Sunday, October 25, 2015

Antique "Star Border" Shelley

Greetings Tea Friends,

I hope this post finds you in good spirits and enjoying the blessings of autumn.

I am enjoying the subtle changes in the garden. We are still experiencing temperatures in the high 80's so the roses are flourishing. The cut roses here are from my Pinata rosebush. It's always a surprise which colors will bloom.

As many of you know, Shelley teacups are my favorites. Their artistry is remarkable! A while ago I was on a mission to find an antique Shelley to add to my collection. Of course I found many on ebay and Etsy, but the costs were quite prohibitive.  A couple of months ago I did find an antique Shelley ~ very simple but still an antique!

So this brings us to our featured teacup...a Late Foley Shelley in the Star Border pattern (#10333).
Gainsborough Shape

I have learned this "pattern was entered in the Shelley pattern book during or after 1908 and was still in production in 1919 when numbers were transferred from the old to the new pattern books."
                                      ~ from The Shelley Tea Ware Patterns by Sheryl Burdess

Backstamp from 1910-1916
Someone (recently) wrote the pattern number on the back

"Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage."
                                                                                                 ~Catherine Douzel

I wonder about the voyage this teacup undertook to arrive in my house.

I look forward to sharing a different type of post next week which features a bit more writing and a glimpse of everyday life. (The Simple Woman's Daybook) Fun to get out of our comfort zones and try something new. Back to teacups the following week.

I'm joining these parties for tea:

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Apple Crisp with Chai Tea

The Farmers' Market is the perfect place to witness the bounties of each season.
I like starting the weekend with a visit to our local farmer's market Saturday mornings.
Apples were the choice fruit! I purchased organic Gala apples and decided to make an apple crisp with them. When choosing apples, I do buy organic due to the high levels of pesticides found in the non-organic ones. The stand was selling Gala, Fuji and MacIntosh.

I thought the Gala apples would add some natural sweetness to the crisp.

Since I made a several cobblers over the summer, I was looking for a crisp with a different crumb topping. I found a recipe online (surprisingly) from Rachael Ray's sister.

What I liked about this recipe was the graham cracker crumb topping. It was a nice change from the traditional oat one.

Here's the recipe and how I tweaked it a bit.
-I used eight small Gala apples.
-I baked the crisp in a deep dish pie plate.
-I omitted the white sugar.
-I used both the half cup of flour and a heaping cup of crushed graham crackers.
-I baked it for fifteen minutes. Took it out of the oven and poured four tablespoons of water into the crisp. Covered with foil and baked for an additional five minutes.

The Results
I really enjoyed the graham cracker topping! There needed to be more binding within the apples. Next time I will mix some flour among the apples.
Nice breakfast crisp

I like serving pies and other dishes from this decorative pie plate. It was a gift from my cousin.

When pairing teas with a specific food, I like to serve a spicy or bold tea with a sweet treat. Chai tea has so many different flavors and dimensions to it. These are my favorites in tea bag form. Twinings and Stash (not photographed because I ran out) make a bold strong chai. Good Earth Vanilla Chai is a sweet fulfilling tea and one I take to work frequently.

I am still on the hunt for a loose Chai. It's been difficult to find one that has the spicy and sweet balance that I enjoy. Please share if you have found a loose Chai you savor.

I chose a red and green teacup in honor of apple colors. I have featured these two teacups before. The cup on the left is a Royal Albert and the other one is a Ridgway. (The morning light was bright and producing shadows so I headed inside.)

"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness."
                                                                                             ~Jane Austen

Have a wonderful week filled with tea and friendship,

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Teacup Exchange ~ from The Enchanting Rose

Dear Tea Friends,
I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Stephanie's Teacup and Mug Exchange through her incredible blog, The Enchanting Rose. This was my first time participating and I chose to exchange a teacup. Stephanie played matchmaker and each participant was given the address of our match and some basic likes of our "soon to be new friend." 
I had the honor of sending a package to Lynn who has an amazing blog, Quaker Hill Farm. Because of this exchange, I discovered her blog which features her beautiful home in Indiana and her talented crafts. Check out her pretty painted pumpkin post! I feel blessed to have made a new friend.

I have been so eager to share about the package I received a couple of weeks ago!

After opening a nicely decorated large box, I discovered that Stephanie herself  sent the package! I feel as if I won the jackpot of teacup exchanges as Stephanie certainly spoiled me with many one of a kind items. Come take a look and see...

The star of the exchange was the lovely teacup itself!
It is a Spode Copeland with an ornate floral design.
The side of the handle has a floral design on it as well. I adore teacups with designs on the inner cup.

The scalloped saucer adds so much to the set. 
The artistry of the pattern is amazing. I'm overjoyed to welcome my first Spode to my teacup collection.

Stephanie wrote and made a personalized card to me which contained beautiful and unique tags in the front pocket. The tags are so pretty; I almost don't want to use them.

Of course every teacup needs some tea and I was gifted with many different types of Twinings Teas. Stephanie made this wonderful fabric teabag holder that sits upright. 

I love this adorable teacup coaster that Stephanie made. She has an Etsy shop, Rose Petal Blessings, where she sells these gems. I think these coasters will make wonderful gifts. I must purchase some!
Beautiful decorative frame 
I will bring this to work as my desk needs some beauty.

Is this completely clever or what?
Sweet birdie too

Stephanie knows my favorite color is orange.
I've already been using this beautiful table runner. 
So perfect for the fall!

Just want to share how some of the items were packaged with the cute labels.

Thank you Stephanie for coordinating this amazing teacup and mug exchange! It brought and continues to bring joy to so many! I will cherish all of these items and most importantly your friendship.

"The greatest gift in life is friendship, and I have received it."

                                                                                                                       ~Hubert H. Humphrey

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall Hues in the Morning

Welcome to October!
Finally there have been hints of fall in the air with cooler mornings, two quick rain showers and earlier sunsets. Still we are having eighty degree temperatures forecasted for this week.
This weekend I took the Halloween tubs out of the shed. This year I'm going for more of a fall theme in terms of decorations vs. a Halloween one. I put many items back in the tubs. The nice thing is the fall decorations can be left out for Thanksgiving as well. I absolutely love the colors of fall! My own wardrobe has many orange and brown items in it. There is something soothing about peach and tan hues.

On Saturday I set up a simple tea time under the pergola in the backyard; hence this will be a simple post.

Come join me for some cinnamon raisin bread and Stash's Chai Tea. Costco sells really thick sliced raisin bread- a nice sweet and quick morning treat with tea. (Sorry for the poorly lit photos. Too many shadows in the early light.)

Today's featured teacup is a demitasse Royal Crown Derby. Love the peach colors with the gold lined trim.
My great aunt started my teacup collection with English demitasse cups.

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
~Albert Camus

Backstamp indicates 1921-1965
Royal Crown Derby also has a date cypher under the backstamp. I found the cypher guide online and learned this teacup was produced in 1925. I'm happily surprised by this.

A couple of quick scenes from the garden:

After weeks of scorching temperatures and an aphid attack, the day lily has finally come back to life.

Hard to see but the dwarf Meyer lemon tree is going through a second bloom. Love the smell of lemon blossoms! (You can see the two green "soon to be lemons" on the bottom right.)

I participated in the teacup exchange from Stephanie's Enchanting Rose and can't wait to share the incredible package I received. Did any of you participate in this exchange?
The purple bird statue in last week's post was part of my gift and so was the orange tablecloth/table runner from this post. I look forward to sharing much more once I get the go ahead!

In the meantime, enjoy your early fall tea times!