Tea Chai Te

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Healing Space

Oceanside, Oregon and Trillium Lake. Two places we cherish collide in the photo, an homage to the solitude we experience when we take our mini breaks from this busy life.
Initially, I was daydreaming about Dominic (which is REALLY common). As I downloaded our recent beach trip photos, I noticed he was standing on this huge rock and the shadow cast over the backside of it was so intensely black there was almost no detail. And then I saw the stars, little bits of lights twinkling there and a new mini photo project was born.

Bao Zhong Tea from Tea Chai Te was keeping me in a state of continued creative bliss so I moved onto thoughts of my Dad. Passing back into the Spirit World a few months ago, I have found many ways to grieve my sadness.  From songwriting and creative projects like photography, I have chosen to allow myself to turn my sadness into joyful acceptance thru creative play. The stars I saw twinkling in my memories of my Dad were reflecting back at me in some NASA space photography, so I choose some favorite family photos & two collided, creating a few supernovas of healing and release for me. 

Each time I create, I let go a little. I let go not of my love for my Dad, but of the thought that this present moment is sad because he is not in that body anymore. He is not in that body but I'm so grateful he took the time all these years to leave us lots of great memories and mementos to remind us of the great love we all share. And as the stars in the photos have been going supernova for the last hundreds of millions of years, so too shall my love for Dominic, my Dad, my Mom, my children Dimitri & Sol, my sister and her family, my grandparents, my in-law parents, my extended family, my friends, my employees, my customers and everyone of us who makes up the stars in the night sky.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Gifts of the Heart

This last year for me has been one filled with awareness and appreciation of the amount of care my husband gives to our relationship and family daily. Every morning, he wakes with a gentle smile and has miles of patience to spare for our wildly awake little boys. There are moments when all you see is tiny feet, arms and legs all over him as the boys climb their Daddy like he is their official jungle gym. As I type this sentence, he is dragging one leg, overbite growling and acting like a zombie while slowly chasing our squealing and giggling boys around the house.

There are many moments I could list where he shows his love in unconscious ways. From doing the dishes daily and giving me hand massages to ease pain to bringing home foods I'll love weekly that can meet my evolving dietary needs in our quest to achieve pain free living for me, he inspires me to love myself too. And this winter season, he surprised me yet again with some beautiful trinkets that speak to how he sees what brings me joy. To have a soul mate who appreciates all the things about me that make me "Angelbabybaby" is the biggest blessing in life. What a guy!

 Squirrel Origami Necklace by Laonato

Made by Jinny, owner of Laonato, created this dainty origami squirrel necklace using gold plated brass. As a friend of a squirrel, I am very grateful to have a reminder of Nutty in such a beautiful creation. The very tiny details of this design are so amazing and I look forward to pairing this necklace with one of my own favorite necklace designs I made a few years ago- a gentle black Tektite stone and gold chain.

Other jewelry in the photo: Gold dipped Birch leaf earrings from Tillamook Cheese Factory gift shop $25; Gold dipped crystal quartz necklace, my own design

Silver Slippers by Sandalianas

To add some more sparkle to my life, my husband also gave me these beautiful silver fairy slippers.

Handmade in Athens, Greece with the best quality leather and fur
from 100% sheep wool (muton), these very soft slippers are the creation of G.Papi of the Esty shop, Sandalianas.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Baby Zebra Hat for a Rockin' Friend & Her Sweet Little One.

You know when you meet someone for the first time but feel like you've been friends for years? With joy, you're so excited when you cross paths with someone who gets you so well, and is so fun to be around. Someone in the last year has been that person for me. She's wonderful, and although we haven't been able to spend tons of time together, she always makes me feel at ease and really see the humor in everything. Light of heart with lots of wit, I felt compelled to make something for her that was equal to her uniqueness when I found out she was having a baby.  
I created this little infant zebra hat using a few variations of crochet stitches and alternating super soft acrylic blend black and white yarn.  Normally,  I'm a huge fan of using natural fibers especially when projects are created for infants. But I've made a few hats in the past for my boys with these yarns and they were not only the softest, but the boys didn't have any skin reactions, even though both had major skin sensitivities when they were little. The yarn has enough give to allow stretch over a smaller cotton cap too.

My creative process is very free and fluid. I just create as I go- no patterns, and I don't record what I do. It's a form of meditation for me, and as I create, I allow my mind to focus happy, peaceful thoughts on those who will be receiving the project.  And there is usually lots of moments of joy and humor, like the instant I realized I had finished creating the mane in a way that would go seamless into my design and convey that adorable "rebel" vibe I was wanting.

For those interested in finding a pattern that is similar to this, there is one by Etsy shop, Emie Grace Creations, owned by Miriah Gilbert of Washington. She has lots of entertaining animal hat patterns, with great pictures of her designs.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tea Chai Te Wins Big at Oregon's First State Tea Competition!

It's always exciting to hear from our customers when we blend a new tea recipe that pleases them.  And we never tire of hearing how our teas have influenced their lives by bringing people together with such an enjoyable experience. So for us to be acknowledged in Oregon's first state tea competition with so many awards for our teas is really icing on the cake. 

It's been my personal opinion that blending teas is something my husband, Dominic excels at, so I felt it fitting to share on my blog how amazing his creative skills are. If you have a chance to try out some of these award winning teas in our tea shop, we'd love to hear what you think. 

All of these award winning teas are available on our website here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peach Blossom White Tea- Summertime Heaven

One of my favorite things about the early part of summer is the arrival of the vivid colored peaches in the grocery stores and farmers markets. 

Originating from China, the fragrant aroma and velvet skin of peaches hint at the juicy fruit inside; opening up our summer time recipes to peach cobbler, honey fruit salads and now, our special Peach Blossom White tea.  This Chinese white peony tea is full of vitamins and antioxidants resulting in numerous health benefits from improving the cardiovascular system to protecting skin from UV radiation exposure.  Blended with peaches and various blossoms, this healing tea has a strong floral aroma with a delicate fruity flavor to the light golden colored brew. 

Peach Blossom White tea's fantastic flavor makes it a great choice for iced teas or even to freeze into summertime frozen treats. 

I made mini iced treats for my little boys, using fresh watermelon. They were a quick, healthy and fresh way to enjoy this tea. 

 Peach Blossom Watermelon Ice Flowers

-Make a small cup of Peach Blossom White tea hot. I made a 12oz cup of tea using 1 TBSP of tea leaves steeped for 3 minutes.

-Blend 2 parts fresh watermelon in large chunks to 1 part hot Peach Blossom White tea

-Strain mixture into ice/popsicle tray of your choice (or use a plastic cup)

-Freeze & Enjoy!

Peach Blossom White tea is now available on our website and in the tea shop

Cheers to the beginning of a beautiful summer!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Few of My New Favorite Jeweled Things (I've made)...

I have been in a creative cyclone for weeks. Just when I find I need a mental break from life, in pops an inspiring idea that propels me into action. My mind clears when I'm creating, and I find that with each project, just as I am bringing things together to create something new, I feel I am growing in my world perception and empathy as I think of each materials origins and impact on humanity. I feel the woman in Nepal who shaped the gemstone, the animal AND the humans who were the originators of the leather. I am connected to all and want to share my love for life in it. I love experiencing my creative moments and being present in them.  If I had the time (& desire), to post each time I created something, I'd probably be over limit on blog entries (if that's possible). Instead, I'll give you a brief glimpse into what my fingers have been creatively up to.

A few fun baubles designed to inspire vibrationally through gemstones and rare rocks like Black Tourmaline and Tektite...

Then I found inspiration in working with leather and created these leather teapot necklaces for our staff (the guys received tea cup key rings).

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And finally, a fun shirt I modified with vintage pearl beaded garland I received from my husband Dominic's Granny.  This shirt was originally really wide in the neck with no support, so adding a few new positioned strands of this beautiful gray garland created something fun and now functional to wear. I first used a fabric glue to set the garland, then hand stitched it to the shirt. No more safety pins to keep this shirt up!