Cups and Saucers Galore!

tcupI have recently managed to find a lot of very pretty cups and saucers. This means we are able to have a bit of a teacup theme to our House of Heart stall this month. I hope the pictures below will tempt you to pop into the House of Heart Emporium to see the selection for yourself.

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Time for Tea

It recently occurred to me, while going through our vintage stock, just how many of the well-loved vintage bits and pieces have some sort of link to the ceremonial drinking of tea. Think about it … teapots, cups and saucers, sugar bowls, milk jugs, EPNS teaspoons and sugar tongs, tea trays, tea strainers, tea coseys and tray cloths. It would seem that tea time was a very important part of  people’s lives in days gone by. Although it is probably just as enjoyed by many nowadays, we certainly don’t seem to serve it with quite the same sense of elegance.

Perhaps it would be worth taking the time to enjoy a beautifully presented tea tray?

Here why I think everyone needs to have a “fancy” cup of tea every now and again:

1. A pot of tea is always sure to yield a second or third cup… without requiring another trip to the kitchen.  Perfect for passing a lazy afternoon on the verandah!

Tea in the garden, what a treat.

2. Nothing beats the prettiness of a vintage teaset. I have a dear elderly friend who serves tea with her Royal Albert Moss Rose set — its beautiful! She is happy to allow you to drink tea from it … but she does not allow anyone to help with washing it afterwards.

The gorgeous moss rose pattern by Royal Albert

3. Its a good excuse to buy a pretty tea cosey. The ladies from Roses and Raggamuffins at House of Heart make the most adorable tea coseys!

Adorable Owl tea cosey available at House of Heart

4. Maybe its psychological … but have you ever noticed how wonderful tea tastes in a real porcelain cup? Those heavy, cheap stoneware mugs just don’t compare!

Piping hot tea in a Royal Albert cup … you can not beat it :)

5.If someone has gone to the trouble of preparing an elaborate tea tray … chances are that there will be a host of amazing teatime treats on offer too.  Think scones, cup cakes, rusks, biscotti, lemon meringue pie … or maybe some cucumber sandwiches.

Pretty cupcakes just go so well with a pretty teaset.

6.Ever since I can remember, my granny has loved tea. She and Grandpa would have some brewing at almost any time of the day. She always laid out a tray with her favourite Indian Tree tea set. My gran is now a very healthy 92 year old …could tea be her secret?

7. Tea is the best cure for a bad day. So many times over the years my very worst days were made better by a cup of tea with my mom, sister or friend. Making someone tea in their hour of need is like saying … “I don’t know how to fix the problem but I am here for you.”  My Mom has had the same simply stainless steel teapot for years … I bet that old thing could tell some tales!

Hope this inspires you to get Granny’s old teaset out of the cupboard and share a special tea time with a friend or loved one.

 

What’s New?

I know I have been awfully quiet of late … I think I have been finding my feet in the midst of the back-to-school madness. Although it may be a little late… it was my new year’s resolution to keep my customers more up to date with news and info about what is new. So although we are a good 6 or 7 weeks into 2014, here is my first attempt at “better blogging”.

We have lots of lovely new stock (well.. new old stock ’cause we do sell vintage items) at the House of Heart.

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Charming Piggy Bookends … R250 for the pair.

 

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Gorgeous Oriental Teaset with Dragon Design R355 for the set. Includes 5 trios. a teapot, milk and sugar and a large serving plate. When you hold the cups up to the light they have a woman’s face on them. See the next pic.

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The marking on the teacups (seen when you hold them up to the light)

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A selection of pretty porcelain. Includes Royal Albert, Royal Doulton and LImoages

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Wooden items and a beautiful bronze horse bookend

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Stuart Crystal sugar bowl and creamer — R70 each

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Collectable Teddies

Mary Poppins — Queen of “Lollapalooza”

This last week I was ridiculously  busy. I have been making up-cycled pendants for the House of Heart Christmas market. I thought I was pretty much ahead of schedule but somehow as quick as I made them I managed to sell them to friends, teachers and fellow moms from my boys’ schools.  I was delighted with the sales but the result was lots (like a whole week’s worth) of VERY late nights.  The assembly of the necklaces can be done in front of the TV so I used the opportunity to watch a few of my favourite TV programs and films. One of the evenings I managed to convince my little boys (ages 7 and 5) to watch Mary Poppins with me. At first they protested and complained that it would be boring but once the film got started they were hooked.

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Julie Andrews was my childhood hero and both Mary Poppins and Sound of Music ranked highly on my favourite movies list. I thought I would find fault with Mary Poppins — now that I am older and more cynical — but I have to say I still think it is brilliant.  So here is my list of the top ten “lollapalooza” moments (in the order in which they appear in the film) on Mary Poppins:

1.  Glynis Johns as the Mrs Banks. Parading around in her “votes for women” sash (which she quickly packs away before Mr Banks comes home). “You know how the cause infuriates Mr Banks” she says at one point. Another favourite line runs as follows:

Mrs. Banks: I’m sorry, dear, but when I chose Katie Nana, I thought she would be firm with the children. She looked so solemn and cross.

George Banks: My dear, never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint.

Mrs Banks’ had a distinctly “lollapalooza-ish” dress sense. Those little white gloves are too charming.

2. The scene where all the sour-looking nannies get blown away.

All those nasty nannies are blown away.

3. The amazing scene where Mary Poppins pulls whole lamps and mirrors out of her carpet bag.

There is a lot more to that carpet bag than meets the eye

4. The “Spoon Full of Sugar” song accompanied by the fun-filled “tidy up the nursery” game.

Wouldn’t the world be a happy place if we had all had Mary Poppins as a nanny?

5. The beautiful scene where Mary Poppins, Jane and Michael and Bert dive into the chalk painting and enter an animated world. Dick van Dyke’s penguin dance was the epitome of “lollapalooza”.

The man might not have had the perfect cockney accent but he could dance (and sing!)

6. The “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” song at the end of the animated horse race. It was a big developmental milestone for me when I managed to get my tongue around that word.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – ’nuff said

7. The hilarious ceiling tea party with Uncle Albert (those corny jokes were pretty funny). Not to mention the “Love to Laugh” song.  The closing lines of the scene run as follows:

Bert: Uncle Albert, I got a jolly joke I saved for just such an occasion. Would you like to hear it?

Uncle Albert: [sobbing] I’d be so grateful.

Bert: Well it’s about me granddad, see, and one night he has a nightmare. He was so scared, he chewed his pillow to bits. Bits. In the morning, I says, “How you feel, Granddad?” He says, “Oh, not bad. A little down in the mouth.”

[Bert laughs, Uncle Albert sobs harder]

Bert: I always say there’s nothing like a good joke.

Uncle Albert: [sobbing] No, and that was nothing like a good joke.

Best tea party ever!

8. The chimney scene with Bert, Mary, the chidren and a whole host of chimney sweeps. Awesome choreography.

The chimney top scene.

9. The somber scene when George Banks is summoned to the bank to be  dismissed (due to the chaos caused by his children earlier in the day).  Mr Dawes turns George’s umbrella inside and bashes out a hole in his bowler hat. The scene ends with Mr Dawes Snr contemplating the “wooden leg named Smith” . He ends up dying of laughter. It is interesting to discover that Dick van Dyke also played the decrepit Mr Dawes Snr.

The scariest looking board of directors ever … and you thought your boss was bad!

 

10. The closing scene of the movie is bitter-sweet. It shows a heart-warming reunion of the Banks family as they all join in with the “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” song. Mary Poppins is carried away, presumably to help the next family in need of her amazing talents.

Happy family :)

Maybe its just me, but the fact that a film made in 1964 (wow that’s 50 years ago next year!) can still keep two little modern-age boys and their mum happily entertained for a couple of hours says a lot. So if you are looking for a bit of old-fashioned family fun why not add this classic to your Christmas holiday viewing?

 

For the Love of Teacups

I am not quite sure why, but I have always loved teacups and saucers. Teapots are equally charming. To be honest, I seldom drink tea out of a teacup nor do I use a teapot for making tea. (Sticking a teabag into a mug is a much easier option). I do, however, just adore displays of pretty cups and saucers.

Vintage teacups! My collection is slowly, but surely growing!

A charming little collection — when collecting vintage teacups and saucers anything goes :)

I recently had a look on pinterest for inspiration and here are some of my favourite finds!

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These “multi-flora” patterns are so richly detailed!

Similar but different — I just love this stack of mix cups and saucers

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A stunning collection of floral prettiness

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Royal Albert’s “Moss Rose” — one of my all time favourite patterns of teacup!

4 Aynsley Footed Tea Cups Teacups and Saucers by TheVintageTeacup

These Aynsley teacups are even pretty on the inside!

 

When you have a chance do take a look at pinterest for more amazing ideas.  We are always adding lovely teacups and saucers to our space at the House of Heart in Pietermaritzburg so please do be sure to pop in and have a look :)

Wonderful Willow Pattern

The Willow Pattern (or Blue Willow) is a well-loved classic blue and white china pattern. It was originally designed by a Thomas Minton, in England in 1790. The pattern was inspired by similar pieces which the English imported from China in the 1700’s.

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One of the broken willow pattern pieces I had. All the elements of the story can be clearly seen here.

In order to promote Minton’s original design, stories were invented using the various elements of the pattern. These stories were English in origin and were not true Chinese fables. The most popular story was as follows (this is an extract from a Wikipedia article on the subject:

Once there was a wealthy Madarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She had fallen in love with her father’s humble accounting assistant (Chang), angering her father (it was inappropriate for them to marry due to their difference in social class). He dismissed the young man and built a high fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Mandarin was planning for his daughter to marry a powerful Duke. The Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree. 

On the eve of the daughter’s wedding to the Duke, the young accountant, disguised as a servant, slipped into the palace unnoticed. As the lovers escaped with the jewels, the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand. They eventually escaped on the Duke’s ship to the safety of a secluded island, where they lived happily for years. But one day, the Duke learned of their refuge. Hungry for revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the lovers and put them to death. The gods, moved by their plight, transformed the lovers into a pair of doves (possibly a later addition to the tale, since the birds do not appear on the earliest willow pattern plates).

A charming collection

This design has remained popular for more than 200 years and has been re-produced by almost all of the major porcelain and china manufacturers in England. The pattern has been made in all sorts of different colours but the classic royal blue and white remains a favourite.

I have been fortunate to obtain some beautiful Willow Pattern plates (and some other classic blue and white china) in the past week. These will be for sale at the House of Heart from next week. Any damaged pieces I find I make into pendants and the Willow Pattern pendants are always popular with our customers.

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Here is a pendant I made a while ago with the two birds.

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This is a pendant made with the boat scene

House of Heart Christmas Market 25 and 26 October.

I attended a lovely Christmas market this weekend at the House of Heart Emporium in Pietermaritzburg. The market was from 9am to 9pm on Friday and from 9am to 2pm on Saturday. It is such a beautiful venue and we were  fortunate to have two gorgeous sunny spring days.  Although Christmas is still two months away, we had a wonderful opportunity to get into the Christmas “spirit” a little early. The market looked stunning on Friday night… full of twinkling Christmas lights and lanterns.

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An overview of the display

Because the market focused on handmade goods I took my up-cycled pendants along with me. It was quite a week of preparation and I ended up making about 80 pendants for the market!

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My “Christmas Tree” decorated with my extra bits of broken plate.

The stallholders were asked to pretty-up their tables with Christmassy decor and I must admit I had a lot of fun decorating my “Christmas tree” with pieces of broken plate and bows. My husband hauled out the Christmas lights from the top cupboard and I am pleased to say they are now untangled  (here’s hoping they stay that way until Christmas time). Cute vintage postcards along the front of the table completed the look.

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Pendants displayed with pretty china.

Doing a market so close to home is always a pleasure because one gets to see lots of friends and familiar faces. It was also lovely to meet a bunch of friendly students from the USA who are currently studying in PMB. They were very enthusiastic about all the items for sale.

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Just some of the more than 80 pendants I had for sale

There is due to be another market on the last Saturday of November… if you will be in the area its bound to be worth a visit!

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The vintage suitcase display

This week I will be making a whole lot more pendants for the fabulous “I Heart” market. We will also be packing up loads of interesting vintage goodies to share with the friendly people of Durban. So here’s hoping for sunny weather for this week :)

Ways with Plates

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As you well may have gathered, I have a great fondness for pretty antique plates. I think this is because both my parents and grandparents always had very pretty plates on display in their homes. It was a wonderful day when my Granny first gave me a few of my very own “pretty”  plates — I was about 9 years old at the time — I was so excited to hang them on my bedroom wall. Some of those plates are still in my home today (23 years and 7 house moves later!).  Even in my teenage years I was forever on the hunt for plates at charity shops and fetes.

I was recently looking on Pinterest and found some lovely examples of the effectiveness of plate displays. Perhaps this will provide you with the inspiration you need to try some of your own?  I have put all the links to original sources onto the pictures so you can see where they are from.  Be sure to check out Pinterest for yourself too.

PS… once you are provided with all the inspiration you need …. we will provide with all the plates you need :)

Welsh Dresser Hutch Spring china plate display

The classic Welsh Dresser perfect for your china collection. (I am still hoping to own one of these one day!)

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These floral themed plates are different but they look so pretty together.

Polish pottery plate display

A mix of blue and white plates can look so stylish and elegant

Love the plate wall.... Must remember for formal dinning room!!!

I love how even the plain white plates look amazing on a dark grey wall.

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How I would love to have one of these amazing display areas!

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An adorable plate “tree” makes for an interesting display

Like this plate display idea!

This little rack is just perfect!

Tuesday Re-Stock

 

 

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Our little stand :) Full and ready for you to stop in. There are so many lovely goodies.

We have enjoyed a wonderful first week at the House of Heart Emporium.  I popped in there this morning for a bit of a re-stock and spruce-up!

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Some genuine antique plates. Old and timeless!

As you can see I brought in a lot of pretty and interesting new plates. We have tried to keep them reasonably priced (between R30 and R70).  I personally  love to have a collection of miss-matched plates to use for display on the wall or for serving food at teas and functions. These piece are always admired and appreciated by visitors.

 

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Some pretty plates. I just love the shape of the one on the left :)

 

I added a few new little EPNS pieces. We still have that gorgeous candelabra and EP teaset in stock too. These are such elegant and timeless pieces — I hope they find a special owner soon!

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EPNS Candelabra, tray and gravy boat. A some cute bird ornaments.

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Beautiful Victorian Teacups and a lovely Arzberg Teaset.

We have a lovely German-made Arzberg teaset (for one) — just because you’re drinking tea alone does mean you can’t do it in style!

I brought in a beautiful Oriental teapot today — priced at just R50 — this one is sure to sell soon.

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Pretty oriental teapot and vases and some lovely spoons!

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All the pretty goodies :)

Lastly here is a lovely lot of classy glass and trinket dishes (two of which are Royal Albert) — any of these would make a unique and precious gift for someone special.

The pendants have also been selling very well — they just cost R60 and are a lovely gift idea because no two are the same.

Hope to be adding to exciting new goodies next week!

Lollapalooza hits the “House of Heart Emporium”

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A new month and an exciting new opportunity!   Yesterday morning saw us moving into our new little corner at the super “House of Heart Emporium” — located at the Dunrobin centre, 31 Warwick Rd (off Town Bush Road). The House of Heart acts as a wonderful showcase for all sorts of interesting crafters and suppliers and it is the perfect place to find a unique gift for that someone special. On the same property is the wonderful “Flavours” Cafe which is set in the beautiful nursery gardens. Their menu is full of delicious meals and treats … and their cappuccinos are divine! The Flora Symons nursery is well stocked with beautiful roses and seedlings.. just what you need to “pretty” up your garden this summer.

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House of Heart Emporium entrance.

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Some pretty petunias to welcome you :)

Anyway,  back to our little corner :) …  My wonderful husband James constructed a lovely custom-made pine display shelf (the sweet man worked all hours of the night on this one — I definitely married a “keeper”).  The shelf provides lots of space for our vintage goodies and a special custom-made area for our up-cycled “Weeping Willow” pendants.

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Our lovely shelf (thanks James)

We have some real “Lollapalooza” finds (at least we think we do!).

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Vintage Suitcases — with original stickers. The one case has sub-divisions for shoes. So very shabby-chic! These are going for R500 each.

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Just a few of our pretty plates. The Minton one in the middle is stunning!

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Some lovely EPNS spoon sets. With original boxes.

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Gorgeous glassware — just a small sample of what we have.

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Some sweet little bird ornaments (very reasonably priced)

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A stunning 4 piece silver-plated copper teaset. R1500 for the set.

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Our pendant stand

 

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A close-up of some of our pendants

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And some more :)

Apart from our display, there are stacks of amazing stalls at the House of Heart. Below are some photos of a few of them:

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The lovely Handmade in Howick — beautiful handmade goodies (and so creative)

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Roses and Ragamuffins. Charming children’s clothes and gifts. I just love their crocheted headbands!

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Vintage Rose Collection … so femine

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Gorgeous Laser-Cut signs, clocks and jewellery.

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Re-Creations — charming rustic storage boxes.

Hope you get a chance to pop in soon — its well-worth the visit.  And you don’t want to miss out on those cappuccinos (I promise).