Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Tea Party Afternoon

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My sweet friend, Barb, had a wish this last week…

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…to invite all of the young ladies she knows and loves to have a tea party in her beautiful garden…

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…her plan was for them to come—dressed in their best—and have an afternoon together with good food and good company…

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…surrounded by nature’s beauty…

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…while they learned a little more about graciousness…politeness…how to be ladies…

She was kind enough to ask my daughters and I to help her set up before the party…my daughters love her, and were so happy to help!

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Spray-painting poles in lavender and gold…

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…pounding the poles in the ground the day before the party…hanging beautiful old muslin—yards and yards and yards of it…

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…hanging, draping, swaging…till THEY, not her, were happy with the way everything looked.  Always asking for her approval…”You decide”, she would tell them—every time…

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Teaching them a bit of garden glamour and design in a loving, easy way…how to make it billow and blow beautifully in the wind…

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…how to tie the lovely, hand-dyed ribbon on so it would look “just so”…but THEY, not her, were able to decide when it was “just right”…

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We came early the day of the tea party--with homemade scones ready to share--to set the tables, finish any details…and enjoy…

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Here the girls are putting the finishing touches on the tables…

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Perfectly mismatched place settings…

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My youngest daughter, Annie, had the idea to put sugar on the rims of all the goblets—just to make them sparkle a bit more…and Barb led her to the sugar bowl and let her do as she wished…

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Then, the girls sat for a few minutes…looked out over all they’d helped with…and were very, very pleased…

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And before it was time for the guests to arrive, their playful hearts took over…

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…and the younger two of my three girls climbed up in the amazing, Swiss Family Robinson-style tree house, built by Barb’s oh, so talented husband…

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…and they were silly little girls, for just a little while longer…

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…until their oldest sister, my college girl—now changed to her tea party clothes—called them down…reminding them that it was time to transform…

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…into young ladies invited to a lovely garden tea party…

A little card made…

DSC03751_edited-1 {This beautiful vintage-style teacup & saucer stamp are from Unity…one of their earliest stamps, if I remember correctly…}

…a sweet reminder of a lovely afternoon…

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The kindest invitation from a wonderful friend…but it was so much more for my girls than a delicious luncheon shared…

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…working side-by-side with this wonderful friend of ours taught them so much—about service, letting them grow confidence that their thoughts and design choices were good and  worthwhile…

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…and a little bit about graciousness…and the art of being a lady…

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Thank-you, dear friend, for more than you know…

Julie