Still Life from Quimper

Still Life from Quimper
A shot of an almost-completed still life needlepoint

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So very happy you came to visit. Now, pull up a chair, pour a glass of your favorite beverage, and read on about adventures in needlework.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tea at the Dragon

Well, not actually at the Dragon, or even in the Dragon's belly . . . it was a stitching tea in our hotel room during Dragon*Con. And it was a blast!

There are no pictures - Webmaster Bill had the camera over the weekend, although if memory serves he was invited to the hotel's bar for some boozin' during our tea party, and that is a whole other blog post.

This was different: this was a true tea, featuring tea, baked goodies, and cheese and crackers. And there were all different kinds of tea: herbal, Lady Jane Grey, and even some Tazo tea that J. brought that included some chocolate tea and some energy tea. The milk had defrosted enough to provide some milk-ness to tea for guests (quite a relief!). Mini-refrigerators can sometimes cool things down a little too much, you see.

Of course, Sir Pepperidge Farm made his highly chocolatey appearance with Pirouettes and one of those great cookie sample packs. And the perfect excuse to indulge in those samples: a tea! J. also brought some delicious home-made apricot scones and some Star Wars cookies (courtesy of Fancy Baking Place whose name escapes me) that were one of the hits of the party. I mean, let's face it - Yoda cookies and Darth Vader cookies served at an event where StormTroopers and Klingons abound? They were perfect! To top it off, they were delicious.

Then there were some nice cheeses to go with just regular, ordinary, tea crackers: a local goat cheese and some especially yummy Camembert. You see, I'm a huge fan of a nice goat cheese, but having learned that Webmaster Bill is not, I only get goat cheese for myself due its strong, intense flavor that I like and he does not. I must say, though, this trio of goat cheeses that I bought recently at the Decatur Organic Farmer's Market is mild, delicious, and there were three flavors offered in the little box: regular, peach, and cranberry. Yum!! The Camembert was just the way I prefer it - a little soft, not too gooey, and definitely NOT smelly. A nice, mild taste to suit some slightly sweet sweets and hot teas.

So all guests arrived around 3:45 or so, from J. to V. to L&E (others were involved in panels or shopping, both of which abound at Dragon*Con), and we had a wonderful time talking and getting to know each others' projects be they large or small: cross stitch bookmarks, beaded shawls, or tiny birds. Or Tiny Houses. It really struck me how very crafty this group was and how creative these women were. And really, we all got involved in making teas, eating goodies, and guests getting to know one another that the stitching/crafting/knitting just did not take place. Nor did the broadcast of the Carrie Fisher panel, which just totally slipped my mind in the creative hubbub that abounded that afternoon.

The sad truth is, I'm not used to being a hostess, not really, so my primary focus had changed from the "planning this great afternoon" stage to the "organizing it once the guests arrive." The planning stage involved an idea of a bunch of D*C crafty women friends of mine taking a break on Sunday afternoon, coming by my hotel room, stitching and turning on D*C TV to watch the Carrie Fisher panel. The organizing phase started once I arrived in my room, changed clothes, pulled out all of the tea fixin's, made hot water in that tiny little one-cup-only coffee maker (we had brought the coffee press as an alternative and as a hot water holder), opened the overwrapped packages of cookies and crackers, pulled the cheeses out of the fridge to come to room temperature; in short, the planning phase just slipped my mind while the organizing phase took over! Fortunately for me, I have wonderful friends who are also wonderful guests, and they seemed to be enjoying just getting to know one another and sampling the delicious goodies.

I also have a group of hostess friends who are just the most capable women when it comes to hostessing things, from a weekend building a house to an Oscars party complete with movie-themed food to a full 9 course pasta dinner at Christmas (complete with different wines for each course), and I just kept their effortless hostessing-ness in the forefront of my mind. As a result, I had no meltdowns, few fears, and just really enjoyed myself along with my guests.

So all in all, my impromptu tea went well, and now that I've got the hang of hostessing in a hotel room, I'm thinking I just might try this again next year . . . I'm thinkin'!