Tuesday, September 25, 2012


"The  falling  leaves drift by my window...The Autumn leaves of red and gold." Do you remember  Nat King Cole, singing this beautiful song.... Well, today, I am smitten by it's lyrics and music.
( Hum Hum )

It's midday and the sun seems to have that dusty glow of crimson breath mingling with a soft veil of sunlight .

While gazing through the window, I'm reminded of that age old ritual of taking midday tea. Won't you join me?

I hope I'm not too late to join Sandi's  Autumn Teatime  Celebrations. I'm akin to Alice's, White rabbit, who's late , who's late  for a most enjoyable date.

 However I don't look quite that bad( Ha Ha) ..Yes, I admit to getting up late, leaving on my pyjamas and eating cupcakes for breakfast... It's such a relaxing day !!!

I've even chosen a trio of  lovely vintage transfer ware , a setting for three, so you see I was expecting company.

Oh dear, there are only two cupcakes left( Hee Hee) ... I  do love to share though ... They're scrumptious little cakes that mother bought at the local market.,, bit  sized cuties, with an abundant amount of icing...Scrumptious !!!!

The teasets were purchased in British Columbia, Canada, ten years ago in a Langley antique shop appropriately called Victoria's. She carried  a lot of old world china and furniture that always sparked my imagination. I was alway meandering through her store and could have easily become a fixture.   This vintage set , Royal Staffordshire, created by A.J. Wilkinson Ltd., dazzled me with it's odd, or should I say unusual rectangular plate shapes.

I found very little actual information on the company except that it was a pottery or pot bank at Newport in Burslem, England, owned by the Shorter family. A sprawling complex of bottle ovens, kilns and production shops, that  employed 400 manual workers and produced earthenware. In 1885 Arthur  A.Wilkinson took over introducing gold lustreware on graniteware to America. In 1896, he took over the Royal Staffordshire Pottery in Burslem, which carries the illustrious Stafforshire legacy of fine pottery and china.

My acquired settings, included four  cups,saucers and sandwich plates with the traditional rural scenes that were so popular in the late eighteen hundreds.

Each china piece displays it own vivid depiction of  life on the farm, complete with a hay wagon. The  scenes and  plate shapes are quite beautifully formed with deep indentations for holding, a generous amount of  tea sandwiches  and dainties.  I seldom buy china in the brown tones, but these were of such exquisite form that I dubbed them " Mine ", at twenty-five dollars  for a twelve piece set. ..A very good deal, indeed !!!! 

The sturdy little cups endear the simple life and daily routines of  milking cows and  collecting eggs  in a rather  medieval drawing that warms the heart and transport you ," way over yonder" to another time and place. However , I would say that life was much harder and busier in those idealistic scenes, than we could ever imagine. We're such romantics !!!!

My favourite is the saucer, with it's charming  homestead scene . The traditional rakes, shovels and sickles are so cleverly laced around the rim, with herbs, vines and fruits, which definitely  enhance the beauty of this wonderful old china.  In essence, the dishes are storytellers, time travellers that awaken our minds to an ancient memory somewhere in time.

I do love transfer ware and wonder ... IF, these teacups could talk, what stories they would tell !!!

Here's a close-up of the saucer. I wouldn't mind a lovely old house  with a babbling brook, stepping stones and a few cows... On second thought, I do have an old 125 year old house. Maybe we'll forget about the cows and skipping over the stones to walk 5 miles miles to the market. 

Thankfully, in this day and age, we can put our work aside for awhile, to enjoy  the pleasantries of an  Autumn Tea Time with Friends.

We can enjoy the season with it's musty scents and  artful colours that are drench in the cool, autumn rain.  Fall invigorates me .... even makes me tingle. Maybe that's why, I  seem to drink more tea during the Fall season.

I'm  saying good-bye to my garden, but secretly revelling, in the yellow, green and golds that filter though my mind, as the the seasonal " Gallardia" springs forth . The garden colours seem to refresh  my tea cup with a sense of life's cycle and  the journey ahead. 

For me, it is new life, as my sixth grandchild and fifth grandson will be born. YES ....  Autumn vibrates with a glorious ' sleep' for the garden and a new awakening for my heart. 
What does Autumn mean to you?

TODAY ... I celebrate and share  the Autumn of my life with friends...young and old teatottlers, who can sleep in and wear their pyjamas till noon...maybe later!!!
  Thanks for sharing a few sips with me . Have a Happy and relaxing tea today.

"The autumn Leaves drift by my window
The autumn leaves of red and gold."

Sung By: Nat King Cole
Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Music: Joseph Kosmo

Today I am sharing teatime with:

Sandi at: Rose Chintz Cottage... /Tea Time Tuesday/www.sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.ca
Ruth at: Tuesday Cuppa Tea/ www.antiques&teacups.blogspot.ca
Kathy at : A Delightsome Life//blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com
Terri at: Tea Cup Tuesday/www.artfulaffirmations.blogspot.ca
Bernideen At: Tea in the Garden/www.bernideenstimeblog.blogspot.ca


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


As days begin to grow shorter in late September, one of my favourite native flowering perennials, the Asters, begin to  put on a show.  

Many people consider them weeds, but I love the soft mauve hue that lingers in the  cool wake of the morning air . While I slave away with most flowers throughout the summer, these lovely little Fall harbingers, are so easy to grow and will come back year after year.

 They are infact,  pollinators that attract several species of insects and butterflies.  I also, enjoy their attractive seed heads, that add a bit of interest to the cold winter landscape. Often, the most unassuming plants and objects are the most beautiful .

However, just the thought of Winter, gives me the chills .... Please, do come in and let me pour you a nice  cup of tea. 

 Today I'm pondering an English Breakfast or maybe even Red Rose Tea. Which do you prefer? On second thought, How about green tea !!!! I have a few perfectly sealed packages that I brought from Japan. It's fresh and so mildly delicious.

Look what I found tucked away in my lower cabinet. At first, I thought it was a limoge, with its elegant streamlined design. To my surprise the markings said,  Fine Bone China,
" Made In Japan ".

I couldn't believe how ethereal and perfect  the teaset appeared to be ... since  many people have an immediate aversion to the " Made in Japan" label, which I believe is a remnant of the war and a poorer mass production line. 

Luckily, I did find an interesting amount of history on  the Nikko China Company. So, please drink up your tea and enjoy, the intimate feeling and look of this exotic china. 

In the late 1800's Freudal Lords found their land being gradually dispersed, to the farm families that had cultivated it for generations. The changes were undoubtedly difficult, but necessary in the evolution of Japan.  Many of the former Lords, seeing their formal feudal estates shrinking to a fraction of their former size, banded together in business partnerships.

One such venture involved,  the Freudal Lord, Maeda and associates. Together, they formed Koshitsu Toki Co. Ltd. in the prefecture of Kanazawa, in 1905.  It was the first attempt to manufacture semi-porcelain dinnerware in Japan.  

In 1917, the opening of a new factory in Pusan, Korea created great hope for the future of the Koshitsu Toki Company. Unfortunately the onset of World War ll, required a shifting of the company, to meet governmental needs for armaments. Everything from porcelain to metal was produced for the Japanese army.

The war had an devastating effect on Japan's economy. The  Koshitsu Toki  suffered damage to its mainland factory and lost its facility altogether, when Japan was forced to leave Korea.

Faced with these challenges, the company created a re-organization plan and ultimately didn't  hit its stride again,  until  the mid-sixties.

Moving the  headquarters and factories to Ishikawa, Japan, they began  producing a large range of tableware, including bone china, fine vitrified china, fine porcelain and ovenware.

The original name was dropped and in 1983, it became the  Nikko Company, which is a more recognizable name worldwide.

Although, this teaset maintains a old-world charm, it was  most certainly  produced, during  the mid 80's to 90's... especially since it bears the  Nikko Company stamp.

You can see that the china is truly a fine work of art, boasting a most exotic spirit. The midnight blue saucer has been ingeniously balanced with a plain white cup, that ripples like a ribbon of liquid gold around the upper edges ... The elaborate, yet, also simple elements of the teaset caused me to pause, in favour of admiring it's ethereal existence. I think, it is beautiful !!!!

I rallied as to whether or not, I should pour hot tea into such a delicate vessel.  It's a teacup illuminated with ornate thought and harmony, almost Art Deco inspired ...  I did however, journey onward, selecting only the finest green tea to fill it with the essence of its oriental heritage.... Delicious !!!!

I must admit that learning the patience and art of drinking tea is a must for this bevelled creation. One must first form and purse their lips to fit into the delicate folds of the teacups rim.( dribble dribble) 

 Only with tiny sips could one infuse, the pure essence of the teas' bouquet and perfection of the delicate china between the lips.... A tantalizing and intimate  experience of East meets West .

I do believe that we, have a misconception about bone china ... "Made in England", does not positively dictate that it is the  best or finest of China and visa versa .... the, " Made in Japan', does not mean that it is the cheapest and of inadequate quality. It's only a stamp and a very clever  worldwide marketing tool that assists us, in recognizing and dating our pieces.

Thankfully, I was able to experience Japanese teasets and china, while living in Kitakyushu . Most notably, Japanese porcelain and ceramics have  enlightenment  and broadened my education in the ancient art of pottery making.


Thank You for the pleasure of your company Ladies...

Today I also sharing tea with:
Sandi at Teatime Tuesday/ Rose Chintz Cottage/ wwwsandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.ca
Terri at Teacup Tuesday/ www.artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com
Ruth at Tuesday Cuppa Tea/ www.antiques and teacups.blogspot.ca

Sunday, September 16, 2012


"I'VE  GOT MAIL" ... This past summer I participated in the " Artful Gathering and took a Crazy Quilting 101 class with Pat Winters. ( Above image from Pat's magazine ) Oh what fun I had learning the ribbon embroidery art of crazy quilting. Patricia introduced me to a phone number and a lady, by the name of Trish, who runs a fabric store in Michigan. Trish will select and coordinate a crazy quilting stash for anyone, who lives out of town or out of the country ...PERFECT ....  I, of course, phoned and placed an order for quilting quarters and embellishments. The order has arrived ...Yeah !!!!

Tah Dah ....Here they are... in my favourite colours of pink blue and  mauves. Some are textured, some are silks, brocades and satins ... all are high quality fabrics that can withstand the scrutiny of embroidery needles and silk ribbon sculpturing. Where does one even  begin to choose!!!!

Look at all these scrumptious embroidery threads... metallics and Oliver Twists not to mention that six months ago , I thought Oliver Twist was a character out of Dickens... now I know it as a yummy embroidery thread that is blended with a variety of variegated colours.. I'm loving that  deep purple skein. 
I wonder what size of needle I will need  to work with it?  ... and what about the fabrics. There are so many things to learn in the textile industry.. especially when working with threads. My favourite source will be Patricia Winter. She knows everything ( Ha Ha)

( Whirl Whirl) My heart was in a flutter when  .... all the small , medium and large  butterflies and dragonflies flew out of the mailing envelope. ( flutter flutter) 

I can't wait use them in some magical  quilting creation ... Perhaps, I should make a whimsical  winter hat or purse for my little Grand-daughter, Auriane . What would you use them for ?

Oh My ..Wouldn't these sweet crocheted butterflies add a magical touch to a little girls party dress. Do you think I could crochet a few of these little cuties.?

All my teatime friends will be drooling over these little darlings.... I envision, bejewelled linens for my Tuesday Tea Parties and ornamental  charms for the handles of the  teacups and  edges of my teatime napkins. 

My favourite fabric from the stash is this golden metallic rose material. It's really much more dazzling in reality, than on the picture....It's a very mystical,  light weight fabric,  that shimmers beautifully under the light. ...so it must be used for something very special.. I just don't know what !!! Ha Ha ....  Do You ?

Maybe , I should take a peek into the CQ Gathering magazine for some ideas.( Above image from Pat's  magazine )  Patricia always gifts her readers with the most beautiful " ciggies" to use in the quilting. Ciggies are the vintage images that are used to enhance your quilt. They are simply images that are transferred onto cotton, that you quilt and embroider around.... like this one.

The embroidery and beading  around these images enhance the  beauty of the quilt ... not to mention , giving it a vintage look.

Aren't  you glad that you got to peek into my envelope and  Trish's Stash. ( Hee Hee) ... I can't wait to begin my project .. .Which will be !!!!....  AHHHHHH ..... You'll have to wait and see..Dear Friends.

In the meantime you can contact Patricia Winters at: (http://gatherings100.blogspot.com) to order her " Crazy Quilt Gatherings Magazine or ...  simply  enjoy the art of crazy quilting chatter here at:" The Grand Lady".

DON'T FORGET,  to visit my friend Annette at: " http:crazyquiltpassion.blogspot.com. Alot of "crazy ladies" hang out around there. I mean this, in the very nicest sense of " Crazy Quilting Ladies "
 Enjoy yourselves and have a lovely week !!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Last night I read the " Fairyland Companion" in preparation for a little Autumn inspiration for the upcoming  season...Little did I know that it would fill my night and day with the whimsical mischief of the fairies... Silly me !!

The next morning  it seemed as if  fairies had decided to come to tea.

Of course they chose my morning cup and saucer  ...what could I say, but " Thank You ".  It was a Royal York, Art Deco looking tea set, that I did not recognize from my tea cupboard ... Don't you agree that that is very peculiar indeed!!! 

Fairies are known for  tricks and pranks ....  maybe  this  is a gift from the fairy Queen... In my imagination, anything can happen !!!

I smiled when I saw all the softly brushed posies  and thought that I could almost  hear the  harebells ring-a-lin-ing ... Do you see them?.. Harebells are a very magical flower from the fairy realm of Scotland, also known as the Scottish bluebell. 

They grow wild and bloom in tiny  blue bell shaped flowers.  You probably have some of them growing  amongst the cracks of your rock gardens. The Victorians believed that the fairies  slept in the bells or used the delicate  flowers as  goblets for dew... How delightful !!! 

I admired the little cup as I sipped my  morning brew and noticed how very shy and understated the design was, almost as if it  was hiding.  Perhaps, that is why I had  never seen this china amongst my teasets.  Still, I wondered how it magically appeared upon my breakfast table.

At one time, it was said that if a maiden counted the harebells, she saw three times as the sun rises, or as the dew falls, she would see Fairies, to whom she could curtsey three times to acquire three wishes... 

Oh yes I'd like to be granted  three wishes ...Wouldn't you !!! So ... I counted the harebells on the cup and saucer...There are eleven little bells( ring ring)..  but unfortunately I'm not a maiden just an Old Maid ( Ha Ha) 

It's best, that  I just enjoy my tea and be thankful for the gifts that God has blessed me with thus far in life.

I was having such fun this morning during teatime, pondering a " FAIRY TEA PARTY "...I do hope you will come . We could all wear fairy costumes.

...and set a lovely  teatime display for the fairy cakes 

I just know that  there would be an ample supply of " Honey Nectar " for us all to sip upon.

Here... This cup will be for one of you Special Ladies, who have taken the time to play.

Isn't this the most darling little teapot... I must use some fairy dust to  bolster up the quantity of tea that it holds ... ( Sprinkle sprinkle)

Look, I've counted , one ... two... three, fairies that would love to come and have tea with you and I. 

SO my Dear Ladies ,  when do you think, our  Fairy teatime should take place? Perhaps next Tuesday. Please do let me know if you will attend and post any ideas that you might have for the party. 

" There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!
It's not so very, very far away:
You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead-
I do hope you've really come to stay.
There's a little wood with moss in it and beetles,
And a little stream that quietly runs through;
You wouldn't think they's dare to come merry making there-
Well, they do "

written by: Rose Amy Fyleman( 1877-1957)

I'm sharing tea with :

Terri at Teacup Tuesday  (www.artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com) Please check out her gracious gift of a free  Fairy Tutorial.

Sandi at; Teatime Tuesday/ Rose Chintz Cottage ( www. sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.ca)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Embroidery has always been a happy past-time  for me since childhood. This year , I was introduced to a  " Crazy Quilting "  class. It was a creative event, called , " Artful Gathering",  sponsored by the online Ning blog , " Roses On My Table " . I'm sure that many of you have either heard of it or have participated in this wonderful yearly event. If not here's the address: http://www.rosesonmytable.ning.com 

Today, I would  like to share a little crazy quilting   with you over a steeping hot cup of Earl Grey tea.. How do you like your tea  .... black or  with cream and sugar?

This was my first project, a crazy quilting  vintage purse. You may have quessed that I spent a lot of time stitching and drinking tea while creating this little treasure... Can you see the little beaded bee in the upper left hand corner? Isn't he cute !!!!( Buzz, Buzz)

Here's your teatime cup of the day .... The crackled look certainly does remind me of crazy quilting with all the  unusual edges and shapes in the pattern. This wide mouthed cup  generously shares the full bodied aroma of  Earl Grey with the olfactory nerve, ( hmmm-good) while sipping. However, it is best to drink a little faster as the tea does cool quickly in this spacious cup. It might even dictate, that two pots of tea are required before our teatime gathering is  over ( Ha Ha)

There seems to be  some confusion about the " Stanley " trademark  and  the"Stanley China Works"  as they  are completely different companies.  One being a fine china and the other an earthenware , Art Nouveau" styled pottery. 

This Stanley mark  is not part of the " Royal Stanley "  so I am assuming that this teaset belongs to the " Stanley China Works( Charles Amison &Co Ltd.) since there is never any  use of the word " Royal"  in any of the Amison pottery marks. 

Identification and valuations for vintage and fine china are specialist niches that require vast amounts of  knowledge and research material. Certainly, someone, more expertise could shed a little more learned  information on this particular subject.

The cup and saucer, both. share a twin  motif of golden leafed flowers, that resemble  roses. Quite simply, it's an elegant set that fits nicely into our millennium with it's crackled finished. I see a lot of artisans using the crackle medium for their projects.

 " Crazy Quilting",  is often referred to in the  textile art as  the art of crazy patchwork.  Some of you , may have inherited  one of these  crazy patchwork quilts from a great grandmother or aunt...
Lucky you !!!

 Have you ever  tried your hand at quilting? If not , " Crazy Quilting",  is a fun way to begin. This years classes were a first for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and  friendly camaraderie of the participating members. We all made stitching boo boo's together ( Ha Ha) 

Not only is it an Victorian art, but today it's a relaxing art form to thousands of Crazy Quilting Ladies, who share their work online.  This  art form began it's journey in North America,  in the late 1800's when asymmetrical and abstract shapes and stitches were introduced by the Japanese at the World Exhibition.   

The Victorian women relished the creative vision of incorporating this new look into their quilts ... and women's magazines supported the art of making these crazy quilts, catapulting it into the newest rage of the era.

 Embroidering, was something that I had learned in grade school, but the additions of beading, quilting, ribbon embroidery and making bees was new, delightful and habit forming( Ha ha) So,  " BEE " careful !!!

The last project that I created was an eye glass case for my mother-in-laws 95th birthday. She loves  pinks, mauves,hearts and  dragonflies ... So I hope she is going to enjoy this creative effort. I was able to spend some real "quality' television time while working on my embroidery ( Ha Ha) and  drinking  tea. Actually, I rarely watch TV, so embroidery and creating bees was a happy way to spend time with my 89 year old mother and  the" Downton Abbey"  television series.

I think teatime embroidery might be a better name for "crazy quilting", as it is ultimately, the most relaxing teatime art for anyone who wishes to partake and  become a crazy quilting, teatime lady.

So put on the kettle,  steep your tea, grab your cup and check out, http://www.crazyquiltpassion.blogspot.com
You might  ENJOY it !!!