Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Recommended reading: "Vintage Roses" by Jane Eastoe and Georgianna Lane

I've been sipping my Whittard of Chelsea English Rose tea with the most delightful new book, and I know some of you would enjoy it as well. It's Vintage Roses by Jane Eastoe with photography by Georgianna Lane, and it is simply splendid, easily one of the prettiest books I've put my hands on in years.

The photography captures roses in so many poses.

The book also explains about tea roses and how they came to be hybridized, which is interesting, but I must say that I am happy just flipping through the photos for long, admiring moments.

When I showed my husband this photo, he said this book is "very Angela." I'll take that as a lovely compliment.

I recommend reading this book with a rosy teacup at hand, and for many of us, that shouldn't be hard at all. Have any of you read this book, and if so, do you love it as much as I do?

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Herbery's Ginger Lemon Honey Tea … and Clementine Tissues

Do you suppose we’ve become spoiled by the ease of online shopping? These days, I tend to think that anything my heart desires should be available within a few mouse clicks, and when it’s not, I feel indignant. How dare they? Well, that was my reaction when I found some new tea that I really liked at a Tuesday Morning store last month, Peach Mango tea from The Herbery, and I wanted to know if I could order more from Amazon or a company website. Alas, no. But I quickly realized this was truly a first-world problem, not something I’m entitled to, and got over it. If I ever came across more of this tea, good, and if not, fine. So while I didn’t see the Peach Mango flavor again, I did run across the Ginger Lemon Honey flavor at the T.J. Maxx in Carrollton and scooped it up.

And I’m happy to say that The Herbery, elusive as the company seems to be, may be my new favorite provider of fruity teas. This Lemon Ginger Honey flavor delivers on all counts of its name, and I also got the merest hint of a flavor I have adored since childhood—honeysuckle. In fact, at first sip, I was reminded of sipping honeysuckle nectar right off the vine there at my family's old homeplace in West Georgia. Nectar of the gods, honeysuckle is. To find that in a tea? Why, it had never occurred to me, and I’m so glad I decided to try this one. The other thing I decided to try at T.J. Maxx was these cute tissues I’d merely glanced at recently. They’re from Clementine Paper, a stationery line that has lots of cute products, but I don’t really need to buy even my tissues from T.J. Maxx, do I?

Then I noticed the cute cupcakes and teapot and teacup on the box and, well, yes. Yes I do. Have any of you tried these tissues yet? I think they're adorable!

Friday, February 22, 2019

"Young girl in white dress" — a teatime writing prompt

I have a folder on my computer desktop where I will occasionally store a photo that I think would making a good writing prompt. I've taught writing only a few times so far, and will happily do so again if I ever find the time, but I will always be prepared to offer a photo for a writing prompt. This involves simply sharing an image and asking the student to write something about it. I found this image on the Library of Congress website and think it would make a great writing prompt.

What do you see when you look at this little girl? What's going on in her head? Is she happy or sad? Do you think you could make up a story about her? I do!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Baking with Bella

Last week's posts were taken up with Valentine's Week items, so I didn't want to let too much more time pass without sharing something fun from the weekend before, when Alex and I had the pleasure of staying with grandkids Bella and Owen overnight while their parents were out of town. Bella has become quite the baking queen, and she wanted to make strawberry cupcakes, so I decided we would do the cake part from a boxed mix but make the cream cheese icing from scratch. And the photo at right, just for fun, is showing Bella's reaction when she read a newspaper column Alex wrote about her. Bella was concerned, shall we say, when she discovered Alex had recently written a column mentioning her brother, Owen, but not her, so of course Alex had to write one about her too. I think she liked it!

And while I frosted one of these Valentine cupcakes, and I couldn't by any means tell you which one, Bella did the rest of them herself using the new Wilton decorating kit we got her for Christmas. Aren't these lovely? (They tasted great too, I am here to tell you, and I enjoyed two of them with copious quantities of the family's tea!)

Bella also loves animals, including her poodle Luke (miniature poodle Gracie didn't make it into the photo). She is thinking she might like to one day open a restaurant where both human and animal diners can eat, complete with food cooked especially for the pets too. I can see that idea taking off, can't you?

And while the boys stayed out of our way during the baking, here's Owen with a Fortnite toy that Luke tried to run off with.

As soon as I walked into the kitchen on the day of our visit, I spotted this artwork Bella had created and hung on the refrigerator, and I was so delighted to find out she had made it for me. (Note the image of Luke on the tea mug.) You can probably imagine how very happy this made me!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Some thrilling thrifting

Aunt Jane and I hadn't visited the Carrollton Goodwill store in a couple of weeks, so that's where we went on Saturday. Most of the time, Aunt Jane racks up and I do not. This time, the reverse was true.

I never get tired of bargains on old Sandy Lynam Clough items, and this $2.99 print with the "R" on it happened to be in the store on the weekend "Red" items were half off, so yippee, a print for $1.50. (Although it's a little curious to me why they write the "R" for "Red" in yellow, but … whatever.)

And I have for years wanted a pretty way to display my business cards when I'm out speaking about editing or writing, as I will be doing several times this year, and this business card holder was absolutely perfect for me!

And 89 cents? Are you kidding me? I'm almost offended that such a gorgeous piece is less than the price of a plastic doodad down the street at Dollar Tree. ("Almost," I said.)

The painter even signed it, and ironically, I have a character named "Teri," spelled just that way, in my novel coming out this spring. Odd, then, that I would run across this particular item. That bit of serendipity was worth more than 89 cents to me!

My best find, though, was this pretty vintage teapot. As usual, Goodwill had it all covered in clear packaging tape, but I was happy that I removed it to find everything in tip-top shape.

I thought $4.99 was a fine price for this teapot.

Especially for a Sadler. So are you coming across any fun tea finds at the thrift stores in your neck of the woods? I'd love to know!

Friday, February 15, 2019

The Amazon gift card winner is …

Jean at! Congrats, Jean, and thank you to everyone who visited this week. I hope it's been an especially LOVE-ly Valentine's Week for everyone! 💗

"People Having Tea Together"

An old colleague of mine is a historian, and earlier this week, he sent me a link to a site called "Vintage Everyday" that is just delightful. And what is even more delightful is All. These. Photos. Of People Having Tea!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Tea Time magazine goes to …

Mrs. T.! (And how appropriate is that?) I've just emailed Mrs. T. to get her snail mail address and will soon have this issue headed her way. Congrats!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #7

The final tea-themed Valentine I'm sharing this year is a reproduction from the Old Print Factory, a mechanical Valentine I found at an antique shop about fifteen years ago. (When does a reproduction itself become an antique, I wonder?) At any rate, when you lift up the teacup, you'll find …

This lovely lass! Isn't she sweet?
And for our final giveaway of Valentine's Week, I decided one of you can select your own gift (tea? teatime gadget? tea cookbook?) with this $15 e-gift card from If you'd like to win it, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST on Friday, February 15 (making sure to leave an email address or some way for me to contact you if you're the winner), and you'll be entered to win. US only, please. Good luck, and Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The heart-shaped teaspoon infuser goes to …

Brenda S.! And I've just emailed Brenda to get her snail mail address, so hopefully she'll soon be preparing tea with her pretty new infuser spoon. Congrats!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #6

While adding to my collection of tea-themed vintage Valentines over the years, I've found that "waitress" Valentines often have teapots in them, since apparently a pot of tea was a more common beverage order years ago.

This card is signed but appears to have had part of the paper on the back removed, possibly from a price sticker at one time being on the back. But if I'm reading it correctly, it says Wanda Lawson, maybe? Can you tell?

And since I know not everyone subscribes to Tea Time magazine, today I'm giving away a copy of the March/April 2019 issue, the annual British issue, which is lovely as always. If you'd like to win it, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST on Thursday, February 14 (making sure to leave an email address or some way for me to contact you if you're the winner), and you'll be entered to win. US only, please. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Twinings tea winner is …

Sherry R.! And I've just sent her an email so I can get her snail mail address and get this tea headed her way. Congrats!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #5

While collecting tea-themed vintage Valentines over the years, I've discovered lots of whimsical Valentines for children, and I love them, but occasionally I've found an actual tea-themed Valentine's greeting card, and this one is just so charming. I love that this was sent to someone's parents, and it's made of a thin paper that makes me think it may be quite old.

This card is undated, but I learned from the inside signature that it was sent by "Claribel," and that tells me that it's been a few years since Claribel gave it to her parents. I miss being able to send a Valentine's card to my late mother each year, but I still send cards to Daddy and Aunt Jane on Valentine's Day, because who doesn't enjoy a little reminder that they are loved?

And for today's "lovely" little giveaway item, I'm offering something that should be in every tea lover's cabinet, a heart-shaped tea infuser spoon. If you'd like to win it, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST on Wednesday, February 13 (making sure to leave an email address or some way for me to contact you if you're the winner), and you'll be entered to win. Good luck!

Monday, February 11, 2019

The cookbook winner is ...

Susan B. in North Carolina, and I’ve just sent you an email so I can get your mailing address and get this book headed your way. Congrats!
My Valentine's Week giveaways continue through Thursday, so if you're just now discovering them, please join in! Each day, I share one of my vintage Valentine's Day cards and offer a small tea-themed giveaway. Now this Valentine's postcard makes me smile, and it is the perfect sentiment for warding off any suitors one is not wild about. This gentleman says, "Oh will you be my cup of tea, And let me be your spoon?" He looks rather cocky, and while the lady is smiling politely, do you see where she's pouring the tea?

The card was mailed in 1905, which kind of makes me want to add, "Women: Putting men in their place since 1905!" (Don't tell my husband I said that. Ha!)

For today's giveaway, I found on Amazon this attractively packaged blend that I have tried and enjoyed before, a berry blend of Twinings herbal tea. If you'd like to win, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST on Tuesday, February 12 (making sure to leave an email address or some way for me to contact you if you're the winner), and you'll be entered to win. Good luck!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The winner of the stickers is …

Sandie who is crazy about quilts! And I've just sent her a quick email before I head off to church so that I can get her snail mail address and get these headed her way. Hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #3

Today I'm sharing another new addition to my collection of tea-themed vintage Valentines, this sweet little giraffe guy. And I'm not tea-sing — isn't he cute?

And of course, it wouldn't be a week of giveaways if I didn't have at least one book in the offerings, so today that will be a copy of the lovely paperback book Afternoon Teas by Valerie Ferguson. If you'd like to be entered to win, just leave an "Enter me" to this post by 7 a.m. EST Monday, February 11, making sure that I have an email address or some way to contact you if you're the winner, and you'll be entered to win. US only, please. Good luck!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The GWTW tea and bookmark winner is …

Vernona! And I've just sent you an email so I can get your snail mail address and have this package headed your way. Congrats!

Valentine's Week Giveaway #2

One of the newer additions to my tea-themed vintage Valentine collection says, "Dear Teacher, Please be my Valentine!" What little boy wouldn't love a pretty dark-haired teacher pouring him a cup of tea?

And I love how the back of it reads "To Miss Bickle From Marvin Shaw." I have no idea who Miss Bickle was, but don't you love her name?

For our Day Two giveaway, I'm offering some more of the I Love Tea! stickers that were such a hit last year. I've been through a couple of these little sticker booklets already myself and really like them.

They're great for dressing up a letter or package when you know the recipient is someone who enjoys tea. If you'd like to win them, just leave an "Enter Me" to this post by 7 a.m. EST tomorrow, Feb. 10, and you'll be entered to win. As always, please make sure to include an email address or some way that I can contact you if you're the winner. US only, please. Good luck!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Valentine's Week Giveaway #1

It's time to count down the days until Valentine's Day, and as usual, I'll be sharing vintage Valentines from my personal collection and offering a small tea-related giveaway each day from now through February 14, so feel free to play along! Today's Valentine is a cute Valentine postcard I found, and I love the pretty roses on the front too.

But this card was sent to a man, Mr. John McKenzie, and not a woman. And it's "From A Friend, Guess Who." Do you think John knew who the sender was? I sure hope so!

I know a lot of us love Gone With the Wind, so I decided to share some of my new India Wilkes blend tea from Adagio teas as one of this year's Valentine's Week giveaways. These small tins are perfect for sharing, and I'm so glad I caught them on sale at Ollie's a while back. They also give me another excuse to use tea stickers.

And along with the tin of tea, I'm offering a GWTW bookmark from the Alicia Rhett tea, a collectible from the 70th anniversary celebration. (Gone With the Wind the movie turns 80 this year, incredibly enough!)

Here's a detail of the bookmark. If you'd like to be entered to win the tea and bookmark, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. Saturday, February 9, and you'll be entered to win. (US only, please.) Good luck!

India Wilkes Tea from Adagio

As I conclude my week of posts about the recent Alicia Rhett Tribute Tea in Lone Oak, Ga., honoring the actress and artist who appeared as India Wilkes in Gone With the Wind, I wanted to be sure to share some information on the wonderful tea we enjoyed at the event, the India Wilkes fan blend from Adagio Teas. In addition to serving this tea, organizers also offered a large tin of the tea as one of the silent auction items, and I was so pleased that I had the winning bid.

This India Wilkes tea is a blend of their Blackberry, Cream, and Assam Melody teas, accented with cornflowers. It's a wonderful brisk tea with a lovely and almost sweet taste, and I've been happily sipping it all week long. And you know, I just might be willing to share some with a friend sometime soon…

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Alicia Rhett Tribute Tea celebrating "Gone With the Wind" - Part Two

Isn't it funny how what we remember most about a tea is the people we enjoyed it with? On Saturday, I had so much fun  catching up with my old colleague Winston, and I also enjoyed meeting local artist Nita McFarlin, whose fur-trimmed jacket just made me smile! (My friend Lynn Stanier also attended the tea and has kindly allowed me to use some of her photos from the event.)

The drop-style scones were delicious, and the raspberry jam made by a member of the church was some of the best jam I've ever had. It's the first time I ever remember going back for seconds on the jam at a tea! At right are some of the sweets, including the Danish wedding cookies and the shortbread cookies.

Handcrafted serving trays were called into service and provided the perfect touch for the pimiento cheese triangles and the tiny cucumber sandwiches (I ate three cucumber sandwiches, always my favorites!).

Each attendee received a goodie bag with lots of great treats, and we also got a commemorative booklet and a copy of the menu for the tea.

Here's a fun picture Lynn took of Terry Lynn Crane sharing about her late husband, Fred Crane, who played Brent Tarleton in Gone With the Wind.

Here Terry Lynn visits with a GWTW fan after the tea. Do you see all those collectible GWTW pins on her denim jacket?

And check out the back of the jacket!

I failed to get photos of our desserts, individual slices of some delicious buttermilk pie and coconut pie, but I did manage to get a copy of the cookbook containing the recipes, Fiddle Dee Dee Recipes: A Taste of "Gone With the Wind" by Terry Lynn Crane. (Copies are available here.)

And Terry Lynn graciously signed it for me afterward, so now I have a wonderful memento of the time I took tea with the wife of a movie star from Gone With the Wind!