Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Tea Tray


Life may be frenzied outside the home, but it can get that way in the home as well, if regular time is not set aside for sitting still.  The tea tray makes it easier to have a special moment or two by yourself
or with someone in the family. I have found the preparation of the tea tray is a great way to begin the day, or a resting time in the afternoon.

  The advantage of preparing a tray is that you can take it anywhere: the porch, your favorite lounge chair, the kitchen or your bed. You need not have a major clean-up of any area before you have your tea, since the only space you need is on a tray.


The tea tray takes the place of the dining room.  My own dining table is always in use, so a tea tray makes a perfect space for a little meal without having to clean up the table.  

You may not think you have time to stop for refreshments, but it is worth the time, for all the good it does.  I use teatime as an opportunity to gather my thoughts and organize my work and ideas on paper.  Once my tasks on on a list, they seem halfway completed.

Taking a tray with tea time supplies to a quiet corner of the house is also a good time to catch up on Bible study and other reading. I always have a stack of things I need to read before it is all outdated.  Teatime makes me stop and look through it or just rest my mind and my eyes.

If you are homeschooling, your children will delight in regular tea times, as they pause from their studies to enjoy an ancient custom using porcelin cups and special spoons, along with small bites to eat, carefully arranged on a tray.

It is good for children to know what is on the agenda during a day, so they will know what to expect. Teatime provides a few moments to make a list. You can start by asking, "What needs to be done today?" When you let them see your own list, they are more inclined to understand your goals and to be willing helpers.


While I was trying to figure out how to make an ordinary jar a little more interesting for a flower vase on a tea tray, I saw these vases in an Ikea catalog, which also had candle holders in the same style.  It looks so pretty and lacey, but there is no Ikea anywhere within normal driving distance, and the store does not have mail-order so I thought about how to get one of these pretty vases without leaving home or spending anything.


              The paper-cut vase wrapper holds some Queen Anne's Lace that grows here.

I did not think to make a step-by-step tutorial to share how I (tried) to imitate the Ikea vase, so here is a little explanation:

I first drew a pattern by rolling the glass on a piece of white paper And drawing the outline of the glass along the top and end as I rolled it. Then I cut out the shape, which is curved.  Following that, I folded the piece several times and then cut wedges and shapes on the folded edges, like you would a paper snowflake.  When the wrapper is unrolled after cutting the little pieces, it looks like the picture above.  I also cut a design on the upper edge of the paper.

The tea is made with crushed berries and hot water, poured through a strainer. Try different berries, frozen or fresh, to get other colors.  This tea is pink. The cucumbers are coming on in the garden, so soon I am going to make cucumber tea, which is very good!  I will post about it later.

                                         Above: Early morning under the grape arbor.

I was thinking to myself what I would like to be greeted with first thing in the morning, so I made a list:

- something pretty that someone has made,
- hot tea and some interesting mail,
- a clean, orderly house,
- quietness except for nature,
- a to-do list already thought out and written down,
- nutritious breakfast.
- a feeling of peace and gratitude.

All of things are practically free, and yet at times, so unattainable.  Achieving them takes time and effort and prayer. Most of the things people really want cost no money.

In the past I thought it might be kind of nice to wake up and see a pretty present, a surprise, or some nice thing, but now I know it would just be something to find a space for or eventually have to wash. The best gifts are the ones God gives us, that do not have to be stored: the morning mist and the cooing dove, the colored skies, the scent of honeysuckle by the door, or the pattern of a sunbeam coming through the window, loyalty of family and friends, salvation and happiness.

Here are some other things that cost nothing but time and effort, and reap the reward of a healthy mind and will do a lot to eliminate worry from your life:

1Th 5:17    Pray without ceasing.
1Th 5:18    In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Try doing only those two things in the scriptures, above, for just an hour each day. You might do a personal research study about what praying without ceasing means, and what giving thanks in everything entails.

I hope you have a wonderful day and see the beauty around you. One of the reasons people keep journals is to record the good things.  There are no rules for keeping journals. Mine includes my daily lists.

I usually put a shopping list on one side of the page, and then fold it back and tear off the list along the fold when I get ready to go shopping. 

There is not just one theme in this post because I am answering a request to share some of my daily life. I enjoy putting a little "x" beside each item as it is completed, and it gives the whole family a sense of well-being when the home is looked after.


This is a tea-tray rubber stamp I use. It was produced way back when tea time became common again--must have been a couple of decades ago!  I am now using the clear acryliic stamps more, because it is easier to see through them and know exactly how to place the image on the card or paper.  This card was made to look like a chalkboard, using the instructions here


Stephanie said...

I agree, it's always a joy being able to mark something off the list as 'completed.'

Your post today was just lovely, Lydia. I do homeschool my little one and this year I think tea breaks is just what we need and will enjoy - thank you for the recommendation. And thank you for the words of wisdom.

May you have a delightful week! Hugs and blessings to you!

Andrea R said...

How lovely! What a wonderful way to start the day!

Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely insight into your day.

God bless!

Antiques And Teacups said...

A lovely tray, wonderful Royal Albert teacup and gracious thoughts as well as truth in your post. A lovely way to start the morning!

SharonR said...

Thank you again for your lovely suggestions. I'm happier just reading your post.

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

So many beautiful ideas in this post! Thank you.

Lydia said...

Thank you all for dropping by!

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Lydia, I loved this post! I truly believe so many things that we can enjoy our free and gifts from the Lord! I may need to set our my tray so I can use it soon!
Sometimes I cheat with my list as I will do something that was not on it, so I write about it so I can still cross it out! LOL
Looking forward to a quiet moment tomorrow and think of the Lords blessings!
Wonderful and refreshing!! Roxy

Homemaker's Heart said...

I so enjoy seeing your "get away" each summer. Thank you for the inspiration. I like the idea of a tea tray for a mini meal. Since I am gluten & dairy free, my mini meals get very simple and not very Tea time- ish. Though it's nice to have the break with a pretty cup of tea.

I like your drawings on your to do list. I think it makes the list more fun.

Wishing you peace