Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to Create A Gift Basket

The lovely Beth @ Beyond The Garden Gate hosted a tea swap recently. I was a bit late getting mine out since it happened while I was sick. I received this lovely basket from my swap partner, Patricia. Lots of little goodies in there! I love it!

Plus, look at the gorgeous Havilland cup and saucer she sent along with it!

Bitty One immediately tried to lay claim to it, but I beat her off. She made me promise that when she gets older and moves out that she gets it. Atleast I have a while to enjoy my beautiful set before she swipes it!

I had been gathering things for the swap, now I just needed to put them all together. I love putting a bunch of little things in one holder that goes with the theme.

For this one I chose a basket. You want to make sure that your holder is large enough to hold everything.

I picked up these pretty vintage tea towels to be included. I hung them over the side of the basket so they wouldn't get all smushed. Also hanging over the edge gives the illusion of an overflowing basket.

I just love the white on white embroidery! After I added the towels, I added some shredded paper to help cushion and help heighten some of the smaller items. You want to gather your items together. Sort them by weight since you will want the heaviest items on the bottom.

My heaviest items were these jars of homemade jam, strawberry and raspberry. I didn't want them to disappear in the bottom and I didn't want the jars to break. I wrapped each jar in bubble wrap and covered them in a pretty tissue paper tied with raffia.

I let the tops of the paper stick up to give a little fluff and color. I them tucked in two tins of tea and a bag of lemon poppyseed scone mix.

This cute little jar of honey was tucked in too. I bought a honey dipper and tied it to him with a bit of raffia. The honey comes from a local apiary. Ooooh, maybe we will have to do a field trip one day! I also tucked in some chocolate spoons that I bought at Crossroads Village. I don't know how they are in tea, but they are great in coffee.

I also included a cute little teapot shaped tea bag rest. I wrapped it in tissue paper and tied with a bit of raffia to protect it. I also put in a tea diffuser. So it didn't get lost in the basket, I hung the chain over the side to add some interest.

The star is this cup and saucer that I found at the tea house located in Hartland. Thyme Well Spent is located in the historical part of downtown Hartland set in a beautiful Victorian. The owner cooks and serves all the guests and is truly a delight! The first floor of the house is dining rooms and the second floor is filled with antiques including tea cup sets. When school starts back up, I am planning on having a relaxing, celebratory lunch here!

Something as fragile as this I wanted to be sure that it arrived undamaged. I took a bit of bubble wrap and rolled it to fit inside the handle of the cup. I put more bubble wrap inside the bowl of the cup and wrapped the cup in more bubble wrap. I also wrapped the saucer in bubble wrap. The two pieces were then wrapped in tissue paper and put in the center of the basket. A larger box of tea celebrating the Royal Wedding is wrapped and tied with raffia at the back of the basket.

Top it all off with a card....

....Carefully put it into a clear gift bag and tie with a bow and TA DAA! We are done!

Now to ship it off to Patricia. I hope she enjoys this tea basket as much as I enjoyed putting it together for her! You know what this makes me think?!

I need to do a giveaway!

Maybe next week.

Maybe inspired by my front flower bed redo.

Maybe I should get my front flower bed done!

Maybe you will have to come back next week to find out about it!

Maybe you should come back tomorrow. I have Carne Asada! Guacomole! Refried Beans!

Maybe I should get off my buttocks and get to work!

But first a lesson to learn from a tea cup.


There was a couple that used to go to England to shop in a beautiful antique store.
This trip was to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques
and pottery, and expecially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they asked, "May
we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful."

As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, "You don't understand"
It said. "I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a
lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over
and over and I yelled out, "Don't do that. I don't like it!" "Let me alone," but he
smiled, and gently said, "Not yet!!"

Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around
and around and around. "Stop it!. I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to get sick!" I screamed.
But the master only nodded and said, quietly, "Not yet." He spun me and poked and
prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then ...

Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and
pounded at the door. "Help! Get me out of here!" I could see him through the
opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, "Not yet."

When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully
took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good!
"Ah, this is much better," I thought.

But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over.
The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. "Oh, please, Stop it, Stop it!!" I cried.
He only shook his head and said "Not yet!"

Then suddenly he put be back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one.
This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded.
I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready
to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me
on the shelf, where I cooled and waited and waited, wondering, "What's he going
to do to me next?"

An hour later he handed me a mirror and said, "Look at yourself." And I did. I
said, "That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!"

Quietly he spoke: "I want you to remember," then, he said "I know it hurt to be
rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you'd have dried up. I
know it made you dizzy to spin around on he wheel, but if I had stopped, you
would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but
if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when
I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have
hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn't put you back
in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness
would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in
mind when I first began with you."

The moral of this story is this:

God knows what He's doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay.
He will mold us and make us, and expose us to just enough pressures of just the
right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fufill His good,
pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed
almost beyond endurance; when your world sees to be spinning out of control;
when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to "stink,"
try this....come to Tyme Well Spent, have a cup of your favorite tea
in a pretty teacup, sit down and think of this story and then, spend a little
time for yourself relaxing, knowing the Potter has everything under control.

Enjoy your day Lovelies!


texwisgirl said...

love your sweet gift basket, and am sure your recipient will too. :)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

The gift basket is really pretty Maggie, I'm sure she'll love it! Great lesson from the teacup. Carne Asada??? I'll be stopping by:@)

Anonymous said...

YEP!...a give away would be fantastic, hope you will this gift basket is absolutely lovely!..glad your feeling better.

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wonderful gift basket...a work of art. Loved the teacup poem too!

bj said...

How pretty this is, dear one. You just about outdid yourself on this pretty thing. She is going to sooo love it all.
That is a sweet poem.:)

Beth said...

Great poem, and two very nice gift baskets! Have a great wknd, Maggie!

Lori said...

What a great basket Maggie and congrats to your lucky recipient! I love that little cup & saucer ~ aren't they just the cutest things. xo

The Armchair Housewife said...

Fantastic. I love how you used the hand towels to decorte the front of the basket. I am a big believer in gift baskets and you can get them so cheap at thrift stores its a great way to give gifts. Im learning to make jams and other preserves for the first time this year and am looking forward to doing all homemade and handmade gift baskets for christmas. thanks for the inspiration!