Friday, August 26, 2016

Newest J.L. Hudson Memorabilia

I'm always on the lookout for J.L. Hudson Department Store memorabilia, even though my book project has been relegated to the back burner.

Recently I saw a Tea Balls tin from Hudson's on e-bay that I purchased through the option, "buy it now" rather than bidding.  An identical tin was on e-bay a couple of years ago and the bidding went so high I dropped out.  This tin was very affordable at $12 plus shipping, and as it turns out the seller lives in nearby Shelby Township.

I tried researching "tea balls", but the only thing that came up was round tea strainers used for steeping loose tea.  

I know the tin didn't contain flowering tea balls because those are relatively new and wouldn't have been available when Hudson's was in business.  Maybe it held green Jasmine Dragon pearls???  If anyone has any other suggestions/possibilities I'd love to hear them. I'm very pleased to add the tin to my collection of Hudson's memorabilia.

I also purchased a booklet that promoted the store's 19th Annual Housewares Exposition held on the 10th floor.  I have to do some research to see what year that would have been.

My Hudson's quest continues...

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tea Tasting at The Rendezvous With Tea

This past Monday [8/22] I made my way over to Grosse Pointe Woods, MI for a 2:30 p.m. tea tasting at The Rendezvous With Tea.   It's the first one I've attended since last December. Naszreen, the owner, now hosts them by invitation only.

The tastings are always held at the back of her shop, and she was ready and waiting for the attendees to arrive.

We tasted 8 teas - 2 herbal, 1 white, 2 green, and 3 black.  The teas were specifically blended for Naszreen when she visited Sri Lanka earlier this summer.  She said tea plantations were severely impaired by the high rainfall and flooding this year.  Even teas that had been plucked and processed were destroyed as they sat in flooded warehouses.  

We began with Sunrise in Bali - an herbal infusion of Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Persimmon, Turmeric, Hibiscus, and Vanilla.

Second Pearl of the Indian Ocean  - a white tea with Coconut, Almond, and Jasmine.  Very good!

Third, Pyramids at Giza - a green tea with Peppermint, Rose Petals, and Golden Chrysanthemum.

Fourth,  Elephant Walk - a green tea with Murraya Koenigii [curry leaf], Lime, Bamboo leaves, and Moringa.

Fifth, Out of Africa - Rooibos with Ceylon cinnamon, Cardamom, Pineapple and Ginger.

Sixth, Blue Saffhire - a black tea with Cornflowers, Blueberries, and Violet Essence.

Seventh, Temasek Splendour - a black tea with Pomegranate, Raspberry and Hibiscus.

Eighth, 10 Downing Street - a black tea mildly flavored with Bergamot.   The teas were all good, but this was my favorite, and was the one I chose to drink with my refreshments, as well as a purchase to take home.

Naszreen always serves a homemade savory and delicious sweets at the conclusion of the tea tasting.  At this tasting we had Artichoke and Dill Quiche...

A Chocolate Chip tea infused cookie... 

Gluten-free Orange and Almond Cake [Delicious!]

A glass of Berry American Herbal Iced Tea

And my tea of choice, 10 Downing Street.

Thanks for another tasting of wonderful teas and yummy refreshments, Naszreen!

For local readers, Naszreen's shop is located at 20792 Mack Avenue.  She carries over 350 teas, so there's something to please everyone's taste buds.  Some of her Magical Motown black tea, and Michigana green tea were purchased for the participants of the upcoming Michigan Tea Tour.  I wish time would have permitted a tea tasting there, but this is the next best thing.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Movie Matinee With My Daughter

This past Saturday I took my daughter to the 1:15 showing of Florence Jenkins Foster, starring Meryl Streep.  

For the most part, the movie is funny, but there are parts that are rather sad too.  The film is set in 1940's New York City, and is a true story about a New York socialite who aspired to become a great opera singer.  Unfortunately, her ambition exceeded her talent!  I am anxious to do some research on Florence Foster Jenkins.

One tea scene made its way into the movie.

[Internet photo]

Raising my teacup in tribute to Meryl Streep for another movie well done.  What an amazing and talented actress!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Afternoon Tea at the Warner Mansion

This past Sunday [Aug. 21st], I went to the annual summer fundraiser tea at the Warner Mansion in Farmington, MI.  It's the third one I've attended, with proceeds going to maintaining the residence of Michigan's 26th Governor, Fred M. Warner [1905-1911].

The tea was in the back garden of the mansion in a yellow and white stripped tent.

~ Tea Station ~

Two of the servers.  Aren't they sweet?

My friend, Linda, who is on the committee that planned the event, and her granddaughter, Jamison [L] and Jamison's girlfriend, Emma [R].

~ Louise and Verna arriving at the tea. ~

There was shopping on the big wrap-around porch of the mansion from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.  I purchased the cute bunny tea set pictured below for only $20.  Perfect for next Easter!

It was a picnic theme this year so we all got boxed lunches.  Cute idea!  The initials on the box are the caterer's.

~ The tables were beautifully set.   Inside the small container were our scones.  ~

~ Menu ~

~ The meal began with Cucumber Soup ~

 ~ And ended with a beautiful and decadent cupcake. ~

Joan McGlincy impersonated First Lady, Lou Herbert Hoover, and did an outstanding job. Mrs. Hoover was involved with the Girl Scouts, so Joan wore a Girl Scout Leader's uniform.

Our favors were a vile of tub tea.  I can hardly wait to use mine!

What a fun way to spend an afternoon and help a worthy cause!  Thanks to everyone who worked so diligently to present a lovely tea!

Monday, August 22, 2016

84 Charing Cross Road

You may recall me mentioning the book, 84 Charing Cross Road, in my blog post of August 2nd. One of the Dr.'s at the pediatric clinic where my daughter works gave it to her for me to read.

84 Charing Cross Road was the address of a small London antiquarian book shop, Marks & Co.   

The book is a collection of actual letters written by American writer, Helene Hanff [who lived in New York City], to Frank Doel, chief buyer for the bookstore, requesting rare, out-of-print British literature.  The letters spanned two decades - 1949 thru 1969. Helene had the correspondence [97 pages worth] published in 1970, after Frank Doel's death. Even though the two never met in person, a strong bond of friendship existed between them.

In addition to Helene's requests for books, the letters discussed World War II war rations, the death of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, and other subjects of the time. 

A movie was made of the book in 1987 starring Anne Bancroft as Helene, and Anthony Hopkins as Frank, so I ordered it.  It's very true to the book, but even better.  Judi Dench plays the role of Frank's wife, Nora.  There's a few tea scenes at the book store and the Doel home, but none at Helene's NYC brownstone apartment - she preferred gin over tea! ;-)

The movie ends with Helene's visit to England and the empty building that once housed Mark's & Co. bookstore.  

Things got even better when I discovered there was a sequel to 84 Charing Cross Road called Duchess of Bloomsbury Street.  It was published in 1973 and is a chronological diary of Helene's first visit to London.

I felt a bit like Helene's experience with Marks & Co. when I ordered the book, because my used copy came from Cherry Creek Books - a seller of rare and vintage books in Denver, CO. When the book arrived it had a card pocket from Camarillo [California] public library affixed to the front page, and on the next page a sticker stated the book was a gift from Camarillo Pleasant Valley Republican Women's Club in memory of Louise Noren. I suppose the library eliminated the book to make room for newer books, so I made a silent pledge to take good care of it in Louise Noren's memory instead.

The book is 137 pages and very quick reading.  Helene was 54 when she finally made it to England in 1971.  The Duchess in the title refers to Helene, and the Kenilworth Hotel [where she stayed] is located on the corner of Bloomsbury St. and Great Russell.

Having been to London three times myself, I loved reading about the places she visited that I had the privilege of visiting too - except for Claridges, which is definitely on my list if I ever get back to London, as well as a stop at 84 Charing Cross Road. Even though the store closed somewhere between Frank Doel's death and Helene's visit, a bronze plaque is affixed to the front of the building that reads:  The booksellers Marks & Co. were on this site which became world renowned through the book by Helene Hanff.

I highly recommend both books and the movie.   Many thanks to the kind doctor who began this fun adventure.

For the record, Helene Hanff passed away in 1997 at 81 years of age.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Another Tea Themed Note Card

I recently  received a cute tea-themed note card in the mail from my girlfriend and wanted to share it with you.

The cards come in a box of 10 with a blank inside for $7.95.  The illustrator is Gary Head.  I was able to find them at a local Hallmark store, and I hope you're able to find them too.

Thursday, August 18, 2016


During a recent doctor appointment, I took a few issues of Woman's Day magazines to read while waiting. The February 2016 issue contained an article with three ideas for repurposing teacups.

I bristled a bit at Clinton Kelly's opening words: "Oh, teacups.  Nobody seems to want to drink out of you anymore... Thanks to the world's obsession with coffee, you've slowly been pushed out of the limelight and unceremoniously relegated to attics, basements and flea markets everywhere..."

He's right about coffee's popularity, but apparently he hasn't heard that tea has been enjoying a resurgence for several years now.  While it's true men don't particularly enjoy using dainty teacups because their masculine fingers are too big for easy grasp, female tea lovers still have a very high regard for fine porcelain teacups [preferably English made, but French Limoges and Bavarian ones are nice too]. I just purchased a new one at an antique store yesterday, primarily because it's black, and I rarely see black teacups.  It's made in England by Adderley.

In 2015 I attended a Phantom of the Opera theme tea where all the teacups used at place settings were black and white.  It was so striking.

I've never considered myself a teacup collector per se because I originally started acquiring them for church teas, and in hopes of opening a tea room.  A quick count of teacups on display in my china cabinets, however, revealed over 90 teacups with more in totes in the basement, so I guess I am a collector after all. Whenever I travel I always try to bring a teacup home as a keepsake, while others have been gifts, and some are from my mother's teacup collection. 

I diligently sorted and organized teacups stored in my basement earlier this summer, and gave some to a girlfriend for a gift basket ministry at her church.  I've been trying to figure out a way to photograph them to share on my blog, as well as having a pictorial record of them. Should they be photographed by theme [floral, scenic, transferware], color, commemoratives, months/holidays, shapes/styles, or manufacturer?  Hmmm... decisions, decisions!  Have any of you photographed your teacups for record keeping purposes?

But back to Clinton Kelly's repurposing article...

My granddaughter used an orphan teacup for a small plant that sits on her kitchen windowsill, and it looks real cute.

I've seen teacups used for jewelry, home interior projects, and garden projects.  A dear friend gave me a teacup and saucer made into a bird feeder. But I don't think I could deliberately break a teacup and saucer for mosaics, could you? It almost seems disrespectful and irreverent. 

Pictured below is a teacup/teapot lamp that sits in my bedroom. It was a gift from my children a few Christmases ago.  Also a teacup/teapot chandelier that hangs in my dining room.  Neither are made with vintage china.

Please share how you display, store, use, and photograph your teacups.

*  *  *

Today I'm linking to Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Martha has featured well over 317 teacups since she began her blog in 2009.