Tuesday, March 30, 2010


P3301215Keemun tea is referred to as the “burgundy” of teas.  It is from China and is considered the original English breakfast tea.

This black tea is rich and earthy with a hint of smokiness that I find quite pleasant – not as overpowering as say, Lapsang Souchong or Russian Caravan.


The tea set is a favorite and was purchased from Longaberger a few years ago.  It is great for parties, as the teapot is quite large.  I like the embossed design that mimics the stitching on an old quilt.  Sometimes I wish I’d bought the cups to match.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Armed Man

Kark Jenkins

Friday evening Don and I had the privilege of attending a performance of The Armed Man:  A Mass For Peace by Karl Jenkins’.  More information can be found here.

It included a live orchestra, full chorus and dance by Griffin Choral Arts and Griffin Ballet Theatre.  There were also projections of images from war film footage.  The Armed Man has become an extremely popular piece since its premiere at Royal Albert Hall in London in April 2000 and has been performed by over 800 choral groups around the world.

Many reviews on Amazon describe the CD (shown above) as powerful and accessible classical music.  Although the Griffin performance was only two nights, if you ever have an opportunity to see this performed elsewhere, it is well worth your time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Springtime Tea

Wouldn't you love to enjoy a Springtime Tea with pretty floral dresses, gorgeous hats and luscious tea treats?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

National Quilting Day

Today is National Quilting Day and the NQA has designated a free pattern to celebrate.  It is called Tie One On For The Troops.

2010quilt Tie One On For The TroopsThere are some great suggestions for donating this quilt on the website, such as VA hospitals, families of servicemen overseas, child of a serviceman, or to hang in a church as a reminder of those serving overseas.

You can download a pattern for this quilt at the National Quilting Association website here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun at the Hop

The Greater Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop is happening once again March 18-20 and one of my favorite quilt shops is participating.  It is always fun to visit A Scarlet Thread in McDonough, GA.

P3181197 There are dozens of fabulous quilts to admire.

P3181199 Some of the cutest purses you’ve ever seen.  I love this pink and green beauty with all the girly frills – I might just have to buy this pattern.

P3181204My heart skipped a beat when I saw the center panel of this quilt.  It was a bit of a letdown on closer inspection to discover that it is all about coffee, not tea. 

P3181206This is one of the prettiest aprons I’ve ever seen.  This little number is being added to my to do list. 

P3181200Each shop has a theme to work with and A Scarlet Thread had a disco theme.  There was a sparkling disco ball, John Travolta cutout, disco music and more.  How many of you have sewn the fat quarter bag at the left of the picture?

P3181203 There was definitely a master of  marketing at work here.  I loved these bundles that each contained five yards of coordinating fabric for $30.  Purchase two and receive a ten dollar shop voucher.  It was difficult to choose just two from the dozens and dozens available.

P3181207 There is a lot to see here, not to mention super friendly and helpful staff.  I left the store with some great fabrics, a shop goodie bag and a free disco platform shoe charm.  Don’t miss it if you are in the area.

Visit A Scarlet Thread online.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 Belleck teapot

 Irish Soda Bread

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3½ Cups flour

  • 4 Teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/3 Cup sugar

  • ½ Teaspoon baking soda

  • 8 oz. Raisins, softened (soak in hot water, drain)

  • ½ Teaspoon salt

  • 1 Tablespoon caraway seeds

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs beaten

  • 1 Cup sour cream

  • ½ Cup buttermilk

  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter

Combine wet and dry ingredients, knead together

Add to greased, floured 9” pan. Cut an “X” in the top.  Bake 55-60 minutes at 350°.

The pretty Belleek Shamrock teapot shown above is available at Amazon.  You can visit the Belleek Pottery’s Official Website (Belleek Living) here.  There is a link to a video tour of the Belleek pottery. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Once again the daffodils are blooming in our backyard.  Today I noticed several trees in the neighborhood that seem to be an explosion of pretty pink flowers.  Isn’t springtime grand?


  Daffodils (1804)

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hot Cup Of Cha

March teacup

The English word tea traces its roots to the name for tea in the Chinese Amoy dialect:  Te (pronounced tay).  Cha is the Mandarin Chinese word for tea.  Some countries use both.  It’s not unusual to hear someone in England request a “hot cup of cha”.

- from tea 2010 calendar – www.andrewsmcmeel.com

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Handmade Handbag

My quilting bee friends decided that they wanted to make handbags on Tuesday.  I decided to take a day off from the gym and join them.  Of course, I wanted to use fabric in my stash and grabbed a few pieces that I thought would be big enough before dashing out the door for the meeting.


It seems I needed three or four co-coordinating fabrics, so my only choice was the blue and white china print and blues.


Although I’d hoped to use a tea theme print, I do like these fabrics.


We sewed all day, but my bag was still not finished.  I was determined to use it the next day when I visited Holly Cottage Tea Room in Newnan, so I continued the project after dinner and completed the bag before 10:30 pm.  Whew!


The tie details at the sides are cute and I like having the pocket on the front for my cell phone.  The straps are long enough to carry the purse over my shoulder.

P3101199 The inside of the bag has lots of pockets, which you can customize according to what you like to carry.  I’m looking forward to seeing the bags created by my quilting buddies.  There were so many pretty fabrics and color combinations.  Black, white and red – pink and brown paisley with pale green, tulip prints, country prints and more.

The only drawback is that now I want to create another bag (slightly larger) using tropical prints to carry on my upcoming cruise.

It could be fun to make a handbag to match a favorite outfit,  for a special holiday, event or one for each season.  My sewing friends have really started something!    

Monday, March 8, 2010

Caffeine Free Tazo Tea

My tea cupboard is jam packed with my favorite teas, but I don’t seem to have a lot of caffeine free herbal teas.  These are nice to have on hand for a late night cuppa.  I had the chance to visit TJ Maxx  last week and found a great tea bargain.


This nice sturdy box contains six different teas (24 bags).


Three of them are caffeine free – Passion, Calm and Refresh.  I thought that the Refresh tea sounded interesting with a blend of mint and tarragon.  Have you tried any of these Tazo teas yet?


Here’s the best part – the TJ Maxx price was originally $14.99 and dropped all the way down to a bargain $3.00. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Favorite Old Magazine and Recipes

Do you have a favorite old magazine that you use often and keep repairing because you can’t part with it?  That’s how I feel about my December 3, 1984 issue of Canadian Living.  This was a jam packed issue with 235 pages and sold for $1.79.


There are some great sections like the Royal Visit Souvenir, craft features like Frobisher polar bear and handknits for Cabbage Patch dolls. Here’s one I should reread – You’re Not Getting Older, You’re Getting Fitter!  But my favorite is Grandma’s Cookbook – favorite family recipes.  The historical notes from the contributors are so interesting.  I have made the Carrot Pudding (a steamed Christmas pudding), Aunt Maggie’s Muffins and others over and over.

I needed something in a hurry to take to an event this evening, so I once again prepared Aunt Maggie’s Muffins.  They always come out so moist and flavorful.  The secret is simmering the dates and raisins in water before adding them to the batter.


I used a mixture of several kinds of raisins with the dates.


It doesn’t take long to prepare a batch of Aunt Maggie’s muffins from this old Scottish family recipe.


Of course, since these are old Canadian recipes, there is a recipe for scones included.


 Canadian Living magazine is still being published.  You can check it out online here.  If anyone has any hints on how to preserve old magazines, I’d love to hear them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Paper Crafting

After seeing the cute chipboard teapots on Angela’s Tea With Friends blog, I have the urge to play with my scrapbooking supplies.

P3041199I want to make cards………..

P3041201and tags…………

P3041204 and little “cup of teagifts for my friends.

Of course, finding time to do this is the trick.  You know how that goes. 

How about you.  Do you manage to fit some crafting time into your busy schedule?  If not crafting, then at least some “me” time.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Tea Wish List

Do you keep a running list of new tea products that you’d like to try?  I just received a new Stash Tea Catalog and there are several items that I’m adding to my list.

lucky-flower-green-tea-loose-tea-large This Lucky Flower green tea is hand tied into delicate flower shapes that retain their shape when infused.  It is a smooth Chinese tea with a pale liquor and full flavor.   

pink-i-pot-teapot-large This pretty pink I-Pot teapot has a removable stainless steel lid and a deep infuser basket.

planet-tea-snuggle-mug-largeI like to drink my tea from a mug a lot of the time and this mug caught my eye.  Green tea leaves fill the continents and Planet Tea is written like words on a map.

There were a lot of other great items in the latest Stash catalog.  You can take a look at them here.


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