Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Priceless Christmas Decorations

Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things about the holidays. Especially when I start opening boxes and pulling out all the familiar things ~ it's like a visit from old friends and loved ones. These things didn't cost a lot of money, but they come wrapped in memories ~ and that's exactly what makes them priceless.

My Dad loved Garfield the cat and read the comic strip in the newspaper every night. This Garfield belonged to him and is about 20 years old. I add the candy canes to his stocking each year!

A ceramic bell made by my Aunt about 30 years ago.

A sweet wall hanging made by my niece and given to me 20 years ago.

...and a melting snowman given to me by my sister just last year!

Until next time,

Cats on Tuesday ~ Hide 'n Seek

Hello friends! Can you see me?  It's Rudy! I'm hiding in box! MOL! I found this great box Mom put in spare room. Just right size for me.

And here I am with a mouse!!  Don't worry, people ~ it's not real mouse, but a fake one! MOL!! Did I scare you? 

Mom said I should write a little bit about Sammy because he hasn't been on our special Cats on Tuesday day very much. Sam very shy, so I write for him. Mom says Sammy is very good kitty. Mostly he just want to eat, sleep and look out window...then sleep some more. So...here is Sammy eating:

Here Sam looking out window:

...and here Sam sleeping.

Have a good day, friends! If you want to see more cats and funny cat stories, click on Gattina's blog My Cats and Funny Stories.

Bye for now from Rudy!
P.S. Buster is jealous because he not on Cats on Tuesday this week!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Garibaldi Tea Biscuits

Hello everyone! I'd first like to thank all who read and/or responded to my vintage Christmas cards post. I was happy so many enjoyed it and had memories of their own to share, and also pleased to hear many still send Christmas cards. I bought my box of cards to send out today. Now, I just have to get them ready and in the mail!

Second ~ I want to share a surprise I received a couple of weeks ago from my cousin who lives in Oregon ~ Crawford's Garibaldi Biscuits! Not just one package ~ but a whole case of them! It was the first time I'd eaten an English tea biscuit! 

 The Garibaldi biscuit contains currants spread between two thin biscuits. They're named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, a very popular Italian general and leader who visited Tynemouth, England in 1854 (I guess the British thought it a fitting honor to name a biscuit for the general!)  They were first manufactured by Peak Freans in Bermondsey (which is an area of London) in 1861, and made by famous biscuit maker, John Carr.

Here I am, about to try them for the first time with a cup of tea, using my vintage Italian-made luncheon/crumpet set. Very appropriate, isn't it ~ biscuits named after an Italian general, eaten on a vintage Italian plate? I think it's the perfect little treat to go with a cup of tea or coffee ~ and yes, they can be dunked! Yummy!

If you'd like to try them, they can be ordered from several online sources, including British Delights, by clicking HERE.

Until next time,

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vintage Christmas Cards

Christmas cards ~ it's a tradition I hate to see disappear completely, even though it's become much less popular in recent years due to ecards and email. Nothing replaces opening a beautiful card and seeing a handwritten message inside, though. I remember when I was a child and we'd receive dozens of Christmas cards and Mom would tape them up all around the doorways, as decorations.

The first Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843 and featured an illustration by John Callcott Horsley of a festive family with a small child drinking wine together. The cards were printed in black and white and then colored by hand. Unfortunately, it proved to be  controversial and was condemned as "promoting drunkenness."

 It was almost another twenty years before Christmas cards caught on again, when printer Charles Goodall produced Christmas lithographs for the masses. Early Christmas cards didn't feature religious images, but flowers and holly, robins, children and animals ~ even fairies.

 In 1875 Louis Prang became the first printer to offer cards in America, and by the 1920s, the exchange of Christmas cards was very popular in the United States and around the world. Religious scenes became more popular, such as angels and mangers, then later, came snowmen and Santa Claus.

So, do you still send Christmas cards? Do you receive them? I'd love to hear your special memories or traditions pertaining to Christmas cards.

Until next time,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mustache Cups ~

I'd heard of them ~ mustache cups ~ but never actually seen one until I bought this one a couple weeks ago during my first visit to Jeffrey's Antique Gallery in Findlay, Ohio, which is the largest antique mall in Northwest Ohio. Their website can be found HERE. Mustache cups are one of those interesting items that, at one time, were very common, so when I saw this one, I couldn't pass it up. They have a semi-circular ledge inside the cup that served to keep men's mustache's dry while sipping tea or coffee.

A little history: mustaches became very popular during the American Civil War and Victorian era. Men would melt a little bit of wax in a pan, and using a special comb, carefully apply the wax to their mustache. It was quite a problem for men prior to the invention of the cups, as the wax would soften, and sometimes melt and drip into the coffee or tea, and fair-haired men's mustaches would become stained. We're talking about some serious, heavy-duty mustaches in those days. Just one example:

John Haskell-King, Civil War Photo

The mustache cup was invented by an English potter named Harvey Adams in 1830. My cup has no manufacturer's mark on the bottom, so I have no way of knowing its' age.  It has a lovely design, though, of purple and pale yellow flowers.

For more history and information on mustache cups, click HERE.
Until next time, thanks for visiting!

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Pink Christmas ~

Just this morning I wrote a blog post about how I was wanting to cling to fall a little longer. Well, this evening, after an outing to a local gift shop, I'm already feeling the excitement of the holidays! I do love all the sparkle, glitter and glow that goes along with the season. I usually stick with traditional colors for Christmas ~  red and gold in particular. Not that I haven't experimented with an all silver tree one year, multi-colored another year, a rustic, all-natural tree yet another year. But, I always seem to gravitate back to the traditional colors that say "Christmas" to me. Needless to say, I've collected a whole lot of red and gold ornaments over the years. Well, today I went to the Christmas Open House of one of my favorite little shops in town, where I took these photos:

So, now I'm dreaming of a pink Christmas! With so much red and gold already in my Christmas bins, I don't think I can do a complete pink Christmas this year, but perhaps a touch here or there ~ someplace in my house! Maybe my bedroom? I think I'll fill a clear glass bowl with some of these to sit on my vanity:

Here's more gorgeous Christmas pinks to feast your eyes on, all courtesy of Martha Stewart.com, which can be found HERE:

I'm now officially in the holiday spirit! Linking this to: 
Until next time, have a wonderful weekend!

Autumn Reflections 2011 ~

Autumn is fading fast in northwest Ohio. Most of the trees are bare, it's cold and windy and we even had a few snow flurries today. It was "spittin' snow" as my Mom would say. The holidays are fast approaching and some are starting to decorate for Christmas. I'm not quite ready to let go of fall though, and want to hang on just a little bit longer...so here's to autumn 2011!

Collage photos taken at Forrest Nature Preserve in northwest Ohio and the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio.

Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio

Indian Mill in Wyandot County, Ohio

Until next time, have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cats on Tuesday ~ Big Excitement!

Hey everyone, Buster here. We are late posting for Cats on Tuesday, but wait 'till you hear what happened around here last night!  We had big booms and light in the sky! Mom calls it thunderstorm! Whatever it is - we do NOT like it!  I sat on Mom's lap whole time and would not budge. Sam go hide behind chair and Rudy go upstairs under bed! Mom had TV box on the whole time and said something called tornado warning for us. Then she said "it's raining cats and dogs out there!"  I looked ~ but I didn't see any cats or dogs, so I don't know about that? All I saw was water coming down - so much water, it was hard to see out window! Then more big booms and whole sky light up like daytime, BUT it was night! Anyway ~ this go on and on, so now today everyone sleepy.

Rudy on sofa couch

Sam sleeping on rocky chair

...and here is cute photo of me, Buster, on bed.

So, we're sorry we're so late with our special day post, but no one get much sleep around here last night. I hope you don't have any of those big thunderboomers around your house!
Until next time,
Buster, Rudy and Sam

Click on link below or orange cat picture above for more cat stories!


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