June 5, 2009
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Some people are surprised by our African tea cup designs... Why tea cups? What do tea cups and teapots have to do with Africa? Good question. What many people do not know is that South Africa used to be a British colony. For many years the British ruled South Africa and as a result many of the British customs and traditions were incorporated and adopted by local South Africans. Today tea drinking from a tea cup and a saucer is an every day, actually twice a day ritual. Once at 11am in the morning- tea time and again at 4pm in the afternoon, tea time. Tea is never drunk in a mug or plastic container as it is believed that it changes the taste of the tea and the ritual itself. In fact as i am writing this blog, i am sipping a cup of tea. In South Africa it is customary, when a guest enters your house, to immediately offer them a cup of tea.
A cup of tea whether you are drinking it in South Africa or Britain is usually served with milk. Customs differ as to whether to pour the milk in first or after the hot water. When having guests one places the tea cups on a tray along with a jug of milk a, bowl of sugar, and a teapot with the tea inside brewing. Letting the tea bag brew and seep in the hot water adds to the taste.
I am excited to show you our African inspired tea cups and African kettle. there are so many different ways one can stitch these designs. While chain stitch is the dominant stitch, satin stich and various embelishment techniques can be incorporated for enhancment and effect.
In my blog today you will see some of the very different ways in which the tea cups have been completed. I have one customers who has completed eight tea cups and is making them into a table runner. Another has combined four of the tea cup designs into a quilt and another has placed the African Kettle on the top of a glass tea box. Oh and wait till you see the women who stitched all four tea cup designs and placed them on a black apron. I love using the African hand dyed vaerigated threads for the teacups as the subtle color changes create added interest in the design. My favorite color freesia ( #48) has over ten color changes. You can see these new designs on our website at www.aflembroidery.com.
Oh and any time you are in California, please join me for a cup of tea.
best leora Raikin
African Folklore Embroidery