Monday, June 21, 2021

A teatime card giveaway

I haven't made any teatime cards in a while, and since you all liked them the last time I did a card giveaway, I thought it would be fun to offer another one! This time, I was inspired by some of my Stampin' Up stamps and papers from their new Hand-Penned Petals set (they're here if you're into stamping). In this card, I didn't use the stamps but one of the background papers, which I love for their soft watercolor look.

And I bought my tea-mug-shaped dies around Christmas, I believe, and decided they would be fun to combine with the Hand-Penned Petals floral stamp designs. I like how this card turned out!

And here's another view.

When I went shopping on my birthday last month, I bought these turquoise slimline cards at Rubber Stamp Fantasy in Marietta. When my friend Kathy gave me a gorgeous new embossing folder with a lacy design last week, I thought it would be fun to combine that lacy background with some old Stampin' Up designs of roses and teapots.

And I don't even remember the name of the company where I found this stamp design (a recommendation from Kathy, who kindly alerts me to tea-themed stamps), but it, too, combined well with that lacy design from the embossing folder, which I colored with pale-blue and green inks.

See the detail of the lace? I love it!

So these four cards—three plain and one thank-you—are now packaged up and waiting for their new home. Will it be yours? If you'd like to win them, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST on Friday, June 25, making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner (email listed, linked to your comment, or in my files), and you'll be entered to win. Good luck!

Friday, June 18, 2021

Winding up the trip to Wisconsin

As I wind up my week of talking about thrifting and antiquing in Wisconsin, I thought that some of you might enjoy seeing how our grandsons have grown since I last showed you photos of them here on the blog! That's Andrew in front of me and Michael in front of Alex.

And here they are with parents Brad and Heather when we decided to squeeze in a last-night walk at Voyager Park along the Fox River in De Pere.

The views were stunning everywhere I looked!

As always, I can't resist taking a few flower photos along the way.

We had so much fun celebrating Andrew's ninth birthday, visiting with our Wisconsin family, and enjoying a little shopping along the way. So until the next trip, that's it from the Badger State, and thanks for reading, friends!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A new name in vintage Christmas tea wares


The Antique Mall of Greater Green Bay turned up several vintage Christmas treasures, including this cup and saucer and pedestal plate. I really, really love vintage Christmas wares, especially after focusing on them so much last year when I was working on my Christmas cookbook. So to find two vintage pieces that can be used at teatime was quite a treat, and I paid $5 for the cup and $7 for the plate.

I thought I'd seen just about every name in china that's out there, but "Norleans of Japan" was a new one for me.

An even older treasure, and perhaps my favorite find of the whole trip, was this plate. Yes, it's browned and crackled, but I absolutely love it. In fact, I just assumed it had some chips hiding in there, but when I got home, it did not. The back has what looks like a crack, but it doesn't come through to the front, so I decided this $2 find was absolutely worth it!

And a calendar from 1907? I love it. 

The old artwork of holly and berries is so soft and elegant. Reminds me of a vintage postcard.

The back has the word "semiporcelain" and a back stamp that I haven't had time to look up.

But the most fun thing about the plate? It wasn't until I got home to Georgia and unwrapped it that I realized there's more verbiage, only the original gilding (I'm guessing) has worn off, so I had to hold it every which way in the light to read "Merry Christmas, ZELL BROS., One Price Street, Unity, Wisconsin." Could this be from one of my beloved old department stores? Why, yes! Zell Bros. was a dry goods store, but alas, it barely outlived this plate. According to the Clark County, Wisconsin, history that I found online, "In 1909 fire started in Button Membrue's Hardware Store and spread north to Fred Wescott's Saloonand the Forest House Hotel which stood on the corner of P and 13. Then, it spread south to engulf Zell Bros. General Store, and August Weide's butcher shop and shoe shop." I read that and felt that I'd lost a friend!

And last but not least, I'd had my eye on a Lefton China Christmas angel, and this one ($15) was my most expensive purchase of the trip, which just shows how thrifty everything was. I can't wait to decorate with her this Christmas, and when I do, you know you'll see it here eventually!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Thrifting in Wisconsin—a loot shoot!


As promised, this week I'm sharing some of my thrifty finds from our recent road trip to Wisconsin. The Friday of our visit, Alex was kind enough to chauffeur me to four thrift stores (and a bonus yard sale) and wait patiently while I shopped.

When I came home and unpacked everything, it took up quite a bit of my dining room table.

You will not be surprised to learn that I came home with a new teacup. I *almost* came home with a whole set of this pattern, but after I put it all in my buggy, I thought, "Where will I put it all when I get it home?" But I could justify buying a single teacup ($1.53) and handled tray ($1.93). I realized I like flat pieces because they're easier to make room for!

Of course, there are exceptions to that guideline. This amber-colored Indiana Depression glass sugar and creamer in the Daisy pattern ($1.99 each) will be perfect on my Thanksgiving table.

This little salad-sized plate was a random purchase ($2) because I'm trying to find some aqua-colored plates to be used on the cover of the Dainty Dining sequel (which may or may not be finished this year, but I want some plates ready to go for styling the cover shoot with the food).

This twenty-five-cent mug was a fun find at De Pere Christian Outreach, which I learned is where my stepdaughter's in-laws volunteer. Several area churches combine forces to organize and run this amazing thrift store, which has only one employee, and they accept cash only. All proceeds go back out into the community, and I learned that some customers shop there multiple times per day since merchandise hits the shelves as fast as the donations can be processed and priced! It's got to be the cleanest, best-organized thrift store I've ever visited. This "jeweled" mug instantly struck me as something I can take with me when I'm out promoting Rubies and Revenge in a few months, to hold business cards, bookmarks, and/or pens.

There's a lot of cool bling hot-glued to this mug, but check out this button at right. With the crown and thistle, I'm assuming it's English. But who or what is the figure at left? The bottom design looks like two peas coming out of a pod. What if it's a rare button worth thousands of dollars and some avid collector begs me to sell it? (I can be reached at angelamcrae at charter dot net.) At any rate, I couldn't leave this fun mug behind!

Several of these pretty pieces came from the De Pere store as well. A platter for $1? Had to have it. Christmas is coming, and those oval plates are absolutely perfect for gifting a loaf of tea bread. (And say it with me: "It's cheaper than buying plastic trays at the grocery store.")

Here's a detail of a little saucer-sized plate from a St. Vincent de Paul store in Green Bay. I believe it was 53 cents (odd price), and it will be fun for fall decorating.

These bicentennial and rose plates ($1-$3 for the pink rose one) will be used for decoration, and the two blue floral ones will go into my giveaway stash. And I've taken up enough of your time for today, so on Wednesday, I'll share the fun Christmas pieces I found, including a $2 vintage Christmas plate that I absolutely love!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Finding some teatime "gold"

One week ago, I was in the midst of my "thrifting day" in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I must say, the St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores there are a treat to visit. At the last one (and there were several, which I'll share more about next week), they had what seemed like acres of offerings, and in addition to lots of china and tea wares, they had the most upscale magazine section I've ever seen in a thrift store. It's set up like—and about the size of—your average Barnes and Noble. I happened to notice this Cross Stitch Gold magazine from April 2008. I knew it was a pricy British publication, and it looked brand-new, like it's never been read.

But it was only brand-new to St. Vinny's, and I noted this issue had been put out just that day, according to the date on the tag. Then I noticed a small inset photo of an afternoon tea sampler and had to look inside.

Yes, ma'am! I've been wanting to make a tea sampler for years, and I do believe this is one of the prettiest ones I've ever seen. I love all the tea wares and even the sugar cubes but especially the infuser spoon!

And I already have some cross-stitch linen I can use, so once I obtain the necessary colors of Anchor floss, I'll be in business!


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Fortnum & Mason's "Time for Tea" by Tom Parker Bowles


I just got home from a week-long road trip to Wisconsin (more on that to come!), but what did I take along for reading in the car? The new Fortnum & Mason cookbook Time for Tea by Tom Parker Bowles, who is the stepson of Prince Charles. I'd been eagerly awaiting its arrival and pre-ordered it so it would arrive the day it was published.

The charming illustrations by Zebedee Helm and photography by David Loftus really make this book so enjoyable. I loved the tea timeline.

And this clever illustration just made me smile!

There are 50 recipes covering everything from breakfast and elevenses to lunch, teatime, and even bedtime, and this Dundee Cake is one of the first ones I want to try since I've never made one. (I liked the tea-pairing suggestion of Spiced Rose and Fennel Infusion up top.) So if you collect teatime cookbooks, I definitely recommend getting a copy of this one!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Christmas in July … uh, June!

Consider this an early version of my annual July public service announcement: Start looking for Christmas goodies at the thrift stores *now* before they go up in price this fall! I've had some success lately and am already excited about using some of these thrifted items for decorating and gift giving this Christmas.

Anything decorative in a cup-like piece gets my attention, and this 99-center caught my eye for a lot of reasons.

Mainly, I love old bottle brush trees but rarely see them, so I'm collecting new-ish items with bottle brush trees until I come across some old ones.

And of course, plates for treat-giving are always on my mind. This ruffled glass one, though, well, I'm not sure it will actually make it out the door!

But if I need to give someone a cake or a couple of loaves of tea bread, I have the perfect large platter to send along. Again I say, who wouldn't rather receive this reusable $1.99 piece instead of an ugly plastic platter for $5 from the grocery store?

And speaking of Christmas, not long after I published my Vintage Christmas Cookbook last year (of course!), I learned about the most marvelous resource I wish I'd known about earlier! It's a group (and website) called the Golden Glow of Christmas Past, and it's just for those who are fans of vintage Christmas decor. A $60 annual membership includes access to the group's online resources, their private Facebook groups, and their magazine (currently six issues annually). I am loving it, and among other things, I have learned of many, many more vintage teapot ornaments than I was aware existed. So if that sort of group appeals to you, too, be sure and check out the Glow here!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Teapots from my friend Ruth


I recently shared some of the tea trivets that my friend Ruth passed along to me, and today, I want to share the two teapots that she gave me at the same time. I believe this old red-and-white enamelware teapot was passed down in her family, and I am so pleased to have it. 

The simple design is such a classic.

And I turned the teapot so you can see that like most old enamelware, it got chipped through the years. It looks kind of like eyes and a nose, doesn't it? I see these marks as "character" and proof that this teapot was well loved.

My other teapot from Ruth, a figural teapot in the shape of a pumpkin, will come in handy in the fall. I love all kinds of tea wares, but my favorites will always be those that were gifts from family and friends!