I treasure collaborating with my creative pals. I also love to entertain. I was having some conversations with some good friends this past Fall about starting a jokey-yet-serious social club of sorts where I could join forces with different friends at different times and host unique parties and events. A way to do all the things I love to do. Graphic Design, Cooking, having fun, DIY, brainstorming. Just plain "creating experiences" where people feel special and have a great time. And so the Upper Crust Social Club was born and to kick it off, I co-hosted a Tea Party for some fabulous ChiTown ladies with the amazing Kathy Beymer from Merriment Design.
Sooo, I have a collection of mismatched teacups, some from flea markets, some from my Grandmother and the rest were gifts and finds from cute shops all over the U.S. This party was a good excuse to gather a few more too (wink, wink). Kathy and I wanted each guest to have a unique placesetting. The mismatched "thing" worked well because we "cemented" everything together with loads of white textures. (view other placesettings)
We were definitely inspired by the odd and playful aspects of the AliCe in WOndErlanD Tea Party. One detail we had alot of fun with were the little bottles we filled with colored champagne and sugarcubes. We placed a bunch of them with "Drink Me" labels all around the table.
Our favors were multi-colored ShrinkyDink rabbit foot keychains.
The Tea Table was quite a spread. We wanted the overall design to reflect the Upper Crust Social Club Tea Party look and feel and not a mishmosh of different tea brands/logos. We sewed up some teabags (using fabric Kathy had leftover from sheers she made for her home) that the ladies could fill with their choice from a variety of "leaded" and "unleaded" looseleaf teas. I used pieces from my Grandmother's gold-trimmed China to display teabags and we made little rectangular labels out of cardstock to identify each tea. We really liked the overall white and black theme because it let the colors of the event come from the teas, the sandwiches, desserts, placesettings and most importantly, our guests.
We made a variety of tasty tea sandwiches: Raw Almond Butter & Blueberry Jam, Carrot Ginger, Chicken Curry, Traditional Cucumber, Egg Salad, Pear & Stilton and Smoked Salmon & Wasabi. Every recipe was delicious and we used different cookie cutters to fancy the shapes up. I have a collection of old tins and we made unique stands out of them by placing China on the tops.
We left the desserts to the experts at Alliance Bakery in Chicago.
Kathy and I pooled our decorations, tea collections, teacups, linens, etc. and all in all were able to throw a fantastic party with very little expense.
We encouraged every guest to take tea, sammiches and desserts home with them too. I had a ton of bags in the closet from other projects that we were able to use up. We just printed some stickers out on crack n' peel letter stock.
View the entire UCSC Tea Party photoset here.