Monday, April 30, 2012


Downtown Abbey is a fabulous mini series, produced by the BBC. It's a wartime saga that follows the lives of an Aristocratic English family and their servants during the wartime... sort of an " Upstairs, Downstair" story.  If you you haven't watched this series ... please do take the time to  make yourself a pot full of tea and get acquainted with the fabulous lives and characters of this award  winning  show.  

You can watch the whole series in one day on " streaming", if you love a good English Drama. 

You'll understand this teatime chatter, if you've watched the series... If not, you're WELCOME to join into a spot of tea and meet Lady Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham... a real character( ha ha )

So Ladies  ... Shall we let  teatime begin, or rather, let's catch up to the Teatime Tuesday conversations and quotes with Lady Violet.  

" Sometimes, I feel as if I were living in a H.G. Wells novel."

Well Yes "Lady Violet ", after all you are a character from a script... and Maggie Smith , you're a superb Grand Lady, with great one liners... BRAVO !!!

By chance... This set is stamped by Royal Doulton as " Grantham' ... Ha ha .. so hilarious that the fictional, Downton Abbey should choose this name ... I did a little research and found it to be a peaceful little medieval  English Village,  that began as a ' Saxon' word ' ..( Ham) meaning  somebodies name or home.

A juicy little tidbit is that , Sir Issac Newton was born in Woolsthorpe near, Grantham and attended King's School, near Grantham, so  that certainly puts the village of Grantham on the map.

This Granthan teaset is an antique Royal Doulton China set  that was gifted to me, from my husbands', mothers, mother who bought it for  a penny in a cereal package.

Imagine ...  Royal Doulton  in a cereal box ... My mother -in-law, remembered it as the porridge pattern and poo- pooed it's grand name. Personally ... I love the whimsical swirls and all the delightful posies that adorn this vintage set. 

Knowing that it was used  everyday, before I or my husband, Kim  were born, makes it even more special.  Unfortunately, my mother-in-law, Peggy  dislikes it's familiar memories of war and loss of loved ones .... Goodness ... I never realized that pieces of china could carry such a legacy. I'm resolved to enjoy these dishes because of family connections and the many unknown good times that may have been. .. Now ladies,  let's return to Lady Violet !!!!! 

" I'm a woman Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose."

In Downton Abbey, Lady Violet had so many fabulous one liners...and I love the name ' Violet "and I also love the woman, that they have created. Lady Violet and most Victorians would have  enjoyed drinking tea from a  fine china cup. Perhaps, a grand lady would choose this pretty cup and saucer for her teatime fancy.

I do hope the violets pop up into this tea and allow you to see how very sweet this teacup really  is.  Can you see them round the bottom of the cup ? I chose  this lovely  teatime duo with violets and forget-me-nots in mind... and of course it  also reminded me of , "SPRING".

(Slurp...sip...slurp..sip)... Really, I  drink my tea quite graciously, but do forgive a good  loud sip and slurp every once in awhile. ( ha ha)
 Lady Violet, would of course, object to the complete lack of our Canadian or American manners, since she believes that we live in wigwams.


Lady Grantham: " Why would you want to go to a real school? You're not a doctor's daughter."
Sybil: "Nobody learns anything from a governess, apart from French and how to curtsy."
Lady Grantham: "What else do you need?Are you thinking of a career in banking?"
Cora: " Things are different in America."
Lady Grantham: " I know, They live in wigwams."

  The golden  filigree on this saucer is  definitely a harbinger of Spring with it's floral whispers and  sweet blue nosegay. I am almost tempted to sip from the saucer( ha ha).. but I think that would be a Victorian,
 " no-no ".

Wouldn't you love to engage Lady Violet into a teatime chat about etiquette and manners? What fun we could have!!!!

Of course .. It may bring you to a  " Lady Violet " moment ... HA HA ... and ... She is quite  a Teatime Lady ... with an opinionated Teatime Voice  !!! The perfect Mother -in -Law ( Ha ha )

Lady Grantham: "You are quite wonderful the way you see  room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal."
Mrs. Crawley: "I take that as a compliment."
Lady Grantham: "I must've said it wrong".

" You'll find there's never a dull moment in this house."

I hope you enjoyed  seeing my "Lady Violet "ATC's . I just couldn't resist making a few cards of this grand, Dowager Countess.

So Ladies, please do sit back, enjoy another cup of tea and watch "Downtown Abbey" while I scurry into blogland to visit a few Teatime friends. Thanks for another extraordinary teatime chat..

Sharing Tea with :
Sandi @
Terri @
Ruth @

Monday, April 23, 2012


Vincent van Gogh declared " Cobalt"(blue) is a divine colour and there is nothing so beautiful for putting atmosphere around thing..."

This extraordinary stable colour has been a favourite to some of the greatest artists, throughout the world. Renoirs, "The Umberellas ( Les Parapluies) 1881-85 (above) is one of my favourites. It is also the deep, dramatic hues of this colour that attracted me to this handsome, German Teaset.

I say handsome, because of the rich and heavy contrast of the decorating on this piece. The cobalt hue is so dense and moody, while the gold gilding lavishly hugs the superb curves of the teacup, like two lovers embracing. 

I found  three vintage, cobalt blue teasets , each a little different, at Victoria's Antiques, in Vancouver. Unfortunately, she has now closed her doors, but I feel certain, that I've acquired some of her most lovely pieces ... especially since they were bought 15 years ago. ( Ha Ha) ... Each set has the GRD stamped on the bottom of the saucer, so they are either a West or East German manufacturer/ Jl Menau or Reichenbach.  I'm still digging for more information.

I always look for matching colours in nature and none is more beautiful than the  wild lupines that dot  the hills and valleys of New Brunswick in the summer... I took these pictures on beautiful Prince Edward Island last year ....See how the curvaceous petals mimic the decadend gold edging on this saucer, in superb fashion. "All things bright and beautiful" just seem to originate  in the form and colour from nature itself !!!

Although, I would hesitate to take this set into the garden party ...  it would greatly compliment an elegant tearoom setting, in  the Grand Lady's sitting room, where cobalt blue is an adorning colour for many vases and ornamental pieces. Of course, you can have your choice of cups to sip from.

We may even have enough bouquets of lupines for you all, to take home .... I do hope so !!!

Teatime is at high noon ...  Wear your pearls ladies and bring along a feathered fan to compliment your comfort, in the heat of the day.  Oh, my goodness ... I do understand, if that's a little early for some of you living abroad.

If your late, don't worry ...  I have some midnight lanterns, to brighten the pathway, up along  the azure  steps, to a late night cup of tea . 

Wouldn't a,  " High Moon Teatime ", be delightful  !!!

Sharing Teatime with : 
Sandi@Rose Chintz Cottage
Terri and Martha@ Tea Cup Tuesday
Ruth @ Tuesday Cuppa Tea

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Wishing you all a " HAPPY EASTER" ...  in traditional Victorian style, with homemade cards.   Creating ATC's is a happy past -time and so are colored  eggs and rabbits. Here, I've  created a quick and easy card from the Victorian trading card templates, which we call Artists Trading cards.  It's so easy  and so much fun, fun, fun ... Ready, get set ...GO !!!!

 First, choose some  light weight  paper  for your egg. I  used pink and green origami paper and a contrasting floral pattern for a Spring  twist.

Cut two pink ovals and two green ovals, then cut four  floral ovals ... now you have  eight ovals that you can glue together  ... Are you following ?  Two pink with floral backs   and two green with floral backs ... Tah Dah .. You have four reversible pretty little egg shapes !!!!  Fold all four in half and use decorative scissors to cut around the edges. Are you having fun yet !!!

You may wish to  burnish  the edges with a  pigment ink pad ... I used metallic metal around mine to  hi-light the wave.

Choose a  strong stock paper  for your card, cut to  an ATC size ( 2.5 X 3.5 ) ... I chose a decorative  red with a pink  glittered polka dots to pull the pink on the egg. It worked nicely !!!

Glue, one folded half to the ATC and then butt the other folded half, up against  the middle and press it down securely. Now, you have an egg shape that flaps open on the sides, displaying the flowers.

I found  some  bunny stickers in my  craft stash  and  positioned it  onto the middle of the egg, to give it a little more dimension.... Cute..Cute !!!

Color makes such a difference ... Here's my  green bunny card ....Which one do you like best ?  You can write a little message  on the floral flaps of the egg, if you want to get  more personal. Then,  send them  to your friends, family members or grandchildren, in good old Victorian tradition. Imagine a handmade card from Grandma. .. A treasured keepsake !!!

 It's fun. It's easy 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


How does my Ladies garden grow... and in a  what colour?  I'm organizing my garden pictures, picking and choosing my favourites. Most memorable in my memory of Spring flowers are the tulips especially the  black or red/ burgandy frilled blossoms.

Color affects me ...  and, I think most of us are aware, that colours affect our moods. Color therapists,  believe that every organ is correlated to a colour, and that the body absorbs energy from that colour light, which in turn, sends healing properties to the appropriate body part ... so, I wonder which one I'm making the rendezvous with !!!( Ha Ha) ... Does colour affect you ?

Actually, today, I'm really breathing in  three colours, blue, red and green, in a quirky teatime type of way ... because ... Lookie, Lookie, at what  sprang up out of the cupboards today ... Don't you love the moody shades!!!

If you're an artist, you will have quessed that when you mix blue and red together, it gives birth to the  delicious, purple .... I do adore purple in all it's shades between magenta and violet. Purple is often  associated with nobility and royalty. 
    SO Ladies, don a few regal poses and pauses ...  lift the golden handles( above) and sip in the vibrant splashes of  teatime colour ... (slurp, slurp).  

If you have a sweet little pushed up nose ... ( like Miss Piggie) ... You'll fit, quite nicely into this  demi- tasse teatime .... along with all the other guests.

I have two of these little fairy cups, in delightful contrasting shades.  While, I've been dallying with  the  the  royal purples( above), it's time to resolve into the tranquil blues and green moods of this  Shafford teaset. Oh my goodness, What a  happy yet ,moody lady I am today !!! ( Tee Hee)

"Blue" is  he colour of the sky and sea, as in depth and stability. Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, fairness of heart  and heaven.

The "green" invokes feelings of money( mine is all gone ), nature, health, healing, life and harmony.... AH .... Imagine all this magic, happening in one cup of tea ... ( tingle tingle) 
Are you perfectly moody yet, Ladies ... If not, you are more than, WELCOME, to another, thimble full of the " Earl Grey" elexir !!!

Despite it's Anglo-sounding name, Shafford dishware was produced in Japan,  during the mid 1900's to the 1970's. It is not  a pottery, but is marked as fine bone china. Their  teatime sets and novelties typically possessed a whimsical nature, such as the distinctive " Black Cat" and the "Rabbit Patch"  teapots and dinnerware. Shafford china  is always brilliantly decorated in vivid floral and vintage patterns that make them a perfectly magical, teatime companion. ( Sprinkle Sprinkle) 

  Even though the company no longer produces china, it's wares are still available in abundance on the resale market. You can look for  any of these delightful little pieces in local antique shops, thrift stores, as well as online sites and yard sales. Over the years, I have acquired quite a fanciful collection that I will, "show and tell ", another day.

In the meantime  M' Ladies ... Get into the groove or should I say mood  ...  You can  decide for yourself,  if you need a Colour Therapist to brighten your day or, just another  relaxing little cup of tea!!!
Thanks for the lovely visit my Friends.
TODAY I am sharing teatime with :