Saturday, December 31, 2011

And a Happy New Year to you!

And a Happy New Year to you! We always take time tonight to pray for God's blessing for the coming year and thank Him for His grace through the ending year.
In England and other areas of the UK, especially in Scotland where Hogmanay is celebrated as the New Year's tradition, First Footing plays an important part. The First Footer refers to the first person who crosses the threshhold after midnight and "seals yer fate" for the coming year. The First Footer should be a tall, dark and handsome man with a "dainty foot" and come with certain things:


Until the First Footer came in the front door after midnight, no one should enter or leave. The First Footer would knock, be asked to enter and do so with gifts in his pockets which have regional variations. The usual in my family's tradition was bread or sometimes salt, coal, coins and matches. In Scotland the bread is shortbread and also included...what else? Whiskey! The First Footer then backs out of the door...so he won't take his good luck with him. Then the door (and the party) is free for all! 

The coal means your hearth won't grow cold, your bread is enough food, the coins insure prosperity and the matches, light.


First Footers who met the criteria, were in great demand and could make good money going from house to house by appointment.

So who will be first through your door??? I know who will be forst in our home, as He will never have left! A Happy New Year to you all and may 2012 be a year of health, prosperity, peace and happiness in our home and in yours!
Cheers!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Hello Teapot, Cornishware Teacup, Christmas At Sandringham

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed your Boxing Day. We watched all of the season 1 episodes of Downton Abbey on PBS last night back to back and are looking forward to season 2. A bit disappointed as the UK saw a Christmas special from the cast...but not here in the colonies!




 My teacup for Tuesday Cuppa Tea with Antiques And Teacups is a T G Green blue and white Cornishware cup and saucer that was made in the 1980s. Cornishware has been an English kitchen staple for years. This particular design was by Judith Onions and is a bit of a different shape from the traditional cylinder. Kinda different! I love Cornishware!




And staying on the blue theme, this is such a cute teapot! Price Kensington, more famous for their Cottageware, made this funny little teapot in the 1970s. I think it's really funny! I love the hands and nose with the bug eyes peeking over the teapot rim! To see more of the teapot or teacup at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos.

I have taken a bit of time off the last few days when all the holiday prep and shipping of purchases slowed down to read a bit. There are several books with holiday themes I reread...some of which I have talked about in previous posts. This is one that seems to be in the must read swasonal pile:
 
I love so called Village Cosy mysteries, and if you do but haven't read this series by a Canadian from Prince Edward Island, CC Benison...(maybe that's Sandi of Rose Chintz in disguise???) you might want to find them. The heroine is a Canadian housemaid at Buckingham Palace who stumbles on...sometimes quite literally...a murder and with the help of Queen Elizabeth II, they solve the mystery. 

Death At Sandringham House, where the Royal family always spends the Christmas holidays in Norfolk is the setting for this one and involves the Queen solving, with the help of housemaid Jane Bee, the murder of an actress in a local pantomime dresser up as her majesty...with the addition of the Duchess Of Windsor's missing tiara on her Hermes scarf.  The fun of these mysteries is they are all set at one or the other of the royal palaces. Having been to the ones in question, the descriptions are dead on...of the public rooms at least, the only ones I have toured...including Buck House during the Queen's absence in summer. They are also very funny books.

I was especially interested in Sandringham House this year because of the heart problems of Prince Philip which caused him to have to miss the festivities. It was also  Kate's first Christmas with Prince William at Sandgringham with the royal family, and she looked wonderful!

photo Mailonline.com

Have a wonderful time visiting the tea related blogs, some of which are listed below. If you missed my Boxing Day blog post with a Boxing Day Hunt video of with the Queen's annual message, they can be found in the 2 older posts below.
Cheers!
Ruth ~ http://antiquesandteacups.blogspot.com/
Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Terri~  http://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/ 
Teacup Tuesday
Wanda Lee~  http://silkenpurse.blogspot.com/ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
 
Pam~  http://breathoffreshair-paperbutterfly.blogspot.com/ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
 
Wanda Lee~  http://theplumedpen.blogspot.com/ 
Tea For Two and Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee
Trisha~  http://sweetology101.blogspot.com/ 
Tea Party Tuesday
Lady Katherine~  http://ladykatherineteaparlor.blogspot.com/ 
Teatime Tuesday
Teatime Tuesday
Kathy~  http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Victoria - A Return to Loveliness
Friends Sharing Tea Wednesday
Martha~  http://www.marthasfavorites.com/ 
Teacup Tuesday
 

Happy Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day! For those who aren't familiar with the British term, Boxing Day has no pugilistic connotations but refers to the weekday followingChristmas Day when the alms or "poor" offering boxes were opened and distributed to the needy.





Boxing Day gift giving began in the middle ages but was revived by Queen Victoria. After all the feasting of Christmas, the leftovers were distributed to the poor as well as monetary gifts. It was also a time to give gifts to the employees of the great houses and for the tradesmen that had served through the year. Gifts were given to postmen, delivery people, purveyors and shop keepers as well as any employees in your home or estate.

Boxing Day also includes lots of other opportunites that are more active...from after Christmas sales to fox hunting, which is a famous activity for Boxing Day. I found a great video of a 2007 fox hunt on You Tube which I have added at the end of the post.


I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy your boxing Day. If you didn't see it, scroll down to the last post for the wonderful Christmas message from Queen Elizabeth II video I posted on my last post.
Cheers!

Four Shires Bloodhounds Boxing Day Meet 2007



Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Queen's Annual Christmas message

Merry Christmas to you all! Here is the annual Christmas message for 2011 given by Queen Elizabeth II from Sandringham in Norfolk. I cried. Her annual messages are always special but this is really outstanding. Please watch:



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thursday Teacups And Tea Things, Angels And Vintage Santa

Welcome to Thursday Teacups And Tea Things! The last before Christmas Sigh...It has certainly come quickly! I am also joining Vintage Thingie Thursday with Coloradolady and Teacup Thursday with Miss Spenser.





My teacup is actually a mug! A vintage Santa mug...thumbs up for hot chocolate, as far as I'm concerned! The mug is from 1979 and I think it is so cute! It is such a jolly old elf...Just the way I've always pictured Santa. But the way Santa is hoisting a mug, and the mug says Cheers! I have a feeling he's tippling something a bit more potent than hot chocolate.  The other evening we were at a friend's party with eggnog...made of eggnog ice cream, whipping cream, milk, freshly grated nutmeg and a choice of a kick or not. It was the BEST eggnog I have ever tasted...even without the kick. Absolutely addictive...not to mention highly caloric!






 Another vintage item is this Hammersley bell from 1971 with the curest metallic gold angels. I think it is so cute...and has a sweet, heavenly sound as well. The words inside the bell say:

When you mee ring,
I'll sweetly sing 

And also on the vintage angel theme, heres a vintage English tea towel we found in Gloucester a couple of years ago:


 
 The tea towel was originally made in 1980 as a fund raiser for a charity. I think it is so cute and so representative of the 1980s. Around the towel are words from the Christmas carol Deck The Halls. To see more of the mug or tea towel at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos.


And a last little mushroom church from my mantle decorations. I love them! It's hard to believe they are really made from fungus, but....

Have a wonderful day with the other blog parties and a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, London Ritz Book Of Christmas, Dunoon Santa Mug

Hello and welcome to a Tuesday Cuppa Tea which I am joining with Antiques And Teacups. 


The top of the china cabinet is decorated with a swag I did a few years ago and is adorned with a German Dresden paper star angel announcing the birth of Jesus.

 But Santa, or Father Christmas is coming soon. I pulled out anothe Dunoon mugs from the Season't Greetings series by Richard Partis that features the jolly old elf himself!






Pretty cute, isn't it? And isn't he jolly! What a long list! For more info on the mug at Time Was Antiques, click on the photos. 

The perfect mug for a cup of seasonal teas. Here are 2 of our favorite Celestial Seasons this year. I favor the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride and my Honey likes the  Gingerbread Spice best!






 I can sit with a cup of tea while going through some of my seasonal books. One of my favorites is The Ritz Book Of Christmas which I picked up at the Ritz Hotel when we were there one year during the Christmas season and stopped for afternoon tea in the Palm Court. The book has Christmas lore and traditions, history of the Ritz and it's tea tradition and some marvelous recipes. I am sharing a simple one I like for Fruit And Nut Clusters.







 Fruit And Nut Clusters

"Red and green are the classic Christmas colours and the decoration od red and green glace cherries on these delicious little chocolates carries on the theme. They look enchanting in individual gold or silver sweet cases, if you can get hold of them, but failing that, pack them into a gold or silver box tied up with red and green ribbon."

The recipe has both metric and cup measures, but I give only the cup measures here.

4 squares semi sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 tbs light honey
3/4 cup mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup chopped nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts
red and green glace cherries for decoration

Place the chocolate and the honey in a bowl, then either stand this over a pan of hot water until the chocolate has melted, or put into a microwave on low power for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the fruit and nuts until they are well coated with chocolate. Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto waxed paper or parchment. Press a small piece of glace cherry into the top of each piece and leave in a cool place until set. 

Have a wonderful day visiting the other blog parties. And have a cuppa tea with a friend!

 
Martha~  http://www.marthasfavorites.com/ 
Teacup Tuesday
 
Terri~  http://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/ 
Teacup Tuesday
Wanda Lee~  http://silkenpurse.blogspot.com/ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
 
Pam~  http://breathoffreshair-paperbutterfly.blogspot.com/ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
 
Wanda Lee~  http://theplumedpen.blogspot.com/ 
Tea For Two and Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee
Trisha~  http://sweetology101.blogspot.com/ 
Tea Party Tuesday
Lady Katherine~  http://ladykatherineteaparlor.blogspot.com/ 
Teatime Tuesday
Teatime Tuesday
Kathy~  http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Victoria - A Return to Loveliness
Friends Sharing Tea Wednesday
 

 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday Teacups And Tea Things, Poinsettia Pitcher, Rocking Horse Teacup

A a wonderful Thursday morning in the week before Christmas! It's Thursday Teacup And Tea Things! I am also joining Vintage Thingie Thursday with Coloradolady and Teacup Thursday with Miss Spenser.






I think the design of this little cup and saucer is so cute! Like a Swedish wooden horse turned into a folk art rocking horse for Christmas. The design isn't English but I really like it! The teacup was made in the late 1980s.  

To go with it, I have this cool 1960s ceramic pitcher with a molded poinsettia design. Talk about making a statement! It is so bright and cheery...not to say eye popping as far as the color contrast is!





At one time I had a whole set including salt & pepper, cream and sugar etc. That was a vintage Christmas table! To see more info about the teacup or pitcher at Time Was Antiques click on the photos.

And here are a couple of ornaments from my tree, made from dough from the 1980s. We used to visit Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the plays. There was the Lithia craft market on Calle Guanajuato along Ashland Creek where I got these from an artisan. I have treasured them since!  These were made from a walnut shell with a little critter having a snooze inside. I have some magnets on the fridge as well, and that year guess what everyone got for Christmas???!!!





Well, I hope you are getting ready for the holiday. We attended a Christmas party yesterday and have another this evening. Busy, busy, busy! But what a wonderful time of the year!  Take some time to visit the other great blog parties!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Gingerbread Christmas Tea Dunoon and Miss Read

Happy sunny Dec. 12th! Hooray! We love the sun...we don't see it too terribly much in December here so it is wonderful!

I am joining Tuesday Cuppa Tea with Antiques And Teacups, Gingerbread Christmas Tea with Plumed Pen and the other tea related blogs at the bottom of the post.

I have another Christmas design tea mug by Dunoon  to share today. This one I found at an estate auction. The mug is long discontinued and dates to 1990. It is stoneware and was made in Scotland, not England. But I love the nostalgic Christmas design.




I mentioned in a post a few days ago that Miss Read, a favorite author, had done only 2 Christmas volumes...and then I remembered...No Holly For Miss Quinn.





The story surrounds a career woman planning to paint her home instead of celebrating Christmas coming to the rescue of a beloved and overworked brother who's wife is ill. Miss Quinn comes to look after their children and learns some lessons about giving and loving. It is a lovely book with the usual wonderful illustrations by. J. Goodall that we have come to love.

The book has even influenced a pianist to write and record a song. This is from Enya in her album Shepherd's Moon :

And, lastly a Christmas cross stitch from the 1970s...one of the first Christmas pieces I did.

 
Please join the other blog parties and enjoy the holidays!


 
Martha~  http://www.marthasfavorites.com/ 
Teacup Tuesday
 
Terri~  http://artfulaffirmations.blogspot.com/ 
Teacup Tuesday
Wanda Lee~  http://silkenpurse.blogspot.com/ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
 
Pam~  http://breathoffreshair-paperbutterfly.blogspot.com/ 
Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday
 
Wanda Lee~  http://theplumedpen.blogspot.com/ 
Tea For Two and Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee
Trisha~  http://sweetology101.blogspot.com/ 
Tea Party Tuesday
Lady Katherine~  http://ladykatherineteaparlor.blogspot.com/ 
Teatime Tuesday
Teatime Tuesday
Kathy~  http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/
Victoria - A Return to Loveliness
Friends Sharing Tea Wednesday
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