Yay! Another Tea With… post! First, a little story time. This year in my art room I planned to do a travel theme where my students get to travel all around the world with art. What better traveling partner to have and to emulate than Paddington! So I cobbled together a real little suitcase for him and filled it with delightful surprises to show my students to introduce our art theme for the year. It was a big hit! An even bigger hit was Paddington who got so many hugs I can’t believe he still has fur! Here he is in my classroom and here is the little suitcase I made for him.
You don’t stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing.-Author Unknown
Well, all this Paddington fun got me inspired to make a Paddington tea. So I planned it in my journal:
We had a kettle; we let it leak,-Rudyard Kipling
Our not repairing made it worse,
We haven’t had any tea for a week…
The bottom is out of the Universe.
Then, I got to work setting it all up! I had a hankering for bread that day so I had bead and butter for tea instead of store-bought stuff. It was so fun to set up the table in my studio. I brought up my Robin’s Egg Blue Frankoma tea service. This started out as two cups and a tray that was left to me by a wonderful Pre-K teacher who helped me so much in my early career. I added to it over the years, always keeping it in my classroom until I became an art teacher. At that point I was too busy and messy to enjoy this set in that environment so I brought it home and it lives happily now in my kitchen hutch. Maybe one day I’ll take it back, but I do enjoy it more now.
My Paddington guests were Paddington and his Aunt Lucy, both by the lovely English company Gabrielle Designs. The suitcase is also by them, and I based my classroom suitcase on its design. The books on the table are the first three Paddington books by Michael Bond. My first graders always got to hear the first two as I read them to them. Now I read the picture book made of the first two chapters to my little ones.
The other book featured in this post is one of my favorite autobiographies: Bearly Believable by Shirley Clarkson. I’ve read this book and enjoyed it many times. It’s all about the company that produced the first Paddington bears and many other delightful stuffed animals over the years including a wonderful set of Pooh animals that I will feature in a different post.
Well there you have it! A lovely day in the studio having hot tea and bread and butter with Paddington. I did some art and read some Paddington stories and had a wonderful time. I hope, as always that this post inspires you to go out and make something out of nothing!
Magic is always pushing and drawing and making things out of nothing.-Frances Hodgson
With tea magic to you from Kansas Street,