Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentines and Tea

With Valentines Day approaching rapidly I decided to bake some of the family's favorite cookies... Sugar Cookies with cream cheese frosting and crushed "chicken bones" candy on top.  I talked about them awhile back on another post.  You can check them out here.  I made them for Christmas this past year.........          Chicken Bones Sugar Cookies...............

I don't really have any "Valentines" tea cups but I always love to use my cottage designs so here is a cup and saucer by Royal Vale................

And the tea pot is from Arthur Wood, England............

Here is a close up of the cookies.   They probably won't last until Valentines Day so I will have to make another batch.....  which is ok by me........................

One of the art forms I really enjoy is making collages.  And to that end I have joined artist Lisa Vollrath's Mixed Media Club in some monthly swaps making postcards where I generally do collages.   Appropriately enough for this post, this month the theme was Valentines Day and here is my offering.  I had such fun making it though it took awhile to get it like I wanted it.

    The way the swap works is that we make three postcards using the theme and we send them off to her where she swaps them out and sends us three others plus one from her.   It is always a fun mail day when they arrive. If you want to learn more about her swaps to try it yourself here is the link..................

I am joining with the following Tea Parties and blog parties.

  These may not be available every week so check to be sure.

Hope you will visit them too.

Monday, February 1, 2016

50 years and counting

We made it to 50 years............  who would have thought back in 1966 when we were married.  2016 seemed an eternity away. But this past week our 50th Anniversary arrived!!!

Our daughter sent us a fun and special package this year.  It is filled with all things golden.... It was fun to look through it and find what she had found out and about that was GOLD.  And she added three little framed pictures of us from our wedding, all those years ago.  What a special daughter we have!

For this weeks post I am showing a very special (to me) picture.  On Christmas Eve in 1965 Bill gave me a Christmas Present that included a box with two coffee mugs, symbolic of our first date.  AND nestled in that box was an engagement ring.  Needless to say I was quite speechless for a while after.  Of course my family was all there too....  wondering at first what was going on since they didn't see the ring right away.  50 years later only 1 of the pair of mugs remains intact but here it is... in a place of honor on one of my kitchen display shelves. But today I nestled it in the Anniversary Box.

Because my husband's mother was Canadian we got a LOT of bone china teacups and saucers as wedding gifts.  And that is how my collection (obsession really) came about and now of course my collection is way larger than I ever thought it would be.  The first cup and saucer I opened was the Royal Albert Silver Birches pattern. I remember it well.  Unfortunately I no longer have it, probably lost in one of our many moves.  But I did love it and it began my love of Royal Albert.  I found this picture on the internet in  case you don't know the pattern.

 Normally we don't do a whole lot for "gifts" for each other for our anniversary since Christmas is  so close by and we generally get what we want then but this year we decided it was time for a new car... so we started out looking a week or so ago and on Tuesday of last week we brought it home! That is definitely quite an anniversary gift by our standards.   It has all the whistles and bells that make it interesting to drive.  I am not sure I will ever learn them all but it is fun!  So car hunting and celebrating our anniversary were last week's adventure.

I am joining with the following Tea Parties and blog parties.

  These may not be available every week so check to be sure.

Hope you will visit them too.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow and more snow

I am continuing on today with some blue and white china from my collection.  This is from the Liberty Blue Collection which was given out in grocery stores in about 1975.  I was not living in the continental US at that time but was living in Puerto Rico where my husband was stationed with the Navy.  So I didn't get in on it until later.   

I found the following quote on line about the china........... It was at a site that sells a book about Liberty Blue.
"Blue and white ironstone dinnerware has been collected for many years, and the introduction of the Liberty Blue pattern in 1975 by Enoch Wedgwood of England, with its fifteen different historic scenes of colonial America, brought forth keen interest. Here the Old North Church, Minutemen, West Point, Independence Hall, Mount Vernon, and many more historic sites are shown. The Liberty Blue promotion coincided with America's Bicentennial celebrations, causing more people to become interested in owning a set for themselves." 
 Each piece, or in this case, a set, features a scene from American History.  This one was the Ride of Paul Revere.  I have most of the set and will feature others at another time.
 It is a really nice collection to have if you like Blue and White China.

 And then there was the SNOW.......................

 For the past week all the weather men in our area were reporting on the big blizzard that might be heading our way.  Well, I wouldn't call what we got a "blizzard" because there wasn't much wind... at least not yet.  The snowing has stopped and we got a lot, at least a foot I think.  My hubby and our neighbors had the "fun" of going out and "playing" in it.  We have had many worse storms while living in Maine so it wasn't that big a deal.  But for many folks that live in our area it was Big.  It is all in what you are used to I think.... AND it is January!!!!!
  I stayed inside and made soup (from scratch) and I baked. I did cheat a bit  and made brownies from a Betty Crocker Mix but they were Good!  And the soup was too.

Now we wait for all the snow to melt again.  It will take a bit longer than the last little one we got.

I hope you will all visit me again next week.  You just never know what I will be showing.  Or talking about.  Or if we have had another "adventure."

I am joining with the following Tea Parties and blog parties.

  These may not be available every week so check to be sure.

Hope you will visit them too.

Monday, January 18, 2016

January Tea and Music

And so another week passes since my last Tea Cup Tuesday entry.  Time is surely flying fast.  Must be having lot of fun as the saying goes.

This week I want to share more Blue and White China, of which I own a LOT!!!!  These two mugs are a couple of my favorites.  Nothing better to me than holding a mug filled with warm tea or coffee on a cold winter's evening.  And these two are so nice and thick and hold the warmth well.

 The one on the right is from the Buffalo Pottery Company.  That was in the US.  And the one on the left simply says Japan on the bottom though it is hard to read.   I love the way the one from Japan has the extra treat inside with the pretty design you see, only as you have drunk some of the tea.
 Here is the mark for the one from Buffalo China.  It is an old cup, probably washed many times so the mark is a bit messy but you get the idea.

       I imagine I will be using these often over the next few weeks until things start to warm up.


It was Saturday night and my favorite BlueGrass group The Hillbilly Gypsies was going to be on stage in a   town about an hour from here.  I sort of "hinted" I sure would like to see them since it would be the fiddle players last performance with the group for awhile.....     So dh says.... sure get the tickets and find a nice restaurant!   I didn't waste time and did just that........

SO... off we went.  Considering it is January and our weather isn't always the best this time of year I was a tiny bit worried.  HOWEVER... not necessary.  It was cold but CLEAR.... And the drive in both directions was uneventful.

I had found a restaurant right across the street from the concert venue and luck was with us as we found a parking place right there!!!  (Someone was just leaving.)  

The Restaurant called Stella A is called a "bar and grill" featuring Greek Food although they had lots of other selections.
Upon being seated we were served this little Hors D'oeuvres Tray featuring Pita bread and pickled peppers.  Wow but they were good.  This is a picture from the website but it is what they looked like!!

Bill had Osso Buco   which actually is an Italian Dish but it felt Greek that night (LOL)  And I had Pork Souvlaki which is most assuredly Greek.  The servings were so ample we had the leftovers for lunch the next day! '
 I tried to get pictures  of our meals but lighting was not the greatest for that and my camera rebelled!

I asked for hot tea as my drink but was disappointed that didn't have any variety other than the "house blend."  It wasn't bad but I am thinking in future I should carry some tea bags with me of my favorite teas.  Some of our favorite local restaurants do carry varieties of tea but not this one.  I will say though the tea really hit the spot on this cold night.

We don't often go  to this town but you can bet if we are there in the future we will try to plan to catch a meal here again.

After dinner we crossed the street and went to the Elks Lodge ball room where the concert was to be held!!   The band was already warming up so that was a treat as well.  Since we have seen this group many times and feel like we know them we chatted with them a bit.  The room was not conducive to take pictures that I would want to put here so I took one from their website.     But it is still them.

  The Hillbilly Gypsies from Morgantown, West Virginia

I should point out that Bluegrassers we have met seem to love to meet up with old friends and fans and are always willing to chat a bit.

     The fiddle player, who can play classical as well as bluegrass is my favorite.  He always dresses in bib overalls and often plays barefoot.    This is purely an act!!! He is a VERY bright and talented young man.   Unfortunately he is leaving the group for awhile to do other things.  I will miss seeing him.  But wish him well.  Part of the reason I really wanted to go to this concert was to see him one last time.  We will be seeing the group again this summer without him.

After three lovely hours it was time to head home..................

I hope you will all visit me again next week.  You just never know what I will be showing.  Or talking about.  Or if we have had another "adventure."

I am joining with the following Tea Parties and blog parties.

  These may not be available every week so check to be sure.

Hope you will visit them too.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Snow has finally shown up

Winter finally arrived.    Well the snow part anyway.  For the past several days we have had snow off and on.  It is some how peaceful to look out the window and see the flakes gently coming down.  Well, peaceful if you don't have to go anywhere or drive anywhere.

Funny thing.  I hadn't finished this post and thought I had just put it on draft mode until I could get back with the pictures I had taken.............    and suddenly I realized it had posted.  Obviously it wasn't quite finished or even edited if you read it before now.

 Here are the pictures I took of the current snow.....................

As you can see it isn't all that much by some standards........  My daughter, who lives up near Syracuse, NY had well over a foot of snow while we got only this much.  But it does seem more like winter now.   This picture is of my garden shed.  It includes my birdhouse collection.
 This next picture is of a little patio area off of my deck.  In the summer I like to sit there and have a cuppa!!!  Probably won't be doing that for awhile now.
 And finally here is the side yard, looking out towards the street.   I imagine we will get a good bit more snow before it is all over but for now this is enough.  The roads are now all bare so driving is fine. But you must be careful walking on some unshoveled walk ways.
Come back to see me at the next Tea Cup Tuesday Blog Party and I will have a cup and saucer to share as well as another adventure my husband are planning for this weekend.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A pretty teacup and an adventure on a COLD winters Day

 I am starting today's post with some pictures of a cup and saucer set that seem quite appropriate for January.  The set is called "Winter" and is made by Duchess China.  It is so pretty and I think it definitely lives up to its name.

When writing my post, as I often do, I decided to do a bit of a search on line to learn more about the company called Duchess China.  CLICK HERE for an interesting website that tells a bit about it and its history and then there is a link to the actual modern day website for Duchess China.
 To change the subject quite a bit, I wanted  to share an "excellent adventure" my husband and I had this past week. We went to a nearby town in search of record players, the vintage, windup kind.  We were pretty sure the guy we had met had a "few."  WELL..................  He had way more than a few..........

I wish now I had taken some pictures of the whole floors full (there were three floors) but I didn't.  I did take a few pictures of individual ones. I will show them in a bit.

The building was old, and if someone had the money to restore it, it would be amazing.  Mostly now it is so full of the record players you could barely see the beauty that was hidden.  There had to be 50 or so very vintage and antique record players  on each floor.  And interspersed were boxes full of old vinyl records.

It was very cold.... inside and out but that didn't stop us.  I did however wish I had had the forethought to bring myself some hot tea in a thermos to ease the cold.

Here are pictures of a few of the older  Edison Brand players........

 He also had a record player that I liked but he seemed reluctant to talk about selling it.  So I didn't take a picture.  But the discussion will just be tabled for another day.  I just imagine sitting in my living room and listening to old records playing on it....  Who knows............

The drive home was pleasant as the car heated up and we began to thaw out..............

  I hope you enjoyed our little adventure.  There are amazing treasures out there if you just ask around.  And it was a fun and rather different way to spend a very cold winter day.
I hope you will all visit me again next week.  You just never know what I will be showing.  Or talking about.

I am joining with the following Tea Parties and blog parties.

  These may not be available every week so check to be sure.

Hope you will visit them too.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years and Resolutions

 I am sitting here drinking a "cuppa" of my favorite tea... Earl Grey Vanilla....  apparently available only in Canada.  At least that is the only place I have found it.  (I always buy up a supply when we go up there!!  And for today I am using one of my favorite everyday cups..............  It isn't a fancy bone china cup.  It is a simple pottery mug made by Churchill, England.   It is from a series of cups given out at Irving Oil Gas Stations around New Brunswick, Canada  (and maybe other provinces that had Irving Oil Gas Stations at that time, back in the 70s or 80s.  I forget which.  I have some of them and use them every day for coffee and tea when I don't want to sit down and be formal.
 There was a series of 8 Farm House Scenes  and at the moment I don't have all the different ones.  But they featured one with a scene of a farmhouse showing a number of different farm animals and fowl.  Then on each of the other seven they featured each one of those....  The one pictured above is obviously the chicken.  There was a cow, horse, duck, goose, sheep, chicken and maybe a pig.  I don't have the 7th one and don't remember that well.  But it seems logical.  I did an internet search just now to see if I could find a picture of the farmhouse.  I did but it didn't show all of it.  At any rate I learned they must be getting rare because I could only find a few for sale and they were getting pricey I thought.  Anyway.  Here are the ones I have.

On another note...............
I recently participated in a tea swap with an on line swap group called SWAP-BOT.  I have done lots of art type swaps with the group over the years but this was the first for tea.  Each person (2) sends you 4 different teas.   The first little package arrived today........

Except for the constant comment I have never tried any of the others so it should be a little adventure.

        ..................................   And SO A NEW YEAR BEGINS............

We all like to start the New Year with a clean slate.........  and some resolutions.  If I can get through January keeping the resolutions going I always feel like I have made a major accomplishment.

Well...........   last year my resolution was to USE UP!!!  Art supplies, fabric and what ever that was sitting around unused.   And I am happy to say I actually did keep one of those resolutions.....  I vowed to NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC and to USE UP WHAT I HAD..........  so I got going, organized all my half started projects, added a couple of new ones and started sewing.  I ended up FINISHING twelve projects!!!  (Now yes I still have a few more..........  but I did what I set out to do!
No new fabrics purchased!  And found (mostly free on line) patterns to bust my STASH.  That felt good.  I want to do it again this year!  A couple of months ago I showed some of my finished projects here on the blog.
     Here is the link to see some of them plus other quilting posts I have done.......  CLICK HERE....

In addition I made myself a promise that I would NOT buy any new art supplies.  That was a little harder as I occasionally run out of glue, paint or something else I THINK I must have.......    But over all I think I succeeded except for colored Pens and Pencils because I did get caught up in the Coloring Book trend.  But I didn't buy any other crafting supplies except some glues since that is something I actually use up!

I am hopeful that I can continue on with this.  I now have a notebook developed over the past few months where I have listed and printed out instructions of projects I have underway.  I am hopeful I will be able to finish another huge group of projects this year without adding to the pile of UFOs.  I am adding some instructions to the notebook for projects to help me use up my supplies and fabrics... so we shall see!

Because of the popularity of Personal Planners and free printables for them I have found appropriate pages for this notebook.  I am fairly certain I will be able to continue this all.  Pinterest is the place to start if you are interested in planners, organizing info and more!  Of course once you get to Pinterest you may find it hard to break away!!!!!

Is there anyone else out there trying to do this?  I would love to hear your ideas on the subject.

I hope you will all visit me again next week.  You just never know what I will be showing.  Or talking about.

I am joining with the following Tea Parties and blog parties.

  These may not be available every week so check to be sure.

Hope you will visit them too.