Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Artsy Note Cards

I like the monthly link parties and Vee's note card party is a favourite.  Share 4 photos that would make nice cards to send to friends or family and include a box top if you want. It's simple, easy and you're invited to join us.
My note cards this month have an artsy theme, related to gardening of course, if you know me. The brother of a fellow garden writer makes the most amazing statues that I've captured in his sister's gardens.
 B Davis 'Generations'
 B Davis 'Water Harp'
B Davis 'Tides of Time'
 (I call this one the Darth Vader water fountain)
Some fairies come out in daylight, photographed in a daylily breeder's garden.
A box top for my cards.
Thank you Vee for hosting this fun party every month. Visit the others at A Haven For Vee.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

From Greece with Love

Welcome friends for tea this week. My post is about bringing the love of friendship and tea all the way from Greece to her birthplace in Ontario to celebrate a milestone birthday. Wanting to meet other bloggers, an open invitation was sent out by our hostess, Poppy from Poppyview to meet at The Old Curiosity Tea Shop in Markham for a Victorian afternoon tea.
The quaint little tea shop is on the main street and has been in business for 15 years. On the left is a miniature tea cabinet display and the right is a cute piano teapot.
The interior had so much to look at on the walls, the cross beams, window sills and really, every nook and cranny. The vast array of teapots are old ones from the shop itself, and those donated to them.
Four of us met for the tea and with me above is Karen from My Little Home and Garden blog. You may recognize her blog as she is the host of Sunlit Sunday throughout the winter months.
Jennifer from A Garden of Threads is seen here hamming it up with Poppy and their cameras.  Jennifer and I were the only two that knew each other before the tea, having met through our Master Gardener group.
We were so busy talking and sipping tea, I did not take one photo of the food, which was excellent by the way. I did manage to snap my teacup of the Old Country Rose pattern; teacups, tea pots and plates were a delightful mix and match of china patterns.
We started with two tiers of dainty sandwiches and later were brought tiers of decadent sweets and scones with Devonshire cream. With almost 60 varieties of tea to choose from I went with an English favourite of Buckingham Palace which had hints of earl grey and jasmine.
Many thanks to Poppy for arranging the gathering and when we were about to leave, I noticed we had been lingering together for four hours. We were never hurried nor felt any pressure by staff to vacate our table which was much appreciated.
I keep a journal of the tea rooms I visit and give them a score on a scale of 1-10.  The Old Curiosity Shop is definitely a 10 and I recommend it to any of our blogging friends who may find themselves in Markham, Ontario.  A reservation would be a good idea and necessary for the afternoon tea. Visit their website at www.cuppa.ca
Since Sandi is hosting an Easter Tea I'll share a couple of Easter cards I made and sent out to friends.
And on the inside, my wishes for each of you!
I will be linking with:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April Personal Photo Challenge

It's rolled around to that time again to join Donna at Cottage Days and Journeys for the monthly photo challenge.  Our mission for April is to share one to three photos of macro shots and the link page has plenty of guidance to accomplish this.  It doesn't mean it's easy, but definitely fun to get up close and personal.
Later this month the magnolia buds will split open from their catkin enclosures and create a spectacular display of pink flowers. Canon 40 D macro lens. f 5.6 ISO 400 (auto)
A store bought tulip that I went eye to eye with. Canon 40D macro lens. f 2.8 ISO 800 (auto)
A dragonfly with a golden body and gossamer wings. Canon 40D macro lens f 2.8 ISO 320 (auto)
If you'd like to join us for the Personal Photo Challenge you can link up here. Thank you Donna for hosting monthly and giving us a topic for each challenge.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kentucky Pie and Lavender

Welcome friends for tea this week. When I was in Florida during February, I found a flea market vendor that carried lots of table runners.
 I was excited to find one with lavender and purchased a large round doily to match.
A dainty teacup with lavender eludes me but I am constantly in search.  I opted for this lavender mug today which was gifted to me from a sweet blogging friend.  The tea strainer has a butterfly on the end and the bowl is a sunflower.
Monk's Blend, a long time favourite will pair nicely with the pie I made. I have a number of metal tins I store my tea in and a labeller to attach their name. (yup, fan of Martha Stewart)  How do you store your tea?  Leave it in the bags it comes in or in canister of some sort?
The pie.  Kentucky chocolate, and as decadent as it sounds!  The recipe is from tea blogging friend Angela at Tea with Friends and I know she recommended not to use a deep dish pie plate but I forgot.  The result was a big fan of pastry around the sides and next time I shall pay closer attention to details when reading a recipe.  You can follow the link to visit Angel if you would like her recipe.  
Don't you love it when bloggers share yummy things!  Thanks Angela.
I purchased a small pot of mixed spring bulbs from the grocery store and they are a real joy on the kitchen table.  The only thing left to bloom is a couple of grape hyacinths.
Thank you for joining me for tea today, and I hope you will visit my hosts and their guests.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Welcome Spring

Welcome spring, you have brought the robins back that are eating the fading apples.
They have been joined by a multitude of squirrels in black, grey and red.
At the front of the house where some snow has finally melted, tulips are beginning to show themselves, and they make me happy.
In the basement a pot stacked in a corner suddenly came to life as a forgotten hyacinth from last spring sent out a green shoot.  It has been joined by two others.
Welcome spring, I'm ready for you after the cold wintry days of this past winter.
I will be linking with Mosaic Monday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wicked Winter and new iPad App

Well, here is my first attempt at posting from my iPad and using a new photo editing App called Aviary which is free!  This winter has resulted in damage to my plants from animals and although the rabbits pruned back this weeping pussy willow, the mice have now eaten the bark too.
The squirrels have been busy as well, eating the wood around the garden shed door so they could get in out of the extreme cold.  Hubby says they've made a mess inside.
Another photo I played with, but guess I forgot to save in the altered state is a portion of the road in our neighbourhood.  These splits are everywhere and there are some potholes, something that has never occurred. In the past.  Our driveway, like others has developed many cracks.
Are any of you posting from an iPad?  It sure is a learning curve and I don't see how I can link to a meme.  It's hard enough to get the text where I want it.  Any suggestions would be nice to share in the comments for others as well.  Also, how do you delete a photo you don't want?
Found the photo I meant to insert but the one above I can't get rid of.  I'm sure there's an easy process.
On to my computer to add more text, this was a tad frustrating to do on the iPad.
Feel free to add your own experience and offer any tips you might have please.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Mayflower

Welcome friends for tea this week.  I'm sitting down to a bit of lunch and hope you'll join me.
A wedge of Stilton cheese, butterfly crackers, pickled onions, cherry tomatoes, almonds and grapes.
And Heavenly Cream tea from the Sloane Tea Company.
I was fortunate to have my name drawn at a garden writer's meeting recently to win a special prize.
photo courtesy of the David Austin website
'The Mayflower' which is a David Austin medium sized shrub rose with a strong Old Rose fragrance. 
I can hardly wait to plant the rose this spring and dream about these big blooms.
My kitchen collection of toys has grown with these purchases from the UK.  I've been drooling over cupcake moulds for some time after making plain fondant ones myself with a cookie cutter.
The newest product is this trio of teapot, teacup and cupcake.  They're perfect for fondant too, although I can see some chocolate going in them in the future.
Aren't these adorable on top of a cupcake?
I'm joining these ladies for tea:
Sandi for Tea Time Tuesday
Terri for Tea Cup Tuesday
Bernideen for Friends Sharing Tea

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