Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tea Bag Holders

Today I’ll show you my small collection of tea bag holders.  Somehow I always forget to look for them at tearooms, thrift stores, antique dealers, etc.  This first one is the largest in my collection and could probably double as a spoon rest.  It is Portmeirion in the Botanic Garden pattern.

You can find more information on Portmeirion china  here.


This one is also Portmeirion, but the size and shape is different.


To me, the shape and detail is prettier on the first one.

P6301675 This is a set of six porcelain holders.  On the box it says “Shape up your entertaining with our mini serve ware.  The perfect size for condiments, dipping oils, nuts, olives and other tasty morsels.”

P6301676I like the little cup and saucer for the handle on this teapot shaped holder by Mudpie.  The tag says “simpliciTea – n. the appreciation of life’s little moments while drinking tea”.  


The last two are made in Italy and easy to find in many different designs at gift stores, etc.  I have Red Hat and Christmas Poinsettia holders.

P6301678I wonder how many of you also collect tea bag holders.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teacup Tuesday Royal Grafton

This bone china teacup was made by Royal Grafton in England.


The pale green is such a pretty color to set off the pink flowers and gold trim.


I like the way the color and pattern is divided into sections.


 This teacup has a very pretty shape.



To see lots more beautiful teacups you can visit Terri and Martha.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend Treasure Hunting

It’s not often that I spend my Saturday morning looking for treasures at yard sales, thrift stores, etc., but I always enjoy these mornings when I do.  It’s fun to find pieces to add to my glassware collection.  There were three juice glasses in this pattern for .50 each.

P6281645Then I found a matching tray at another yard sale.  It was a shock when the owner said that she only wanted a dollar for it.  This is a large piece, just over 12 inches in diameter and in perfect condition.  It will be great for passing around tea sandwiches or assorted pastries.

P6281644This blue willow jug was made in England by Soho Pottery c1930.  This piece cost me a dollar and a half. 

P6281648 It fits right in with some of my other blue and white china.

P6281651 The bunny figurine is quite heavy and the owner said it was $4, but it had a $2 sticker, so I bought it for the lower price.  It will probably find a home in my sunroom.

P6281654My daughter-in-love collects dolphins and I found her this pretty Wyland limited edition figurine called "King of the Sea” for under $2.

P6281657P6281658The waves are so pretty with lots of detail and icy cool color. 

Seems like I never come home from these sales without at least a couple of books.   This time it was Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2010 and The Eat-Clean Diet (expanded edition 2007).  

This is cheap entertainment at it’s best.  The “best” being that after the fun is done, you have something great to show for it.  I just might have to fit in a few more weekends of treasure hunting during July and August.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tea Parties and CrafTea Ideas

Isn’t it interesting what you can find on You Tube?  This video has some lovely ideas for hosting a bridal tea, or any type of afternoon tea party. 

The tiered server put together with matching plates, bowls and teacup is beautiful.  I really like that the teacup is used to hold flowers.  Using Knorr ready to serve spring pea soup in teacups is a real timesaver.  The individual trifles look so yummy and what a great selection of finger sandwiches and savories.   The website for 2 Magazine is here

And now for the crafTea part of this post -  I’d never heard of Bronwyn Hayes embroidery patterns, until I saw an add in Australian Country Threads magazine.  Check out this great magazine here

P6251636My favorite is the roses and ribbons teapot, but all these designs are very pretty.   Wouldn’t they be lovely embroidered on a tea table cloth, tote bag or apron?  The Australian patterns may be hard to find, but Red Brolly blog might be the place to start.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cross-stitch Teacups

These teacups grace a wall instead of the tea table, but they are favorites just the same.

P4070469My hubby stitched this piece for me a couple of years ago.  It is from a pattern by Sandy Lynam Clough.  The teacups are so pretty – some of them have gold trim.  I also like the roses and ribbon bows on this large piece (15 x 15). You can see images of some of the many items featuring the work of this artist here 

Ms. Clough has a new book out this month called “You Can Do Tea”.  It features some of her new paintings and lots of great tea party info.  It is now on my ever expanding wish list.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Teacup Tuesday Colclough

Teacups with roses are a favorite.  This one has pretty sprays of roses with intricate gold trim.

P6211634 It is bone china and made in England.

P6211635 So far I haven’t been able to find this pattern online.

P6211638This mark was used after 1962 by one of Ridgway’s associate potteries. 

P6211640 To see lots more beautiful teacups you can visit Terri and Martha and see a list of all the participants in Teacup Tuesday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Afternoon Tea Tray

Nothing beats an afternoon spent in pleasant conversation with a friend, a good cup of tea and a delightful tea tray.  This one was enjoyed several years ago at The Crab Apple Tea Room in Alpharetta, GA.  It offered some unusual tea foods, including the taco rolls and mini red velvet layer cakes.  Sadly, this tea room is now closed, like many others in my area that have gone out of business.

Crapapple Tea Shoppe and Bakery

 The tea tray at Shakespeare's Tea Room was perfect for my taste.  The scones and sandwiches are my favorites - I can do without the sweets.

 P7300103Some of the best tea room scones I’ve eaten were at Tea At Seven Springs in Powder Springs, GA.

010They were so delicious, we purchased a half dozen to take home with us.  I’m really looking forward to another visit to this tea room in July.

I would enjoy a tea tray like these every day of the week, but then I’d have to spend way too much time at the gym. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Russian Caravan tea

This tea has an interesting history.  It was named for the 18th century camel caravans that made transcontinental journeys to trade the tea.  The six thousand mile trip from the Chinese border to Russia took at least six months and was an arduous journey.

P3240385My interest was piqued while reading a book recommended by Angela at Tea With Friends.  Serendipitea by Tomislav Podreka is proving to be a very entertaining read.  He says “The tea was carried in chests perched high on the camels’ humps to keep it as far as possible from the animals’ odiferous hides.”

The tea got its character from absorbing the smell of countless campfires along the way.  Today you will find a variety of blends, many include Lapsang Souchong to impart the smoky flavor. 

Although I’m not a fan of Lapsang Souchong, you might like to try some.  Adagio Teas has it and it has received good reviews from their customers.  I’ve been very satisfied with my purchases from the company.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Royal Albert for Teacup Tuesday


This pretty high gloss bone china teacup was made by Royal Albert in England.

P6151636The teacup is in the Victoria shape and has a pretty scalloped foot with gold trim.

P6151635The Rococo edge, dainty flowers and pastel colors are lovely. 

P6151636P6151640This is from the Sonnet Series in the Byron pattern, which was copyrighted in 1983.  The pattern was discontinued in 1994.  The other cups in the series are Chaucer, Coleridge, Milton, Tennyson and Wordsworth.

You can see many beautiful cups and saucers on Teacup Tuesday.  Just visit Artful Affirmations to see Terri’s gorgeous blog and a list of others who are also showing their wonderful teacups.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Apple Cheesecake

Tomorrow night is Family Night at VBS.  I volunteered to make a dessert.  Actually, I’ll make a couple of desserts.  I’m making apple cheesecake today, since it needs to be in the fridge overnight. 

P6101612 This recipe uses four packages of cream cheese and four eggs. 

P6101614 It has a crust made with crushed ginger snap cookies.  The Mi-Del are my favorite brand.  They have a potent ginger flavor and organic ingredients.

P6101615 The crust is kept in the fridge until ready to fill, not like some that are baked first.

P6101616  Can you see those delicious chunks of apple?  The recipe calls for Stouffer’s Escalloped Apples which I could not find this time (it’s been a while since I made this cheesecake).  I found Harvest Apples (frozen section) which the company assured me was the same product – just a name change.

P6101619  Yes, that is a rather large crack, but when I cover the top with yummy Harvest Apples it won’t matter in the least.  It will still taste scrumptious.

Apple Cheesecake

2 1/3  cups gingersnap crumbs
1 ¼    cups plus two tbsp sugar, divided
1 ½    teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
¼       cup butter, melted
2        (12 oz) pkg Stouffer’s Harvest Apples, divided
4        (8  oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I use low fat)
4        large eggs
1 tsp   vanilla
1        cup chopped pecans, toasted & divided (I omit these)

Combine crumbs, 2 tbsp sugar, l tsp cinnamon and butter.  Press into bottom and up sides of spring form pan.  Chill.

Thaw 1 pkg apples in microwave  (medium power) 6 to 7 min.

Beat cheese at medium speed, with an electric mixer until smooth; add remaining 1 ¼ cups sugar, beating until smooth.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Stir in the apples, vanilla and ½ cup pecans (if using).  Pour into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hr & 10 min.

Turn off the oven and partially open door.  Leave the cake in the oven for 1 hr.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.  Cover and chill overnight. 

Prepare remaining apples as per pkg directions (I like to use extra apples).  Spread them over the cheesecake.  Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of pecans (if using) and remaining ½ tsp. cinnamon.

I won’t be adding the topping till tomorrow – therefore, no photo of the finished product.   Believe me, it will look pretty on a nice serving plate with the apple chunks on top.

Tomorrow I’ll also be baking some coconut tarts to take to Family Night.  We have some terrific bakers at my church, so I know that dessert will be a  real treat.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seascapes Teapot

The beach has been on my mind lately, so I thought I’d show you one of my favorite teapots.  It is by Portmeirion and is in their lovely Seascapes pattern.

P6091617It has the texture and pattern of some of the shells I like to collect.  This is the only piece I own in this pattern.  I’d like to have the cream jug and oyster sugar bowl too.  This older pattern can be found on Ebay and Replacement China sites.   You can find gorgeous fruit and veggie Portmeirion patterns here.

I also like these conch shell salt & pepper shakers.  These were a yard sale find and I haven’t done any research on them as yet.



On a trip to Sanibel Island, I collected bags of shells from the beach. 


This shadow box shows some of the many varieties of shells I collected.  My favorites were the calico scallop shells (lower left) that were in such pretty colors like this pink and white example.

Angela at Tea With Friends used shells to cover a teapot.  I’ve been wanting to cover a mirror frame, but you know how these UFO’s (unfinished objects) pile up.


I’ll be basking on a pretty beach in July.  Unfortunately, there are no shells to collect on this manmade beach.  I’ll miss the shelling, but I will console myself by admiring lots of pretty teapots at a tea room in that area.

Monday, June 7, 2010


This is the latest addition to my library.  A lovely book by Barbara Milo Ohrbach author of The Scented Room.  I like her advice to “Keep things manageable.  It’s important that you be able to cope with the planning and enjoy the meal.  Setting the table should be a pleasure and fun if you approach it sensibly.”

P6071621 It is a very beautiful book and also very practical, with many tips and how to projects.  It is packed with tablescapes using a wonderful variety of china, glassware, silver, candles, table linens and centerpieces.

P6071611 You can learn how to make a petal candle shade, leaf vase, topiary or how to frost fruits & flowers.



The flowers are not just for centerpieces.  There is a chapter on using flowers in food with a list of edible flowers and a couple of recipes.

P6071619Doesn’t that pate look lovely?  So does the punch with its circle of flowers.

P6071618I’d love to be a guest at this elegant afternoon tea.

The book includes chapters on creating centerpieces, setting tables inside and outdoors, celebrating Christmas, special occasions and more. 

It was published in 1997 and a used copy can still be found at Amazon for as little as $2.69.   This is also one of the books on that site that has the “look inside” feature, so you will be able to see many more of its gorgeous pages.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tea For One

My teapot collection includes only a couple of tea for one sets. 


This set has special meaning for me.  It was given to me by my eldest brother on one of his visits.  He picked it up in an antique store they stopped at on the drive down from Canada.  His wife told me that as soon as he saw it, he decided that he wanted to buy it for me.  He is not a tea enthusiast or collector himself, but he just knew that it was something I’d love.


Isn’t the cup pretty, with its little feet and lovely pastoral scene – see the little cottage.  There are also cows, sheep and a shepherdess.

P6031604The teapot looks a little top heavy when resting on the cup, but it has a large base that fits into the cup quite securely. 


The china mark is interesting with the lions, crown, flags and shield.  The faces on the lions look like they have human features.  So far I have not been able to identify the maker.  Maybe this piece is what is known as flow china – what do you think?

P6041611My other set is a contemporary piece with a pretty garden inspired design called On The Veranda by Paula Deen.

P6041615  I read recently that if you have a collection of Tea For Ones, each of your guests at a tea party could use a set and have their choice of tea.  That would certainly be easier than making several large pots.


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