I not only had the pleasure of mingling with lovely guests at Home Sweet Home's Christmas Sneak-Preview last Friday evening, but I came home with a few lovely purchases from the shop too.
Since it was a Christmas preview, there were many lovely holiday items for sale. I bought a figurine of a boy and girl [pictured below].
My first ornament for 2014 - a Kurt S. Adler Downton Abbey tea-themed ornament.
And last, but certainly not least, a silver plated pierced basket teapot spout strainer from the 1870's-1890's. The basket has a prong-like pin which fits into the spout of the teapot. As the tea is poured, it flows through the strainer and into the teacup, with the basket catching the loose tea leaves.
It really not a practical accoutrement because tea can drip onto the tablecloth, but their dainty, decorative appearance made them a highly desirable tea accessory. Spout strainers were more fashionable in Europe than America and silver manufacturers created different designs that were especially popular in France and Russia. Home Sweet Home's owner, Carol, brought the one I purchased back from a recent shopping trip to Paris, France. I've wanted one for a long time, so was happy to acquire it.
For welcoming and mingling with the guests, Carol gave each of us a lovely gilded cherub tassel.
I'm not sure where it will hang permanently, but for now I hung it on the hall tree. I got so many decorating ideas while walking around Home Sweet Home, and can hardly wait to implement some of them in my own home.