Monday, January 20, 2014

Book of Notes and Christmas Tea

Over the past two years I have been following the lovely Danni, and her blog "oh, hello friend: you are loved." One of her posts talked about creating a "Book of Notes." I found them intriguing, but I could never find much info on what these actually are. Then last year Danni and her husband opened a shop near me. It is a wonderful place, full of all sorts of goodies, many of which could be used in letter writing.

Opening Day, Oh Hello Friend. This is Danni welcoming her first visitors.

Danni recently started offering classes at her shop. So, naturally I signed up for the Book of Notes class. Danni is a wonderful, generous teacher. She is quick to help and praise those of us a bit unsure of what we are doing.
So on to a Book of Notes. All of my Book of Notes have started with 2 sheets of white card stock (8.5" x 11") folded in half, making two 5.5" x 8.5"halves. The two full sheets were stitched down the middle with a jeans needle on my sewing machine. Then to begin adding contents. The photos I show you next are photos of the Book of Notes I made in Danni's class.

Each page had various types of stationary, tags, stickers, gifts, and washi tape added.
Pages 1 and 2, with tag notes, a heart shaped sparkler, and a fun little note capsule.

Note capsule in glassine envelope. The plastic capsule has a very small note rolled up and tucked inside.

Small note card inside an envelope.

Page 3 and 4, more notes, cards, letters, and fun.

Pages 5 and 6, A few more notes, a greeting card, and a Fortune Telling Fish, for fun. That is me in the picture, holding the sparkler I sent my friend.

Envelope, ready to send.
After my friend received I learned a valuable lesson. When sending a Book of Notes, especially those with items like sparklers, capsules, and lollipops use a bubble wrap envelope. She opened the envelope to find powdered sparkler and crushed capsule and candy. Oh well, she still enjoyed it. I loved making this one so much, I had to make more. I made six more for Christmas. These Book of Notes were for 5 of my closest high school friends, and myself. We have known each other 35+ years.

But the notes were only part of the fun this time around. I have really wanted to get everyone back together, but we live in 3 different states. Only one of us is still in our hometown. I have had fun writing letters to each of these wonderful ladies for many years. I took an idea I had read about at Letter Matters, a "Virtual Tea," and made it work for us, but not all of us had stayed in touch in the same way. I wanted this whole idea to be a bit of a surprise, so I started by sending a private message to each friend asking if they could be available online on the specified date, no questions asked. Each answered yes, so the plan was set in motion. I created the Book of Notes with a group letter, explaining my idea, along with the invitation.

The rest of the pages were pictures of the group, and individual shots that represented various memories, such as weddings... Each Book of Notes also contained a personal note from me to the recipient.

Each Book of Notes was placed in a box, with a fun Alice in Wonderland tea cup and saucer, cookies, sweets, and several types of tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.

I made cloth napkins to make the set up even more special. The Book of Notes was laid in a place of honor, on top of all the goodies, packed up, and shipping them off. I had a great deal of fun creating this whole thing and kept my fingers crossed, that my friends would also enjoy my idea. You see, I added to the original idea I had read about, an online discussion with all the gang. As the boxes arrived I received all sorts of happy remarks. And a request for a second cup set so that a daughter did not steal my friend's cup. The night of our virtual tea, we all met up online, with our tea and treats.
My tea that night included Trader Joe's Decaf Candy Cane Green Tea, and a variety of Christmas Cookies.

We typed away, chatting over one another, just like old times. 2 + hours later, those farthest east had to call it a night, and we slowly logged off, with the promise to do it again soon. We are talking about doing a Skype this time. I am so glad I read Mrs. Duffy's post about the long distance tea. It was a well received Christmas gift that we all will remember for a long time. Consider "having" tea with someone soon. If you can't afford sending the cups and goodies, add a tea bag or two to a letter to someone special. That way they can enjoy a nice cuppa "with you" while reading your letter.

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