A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

Welcome to the blog of Antiques And Teacups! Let's share a cup of tea and talk about the things we love...like teacups, antiques, collectibles, visiting England, antiquing and learning about victoriana and quirky gadgets. Fun!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Chai Spiced Cookies, Emma Bridgewater, an Interesting Week!

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!  I hope all you Yanks had a great Thanksgiving...we were home on Tuesday afternoon after our pre-holidays jaunt so the 2 of us had a streamlined Thanks giving...reasons explained below....but...

We got home on Tuesday to 35 degrees after a strong wind and ice storm. The neighbors tree was downed and just missed their home. We trimmed our trees last fall....a blessing...so we just lost a lot of small limbs. BUT...the heat pump was encased in 2 inches of ice...inside and out. So instead of blithely doing my Tuesday Cuppa Tea post for today, we have been trying to thaw it out while on emergency electric heat before the serviceman gets here Monday...Thanksgiving and a weekend are NOT a good time to get a service call. But, as we did have the emergency electric we are better than a lot of folks...the company says their phones have been constantly ringing with similar problems.

So...here is my teacup for this week...I took made us a quick cup of tea in my Emma Bridgewater Happy Christmas Robin mug with a peach Passion fruit scones I had frozen before we left...THAT was a great thing! In between making and shooting hot water into the housing trying to melt the inch of ice...and it's on the north side of the house and hasn't gotten above 30 degrees! But enough of that!!!

As some of you may remember, I am very partial as my English grandmother, my Nana who died at 99 years old in 1976 was named Emma Bridgewater and was also from Leicester where Emma the potter hails from. So...I have been a follower since she began in the 1980s and have amassed quite a collection of mugs...one always seemed to find it's way into our luggage from our annual pottery visits during our yearly trip to England to buy and visit family.

I don't remember if this is from 2 or 3 years back, but it lives in the back of my cupboard and comes out at Thanksgiving when I plan to start decorating for and anticipating Christmas. I love Emma's Birds mugs and have many, and the Robin is a favorite, so loved this Christmas design...plus it's blue!

The tea is one of my most favorite Christmas teas...the Holiday blend from Harney & Sons. Just the right mix of black teas and spice!  

I have interspersed some of the remaining Thanksgiving decor, because with the heating issues the Christmas decor is still sitting in their boxes...

On our way home from Seattle on Tuesday via the Bainbridge ferry, we always stop at Central Market in Poulsbo, WA...an institution! I had a turkey breast, Apple Pear cider and what we needed to the roast vegetables we were having, but thought I'd look for dessert...and was I glad I did! I found THE BEST turkey cupcakes from a San Francisco bakery called Delectable Desserts, and were the ever! Cupcakes covered with chocolate ganache and buttercream frosting. Heavenly!  One turkey, however, slid in it's container on the way home and did a face plant on the side...so one is a Roman nosed guy, but it might have spoiled his looks...but not the taste!

This week I wanted to share this recipe I found on MyRecipes.com for Chai Spiced Shortbread. I have made these before, planned to make them for Thanksgiving, but....life intervened. They are delicious!

Chai-Spiced Shortbread Cookies


Makes 45
Total time: 40 Minutes


1 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 cups flour 
1 tablespoon cinnamon 
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds*
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Leaves from 1 English Breakfast tea bag
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer until smooth. In another bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, fennel, cardamom, and tea. Add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set 1-tbsp. balls of dough 1 in. apart on sheets and flatten slightly with a floured glass.
3. Bake until cookies are light golden on undersides, 15 to 18 minutes, switching pan positions halfway through baking. Transfer to racks to cool.
*Grind in a clean coffee grinder or in a mortar.
Make ahead: Up to 3 days, stored airtight.

So thanks so much for joining me for Tuesday Cuppa Tea! Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!
 Tea Cup Tuesday 
 Bernideen’s Teatime, Cottage & Garden

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Address 1863

Wishing you all a day of thankfulness, and peace. I wanted to share Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving address from 1863...still so appropriate and resonating today...

Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere in the theatre of the military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at seas and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also , with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, comment to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or su fferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward, 
Secretary of State 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Thanksgiving, Harvest Home, Miss Read

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! A very happy Thanksgiving to you all! This is a Thanksgiving angel by Jim Shore on my mantle,  signifying the abundance of the harvest season. 

I have a small Thanksgiving tea I did last week, as we are out of town for the week leading up to Thanksgiving, since we won't be able to gather with the family for the holiday due to work schedules and in-law or prospective in-law commitments.

My Thanksgiving angel supervises...with 3 teacups, a pumpkin colored metallic gold thread runner, a ceramic pinecone...that usually sits on the corner of my mantle with it's mate...and a bronze squirrel candle holder my daughter gave me years ago...

One on my teacups is one of my favorite hand colored and hand enameled on brown transferware...I love these, because no two are exactly alike...

Taylor & Kent made this teacup between 1931 and 1950, but because of the design, I am voting for the 1940s. I love the raised orange enamel accenting! For more info at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

The next 2 are transferware cups and saucers from my collection....and I'll tell you a secret...in company with many antique dealers, many in my own collection are items that are flawed, but I love them too much to get rid of them! Someday I'll show share some of my other wounded treasures...that I still love! Anyway, there is a Charlotte by Royal Staffordshire ironstone brown transferware floral design...

My camera is acting up a bit, so here is a photo from a listing when I had the dish set available...all of it was sold....

The design is attributed to famous English designer Clarice Cliff, and this dates to the 1920-1930s, before she was famous for her art deco designs.

 This set os a Johnson Brothers hand colored on brown transferware design called Olde English Countryside from the 1940-1950s. Again, there are coors added by artists at the pottery. If you look closely you can see additions of blue, green and pink. I apologize again for the photo...my camera is on it's way out...guess what I want for Christmas?!

The pumpkin shaped cookies are another seasonal treat from our Seattle Gluten Free Shortbread Bakery...aren't they cute? And tasty! I have been so busy and out of town, that I picked these up at the Poulsbo Central Market on our way back from Seattle via ferry.  

In England, although they don't celebrate Thanksgiving as such, their is the Harvest Home or Harvest Festival with links to a pagan past. The adopting of the old agrarian festival into mainstream church life began in 1843 when a Rev. Robert Harkins celebrated Harvest Festival at his Anglican church in Morwenstow, Cornwall. The festival has gotten attached to Michaelmas Day, around Sept. 28-Oct. 4th in the church calendar.

One of my favorite chroniclers of mostly vanished English village life is Miss Read, who has a series of books...I think I have collected them all..about several school teachers in Cotswold villages from the Victorian era to the World Wars. In the 20th century many rural schools were supported or maintained by the church and participated in church festivals.

The Harvest Festival was an important part of the Cotswold villages still so close to the seasons and agricultural roots of the area. The children had the job of decorating the church with produce from their farms and gardens and took great pride in doing so. Harvest loaves are baked as well.

From Over The Gate by Miss Read published in 1964:

For most of us in Fairacre our Harvest Festival is a well-loved and well-supported institution.  It is, after all, a public thanksgiving for the fulfilment of a year's hard work in the fields and gardens, and a brief breathing space before tackling the next year's labours.

Mr. Roberts, the local farmer, gives a mammoth Harvest Home supper in his biggest barn, at this season, but naturally it is the farm workers and their friends who attend this jollification. The service at St. Patrick's caters for the whole village....

The children...decorate the prews and other alloted portions of the church and we guard our privilege jealously. On Saturday the ladies of the village come with armfuls of flowers and greenery to do their share, but they always find that the children have done their part first.

Usually we tie little bunches of corn (Yanks, that's wheat to you!) to the pew heads, and arrange marrows, shiny apples, onions, giant potatoes and any other contribution which will not whither or fade, along the ledges and window sills which we know by ancient custom are 'ours'.

Thanks so much for joining me, and I hope as you reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for during this Thanksgiving time, you can carry it with you daily in the future. We are so blessed!   

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

 Tea Cup Tuesday 
 Bernideen’s Teatime, Cottage & Garden

Friday, November 20, 2015

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Married Nov. 20, 1947

 November 20, 1947 Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece, in....as royal weddings go...a small and cost conscious post war ceremony.  Today they celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary.

The young couple...when they were engaged, and below...a couple aging together....and obviously devoted to each other...we have been married 41+ years, and I can't imagine how much more attached we will be if blessed to reach our 68th anniversary....

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, November Things, Transferware And Cobalt Glass

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea...I hope you have had a marvelous Thanksgiving weekend...and didn't get crushed in a Black Friday sale!  This is a wintry, wet time of year...this year at least which we need after last year's lack of rain or snow...we are forecast a major storm with high winds and 5-8 inches of rain in 24 hours over the Olympics right behind us...we'll see...cozy and warm in the sunroom!

I spent an afternoon in the sunroom with a cup of tea reading through the month of November in the Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden from 1901. I love her illustrations and observations.

It is a fascinating book to read. But after reading about her rambles in the countryside picking the last of the fruit, I decided to do a quick tea with a fruit cup and saucer to go with some gluten free chocolate cookies from a baking mix I tried and Pumpkin Spice tea on our small tea table in the sunroom... so...

The first teacup is a Royal Albert Flower Of The Month November Chrysanthemums demitasse cup and saucer...a design you will see often on blogs this month...it is November! That's what's the fun of the series...a teacup for every month's birthdays!

This is from the late 1980s series, and was probably not made in England, because production was being moved to Indonesia at this time into the early 1990s. There are 2 older versions of the Flower Of The Month, and they are all wonderful designs! They were usually made in 3 sizes...the regular, this demitasse size and a teensy miniature size with a cup only 1.25 inches high and a 2.75 inch in diameter saucer! And there are collectors for every size!

This next cup and saucer is also a demitasse or after dinner coffee size, and was made by  E. Hughes in a line called Eucanos in the Somerset pattern only between 1930 and 1941. I love the jewel color fruit, and the heavy 24kt gold hand painted details. Lovely!

The number at the bottom is the British Registry mark, which records when the design was registered. The number is 708568 which identifies the design being recorded during 1924 to 1925, although the mark clarifies that the cup and saucer was actually made later somewhere between 1930 and 1941. The pottery closed in 1953.

For tea...the seasonal blends are coming out. This id the Republic Of Tea's Pumpkin Spice. They had it last year, and I really liked it so was glad to see it again available.  The tin holds 50 round teabags.  Tea Time magazine had an article this week about the re-thinking of the reputation of tea bags by Bruce Richardson you can read HERE.

This is the way Tea Forte' packages their tea. Celebrity Cruises has them at their Cafe' al Bacio...I am addicted to their Organic Estate Darjeeling, which I have a pot of every morning when on a ship.

I also have a cobalt blue art glass pumpkin on the table...did you notice it? This was our souvenir from a week in Alaska on the Ruby Princess last may. In Skagway, we visited Jewell Gardens Organic Gardens & Glass...which was influenced by our local Seattle Chihuly Gardens & Glass and includes a glass blowing hot shop as well...

The pumpkin was available at the gift shop, and they shipped, so I didn't have to worry about carrying it home in my luggage. Most of the time, it lives in one of the windows in our sun room...on the high one, barricaded by other things, so out cat Tinker can't get to it...he rules the other low windows all around the rest of the room.

I hope you enjoyed your visit and you are enjoying your November...it's amazing how quickly it goes!  Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

 Tea Cup Tuesday 
 Bernideen’s Teatime, Cottage & Garden


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