Faith Family Friends

Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Monday 30 December 2013

Tea Time Tuesday

The birth of a New Year is a time of reflection, bringing with it an opportunity for change....for developing a greater appreciation of what is most important in life.~ Victoria magazine

Welcome friends to my last Tea Time Tuesday of 2013!

Don't you wish that Christmas
Was a Currier and Ives scene
Where the snow was falling softly
In the woods of evergreen
Where horses pulled the sleighs
Through the village and the fields. ~ Roger Turner

Our Christmas on the Island truly was like a Currier and Ives scene. It was a beautiful day with softly falling snow flakes. The snow is so deep right now that it has completely covered the bird bath on our front lawn. The snow is almost half way up our maple tree! That's a lot of snow!

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holiday and all your dreams came true.

My sweet grandson Brent enjoying his day. Like his daddy and his nanny, he's a critter lover!

Joanna London-Watts's photo.

Please come in and make yourself at home and keep me company, won't you.

For my tea today, I am sharing a delightful floral centerpiece arranged in a festive teacup I won in Michele's giveaway. It arrived two days before Christmas; perfect timing!

The green doily and angel pin were included; just lovely! Thank you Michele. I think most of you know Michele but if you don't you can find her lovely blog, The Nest at Finch Rest here.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basis of a truly merry Christmas. ~ Peg Bracken

The tea is steeping and there is shortbread on the table for a wee nosh. The teapot was a gift from Hubby a few years ago.

PG Tips is my choice of tea today. This is a nice orange pekoe served in my Royal Stafford teacup. Made in England, this teacup has no gold on it but instead a Christmas green trim and holly berries adorn the cup and saucer.

I found this teacup at a yard sale a couple of years ago. It is my only Christmas teacup. I would love to find other Christmas teacups.

A shortbread cookie is just right. See the holly berries?

Winter is the time for comfort - it is the time for home. ~ Edith Sitwell

Come and share a pot of tea,
My home is warm and my friendship's free. ~ Emilie Barnes

Wednesday is New Year's Day; a brand new year, a fresh new beginning, and my birthday.
I want to thank all of you, my dear blogging friends, for blessing me with your visits, comments, and joining me for my tea parties and my HOME party each week. You are the ones who make my blogging experience so enjoyable and I am so thankful for all of you! I will resume my HOME party next week on the 8th.

From my heart to yours, I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year! May the new year bring you many blessings and much joy. Love to you all!

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness ~
Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~
Friends Sharing Tea~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 23 December 2013

An Angelic Tea for 'Celebrate the Season' ~ Christmas Tea

"Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas
Star and Angels gave the sign." ~ Christina Rossettie

Hello my lovely friends and welcome to my last Christmas Tea before Christmas! I want to thank you all for your visits and lovely comments last week on my Sugarplum Fairy Tea.

I had such fun putting it together for you and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! If some of you happened to miss it, you may click here to visit the party.

We are going to have a White Christmas this year. We have had snowfall after snowfall here and the Island is covered in a soft fluffy white blanket.
We have so much snow that we couldn't get to the birdfeeder. So, we reached through the front window and brought it in that way. We filled it up and hung it back outside.

Shortly after, we were rewarded with more than a  dozen or more of our little feathered friends; chickadees, juncos, and believe it or not, goldfinches! They are wearing their winter plummage but my goldfinches did stick around this year and now I will get to enjoy them all winter long. I consider this an early Christmas present for you all know how much I love my goldfinches!  

Now, on to our tea.  Today's tea is all about Angels. Angels played such an important part in the Christmas story.

The angel announced to Mary that she would bear a Son, the Messiah.

"And the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favour with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.'" ~ Luke 1:30-31

An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and assured him that Mary was with Child which had been conceived by the Holy Spirit.

"Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins." ~ Matthew 1:20-21

They announced to the shepherds that their Saviour was born.

"And the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'" ~ Luke 210-11

And when the life of Jesus was endangered by the hand of Herod, an angel appeared again to warn Joseph that he should take Jesus and Mary to Egypt where they would be safe.

"Now when they {the wise men} had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, 'Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.'" ~ Matthew 2:13

Although in the Bible it seems all the angels are masculine, the angels I have at my tea today are both male and female.

These are my little kissing angels that I've had for many years. They are cozied up under the cloche on a soft cloud with a bleached bottle brush tree. A pair of sweet angel wings decorate the outside of the cloche.

Please make yourself at home and keep me company, won't you?

My two teacups are in shades of a delightful soft pink adorned with lots of lovely gold.

The top one is made by Colclough and the bottom one is made by Windsor, both of England.

We are going to enjoy some Earl Grey today with some shortbread cookies and gingerbread balls with sprinkles. Since I'm nursing my back again, the shortbread is from the bakery and the gingerbread balls were made by a sweet friend.

This angel was a gift several years ago. Her gown and wings are lovely, aren't they?

My pink Ganz teapot holds the tea.

Although I am not serving tea in Christmas china, I hope you enjoy it. I was planning to gather some fresh greenery from our cedar but the snow is too deep to get to it. 

The beautiful poinsettia and decorations help lend a Christmasy feel to my tea.

This is one of my real little angels, my youngest grandson, Zachary. He loves Christmas too.

Thank you for visiting today. I am simply delighted when you come for tea. This time next week, Christmas will have come and gone for another year but I pray the spirit of Christmas will live on in your heart always.

I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year long.~ Charles Dickens

From my home to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." ~ Luke 2:14

"Hark! the herald angels sing: Glory to the new-born King!

Peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled."
Joyful, all ye nations rise; Join the triumph of the skies;
With th'angelic hosts proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem."
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the new-born King." ~ Charles Wesley{1707-1788} Felix Mendelssohn {1809-1847}

It is the season of the greatest story and the greatest Gift ever given!

I am joining the following parties as well~

Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Pink Saturday~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Wednesday 18 December 2013

HOME for the Holidays

"At Christmas, all roads lead home." ~ Marjorie Holmes

Hello my lovely friends and welcome to my last HOME for the Holidays before Christmas!

I imagine you are all as busy as bees these days. I know I am. We have so much to be thankful for during this most enchanting of seasons and we all need to take time out of our busy schedules to relax. Take some time to enjoy the lights and music. A cup of tea or coffee always helps me to relax. How about you?

"Peace on earth will come to stay when we live Christmas every day." ~ Helen Steiner Rice

Some of us have had a difficult year while others have sailed through it enjoying good health and making lots of lovely memories. I pray this coming year will bring you all peace, love, joy, and glowing good health.

This week I hosted a special tea party called a Sugar Plum Fairy Tea. You may click on the link here to visit it if you wish. I had fun putting it together. At Christmas-time especially, the little girl in me just has to come out and play.

I served a variety of sweets including my fruit cake which I make every year.

I promised to share my recipe for my fruit cake today.

This is my maternal grandmother's recipe and I have been making it for over thirty years. It has never failed me.

It is a buttery cake filled with lots of eggs and fruit. Even those who don't care for fruit cake, like this one. I hope you will give it a try.

Sultana Fruit Cake

1 small package sultana raisins {about 3 cups}
1 cup red cherries, cut in two
1 cup green cherries, cut in two
3/4 cup chopped candied pineapple
3/4 cup mixed fruit
Mix with 1/4 cup flour and set aside while you prepare the batter. The extra flour keeps the fruit separated.

Cream together:
1-1/2 cups soft butter
1-1/2 cups white sugar
6 large eggs - beat in one at a time
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp lemon extract

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Add to the creamed mixture alternately with
1/2 cup evaported milk or blend

When batter is all creamed together, mix in the prepared fruit. Pour into a prepared pan. I always use a 12 cup tube pan which is sprayed with PAM and lined with waxed paper.

Bake in preheated oven at 320 - 325 degrees for 1-1/2  to 2 hours. I generally bake the cake for about two hours. Now the secret to a moist fruit cake is to put a pan of hot water on the bottom rack in the oven and remove during the last hour.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely before removing it from the pan.
Wrap in heavy paper and tin foil. I always put it into a large freezer bag too. Store in a cool dark place. This cake will keep for some time.

Here are some features from last week's party~

Sherry at The Charm of Home set a beautiful snowy Christmas cottage themed dining table. She also had the most views on her post.

Penny @ Penny's Vintage Home shared her festival of Christmas trees. Love the candy tree!She had the second highest number of views on her post.

The next two posts were tied for the third highest views...

Poppy @ Poppy View shared her Tea with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and herself.  She also shared some lovely Christmas memories.

And Debbie @ A Debbie-Dabble Christmas shared her Christmas home tour. Here's a lady who goes all out to decorate for the season.

Cecilia @ Casa Cecilia shared her tutorial on how to make her darling gingerbread Christmas boxes. So cute!

Congratulations, ladies! And thank you friends for welcoming us into your HOMES every week. You are the ones who make this party so much fun.

Since this is my last HOME party before the Holidays, I want to wish you all a bounty of blessings and I hope you will come back and join me again next year. Till then take care and have a fabulous Christmas season.

Jesus is the Gift that perfectly fits the size of every heart.

From my HOME to yours, Merry Christmas!

"And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." ~ Luke 2:7

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

I am joining the following parties as well~

What's It Wednesday~
Christmas Cookie Exchange Link Party ~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 16 December 2013

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea for "Celebrate the Season" ~ Christmas Tea

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and makes everything more beautiful." ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Hello dear friends and welcome to this week's  Celebrate the Season ~ Christmas tea!

As I look out the window, there is a winter wonderland spread out before my eyes. We had a snowstorm yesterday and the new blanket of snow has covered up the remnants of dead leaves and all is bright and beautiful out there. It's a marshmallow world and it's a perfect day for a little fantasy!

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie{1845-1916}

I took my inspiration for today's tea from a favourite piece of Christmas music, The Nutcracker Suite. Most of us are familiar with the story of Clara and the Sugar Plum Fairy who introduces Clara to the Land of Sweets. A little fantasy is fun for a change, don't you think? Especially at this time year! Are you feeling a little nostalgic?

The Nutcracker Ballet was first performed on December 18, 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is one of the most famous ballets to be performed this time of the year. I have never had the pleasure of seeing a live performance but I would love to.

"Would you like an adventure now or would you like your tea first?" ~ Peter Pan

My table is sitting in front of the Christmas tree which I think lends a magical feel to our tea today. So please make yourself at home as we indulge in some spicy Christmas tea and lots of goodies.

My Sugar Plum fairy is dancing about in her lovely white tutu while the Nutcracker looks on.

"She balanced on one toe on the floor and spun around in a tutu that looked as though it had been fashioned from clouds and snowflakes. " ~ The Nutcracker

The Gingerbread house plays "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy." When you ring the door bell  the gum drops on the roof light up and keep time with the music. It's a child's delight!

This green Staffordshire teacup trio is a set I found in town a couple of weeks ago. It is made in England and represents the charm of the country  so well.

I think they look lovely paired with the creamy white.

I didn't have any green transferware in my collection so I was thrilled to find these!


Most of you know that I am totally smitten with transferware! I love the different pastoral scenes and the lovely borders each piece is adorned with. I find it so very charming. How about you, do you like transferware? Do you like to collect it? 

My other teacup is one you've seen before, Cream Lace made by Skye McGhee. It has such a sweet saucer.

At Christmas-time, I really enjoy the holiday teas such as this Stash Holiday Chai.

The teapot is also Cream Lace by Skye McGhee.

My Land of Sweets consists of a fruit cake I made
for the holidays.

There are also some mincemeat tarts, melt-in-your-mouth Swedish Butter Balls, and Snowballs.

I hope you're not watching your waistline!

There are gum drops and candy canes and chocolate of course.

"Tykes on sleds and shouts of glee, icy-window filigree, sugarplums and candle glow, part of Christmas long ago." ~ Jo Geis

I plan to share my fruit cake recipe at my HOME for the Holidays party on Wednesday. I have been making this cake for over thirty years and I have never had one fail me. It is a lovely buttery cake and even those who don't care for fruit cake do like this one. 

Happiness is sharing tea with a friend.

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thank you for joining me for tea today. I hope you have enjoyed your visit. Next week, I will be sharing an Angelic Tea so please join me once again for Celebrate the Season ~ Christmas Tea.

"Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, And love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children In Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, To live with Thee there." ~
From the Christmas carol "Away in  a Manger" - John T. McFarland, {1851-1913} John R. Murray, {1841-1905}

Merry Christmas!

I am joining the following parties as well~

Pink Saturday~
Inspire Me Tuesday ~
A Return to Loveliness ~
Tea Cup Tuesday~
Tea Cup Tuesday ~
Tuesday Cuppa Tea~
Friends Sharing Tea~
What's It Wednesday~
Share Your Cup Thursday~
Home Sweet Home~

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi