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 29 December 2014

A Year in Review of Tea Time Parties

Pleasure comes from without,
and joy comes from within,
and it is, therefore,
within reach of everyone in the world. ~ Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Welcome to my last Tea Time in 2014! I hope you all had a fabulous holiday with family and friends. I'm sure we have all made some lovely memories this Christmas season and they will keep us warm and cozy during the cold winter months.

I began hosting my tea party five years ago in January because I wanted to share my tea and china collection with you. I was surprised and pleased to learn there were so many like minded ladies out in Blogland who had the same interests. I am so glad I began TTT because I have been blessed getting to know you all. You are my special group of friends!

Now, please join me for a little trip down Memory Lane; some of my teas from the year 2014.

Is there anything prettier than a teacup, a rose, and some pearls? 

Pink and a lacy teacup are so pretty together!

 An Easter tea with an elegant Aynsley teacup.

My Red Rose Tea with red transferware.

The lilacs were out in June and I love displaying them with my Rose Chintz.

I hosted my Savour the Summer Tea Party with a variety of teacup patterns and some scrumptious desserts.

My Fairies and Lupins Tea.

Anne of Green Gables tea.

A Cottage Tea.

An end of Summer Pink Tea.

Roses and pearls once again lend a little something special to another gorgeous teacup.

Beautiful blue for November.

And Old Country Roses for a Christmas Tea.

Life should be savoured; sipped like a cup of tea. ~ Unknown

I hope you have enjoyed my review and can join me next Monday for a brand new year of Tea Time Tuesday

Happy New Year my dear friends! May 2015 be happy, healthy, and prosperous in every way that truly matters.

A Tea Time Blessing
Lord, grant that our time together
be steeped in serenity, sweetened by sharing,
and surrounded by the 
warm fragrance of Your love. Amen
~ from If Teacups Could Talk  by Emilie Barnes

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 22 December 2014

Christmas Roses for Tea Time

Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make everyday a holiday and celebrate just living. ~ Amanda Bradley

Merry Christmas and welcome to my last Tea Time Tuesday before Christmas! Are you ready for the big day?

We are all so very busy and sometimes it's easy to lose sight of why we are celebrating. We get caught up in the preparations and many of us don't take time to relax and listen to the music or 'smell the roses'.

That is why we are having Tea Time today. It is a time to sit still and enjoy a cup of delicious tea and reflect on this most joyous holiday. 

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

For those of you new to my blog and have never seen my miniature teacups and creamer on the tree, I thought I would share them with you today.

These were all from my hubby except for the cardinal teacup which my youngest son got me at Cracker Barrel.

I was undecided what china to feature today; my green transferware or Royal Albert Old Country Roses. The funny thing is that our friend Karen  featured her Friendly Village one week and I had planned to feature mine the following week which I did. I plan my posts about a week in advance and just work on them as time allows. Then last week Karen featured her Old Country Roses and I had planned to feature mine this week. I had to smile as I read hers. I guess great minds think alike! 

Anyway, I used transferware last week so I decided to feature fine china this week, so Old Country Roses, it is!

Royal Albert Old Country Roses boasts a rich array of red, golden yellow, and deep pink florals; perfect for December. 

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December." ~ JM Barrie

Some of you may remember that OCR was my Daddy's favourite pattern and Christmas was his favourite holiday so I will share my tea table today in his memory.

Each Christmas I remember
The ones of long ago;
I see our mantelpiece adorned
With stockings in a row.
Each Christmas finds me dreaming
Of days that used to be,
When we hid presents here and there,
For all the family.
Each Christmas I remember
The fragrance in the air,
Of roasting turkey and mince pies
And cookies everywhere.
Each Christmas finds me longing
For Christmases now past,
And I am back in childhood
As long as memories last."
~from Christmas Past by Carice Williams~

Our tea is Stash Holiday Chai and our treats are Granny's donut holes. There are also what used to be called my mother's saucepan cookies which are now called sugar plums with the addition of glace cherries, Judith's recipe, and candy cane fudge.

Hubby and I made donuts the other night using my grandmother's recipe. 

 As you can see, some of them have been enjoyed already. I made plain and sugared.

Making donuts was always my Daddy's and my Christmas tradition. I miss those days but Hubby and I enjoyed making them together so it will be our new tradition!

My teapot was a birthday present from my family a couple of years ago and I am thrilled to have it. I have set it out on the coffee table accompanied by other pieces.

The teacup was an antique find from Hubby in memory of my father and the china boot and basket had belonged to my father.

The sweet little china basket holds the teaspoons.

Now because you are here for tea, I am using the RA Old English Rose teacup which was also an antique find. I think the roses compliment those on the Old Country Roses pieces fairly well. You may choose whichever cup you like.

Did you know...? It was Queen Victoria's influence that allowed children to play more and work less. The queen held parties at Christmastime especially for the children, encouraging them to take part in the festivity of the season. ~ from Emilie Barnes' Christmas Teas of Comfort and Joy

So, shall we enjoy a wee nosh?

A dear friend surprised me with Emilie Barnes' book Christmas Teas of Comfort and Joy so we can take a peek through its lovely pages while we enjoy our tea and company. 

The greatest Christmas gift of all
Was never placed beneath a tree,
But lay within a manger
Beneath a star, for all to see. Unknown

O holy night! the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope- the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born!
O night divine! O night, O night divine! 
Words - John S. Dwight {1813-1893} Music - Adolphe C. Adam {1803-1856}

Thank you dear friends for joining me today. I will see you next week and in the meantime...Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be Joyful, 
Peaceful, and Bright,
And filled with the Love of that very first night. ~ Unknown

I am joining the following parties as well~

A Return to Loveliness
 Tea Cup Tuesday
 Tea Cup Tuesday
 Tuesday Cuppa Tea
 Friends Sharing Tea

 Sharing from my heart~ Sandi

Monday 15 December 2014

An Old-fashioned Christmas Tea

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping at your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight. ~ Torme and Wells 1946

Welcome dear friends to an Old-fashioned Christmas Tea! I would like to wish all my Jewish friends A Happy Hanukkah this week! 

This will be a long post, surprised? Probably not! So please make yourself at home and sip on something delicious.

What is the Christmas spirit? It is the spirit which brings a smile to the lips and tenderness to the heart; It is the spirit which warms one into friendship with all the world, which impels one to hold out the hand of fellowship to every man and woman." ~ Anonymous

Family is a very powerful force this time of year and I'm sure we all have lovely memories of Christmases growing up. I have so many that I keep a treasure trove in my heart. 

This is just one of several rocking horses I have. Not sure where my fascination for them comes from. Perhaps it's the little girl in me.

I believe one of the main reasons why my Christmases were so special is because my Daddy became a kid himself at Christmastime. He worked as an accountant for a home and auto shop and to our delight as children, there was also a toy store. It was so much fun to go to the place where Daddy worked because we got to see all the toys!

These little tykes build a snowman every year on my window sill above the kitchen sink.

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

I like to wander the corridors of my mind and remember the scent of fresh cut boughs hung with icicles and silver balls that decorated the doorways and windows. There were no faux evergreens at that time, just boughs fresh from the woods. 

My mother had so many lovely ideas when it came to decorating our home for the holidays and she had a gift of making it enchanting.

Snow flakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share.

Sleigh bells in the air

Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there.

Christmas time is here

We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see,
Such spirit through the year....~ From A Charlie Brown Christmas

My parents were both very artistic and I remember the wooden Rudolph my father had made and my mother had painted. Rudolph stood in our front window with a red light for his nose and along the base was a row of coloured lights. When Rudolph was plugged in, he lit up the whole window. To us kids, he was magical!

My mother gave me this sweet little china deer for Christmas many years ago. He comes out every Christmas and takes his place on the window sill above the kitchen sink.

Of course there was the big spruce tree beautifully decorated and hung with the now vintage ornaments; little horns that really tooted and bells that tinkled. My mother was quite the decorator. I always thought we had the prettiest tree in the neighborhood.

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like the bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do to others is good you do yourself. ~ Norman Wesley Brooks - 1976, from "Let Every Day Be Christmas"

I think my fondest memory was the Christmas when my brother and I found an adorable spaniel puppy hiding in his brand new dog house built by Daddy which sat beside the tree. We called the puppy Jingles. We loved on that puppy until he nearly smothered from it; poor thing! 

This ceramic spaniel puppy was a gift from my son that he made me when he was in High School.

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

Then there was the Christmas my Daddy surprised my brother and me with giant panda teddy bears. They were bigger than we were! To this day, I love teddy bears and so I have invited a couple to join us for tea today.

Christmas is a season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame for charity in the heart. ~ Washington Irving

I am so excited to share my tea table with you this week! Many of you will recall that I have always had trouble finding red transferware teacups here on the Island. Of plates, I have plenty but ne'er a red teacup and saucer, until now.

I finally found these and I am doing the happy dance. I have three sets of them and what a perfect time to bring out the red!

You will recognize this pattern as Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles. Are there any tea wares more charming or lend an old-fashioned appeal to a table more than transferware? Their patterns whisk one back to days of yore.

Please have a seat and join me for a little tea time, won't you?

Let's have a party,
Beginning at three.
You choose the teacups,
I'll pour the tea.
You pick the pastries,
Sweet as can be.
I'll toast to friendship
Between you and me.~ Unknown

The centerpiece of my table is a white poinsettia in a green and red striped pot with a horse and sleigh carrying a couple all bundled up for the sleigh ride. Two wee teddy bears are enjoying the ride too.

I have dressed the table with a red tablecloth beneath a lace one and I have set the table with a mix of some Staffordshire 17th Century pieces and some Johnson Bros. Old Britain Castles. 

           Staffordshire 17th Century                     JB Old Britain Castles

I am also using my King's Crown red rimmed goblets.

Here I have a red charger with JB Old Britain Castles, Staffordshire 17th Century salad plate, and then a JB Old Britain Castles soup bowl.
I used my pearl napkin rings because they reminded me of white holly berries.

Here is the Staffordshire 17th Century plate, JB Old Britain Castles salad plate, and finally the JB soup bow sitting on a red charger. I opted to use two OBC bowls because the 17th Century bowl is rimmed and much larger which would have thrown the scale off.

The silver ware is vintage and belonged to my mother. It is Evening Star by Oneida. I think the floral handles look lovely with the china. The patterns mix and match so nicely, don't you think?

The teddies like to be a part of the tea party too; the rascals! But you can't get upset with a teddy bear because, they are just too cute! 

We will begin with a bowl of sweet potato soup and a dollop of sour cream. 

There is chicken and cranberry salad in finger rolls and egg salad on whole wheat sandwiches to munch on. 

I am serving David's Salted Caramel tea and at the moment it is my favourite. It is a black tea strewn with toffee, coconut, caramel, and a touch of French sea salt, guaranteed to seduce your taste buds.

It is lovely as a dessert tea or just for a cup of something special this time of year.

Please choose something from the sweet plate.
There are ice box cookies, peanut caramel chocolate fudge, shortbread with pink icing, and fruit shortbread bars. 

We cannot talk about an old-fashioned Christmas without talking about that very first Christmas. Indeed, if it hadn't been for His coming, we wouldn't be celebrating Christmas at all!

Jesus stepped out of heaven and came down to earth as a new born baby so He could give us the perfect Gift of Himself. No greater Gift has ever been given.

His coming changed the world and can change our lives. Let's celebrate Him! ~ Dave Branon 

This stable was built for me by a gentleman in my hubby's last church. I set it up every Christmas in my china cabinet. I had the cabinet designed so it would accommodate my Nativity.
The figurines are Avon porcelain pieces gifted to me over the years by family and friends. Some of them are over thirty years old. There is the Holy Family, a little shepherd boy carrying a lamb, a cherub blowing a trumpet, and of course, the donkey and the ox. The little testament is opened to Luke 2.

O Come, Let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord!

Thank you for your company today my dear bloggy friends and thank you for your friendship, your kind comments, and prayers over the past year. I appreciate you all so very much.

My tea parties are always that much more special when you join me and if you have something tea or coffee related, I invite you to link up below. I can't wait to have a peek at your tea tables.

I am joining the following parties as well~

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

Sharing from my heart~ Sandi