Thursday, April 20, 2017

Share Your Cup - This Week

Today, it was time for Welcome to my Kitchen.  This is our monthly women fellowship group.  We are growing!  Last year at this time we had 9 around this table. This week, we had 12 women attend with one of our regulars under the weather and not able to attend.  The table was overflowing!!

Our host this month provided fruit salad, juice, fresh tea biscuits right from the oven.  There was a cheese plate and I filled my mug with hot tea.

Everyone is sharing, making plans, praying and getting to know one another on a different level.  It's a challenge to keep everyone on track at times because it's loud and joyful.



We always have so much fun.  A couple of the ladies brought baking and we collected a few extra dollars money for our overseas missions work.


I met my sister half way between our houses today because our Easter plans were derailed by a large spring storm.  After having tea, trading our bags of stuff going in each direction we checked out a couple thrift stores. 

I found another plate in blue and white.  It has the same fluted edge as the Myott/Johnson Brothers ones I have but surprise it was made in Japan.  I was surprised to see the mark.

It will fit in just nicely with the pieces I have and at under a $1 and could not leave it there.


This is the book on my reading shelf this week.  It's is so interesting how our attitude affects how we see the world.

I am working through the preparation to make some changes in my place which is a huge stretch for me. 

I bought cabinets for the kitchen and tools which I have never owned before. Been spending time at hardware stores and Re-Store retail outlets.  Hours of  research on line for flooring, shelf brackets, and soon paint.

Many people have been very supportive. I been hearing "It will be alright"
"We survived and are thrilled with the results and so will you"
"I know a guy who paints, builds, does electrical, etc."

I found this wonderful bottle at the thrift store as well.  Note the name: Doulton.  I did not know they sold perfume. 

The bottle is heavy and very nicely cut to provide the clear and frosted pattern. 

The lid looks like metal until you touch it then you know it's plastic. Very good imitation. 

It will add some class to a photo down the line.  This is my second perfume bottle.  Super happy with this one.

I was working on a photo shoot the other day and I had roses in the vase but it occurred to me that with spring I should have tulips.

A visit to the craft store this week allowed me to bring home 2 picks for the price of one. I bought this bring traditional set and a lighter in pastel colors as well.  Should cover most situation.s

A small Battenburg doily under a crackled glass vase with a few marble in the base.  Taken against a black velvet background.

Works for me!

Sharing with Jann at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson - Share Your Cup #245.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Mosaic Monday - Blue & White Dinnerware

This is the pattern "The Hunter" that got me started on blue and white dinnerware. I love the color and the scallop pattern in the dish itself.  I have 2 dessert plates but have yet to find any other pieces at prices I am willing to pay.

Myott Staffordshire - The Hunter Blue (No Trim)- 2 dessert plates.

A bit of history:
1898 - Myott, Son & Co. Ltd., an earthenware producing factory operated originally from the Alexander Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in the North of England. It was run by two brothers, Ashley and Sydney Myott.
1949 - A fire took place and the company relocated to the larger Crane Street Pottery in Hanley
1969 - They were taken over by an American corporation Interpace.
1976 saw the company merge with Alfred Meakin Limited to form Myott-Meakin Ltd.
1989 the name Myott-Meakin (Staffordshire) Ltd. was adopted as a result of an acquisition by Melton Modes.
1991 - The name was then lost after the company was taken over by the Churchill Group.
Based on the above I will venture to say that my plates date to the mid 1960s or so.

Johnson Brothers - Blue Willow - 2 dessert plates.
This is not my favorite design because it does not have the nice fluted edges of the Myott pieces.  I find the edges thicker and so much to my liking.

The oriental design also is not that appealing to me either.  I bought these early in my collecting. 

I find the blue on these to have purple hue rather than the warm hue on the Myott pieces.


Myott Staffordshire - Chelsea Garden - missing the dinner plate. 

This pattern was made especially made for Bloomingdales.
around the 1970's - 1980's

These have the fluted edges but not as refined as the earlier pieces.  Again the hue leans to the purples rather than the warmer tones.



Staffordshire  - Liberty Blue  - 1 dinner plate
This piece is very similar to the Chelsea Garden set in color, weight and feel.  I likely could use it to complete the set above. Both were made for the American market.
Liberty Blue dinnerware began as a regional promotion by the Benjamin Franklin Federal Savings and Loan Association, a Pacific Northwest financial institution, which was founded in 1925. The company's home office was in Portland, Oregon.
Enoch Wedgwood, in England's historic Staffordshire district, was contracted to create a pattern of blue and white dinnerware featuring historical scenes from American Colonial history. Each form had a different scene. A border featuring a mixture of wildflowers helped unify the set.The association launched the promotion in 1975.
When a subscriber made a new deposit of $50, he received a free four-piece place setting. Additional settings could be purchased.Additional pieces were available for purchase. If a customer deposited $1,000, he could buy a 45-piece set for $45.In October 1976, the association announced it was discontinuing the promotion at the end of the year. After that time, customers could order pieces from the Sigma Marketing Co. of Garden City, N.J.Liberty Blue dinnerware was also offered to grocery stores nationwide for promotional use.The dinnerware disappeared from the scene by the mid-1980s.

J&G Meakin & Johnson Brothers - Blue Nordic - missing 3 saucers to make a 4 place setting.  I have several serving pieces as well.

This is the pattern of which I have the most pieces because my aunt gave me most of them. Blue Nordic.  I have some pieces from each vintage.  I love the scallop edge of this dinnerware.
The coffee pot is very similar but not made in England so is a different vintage.  I have found photos of the coffee pot that matches and of course it has those favorite flutes in the design.

Blue Onion is a fine porcelain tableware pattern for dishware originally manufactured by Meissen porcelain since the 18th century, but copied by other companies since the late 19th century as well. The onion pattern was designed as a white ware decorated with cobalt blue underglaze pattern.
Meakin J and G  Pattern:Blue Nordic  c1960s 1964  Blue and white stylized floral. Classic shape
Blue Nordic by Johnson Brothers was produced from 1979 to 1996.

Countryside by Wedgwood & Co. I have a full place setting.
Each piece has a different scene on it which makes it interesting. 

With a bit of research on the web this pattern dates back to the 1960s as well.
Ebay Factoid: However, there is another company, Enoch Wedgwood of Tunstall.  Their logo often includes a unicorn and regularly pieces are marked as Wedgewood & Co.  This is NOT WEDGWOOD and has little to no value.  Often making standard dinnerware or collectibles for Avon, only buy these pieces if you love them as they have almost no collector value.  I like so I am good.

I`ve given myself an education about blue and white dinnerware and hopefully you will find it helpful as well.



Sharing with Maggie at Normandy Life who hosts Mosaic Monday #36.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Share Your Cup - This Week

I added a glass red apple to my collection of glass fruit in my table center piece.  I find amazing how when you start looking for certain things you find them.  Was I walking passed them before?  Likely.

You can see my bowl of fruit here.


I had put a small LED light on my shopping list.  Sometimes when I am doing photography I need some in fill lighting.  The 100 and 60 watt lights I have for the house are too much.  I wanted it with a magnet or clip so I could position it as needed.  This one as a flexible arm as well so I am good to go!

It is a Merangue Crookneck 3-LED Bulb Book Worm Light worth over $10 new and at the rummage sale on the weekend the price was .50 with a set of batteries. It's uses AA batteries so I can use my regular rechargeable AA batteries.

I've used it already and it works well.



I have purchased a 100% polyester shower curtain liner to replace the PVC liner I had been using.  I found out that PVC is toxic and bad for you.  My sister indicated she used a 100% polyester one which gets laundered regularly.  Well, that makes sense!
I have always used a clear plastic liner and a sheer outside curtain so I can see when I am in the shower.  I was concerned a white polyester one would make it too dark.  Well it doesn't. 
Some curtains have weights in the hem to keep it from flopping around and letting water on your floor.  This one did not so I just DIYed a solution.  I sewed 3 little pockets and placed stainless steel washers in them.  The washers don't rust and I left the top open so I can just removed them to wash the curtain.
I bought new hooks as well which make it easier to remove the liner to wash it.  I've had a burgundy outside curtain for a long time.  After the experience with the kitchen cupboards, I decided to replace the dark one with a lighter one.  I love this one.  It is elegant, sheer, and helps make the room much brighter.
Sharing with Jann at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson who hosts Share Your Cup #244

Happy Easter


Wishing all a very Happy Easter!  Our family plans have been changed due to the big storm that went through the north east starting on Thursday.  We have had some with 18 inches of snow, no power, and unpassable roads.  We can celebrate another day.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Blue Green Mom's Day

I made this card to help out my sister who needs Mother's Day card for sale next weekend.
I started with the watercolor piece.  I simply wet the paper and use my water brush to drop color onto it. I started with the blue then added the green for the leaves.
Once dry, I trimmed the piece.  I wrapped a turquoise string on the left and tied it with a bow.
I added a clear embossed black greeting on vellum across the top and taped the ends to the back.
I chose a piece of turquoise card stock and press embossed it with a Provocraft with leaves in opposite corners. I just embossed the right hand side.  I adhered this layer to the front of a green card. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Easter Tea


I lit a tea light candle in this wonderful rabbit glass tea light holder.  I don't have a lot of seasonal decor so on my trip to the library yesterday I stopped to see what was up at the local thrift store. 

After a bit of research it was sold by Hallmark in the early 70s.  It is quite heavy and very smooth. Some on-line are refering to it as crystal. Maybe, certainly has that feel.

He won't take a lot of space and he can come each Easter.

I am quite happy to have scored 4 of these tea cups yesterday at the thrift store. I love the blue and white classic design set on a navy table cloth and a white placemat.

I now only need 3 saucers to have a table setting of four of Blue Nordic by Johnson Brothers.  Dinner plates, dessert/salad plates, saucers and tea cups.  I have a platter as well.

Today, I am having Spicy Chai tea with some honey and cream. 




I set the table with a vase of pink roses.  They are held in a small crackle glass vase with a few glass marbles in the bottom to hide the end of the stems.  I placed the vase on a small round Batternburg lace doily.

I should have had tulips!!  Why did I not think of that?  I will have to put those on my shopping list. 










I used my large white porcelain tea pot today.  It will serve me about three servings of tea.  The brand of this one is a department store brand - PC. I am amazed how much lighter porcelain is to stoneware.  I have a couple of each and gravitate to the lighter one usually. 

I Battenburg lace napkin in a crystal napkin holder. 


This is the full view of tea this afternoon.  It included a few sweets.  A bit of chocolate cookie, an oatmeal and a citrus cranberry cookie. Wishing you a Happy Easter.

Sharing with the following:

Ruth at Tuesday Cuppa Tea

Bernideeen at Tea with Friends


Monday, April 10, 2017

Art Card Stack Class

I am holding my Art Card Stack Class tonight and these are the cards we are making.  This is a very different from the kind of cards I usually make.  I had hoped that by offering something different it would be more popular and I would be able to capitalize on the trend of adult coloring books. Did not turn out that way.  I have a few ladies registered.

I will be bringing a couple sets of pencil crayons, and water color pencils with brushes.

I have 2 ladies who purchased the Stampin Up Watercolor Crayons years ago and would like to learn how to use them with the Aqua Painter (water brush) which was sold at the same time. We will use a clear mount for our palette.  I am looking forward to helping these ladies make use of the supplies they have.  I also have these supplies which I have not used a lot so we will have fun together.

These line drawings are printed on heavy card stock.  The designs are by Joanne Fink. She is an Orlando based calligrapher/designer.

I chose to mount them onto black card bases so no matter what color the participants chose it would match the black outlines in the art.  I wanted to add greetings but without hiding the wonderful art so I chose vellum as a substrate.  Again, with black letters clear embossed on the vellum so it all matches and does not conflict with any colors selected.  All held in place with tiny black brads.
My 2 Cents:
As a person who has spent the better part of the last 20 years working on cards, teaching classes, and in many involved in this craft I am disppointed in the lack of appreciation for them in the younger crowd.  I know that when the postage increased in our area a few years ago that was the final straw for some who just abandoned the practice completely.

Cards are not popular among the younger crowd and the older crowd struggles with the motor dexterity to handle the materials and tools. I, one day will no longer have people who will participate.  I am sad about that but that is for a day way in the future I hope. 

I was speaking to a young lady yesterday and she was not interested as she does not send cards at all.  I guess it's all on line or not done at all.



Laurentien pencil crayons - the brand I used when I was in elementary school. Can be applied light or heavy. Soft or bold are options.



Artist's Loft - Watercolor Crayons which are applied like pencil crayons then lightly moistened with a paint brush to blend the color(s) and fill in the white spaces.





Stampin Up Watercolor Crayons. They are solid color pencils so there is enough color in this box for me to paint the rest of my life and likely beyond that.  These are available under other brands.


A spray bottle to provide a bit of moisture when needed.  The Aqua Painter brush from Stampin Up.

I am looking forward to the class and sharing my knowledge and giving these ladies the ability to leave my class and continue to make art and cards.

Mosaic Monday - Tea Infusers

I thought I would look at tea infusers.  I have acquired a few.  Some work better than others.  There are the ball infusers which have a receptacle for the tea and a connection to a charm which allows you to retrieve the infuser when you are ready to drink your tea.  When using a tea ball infuser make sure you do not fill it more than half full because the loose tea leaves will expand to fill the ball.

This infuser has a secure clasp and is mesh on both top and bottom which allows the water good access to the tea leaves.

This is my most special tea ball infuser because it was given to me by a dear friend who attends my card making group each month.

I believe the infuser is from Steeped Tea and she had engraved with "Card Lady".  In the fall it will be 12 I have been teaching a card making class at my church.  I started with a Christmas card class in 2005.  I have been teaching card making, paper making and general craft class for many more years than that.

This ball infuser is stainless steel.  It only has mesh on the bottom which I believe will make it less effective in allow the steeping to take place.  The plate allows the ball to sit in the hot water while it rests on the cup edge.  When turned over it provides a rest for the tea ball. I thought quite clever.
I have to confess at not ever using this one because getting the 2 halves apart is very difficult and I don't want to damage the mesh half.  It was a gift from another dear friend so i have not given it away.


This is a ball infuser as well.  It is not mesh so only provides holes for the water to access the tea leaves.  I expect this one is effective but would take longer.  It screws apart nicely and is secure to keep the tea leaves where they belong. It comes with its own little bowl to hold it once removed from the tea cup.

Will certainly keep your tablecloth clean.

This is a tea ball infuser as well but it comes in the shape of a very cute house.  It has its own small plate to rest the infuser once you remove it from your tea cup.  I believe stainless steel as well.  I love the holes punched into it which spells TEA and a door.  It will take longer to steep a cup of tea in this one because the less access to the tea leaves.


This is a cup tea infuser.  It is very large as it measures half the size of the cup.  It is mesh so it provides a lot of space for the tea leaves to expand and the water access to the leaves to steep.  The mug comes with a lid which will help keep the heat in during the steeping process.  Once taken off it provides a place to rest the infuser.  Very good design.

This is a silicone tea leaf infuser which fits in most cups.  It come with its own lid which serves as a rest when you are ready to drink your cup.  It is large and allows a lot of room for the tea leaves to expand and therefore provides a good steep.  The holes are a bit big for some of the loose tea and I found bits of leaves in my tea depending on which tea I was using.  It folds flat which is nice when storing or using when traveling.

The is an infuser designed for this tea pot.  It has good size to be able to steep enough tea for a pot.  Plenty of room for the leaves to expand and mesh to allow the water maximum access to the tea leaves and therefore a good steep.  The down side of this one is that there is no notch to keep the lid in the tea pot so one has to be careful when pouring tea to place a finger on the lid so it does not end up in someone's tea cup.  I loved the color so I was willing to accept this drawback.

I am sharing this with Maggie at Normandy Life who is host of Mosaic Monday #35.




Sunday, April 9, 2017

Ornament Trio - Challenge

I designed this card with the challenge at Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge.  I was very happy to find this challenge blog as a couple of my regular challenges have shut down.

I started with the digital ornament trio which I designed.
I drew the ornaments and then  added some of my own digital paper paste backgrounds into the them.
The branches was designed from an actual pine tree branch photo.
The polka dot - snow background is another of my own elements.
The words are added digitally as well.
Once printed onto white card stock this layer was trimmed to 3.75 x 5 inches.  I then cut a layer of black card stock to repeat the color in the outline of the ornaments.  This was cut to leave a small border.  It was adhered to the card front of a warm medium green card.  I then adhered the ornament layer with 3D foam tape.  
To add a bit of sparkle to the card I spattered it with Iridescent Pearl Mist by Maya Mist.  It's great to create a quick card with my own designs.



Submitting to Merry Monday Christmas Challenge - Branches.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Share Your Cup - This Week

This is a plain ordinary office file sorter but the color is what made it come home with me. 

I am using it to hold the cookbooks I use all the time which live on top of the fridge. 

I was challenged by a video on Youtube the other day where a lady living a minimalism life style suggested getting rid of cook books and looking up recipes on line.   I think I will look at the books on the bookshelf and evaluate whether I really need them.


These are my regular cookbooks.  The Purity Cookbook I received as a high school graduation present. It's cover has gotten separated from the book which I don't remember how that happened.  I am usually very careful with books.
I use a couple church/community cookbooks I have collected over the years because they contain the great old recipes. 
The fat one on the right is a "Fill with your favorite recipes" kind of book.  It is very interesting what recipes I used to use and now I have new ones that are favorites.  I should have written down the year they were written into the book. The information is lost. 
Are you asking yourself ? "Does she have paper stuck to the center of the kitchen cupboard doors?"  Yes, I do.  I am looking to update the kitchen a bit and after a discussion during my sister's visit it crossed my mind that I could just paint the center of the doors.  Late at night I decided to put white paper in the center to see what it would look like.  It brightens up the kitchen which has no windows a lot.  I'm not ready to paint just yet but I am leaving the paper up because it makes such a difference.  Updates will come in later posts.
The book this week is Evening Class by Maeve Binchy. 

A teacher at a school is having a life crisis, he got passed over for a promotion, his wife doesn't seem to know he is alive, and his 2 grown daughters have their own lives.  He gets the opportunity to offer evening classes at the school where he works.  He has always wanted to return to Italy where he spent his honeymoon.  Fortunately, in the community a lady who spent nearly 25 years abroad in that country returns to her roots in Ireland.  She is willing to teach a class in conversational Italian, as well adding a dash of culture and food from the area.

The class is a huge success and we get to know several of the students who are studying Italian with Signora.  Most of their lives cross paths at certain points.  It's been a bit hard to remember all the connections but I have enjoyed the book a lot.



I found these napkins a while back and they contained the colors I wanted to use with my true blue dishes.  In the end, I could not use them as napkins because being 100% cotton a crease had been formed into the center which I found unsightly.  I went on a search for fabric to match and yesterday I found some.  I cut the back in the yellow and placed a strip of the yellow across the crease mark.  It provide an accent for the place mat and gives me a place mat that I can use with my blue dishes. I have 3 napkins so I will make another and maybe some teacup coasters.

This was tea today with Bengal Spice in the cup. 

I'm really happy with how well the colors match. 

Sharing with Jann at Daily Cup with Mrs. Olson who hosts Share Your Cup #243.