Friday, July 31, 2009

Hummel tea party

 Hummel figurines originated in the twentieth century with a Franciscan nun named Beta Hummel.  The sister signed an agreement with the German firm W. Goebel Porzellanfahrik in January of 1935.  These figurines of happy, cherubic children became immensely popular and remain highly collectible today.     

Sister Hummel died in 1946 leaving a collection of her drawings that Goebel uses today to produce new M. I. Hummel figurines.  The convent of Siessen and Goebel still work together to insure that Sister Hummel’s work lives on.

Hummel Tea Party

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twinings Everyday Tea

This is something new to me.

Twinings say they use an earlier flush of tea growth for a better flavor. I have read many good reviews of this tea and it is said to be a straightforward, great-tasting black tea.

This new tea does not seem to be widely available. It is sold on Amazon, but is quite pricey. I’m looking forward to doing a taste comparison with my everyday tea which is either London Cuppa or Yorkshire. Twinings does have a US website here, but their Everyday Tea does not seem to be available.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bee Balm in Tea

You can add a couple of dried leaves from a bee balm plant to a tin of loose black tea to infuse it with new savor.

Bee Balm plantsThis pretty flowering plant attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, and I love how the flowers look like little fireworks.  I don’t have a herb garden myself, but this sounded like something I’d like to try.  Have any of you  added bee balm to your loose tea?  How was the finished product?

This was an interesting little idea from my Tea 2009 calendar that I keep on the front of my fridge where I’m sure to see it each day.



Monday, July 27, 2009

Grandma’s Apron

vintage style aprons When I used to visit Grandma, I was very much impressed,
by her all-purpose apron, and the power it possessed.
For Grandma, it was everyday she chose one when she dressed.
The strings were tied and freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.
She used it for a basket, when she gathered up the eggs,
and flapped it as a weapon, when hens pecked her feet and legs.
She used it to carry kindling when she stoked the kitchen fire.
And to hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
She used it for a hot pad, to remove a steaming pan,
and when her brow was heated, she used it for a fan.
It dried our childish tears, when we’d scrape a knee and cry,
and made a hiding place when the little ones were shy.
Farm produce took in season, in the summer, spring and fall,
found its way into the kitchen from Grandma’s carry all.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I’m sure the apron she chose that day, was her Sunday best.   

- author unknown

My paternal grandmother always wore an apron similar to those in the above pattern.  I remember as a little girl following her around as she went to the chicken coop, to the garden,  and back to the kitchen.  I can only remember seeing her a few times without her apron.

These days there has been a renewed interest in vintage aprons.  The Apron Book by Ellyn Anne Geisel is a great book loaded with photos of vintage aprons, stories of the women who wore them, recipes, hints and patterns to make your own aprons.  A fun blog to visit is Apronista where you can shop, gather info and find a list of many other bloggers who love vintage aprons.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Canadian church

Beautiful faces are they that wear

The light of a pleasant spirit there;

Beautiful hands are they that do

Deeds that are noble, good and true;

Beautiful feet are they that go

Swiftly to lighten another’s woe.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cardew Designs Tea Ware

Paul Cardew has designed some of the most collectible teapots around.  I don’t own one of his teapots, but I did find this neat crossword tin, mug and coaster set at a bargain price (Ross or Marshalls) of $3.99.

P7240740 I like the contemporary looking black and white design with the crossword blanks filled in with tea related words (although I do see java in there).

P7240738It’s always nice to have a matching coaster.

P7240737There is a Novel-Tea teapot in his line that features a book pattern with little books on the lid and his Patchwork design would be perfect for my quilting friends.  Many teapot designs come with matching pieces including creamer, sugar bowl, cups, coasters, etc. 

P7240739  Check out his teapot designs at the Paul Cardew website.  They are really fun.  

Friday, July 24, 2009

Coral Tea Rose

Efforts bring roses, laziness nothing.  -Edgar Guest

coral tea rose

The man who wants a garden fair,

Or small or very big,

With flowers growing here and there,

Must bend his back and dig.

I’m finding that teaching a child that work is a necessary, unavoidable fact of life is a difficult thing to do.  My three grown children each have different views regarding work.  Now I’m trying to teach my grandsons about work and responsibility. 

Why do you think some people believe that the world owes them a living?  What about the satisfaction of a job well done?  Looking back on my own childhood (what little I can remember) it seems to me that I was not particularly helpful around the house or a very conscientious worker.  Maybe I was spoiled and I know my adjustment as an adult worker became more difficult because of that childhood indulgence.

Many of you are hard workers in your chosen career as well as in your home and I wonder what influenced your perception of work, or how you learned to be a hard worker.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

It’s been many years since I last read this book by Lewis Carroll. 


This particular book is from the Dalmatian Press Great Classics for Children series.  Of course I turned to Chapter Seven first to read A Mad Tea Party.


Most of the illustrations are pen and ink drawings by Jason Alexander.


This Mad Hatter looks more bemused than mad. 



This is a cute illustration of the Dormouse.

Too bad I can’t interest my grandsons in this book, but there are many classics more suited to the tastes of rough and tumble boys.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tea Cozy (also spelled Cosy)

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on.     - Billy Connolly


This was the first tea cozy I ever used.  It was given to me as a gift in 1969 by a  sweet older lady (Nellie) and it was hand knit by her.  I haven’t used it in years because it is very badly stained and even has a couple of burn marks.  Funny how I can’t seem to part with it though.

The most popular legend of the invention of the tea cozy comes from Ireland in the 1600s.  One night a farmer was eating his dinner and leaned across the table for something.  His hat fell off and landed on top of his teapot.  When he removed it later to pour his tea, he realized that the hat had kept the tea warm.  The farmer’s industrious wife made the first official teapot cover and called it a “cosy’. 

I have another cozy that I never use for the opposite reason.  It is too pretty and I don’t want it getting tea stained and ratty like my first one.


This cozy was cross-stitched for me by my hubby.  It has my monogram and some cute little teapot, bee and butterfly charms.


Isn’t it a pretty tea cozy?


The Duchess at Rose Tea Cottage has bestowed a title on me.  I’m now an Honorary Noble Of The Most Excellent Order Of The Blog Empire.  Thank you very much.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Children’s Tea

Since my grandson seemed to really enjoy his visit to Tea At Seven Springs last week, I thought it would be nice to have a special tea with him at home.  This will be a little treat for him before he goes back to school on Aug. 3.  He loves the scones I make, but he refuses to try the tea.  I found something that may change his mind.

P7170723This made for children tea is an organic herbal berry tea with real dried honey.  It contains hibiscus, Rooibos, chamomile, lemon myrtle and natural flavor.  You can find Davidson's Tea here.  They also have children’s Christmas tea and special double walled insulated cups in a 5 oz. size.  These would be perfect for boys who wouldn’t feel comfortable using a dainty cup and saucer.

They also sell the Emma Lea’s books on their site – Emma Lea’s First Tea Party and Emma Lea’s Magic Teapot. 

Today I also found a cute little box of Too Good Gourmet tea for myself.  I thought their packaging was adorable.


It contains six tea bags of black tea with lemon flavoring.  I couldn’t pass it up at Marshalls since it had been reduced several times and ended up costing 70 cents.  The Too Good Gourmet company has so many products with wonderful packaging that are perfect for gift giving.  I’ll soon be ordering some Christmas goodies from them.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

PG Tips Monkey Swing Band

I remember seeing this commercial on television many years ago. PG Tips is an enjoyable cuppa and I think it’s time to order some more online.

While searching for the best place to buy this tea, I opened the official website for PG Tips and watched their latest monkey add featuring the music of David Rose and his orchestra. It is quite a humorous and fun add. Who would have thought that monkeys would sell tea, but I guess it works for PG Tips.

PG Tips box

Check out their Monkey Shop where you can buy monkey t-shirts, golf club covers, slippers, etc.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Strange Little Teapot


This curious teapot was used by the Jasmine Tea Room in Sharpsburg, GA.  I was there enjoying lunch with Angela from Tea With Friends.  We both thought that it was odd that the teapot had no lid and quite a large opening on the top.  Since there was no tea cozy to keep the beverage hot,  a gaping opening on the top was not a good thing.

It was also interesting that they had the string from the teabag wrapped several times around the handle, making it quite inconvenient to remove the bag.  Not too much of a problem for me since my tea disappeared rather quickly from such a small pot and didn’t have a chance to over steep.

After a little research online, I did find a couple of restaurant supply companies that sell these pots.  They are sold by the case (12) and are in the $10 apiece range.   They do have some good qualities, being very sturdy, oven and microwave safe and vitrified.  But nowhere could I find any information on why it was designed this way.  Does anyone have any ideas?

Despite the odd teapots  Jasmine Tea Room at Collectors' Corner  is a fun place to lunch and hunt for unique gifts (downstairs) and antiques and collectibles (upstairs).


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tea Bag Facial

teabag facial

I’ve heard that tea bags can cure puffy eyes.  Place a moist tea bag over each eye and relax for about 20 minutes.  Combine with other facial treatments to make the best use of this time.  The swelling around the eyes should disappear and your eyes will return to their former pretty appearance.

Have any of you tried this technique and if so, how would you rate the results?

My used tea bags (tea only - not bag) have been going into the garden to enrich my rose bush.  Now they can do double duty as a beauty treatment and a garden amendment.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tea Room Visit

Today my husband, grandson and I visited Tea At Seven Springs in Powder Springs, GA.  This was our second visit to this tea room.  We arrived without a reservation (they weren’t very busy) and were seated right away at the same corner table that we had on our first visit.  We ordered our tea – Lady Catherine and Paris – which are both made by Harney and Sons Fine Tea. 


Both teas were good (although they were not very hot when they arrived at our table) and I decided to bring home a tin of Paris tea.  The tea menu describes it as “In homage to the City of Lights, a blend of Oil of Bergamot, Black Currant and warm notes of vanilla.  Can be complemented with milk and sugar.” 


The surroundings were pleasant with mismatched china and furniture.  The tables had pretty layered linens.

P7140708 P7140709

One of the blogs I read – -had just had a post about collecting china and mentioned that it was nice to use mismatched cups and saucers.  As you can see Tea At Seven Springs puts this idea into practice with their china collection.


I enjoyed a light afternoon tea which included tomato basil soup with croutons and cheese biscuit, pasta salad, chicken salad on a croissant, frozen fruit salad, scone, fresh fruit, and a pot of tea ($13.95).  Everything was delicious.  Christian had a special children’s plate which had a flower shaped pb&j  sandwich and assorted treats.  The lemonade was served in his own colorful little teapot.  Hubby had bacon, lettuce and tomato on pumpernickel bread with chips.

P7140722 The scones were so good that we brought four home to enjoy this evening (white chocolate almond, cinnamon, seven fruit and raisin).

P7140716There is an area at the side of the building with outdoor wrought iron tables and chairs for those who like to take their tea outdoors.  There is lots of free parking at the back of the tea room.

Across the street is an interesting used book store and an antique and ladies clothing shop.  I’m already regretting that I didn’t buy a large white palm leaf shaped serving tray with gold trim and a metal handle in the center for only $8.50.

You can find lots of information at the website  Since it is only an hour and a quarter drive from my home, I’m sure I’ll be back there soon to enjoy another afternoon tea.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tea and Cake

You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.     - Bob Hope


Most of the time I’m a scratch baker, but once in a while something quick and easy is called for.  This book, along the line of semi-homemade recipes, uses cake mixes to speed up the preparation of all kinds of cakes, cookies, bars and other treats.


This cake will make a nice change from my usual banana loaf.


Mandarin Orange Tea Cake sounds lovely to eat with a favorite cuppa.


This PB & J Sandwich Cake was my main reason for buying this bargain book ($3.99 at Ross).  My grandson really likes PB & J sandwiches and insists on taking them for his school lunch every day.  Of course, I make his sandwich with whole wheat bread, not white.  I’m looking forward to seeing if this will turn out as cute as it looks in the photo.

Isn’t it nice to find a fun and useful book for less than the price of a magazine?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tea Swap Package

I received another tea swap package in the mail yesterday.  There was a lovely Kimberly Shaw card with a nice little note from Kathleen.P7100715

The tea bags were enclosed in a lovely little paper arts gift box tied closed with pretty green ribbon.


There were several kinds of tea to try.


It is fun to see what kinds of tea you receive in the swap.  Thanks again, Kathleen.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Trend*tea Mug

My grandson and I went for a little drive this morning.  Since we didn’t find any yard sales to stop at, we drove to the mall.  I wanted some more London Cuppa tea, but Marshalls was all out.  So we went to Ross and here’s what I found.

 P7100706   P7100707

These mugs are really cute and yes, I do like to drink my tea from a mug at home (unless I’m entertaining or treating myself).  The colors are lovely and the tea theme is great.  They have lids that can be used to cover the tea and help keep it hot, or as a teabag holder.  There is even a silicone gasket around the inside of the lid which keeps it in place nicely.


The striped mug has the names of fourteen different teas.   The blocked letter and tea leaf design on the pink mug is also pretty.   I noticed that there was also a matching honey dipper pot (at Ross) and a really cute striped tea for one (online).  The mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe.  Now I have to think of a way to use the cute tins that these mugs came in.



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tea Quote

teapot with roses 

Tea does our fancy aid,

Repress those vapours which the head invade

And keeps that palace of the soul serene.

- Edmund Waller


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blueberry Scones

Fresh Georgia blueberries are back in season.  I really enjoy these berries and when I saw the recipe in the June 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living – well, I couldn’t resist trying some.


I did change the recipe around some, but I think the result was good.


My pantry was lacking cake flour, so I substituted whole wheat flour for 1/4 cup of the flour.  I thought this might make a heavier textured scone, but that was not the case.

P7070706The dough was quite moist and as suggested I tried to handle the dough as little as possible.

P7070707  Most of the time I don’t sprinkle sugar on the tops of my unbaked scones and this time I didn’t even use an egg wash.  The scones are rather large since I cut eight wedges, instead of twelve.  Sorry about the ugly baking stone, but the Pampered Chef Company will tell you that the darker they get, the better.

P7070709My grandson and I did a taste test and he said they are really good.  I must agree.  These scones have a very nice flavor and a light texture and of course they are moist because of the juicy blueberries.  Isn’t it great when you try a new recipe and it turns out to be a keeper.   


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Georgia Independence Day Festival


Happy 4th of July. I celebrated with my family yesterday at Nash Farm Park in Hampton. To experience Colonial Days there was a Creek Encampment, Fife and Drum Corps, Revolutionary Medicine, Wagon and Military Parade and Busy Needles Quilt Guild display. There was also live Colonial Music & Dancing, a Native American Camp & crafts, strolling actors and lots more. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn about the Ladies Tea until after we arrived and missed it by a couple of hours. I’ll be sure to look for the tea next year.

The main draw for me was the Henry Idol Competition at 8 pm. Both of my daughters were chosen as finalists (there were eight). We were thrilled when my younger daughter Cynthia took first place and our other daughter Meredith came fifth. First place prize was $500 and a cruise. The competition was filmed by SBN TV and will be televised on channel 22. There were also interviews and photos in a couple of local papers.

The perfect end to the evening was the Fireworks Extravaganza. It was a spectacular display and a couple of times I felt like I was watching one of those 3D movies with great balls of color coming toward me. My favorites were the huge bursts of gold streamers filled with a twinkling center and of course the simultaneous red, white and blue displays. The only downside to the evening was trying to leave the event and not having enough people to do traffic flow control, but we made it home before 11 pm.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Table Settings book by Victoria

This lovely book is packed with gorgeous photos and lots of ideas for pretty tea table settings.  There is even a chapter with the title Indulging in Tea.


The cover photo shows the blossom fold from the Romancing the Napkin chapter.

P7010717 The caption for this photo reads:

Collecting teacups can become an unmanageable obsession, but if you narrow your focus to a single color scheme or motif, a compatible set is virtually guaranteed.

The book is by Mary Forsell and the editors of Victoria magazine and was copyrighted in 2002 by Hearst Communications, Inc.  I highly recommend this book to any tea enthusiast or collector of china, glasses, linens and other beautiful tea things.

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