Friday, November 30, 2012

Victorian Christmas

Last year on Friday I shared Snowmen postcards.
This year I thought I'd share some Christmas postcards with Victorian designs.
These are from the Darling and Company, Seattle Postcard Book.

Christmas Greetings

"A variety of British postal changes in the 1890s changed the demand for picture postcards from a trickle to a deluge. In the next 30 years countless images were printed on billions of postcards. Photography and art were both utilized and every occasion, historical incident, fad, eccentricity, aspect of knowledge, or enthusiasm was pictured on a postcard. Millions of people collected postcards, which led to an even greater demand. Holidays were also popular subjects for postcards, Christmas chief among them.

Because of the enormous demand for art, and the low cost of printing a postcard, publishers were not very discriminating. They frequently allowed poor work to be printed, and seemingly were indifferent to the relevance of the illustrations to the theme at hand. Inapropos subjects for Christmas such as horses, sailboats, or farm animals were common. Fortunately, excellence was also common, and artist's flights of fancy were given free rein."

Victorian Christmas

Thank you to the lovely Beth for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday.

Wishing YOU well, much joy and a fun filled weekend.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Confetti Rose

I went shopping several weeks ago with a dear friend.
She had to make a run to the Premium Outlets for some clothes for her son.
I went along for the ride figuring I needed some new undies.
One thing led to another (Kate Spade was having half off) and
I ventured into the Waterford outlet and came home with this
Rose Confetti teacup by Royal Albert.

Royal Albert Tea Party

What really led me into the store was this tea strainer that I saw from the window.
I had to have it!
Then I saw the teacup.

Royal Albert Tea Party

 Such a pretty light pink with the beautiful confetti roses on the inside.

Royal Albert Confetti Rose Teacup

I found the teapot at Homegoods.
It is by GRACE Teaware.

Rose Teapot by Grace Teaware

A pretty tea setting for the holidays! 

Royal Albert Tea Party!

Wishing YOU well, much joy and a wonderful cup of tea.

My thanks to our tea party hosts:

Monday, November 26, 2012

On The Menu: 'Tis The Season!

I found this seasonal cookbook at Half-Price books.
It was on the Clearance shelf for $2.00. 
What a deal!
I love Mary Engelbreit's illustrations.
The photographs in this cookbook were taken by Alison Miksch.

I love soups, butternut squash and butternut squash soup.
I'm always on the lookout for a new recipe and
this one was delicious.

Smoky Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

That's what's On The Menu this Monday!

Wishing YOU well and much joy.

I hope your week is off to a great start.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Camera Critters: Methai

Elephant Eye
Asian Elephant - Eye of Methai -- Houston Zoo

"I often ask myself at what point can a man and a beast that cannot talk recognize each other.
From the early paradise, at the dawn of creation, runs the path where their hearts meet.
Although their connection has long been forgotten,
traces of their continuing association has not been erased.
And, suddenly, in a wordless harmony,
a dim memory awakens and the beast looks on the face of the man with tender trust
and the man casts his eyes upon the beast with an amused tenderness.
It is as if two friends, both wearing masks, meet
and vaguely recognize each other through their disguises."
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Camera Critters

Wishing YOU well and much joy.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

“To give thanks in solitude is enough. 
Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go.
 Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.” ~Victor Hugo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Comfy Cozy

I guess beautiful cool weather brings out the comfy cozy in me.

I've been happily crocheting between cups of tea and reading. 

Crochet Santa Mug Rug

I think these Santa mug rugs are too cute.
Instead of putting a pom-pom on top of Santa's hat,
I'm going to put a jingle bell. 
When I've done all the crocheting (I figure everyone needs a set of four)
I'll go back and embroider the face.
You can find the pattern at Moms Love of Crochet.

Santa Mug Rug

You may remember that I made 4 of these last year.

Christmas Afghan

I had yarn left and decided to make a couple of lapghans using the moss stitch.
I first saw this stitch on Lemonde De Sucrette.
You can Google moss stitch crochet and you'll find several You Tube videos featuring this stitch. 
If you can chain and make a single crochet you can do this stitch.

Moss Stitch Crochet Lapghan

Speaking of yarn and textiles,
I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow blogger last week.
Linda Lewis is a wife, mother, grandmother, weaver, textile artist and all around talented lady.
She loves Maine, tablescapes and roses, too.
We had a lovely breakfast.
Please go by and visit her at Lulu's Musings.
Say "Hi" from me!

Today I'm joining Sandi at HOME.

Wishing YOU well, much joy, and a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wait! Save Some Fitz and Floyd For Me!

One of the local television consumer affairs reporters 
had a story on local thrift stores and shopping
for holiday decorations.
She visited my favorite thrift store where she found several Fitz and Floyd
holiday decorations. She talked about buying them at the thrift store and then selling them on Ebay.
If you've spent anytime around the neighborhood here at Twisty Lane
you know I LOVE Fitz and Floyd.
To buy F&N and sell it on Ebay -- a thousand times NO!

So, a friend and I went over to The Guild to see if there was any F&F left.
I had to save it from the dreaded consumer reporter.
The holiday decorations had been picked over, but there -- under a layer of stuff 
was this Santa and I grabbed him --
clutching him to my chest as I made a dash through the china!

He is from the Winter Holiday series by F&F 
and he'll be on the center of my dining room table after Thanksgiving.

Fitz and Floyd Santa Winter Holiday Series

As I was dashing through the china,
the store closing in 15 minutes announcement was made.
This lovely Royal Stafford Fuschia teacup caught my attention
and I grabbed it.
When I got home, I found out why the price was so good --
the saucer had been broken and repaired.

Royal Stafford Fuschia Teacup

That's okay.
It's a lovely cup.
Fine bone china that is very thin.
It feels wonderful in the hand.

Isn't it pretty with Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Tea?!

Look at the bubbles.
A very dear friend told me years and years ago,
that when you pour bubbles with your tea,
drinking them quickly will bring good fortune!

Royal Stafford Fuschia Teacup

With cooler weather and low humidity,
I've been walking into the Village and having breakfast.
I've been doing some unofficial tea tasting having
The Republic of Tea Pomegranate Green Tea with my meal.
I carry an extra tea bag from home -- the Stash Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea.
They are both good.
The Stash Tea seems naturally more sweet than the Republic of Tea.

Royal Stafford Fuschia Tea

Wishing you well, much joy and a wonderful cup of tea!

A big thank you to these tea party hosts:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Camera Critters: Celesto

Celesto was born at the Houston Zoo in 1990 to parents Bruno and Kili 
who arrived at the zoo with a third lion, Lindi, after being confiscated by authorities 
from a Kansas farm.

Earlier this week, at 22 years of age, Celesto passed away from kidney disease.
She was among the oldest lions in the country.
Lions in zoos generally live into their late teens.

Celesto and Jonathan

Her health had been declining over the last few years.
Knowing that her time was limited,
the zoo started a successful search for young lionesses to be added to the lion family.
Jonathan has three girls to keep him company.
But, I'm sure, like us all -- he will miss Celesto. 

Cali and Jonathan

Celesto was feisty and strong-willed.
Jonathan is the King, and Celesto was the Queen.
She ruled wisely and well.

A big thank you to Misty for hosting Camera Critters.

Camera Critters

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Been Quiet Around Here

It's been quiet around here for a few days.
I had the cataract removed in my left eye last week.
It was not as easy going as the surgery on the right eye back in September.
Probably because I was never truly relaxed!
I got the same amount of *relax juice* as the first time, but for some reason, it didn't work! 
But I have no complaints.
The new lens allow me to see well at distance and to be able to read. 
Amazing what technology can do these days. 
I'm still very light sensitive and carry my sunglasses everywhere -- inside and out.

The Halloween decorations are all back in storage and
a few Thanksgiving goodies have taken their place.

I found these beautiful orange tulips at Whole Foods.
A new shipment had just arrived.
Perfect timing!

Orange Tulips

I have three fabric pumpkins -- all in different sizes.
I've had them for years.
This year I added the little bird pilgrims.
Too cute!


A cool front blew threw last night and that means its time to
pull out Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Chai.

Thanksgiving Tea

I love handmade.
I love hand thrown pottery.
This is one of my favorite hand thrown teacups.
The texture of the cup, the heat of the hot tea/chai or chocolate feels wonderful in the hands.

Thanksgiving Tea

I'm wishing you well, much joy and a wonderful cup of tea!

Orange Tulips

A big thank you to these tea party hosts:

Friday, November 2, 2012

This And That

We are half way through Autumn.
Hard to believe when I live with temps in the high 80s!
I looked for a postcard that celebrates Autumn and this is what I found.

Vineyard Postcard

Postcard of Beaulieu Vineyard, 
Entrance to Historic Vineyards "BV1" and BV2", Napa County. 
From WINE COUNTRY:30 Postcards published by Chronicle Books


Let me ask you a question.
Do you soak your lentils?

Last weekend the first true cool down arrived and I made lentil soup.
I wanted to make something a little different and pulled out 
VEGETABLE SOUPS: From Deborah Madison's Kitchen.
Deborah soaks her lentils.
She says "they cook better, more quickly, and seem to have more flavor when soaked".
So, I soaked my lentils for 2 hours (Deborah's suggested time).

Here's the recipe I used - a good one for Meatless Monday!


All greens are good with lentils, and I (Deborah Madison) especially like to add them to a soup that's going to be a meal. That way you get all your good foods together in one bowl. 

1 1/2 cups brown or mixed lentils, soaked if possible
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil 
1 large onion, finely diced (I used a red onion)
1 carrot, grated or finely diced (I like my soups chunky and I love carrots. I put in two carrots chopped.)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and chopped or 1 bottled roasted pepper, chopped 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
6 to 8 cups water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock.
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Hefty bunch of spinach, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped
Chopped mint or parsley for garnish
Red wine vinegar to taste

1. If you haven't soaked then, cover the lentils with hot water and set them aside while you start the rest of the soup.

2. Warm the oil in a wide soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, red pepper, and parsley. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until the onion is softened and starting to color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, then stir in the tomato paste and mustard, working both into the vegetables and cooking until there is a film on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the wine, scrape up the pan juices, then simmer until partially reduced after a few minutes. Drain the lentils and add them to the pot with the bay leaf and water, using the larger amount if the lentils were soaked only briefly, Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 30 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and continue cooking until the lentils are soft, another 10 to 20 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

3. Add the spinach to the soup and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste the soup and add the mint and a little vinegar to sharpen the flavors.

This makes a LOT!


It's supposed to rain this weekend.
That is good.
Musashi's Garden needs the rain.

I'm planning on reading.
I've been saving THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
by Louise Penny for several months now -- just waiting for the right moment to visit
with Inspector Gamache.
This is the weekend!
A cup of tea, a kitty (or three) curled up next to me and a good book.

And when I'm not reading I'm going to do this:


Many thanks to the lovely Beth for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday each week.
Light and love to her and to her family.

I'm also joining On The Menu Monday.

Remember to pray for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Wishing you well, much joy and a fun filled weekend!