Monday, October 31, 2011

It is time, right now!!!

     In one of my fall posts I showed you my paperback book pumpkin and branches of book page leaves.  I decided to go looking for some more crepe paper leaves which I had found at Dollar Tree and had used on the branches.  I want to give a set away to a friend.

This is what I am talking about. I have the page leaves all ready but the dark crepe paper ones really add to the look, I think.  I have gone back to the store where I found these and three other Dollar Tree stores but they have all sold out.  They now have Christmas things where the fall used to be. So................................

at Dollar Tree I got lots of really neat little things.  I have a special purpose in mind for each of my selections.  I am showing you the pile of stuff  with very little money spent and they are really cute things. 

A card of four little stars for $1. Cards of four red shiney and sparkling pinecones for $1.

A pack of nine silver bells for $1.

A card of two birds for $1.  The sparkling things like the birds look much more sparkling in person.

I already had gotten this berry branch at 40% off at Michaels.  It will be used along with one of the other items shown here.

I got these bags of individually wrapped peppermint balls at Target's dollar section. I already had another item that these will be used with.

One of the dollar stores is located close to a Tuesday Mornings which I had never been in - not this particular one. So, I had to check it out while I was in the neighborhood! There, I met up with a little old lady who speaks with a strong German accent.  She was filling her cart with several selections of European sweets which she praised greatly, especially what was in the above package. 

I wish I had taken a "before" picture because you can see this is definitely an "after" picture - empty!  Got them on Saturday, today is Monday and I am the only one who has been here!  That says it all!

I could not resist getting this branch of "moss" covered pinecones.  I love moss-covered anything and these really look good. The branch is a big size and the price was surprisingly low.

The opening line of this post, right now is the time, means you need to shop now if you expect to find these kinds of things in the stores.  Close to Christmas this will be gone and you will see Valentine stuff!

In the same shopping area was a Michaels. I went in there to look for elements I saw in a necklace at the Mount Dora Craft Sale a couple of Saturdays ago. When I saw the necklace, I loved it but, had already spent my budgeted amount on something else.

Michaels had this clock face piece and it may be the very one on the necklace except a different color.  The Mount Dora necklace had a rectangular piece positioned crossways behind the clock piece.  And, a similiar dragonfly on top.  Couldn't find the long piece for the back but was extremely happy to see these two pieces on sale for 40% off. I did like the antique brass color of the other necklace best but, for a few dollars this one will do fine - especially since the other one was $36.00, I think.

Using a little E-6000 glue the dragonfly is on there to stay.  I may look for a better looking chain for it eventually.

The day after Thanksgiving I will start my Christmas decorating and assembling of gifts.  I will be sure to show you how I used all the little Christmas things shown in this post. Most are to be used with little token gifts for friends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tea Treasures Thursday ~ #6

     I have been very busy lately and have let more time than usual go by without posting. I didn't want to not do the tea treasures today so I very quickly threw some pictures together. I chose the cup and saucer this time by the little bouquet of roses I already had.  My rose bushes have all taken a blooming spell again.

These are from two bushes, the white ones are from Ducher and the pink are G. Nabbanond.  I'm not sure if I am remembering the correct spelling of that last name.  It is one of my favorite roses.

This cup is from the Duchess company.

A pretty little rose on the inside rim.

This little pitcher was brought from England to me by my daughter.  I may line up all my pitcher's sometime to show you.  I probably have more than I even realize.

I remembered after I started this that I have already featured this tea pot. But, here it is again. It is a Homer Laughlin.  I remember the day years ago when I spotted this in a flea market and was so glad to be able to buy it. 

I was the leader of my book reader's club today.  That means I was able to select the book of the month, find a place for us to have lunch together and lead the discussion.  We went to Mimi's for lunch and then they came home with me for dessert and the discussion.  This is a sampling of the desserts I made.  It is yummy chocolate cake, pumpkin cake with carmel sauce (sorry ladies I forgot to have the sauce on the buffet).  And also, dessert crepes with blueberries.

I used this cup hanger turned grape hanger to present the grapes.  I think they didn't notice the little sissors to use to cut off little bunches. 

This grape stand looked better when it was on the buffet with the other food.  I was just too busy to get pictures.

Well, thanks for checking in and I hope I can live some kind of interesting life in the next few days to share with you all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tea Treasures Thursday #5 ~ British

     Wow, this time sure rolls around in a hurry.  I may reconsider and do this subject every other week instead of weekly.  I am thinking you may get tired of seeing my tea things so often.

      I am excited to show you today's tea treasures!  I have some special ones to share.  Partly because of, 'from whence they came'!  And, also because of what they are.

This special cup and saucer was a gift to me from a sweet friend who lives in England.  It is from her Gran's collection!  She and her mother inherited the collection just a few months back.  I feel very privileged to now have this pretty C/S as my very own!

The china is so dainty and the colors very vivid.

"By appointment to Her Majesty the Queen".  I have no idea of its age.

The scroll design around the inside rim is delicate and pretty.

Did you notice this little tea spoon which had joined the cup in the previous picture?  It's hard to see in this picture but, that IS the initials of the Queen on there.  My son-in-law grew up in London and became a chef, working for a top-notch catering company.  They did events for premiers, royalty and a lot of classy parties  and special meals for many well-known people, including one or more of our presidents.  He cooked for Diana one time. Just about the time he married my daughter he was cleared to do private meals at #10 Downing Street.  Tony Blair and family were living there. 

This is from #10 Downing Street and is from the Queen's china.  E R is for Elizabeth Regina. Mark told me that the dishes get passed back and forth between the #10 house and the palace and that it is likely that this plate was used at both. My thoughtful son-in-law, knowing how I like dishes and collect small silver pieces inquired of a butler whether there might be something he could have for me.  This is what he came back with. So, let's just leave it with  ~ ~ ~  the butler did it!

This big fork also has the Queens initials.  I don't remember the exact story of when or how Mark came into possession of it. I know one thing, I am very happy that he remembered me! Just to think, Her Majesty could have stirred her tea with this little spoon or Diana could possibly have eaten from the plate!

This is the fork. Definitely the best quality silver that I own.  It's heavy.

The backside of the fork.  It doesn't show here but the structure is different - the pointed ridge is raised.  All the official marks are on the other end.  Didn't think to take that picture.

So, now Mark cooks for Arnold Palmer, special events and dinner parties at his house. Uummmmmh, I wonder what kind of spoon he stirs his special tea blend (half tea/half lemonade) with???  I'm not sure if he has a butler.

You got a peep at this long, tall lady in the previous picture.  I include her with these British things not because she came from there but I have always thought she looks English.  Some of them might beg to differ with me but I nearly always think that when I see her.  She was also a gift.  My sister bought her for me after I admired her in a store (Ross) while we were shopping together.

And, would you take a look at her cup!!!  Red polka dots!  Those who have seen my post titled: I See Polka Dots will know why I point that out.  Did not think to use her in that posting.

I think I need to present her with a string of tiny pearls!

She is so sophisticated looking - all fifteen and three quarter inches of her!  And, aren't you reminded of "stiff upper lip"?  She looks confident and ready to handle whatever comes.

I thought these little shoes would fit in with todays look also.  I found them in Target one year.  They were Christmas ornaments but I never used them that way.  I got this lace and made napkin rings.

My house is so difficult to take true color pictures in.  Or, I just need to learn to use the camera differently. 

So, here is how the featured things are displayed in my dining room.

I treasure the people and the tea things that are included in this post, including the butler!!! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Seasonal traditions and shopping

     Thinking about how fall lends itself to great traditions. We all know the typical with special decorating, etc.  But, do you have any that might not be so common.  I think I have started a new one for the last three years.  Do you remember the powdered drink mix recipe that was called Russian tea ~ at least that is what my recipe is called.  You know the one, it uses Tang, instant tea, spices etc.  I use to make it every fall but, I think I have found something similar that I like a lot and I only see it in the store at this time of year (not saying it can't be found other times) and it is easier. I tend to go for easy these days.

It's this powered mix which is more apple flavored.  I am enjoying a mug of this every few days in the cooler weather. Yes, even here it is noticeably cooler! If you are more ambitious than I am you can mix your own spiced apple cider from scratch. The other tradition connected to my drinking, is certain things just taste better out of particular vessels.  I use another mug when I drink hot chocolate.This one is the spiced apple cider mug.  Now, it might have something to do with the fact that I found my mug in a china store in London that makes it the special one.  I like the elderberry design - berries and blossoms.  Find yourself a special mug. You don't need to go all the way to London but, for heaven's sake don't drink anything out of an ugly mug!!!

Don't you just love the names little villages in England have ~ Stoke-On-Trent.  One of my favorites is Burton-On-The-Water. The Brits call it "Buttun On the Wata".  I have some great pictures from there that I might share sometime.

Now on to something entirely different but, still somewhat of a fall tradition.  There are a few stores that I only seem to go visit near the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have already hit one of these which is about ten minutes from where I live.  The posts that people do that show the places they are shopping are not some of my favorites but, here I go doing the same thing.  Last week I took a few pictures (with permission) in Kim Coe Designs.  Kim was in the process of "putting out Christmas"  even though she still has gobs of fall things out which were all 20% off. When I asked her how she was she answered, "a bit overwhelmed". And, I could understand why!

This store is in a little strip-mall but, once you walk through the door you would never know it.  It has several rooms and you would think you were in a big house.  Room after room is filled to the brim.  I don't know that I have ever been in a store with more stuff packed in ~ both large furniture and small things.

What I didn't do that I wish I had is zero in on certain items for some close-ups.  Do you see the tree on the right?  It is being snowed on! Moving snow flakes.

Wouldn't I love to have a room that this big picture would accommodate!!!

You can see a definite color scheme in this place.

It goes on and on. 

I would imagine this mantle will have a different look by the time she has her Christmas Open House.  Which will take place before long. But you may be wondering what it is that went home with me this day.

A green velvet pumpkin!  Most of her items are out of my price range but this was not bad especially with 20% off.

And, then there was this bunch of grapes  at a low price.  They are real glass and look very real! I think the stem in the pumpkin is a real stem.

I pulled this sprig of flocked leaves and velvet-like grapes out of an arrangement  I already had  to pair the new bunch with.

Here they are in their big setting in my dining room.  You may remember the stacked cloth pumpkins I made and showed on another posting.  I guess this is the year for cloth pumpkins for me!

And then there was this large acorn at a very good price!  It is made from foam and is so light it would blow away if a good breeze caught it.  It is covered with naturals and you probably know by now if you saw all my fall decorating pictures that I love acorns.  A lot of them have been gifts.

Now, do I go to this and be tempted to spend money that I probably should not spend or use my good sense and just stay away?  I will let you know what rules out.  I sure do like that big clock I saw ~  looks like a giant Big Ben alarm clock!!!