Last Friday afternoon, the day before we adopted our new puppy, I took the opportunity to drop into a couple of op-shops near Blossom's place...'cause you never really know what you might find. I have a small list of things which I'm always on the look out for, and must tell you that this recent trip to the op shops was well worth my time.
When Blossom comes over for the day with her three young ones, we always have morning tea. And even since Cully May was a toddler we've always used real tea cups. Her, Rafaella and Charlie are taught to hold them securely and treat them with care...and never has a precious tea cup been broken. This was how I taught Blossom and her siblings when they were young and I only remember one broken cup from those long ago tea times.
This beautiful set of Staffordshire china was sitting in a box with a "$10 the lot" sticker...and I think you can easily guess the rest of the story? Home with me it came! There's one cup missing from the set, but that's fine as when we have morning tea there are five of us...so I have a saucer and a small plate spare for piling on sweet treats and strawberries.
Another bargain was the 20c box of doilies. Have to tell you, this was very unusual as they're normally $2 each, but home I came with a handful of pretties for just $1.
I especially like this blue edged doily (and have project plans for it)...
...as well as this small tablecloth, though I'd probably be more correct in calling it a supper cloth. It is covered with floral sprigs (machine embroidered, but still lovely).
The plain white doily will be perfect for adding a hand embroidery to the centre, or a verse of Scripture.
Now, a funny thing happened after I washed and ironed the doilies and folded them to put away in my special plastic storage container, a place where I store all the vintage lovelies I come home with.
I was re-organising the placement of things in the container, when I found this, hand crocheted, from 1953...a memento made for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. I don't even remember where I got this, but it was quite a while back, and even with the recent death of our late Monarch I'd forgotten all about it. Now it is even more special. It says -
E 11 R
Whilst the Harry-pup and I settle into a daily routine I've barely done more than wash, iron, make a meal, water the garden, vacuum and make the bed each day. Hubby and I are still sleep deprived, but more our own problem than because of Harry. When he wakes up for us to take him outside for potty during the night, he comes straight back in and goes to sleep. We on the other hand lay awake for a couple of hours tossing and turning (lots of noisy traffic on our main road doesn't help). By the time we finally doze off, it's almost time to wake up again, and by then it's 5am and there's no point even trying to sleep another hour because the dear Harry-pup is full of beans and ready for a solid hour of playtime before I start breakfast.
Because energy levels for the adults in our home are low right now, I have spent a bit of quiet time going through some fabrics my friend Jo posted a couple of months ago, and one of them really caught my eye. It's a pretty yellow floral, and though I have never been much of a mug rug person (remember all those swaps done between bloggers about ten years ago when everyone included a mug rug in their parcel? Some were very pretty but I ended up with so many that I just went right off making any for years afterwards) I thought with a little stitchery to celebrate Spring in my part of the world, one would really liven up my desk and morning cuppa.
And once I'd done that, it seemed only right to share it with you.
The basic instructions are included with this free pattern download.
Stitch the flower pot and bee to your own liking, whether than be simple backstitch, with a few interesting stitches for texture, or perhaps redwork. I've used a combination of chain stitch, satin stitch, running stitch, backstitch, lazy daisy and stem stitch. The applique is blanket stitched.
That little pop of lace along one side adds a very feminine touch, and the two circles of hand quilting in the left side are there to highlight where a mug should sit.
Made in a day, this would be a nice little gift to put away, and easy to post as well.
I think it will be perfect sitting beneath the yellow tea cup and sauce for tea times!
Use the link below to download the pattern.
DOWNLOAD the free Spring Blooms pattern
I'm about to start working on chapter 4 of our Emilie Barnes book study and hope to have that ready for a blog post next week. The theme for chapter 4 is "The Secret of the Garden" so here's some beauty from ours at the moment - deep red bottle brush and vibrant yellow sunflowers...
My roses are blooming well and it's such a blessing to always have a few sitting in a vase on my desk, but I can't wait to read and ponder Emilie's thoughts on the garden and the beauty we can find there.
Thinking about gardens, I saw this 2023 calendar advertised and was so excited that I bought one. It's got that real WW2 victory garden look about it, and to tell the truth, isn't that a mindset many of us are working towards right now?
Though the calendar is American, and I'm in Australia, that does not bother me as the calendar months are the same worldwide, the artwork is incredibly vibrant and inspiring for a gardener, plus at the bottom of each month's double spread is a little extra thought to encourage those who have green thumbs and those who are working on having them. :-)
I bought mine through Amazon Australia (here) and it took a few weeks to arrive from the US, but well worth the wait! If you want to look for it online in your country it's called the "New Victory Garden 2023 Wall Calendar". I'm so happy to have found it!
The next free Books & Roses BOM bookmark stitchery will be late again, and not because I haven't stitched it, because I have...but I don't like the colours so I'm going to do it again in coming days. Thanks for your patience. If I'm not happy with colours or fabrics, then I'm not excited to share it. The same with patterns I design for purchase. If it's not coming along the way I'd hoped, the best thing is to put it aside and start over. I have never regretted making those decisions. Have you??
I'm interested to know how you are doing in your own home at the moment. When dear Val left her comment the other day and told us she was in hospital, how happy I was to read messages from other commenters that they were praying for Val. That's the joy of blogging, and especially when others feel open to share their needs...praying for one another is a gift, a privilege and a blessing to the one in need. Val, there's a lot of us praying for you lovely lady...and sending gentle hugs from across the globe. ((((you are in God's perfect care and He will hold you tight through every challenge))).
Now it's time to sign off as I can hear the Harry-pup rummaging in my sewing room...and that's a no-no.
Bless each of you today, and in the days ahead. Hold fast to the absolute truth of God's Word, trust that you are never alone, and if you know someone walking the depths of the valley right now, lift them before the Lord. He hears every prayer, and though we may wonder why His answers tarry, trust He has a good reason and a purpose for all things.
That narrow path seems narrower with every passing year, for the ways of the world are widening the way to destruction...but we believers must never lose heart, we must look ahead to Christ's return and keep to that narrow path. God bless you!
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That's quite the surprise find ! Treasures indeed! Love the unexpected second hand shop find !
Creativity abounds with all those doilies at hand :)
So fun to find real tea cups then use them :)
Thanks for sharing the rug mug stitchery and instructions !
Change your mind as many times as you need to. That's just fine ! I know the feeling :) I was planning on making something then a better idea came along. That's just how it goes sometimes. The creative idea in the head just doesn't work out in reality. That's fine. Try again. Don't rush a good thing. I'll see how long this idea of mine lasts before making adjustments to the plan :)
How are the grandchildren doing after Covid and loosing their finger nails ?
hugs, take care,
The doilies are so pretty, I was looking at my small stash of them today. The coronation one is a work of art and definitely to be treasured. X
What a beautiful find the crocheted memento from Queen Elizabeth's coronation is. Something to treasure. The other pieces are also lovely, and I look forward to seeing what you do with them. The teacups are so pretty. I have a collection of them and enjoy letting the grandchildren use them. They are very careful and are learning to take care with fragile and pretty things. Today I made chicken broth from a couple of roasted chicken bones - I store them in the freezer until there are enough to fill my slow cooker. I like using that appliance because the broth never boils, and is so clear and flavourful after about 8 hours.
Take good care Jennifer.
That was a lovely treasure haul Jennifer. I'm afraid to go into the charity shops now I can't resist things like that & I already have so much "stuff" already. Have to say I'm a bit odd for an English person as I just don't like tea.
Your mug rug is so pretty thank you for that. My Mam drank tea all the time & my sister still does. I wish I liked it as coffee which I do like isn't a refreshing drink as I know tea is.
Enjoy your lovely tea times together.
I always look forward to your blogs although I rarely post a reply but couldn't pass up the opportunity to comment on the Queen Elizabeth Coronation doily. So pretty and a loving keepsake made by someone who must have greatly admired the new queen. Won't say how old I am but I remember my mother watching the coronation on our new black and white 19 inch television screen. We are Americans but the coronation was a big event here too as was her funeral. Thank you for the pretty mug rug too.
I love your mug rug patterm, and I am now planning on making it as part of my mother in laws christmas present. Thnk you so much,,
I adore that china! It is just gorgeous! What great finds! The Coronation crochet is probably a collectable now! I love your puppy!
I bet the Grandchildren are in love with him too! xxx
I wish that we had lovely linens in our op-shops! For some reason, I can never find anything at the ones in my town. Maybe everyone holds onto their linens to make pretty things? You always find such nice things, and then make them even lovlier. I've started making for Christmas, but I'm saving the spring pattern to make for myself come January. Thank you!
Ooh treasures!!!!!! How I miss going to thrifts and sales. Very pretty finds, dear girl! Love the new "mug rug" (not fond of that name, but couldn't tell you why), so so pretty, thank you! For some reason, I find myself really being drawn to yellow anymore - it's such a happy color - love it.
That new calendar is so pretty! Might have to get myself one, although normally I use a diary style instead of a wall calendar. But I really love it! My aunt likes to take pages from calendars and laminate them, and make place mats out of them. That one would be perfect. I might have to get two!
Things are getting better in Allie-land, home care visits are almost over, and life will return to what now passes for normal. Mom and I are excited to get back into a routine. We will have to have a talk about what to do with her house, though....sigh. Not to mention All. Her. Stuff.
Thank you for the pretty, new pattern, although with all those pretty tea cups, I think you should call it a tea mat. :-) Yellow is my favorite color. We sometimes go to yard/garage sales and thrift shops, but so many of them (including our favorite few) have closed since the Covid-19 pandemic. So sad. I have a friend who makes mailing envelopes out of old colorful calendar pages.
Those cups are beautiful and I noticed right away that the yellow print on the mug rug goes perfectly with it. I love the idea of the tea parties. My MIL had some really pretty cups, some I even bought for her as gifts, but I don't have any of them. I think I will start looking for some here and there as I begin to get out this fall. We are having beautiful fall days in the 21-24 C range for highs, but mornings start cool with 7-10 C. It's been lovely after a warm, wet summer. Maybe it means we'll have a colder, snowier winter, but that's okay, too.
Thanks for the tip on the calendar. I ordered one, and it will be here soon. The paintings look lovely, and I may wind up framing some for a gardening friend.
Thanks for your wonderful, warming, cheerful posts. I liked imagining you and Blossom and the children with your beautiful cups having tea. I just ordered some ginger-lemon, ginger-orange, and maple apple cider herb teas from Stash Tea, while I wait for my favorite herbal, Christmas Eve, to be available again. I'm going to look in the back of the cabinet to see if there might be a tea bag or two left of it. =)
I have been very blessed to have several doilies from my great grandmother and her sister, my great great aunt. I've noted that often the tatting along the edges is much prettier if you iron it gently. It allows you to see the lovely patterns. Since they both embroidered and made tatting, it's a further insight into their skills to see it ironed out. I also have a few of my great grandmother's hand sewn quilts. I know...I am VERY blessed with these things.
You have no idea how your sweet words bless my soul, I feel we are kindred spirits as I love all the things/words you post . . . of my four adult children, only 1 walks with the Lord, it is heartbreaking to watch them walk down dark roads. . .but God, Romans 4:17 has been my saving grace. . . He will have His way with them and that is my hope I cling to. .. meanwhile I try to soothe my soul with His Word and the beauty of pretty things, and your blog is full of them! Thank you soooo much!
Your Op Shop finds are so lovely. That blue edged doiley reminds me of my grandmother's one. It must have been a trend back in the day. Sweet teacups. I hope you manage to get some more sleep soon.
I, too, fall prey to beautiful tea cups in thrift stores (op shops) though I've finally developed a little discipline since I do already have more than enough. Sigh. The doilies are lovely and I can't wait to see how you use them.
Thank you for sharing your designing talents again! This one is super cute...again! And thank you for your bolstering words of encouragement to trust in the Lord. I, like Lise above, have children who have left the faith with bitterness and are following hard the path of this world and sometimes it gets discouraging to pray and not see answers yet. So, the encouragement is appreciated.
Hi Jennifer what a great find!! And what a beautiful embroidery piece! You are so gifted! I also love your floral arrangements! I do exactly the same as you! We are on board Shipton Scotland to see our son Joshusa/, staying with Marks sister in Edinburgh. I love it there for in1983, that is where my life changed for the better and fell in Love with Jesus Christ my Saviour! And from there I was kead to work in Nazareth as a Midwife! X2 years!
Keep praying, God hears and is Faithful
That yellow fabric matches your new cups perfectly.
Wonderful op shop finds Jennifer. I just love old china and doilies too. xx
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