Friday, June 28, 2013

Quilt Hoppin' with the Traveling Teapot

The month is coming to an end. My days as host and blog author for the traveling teapot are nearing the end. The little teapot has kept me very busy! But I've enjoyed the experience and the way that the little plum teapot opens doors for conversation with people along the way.

Recently Karleen took us along on a trip to a quilt shop so she could get her beautiful kaleidoscope quilt machine quilted.

We met some lovely tea ladies along the way.

You can read about our adventures on the Traveling Teapot blog. Just click the link and we'll see you there!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teapot & Tea Soap

The traveling teapot has been worrying a bit about getting a bubble bath. Stop by the Traveling Teapot blog to learn about its adventures in making tea soap and more! See you there!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lavender & Tea Time

It's already the end of June. I'm still blogging at The Traveling Teapot this month. You're invited to stop by and read about the adventures of the little plum teapot. I've been having fun hosting this month. Today's post is about tea time during alone times.

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”

Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lunch with a Friend

The traveling teapot and I visited a friend and neighbor where we enjoyed a beautiful luncheon tea party and lots of conversation.

 I'm sharing about it today on the Traveling Teapot blog. Please stop by. I think you'll enjoy reading about Karleen's beautiful table decor and tasty menu!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Teapot Visits Tea Room

"The daintiness and yet elegance of a china teacup focuses one to be gentle, to think warmly and to feel close." 
Carol & Malcolm Cohen

The adventures of the traveling teapot can be read on the Traveling Teapot blog. I'm blogging there this month and would love to have you stop by. Today is a record of her visit to a tea room. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Craftin' with Lavender

The lavender is beautiful in June! It's time to make lavender crafts! Years ago my children's Suzuki piano teacher taught me how to make lavender wands. She was a very special person, believing in embracing the whole child. Not only did she teach appreciation for music and how to play it well, but how to incorporate the little things of life --- like flowers, fine food, and beautiful art --- into one's scope.

After mastering the art of weaving lavender wands, it was easy to learn how to make lavender bottles, mussie tussies, and lavender baskets.

Today "the traveling teapot" and I teach how to make lavender wands --- step-by-step --- on the Traveling Teapot blog. You are welcome to stop by!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lavender Bloggin'

Hi friends!
I'm logging in to wish you a wonderful week!
As you may recall, I am hosting the traveling teapot this month and am blogging about the teapot's adventures.

 Who would have thought that blogging two blogs at the same kind could be so time consuming!?!? This week we are exploring lavender farms and learning many things about this wonderful plant. 

You are invited to visit the Traveling Teapot blog and catch up with me there. I hope you stop by! I'd love to hear from you!

Tufapot [Not a Teapot]

Make a tufapot! Easy and very lightweight, these pots are attractive in a garden or patio. They can be made in any shape, with our without a plastic pot inside, and can be distressed or decorated to go with your garden decor theme. Molded or free-form, the sky is the limit when creating these inexpensive and interesting flower pots.

Ingredients should be measured by volume. Use whatever size of measuring unit you wish. The size is not crucial, but the same unit of measure should be used for each ingredient.

1 1/2 parts peat moss

1 1/2 parts perlite or vermiculite

1 part Portland cement

Step 1: Placed measured perlite in a mixing tub. Dampen or mist it and then set aside.

Step 2: Select a mold (it can be an old pot, a box, or any container of your choice). Cover the mold with plastic. Then, prepare your work areas with plastic gloves, a mixing bucket, water, a dowel or clothespin, and several plastic garbage bags.

Step 3: Place the measured perlite, peat moss, and Portland cement into your
mixing container. With gloves on, hand-mix the ingredients, adding water a small amount at a time. Use care not to add too much water! Your mixture should not be soupy, but rather stay in a firm "ball" in your hand when your hand is cupped and opened.
If water drips from hand when doing this, your mixture is too wet.

Step 4: Place a small amount of the mixture in your hand and then press it against the mold, starting at the bottom. It is desirable to have at least 1" thickness as you work around all sides of the mold. At the top of the mold, place a piece of heavy cardboard and flatten the top surface (this will be the bottom of your pot). Form a hole in the bottom with your dowel or clothespin. This should be in the center for drainage. Leave the object in place as the mixture dries.

Step 5: Use a piece of plastic (torn garbage bag) to cover your tufapot. Set aside and clean up your work area.

Step 6: After allowing to dry for one or two days, "pop" the mold away from the cement mixture. Pull out the dowel or clothespin. Wash container off with water and use a wire brush to clean off the tufapot. Rinse and rewrap the pot in plastic and allow to cure for two weeks.

Step 7: After the 2 weeks of curing, the pot is ready for
planting. Rinse the inside of pot with water to remove excess lime content. Put a small rock over the drain-hole and add potting mixture. Plant and enjoy!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pansy Peppermint Parfaits

Pansy Peppermint Parfaits

Yummy for breakfast or for a lunchtime dessert, I developed a summery parfait that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened. I hope you enjoy it too.

2 boxes silken tofu, extra firm
1 package Mori Nu Chocolate Pudding Mix (naturally sweetened)
1 package Mori Nu Vanilla Pudding Mix (naturally sweetened)
1/4 cup coconut milk, lite
1 banana
1/2 cup quinoa and brown rice flake granola (homemade)

Prepare pudding mixes according to instructions on package using silken tofu, pudding mixes, and coconut milk.

In a small, stemware glass, layer chocolate pudding, bananas, vanilla pudding, and granola. Repeat and end with a layer of vanilla pudding sprinkled with granola.

Garnish with a fresh peppermint leave and a pansy on each one. Enjoy!

*If you don't have Mori Nu pudding mixes on hand you can substitute your favorite brand.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cobalt Teacup

I have an affinity for cobalt blue. No matter how many times I decide to change my home decor, I find that I always have to save a spot for the cobalt pieces. It is especially endearing to me in pottery and china. So, I was delighted to receive this interesting and unusual teacup and saucer from a friend. She found it when on a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and thought I would enjoy it. It's not especially dainty, but the design and glaze are beautiful. And it's really fun to be able to say that I have a teacup and saucer from Mexico. A scalloped edge frames its rim and four pedestal legs form a lovely base. The teacup's handle is gracefully scalloped. Hand-painted, each floral pattern is varied from the next as one looks around the teacup. I enjoy this teacup and display it on my bookshelf. I never look at it without remembering the friend who gave it to me. 

Do you have special teacups that remind you of a friend? Or maybe an important event in your life? Do you collect them from different countries or states? I'd love to hear about your collection. Does anyone have a teacup from Hawaii? Or Alaska? Please share about your favorite or most unusual teacups. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tea Delight!

"Somehow, taking tea together encourages an atmosphere of intimacy when you slip off the timepiece in your mind and cast your fate to a delight of tasty tea, tiny foods, and thoughtful conversation."  


I'm busy hosting the traveling teapot this month. You're invited to stop by the Traveling Teapot blog to read about our adventures. See you there!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bloom! Garden! Bloom!

No matter where one lives, it is important to slow down and learn to enjoy and appreciate the beauty that's around you. Gardens, parks, and landscaped buildings are a great place to go when seeking a bit of tranquility.

It is fun to learn the names of plants. Often, gardens have small plaques that identify them. And it is interesting to observe how the garden designer placed and spaced plants in the garden. With thought, it's easy to see how they used the principles of design in their plan. Balance, proportion, rhythm, emphasis, and unity are all considered when designing a beautiful garden.

I also enjoy observing how designers and gardeners choose plants native to the locale. Grasses, cacti, and succulents accent beautiful flowering shrubs and flowers where I live. What kinds of plants are local to your area?

Pretty river rock, decorative stones, and chippy bark work together to create a dry river bed. Dry river beds works well in many climates. Other gardeners prefer ponds and fountains with the soothing sounds of bubbling waters that flow over rocks and falls. No matter what the choice, gardens can be a soothing to both the gardener and the observer.

Public gardens are common and enjoyed everywhere. The Bloom IQ website shares a map which identifies many public gardens by state. Check it out! Find your state and see what's there.

Public gardens are great sources of information, ideas, and inspiration. Walking through them or viewing them from a blanket on the ground as you share a picnic lunch with someone you enjoy is a great way to observe their beauty. 

What is your favorite public garden? How many have you been to that are on this list?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garden of Thoughts and Dreams

In my garden there is a large place for sentiment.  My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams.  The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful.  Abram L. Urban

The bouquet ~ John F. Kennedy Rose with lavender.

{Please stop by the Traveling Teapot blog. The little plum teapot shares history with Sacajawea today.}

Monday, June 10, 2013

Catch Up with the Traveling Teapot

Have you checked into the Traveling Teapot blog today? Catch up with what's going on with the little plum teapot.

Random Thoughts for Today

Have you been blogging for awhile? Isn't it fun to read blogs that are organized, about a theme, or that show pretty things? Over the years, I've found that blogging has become more and more sophisticated. The simple web journal has become something that competes with blogs written by journalists, photographers, crafters, decorators, and foodies who present their thoughts and ideas so professionally. I love visiting them! But mostly I enjoy visiting blogs that were started at the grass-roots of this trend. Blogs from like-minded people who enjoy sharing bits and pieces of their everyday lives. Because blogging has become more sophisticated, it sometimes puts pressure on those of us who blog to write better, think better, and present better. Sometimes I have to remind myself of the thoughts of Vee who taught me that it is okay to "blog without obligation". I take that to mean that blogging should be fun, friendly, and informal. It should be a joy and not a task. I have always appreciated Vee's words of wisdom.

So today I am going to blog without obligation. My post has no rhyme nor reason. It is simply my ramblings as I share photos from my week-end and the fun I had editing them. Random. Cheerful. Sharing. Tea was taken at the park. The stone pavilion built in the 1930's is quaint and chippy. Enjoying a cup of tea with a loved one there was a memory making moment.

And then there are the roses in the garden. They are in full bloom, responding to the warm sunshine that has graced us this June. They can only be described as prolific! I've had fun cutting them and bringing them inside to enjoy.

A darling little grand-nephew came to visit at the end of last week. Such cuteness! He was sweet and had such a happy time smiling and laughing while we communicated with one another.

And a sweet daughter-by-marriage has been visiting and I've had fun doing girl stuff with her. Whether it is shopping for groceries or going for a pedicure or yard sale shopping, it's been a blessing to share these moments together.

The sunshine has been warm enough to create "summer" without being so hot that we don't feel we dare venture outside. Packing a bag with tea and sandwiches, sunglasses, and assorted odds and ends has made day trips special. Random thoughts. The fun of sharing --- without obligation.

Enjoy a wonderful week!


Friday, June 07, 2013

Travel Miles!

Keeping up with the Traveling Teapot

I was packin' my teapot along in my pretty pink mini-van, when along came an airliner with USPS delivery. "If you're goin' to Wapakonetta, Priscilla, with me you can fly." And so I handed o'er the teapot and she settled down inside. He asked her if she'd seen the skies with so much tea-dust. And she said, "Listen, I've flown all over in this here land!"

Then she said:

"I've been everywhere, tea ladies. I've been everywhere. I've been to Chester, Niagara Falls, Strongsville, Medina, Lake Couchiching,Washington, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Tonky, Barbourville, Corbin, Stanford, Renfro Valley, Nashville, Bowling Green, St. Charles, Palm Beach, San Francisco, Wapakonetta, Sylvania, Findlay, Waterloo, Des Moines, New Virginia, Frankfort, East Moline, Ann Arbor, Adrian, Defiance, Bryan, Archbold, Pettisville, Altadena, Issy, Burbank, Nevada City, El Cerrito, Markham, Temecula, Berea, Broadview Heights, Portland, Laguna Hills, St. Louis, Massillon, Napoleon, Pensacola."

Find out how many miles the traveling teapot has covered in the past 14 months! I think you'll be surprised! The answer is here.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

A Profusion of Pink Roses

A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.  

The Collected Later Poems of William Carlos Williams
Roses ~ from my garden today

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

People Matter

"Always remember that persons matter more than things. Don't say anything that will leave a sting."

Charlotte Mason

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Woodland Tea Adventures

The little plum teapot has been enjoying some elegant tea events on its travels across America. But, being a versatile little teapot, she adapted quite well to roughing it in the mountains! Clad in her warm cozy, she traveled to an elevation of 4,500 feet to enjoy some of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Sunshine and rain, meadows of flowers with patches of snow, and the warmth of a cozy cabin greeted her. She graciously posed for her picture with a bouquet of alpine shooting stars, Columbia windflowers, and squiggly white lupines. Then, it was time to get ready for tea.

A hollow log sits at the point overlooking beautiful vistas. From this log, many wild animals have been observed. Here live elk, bear, deer, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, wolves, snowshoe hares, hummingbirds, squirrels, wild turkeys and more. Much care is taken by the human occupants not to disturb the natural environment of the wildlife. Peaceful cohabitation results.

On this day, the log was spread with a brown linen tablecloth. This covering set the stage for afternoon tea.

Cabin china, napkins, and flatware was set. The wildflowers became a centerpiece. And the tiered tray became the serving stage for tea-for-two.

Teatime at the cabin is a frequent occurrence. It's not a fussy time, as the cabin's hostess believes in making tea a part of a daily routine. This was a tea party from the pantry type-of-meal. An ice chest was brought from home, filled with food preparation staples like vegetables, spreads, and fresh fruit. A box with a loaf of bread, crackers, and store-bought cookies was packed as well. The cabin cupboards contained a variety of canned and packaged foods that would supplement too. When it came time to prepare tea, the menu was planned as the meal was prepared. Effort was made to chop, stir, and combine with tea-time presentation in mind.

Life is not without additional challenges, and the little plum teapot soon learned that this meal had to be completely gluten-free and using plant-based foods. Sigh. But plum teapot quickly stepped up to the plate.
The menu:

Seed Bread ~ gluten free from Costco
Rice crackers

Olive spread ~ made from chopped olives, red chili paste, and Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese ~ for open-faced sandwiches

Vegannaise with spring radishes ~ for open-faced sandwiches

Peppery spring greens chiffonade with sea salt, green onion and Vegannaise ~ for finger sandwiches

Celery boats with Tofutti non-dairy cream cheese and soy Baco-bits

Radishes and spring greens

Banana circles with cinnamon and a chocolate chip

Cookies from the Asian market ~ made from tapioca flour ~ coconut and cashew

Pirouette cookies ~ from the cupboard and for the hostess; not gluten-free

Oolong tea from the Asian market ~ delicious!


Tea time was so pleasant. We moved the lawn chairs from around the fire circle to the point where we could sit and view our surroundings. Huge puffy clouds worked their way across the sky at a steady pace. A bear was thought to be seen on a nearby ridge, but once seen through binoculars, it ended up being a stump! Then darkness could be seen off to the left of us. Rain clouds! They worked their way to the point just as we were finishing our afternoon tea. We cleared things up and headed inside the cabin to finish our cookies and tea by the warmth of the wood stove. Rain fell in torrents, streaming off the eves and making patterning sounds on the metal roof. Such meditative sounds.

Little plum teapot seemed to enjoy kicking back and relaxing on this day. Such an accommodating little teapot she is!