Tag Archives: gift ideas

A Springtime Tea Table: Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown, Tea Time Magazine

Tea Time Magazine is one of our favorite resources for tea inspiration. Along with their large and loyal following, we expect you’ll agree!

With Springtime in our thoughts, please allow us to direct your attention to Tea Time’s article for a bird themed tea table. It includes slideshows showcasing three different ways to decorate: Classically Elegant, Playfully Childlike and Casually Refined.

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown.

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like these recipes for Salmon Mousse Tea Sandwiches and Apple-Pomegranate Gellies.

Apple-Pomegranate Gellies shown with Pear-Walnut Gellies

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

From Tea Time Magazine: Teapots by Amy Cates

This week, we’re sharing a nice article on teapots from Tea Time Magazine.

Teapots by Amy Cates

Teapots by Amy Cates

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like slide shows for making Candied Lemon Zest Curls or Sugared Flowers, printable recipe cards and many downloadable recipes.

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

Candied Lemon Zest Curls Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Sugared Flowers Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Pecan Praline Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting from My Own Sweet Thyme

An awesome holiday cookie recipe…or an all year indulgence! Brown sugar, pecan cookie with brown sugar icing…seriously, what’s not to like?

We hope you enjoy it and thank you to My Own Sweet Thyme for posting it. FYI: This blog is worth checking out!

My Own Sweet Thyme: Pecan Praline Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting: One of the best things about being a home cook is finding others who share that same interest. It is a delight to meet someone whose eyes …

For your next tea party, we invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of authentic English bone china tea setsteapotstea accessories and antique tea cups.

Bone China Mugs for Tea

Lady Diana Rose Chintz Mug

C.S. Lewis said,

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

He might have liked a mug!

Check out this video for a preview of lovely Staffordshire bone china mugs available at Teapots ‘n More!

Visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of bone china mugsenglish bone china tea setsteapots & antique chintz tea cups.

Dark Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies

A tasty cookie for the Autumn/Winter season and a lovely hostess gift or party favor along with the recipe!

Makes about 5 dozen.

¾ cup softened butter or good margarine such as Imperial
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsulphured molasses
1 egg
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
¼ pound candied ginger slices, finely diced
¼ to ½ pound dark chocolate, 72%
Additional granulated sugar

1. Reserve 2 Tbsp. candied ginger for decoration. In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 cup sugar with a pastry blender or a mixer at low speed. Add molasses, egg and remaining candied ginger, beating until well blended.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

3. Form dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

4. Bake at 375°F for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 1 minutes and remove cookies to wire rack to cool.

5. Melt chopped chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Using a fork drizzle melted chocolate over cookies. Before chocolate sets, sprinkle tops with reserved candied ginger.

6. After chocolate is set, place cookies in an airtight container and store in a cool place 1 week or freeze for 1 month.

For your next tea party, we invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of authentic English bone china tea sets, teapots, tea accessories and antique tea cups.

Grimwade Brothers: Home of Royal Winton Chintz

One of the most successful chintz producing potteries, Grimwade Brothers, began in 1885 at the Winton Pottery, Stock-on-Trent when Leonard Grimwade invited his older brother Sidney to join his manufacture business.  Sidney was a potter, however, it appears that Leonard was the enterprising force behind the prosperity of Grimwade Brothers. He was described by business associates and employees alike as a man of vision, energy and generosity.

His company grew quickly receiving patents for a number of innovative products including the Paragon coffee pot with a removable strainer, a Safety Milk Bowl and a Quick-Cooker Bowl. Earthenware for the kitchen, toiletry, hospital, nursery and table was produced by the company. The chintz ware for which the company is well know may have been produced as early as 1913 in more traditional patterns such as Jacobean ware, Hampton chintz and Spode Chintz. These patterns were large and widely spaced.

Today, we generally associate chintz with smaller closely packed patterns. The first chintz of this nature produced by Grimwades was Paisley in 1923. However, the pottery’s first major success with a “modern” chintz pattern was the design Marguerite in 1928. This pattern is said to have been inspired by a design Mrs. Minnie Grimwade was working on a cushion at the time. The success of Marguerite was followed by numerous new chintz patterns during the next 20+ years. Some patterns remained proprietary to Grimwade such as Julia and Welbeck, while others were sold for use by other potteries such as Rose Du Barry.

Although Leonard Grimwade died unexpectedly in 1931, his company florished for many years. By the 1960s, due to a number of factors, the market for chintz had dropped off. The Grimwade company was sold to Howard Potteries in 1964 with the Royal Winton trade name kept intact. Various company buyouts proceeded over the years with the Royal Winton name still remaining. As far as we know, the latest company to trade as Royal Winton is still producing chintz ware. There are 12 patterns available with some of the most popular original chintz designs reintroduced in the 1990s.

Royal Winton chintz continues to be a favorite with collectors. Listed below are some excellent resources available for those who wish to explore the rich history of Royal Winton and English chintz ware.

This brief summary was gleaned from Collecting Royal Winton Chintz by Muriel M. Miller, Francis Joseph Publications 1996 available on Amazon.

Book Resources:

Collecting Royal Winton Chintz by Muriel M. Miller

Royal Winton Porcelain: Ceramics Fit for a King by Eileen Rose Busby

The Charlton Standard Catalogue of Chintz, 3rd Edition by Susan Scott

Chintz Ceramics by Jo Anne Welsh

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea sets, teapots & antique chintz tea cups.

Introducing Karen Bell Watercolors

Tea and Roses by Karen Bell

A few weeks back, we reintroduced the internationally acclaimed art of Marty Bell. We’d now like to introduce nationally acclaimed watercolor artist, Karen Bell.

Karen, a California native, finds unique inspiration in the mystery and beauty nature, flowers in particular. Her natural eye for dramatic contrast in light and shadow combined with the soft translucence of watercolor, make her subjects appear to bloom off the page in bold, vivid hues.

Irresistible by Karen Bell

This exciting artist has honed her skills under many watercolor masters. She credits two classic masters as important sources of inspiration: Claude Monet for his use of light and Georgia O’Keeffe for her dramatic use of color and subject. The influence of these masters is especially effective in her still life subjects.

Her extraordinary paintings are displayed in many fine galleries and personal collections. We recommend to you the dramatic and beautiful art of Karen Bell: a masterful watercolorist!

Morning Light by Karen Bell

Are you interested is purchasing Karen Bell Fine Art? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our growing selection of Karen Bell fine art prints.

Rediscovering Marty Bell

Three Pots of Daisies

As a child, three small paintings were artistically displayed in our kitchen. They were floral subjects on pieces of distressed wood: three pots of white daisies, a yellow rose tree and a close up of yellow daisies. These art pieces were special to my mom because they had been painted by a friend.

Years later as a new bride, my husband and I came upon an art display at a local mall. Romantic English cottages and victorian ladies were showcased. The flowers in one particular print caught my eye. They reminded me of those kitchen paintings and, feeling nostalgic, we went to find the artist. I was surprised to find she was my mother’s friend, but now more accomplished and growing in popularity. She remembered me, of course, and said she wanted to paint my face. I demured thinking she was just being kind. It was 1982 and this was the day we purchased our first Marty Bell.

The Gamekeepers Cottage

Marty Bell found her love for art early in life, but she found her high school art teachers didn’t offer the support and direction she wanted. In her words, “Our teachers would ask us to draw still lifes, like a broken tricycle or a baseball bat. These have their place, but who would want them on their wall forever? I would work with that for awhile and then I would start playing on my own with the paints. This is where I would get into trouble.”

After marrying and starting a family, she picked up art classes again. Her first teacher really encouraged individual creativity and eventually Marty started her own art school. In 1974, after traveling throughout England, Marty painted a few English scenes which promptly sold. From that point on, her life was not the same. Many paintings were selling even before she could complete them and what began as a hobby, had become a thriving art business. Her creations were sought by collectors, decorators and design firms. She gained international popularity and is considered the premiere painter of the English countryside.

Shefield Roses

With her passion for beauty, color and style, Marty Bell was a prolific and influential artist. Her work has been internationally collected and she enjoyed the respect of both her peers and fine art collectors. In her lifetime, Marty painted more than 3,000 oil paintings ranging from old English cottages and California landscapes to impressionistic pieces and colorful still lifes.

Her artistic vision continues to appeal to fine art collectors evoking a blend of warmth & nostalgia as attractive today as it was 35+ years ago. Those original three small paintings still hang, artistically displayed, in my mother’s kitchen and I still love my own Marty Bell prints.

Now, we invite you to rediscover the art of Marty Bell.

Miss Elizabeth’s Door

 

Are you interested in fine English bone china teapots and tea sets? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our beautiful selection.

Tea Bag Folding

Tea Bag Medallion, picture by Paperfacets

For our “crafty” friends, we came across a charming idea using tea bag papers. It’s called Tea Bag Folding: a combination of origami type folds with tea bag papers to create lovely medallions and rosettes. One happy caution: Tea Bag Folding is a whole world unto itself!

We can see many applications for these artistic creations such as decorations for thank you cards, invitations or book marks. How about using tea bag medallions as decorations for your tea table or maybe have a lesson in tea bag folding as an ice breaker for your tea party? You could even create a tea bag folding starter kit as a home made hostess gift!

Bookmark Ideas, picture by Paperfacets

We’ve included a few trusted links to some very well done articles on Tea Bag Folding with lots of examples, history, beginner lessons, patterns, paper purchasing tips and other resources. We hope you enjoy our discovery and will share some of your creations and ideas with us!

Tea Bag Folding and Pattern Instructions

Websites for the Craft of Tea Bag Folding

Tea Bag Folding Butterfly Card

Tea Bag Folding for Children and Beginners

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Almond Lover’s Scone Recipe

Almond Lover's Scones

We present for your baking & eating pleasure, our new Almond Scone recipe featuring marzipan, almonds and almond extract. Serve them with clotted cream and cherry preserves, pear conserve, orange marmalade or even Nutella!

Almond Lover’s Scones

Makes 24 small scones, 1 1/4 inch (our favorite size) or 10-12 scones, 2 inch or 8-12 wedges.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder (Yes, that is a Tablespoon.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
8 Tbsp. butter
8 Tbsp. (4 fl. oz.) milk
1/2 c. marzipan or almond paste, diced small
4 Tbsp. sliced almonds, divided in half, crushed small using fingers
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar for topping

Almond & Sugar Mixture

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. 

Make Ahead Option #1: At this point, you can turn the oven off and seal this mix in an airtight container (such as a plastic bag) and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dry place. When ready to use, place mix in a large bowl and proceed with step 2. You’ll have tea & scones within a 1/2 hour if you multi-task on the tea. 🙂

2. Cut butter into dry ingredients until approximately the size of peas. Add the diced marzipan and two Tbsp. of the sliced & crushed almonds. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining 2 Tbsp. of almonds and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar.

Flour Mix with Marzipan & Almonds

3. Measure out milk and add in almond extract. Pour the almond milk  into dry mix and stir to moisten. Dough should be moist enough to form a soft ball, but not sticky. If needed, additional milk may be added 1-2 teaspoons at a time.

4.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and press out with hand to approximately 1/2 inch thickness. Tip: Do not knead dough and use as little flour as possible to keep the dough from sticking to the board.

Cutting out the scones

5. Cut into desired shapes and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Lightly brush tops with milk if desired. Sprinkle with previously prepared almond & sugar mix, reserving some for a second dusting after the scones are baked. Tip: If using a biscuit cutter or glass, dip the cutting edge in flour first.

Make Ahead Option #2: At this point, place your scones on a cookie sheet and freeze. When completely frozen, wrap scones well in plastic wrap and foil. Well wrapped scones will keep at least one month. When ready to use, proceed to step six, using frozen scones. Do not thaw first. You’ll have scones in about 20 minutes! 😀

Almond Scones ready to bake

6. Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on size. The 1 1/4 inch scone will be done in approximately 10-13 minutes. Scones are done when lightly golden and the center springs back. Sprinkle again with remaining almond sugar mix while scones are still hot for visual appeal. Best served within 1 day of baking with butter or clotted cream and jam. Store in airtight container if serving later in the day. Tip: When baking, start checking your scones at the minimum baking time. You can always bake longer, but overdone is ruined.

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and english bone china tea sets.