Fragrance for free, anyone?

Okay, this isn’t exactly a gardening post that is directly related to me because I hadn’t planted these beauties. My husband pointed out to me at some bushes that were blooming way out there from our backyard (well, not quite, but it would be the furthest I had to venture out from our deck). I found to my very pleasant surprise they are rose bushes! They are big, and there are three of them, and they are profusely covered with these fragrant dainty little blooms:

This is to show you just how challenging the terrain is for my venture out there… just kidding! :) But we do have a little creek that runs along the back. See the white patches in the bottom right corner – those are the start of the rose blooms:

Of course, I took full advantage of these fragrant beauties:

My husband made my day when he pointed me to these roses. We were marveling how well these roses grow with no care, no special feeding or spraying… nothing! And yet the Heavenly Father takes care of them. I quote from Matthew 6:28b-29: “See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” How true the words ring concerning these roses!

Have a fabulous weekend, my bloggy friends. I will be back Monday!

p.s. I would appreciate it very much if anyone could tell me what kind of roses these are! The blooms are roughly 1″ across, and they are very fragrant, almost like lilac.

I’m a little teapot…

I anxiously wait for Gracious Hospitality‘s assignment each week to see if it’s something I can participate, and this week’s is on teapots!!! I think I might take a stab at this difficult assignment… :)

I am rarely a mix-and-match person; I think that methodical quirk is the engineer in me. So, the teapots I have purchased are ones that are made for the china collections I have.

If you have been visiting my blog for a while, you would have caught quite a few sightings of this Royal Albert Lady Carlyle teapot. I absolutely love the scrolls and the gold, and of course the bouquets all adeptly incorporated fit the daintily beautiful shape of the teapot. I actually purchased this teapot at a china shop in Gatwick airport during a layover while I was on an overseas trip. I had been looking for the teapot for quite a while then, and was simply delighted to find one at the airport store. Since we were traveling light, I requested the shop ship the teapot back to the States for me – which they did without any mishap! I have received many many compliments from you all on my Lady Carlyle pieces, THANK YOU! If you are interested to see more Lady Carlyle pieces and know a bit about the history, please come back this Friday when I do a Show-and-Tell post on my Lady Carlyle china:

This silver teaset (shown minus the intricate silver scroll work tea tray) is an old set made by Oneida Silversmith. It is a set I use when I am using pieces that don’t have their own matching teapots. Since silver goes with anything and everything, the setting always comes out looking nice:

You have seen these two before. The one on the left is from Taiwan. It’s a gift from a dear friend. It looks to be in a traditional Oriental shape. My father told me that he had seen similar teapots like that when he was growing up. The one on the right is well-beloved by many many many over the generations (since its production in 1814) – the Spode Blue Italian 6-cup teapot. Its regal shape mixed with the blue and white is simply breathtaking to me. I never get tired of looking at it:

I almost forgot about this one because it’s now put up and stored in the cabinet. This teapot is from the Spode Woodland Collection which I only use during the fall. I started the collection in honor of my husband whose favorite season is the fall. I stumbled across just the teapot a few years ago WITHOUT the lid and bought it for $15. I had to place a special order for the lid from Spode, and had to pay close to $50 plus shipping for just the lid! You win some, you lose some, I guess:

Seeing all the beautiful teapots others have posted, I think it’s perhaps time to spread my wings and branch out a bit and buy some teapots that are individual and unique. :) This has been a fun assignment. Thanks, LaTeaDah!

Dish-aholic Part 1: One thing led to another…

I have to admit I am a dish-aholic. I love dishes of all shapes and forms, whether or not they are functional. I have always love the blue and white color combination on dishes. So, years ago, I started with a couple of Spode Blue Italian plates (well, and other blue and white dishes) for our spring and summer dining uses —

Then, when I started looking around, I realized I had to have these to go with the plates (the middle Devonia tray on the middle shelf is a gift from my cousin):

Next, I discovered I needed these to make my collection more complete:

Somehow, I just couldn’t (or rather wouldn’t) resist these:

Now that it’s been almost 10 years since I started collecting Spode Italian, I look at my stash and wonder why in the world I had thought a few years ago I simply couldn’t live without this ( a spoon rest?!):

Yet, Spode still makes many many more pieces that I don’t have. The Blue Italian pattern has got to be one of the most exhaustive collection Spode makes – mustard pot, Parmesan pot, Dutch jug, wash basin, mixing bowl, measuring pitcher, sandwich platter and the list goes on. You name it, they would probably have it! (Notice I am naming the pieces I don’t have — wonder if my brother-in-law would get a hint if he reads this post, hehe! You can find explanation on my brother-in-law in this post.)

I have to say collecting dishes has been a very enjoyable process and hobby. I have learned to appreciate the beauty of each piece of handiwork. I love taking time out once in a while to just stop and admire each piece and see how the motif is incorporated onto the form and shape of each piece. Some stop to smell the roses, I stop to look at my dishes because right now my roses aren’t anything to speak of – make that the whole flower bed in the front yard (*SIGH*)! That is another story for another post.