December 15, 2010

The Gift of Tea: DIY style

There is a never-ending supply of tea, tea wares and tea-related gifts for the tea lover that you can buy. Oh, there are teapots and fancy flowering tea sets, to special honeys and unique blends aplenty!  So when I was invited to the Steeped in Beauty: DIY Holiday Gift Workshop, which was held on December 4th in Philadelphia, I knew this would spark some thoughtful and fun ways to share my love of tea with others.

The event itself was lead by two Philadelphia residents passionate about tea and wellness: Jolene Hart, a certified Beauty & Health Coach, and Alexis Siemons, a tea writer & branding consultant, and the founder of teaspoons & petals blog and her delicately crafted line of haiku teaware.  Not enough amazing things can be said about her Haiku-wares.  I've said it before and will no doubt be featuring them again because they are so awesome they rock my inner tea pot.

The event started with Jolene Hart as she led us through some easy to make natural beauty and health products like a Peppermint Lip Balm, A Spicy Holiday Sugar Scrub, and a Natural Fragrance Oil Diffuser Set.  Not only how to make them, but how to personalize and create a lovely presentation in the packaging of them (Thank you Ikea for cheap goods!)

Then Alexis took the floor and shared how to make tea cards, tea soda, and even a matcha lemon poundcake.

I  especially like the personalized tea note cards - so easy to do and a great idea for any occasion - even if it's just to say "Hi!" to a friend across the miles...  In the photo, you'll see a tea pack of Orchid Oolong from Mighty Leaf Tea Company.  After teaching us how to make the card, she shared a special way of enjoying the Orchid Oolong in a cup of hot cocoa.  The essence of the tea with its rich and floral notes gave the cocoa an exotic feel.

We also learned how to make a tea soda.  a festive beverage with a million flavor possibilities!  Simply carmelize some sugar and tea together, into a syrup.  Bottle and enjoy.  To serve, pour a bit of the syrup into the glass and add club soda or seltzer.   Here I am holding my cup of fizzy tea soda.

Not only can you use any leftover tea to make the base for the soda, but when creating a card or gift tag to go with the present, steep the note card in tea for an vintage, antique look. 

I look forward to trying my hand at the gift ideas that Jolene and Alexis presented.  Also, when they have their next event, I will be eager to attend. The communiTEA spirit was certainly alive at this DIY Gift Workshop.  I have since been in contact with the lades who were present - and everyone who was there left steeped in excitement and in inspiration which is the most beautiful thing of all.

For more info & better pix of the things made: Visit Tea&PetalsBlog

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