Monday, February 27, 2023

Tea wares old and brand-spanking-new

I have never looked for teacups at Dollar General and probably won't ever think to do so again, but when I stopped by over the weekend, their pretty pastel wares for spring and Easter caught my eye, including $1 rolls of satin ribbon, a crafter's delight, and oversized glass teacups (3-1/2 inches tall, 4-1/4 inches in diameter) in pink, blue, and lavender.

Did I need them? Well, no. But these $3 teacups struck me as pieces that could serve as cereal bowls, individual tea party salad bowls, planters, and candy dishes. There was no saucer, but for $3, I will lower my expectations. They had two each of the three colors, and I couldn't decide whether to get all six, but I rarely decorate with blue and lavender, so I got the pink ones and may try to pick up two more at another store. I always like sets of four for some reason.

And yes, you can even drink tea out of them! The quality definitely isn't as nice as old Depression glass, but considering the price, I think they can be fun additions to the tea table.

Another recent tea ware find was this teapot, discovered for $15 at an antique mall in Opelika, Alabama. Actually, it was $25, but the whole booth was 40 percent off, which made this piece more attractive. For some reason, $25 seems way more expensive than $15. And even then, I had to think about this, because the back stamp says the teapot isn't to be used for food and is for decorative use only.

But it had this cute little tea set on top, and who could resist that? Not I, quickly realizing that yes, I do believe I will enjoy having this out at Christmas simply as decor. Do you ever have such conversations with yourself when you're out shopping? I do it all the time, but I have regretted the things I didn't buy much more than the things I did. (And if I do get tired of something, I can always sell it on eBay!)

Friday, February 24, 2023

Children's Tea Party, circa 1900


Let's end the week with a tea party, shall we? I recently came across another of those old stereopticon viewing devices in an antique mall, but it was pricy and had only a single stereoscopic image with it. Later, I found myself looking up these old images on the Library of Congress website. I found another tea-themed image that I don't believe I've shared here before. When I gazed at the center of this one long enough, it did indeed become a 3D image and had lots of detail!

If, unlike me, you're opposed to absolutely wasting time by sitting there staring at the center of your computer screen all day (and hey, that may include some of you!), here's a close-up detail from the image.

One day, I fully intend to own a stereopticon, the lovely vintage wooden viewing contraption that's sort of like the ViewMaster of my youth, but it won't be any fun to own one unless I can find it in the wild for a bargain price. Maybe this will be the weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

A tea-rrific opportunity to enjoy tea and art!

Are any of you in the Asheville, North Carolina, area? Or do you live within driving distance? If so and if you’re an art enthusiast, then please check out this two-day “Creative Junk Journaling for Tea Lovers” workshop with my friend Lynn Karegeannes!

You can click on the flyer below for more info, and I can promise you that if I didn’t have a family commitment keeping me from attending June 3 and 4, I would be there! Lynn and I met as fellow tea bloggers more than a decade ago, and I’ve had the pleasure of taking tea with her a few times as well as enjoying occasional phone chats with her over the years. We have many shared interests, including a love of teatime and art, and she is an incredibly gifted artist—as well as a lovely, thoughtful friend!

You can also learn more about the workshop by visiting

Monday, February 20, 2023

Seasonal decor for tea lovers

Back before Valentine's Day, I found some great new springtime decor at T. J. Maxx. And since I firmly believe that tea lovers need to have first dibs on the tea goodies, I wanted to share my finds here!

First, I’ll start with St. Patrick’s Day, since it’s the next holiday, for which I got this lovely set of three tea towels—two patterned ones and a single green one. I thought $9.99 was a great price for the towels, and I was especially happy with the patterned ones.

My favorite find, though, was this Easter-bunnies-in-teacups shelf piece, which I believe is resin. It’s $14.99, and that seems to be the going price for such things these days.

I love that each bunny seems to have its own personality. (I like to think the "T" bunny is raising his paws and saying "He is risen indeed!")

I’d already been stalking eBay for vintage Easter decor, but the things I liked most are out of my price range ($95 for a tin toy—yikes!). These candy tins and egg-shaped tins at TJM were just $6.99 and $7.99, though, and they have the vintage look I’m going for. (The chocolates inside are just so-so, but I didn’t buy these for the chocolates.) So if you, too, are getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day and/or Easter, you may want to check out T. J. Maxx, which had more tea-themed goodies than I've seen there in a while!

Friday, February 17, 2023

Pinky Up Chamomile Citrus Tea

If you're a fan of chamomile tea, you probably know what this blend is without even reading the description! Blends with chamomile are so pretty and fluffy looking, like the potpourri we used to all have in bowls throughout our homes.

I'd seen Pinky Up tea tins in some local gift shops, but when I saw this bag of their loose herbal tea at T. J. Maxx the other day, the time (and price!) was right to sample it.

This blend contains organic rosehip, organic orange peel, organic chamomile, organic lemongrass, organic peppermint, organic orange oil, organic hibiscus, and natural flavoring. It does indeed have a nice sunny citrus flavor in addition to the familiar chamomile flavor, and I'm happy to have discovered this big bag of herbal tea for a great price!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Wrapping up Valentine's Week

On Monday morning, a new friend was coming over, and at the last minute, I decided to put out some festive treats. I already had extra sausage balls I'd made for a Sunday school breakfast, and I'd made some of those seven-layer cookie bars over the weekend, so I added some heart-shaped cookies I'd just baked (was testing recipes for a valentine's cookbook) and called it done!

She was so surprised and said she'd never been to a real tea before. As you all know, this isn't full afternoon tea by a long shot, but she appreciated the gesture so much that I decided I should do this sort of thing more often! I already had my table set up for Valentine's Day, so all I did that morning was make pots of coffee and tea. I was happy that I was able to pull out the teapot napkin rings I bought last year at a local antique mall. The napkins came from Etsy.

And of course I always have plenty of rose-trimmed dishes.

The pink Lu-Ray platter was a gift from a Sunday school friend who was cleaning out and thought I would like it. I do!

A thrifted heart-shaped glass dish held the sausage balls. My "vintage" tablecloth is actually brand-new and came from the Fancy Flours catalog (, but it sure looks vintage, doesn't it? It's the prettiest tablecloth I've found in ages!

Now it's time to start thinking about how to decorate for St. Patrick's Day, and I have only a few tea wares and fabrics that are green. It's time to get creative!

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The winner of the Harney gift card is …

 Janet P.! Congrats to Janet, and I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2023

Valentine's Week Giveaway #3

Happy Monday, friends! Today's vintage valentine is another eBay find, and I love the cute teapot and teacup as well as the "You suit me to a 'T'" message!

The inside says "Say you'll be my sugar!" and is signed simply "Sandra." I hope you enjoy seeing these vintage valentines as much as I enjoy sharing them each year. It's always a challenge to track down some new ones, and this year, I was quite happy with my finds.

To conclude our Valentine's Week celebration, I wanted to wrap up by giving away a $25 gift card to Harney & Sons, because we all can use more tea! And standard shipping is free, so I trust you will make that $25 go as far as possible!

If you'd like to win the Harney & Sons e-gift card, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST tomorrow, February 14, *making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner* and you'll be entered to win. Good luck, and I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2023

The lip balm and handmade cards go to …

 Frances L! And I have your address, so I'll get these in the mail shortly. I hope everyone checks back on Monday for one more Valentine's Week giveaway!

Friday, February 10, 2023

Valentine's Week Giveaway #2

Today, I’m sharing one of my newly acquired vintage valentines, one that reads, "Some SPOON-Y CUP-LE we would make."

The inside says (in type so large you can't miss it), "IF YOU'LL BE MY VALENTINE."

And the back of the valentine is in color, too, which is somewhat unusual.

For today's giveaway, I'm offering this Beez Nuts Green Tea Lip Balm I found in a shop in Pine Mountain recently. I got one for myself as well, and I really like it!

And because I want you to have more than just a tiny little lip balm in your package, I'll also be including three of my latest tea-themed cards, which have varying colors and designs. I'd love to think that someone I don't even know might be heartened by receiving one of these cards I've made!

So if you'd like to win the lip balm and the cards, just leave an "Enter me" comment to this post by 7 a.m. EST on Saturday, February 11, and you'll be entered to win (US only, please, and please be sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner). Good luck!

Thursday, February 9, 2023

The tea towel winner is …

 Susan K. Congratulations!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Valentine's Week Giveaway #1

Once again, I'm offering giveaways in the days leading up to Valentine's Day, but first, I wanted to share a few of the tea-themed vintage valentines I've collected since last year! First, this little die-cut piece is charming and appears to be quite old. "To My Valentine," it says.

The back reads, "To Donald Stumpf, From Jennie Patton." The valentine itself isn't part of the giveaway, just a fun visual I like to share each year!

And for today's giveaway, I'm offering a tea towel just like the one I purchased for myself this year! If you'd like to win, just leave an "Enter me" comment to this post by Thursday, February 9, at 7 a.m. EST, making sure I have a way to contact you if you're the winner, and you'll be entered to win. (And if you have trouble commenting via Blogger, as I hear sometimes happens, please feel free to email me—angelamcrae at charter dot net—or comment on the Tea With Friends Facebook page so that I can enter your name myself). Good luck!

Monday, February 6, 2023

Paper lace valentines and rose petal tea


A heads-up: Valentine's Week Giveaways are just around the corner and will begin Wednesday, so please visit on Wednesday, Friday, and next Monday, when I'll be sharing tea-themed vintage valentines and some fun treats! But first: check out this really vintage valentine I found at a thrift store on Saturday. It is absolutely the most stunning valentine I've ever seen! It's about 6 x 9 inches and has so much detail.

The paper used for the base of the card is as thin as a sheet of copy paper and very fragile but blessedly intact!

It has layer upon layer of embellishments, and I have quite enjoyed studying it.

I'm thinking the blue flowers are forget-me-nots. What say you, gardener friends?

Every time I look at this piece, I see something new, like the garlands along the gold at the bottom.

The timing of this find was interesting. You see, I pull out my vintage issues of Victoria magazine all year long, mainly because they are the prettiest magazines ever published and the content is often "evergreen," meaning it ages well, especially the info on history and collectibles.

The other night, I was perusing the February 1992 issue and came across this feature on "paper lace" valentines. According to the article, for many years, "these froths remained the monopoly of England and France. Only in the 1880s did Americans finally discover the culprit responsible for their inferior product. The reason was so simple! American paper had traditionally been made of wood pulp, but only paper of a high rag content (with its correspondingly stronger fibers) could sustain the clean-cut, delicate incisions necessary to produce fine paper lace." So how 'bout that! My new-to-me piece doesn't list the maker, but the details are so fine that I'm guessing it's English. My valentine wasn't priced, and the thrift shop owner told me to just take it for free, but I insisted he add a little something to my bill since proceeds benefit a local ministry. I got home and started researching these pieces on eBay, and let's just say I should have made a much larger donation!

"But enough about valentines," you say. "Where's the tea in today's post?" Well, here it is. The tea I've been sipping as I prepare for Valentine's Week is this China Rose Petal Leaf Tea from Taylors of Harrogate, found on Amazon.

I do love a floral-scented tea every now and then, and this one was delightful, with just the right touch of rose fragrance and taste. It was the perfect tea to sip while reading such a froufrou magazine about such froufrou valentines. I don't believe I'd ever actually seen a "paper lace" valentine before acquiring this one. Have any of you?

Friday, February 3, 2023

A little bit of positivi-tea arrives in the mail (literally)

Last weekend, I was surfing the internet for new tea-themed stamp-and-die sets, and I came across a design from Trinity Stamps with hearts on it, so I figured that while it was probably too late to arrive in time for Valentine's Day this year, I had to go ahead and order the set since the dies were retiring. One thing I've learned as a crafter is that these supplies don't remain available forever, so if there's something you just love,  you really must get it now!

To my surprise, the "Positivi-tea" stamps arrived on Wednesday! I mailed a business form to someone here in Newnan two weeks ago, and it still hasn't arrived, yet this package from Washington state got here lightning fast. I do enjoy collecting tea-themed stamp sets for my card making and crafting, so if you come across some new ones, I'd love to hear about them! (And I ordered these from, if you're into stamps and dies yourself.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Valentine's Month is here!

The decorating is not finished, but I recently had a wild idea that I should do some valentine decor in the kitchen, so the vintage Christmas cabinet has now become a vintage valentines cabinet!

I didn't think I had enough old red stuff that wasn't Christmas-related, but the idea caught on after I came across this apron at a local antique mall. (The design is printed, so it's not vintage, but hey, it has "the look.")

I've wanted a vintage wedding cake topper for years, and this is the first one I've ever found at an antique mall. (They don't look too happy, though, do they?)

The teapot and teacups are new-ish, but my late mom gave me the teapot, and I found the teacups. A sweet memory!

Valentine candy boxes. Oh, how I love them!

This is my newest one. I believe it dates to the forties, and it is about two inches thick, so I'm guessing it once contained a double layer of chocolates!

And I happened to have a tea towel with red and pink, so it got included too. Soon, I'll be sharing some of my tea-themed valentines old and new. Do any of you decorate for Valentine's Day/Month?