Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A spicy little interlude

I think is about where we started with the spice rack yesterday.
My spice rack came from a garage sale as well. Many years ago, I was sorting through a variety of somewhat-uninspiring items when I came across this unique little shelf. At the time, it was greenish or grayish or some less-fresh color. The tag said "10" and since I was a novice garage saler, I planned on forking over the full ten dollars for my treasure. As I prepared to pay, I was startled to hear the woman ask me for ten cents. I checked the tag, looked back at her face (sure that she was pulling my leg) and then asked that most intelligent of questions, "What?" She repeated, I handed her a dime, and walked away with a goofy grin and thrill in my heart. Matt spray painted it white and it lived in our bathroom as a shelf for my bath products for several years.
When we added a different mirror to the bathroom, complete with built-in shelves, I decided my vintage darling needed a new home.
Sometime after the relocation, Grandpa Kimble gave me part of his huge bottle collection. More than half of it is still safely in its box. The other half gained acceptance as part of my spice collection. I happily applied some labels I'd been saving and starting the grueling task of transferring all the spices to their new homes. Really, what is better than being able to find a way to use a collection in some practical way? I love being able to use old things. (Which is why it took me so long to plunge into collecting delicate teacups I'd probably never use. But I'm a tea drinker, darn it, and I'm going to celebrate it in my decor.)

Doesn't it just do your heart good to see all those little bottles, filled up with spices? happy sigh

Thank you for ignoring my finger shadow. Oops. Made you look.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Attack of the Teacups

This is the first of my many new acquisitions from a two-day binge at a local garage sale. My wonderful husband agreed to accompany me the first time, and then the second day, I snuck out at naptime (yes, even Matt was sleeping). I've had requests to show off the goods and I am nothing if not a people pleaser. My favorite thing about these vintage wire baskets is the way they mix practicality with adorability. (Yes, I know that's not a word.) I don't know what to do with all of my baskets yet, but just you wait.

This one demonstrates the beauty of having sides you can see through: perfect for piling textiles in, in this case, summer scarves and flowery hats.

My copper teapot has been a well-loved member of the family for a couple of years now, as has the silver tray. But the tiny creamer and the teacups are all new.

Oh right, the spoons. I have a huge bag of interesting spoons that I don't know what to do with. Most of them have state names on them, but a few are just pretty.

All of my tea cups were 25 cents each. The blue ones below have a castle inscribed with the word Heirloom on the bottoms.

This one is pastoral, but has no markings on the bottom.

I've got two of these darlings from England. I love how so many of my teacups have designs on the inside.

This one is cracked but it's from Bavaria and who can pass that up?

This blue-flowered dame is also unmarked, but struck me as a perfect present for someone close to me, so she got to join the others.

This one appears to be from Japan, and hopefully not in the typical "made in Japan" way. But even if it is, the cup can at least pay homage to Matt's heritage.

This baby is half the size of the others and claims to be fine bone china from England.

This plate is unmarked, but I love tea saucers with a little personality.

I didn't think to take a picture of the delicate pink-flowered French number that I gave away to a dear friend, but trust me, she was the shining star of the bunch. I would've even shown you a picture of the bottom mark, it was so...French.

And finally, a side-ways picture of my spice rack which refuses to turn. Noteworthy are the wildflowers I've so artfully shoved in my hanging basket. My children just have no appreciation for such refreshment, as demonstrated by the way they complained loudly and with vigor when I repeatedly stopped on the way home to gather more Queen Anne's Lace.

And now, some appropriate quotes to close:

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. ~Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment. ~Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose. ~George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors. ~Alice Walker

Find yourself a cup of tea; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things. ~Saki

As the centerpiece of a cherished ritual, it's a talisman against the chill of winter, a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day. ~Sarah Engler, "Tea Up," Real Simple magazine, February 2006

The perfect temperature for tea is two degrees hotter than just right. ~Terri Guillemets

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company. ~Author Unknown