Friday Picks and Pics: To All The Teapots I Ever Loved Before

I collected teapots for a brief period in my life. Then I sold them all off (long, long before I sold on Etsy) at very reasonable prices for others to enjoy but I still have a passion for them. There seems to be no end of amazing, artistic and imaginative ways to design them. My first featured teapot is an Art Deco Hall’s piece in unusual colors:

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Hall China Art Deco Red White Platinum Coffee Pot OldeHome at Etsy

This is technically a coffeepot but I came across it this week and fell in love with the art deco design and the rich red and silver. According to the listing, this once was a percolator of some sort. I would build a shrine for it rather then try to use it.

Which brings me around to my refound appreciation for teapots – I have started drinking a variety of teas for health and pleasure. I have a cup in the mid-afternoon – usually green tea blended with roobois and before bedtime, I drink a camomile blend. This could and probably will be a blog post all its own.

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Vintage English China Art Deco Shape Teapot by Maling Wicksteads at Etsy

Returning to teapots – this time a real teapot, not a coffeepot, which illustrates an unusual shape yet still has function. I can imagine using this teapot (and the coffeepot above as well) even though I might choose not to. I see plenty of teapots that are clever, even humorous, but they don’t strike me as functional. They are more like pottery or glass with a spout and handle, nothing like a real tea or coffee pot.

I do happen to own (inherited) a beautiful blue and white full lace Royal Copenhagen teapot that I fear using. It must be over sixty years old now and it is replaceable in the sense that you can still buy that style either used or new. But I don’t think I could afford it so it sits behind glass. Here is a picture of one that happens to be listed on Etsy:

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Royal Copenhagen Denmark Tea Pot Serving Blue Fluted Full Lace 1118 RomanysVintage

 

One of these days, I tell myself, I am going to start having tea parties – as soon as I get rid of at least half of our household clutter and junk. In other words, not any time real soon. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to have my private tea time with a bag or diffuser in a mug. (I use both bagged varieties and loose leaf.)

As always, please be sure to click on the pictures so you can see the actual listings of these wonderful tea (and coffee) pots. You will notice these shops have additional teapots and sundry items worth perusing.

Unfortunately, I only have one tea pot for sale at present, although more are coming! I seem to be finding a lot of creamer and sugar sets though so here is a new listing from this week. This is not particularly uncommon – although the color is somewhat so – but maybe I’ll get lucky and run across a matching teapot someday soon.

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Lusterware China Creamer and Sugar Bowl Made in Japan

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Knit or Crochet: Must We Choose?

I am lucky that I know how to knit and crochet. My mother started me knitting when I was probably eight or so – but not for long. I hated it and couldn’t be persuaded to knit more than a row or so which yielded little inspiration. She tried again with better success when I was sixteen. I learned some basics: knit, purl, yarnover and knit 2 together. I managed an entire scarf in a simple but showy pattern and made several before becoming bored again.

A few years later, I picked up again, then dropped it out of frustration. This cycle continued with five to ten years between attempts to get past knitting a single scarf. Throughout this, my goal was always an end result, the knitting was a means to an end. I saw pictures of beautiful hats, sweaters, whatever, and wanted that. Trying to make it was an exercise in torture and tedium.

Shortly before she died, I asked my mother to teach me how to crochet. She did this in a single evening by teaching me the basics: single, double, and triple crochet stitches and then had me make a basic granny square. I was elated because it went so much faster than knitting but before long, set it aside as child-rearing got it the way. And crochet had quickly become just as frustrating as knitting. My mother died and I had no one to ask questions when I couldn’t figure out a pattern.

If it isn’t obvious, this all happened over the seventies and eighties. I inherited my mom’s needles and needle case – which I didn’t mean to tie into this post but what the heck – here’s a picture and listing for the needle case

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1970s Zipper Needle Organizer

My mother’s needles were all aluminum or plastic and this case was packed. Several times I nearly donated the case and the needles, thinking I would never knit again so why keep? But there was so much sentimental value that something held me back. And then something happened: young women got interested in knitting and all of a sudden it seemed to be everywhere.

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Knit Picks Interchangeable Knitting Needles

I dug out the needles and old balls of yarn and proceeded to knit another scarf. It was as annoying as I remembered it but when I ran into a problem, I took advantage of something that hadn’t been there before. Google and the internet-where I discovered ravelry, you tube video and a host of resources. I made a decision to invest more in my tools and set aside the smooth and slippery needles my mother loved. I bought an interchangeable circular set from Knit Picks that made me realize how nice knitting is when you love your needles. Then I fell in love with yarn and stopped caring so much about getting through a project as fast as I could. The price on the needles picture is actually a lot less than I paid so if you can, take advantage of the sale price. I swear I did not write this as an ad for Knit Picks, but I do like them a lot as a yarn and needle vendor.

Overwhelmingly, most of the patterns and advice on Ravely.Com were about knitting. I bypassed the crochet patterns except for one huge exception. I did crochet a very pretty shawl that I sweat and swore through even with the help of online videos. Here’s the thing with crochet – the stitches are easy and theoretically, the work moves along quickly (not talking about lace-type crochet) but – a very big but – the directions are difficult to understand for beginners or even intermediate beginners. For whatever reason, I elected to go with a complicated pattern and fudged my way through some of the motifs. That resulted in lots of tearing, including my hair.

Now I see that there has been a shift on Ravelry and there are nearly as many crochet patterns available as there are knit. I also notice that on Etsy, there are nearly as many crocheted clothing items as knit whereas crochet seemed mostly relegated to jewelry and lace. I find myself reaching for a crochet hook over knitting needles for more than one reason.

Weather has something to do with it. Somehow crochet doesn’t feel as warm as knitting projects do. If I were making something intended for warmth, I’d prefer knitting and probably will be back to it in early fall. Crochet is also a bit easier on my shoulders and definitely better for my hands.

decouprose I have listed a few items that I’ve made in my Etsy shops. I even sold one that I am especially proud of not because of the crochet job but because it was bought by a customer in Paris, France! I admit that my confidence level isn’t quite there yet, especially when I see the gorgeous items that my fellow Etsy vendors create.

My next effort at listing handmade items will be barefoot sandals that are fun and fairly easy to crochet. Meanwhile, I need to get back to listing all the vintage items that are taking up space!

Found on Friday – Something for Mom

I haven’t given a Mother’s Day gift since my Mother-in-Law passed away in early 2001. My own mother passed in 1983 and I recall how painful the first Mother’s Day after she died was for me, even though she never liked making a big deal about it.

On the receiving side, I’ve been a Mom for over 30 years – eek! Like my Mother, I really don’t like to make a big deal. (This is largely because my birthday is in early June and so ultimately this desire is born out of selfishness. ) But right now is the time that desperate adult children are seeking unique gifts for their mothers. Okay, now is the time that non-procrastinating adults are shopping. Some of us have adult children who shop at Walgreens on the way over to Mom’s house – not that I’m complaining.

Naturally, Etsy is bursting with beautiful photos of charming and unusual gifts. The first find of the week for Mother’s Day is the good old basic card, but not a card ripped off the shelf from Target (or Walgreens – not that I’m complaining.) If all you can do is send a card, let it be like this one:

Mothers Day Card- White Rose – 5 1/2″ x 51/2″- Customize by CardamomsArt

Trust me, Moms love pretty cards. They don’t like their kids spending lots of money on them but they do appreciate extra time and effort. Short of making a card yourself, go the artisan crafted route. Click on the photo and it will take you directly to the listing where you can also browse other custom card choices.

Not that you have to stop at the card. If this is the year you want to go all out and impress your mother, continue browsing Etsy for offerings that suit every taste (and budget). I offer as my second Friday find, a gorgeous gift set that would please me (not that I’m complaining about the gifts that I do get!)

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Pink Tea Cup and Saucer Vintage Royal Sealy Corsage, Floral Hankie Gift Set Gold Gilding Mothers Day Gift by meaicp

This is the gift that gives it all: a corsage, a hankie, and a beautiful collectible tea cup. Click on the picture for a direct link to meaicp’s shop and you can browse her beautiful corsages, each unique and permanent. I am a sucker for hankies because my Mother collected them and had a beautiful satin lined box full of them. I used to love to dig through them as a child – which resulted in scoldings because I’d leave her drawer a mess.

She also collected china tea cups among other things, which I try not to collect because I am at the stage of life where I am divesting, not collecting. But I can certainly enjoy photographs of beautiful cups like this one. And the corsage is the cherry on top of the icing on the cake!

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Antique Silver Plate Serving Ladle Simeon George Rogers Company

So now I must make a suggestion from my own humble shop that someone’s mother is sure to love. I know this because my mother loved this particular ladle, which belonged to her mother. They were both of the opinion that one could never have enough ladles. I don’t disagree, they do seem to come in handy when serving holiday or large dinner parties. This ladle has a nicely shaped bowl and is fairly deep – no stingy gravy serving spoons here!

Next Friday will be too late to buy a gift online in time for Mother’s Day, so get to clicking on these links! If these finds don’t suit you or your Mom, I know you will find something else that will. Otherwise, check your local area for the closest Walgreens. Not that your mother will complain…