Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pink Saturday Tea Time!

This table is set with some lovely pink mix and match pattern china and tea set pieces.......

Who ever said things had to match? Just blend the colors together!

Have a lovely Pink Saturday in honor of breast cancer awareness and visit others who participate in this fun at:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Collecting of Old Things!

I really can't explain my attraction to old things........... It started very early.......I purchased this inkwell for $8.00 when I was a little girl........

I was just drawn to old sewing notions, vanity pieces and desk accessories......nothing of great value but charming!

The scizzors on the left are antique....the ones on the right are new.

My daughter-in-law got this set for me at the Goodwill....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Collecting Vintage Dresser Items

Many years ago I began a collection of vintage dresser items....

Hairpins from England....

A dresser set that belonged to some turn of the century lady...

A cologne set which was used by.......
An old antique button and Evening in Paris cologne...

If these items could talk....what would they say?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Making Room for Tea Sets!

Sometimes the china cabinet just isn't big

enough....time to make room for those tea sets have to stay just in

the dining room? I don't think so!

quote by Bernideen
Late note:  The buffet was later given to my son and the Corner what not shelf is now shabby chic!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Celebrations!

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son,
and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Matthew 1:23
Emmanuel, Emmanuel, his name is called Emmanuel - God with us
Revealed in us....
His name is called Emmanuel!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


This morning I have ladies coming for my "How to Have My Own Tea Party Classes" so you are going to get a free lesson on one of the many things we will be covering!

The teapot to the left above is easy to identify...the center one has a short spout which qualifies it to be a chocolate pot. 
The coffee to the right has a spout that shoots up pretty straight from the bottom. This is a basic way to tell the difference! (there can be some coffee pots that are similar to teapots!)

Friday, February 20, 2009

This Can't Be Happening to Me!

I have no idea how this day finally arrived but today whether I like it or not I have turned 60! I am trying to be gracious about this but I do find it hard to believe- after all I was just 30 years old a few years ago- it least it seems like it!
Today I would like to thank all of you for following first my earlier wordpress blog I started in May of 2008 and now this new blog I started January 11th this year. It has really been fun becoming a"geek"! I still have things to learn but love blogging!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Looking Forward to Summer Gardening?

Way up in the top of this very tall Colorado Blue Spruce live a family of squirrels.....
It seems strange seeing squirrels in our yard ripping off the birdfeeders everyday.....when our dog Windsor Bear was living they were not allowed to step in the yard.....they certainly wouldn't move into this tree!

This morning Mr. Squirrel was busy as usual in our back yard. We still have a lot of winter yet but I am anxious to see if the day lilies my daughter in law gave me will be coming up! I had them in plastic bags for 2 months and didn't get them planted until January 1st - an unusually warm day.(I did put water in the plastic bags) I think they will be fine!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Afternoon Tea Quote

Tea Quote: You can serve high tea around the dining room table, but afternoon tea is more of a living room occasion, with everything brought in on a tray or a cart.
Angela Hynes, The Pleasures of Afternoon Tea
(from 365 Things Every Tea Lover Should Know)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Relax with Fireside Tea this Winter!

Snuggle up with spice teas and chai in the evening by the fire.....we all have our own favorites. Caffeine a problem late at night? Better go decaf or herbal!

Winter is still here and we are "inside" more....time to relax in the evening with tea! We love to take our tea "fireside". There are so many teas to choose from for those cold winter nights. Isn't it amazing that spring is right around the corner in some places
and yet a ways off in other places. Here in Colorado we are having lots of warm weather but this can rapidly change and snow can arrive! In fact, it better or we are in huge moisture trouble!

After going through the forest fires years ago we do not want a repeat of that here on the front range. Having lived in the Houston area for 6 1/2 years it seems strange to rarely see rain here in Colorado. Yes, our moisture actually comes from winter snow! We drink the snow melt from the mountains!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cream Puff Swans for Afternoon Tea

Cream Puffs are really easy to make but I recommend that you only mix the batter for one batch at a time. Why is that? Some things just work better that way!

To make about 20 medium or 12 large cream puffs you need the following: 1 stick of unsalted butter and 1 cup of water, 4 large eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup flour. This is one of the few recipes easy enough to memorize!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (must be hot). In a medium saucepan slowly bring the butter and 1 cup of water and salt to a boil. With a wooden spoon, beat in flour all at once.
Return to low heat and continue beating till the mix forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and beat in the eggs one at a time until mix is smooth. Continue beating till the dough is shiny and satiny and breaks into strands. Drop by golden tablespoons
2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until puffed and golden for 25-30 minutes for medium or 40 minutes for large. Puffs should sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on wire rack.

To make the swan head isn't hard! When you slice the top section off it can be divided into to form the wings if you are making a swan or put back on whole if just filling the puff. Reserve enough dough to make the desired swan heads. This batter can be put in an icing tube and squeezed out in the shape of an "S" on the baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes till firm and a little darker in color than the puff. Keep an eye on them!

You can fill cream puffs with pudding, heavy whipping cream which has been whipped with confectioners sugar (1/2 cup confectioners sugar to 1 pint heavy whipping cream) and fruit mixed in. We mixed in blueberries and chopped strawberries.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Celebration!

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great
recompence of reward.

Hebrews 10:35

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine Friendship Tea Event

You are invited to attend a Valentine Friendship Tea Event at Bernideen's Saturday, February 14, 2009. (This is not a sit down event) There will be a loving gift tray drawing and free recipe books will be given away with the recipes for items we serve. We hope you can come and join us! No reservation.....time is 12:00 Noon! Feel free to dress "tea party" style and wear a hat if you like!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Queen Victoria: #3 of The Three Honored Ladies of Tea

Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837 at the young age of 18. As the years passed she had a great influence on the expansion of tea to the common people who were anxious to follow the trends of the royal court. Since she reigned almost 64 years this is a long history of influence.

Much has been written regarding the queen's waist line which grew with her fondness for macaroons and toffee cakes. A quick search will bring up her recipe for Victoria Sponge Cake. (try and As far as tea, the queen preferred Empire Tea from India. Is that a surprise since she was proclaimed the Empress of India in 1876? The magnitude of the influence Queen Victoria had can best be recognized by the term "Victorian" to denote an era representing her very name. Queen Victoria and tea go hand in hand never to be separated. In 1860 Queen Victoria began a tradition that Queen Elizabeth II still continues today. Tea is served at the private gardens at Buckingham Palace.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Anna the Duchess of Bedford: #2 of The Three Honored Ladies of Tea

Anna Marie is noted as one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting and is always credited with the "Invention of Afternoon Tea". What a lovely invention this was because seated at lower tables and comfy chairs, friends gathered to enjoy cakes, bread and butter, sandwiches and sweets along with good hot tea. This event occurred around 4:00 p.m. to comfort the empty stomach between the light noon meal and heavy late dinner. This became all the rage in the upper class society. Since women did not work and had time on their hands, making social activity a high priority was necessary.

The growing middle class was always eager to follow the social patterns of the wealthy and began to imitate Anna's Tea parties as well! Afternoon Tea was then and remains now an affordable way to entertain. Thank you Anna for this special occasion. The photo of Anna was taken from "Afternoon Tea" by Jane Pettigrew.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Catherine of Braganza: #1 of The Three Honored Ladies of Tea

I like to think of Catherine of Braganza as the first of the three honored ladies of tea....I cut the photo of her out of Jane Pettigrew's book: A Social History of Tea and placed it in a lovely gold frame.....
also, my favorite Michal Negrin necklace makes me think of Catherine in all her majesty bringing tea to England in her dowry..

Did you know that tea arrived first in Portugal and Holland before it's arrival in England? Actually, the English lagged somewhat behind in drinking tea. Portuguese traders were importing tea by the mid 17th century.

King John IV of Portugal came into an agreeable relationship with England's Charles II who was in exile in Portugal. The king's daughter, Catherine of Braganza is said to have had the largest dowry ever recorded in world history. Can you imagine 2 million golden crusados, Tangier and Morroco, Bombay, India and permission to use all the ports in the Portuguese colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. A marriage between Charles and Catherine guaranteed a wind of financial blessing for England tohelp pay off a large number of debts that Charles had both inherited and created.

One of the many items brought to England by Catherine was a beautiful tea chest with her prized tea. The Portuguese traders that had brought the tea to Portugal would now assist her in bringing it to England. Of course, tea would not to excessible to the common people for some time - it was only for the wealthy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Celebration

To me...every Sunday is a time to Celebrate:

I Corinthians 2: 9 says "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pink Saturday February 7, 2009

I love this print of the Moss Rose Pattern by Glynda Turley!
Have a very happy Pink Saturday in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness!
See other participants at

Friday, February 6, 2009

High Tea or Afternoon Tea?

During the industrial revolution the Victorian era working class people enjoyed evening meals of prepared foods such as cold meats, pickles, cheese, bread and butter and good hot tea. Long, hard days at work made this a necessary way to get a meal on the table fast. This meal was eaten at what we know as our dining room table. The "high table" gave the meal the name "high tea".

Remember that Afternoon Tea was eaten at low tables in nice comfy chairs. This was a social time in the late afternoon between the light noon lunch and late dinner. Mostly enjoyed by the upper class, sweets and savories were served with hot tea. Finger sandwiches satisfied the tummy while sweets lifted the spirits.

If you go to a tea room in the USA you may notice a "common mistake" made using the term "high tea" when the appropriate "afternoon tea" would be correct. Often after a tea room opens and knowledge and research are persued, there will be a correction made on the menu. Since "afternoon tea" is labor intensive (unless heaven forbid they buy at Sams Club) expect to pay $15.00 t0 $50.00 or more depending upon whether you are at a small tea room or a grand hotel.

Valentine's Day is a great time to find a lovely tea room near you...Check out these websites to see what is nearby: and http://

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lemon Cream Cheese Scones

Get the oven ready at 400 degrees to make some lovely Lemon Cream Cheese Scones:
You will need: 2 1/2 cups of sifted flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, Zest from 1 large lemon, juice from 1 large lemon, 3 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/3 cup of butter softened, 4 oz cream cheese softened, 1 egg, 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.
Mix the cream cheese and egg together in a small bowl and stir in the milk and then add to flour mixture
I like to roll out my dough on a floured pastry cloth to about 1/2" and cut with a 2" scone cutter. Place scones on ungreased baking pan 2"apart. Brush with lemon juice. This recipe will make about 14 scones.
Bake 16 minutes until golden brown...Remove from baking sheet and serve warm with lemon curd or clotted cream. To keep from eating them all ourselves - we take them over to the neighbors too! They love us!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Royal Doulton: "Setting the Record Straight"

Last weekend two customers commented in my store that Royal Doulton was going under. I have learned over the years that it's best not to respond to what I don't know until I get the facts straight. I had just recently received some new photos and a new price list so this seemed strange to me.
When I first started selling Royal Doulton back in 2000 it was all made in England. I knew that from 2002-2004 factories in England were closed and outsourcing to China and Indonesia began. I saw the change first hand as products arrived with new markings.
Yesterday I called my Royal Doulton rep and got a few facts straight. She said that in England Royal Doulton was purchased last month by Wedgwood. The USA office has been in turmoil and was taken over this week by Wedgwood's people. I noticed after a quick web search some very old articles about "Royal Doulton" shuts down British factories, etc. A word of advice to all of us here: always check the date of an article on line because these referred to 2002 when the outsourcing began.
Have no fear - Old Country Rose is still here! I love my old Country Rose China my husband gave me last year for my 40th anniversary Made in ENGLAND TOO! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Dumbwaiter

The Dumbwaiter was popular in the Victorian Era for tea time service.

The top shelf which was the smallest held the scones, the middle shelf was perfect for the finger sandwiches and then the bottom shelf which was the widest held the sweets such as tarts, cookies and teacakes. Dumbwaiters were reproduced by American furniture companies during the 1950's. They were desired for their display possibilities for cups and saucers and nicknack for all kinds. Many of these mahogany and maple 3 level stand are in our antique malls and because of a lack of popularity now can be purchased at a very low price. They would be perfect to display for teapots, and cups and saucers.

Dumbwaiters have lots of potential.....a newer trend is to go shabby chic with fresh paint!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Curate's Stand

The Curate's Stand - also known as a Butler's Stand

is a handy little piece of furniture to have for your

Afternoon Tea Time. Originally from another era

when many vicars were assisted in their duties

by low-paid junior helpers called curate's assistants.

Made of wood and collapsible for storage, this could be
brought to the seating area and quickly "restocked".
Generally the top shelf held scones, the middle shelf held the
finger samdwiches and savories and sweets were on the
bottom shelf. Another style was rectangular and had 2 shelves on each side providing 4 levels. Each shelf is collapsible for easy storage.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Celebrations!

The winter issue of Victorian Homes has the most beautiful story about Louis Tiffany and his stained glass. In fact this glass is beyond description in beauty and holds special interest to those like myself who love God's Word.

This is an article about some very large pieces - 7 in fact that were designed by Tiffany and originally installed in a church in 1902. They were commissioned by a church as a gift for another church. Many years later when a highway project caused the church to be torn down they were packed in crates and seemed to be lost to all until a woman found them in an old building in 2001. A great
deal of restoration has taken place and the 7 angels in the book of Revelation are now traveling around the country. See to see if they will be coming to a city near you!