Thursday, November 20, 2014

Catching the Spirit with Chocolate and Orange

Our Canadian Thanksgiving was October 13 so by mid November I'm ready to pull out the winter decor. There's a hint of Christmas already but the silver tinsel table top tree will not appear yet.
Seasonal tablecloths are on the kitchen and dining room tables and let me say right here that I love tablecloths. My mother always had one on our table and I like changing them with the seasons or when the mood hits to pull out the lacy ones.
Snowflakes dangle from light fixtures,  hang from the icicle lights on the kitchen window, mirrors and adorn the glass doors of the DR hutch. Snowmen keep me company over the kitchen sink and Scentsy is burning in a new warmer. These things I'll share at a later date.
For now I want to share a new tea company I've ordered from. Out of Vancouver, BC Murchie's is known to my tea friends, but new to me. A friend from out west recommended their Christmas Tea, a blend of black tea, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla.
This is not a paid recommendation by any means, just my sharing with you how much I like this blend. The orange is predominate over the spices and it is a smooth and rich black tea.
I'm using a cardinal mug for my tea and have a couple of Walkers shortbread Orange Royals for my treat.
I cleaned and tidied the tea cupboard in the kitchen and pulled out A Cup of Christmas Tea by Tom Hegg to read again to get into the spirit of Christmas.
More chocolate and orange from one of Terry's Oranges that breaks into yummy segments.
My tea cupboard where there are quite a few selections for my afternoon tea. The top shelf holds my collection of lavender and the bottom has a few teapots, matching tea caddies, books, napkin holders and a crystal biscuit jar.
Do you have a favourite tea you drink at Christmas? I didn't have one until now but will be sure to order Christmas Tea again next year in time for the holidays.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Orange Spice and Pinwheels

I went to the Scandinavian Church Christmas bazaar on the weekend where I picked up a few goodies from their huge bake sale area.
The prune pinwheels were a tasty acquisition and I really like this Orange and Spice tea from HyVee. The tea was gifted to me from my friend Beth at Beyond the Garden Gate when she and her husband came to stay with us this summer. 
I finally broke down and bought one of the birdie teapots I've been admiring on other blogs and for $12 at HomeSense, it was a good deal. The bird to the left of the teapot is a creamer I won in a giveaway package from Sandi at one time.
I'm linking with these ladies for their Tuesday tea gatherings:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mosaic Monday #15 The Magic Returns

Mid-November and the magic of winter has returned to my gardens.
Snow stretching out lazily along branches provides structure and height.
Spiky coneflower seedheads, the waving arms of 'Fireworks' goldenrod and garden art add interest.
Liatris seedheads look like candles in the snow, Queen Anne's lace takes on a new lacy appearance and a persistent 'Saucy Seduction' yarrow has one last flower to share.
We have no grass on our subdivision property and the winter garden is as beautiful as the summer, but more of a magical quality than one with colour.
This week's collages were created using piZap, free editing software.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday
❀Link the Url from a post containing a mosaic or collage about any subject. 
❀Please link back to this Mosaic Monday post so that your readers can find other wonderful mosaics. 
❀Linked posts not including a mosaic nor linking back to Mosaic Monday will be removed in fairness to other participants.

Thank you for participating and sharing your creativity!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Red Poppies for Tea

Red poppies on November 11 to remember those who died in the past wars and to honour the living members of the armed forces.
A timely day to use my red poppy teacup from Gracie china.
A solemn tea as we give thanks for the brave men and women that fought to give Canada the freedom we take for granted.
Linking with these tea gatherings:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Mosaic Monday #14 Simple Black and White

I've been playing around with altering photos to black and white to create a simpler effect, often I like it better than the colour version.
From our trip to Toronto this weekend. The CN tower, lights and traffic of the big city and inside Massey Hall where we attended the 45th anniversary concert of the Downchild Blues Band.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday
❀Link the Url from a post containing a mosaic or collage about any subject. 
❀Please link back to this Mosaic Monday post so that your readers can find other wonderful mosaics. 
❀Linked posts not including a mosaic nor linking back to Mosaic Monday will be removed in fairness to other participants.

Thank you for participating and sharing your creativity!



Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Photo Challenge - Trees

The time has rolled around again for Donna's Photo Challenge and this month our topic is trees. I have many photos of trees bursting with spring's blossoms or decked out in autumn's fiery glory. But that would be too easy to show you perfect, beautiful trees. So instead I am going to share trees that are not perfect and perhaps ugly in your eyes.
Fungi, a parasitic growth thriving in the crotch of this tree. Sometimes they can grow to such a size that artists break them off and paint scenes on them.
This is a wood burl, an anomaly of nature caused from the stress of injury or from a virus or fungus. A tree will stimulate growth to isolate and contain the injury.
I sharpened the definition on this photo to enhance the texture of the burl.
The face in the tree. One of my favourite photos where a tormented face can be detected in the bark. Likely caused by weathering, animal and/or bird damage I changed the photo to black and white so that the trees in the background didn't detract from the face.
All photos were taken with my Canon 40D on auto. Yes, taken before the guidance and encouragement of Donna at Cottage Days and Journeys, our host.
There will be trees of all shapes and sizes, pretty ones too here if you'd like to visit the other participants. I invite you to share your trees - one to three photos and explain any camera settings that will be of help to the other photographers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Villa della Luna for Tea

During the years I've blogged I've met some really nice people and hosting Mosaic Monday has increased this circle of friends. Giveaways are fun to host and to win as well. I recently won a giveaway hosted by Denise at Forest Manor and sponsored by Lifetime Brands and Pfaltzgraff.  
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Villa della Luna pattern, Lifetime Brands gave Denise a set of dishes for 4 to use herself and another set for a giveaway. Clockwise from the upper left corner is the dinner plate, the luncheon plate, soup bowl and footed mug. There is also a utensil crock but somehow that box got separated from the dishes and another is on its way.
At first I thought the pattern and colours were a tad bold for my taste but when I looked around and found I had accessories to pull a tablescape together I realized how much I do like Villa della Luna.
My cobalt blue water glasses match the pattern and I put my gurgling fish water jug in the centre which could hold flowers if it weren't full of drinking water. 
The dishes are now in the cupboard for our autumn use and are dishwasher and microwave safe. I heated some homemade black bean and corn soup for lunch and have a scone experiment on the side.  I substituted one cup of spelt flour for all purpose and used buttermilk powder and water for the first time. The dough was pretty wet so I may have to play around with my recipe and the spelt flour made the scones quite dark in colour. At least they taste good! 
I've had cream coloured Pfaltzgraff footed mugs for about 30 years so even though there are not enough dishes to go around, there are plenty of mugs and hot tea.
I wanted to share the tablescape Denise put together for her giveaway which was tastefully done and shows the utensil crock that can double for a wine cooler.
A fabulous giveaway to win, wouldn't you agree! Thank you Denise.
I'm linking with these tea gatherings:
Tea Time Tuesday
Tuesday Cuppa Tea
Friends Sharing Tea

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