Saturday, August 17, 2013

Woodland Tea


  

As summer starts to come to a close, it's fun to make the most of those still light and warm early evenings by entertaining outdoors. Why not include some furry and feathered forest friends on your guest list and host a whimsical woodland themed tea party? It's easier than you may think to turn your backyard or park into an enchanting forest for the late afternoon with some simple nature inspired DIY crafts and simple "semi-scratch" recipes. 

For this idyllic setting, my gracious neighbors let me commandeer their exquisitely landscaped backyard.



Tea, sweets and fruit make the perfect late afternoon pick-me up


Mushroom Cottage 

                 Oversized Toadstools add a touch of whimsy to your decor. Of course adding a mini door and window makes it the perfect cottage abode for tiny friends.

You'll need
Pool noodle
Plastic bowls of appropriate size
Popsicle sticks
mini mirrors
Spray paint or acrylic which will work well on plastic
Glitter or sparkly paint
Moss, rocks, tiny creatures or any accessories

 wood base (on clearance) plastic bowls and a pool noodle
 Cut the pool noodle to desired lengths using a serrated knife. I varied the sizes for a less uniform look. Spray noodle "stems" and bowls desired colors. I chose a natural color scheme but you could even go with bright playful or flourescent colors depending on your event.
 Noodles soak up much of the paint so I gave mine three generous coats. Some of the original color may still show through which I didn't mind. Other items (cardboard tubes etc) could be used as stems as well, but I liked the mushroom-like texture of the noodle. I also quickly spritzed the bowls with white so the acrylic would adhere better.
While paint is drying I quickly constructed a popsicle stick door for my mushroom cottage. For more detailed instructions, you can follow the tutorial for my whimsical elf door from my Scandinavian Christmas post. Some tiny mirrors glued on a square of paper and a scrapbook flower box from the clearance section of my craft store make a little window
I used a deep red and brown for the bowl mushroom tops. Although the original bowl color was fun, a coat of paint plays down the plastic finish. I then sprayed the tops with clear coat and added glitter. For a quicker fix, keep bowls unpainted and pop on small round sticker labels as dots.
Attach window and door and moss with hot glue and let set.
After marking the desired spots on my wood base, I hot-glue two long wood screws onto the wood for extra stability. Then simply pop on mushrooms, add moss and add any finishing touches.

Woodland Log Cake 

& Five Minute Marshmallow Mushrooms

Last holiday season I made an easy "semi-scratch" Buche du Noel, or French Yule Log cake using a storebought bakery cake roll. Although traditionally frosted with sugary snow and served at Christmas time, with a few tweaks it works wonderfully with a woodland theme any time of year.
 To see the winter version, click here.


Simple supermarket supplies: a  roll cake ($3.99 at Giant) and ready to go frosting. The star icing tip is perfect for creating a bark-like texture
Once iced, cut a diagonal slice off of the cake to create a branch and attach to side of log (cake can also be left as is, if desired) Garnish with "mushrooms", berries and fresh mint.

Five Minute Marshmallow Mushrooms

Using icing, attach cookies to marshmallows (I chose sturdier ones out of the bag) Make dots with white icing "writer" and let set.





Night Lights

Extra little lights add a cozy warmth and sparkle to any event, even before the sun goes down.
Since I love the idea of reusing items, I repurposed my firefly globes from my Fourth of July post by adding a butterflies.

Moss covered glasses with flameless votives help illuminate the evening without being a fire concern. A touch of hot glue keeps greenery in place. 

Thanks so much for visiting and hoping everyone is enjoying the waning precious days of Summer!


PennyWise Tips

These woodland ideas can be adapted easily to any whimsical event: An Alice in Wonderland tea or Boy's Bug themed Birthday perhaps?

This would be a lovely theme in Fall or Spring as well: For Fall, simply add some faux leaves in orange and golds and for Spring lighten the color scheme with cheerful floral accents.

If the weather doesn't cooperate or you have limited outdoor space, set up an indoor picnic by purchasing some faux grass carpet (sold inexpensively by the yard) at your home improvement store for an instant indoor forest floor.





42 comments:

  1. I love all Your ideas and the finished product :) My kind of post.We must have more in common too so I'm Your new follower.Please stop by to visit Me any time-Denise of Coffeeberry Cottage

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    1. Thanks so much Denise!
      So glad you enjoyed the post- i'd be delighted to visit your site!
      Cheers!

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  2. Hi Christina,
    What a delightful tea party! You are so very creative! Your log cake looks delish! I'm going to check the Christmas one too. Thanks for sharing and coming to tea.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Thanks so much Sandi!
      So glad you liked the post- The cake was delish- although I can't take any credit at all as I just iced it and added some marshmallow accessories haha- Thanks again for hosting your linky tea parties- always a delight!
      Cheers!
      Christina

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  3. What great ideas and crafts . There is so much contained in this blog post that can be used for almost any party theme, but I am excited about the Boy's Bug theme too. And the cake , well, looks scrumptious. Thank-you !

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    1. Thanks so much Kathy!
      It was lots of fun to put together and with a few tweaks the mushroom cottage and cake would be perfect for a for a bug birthday (maybe add gummy worms etc) So glad you stopped by and many thanks for your kind words!
      Cheers
      Christina

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  4. What a beautiful and creative display! I love woodland projects. The cake does look quite yummy also. Summer is good, but hot weather in the south is very hot. So, autumn is more than welcome here :)

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    1. Thanks Danice!
      I can't blame you for welcoming Autumn with those southern hot summers! Our weather has been a bit crazy - I picked a cooler day for the tea party- I was worried the cake would melt - haha-
      Thanks so much for visiting and so glad you enjoyed the post! :)
      Cheers!

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  5. This is really darling. You have very clever ideas!! So glad you shared at Tea In the Garden!

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    1. Thanks Bernideen!
      I'm so glad you liked the post. I always enjoy your lovely tea parties- It's so nice to see so many tea enthusiasts out there and you are so generous to host them every week! :)
      Cheers
      Christina

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  6. Oh my goodness!!!! There is so many wonderful ideas on this page!!! Where do we start?!! The idea is fabulous...the pictures precious...those mushrooms....they are AMAZING! We love tea & tea parties so this one hit home for sure with us :)
    Karla & Karrie

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    1. Hi Karla and Karrie-
      Thanks so much for visiting and your sweet comments- I'm so glad you enjoyed the post! it was lots of fun to put together- I absolutely love tea parties as well- If you pop back for a visit there are some older tea party posts you might also enjoy -Titanic tea, tea by the Sea or secret garden tea
      http://pennywiseblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-secret-garden-tea.html
      Cheers
      Christina

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  7. Wow! So extremely creative and stunning! I want to come to one of your tea parties:)

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    1. Thanks Jeanette!
      LOl- Of course you're welcome anytime!
      Thanks for visiting and your kind words-
      Cheers
      Christina

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  8. What a fun party!! I love all those so simple but very cool!

    Stopping by from Navy Wifey

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    1. Thanks Alexis!
      So glad you enjoyed the post! I love finding fun, simpler projects (especially in the kitchen lol)
      Cheers
      Christina

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  9. Oh my goodness, your woodland tea is just precious! I love those red mushrooms and your cake! I've made those for Christmas before too. I like your shortcut version of making one. Your koi pond is beautiful!
    Thanks for your recent visit to my Victorian Dollhouse Makeover.
    Gina

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  10. Oh my goodness, your woodland tea is just precious! I love those red mushrooms and your cake! I've made those for Christmas before too. I like your shortcut version of making one. Your koi pond is beautiful!
    Thanks for your recent visit to my Victorian Dollhouse Makeover.
    Gina

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  11. Oh my goodness, your woodland tea is just precious! I love those red mushrooms and your cake! I've made those for Christmas before too. I like your shortcut version of making one. Your koi pond is beautiful!
    Thanks for your recent visit to my Victorian Dollhouse Makeover.
    Gina

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    1. Thanks so much Gina!
      I'm so glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post!-
      I had to find a cake shortcut after my many failed attempts at a homemade version-lol
      A disclaimer: I actually shot the photos at my neighbors koi pond - I wish my backyard looked like theirs-:)
      Cheers
      Christina

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  12. Looks like a lovely tea party! I really like the mushrooms. Very creative! Thanks for linking up at Submarine Sunday!

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    1. Thanks so Much!
      So glad you liked it and love linking up to your fun parties!
      Cheers!

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  13. Great ideas! I'll join your party dressed as a gnome.Ok??? Keep Creating! Cindy @ sunsetcoasting.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Cindy!
      You're welcome anytime- especially dressed like a gnome! -LOL!
      So glad you enjoyed the post-
      Cheers
      Christina

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  14. Wow, I am loving this!!! Such a gorgeous setting and very creative food - beautifully done Christina! I am delighted that you shared your lovely post with A Return to Loveliness,
    Kathy

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    1. Thanks Kathy!
      I "borrowed" my neighbor's lovely yard for the photos :) I'm so glad you enjoyed the Tea- it was such fun to make these projects and thanks as always for generously hosting your weekly parties!
      Cheers
      Christina

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  15. Christina, this is just precious! I adore every little thing about this woodland tea. It's a must for me to hold one in the future! The log cake is so clever and I love the mushrooms! Thanks for sharing your creativity with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks Jann!
      So happy you enjoyed the ideas!- they are really so easy and lots of fun to put together. The cake couldn't be easier and is nice around the holiday's as well. Many thanks for hosting your weekly parties- always such a delight!
      Cheers
      Christina

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  16. Found your site and came upon the door you made for a flower pot. Linked to it in my gnome garden blog here -- http://thegnomegardens.blogspot.com I'm excited to see how mine turns out. Scroll down and you can see the door I made out of paper clay. I'm sure I will find other good tips and ideas as I explore.

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    1. Your site is adorable! The haunted garden is amazing! Thanks so much for the link to PennyWise- I absolutely love miniature gardens- I'm newer to blogging and would love to follow your site but couldn't figure out how-will pop back to check out more
      Cheers!
      Christina

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  17. This is such a sweet, adorable tea theme! I love how you created the decor and the desserts to enhance the woodland feel - so very sweet! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

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    1. Thanks so much Kathy,
      I wanted to try something a little different outdoors- I'm delighted you enjoyed it- and as always love visiting your site and Home and Garden Thursdays!
      Cheers
      Christina

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  18. Christina, Congrats! You'll be featured for this creative Woodland Theme at Simple & Sweet Fridays! So many wonderful ideas! Thanks so much for sharing and have a great Labor Day Weekend!

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    1. Thanks Jody and Stan!
      I'm thrilled to be featured and so glad you enjoyed the projects!
      Just love your site and many thanks for hosting your Simple and sweet Fridays- always such fun!
      Happy holiday weekend to you!
      Cheers,
      Christina

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  19. What a magical setting! Those mushrooms are adorable, and the little toad stool houses are so clever. So many fun details. I love it. laurie

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    1. Thanks Laurie!
      The projects are really so quick and easy to make- of course now I have mushroom cottages in my living room- but I'm sure I will reuse them somewhere- I'm delighted you enjoyed the post and thanks for your kind words
      Cheers!
      Christina

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  20. Dear Christina,
    What a precious tea. I love the mushrooms-both the cookies and the decorations. The cake is awesome too. It is inspirational and completely charming. I bet you would enjoy the Peter Rabbit Tea I made for my grandchildren. I just posted something today but if you scroll back it is the prior post. http://www.ladybstimefortea.blogspot.com
    Thank you for such an enjoyable post. You are so creative!!
    Best, Ruthie

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    1. Thanks Ruthie!
      So glad you enjoyed the post - I'd love to check out your Peter Rabbit Tea! My nephew had a Peter rabbit 1st Birthday this past summer and I did a Bunny Tea over easter so we're very fond of anything bunny!
      Thanks again for your kind words!
      Cheers
      Christina

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    2. P.S.
      Just love your site Ruthie!
      I adore all things tea too! You might enjoy my Secret Garden Tea post based on the childhood book -http://pennywiseblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-secret-garden-tea.html

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  21. Adore this party - those toadstools are adorable and my gnomes would love to play under them! The cake looks delish - the perfect summer day!
    Kelly

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    1. Thanks so much Kelly!
      So glad you enjoyed the post! Your gnomes are welcome anytime! :)
      Cheers
      Christina

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  22. oh my gosh you are a super crafty genius

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Love to hear your comments and suggestions!