Tea Chat No. 23 ~ Dickens & Tea, Seattle Kids, The Perfect Cookie, Ball Gown, God's Country

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Main Posts Background Image


Tea Chat No. 23 ~ Dickens & Tea, Seattle Kids, The Perfect Cookie, Ball Gown, God's Country

Tea and Dickens' Homemakers...the Perfect Combination!

Welcome to my first weekly 'tea chat'!  I'm so glad you dropped by today and hope you enjoy your visit through an entire week of adventures at our house. I'm having some English Breakfast tea in my very favorite coffee cup. It's the first piece of real 'china' that I ever owned and probably cemented my Anglophile tendencies!

I found this at Ross (an outlet store) when my kids were just babies and it's made in England! That's where I'd most love to travel someday ...It's a trip that I hope we will make after the kids are all on their own.

I love this cup because many of my favorite authors (English ones I might add) have the spines of their books on the cup. I made my tea or coffee in this delicate coffee mug, regularly, to have for my afternoon quiet time while enjoying another chapter or two of one of my favorite Dickens novels. He wrote so many! And they are all nice and long. :o) Have I ever told you that one of Dickens' favorite topics is the 'virtues of a wonderful homemaker'?

I ADORE Dicken's novels! Partly it was because he often honored and exalted the homemaker and the power of a good home and a loving woman of good character. You will find all types of homemakers in his novels. Click here to read the rest... 

I must say, Miss Amy  of a Tea Girl in a Coffee World was determined to out do herself..but I just about died when I saw her birthday tea party for her little girl. It was just darling!! And Rayanne from A Lovely Thought's blue photos..were amazing..plus she shared a yummy looking recipe for Sugar Cakes. I've got to print that out and try those! Everyone's tea posts were just amazing..as usual! Thanks so much for joining! Be sure to visit ladies..It's like a free 'beautiful homes tour'. :o)

Let's have Tea!

If you would like to join my tea party, just link up your post right here. I'd love to come visit and see your tea post too!


The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

My best friend, Laurie, is the cookie queen, and just last week, she shared her ‘The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie’ recipe. Rebekah, my daughter, made them last night and they are NOT exaggerating! I’ve never tasted such a good cookie! I was really skeptical that there even was such a thing. But they proved me wrong. This photo is not of the recipe I’m going to share. They are just cookies Rebekah made recently.
The cookies she made from this recipe are not pictured but they were crunchy and chewy at the same time and were melt in your mouth heaven. If there is such a thing as the perfect texture of a cookie, than this was it.
Read the story of how Laurie found the perfect cookie recipe...and get the recipe..right here...
Click here to read the rest... 

 Update on the Kids and Grandkids in Seattle

Kids in SeattleEbeth and Lena

Several of you have asked how my son, Andrew, and wife, Elisabeth, and grandkids, Lena and Augy are doing since they moved. Well, they are doing great! They found a lovely condo not far from the coast near Andrew’s job in Seattle.    They have been visiting parks almost every night according to Elisabeth. She said, “The air just smells so fresh!”     It’s still rainy and chilly up there, but it’s so beautiful too! That’s why dear hubby, who grew up there, has had such a hard time acclimating to Texas. It’s a real ‘step down’ for him. LoL! He wants us to retire there someday, and now I’m sure we will!
View Grandkids in their new home
Click here to read the rest... 

Texas ~ God’s Country…

Ok, so it’s not the only country that God made..but you have to admit..It’s GORGEOUS! Rebekah and I couldn't resist taking photos as our trees began to leaf out. What a scene!

Click here to read the rest...

Rebekah’s Civil War Ball Gown and a Peek at Dicken’s on the Strand
Rebekah in ball dress back

It’s been a busy week here while we prepare for an upcoming graduation party. While cleaning the closets, what do you think we found, but the photo shoot of my daughter Rebekah, at age 14, in the Civil War Ball Gown that I sewed for her. It took me six months, had 17 yards of white satin, many yards of black lace, eight corsages (that we made ourselves) and tons of hand stitching!  This was such a huge sewing task. I think I counted 79 pieces in the dress. 


The pattern I used was Simplicity 5724 and it’s a  Civil War / Victorian era Ball Gown/Dress Pattern for her to wear to Dicken’s on the Strand in Galveston. We pulled out the dress..washed it..pressed it, and Rebekah tried it on. Can you believe she actually fit in it?
View The FAmily in Dickens Costumes View Full Album

Here are photos of hand sewn eyelet holes, boning, hand sewn homemade bias tape, oversleeves, and french puff sleeves.

Click here to read the rest...

How to Make Multiple Summaries or Jump Breaks in the Same Post..

If you are at all impressed by the amazing format..just know that it was all due to the genius of Leoparddrengen who answered my 'blog' question though I didn't ask it, "How do you do multiple page breaks in the same post?" I knew I wanted to do that, but had no idea how to begin.  Well, this guy wrote up  a quick html template  to answer someone's question (identical) to mine. My programmer hubby analyzed it and taught me a 'quick' lesson in html programming and how it works.  And we designed our own post template based off of his. You can access it here if you can make use of it.
Click here to read the rest...

The photo albums came from Windows Live Writer which Maria of Color Me Happy suggested. I'm so glad she did! There's so much you can do with that program..and it's free!  

Sadly, I know that some of my albums don't work. I'm still learning how to work that feature. Sadly, my big computer crashed and the darling photos of the grandkids are all on there. So Tim will have to get the photos off the hard way. It may be a couple of days before I get my photos back.  Thank goodness my computer is backed up though. Most of my stuff is safely burned on CDs. 

What a week!  Hope you are not having so many kinks with your computer as I am. 
Ah well..such is life. :o)


Linking with
Cindy’s Friday Show and Tell at My Romantic Home
Melissa’s My Crafty Weekend
Raising Homemakers’ Wednesday Link Up
 Deb's Fantastic Friday

And for Tea... 

Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday
The Plumed Pen's  Tea for Two
Rose Chintz Tea Time Tuesday
A Delightsome Life: A Return to Loveliness


Maria Killam said...

Okay I knew you were talented with a sewing machine but that dress??? Unbelievable!! Donna, that is incredible, what a perfect princess dress for any daughter, how lucky is she :)

And so nice to hear how Andrew is doing in Seattle, let me know when you come to visit him, never know, I might be making a trip there too!

Thanks for the mention, I had no idea you could do photo albums on Windows Live. . . haha, that's funny!

Needled Mom said...

The weekly post is fabulous!!! You have done an amzing job with it.

Love your china cup. I hope you will eventually get to England as it is gorgeous. We lived there for awhile and thoroughly enjoyed it.

That dress is incredible!! I am sure it was a labor of love as well as a great challenge for you.

The pics of the kids in Seattle are terrific. Glad they are happy there.

Have a fun week.

Heather said...

I think your blog turned out wonderfully, I was working overnight and wondered what you were working on :)
You were absolutely right that I would like the gown! I have period dress patterns that I picked up fully intending on sewing them, until I sewed Halloween costumes for the boys and realized I'm not much of a garment sewer. I think with my new machine however I may give it another go. You've inspired me!
Um how cute are those Grandkids, you are so blessed to have such a wonderful family!
Have a great rest of your week with your son and tending to your family!

Donna said...

OH my goodness! I'm gonna lose my mind! The links NOW work. Five seconds they weren't..but now you should be able to expand every topic and read the rest of each summary.

:o) Learning to program!


Lorraine said...

love that dress..how clever you are and she looks delighted wearing it. Great tree photos you sure are lucky..I love trees and we have lots around here too as there is a big field at the back of our house...unfortunately sometimes its full of undesirables but thats life! I am really into drinking earl grey and camomile tea..will have to post a photo and link it back to your post! that cookie recipe looks good I cant make biscuits as I always end up burning them!

Caroline said...

wow, that dress is amazing! I don't think I'll ever make anything that complicated!!

Your post about "God's country" made me laugh - when we moved to Texas from South Carolina 9 years ago I too felt like it was a step down - and I hated that country song "God blessed TExas" ... but it does have its charms, and we've grown to love it. I'm afraid things won't be green too long if we don't get some rain ....

Donna said...

So true Caroline. We got a whole ten minutes of rain. I've been watering daily. Praying for rain!

I thought you'd like that dress. :o)

Julia said...

Wow! Wow! wow! what else can I say about that dress? It is amazing!!!! I can see why it would take 6 mos. to make!!! Wow! Wow! Wow!

Unknown said...

I remember when you were making that dress! LOL! So fun... crazy how time flies.

I don't think I've ever had Laurie's cookies. Must hit her up for some now.

Donna said...

They really are amazing! You should ask her about them. She just grins. She's so happy about her find. She found it long ago.

Gosh Christi..we've been friends a long time. :o)

Wanda Lee said...

What a fabulous post! So many wonderful details!..,I put on Charles Dickens, 'Christmas Carol', every year as a production to honor my dearly departed dad's memory for 4 years now; he loved Dickens books!

I must try that chocolate chip cookies recipe tomorrow for my visiting sisters and also one of thier hubbies, to enjoy!~ Yum!

Cheers and hugs from Wanda Lee

Amy said...

I adore your Dickens Tea Mug! The book spines are the perfect decoration.
I'm convinced I need to get off the computer and read now: David Copperfield and Bleak House. Somehow I was an English major in college and have missed both of those. Thanks to you, I'll be adding them to a list to be read:)
The cookies are tempting, updates nice, and the ball gown is WOW. Beautiful and impressive. Your daughter looks beautiful in it.

Jill said...

Wonderful post! So much great information!

I wanted to thank you for your kind words and prayers and checking in on me. It has been very difficult here lately. I did a quick post today in his memory...
Thank you most sincerely.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Wonderful post, Donna. You are quite the seamstress! I love books so I'm also liking your tea mug! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your week.


Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

Just came upon your lovely blog. And you blog wisely too, I would like to add. Knowing your priorities and dealing with all, so well.

Gentle hugs...

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Love a tea party...but we are on vacation in Paris...having coffee and croissants! Have fun.

Teri said...

I love your blog. I found you thru julia's sew sweet and special occasion clothing for children I love following her. This Gown should be shown right here in Charleston SC there celbrating the 150 Annv of the Civil War. Just beautiful!

Breathing In Grace said...

HOPE you have a wonderful date with your hubby...have fun...and have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by and joining my little linky party!

Fábio Carvalho said...

Hello Donna,
Thank you for visiting my blog!
Loved your comment; you really took sometime and gave some thought while writing; you´re so nice!
all the best

Grace said...

Enjoyed reading your blog and will try the chocolate chip cookies. I'm a coffee drinker but I love Charles Dickens work too and absolutely love a Tale of Two Cities.
Found you from the Fantastic Friday Hop.
Have a great weekend.

GlorV1 said...

Hi Donna dear. What an excellent post. You are definitely one of the great blog ladys in this blogland of ours. Cookies look delish and love all the photos and followed the links and just enjoyed it all. Thank you so much for sharing. Great week to you. Take care.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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