Some wee little things in Grandma's Afternoons

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"White Linen!" Why on Earth ~ For Tea

At an early age of 6 I remember placing things aside in my trousseau.  It was a large wooden casket that smelled of cedar on the inside and had a large shelf on top to lift out.  I remember sitting on the floor long after lights out and going through the bits putting them into piles of colour and size.  You'd not have to wonder why I'm obsessive, after all I was 6 and already being made to collect bits before I could do cursive.

Linen - white scads of it, that was handing down, given as gifts, and wallowed over while ladies had tea.  Perhaps I'd been given the pieces that weren't of favourite to the family.  Anyway, I had some items I'd never have use for, such as lace napkins - I tucked them inside tea towels the other useless item I had.  I wouldn't have a use for tea towels because I was going to have a dish washer when I grew up, a cook and a cleaning lady.

Right Cinderella!

That was yesterday, today I'm the cook, the cleaning lady and the dish washer at Grandma's Afternoon Tea Room, and I love every bit of it.  Not to mention I found a use for those lacy napkin thingies.

To Town
I visited Ellicott City in Maryland yesterday.  I was antiquing, nothing special that I was looking for or even had in mind to buy. I did however, have just one  shop I couldn't resist visiting after I'd come across it on the internet.  It was the Forget-me-not-Factory.  Yup a fairy store full of nothing but.

As much fairy dust and stuff that a little girl could dreamover.

I came away with a bag of goodies all keeping within the two digit budget and with lots of ideas for the gardens this year.

Across the street:
I came out of this shop and right back into another. They were all over the place and up and down the street, doors open and windows filled with antiques, and an open sign hanging on every door. Then I spotted Cottage Antiques at 8181 Main St.

Upon entry:
Joy over took my every move and before I knew it, I was sitting on my bedroom floor with all this linen and lace about me. Yup, Guy found me tucked in a corner behind a curtain and I'd found a box of napkins and I was going through them picking out linen for the tea room.  I looked up and saw the disappointment on his face as he said, "what do you need more napkins for?" (Smile)

Not machine done either, this was the real McCoy

Lace Embroidered:
I held it in my hands and felt the stitches between my fingers as my mind wandered to a 5th floor attic, where a trunk sat with all these never used linens and how they might have fallen into the wrong hands as they were cast aways of an estate sale that the heirs frowned down on. My mind quickly snapped to reality and I had to save these cast aways hidden deep in this box. Mine, they're mine, all mine.

A voice from above me:
Sounded deep, but stern was this voice.  Oh! Was I about to be scolded for sitting on the floor going through this box?  Not at all, the voice was smart and quick as it's age didn't need two repeat oneself, "If your interested in any of those, bring them upfront and I'll give you a good price on them." I made it up front before she got there.

"What on Earth"
The same voice was asking me why I needed all these napkins. I explained the Tea Room.  How Grandma's had come to be from all the tea cups and lace that was handed down and I'd need replacing the ones I used from my tickle trunk.

Back at the RV:
I opened the large bag, took out all the napkins, put them into individual piles, lace on the right, embroidered on the left.  Obsessing over my new find and enjoying coffee in my newly gifted Fire King Jadite Mug, yes, from the same shop.  I'd been looking for years for skeleton keys and I'd just asked as a matter of fact.  And a full ring of them gets tossed down on the counter in front of me, teasing and taunting me. "How much." I never took my eyes off them.  As I'm looking up I see an arm over my shoulder passing her off what she had asked for them. They were snatched up so quickly they had to be a good price.  Then they were mine, all mine, the keys, the cup and the linen.  Life is grand, this day is great, how could there be so much excitement in this short of time.

Not just a cup:
This cup has created a lot of memory for me.  My mom drank from nothing other than this exact mug.  She sure enjoyed her coffee and I can tell why, it is the mug, amazing and you are going to think I'm crazy but coffee tastes so much better in this mug.

For Heaven's Sake
Listen to me going on about cups, keys, linen and lace and all along I was the one who invited you for tea. Scuttlebugs, let me fix you something, anything, oh here sit down.... I can't believe I've left you standing here waiting on me this long. Heavens, you must be vamished, or in the very least, just a little upset with me.

My finest:
I've taken out the good China, after all you are company. This Midnight Pink Rose tea cup and saucer will not only hold your finest cup of tea today and by the way, we are having Queen Mary ~ a sharp but lovely stern cup of tea,  Rather reminds me of Miss. Joan - you remember her, I mentioned her a while back, "the voice from above."  Well she is the owner along with her son and daughter-in-law of this lovely shop, The Cottage Antiques.  After a mile of chit chat they are going to head up to Prince Edward Island this summer for a visit.  Won't that be fun? 

I almost forgot, I'v some fresh dipped Palmers dipped in dark rich chocolate.  Can I get you one or maybe two, they are a delight. I'm so glad you stopped by for tea today it...well it gave me a chance to tell you the story of the discarded linens that make it into antique shops never used.  Years ago we kept things for good, they were not to be used but to be only looked at.  Mother had a set of these, look at dishes, I had all these useless napkins, tea towels and tablecloths and lace.  It goes to show, linen and lace are a lot like people in a way...if you use them they will spoil, but if you put them up they will soil.   I guess that is why my linen needed to be replaced, I put them up there for everyone to use in the Tea Room.

Did you want that Palmer now? Here let me get you a new napkin, heaven knows I have lots.

Did I tell you the story about the two Kindred Spirits I met? Well I don't know where to start... but one thing is for sure if you visit the Cottage Antiques in Ellicott City, Maryland, be sure to tell both Miss. Joan and Miss. Ruth that I sent you, really, I'm not kidding they are good friends of mine... yup we go way back and they will even cut you a deal, yup you will walk out of this shop with your bags full, 3 bags full.

Oh, and one more thing before I go:

This skull cap (bonnet) dates back to 1819.  I stood by while Miss. Joan so carfully unwrapped it from fadded paper and flannel material.  These will be going home with me, back to Prince Edward Island, and if you wish to stop by Grandma's Tea Room you can view them on display in a shadow box where they will be put up enjoyed and appreciated for their age.

Perhaps I'll show you next; the plans I have for those skeleton keys.  Oh, do you know why they were called skeleton keys?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Thank You For Joining Me In Afternoon Tea~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm dreading the long road ahead today.  Our stop tonight will be checking my mail and visiting your tea times.  We are still RV-Living but have been called home to the Island as Grandma is needed.

~00~ Grandma (aka Cindy)
or Crafting -


Ruth Weston said...

I do so wish I were close enough to visit! I love your linens...a lot of work, but so beautiful and signs of a more gracious age. Love the chintz teacup too!

Jen Ham said...

Oh my dear, I love this post so much! The fairy absolute dream! I can't wait to see your garden this year! xoxo Jen

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Oh my, such lovely linens! You were fortunate to find them. The teacup is lovely too and I'm so happy you have shared them all with us. Enjoy your day and thanks for coming to tea.


Lynne said...

Oh. My Cindy, the linen napkins are lovely! What a treasure store that was! I love linens of old. And fortunate that I have many from my mother, mother's mother, mothers in law . . . granny here and there. I love the intricate work.

You are putting me in the mood for a tea party!

Safe travels these next days!

Gina @ VictorianWannaBe said...

Wow Cindy, what a trip! Wish I could have been there with you. The fairy shop looks like it would have lots of miniatures! :)
And that antique shop, nice! You bought some wonderful things. The napkins are so pretty!
Neat 1819 embroidered cap!
Thanks for sharing your trip and finds with us. So much fun!
Oh and I loved your story about your trouseau and how you've collected in a round about way since you were 6, sounds a little like me!
Have a great rest of your week,

LesleyAnn said...

Wow. What a fantastic post ... and yes, I'll have a Palmer or two! The skull cap is amazing along with the rest of your purchases. Beautiful.

Janet Murphy said...

thanks for the great cup of tea and company Cindy. I love to read about your adventure and it feels like I am right there with you. Maryland sounds like a place I would love!!! Safe trip home


Janet Murphy said...

thanks for the great cup of tea and company Cindy. I love to read about your adventure and it feels like I am right there with you. Maryland sounds like a place I would love!!! Safe trip home


Beth Laverty said...

I enjoyed my visit to your post today. I live just about three hours north of Ellicott City but have never been.... must head that way someday. The Fairy store is a delight! I have a few fairy's living in my garden!

janus Wilson said...

What a lot of fun! Great finds and a reminder of a more refined by-gone era. I'm envious.

Chris said...

Hi Cindy, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Diana Petrillo said...

Hi Cindy! Thanks for popping over for a visit. Sounds like you're having a grand trip, and what a fun day in Maryland. Lovely linens...awesome keys...and now I feel the strange urge to buy a Jadite mug of my own--you've convinced me! Safe journies, Diana

Pamela Gordon said...

Hi Cindy. I'm sorry but I missed seeing this post until tonight. It was so fun and interesting. I enjoyed reading about the antique shop and your great finds there. The teacup is beautiful. My parents had the Pyrex mugs in white for their coffee but, as you know, I have 3 of the Jadeite green ones which I love. I hope you are doing ok. I haven't heard from you for a few days. Hugs, Pam