Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Tea Party Afternoon


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


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







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



…surrounded by nature’s beauty…


…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!


Spray-painting poles in lavender and gold…


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


…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…


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…


…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”…


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


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


Perfectly mismatched place settings…


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…


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


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


…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…





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


…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…


…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…


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


…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…


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


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



  1. What a fun time for the girls and you too. How nice to go the extra mile and do it up so pretty...they will always remember it I am sure. :D

  2. Julie, Preparing for that Tea Party will stick with your girls 4EVER! What a gift your sweet friend gave... And soooooooooooo pretty the final setting. I know everyone enjoyed the party. And lucky you getting to go JUNKIN with your girls... Somehow, my boys just aren't into that! Hee Hee. Thanks for the kind words about my sweet pillows. I ADORE THEM! HUGS!

  3. What a special lady she must be! How lovely for your girls (and they are beautiful) to be so involved and enjoy themselves so much. Thank you for letting us share in such a lovely afternoon.
    Mary x

  4. I loved reading this post. What a sweet thing your friend did for your daughters. It will be something they remember fondly I am sure.

  5. Everything looks so lovely, your girls did an amazing job...I have always adored tea parties and I'm so happy my girls love it too! I simply love the tags you made! Xoxoxo

  6. completely lovely in every aspect!

    kudos to your friend for turning an inspired idea into a beautiful reality!

    your daughters are so pretty.


  7. How fantastic this is. Your girls are darling and really had a great time I can see. BUT I must know what are those blue daisy like flowers by the blue chair??? Oh my gosh do I ever love blue flowers.

  8. I REALLY enjoyed that. My first post reading of the day and such a relaxing gentle one. Beautiful photos, a wonderful idea and so British lol (only that it would have rained if it had been over here and all would have been ruined). Your daughters look fabulous... I see they take after their mother :0) You sound like you have a wonderful friend there too.
    Love the card. The flowers are a perfect touch along with the little tag.

  9. Oh darling Julie, THis is so FABULOUS! This is what I would LOVE TO DO AT MY HOME! Oh dearest, I have to put you on my blog list! You always have such eye candy for the eyes and soul and you have a kind heart as well...this school year was so hard to keep up with EVERYONE but I must visit you on a regular basis; you always come to see my new posts and I just cannot miss out on what you have to share here...tell your friend she had a MAGNIFICENT IDEA!!! I must do it for my handful of friends here in Minneapolis, but I wish I could invite all my blogger pals!

    Love to you to go get your link to put on my blog roll...Anita

  10. How wonderful! what a sweet way to spend an afternoon. makes me want to have a teaparty... maybe I will!
    LOVE the pictures. Im sure your daughters had a delightful day.

  11. Hi Julie, I visited your post last night and tried to leave a comment, but it wouldn't let me... hope you get this one!... what a lovely way to spend an afternoon!... how sweet of your friend to invite you all, and I love that while the were enjoying afternoon tea, your girls also learned about grace, manners and etiquette... I think that is a lost art in school these days... I love that ladies are still ladies... the gardens and table settings are just beautiful!... xoxo Julie Marie

  12. Oh Julie, this looks like so much fun.... it was so good that your daughters were able to help set things up, everything looks so beautiful what a fun thing to do! Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!!!
    hugs~~ Daphne

  13. what a beautiful setting
    for a lovely tea party!
    and what beautiful young ladies you have :D
    this is one of those
    "wish you were here" posts!

  14. How beautiful (I wish i could be less high direction!)
    Your girls are also very beautiful and how lovely to share that experience together.
    I too had a tea party this weekend(with my boys - altogether different!) also with perfectly mismatching vintage crockery - such good taste!
    fee x

  15. What fun Julie! How very well planned as well. I love the invite! As always so beautiful! Your daughters are sso sweet, just like their mum. Love and hugs from rainy UK. Yes, we are finally getting the rain we so need! xxoo

    PS Can tell your girls are as woderfully cretive as their mum!!

  16. As the mother of a young girl, this post really tugged at my heartstrings. I am sure your daughters will remember this tea party and your friend's kindness and instruction for quite some time.

  17. Julie,
    "Thank you more than you know" really said it to me. Your friend gave you and your daughters so many gifts in inviting them to tea. Teaching them about creating beauty, the job of being helpful, the thrill of getting to carry out one of your own ideas...and of course, the final delight of enjoying it all with generations of women. You captured it so beautifully, my friend!

  18. A beautiful and memorable tea party! Everything looking so perfect! What a beautiful place to spend the afternoon! Your girls are adorable :)

  19. What a delightful way to spend an afternoon. Your very wise friend gave your girls a very special gift..I hope they enjoyed it enough to continue the tradition some day. Our young people are so caught up in technology that many of them never learn the joy of a quiet afternoon spent sharing food and conversation with women of different ages.
    Sounds like a wonderful time.

  20. Looks like it was lots of fun and the garden was transformed into a beautiful venue. Making memories with your daughters...priceless!

  21. That was an amazing tea party garden and post in general. I am awake now, but half awake when I posted last night all about our swap. The picture of the scrap goodies, got deleted, and should I have never posted in the condition I was in. I had been babysitting my 12 month old grandson for the weekend, and he had gone to bed, and I sat down with my laptop, and found myself literally falling asleep while I was posting. I am kind of embarrassed as I just now got to it, and to tell you truth, I couldn't even remember if I posted it for sure. I am either having senior moments, or I am two old to babysit babies who want their mamas overnight. Now I know why we are young when we have babies. Whew! I have fixed the mistakes and am adding the other picture back in! Later Friend!

  22. These are all pretty pictures of a wonderful party, Julie. Loving the sweetest swing! We enjoyed a little tea party too in the littlest tea garden of the Netherlands, yesterday afternoon.
    Have a happy start to a whole new week my friend o xx o xx o

  23. What a magical day and such a gift your friend gave your girls. self confidence, something many never find. I'm sure your girls will remember this forever. Such a wonderful day you all shared.
    Hugs Lynn

  24. What a beautiful, glorious day for everyone. Ha! I thought I would see the girls climbing the tree in their party clothes. :/ Looks like everything went smoothly. The girls did a great job. No doubt it was a wonderful time for all. Have a great week. Tammy

  25. Oh wow, how totally gorgeous!!! Unbelievable, Julie!! And the card you made is breathtaking--and matches those flowers--wow! I adore the canopy--it is glorious.

  26. Beautiful post -- what a lovely idea for all involved. And I especially love the mis-matched china and the sugar-rimmed glasses. Perfect! :-)

  27. Oh my this is lovely...pure joy! Such a pretty place. xoxo HUGS

  28. What a a lovely thing for your friend to do! How fun! Everything looked beautiful! Love your pretty card too!

  29. What a treasured memory. and teaching them to serve others is so rewarding in of it's self and such a lovely woman to allow the ideas to flow and the girls to be. I am sure this was just the most wonderful day.

    Love Dawn xx

  30. I had such a fanciful time looking at these pretty photos. I would have loved to attend such a lovely tea part.
    and be girly girls!!! and giggle

  31. Oooh I love a great tea party! How fun! Looks so lovely :)

  32. I adore tea parties, and this one looked devine. A sweet card too!

  33. What a gorgeous garden and wonderful tea party! I would have loved to participate. It must have been fun to decorate and set the tables. Your card is very sweet, Julie! I love that you create something for every special day and occasion.
    Hugs to you,

  34. Julie this Tea Party is over the top! So precious and beautiful. Lots of love went into it. Was it for the Young Women? A day these girls shall never forget! You girls are darling!!!


  35. You completed several nice subjects there. I did a search on the issue and found most people will have the same opinion with your blog.

  36. This look so fun. I had a tea baby shower for my best friend's daughter and we just had such a good time! But we didn't have a tree house!
    Love this post!
    Have a good weekend!
    Hugs! Karen

  37. I Sure, you enjoyed it very much. The fonts of first image is very attractive and perfect for any function or festivals. Really gorgeous garden and wonderful tea party.

  38. It looks like, lots of fun and the garden was transformed into a beautiful venue. I sure you make very beautiful memories with your daughters.