Meadow Quest

For this adventure, I am savoring this:

Hello to you! It is late summer, when the colors of the day are bright and the wind is warm. The wildflowers are in full bloom and that’s when one goes questing for meadows. Would you like to come with me? 20170814_200042

The picnic basket is packed. I brought peach cake, ginger beer and tiny sandwiches worthy of the Edwardians themselves! Of course I brought a blanket to sit upon too and a hat to hide under (unless you’re the sun-seeking kind). Logo_1502763102099

So where do we look for meadows? First, we step out the door. And before you know it, we’re winding along a wondrous little trail. I have a feeling it’s not going to give up it’s secrets all at once!Logo_1502762701621

Each turn, just like a labyrinth, may shower us with surprises.

Logo_1502763007759

Flowers on the path,

Logo_1503502575097

Or perhaps friends we never knew we had.

 
Logo_1502761626860

But it will keep us guessing.

20170814_200132

Until finally, in the glimmering light, our path gives way to a wide open meadow!

20170814_201952

The high grass moves around us like the swelling sea.

20170814_201815

And each step takes us further into the clover and the thistles. Through countless waves of wildflowers whose names we wish we knew.

Logo_1502763287870

Oh, and what a perfect spot to take in the view!

There is magic in our meadow. It speaks to our wild side. Wishes are whispered, dreams; remembered.

We could take a flower or two and press them between the milky pages of a book. To paint them later perhaps? But the meadow will stay with us in the hollow of our hearts and memories. It will come to us again and warm our toes when winter turns the ground to stone.

20170814_200119

It will always be ours.

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT © 2017 Elizabeth Mayne, QuillCastle.ca

Anatomy of a Tea Cup

Logo_1516142582780
If you are like me and you enjoy the finer things, the vintage, and the “just don’t make ’em like they used to things”, then we are kindred in our love of treasure! We know how to scour a room and find the charm among the Knick-knackery.

I can’t resist a beautiful tea cup and these days, china cups are easy to find and not too expensive. Knowing the anatomy of a tea cup might just help you find that perfect vessel for your morning cuppa.

 

1. How do you take your tea?

By this, I mean do you prefer it properly scalding or do you like it towards the tepid? The mouth of the tea cup can make a big difference. Consider how deep the cup is. If it’s shallow and wide-rimmed, the tea inside will cool off much faster than a deep one with a smaller rim.

 

2. To hook or to pinch?

Some handles are made to be pinched rather than allowing your finger to hook through it. I look for a handle wide enough to easily hook my finger into. Then I never have to worry about dropping scalding liquid in my lap!

3. Inspect for cracks.

There might be a hair-pin crack in the cup and although these don’t tend to leak, they can lead to further breakage. Just keep in mind that antique shops rarely accept returns!

 

4. Look for a stamp

Makers of good china will put their stamp on the bottom of the cup or saucer. Bone china is the strongest of all the porcelain or china ceramics.

Logo_1516144349491

There is a whole world of knowledge when it comes to antique China and although I do have some favorite makes and models, to me it’s more about the individual cups than the brand name. Be it English, Bavarian, footed or filigree I hope these tid bits will help you find that perfect cup.

20171103_190246

Pinkies up!

 

 

COPYRIGHT © 2018 Elizabeth Mayne, QuillCastle.ca

The Keeper of the Bears

20171103_190623
Like most little girls, I loved to visit my grandmother. I called her Pummy.

Pummy’s love of teddy bears had been a life-long passion and her collection was proof. She had more bears than I had ever seen in one place!

Bear lovers know that a well-loved bear is a distinguished guest at any party. And when it’s a tea party, only real china will do.
20171103_190529

Pummy would take every cup out of the cabinet so we could consider each one. I held them as if they were live baby birds; all beautiful and each with different colours and patterns. My favorite was pink with roses and vines encircling the rim.Logo_1516052314198
Logo_1516052230381
We would set out the cloth and the cups, a sugar bowl, a pitcher of cream.

20171103_190345

 

Then sit with the bears all around us, sipping tea with our pinkies up and comment on the quality of the shortbread.
20171103_190605

Before my grandmother passed away, she gave me that cup. It meant the world to me that she’d remembered not only the cup, but all the sips, the long-lost crumbs and secrets shared with bears.

After doing a bit of research, I learned that my teacup is a century old, as were the two bears she left me in her will.
Logo_1516055355251
So now I am their keeper and the one who makes the tea.

 

 

COPYRIGHT © 2018 Elizabeth Mayne, QuillCastle.ca