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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Birthday Tea Party For My Beautiful 17 Year old

I had a tea party for my beautiful, smart, caring daughter who is now 17.
Wow I can’t believe she is 17 it was only yesterday she was stealing her brother’s legos and throwing them behind the couch.
Last Year was the crazy sweet 16 so I told her this year would have to be small she asked how about a tea party? I jumped on the idea because we love to have tea together. Little did I know how much work it would be (she is worth all of it).
It started with making the invites we went simple we bought some pretty papers from the scrap booking isle of our craft store,used decorative scissors on the edges, printed out the invites on reg paper, cut them smaller than the deco paper, hole punched and pulled a ribbon through and tied a bow simple but sweet. My daughter and I did this project together it was a nice time to share.

She gave me the number of guests and then added two a few days later. I told her to limit it to what she had which was 8 girlfriends (no boys).
We requested formal wear (we thought it would be a good excuse to wear some of the dresses they have had for dances that will never be worn again, they all seemed thrilled to get dressed up).
I already had some pretty teacups and saucers and two teapots (the pretty kind) we needed a couple more cups and I wanted two more teapots so plenty of tea would be flowing. We were fortunate enough to borrow a couple more. (thanks to Kylie and Tootie)
We went to all the thrift stores in town to find enough glass plates, serving dishes and linens. I have quite a bit but not enough for what we wanted to do.

We didn’t want to have to buy anything new (I have a china hutch full of stuff that rarely gets used) or too matchy, matchy we wanted an eclectic look with vintage flair. The older I get the more I love vintage does that mean I am vintage haha.
After we found and borrowed every thing we needed. Including 2 6foot tables and one 4 foot with chairs (yea for friends thanks Johnson’s)

I spent night after night doing tea research on line and getting ideas and after all the research we finalized the menu. Trying to stick closely with a formal tea meal.
1st course was during the arrival and greeting time we had strawberry lemonade and cheese and crackers set up at a self serve table with pretty Wine glasses for the lemonade.
During this the girls were arriving one by one and I in a really bad English accent greeted them at the door in a maids uniform of black and white. I welcomed each girl offered to take their handbag and coats then loudly announced their arrival to the party.
After all the girls arrived my daughter asked them to be seated at their name tagged seats. She had a seating plan since some of the girls did not know each other.

She then rang a bell and I brought out Tea, Milk, lemon slices, honey and sugar cubes. (Lots of research resulting in the Tea accompaniments and how they are to be served English tea is always served with milk not cream and lemon is to be sliced not wedged)
2nd course followed with finger sandwiches: egg salad on wheat cut with a butterfly cookie cutter, tuna salad on white beget the grocery store was nice enough to slice it for me, lastly vegetable cream cheese and cucumber on pumpernickel. The egg was the favorite, I am not sure if it was the egg or the butterfly shape.
I also had a silver-serving dish on the table of pita chips while not a true English tea food we love them and wanted to introduce them to some of the girls who had not.
I brought out the sandwiches on a big tray and walked around to each girl.
I filled the pots with more tea at this point.
My daughter and I went to a formal tea at church and one of the things they did was have some questions on cards as topics of discussion we thought that was a great idea to keep conversation going as some of these girls had not meet each other before. My daughter looked on line for some ideas like: favorite vacation favorite funny story, most embarrassing moment etc. we cut them up and put them in her white Easter hat she wore as a little girl and passed the hat around during eating this was a huge success and really did keep things flowing.

3rd course was then rung in after a bit by my daughter this time it was homemade heart shaped cream scones (warmed) with strawberry or peach fruit preserves and topped with Devonshire cream. I topped the scones with a brushing of heavy cream and purple sugar to add some fun. (I colored the sugar with food coloring drops the day before so it would be dried and ready to sprinkle) I added no fruit to the scones themselves just the topping. (This was my favorite dish; I have had scones in coffee shops many times, but never like this with the fruit and cream on top. I had it for breakfast for two days after her party and sadly it is all gone)
I gave my daughter a bell that was given to me the year she was born it is dated “1990” I thought it would make her feel special to ring me in but she rang it a couple times for fun and I came in running I think the girls liked that but I wanted to take the bell back hahaha so after two false alarms she was finally ready for the last course.

This was the sweets tray with cupcakes of chocolate fudge with vanilla frosting dyed purple and little candy flowers of purple on top, Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting dyed pink and some had coconut on them and some had pink edible glitter. The tray also included milk chocolate truffle balls with a creamy white chocolate filling and vanilla roses in pink and purple.
I made the roses with candy melts form the craft store and plastic molds. It made a beautiful display and allowed me to use a two tiered silver serving tray I have had for 20 years (hubby polished all the silver for us xoxoxoxoxo)

During this course they played another conversation game called two truths and a lie each girl would take a turn telling two truths and a lie and the rest would have to guess the lie I am happy to report they had a bit of trouble with the lie.
Though this was an exhausting event for me I would do again. We had
our party at 4pm (according to research formal tea was served between 3:30-5:00pm) it gets dark so early I figured that 4 would be perfect to show case candle lighting.
Some party highlights of décor:
We had over twenty candles all over the room (some were hand made soy- thanks Megan) some floating in colored water some pillar, votives I really wanted a mix.
I made a rose bowl centerpiece with a crystal candy dish using pink large bud roses, pink carnations and baby’s breath. I added a small lace parasol to the roses. (Hubby cut all the stems for me after I cut one the size I wanted he had never done anything like cut flowers before- Thanks honey)
On each side of the rose bowl I had pink long pillar candles and a small swan on a mirror each swan had a colored rose candy in it.
I had a small side table with a ivy bowl full of pink and yellow tulips one of the girls has a sister who works at a nursery and she brought a bunch of flowers as a gift to my daughter –thanks Megan)

I made candy kiss roses in purple wrap for each girl except for one in red for a girl who is a die-hard Phantom of the Opera fan (if you have seen the movie you understand the red rose)
We made purple and pink rose gift bags and put candy kisses the rose candies and pastel mints in them tied with a satin bow and a small white fan. The bags were at each girl’s place setting.

I broke out My Mother in Law’s silver teaspoons and forks. We used clear glass dessert size plates with rose paper plates underneath. Mix and match linens all different but worked together with our basic pink and purple theme.
Addition highlights: I told my daughter ahead of time I would not join her Tea Party as a guest it would be to hard to jump up and down and so we played with that idea and we decided I would dress up as a maid then the bell idea came in which I had at her place setting. We also had beautiful harp and easy listening music in the background the room was mostly candle lit just one small lamp on.
I think this was a hit and after some rest I might want to do it again sometime or help someone else.

Thank you to all the help listed as well as all he valuable info
and ideas shared on line.
May God bless you and if you have a daughter enjoy a nice cup of tea with her
because she will be 17 in no time.

Happy 17th Birthday Shan I Love you


Nancy Jo said...

Hi Betty Jo,
Thank you for your kind comments on my site, always nice to see a new name.
You tea party was ever so nice, now I want a cupcake. I can see that a lot of work went into that.
Your sewing projects are all so nice. I do a lot of needlework but not very good at sewing.
How did you find my site? I always wonder about that.
The kids are all taking me out to dinner tonight for my Birthday. We were all together at Thanksgiving, I thought that was enough, but I guess they think not. So my Birhtday has been an on going thing. But I guess that is good!
Your Daughter is very pretty, and yes the years sure do fly by don't they?

rochambeau said...

What a lovely Party!
For a beautiful daughter!
So great that you figured out how to do it by hitting the thrift stores!
Taking time out to celebrate milestones in life is important!
It is the fabric of our memories.

Thanks for sharing Betty Jo!
An Happy Birthday to your daughter!!

shannonbaker said...

Dear my FAVORITE mom,
I think this party was just fab. I loved it very much. You are the best mom ever. I love you!
Lets start planning for the big 18!!

: )

your FAVORITE daughter

Angela McRae said...

Oh, your daughter's birthday tea party was just gorgeous! (She's quite cute, too, but I'm sure you know that already!)

I love all the special touches you created just for the party. To me, planning all this fun stuff is almost as much fun as the party itself!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! What a beautiful party that must have been! I can't believe how lovely everything looked. What a great idea.
And yes, I'm flattered that you would add me to your blog list...thanks! I'll add you to mine too =)

Rebecca said...

Hi Betty Jo! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and of course you can link to me!! Thanks. :)

Your tea party looks divine! I had a tea party for all my bridesmaids last year and it was so much fun. Your daughter and her friends will cherish this memory for sure.


Becky said...

Wow-- labor intensive party! But it sounds like the results were totally worth it. I'm sure your daughter really appreciated all the work you put into it!

Steph said...

This is such a beautiful, gorgeous post! Your daughter has a very special MOM! This is just incredible - you did a really super job.