I woke up at 5:30 this morning inspired about a miniature scene I'm still working on but started a few years ago. I have often tried to go back to sleep when that happens but I know it is better to get up. Life is very short and it is best to strike while the iron is hot or I might forget what I had in mind altogether.
Tea a the Empress in miniature is the name of this room box. This miniature room box came about because of my love for the Empress Hotel here in Victoria B.C. Canada. I knew I didn't want to do a replica but more of a feeling that I have when we go for tea there. Once a year for quite a few years John and I have gone for tea with a lovely group of friends. It is fun to reunite with our friends and we always have a wonderful time and come home with a lovely box of Empress Tea. We are both gluten free and the Empress always graciously accommodates us. For those of you who haven't had a chance to visit the Empress tea room it has a beautiful view of the inner harbour, very high ceilings and Victorian furnishings. Such a terrific atmosphere for a tea party.
The Empress brings back so many memories, when we first moved to Victoria with my grandparents when I was 9 yrs. old we used to go to the Empress cafe for Sunday brunch. I don't remember what I ordered but I always knew it was special and I loved the atmosphere. I do remember what my mom and grandmother ordered and that was a My Lady Fruit Salad, they loved it...fruit and cottage cheese on a bed of lettuce. After lunch we would sit among the plants in the conservatory by the waterfall on the wicker furniture with the tile floor.
In my teens I used to go to various dances there that were always special and fun. After finishing High School I needed a job to help pay for University and I had a friend who was working there and suggested I might like it. I worked at the Empress all through University and it paid my way from answering the phone for room service to waitressing. I worked in the still room for a while which was part of the kitchen with the loud but likeable French Chef. I used to prepare the crumpets for the afternoon tea. After that I worked in the Garden Cafe many years as a waitress and hostess. It was a great experience and wonderful to help me get over my shyness.
My fist Steampunk convention was at the Empress too, great venue and it inspired me to make my Steampunk Inventors room in a microscope case http://jdayminis.blogspot.ca/2010/07/steampunk-inventors-room.html
While I worked at the Empress, I would often think that I would like to come back to stay for an evening and we did for one of our anniversary, we had a view of the inner harbor and it was perfect!
http://tinytownehawaii.com, I thought Janet's work was perfect for this setting. The plates are very similar to the plates at the Empress. I still want to make fruit salad in glasses for the scene and some bowls of Devenshire cream for the scones.
The lovely wooden turnings were by Mike Rowe. The Raku pottery I purchased from Jon Almeda at a couple of shows. His business is Almeda pottery. Such terrific work!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/AlmedaPottery I loved being able to buy Raku pottery in miniature since I love it full scale too.