my favorite tea-theme instagram accounts


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The world of antique tea items and china can be a VERY addictive hobby.  Believe me when I tell you that once you get one, you want more.  To me is a combination of the history of items, the aesthetics, the rarity and just the fun of knowing you added another item to your collection.  And I am not alone is that love for antique tea pieces and china. 

While I have this blog, my main social media platform is Instagram. I am a very visual person and Instagram suits me very well.  There I have my micro flower farming account (@theblushbloom) but I share my passion for all things tea and antique china at The Little Teapot Vintage Co. (@thelittleteapot_vintageco).  I just recently started this account but have already fallen in love with some fellow tea and china lovers.  And I am sure you will love them too.

  • No. 1 Gentle Rattle of China – Instagram @gentlerattleofchina) // website: www.gentlerattleofchina.com

    Be prepared to be wowed by this account and the beautiful high end, exquisite china. From beautiful Coalport china to Paragon and Royal Albert, if tea sets is what makes your heart patter, then she is a must follow on IG.

  • No. 2 Little British Cottage – Instagram @littlebritishcottage // website: www.littlebritishcottage.com

    From Chicago, IL the sweet Stacy, a self-identified Britophile, shop keeper and hand maker shares with the world, not only the beautiful items she creates, but also lovely finds in her online shop.  Right now my favorite items are sold out, but if a second batch of the Royal Wedding sets comes out, grab one!  They are adorable.

  • No. 3  Topsail Tea – Instagram @topsailtea

This account combines two of my favorite things in the world—tea and the sea.  I grew up by the sea in Puerto Rico, and consider myself an earthbound mermaid.  The images shared by Topsail Tea will have you yearning to be sitting by the sea with a hot cup of tea.

Based in Atlanta, GA, this wedding/event planning company is everything I would have loved to have at my wedding. They specialize in vintage fine china rentals for events.  And you have to look at their photos because they will have you swooning and planning your next tea-themed gathering event.

Based in Seattle, WA this store specializes in indulgent teas and accessories.  Their gallery is beautiful and will make you wish you lived there so you can stop by any time your heart desires.  Lucky for us, they have an online shop.  And as they say—It’s time to ParTEA!

  • No. 6 Love Vintage Teacup – Instagram @lovevintageteacup

A beautiful showcase of her vintage teacup collection awaits.  The gallery is utterly feminine and gentle.  And it will have you thinking that you need to step up your teacup collection game.

  • No. 7 Victoria Magazine – Instagram @victoriamagazine // website: www.victoriamag.com

    You cannot walk about tea without talking Victoria Magazine.  I have been a HUGE fan of this magazine since like 1998.  I even remember when the magazine closed in 2004 and I was so sad to see it go.  Thankfully, the publishing gods had pitty on all of us who love all things beautiful and the magazine re-opened in 2007 thanks to Phillys Hoffman.  Is there a better feeling than receiving your Victoria Magazine in the mail? I think not.

  • No. 8 Queen’s Pantry Teas – Instagram @queenspantryteas // website: www.qpteas.com

This one is very near and dear to my heart because it is located in Leavenworth, KS—which was my last duty station before I retired from the Army.  I loved visiting this charming store in the even more charming historic downtown area.  Their tea collection is impressive but they also carry a gorgeous assortment of tea accessories.  While their online store is for teas, they will ship accessories if you contact them.


garden tea party no. 2 ~ seed savers exchange heritage garden


 
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Welcome to the garden tea party! I was planning on posting a new blog post today but as I type, wee have snow falling.  And I am really over it.  I need sun and warmth, lush green and a riot of colors in the garden.  So instead, I am reposting this post about my visit to Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa.  I still remember the feeling of being there.  Just pure happiness and contentment.  Imagine having a garden tea party here...

So here is wishing this post brings you a bit of happiness if you are having a dreary day.  And I wish you many days of sun, warmth and gardening in your future.

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 See Savers Heritage Farm Visitor Center named after co-founder Lillian Goldman

See Savers Heritage Farm Visitor Center named after co-founder Lillian Goldman

Back in 2004, when I lived in an apartment in North Carolina I was watching Martha Stewart Living (which to me it is still the best home and garden show EVER) and there was an episode where Martha was talking about a company called Seed Savers.  And as she explained their efforts to preserve heirloom seeds that were available hundreds of years ago.  Their mission was basically to collect, preserve and distribute them for us and future generations.  And that mission has remained.  Looking back, this was during the time when the preservation movement was getting a second wind with the likes of HGTV shows being sponsored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  But I digress. 

If you are a plant lover, a gardener or someone just interested in botany, you probably have heard of Seed Savers.  But if you have not, and want to learn more about their mission, I HIGHLY recommend visiting their website because there is a lot of information.  

When I moved to Minnesota I had NO idea where Decorah, Iowa was. Seriously, I am still adjusting to life here.  But last week my mother-in-law mentioned that she visited the Seed Savers Exchange and when I asked if it was THE Seed Savers, she said it was and that the drive was only about an hour. Holy smokes, people!  This has been right in my backyard and I did not know about it!  So I immediately planned to visit... and I did.  After driving about an hour (I may or may not have gotten lost at one point) I made it to the Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm.  And I had to take it all in.  It was one of those moments when you get to experience an item in your gardening bucket list. After watching about a 7-minute long movie on the farm and going over the map of the farm, I set out to explore.

 Inside the SSE Shop inside the Lillian Goldman Visitor Center.

Inside the SSE Shop inside the Lillian Goldman Visitor Center.

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And I had to take it all in.  It was one of those moments when you get to experience an item in your gardening bucket list.  Here is why: it is beyond beautiful.  It is a little piece of garden heaven on earth.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of heirloom plants are grown here in what they call the Preservation Gardens.  I walked by them on the way to the visitor center and after watching about a 7-minute long movie on the farm and going over the map of the farm, I set out to explore the farm.  First off, the beautiful garden by the barn.  You cannot miss the barn.  It dominates the landscape.  It is gorgeous.  The heritage garden has so many plants that it was a bit overwhelming.  But once I started walking around the garden, I was in heaven. From hollyhocks to aster and zinias, it was a delight.  Flowers, herbs and vegetables mixed together to create a beautiful and welcoming garden.

One of my favorite plants were the flowering vines hanging from the side of the barn-- Grandpa Ott's flower (ipomoea purpurea), one of the original varieties that started SSE. The climbing vines with their deep purple flowers are striking growing up the barn. 

 Ipomoea purpurea, Grandpa Ott's

Ipomoea purpurea, Grandpa Ott's

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As I walked around, my senses were fully engaged. So much color, scents and sounds.  It was one of the most soothing experiences in my life.  But as i looked around it suddenly dawned on me, not only is SSE preserving seeds but also preserving nature in general.  That continuous circle of life whose engine are the little but mighty pollinators.  This is pollinator heaven, especially bees and butterflies.  Every where you turned, you heard the buzz or saw the wings fluttering.  My heart leapt with joy.  Pollinator friendly areas have been in my our minds the past few years and I was excited to see this often forgotten group (outside gardeners or beekeepers) thriving so beautifully.  I will let the photos speak for themselves...

 Alsea Rosea, Outhouse Hollyhock

Alsea Rosea, Outhouse Hollyhock

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  Hyssopus officinalis  , Hyssop //   Zinnia elegans , Benary's Giant Zinnia

Hyssopus officinalis , Hyssop //  Zinnia elegans, Benary's Giant Zinnia

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 Callistephus chinensis, Powder Puff Mix, Aster

Callistephus chinensis, Powder Puff Mix, Aster

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After visiting the garden and taking what seemed like hundreds of photos, I headed to the heritage barn, and was welcome by a happy picture of one of the Ancient White Cattle that SSE is helping preserving.  But that is a story that I will tell you in Part 2 of this garden tour, along with more information on the preservation gardens and orchards.  For now, I will leave you with a quick video of the gardens. Enjoy!  Happy gardening!

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Now, let's us start this garden tea party.  Welcome! And thank you for joining us.  Please note: I am having some issues today adding the linky code to this platform, so please add your link in the comments.  I am so glad you came to the party.  Get a cup of your favorite tea and enjoy the reading!  For the link-up general information, click HERE.

the magic of second chances ~ finding a teacup little treasure


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Last week, the hospital where I work had a rummage sale (must be rummage sale season in Minnesota) and it was like striking gold in the china and bone china department! Actually, I also found some beautiful embroidered and monogrammed linen as well, and you can see those HERE. The sale is put together by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, who helped found Mayo Clinic (where I work).  This is an annual sale and it was my first year attending. 

As I looked around, my co-worker and I went to the china section and o.m.g. my eyes zeroed on this beautiful china set. And while it was incomplete there were plenty of pieces to be able to complete the set with a little bit of research.  Immediately I turned the tea cup over and saw the marking-- Thomas (Bavaria).   More specifically, this is the 'Sicily' pattern and based on the markings could have been made between 1908 -1939. 

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Immediately, the historian in me took over wanting to find more about it.  Fritz Thomas started making porcelain in Germany in 1872, and after a few company moves and changes, he and an investor opened Porzellanfabrik Thomas & Ens (1903 until 1908).  Now with artistic freedom, the designs became an instant success and the new company quickly caught the attention of the Porzellanfabrik Rosenthal company.

In 1907 his partner's Ens decided to leave the company and Rosenthal AG became major shareholder in 1908; this made Porzellanfabrik Thomas an independent subsidiary of Rosenthal.  Thomas is no longer produced, as Rosenthal restructured and all the trademarks became one-- Rosenthal.  After learning this bit of information, I am glad I found this beauty. 

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After learning this bit of information, I am glad I found this beauty.  One of the reasons I love collecting china is that I start thinking about the stories this items could tell if they could speak.  But more importantly, I love second chances.  And giving these items a second chance at my home is a way of showing appreciation to those who took the time to create them.  It is them showing love in their own way.

I may be sharing these beauties with these awesome ladies: Weekend Green, Garden Like Link-Up, Floral Friday Fotos, In a Vase on Monday, Garden Blogger's Bloom Day (15th of the Month), Simple Saturdays, The Homemaking Party, Home MattersGardens Galore, Thursday ~ Home Sweet Home, Gardens Galore, Floral Bliss, Home and Garden Thursday, Vintage Charm, Friends Sharing Tea, Tuesday Cuppa Tea , The Scoop


Before I go, and in case you are new to the blog, this past Saturday I started a new link up called The Blush Bloom Garden Tea Party, we can share all your favorite gardening and tea related posts.  For more information click HERE or the image below!  Hope you can join us every Saturday!

 
 

embroidery & lace ~ the beauty of delicate linens


For twenty plus years, I lived in North Carolina and learned to love all things "Southern".  I may have been born in Puerto Rico and now live in Minnesota, but my heart will always be in the South.  I miss it every single day.  There is something very unique about life in the South that speaks of gentility, attention to detail and generations.  There is a true love of family, friends and community (at least in my experience) that is palpable.  One words that you hear in the south a lot is "heirloom".  Much importance is placed in family heirlooms, as it should be.  And it is not just about family but about history.  The history of things is important to understand their significance.  And as a history major, I have always been fascinated by "the history of things", which is why if there is an estate, garage or rummage sale, I am there.  I love venturing into antique stores and thrift stores and finding little treasures.  And one of my favorite finds are linens especially monogrammed or made out of lace.

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Last Thursday and Friday, the hospital where I worked had a rummage sale.  And it was quite a little bonanza of little treasures, especially  linens.  From monogrammed handkerchiefs (see above) and napkins to beautiful lace doilies.  I could not believe how many items in the linen section they had.  Some needed some work, and I usually skip those, but others like the images in this post, were exquisite. 

Vintage linens and embroidery always speak to me of times when femininity, in a delicate sense of the word, was valued and embraced.  And these linens, especially the laced ones, really speak to that. My favorites are the monogrammed 'B' handkerchief above and the doily below with the flower lace and ribbons crisscross in the middle. It is more beautiful in person than in the photos. 

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When I find little treasures like this, I always wonder what makes people get rid of them.  Is it because many people these days are downsizing? Do they find it too old fashioned? Regardless of the reason, I always get this thrill knowing that I will give these items a second chance to be appreciated.  And that makes me happy.



Before I go, and in case you are new to the blog, this past Saturday I started a new link up called The Blush Bloom Garden Tea Party, we can share all your favorite gardening and tea related posts.  For more information click HERE or the image below!  Hope you can join us every Saturday!

 
 

 

 

the blush bloom garden tea party


 
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Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.” Walt Whitman

Welcome to The Blush Bloom Garden and Tea Party link-up!  Glad you stopped by!  I created this link up because I wanted to have a little corner of the internet to share and learn with others about two of my favorite things: gardening and tea.  And also because it is a wonderful way to meet new friends-- and who does not like that?  After all, if there is something that brings friends together it is gardening and a love for the ritual of tea. 

And The Blush Bloom Garden and Tea Party was born.  There is something so beautiful, gentile and lovely about a garden tea party, and that is what I want to create here on the The Saturday mornings.  A place where we can come together and just be us.

The linkup rules are simple:

  • Link only gardening and tea related (entertainment included) posts.
  • Follow and/or comment on at least two people.  This is about making new friends, after all.
  • Include a link back to the Garden Party link-up post because the more the merrier.

I really hope you come and join me for this little fete.  I cannot wait to meet you!