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Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Makeover~ Disastrous Dress Becomes Fetching Frock

Last Saturday was our Arizona Bloggers Tea held at the English Rose Tea Room. Blogging merry makers came from far and wide to celebrate the upcoming Royal Wedding. A few weeks prior to the event I set out to find a lavender colored dress to impress H.M. the Queen.

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Alas I could find NOTHING in my desired shade. (Isn’t that the way it always works?) As you may know when I get my heart set on something I generally refuse to budge from my vision. (I think this is also referred to as being stubborn.) I found this dress on a super duper clearance rack at Marshalls. It was made of Rayon, which is a dyeable fabric. Hmmmm. It was inexpensive enough that if the dye job was a failure, it wouldn’t result in financial panic.

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Boil, boil, toil and trouble. I got out a large cooking pot, placed it on the stove and filled it with 12 cups of water. I then began sprinkling in small amounts of dye until it resulted in the desired shade which was tested in an inconspicuous area on the dress. I then put the entire dress in the lilac hued concoction and swirled it around for about 20 minutes. It was then line dried.

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I finished the look with a vintage broach in the ruffled center and wore a small fascinator. Doesn’t Ceekay look lovely in her spring straw hat?

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Here is the entire glamorous group from right to left, Ceekay, Marty, Charlotte, Julie, Sherry, Liz, Jamie, and the Fashionista.

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Sweet Charlotte took a hat that she has had in her closet for over 40 years and turned it into something special. Hats off to Charlotte for winning the award for “Best British Bonnet”.

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Liz embellished herself with a replica of Lady Diana’s engagement ring.

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The ring, coupled with her sunny yellow frock and lovely little fascinator she created just for the event made her a shoe in for the “Beautifully British” award.

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There was eye candy galore everywhere you looked in the tearoom.

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From the sweet tinned ceilings…

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…to the miniature tea sets that could be taken home for special little girls.

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Even the outdoor seating featured gorgeous vignettes.

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I adored how a rustic chandelier was transformed into lighting fit for a princess.

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Each perfect place setting featured a different china cup and plate. I brought a box of goodies for all the guests.

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Liz also created some pretty party favors fit for a Queen.

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The owner, Joanne Gemmill, who is originally from England, gave us some pointers in perfecting our British accents.

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The food was divinely delicious. There was so much that the Fashionista and I ended up taking a box of our high tea goodies home.

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Everyone had to bring a White Elephant Wedding gift to exchange. We drew numbers to see who went first (and in a twist~ also last). Jamie loved her teapot.

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I was the only one to steal from someone else. But can you blame me? Look at this lovely tea cup and plate that I enjoyed my breakfast on.

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It had such sweet violets I had to resort to theft to insure it came home with me. Thankfully the victim Julie was thrilled with her replacement prize so everyone went home happy.

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I spent Sunday in the garden planting flowers in memory of my mother who passed away one year ago. I miss her so very much and am glad that my heartache was lessened by the company of good friends.

I am having trouble with my computer so will be taking the day to fix it. I will return on Royal Wedding Wednesday.



Shelia said...

Hi Laura! Oh, my goodness, you look like a Queen yourself! What a gorgeous dress and you're the smartest one to change the color! What fun y'all must have had! What a lovely tea time with lovely ladies! Waaa...wish I could have come! :)
Be a sweetie,
Sheila ;)

Joani said...

Simply lovely. So glad U all had a great time.

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Great shade, Laura! Well worth finding the perfect dress and making it the perfect color. It definitely suits you!

Catherine Holman said...

How fun! Looks like everyone was having a jolly good time! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Sandi (Meme) said...

What a fun time! Thanks so much for sharing it with those of us who couldn't be there! Have a wonderful week and good luck with the computer! Sandi

Loretta said...

Truly a wonderful affair Laura... Priceless! I love the pics, and especially that dress! The color is exquisite! A clever idea indeed! Thanks for sharing your day with us. Luv-Loretta

char72 said...

Wow, Laura, what a wonderful time we had. It was so nice to meet you. Great pictures here and I love the story of the beautiful dress you wore. Thank you so much for everything you did to make the day extra special. I still have the items displayed on our kitchen island that were in the lovely bag I received for winning the hat contest.
Giant British Hugs,

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

It was so much fun. Thank you for all your hard work putting it together!! My friend got back from England and brought me a little goody. I am going to post it soon!!!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Laura, great pictures and what a fun day we all had. Such a great little tea room and of course the company and conversation was the best as always. Thanks for hosting such a great event. Hugs, Marty

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

It looks like such fun! Wish I were there! The place is absolutely gorgeous, what a nice way to spend an afternoon.


French said...

Oh looks like tons of fun.... This was the rockin' teahouse this weekend! The dress looks super fab too!

E. Charlotte said...

What a fantastic post! That looks like such a fun!! I am jealous I wasn't in attendance with you lovely ladies. :) Glad you all had such a royally good time!

Connie said...

My gosh, y'all look stunning and beautiful, sugar! I sooooo wish I lived near there and could come also.

Helen said...

Spirits and soul soar whenever I get to see a group of my favorite women! Thanks so much!

Karena said...

Laura that dress is fabulous, it looks ver high end!! I will never forget your transformation!What a delightful time for all!

I have a new giveaway up I think you will love…from The Zhush!

Art by Karena

Little Leslie said...

I love your dress. It was perfect! Looks like you had a great time. Happy wedding watching!

Cindy said...

What fun...looks like you all had a wonderful time!!!

Redhead Sadie said...

I wanted to be there so badly. I'm still annoyed with my car. It looks like you all had a lovely time, though, and I am very happy for you that it was a success! Your dress is FANTASTIC and I am also glad that the jewels and hat worked SO WELL with it!
I have been going through more fabric and stuff and found 5 heavy vintage damask tablecloths that want to come live with you, plus about 5 huge napkins! They are simply dreamy and would love a new home with me so we can meet up again and have some fun like we always do!
I love that picture of you with the Queen...sigh. I should have been there. Stupid car.
Have a good week, my sweet friend.
Love to you,

Sandy said...

Your dress came out beautifully.
When first reading your note, I thought.."Gee, I love the color and she's going to dye it"? Then as I read more I realized THAT was the new color..whew. What a great job you did!
I would have loved to come and joined in on the fun...but, California is just a bit far away. Darn!!!
You all look so pretty in your Royal Tea party attire. And the food, well I won't go's amazing...I'll have a few bits of everything.
What a lovely event.
Have a wonderful week.
xoso Sandy O

Kristen said...

How much fun!! I adore tea rooms and girly days. =) And your dress turned out perfect!

Susan said...

Oh Laura, what great fun it must have been to have that bloggers' tea. Your dress came out beautiful! What another great idea!

Thanks for sharing your photos and the tea party. Enjoyed it all. Susan

Mimi said...

for hosting this spectacular event!!!
I was in AWE from start to finish!!!
Everything was so perfectly well...
English, which I adore!!
Oh my, I loved this place and will be taking darling daughter and Grand daughter there very soon!!!
Hats off to you
many hugs,

Deanna said...

Dear Laura, You look lovely in your pretty (shade of choice) dress. Beautiful outcome.

Looks like a great deal of fun having fellowship with the bloggers!

May God always comfort your aching heart and bring to rememberance happy times with your sweet Mom. I'm sorry for your loss.

God bless,
d from homehaven

Lisa said...

How fun! I wish there was a tea room in my town! The ladies in my family try to get together once a year for a special tea party in a different location in Oklahoma. Last year I was the hostess! Your dress turned out lovely! congratulations! My home-dye jobs have not made me happy LOL.

Beverly said...

You all look beautiful, and I can see that you had a wonderful time.

Your memories of your mother are a forever treasure.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

What a wonderful party you had! I love the shade you chose for your dress & the violets on those gorgeous plates--If I was there, I'd have stolen it myself!

Susan S. said...

What a great post! LOVE the dyed dress....what beauty it turned out to be! The tea party looked like a blast. Happy Spring Ya'll from Houston!

April said...

It looks like you all had a wonderful, beautiful time! So many lovely pictures, and YOUR DRESS!!!! Perfect match for the lovely cup and saucer set--I have two sets of those, identical to yours: one from hubby for an anniversary(five years ago?)and one from my mom's sweet sister as a memento from our visit this past summer. :)They were originally my grandmother's.
Thinking of you on the anniversary of your loss--the year has passed so quickly.

ImagiMeri said...

Ahhh divine! I so wish I had been there. You are absolutely stunning in that dress, positively outshone the Queen and everyone. Maybe we can meet sometime for tea, as I've never been there. I had high tea at the Phoenician once with family "very hoity toity" but this location looks so much more like the tea rooms in England that I prefer. All the ladies look so lovely and grand, and I'm so glad to see familiar faces. I'm most happy that Sherry was there, she so needed this respite.

God bless you for hosting such a lovely event. See you soon!


The Polka Dot Closet said...

The dress turned out perfect, the only dye I have ever heard of is Rite, I did not know there was anything else out there?? What a great idea to have a tea in honor of the upcoming nuptials!


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I absolutely loved seeing you and the girls on Saturday! Thanks so much for organizing such a beautiful event! I loveeeeeeeeee the photos! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Susan said...

I see that beautiful Ceekay is out and about enjoying herself again!! Looks like alot of fun was had by all!

Teresa said...

If there's another definition of a dreamy day it fails me.
Adorable people, lovely details and a cherished and cherishing mood...
Thank you for sharing!

Debbie said...

This sounds perfectly wonderful to me! I have a case of blogger jealousy.

Leann said...

You girls sure do know how to party! Looks like a high old time.

Glad that you had great friends to share the day with. Enjoy sweet memories of your Mum.


Phyllis said...

I so enjoyed my visit.....feel as if I got to attend the tea party with you. Your photos were fantastic and I am loving your new violet dress. It is a wow with you in it! And the charming miniature tea sets are precious. I am thrilled your shared all of this with us. Thanks, Phyllis

Liz said...

Hi Laura! What fun! Thank you so much for all your hard work. It was a wonderful afternoon! I love my royal winnings! :) I'll be posting about them soon. We'll have to all get together again soon!


Auntie Em said...

What a lot of pretty ladies! I am sure it was an afternoon to remember. I have no sisters but I do have four amazing sister-in-laws and although we don't get dressed up quite so fancy, we do get together every so often for a tea and chat party. The laughs and conversations are always memorable and a sweet memory to cherish. Maybe next time I can convince them to wear a hat...I'll have to work on that!
Thanks for sharing your high tea! :)

xinex said...

Oh how fun! You all look so lovely, Laura. That dress is gorgeous and looks so good on you...Christine

The Pennington Point said...

What an adorable group! I love the hats, the china, the prizes, everything! I am so glad you did this. It's inspiring me to do something too. Lisa~

linda t said...

Oh laura, such lovely pictures of the bloggers tea!
And guess what? I have the entire set of 'violet' dishes that you took home!! Those are the dishes I grew up eating on for all the special family dinners. I was thrilled when my Mom gave me the whole set.
You should see the sugar bowl! Love, LOVE!

Bonnie said...

Laura, Y'all are having too much fun! How nice!

I am enjoying all the posts about the royals. You have taught me so much and it has been fun.

Have a wonderful time on your trip. You may be back I am not sure. My life has been so hectic I have read blog snatches here and there.