for a large wreath, very clever! Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup. Happy to be following.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks so much Jann!
      So glad you enjoyed the ideas-
      The cucumber baskets take just minutes to make :)
      Cheers!

      Delete
  24. Hello Christina,
    Beautiful penny wise post! Love your three tiered idea, and sorry about what kitty did to your china one!
    So many beautiful scenes in your post. I love all of them, as well as the pretty tea cups and the lovely white tea pot!
    Happy Spring!
    Hugs,
    Terri

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  25. Hi Christina,
    You've shared some wonderful ideas, thank you.

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  26. I love the display you created the bunny is so cute. You put everything together beautifully. Thanks for stopping in, now following you too, Laura

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    1. Thanks so much!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and delighted you're following!

      Delete
  27. I love the hula hoop wreath, such a clever idea.

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  28. Wow that is so attractive. i want to come and have tea with you. Thanks for checking out my blog. Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen
      You're welcome to tea anytime -lol
      Cheers!

      Delete
  29. Wow, so many great ideas in one post! Using a hula hoop for a wreath base has never occurred to me. I love the rabbit from Home Goods. The plate stand looks great. Thanks so much for sharing! ~Michelle

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    1. Thanks Michelle,
      So glad you liked it-
      Happy Spring!

      Delete
  30. Hi Christina, thanks for visiting me. Glad you found a graphic you liked. This spring post is inspiring and cheerful. I like the idea for the cucumber and cream cheese bites. Elegant and simple. ~ Abby

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and for your kind words Abby!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  31. What a wonderful and delightful post! There are so many lovely ideas - thank you for sharing with us :) The wreath is beautiful and what a clever way of making it. Love, love, love the plates stacked - so cute! And the carrot scones look divine.

    Blessings to you, my friend!

    Hugs,
    Stephanie

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting and I'm delighted you enjoyed the post!
      A Happy Spring!
      Christina

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  32. So many clever ideas and especially with the cucumbers!~ I love it that you linked to Friends sharing Tea!

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    1. Thanks Bernideen!
      I always look forward to your tea parties!

      Delete
  33. Wow! This post is chock full of marvelous ideas, from the ivy topiary wreath, the food, to the wicker tiered dishes! Love it all! I'll be featuring your post in this week's Home and Garden Thursday,
    I appreciate you sharing,
    Kathy

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    1. Thanks so much Kathy!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and I'm thrilled to be featured!
      Thanks for hosting!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  34. Your spring vignette is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your fabulous tea time snacks and home decor ideas. Love your pretty teapot and teacups!
    hugs,
    Lisa

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Happy Spring :)

      Delete
  35. Just popping in to let you know that I will be featuring you at Share Your Cup.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thank you so much Jann!
      I just love your site and am delighted to be featured!
      Wishing you a Happy Spring :)

      Delete
  36. Hi Christina - I saw this featured on Jann's blog. This post is absolutely fantastic and I love everything you've shared here! Wonderful, wonderful job!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by-
      So glad you enjoyed it!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  37. Lovely tea party! I love the wreath!

    Navy Wifey Peters @ Submarine Sunday Link Party
    http://www.usscrafty.blogspot.com/2013/03/submarine-sunday-23.html

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting Tonna!
      I'll pop over to your site!
      Cheers!

      Delete
  38. What a fabulous wreath idea! Off to Walmart to find a child's hula hoop! Very pretty blog-my first visit! Hugs, Meghan

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    1. Thanks so much Meghan-
      I got the Hula Hoop at the Dollar Tree- but I'm sure Walmart will have them too :)
      I'm so delighted you're trying the project - let us know how it turns out!
      Happy Spring!

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  39. I think I read about this in the qvc community group. Really great ideas!

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Love to hear your comments and suggestions!