Tea Cosy Collection

My daughter opines that five things make a collection (and my BFF agrees with her) so I suppose I have started a collection of tea cosies. My pinterest has a virtual collection… but I don’t actually own all of those. Here are the ones I do own:

This was my first tea cosy, before I dialed in exactly what I wanted. It’s a souviner from Scotland with embroidery on the front and ‘Frae Bonnie Scotland” embroidered around the highland piper. The embroidery is a pocket and there’s a small ‘hat’ in it- which I have discovered is a potholder for the teapot handle- clever! I would guess this is midcentury or so although it could be earlier.

I love the detail on this one- the birdcage, the stalking cat, the flower pot in the window, the bootscraper at the back door

This is really close to the one I want that started this whole thing- except it’s an Inn rather than a cottage. By the sign, I’m guessing it would be called the Ship Inn

This one is really for Emily- I like the more elaborate cottages… but it’s Beatrix Potter and it’s a cottage, if printed rather than embroidered, so we got it. Tag says that it’s a Sari design.

Hello, cat. Not a cottage at all but how can you resist the expression on that face? We can’t use it much though because when we set it up on the table, we’re always forgetting and yelling ‘Cat!’ which, of course, upsets the cats who were not doing anything wrong (at the moment). Tag on the inside says that it’s a Sari design as well.

This is called Winter Wonderland and the pattern is available on Etsy. Since I am not much of a knitter, I contracted someone else to knit the pattern for me… and make the deer and birds brown so they can be better seen. So far, it’s my most expensive one- which is funny as I generally do not like the knitted/crocheted cosies. It also just barely fits into the parameters of what I decided to collect.

My latest cosy (as of May 2018)- another Inn- this one is obviously the Red Lion. I like the many materials used to create it- not just embroidery and raffia (or straw) but also leather and the sign is wired and attached by what seems to be a drapery hook so that it stands straight out from the cosy. The chimney is fortified inside with a box (maybe cardboard?) so that it is stiff and not as subject to crushing. And I like the foaming mug on the bench beside the open front door.

When I started collecting tea cosies, I wanted a cottage (specifically the cottage pictured in the Daily Mail). With this sort of collection, you can’t just hare off and start collecting anything called a ‘tea cosy’, you have to get a lot more specific or you’ll end up with a huge amount of things (definition of ‘horde’ varies but in this case, it would be a horde by any definition) and no money. Especially if, like me, you look for bargins. In my opinion, you should only collect the ‘best’ of whatever you are collecting- definition of ‘best’ left open to the user.

I narrowed my parameters to ‘cottage tea cosy’, not knitted or crocheted, preferably thatched roof with embroidery and unusual. Plus I have to really love it, not just ‘it fits the parameters’. I’ve seen several printed cottage cosies but I’m only interested in one of them and the so-called Berlin work or tapestry cosies (needlepoint) don’t really interest me either. So, just by narrowing what I’m collecting, I’ve saved quite a lot of money and space.

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New games resolution

I’ve decided that I’m not going to start blinging my games until they are something I know I want to keep.

Not an expansion, not an insert (unless set up really needs one) not an upgraded resource. I will probably go ahead and sleeve a game after one or two plays to keep the cards nice if I’m liking it. I also need to take a good hard look at games I’m keeping and see if there are any that could be sold or traded and free up shelf space.

This doesn’t mean that I’m going to have a mass culling and get down to my favorite 10 games (what would those be, even?) but I am going to look at the games I have once I’ve played them at least twice (for things I’m really not liking). If, after 10 plays, I still want to play the game, it stays.

I’m not going to say I’m not going to buy or back any games- there are still several I want quite a lot- but I am going to make an effort to get the ones I have played and see if I actually like them. I have some very highly rated games that I have not even started to learn to play. Once I have a game out, I’m going to play it 10 times (not all in one day, of course) and if I find myself dragging about setting it up and playing, examine why.
Do I not like it very much?
Am I bored?
Am I frustrated?
Am I just tired and the idea of playing excites me but I just don’t have the energy to set it up? (Examine if a good insert would solve this)
Would I rather be playing something else? (Sell the game- play something else)

And, again, no blinging until the game has hit the table several times!

I should also see about giving away or selling my extra bits- components that I have upgraded that I don’t want any more. There are certainly people out there who could use replacements or extras!

In the meantime, I am going to finish the blings I have started and work on getting more games to the table.

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Wizard of Oz set

Well I am finally getting back to rebinding this set. I have scrapped most of the ideas I had for the first book as being too time consuming with the tools I have. I found a spray that deacidifys paper so I’m just going to take the Copelman book and rebind it. If I had more tools and so, I could do it but as it is, this has stalled me for too long already. I also found end paper that looks (to me) like a desert and I may paint a twister on it. So far I have end papers applied and am currently squaring and trimming the pages. I need to build something to support the plough- right now I’m using an empty quilting frame but that’s not the best solution.

What I am trying to do is to perform one operation a day (at least) even on the days I work. Today should see the trimming finished and the first edge gilded.

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Books and illustrations

If you know me, you know I like fancy books. Illuminated, leatherbound etc. But I am especially picky about illustrations. Some books don’t have any or many (The Hobbit) and some can only have one artist- Pauline Baynes for Narnia, for example. But some books have been illustrated over and over again and I get to pick which ones I like best for that book. Some times that’s easy- Rackham for Midsummer Night’s Dream or Norman Rockwell for Tom Sawyer.

Yesterday I discovered that a couple of books have illustrators that I did not know about. “Little Women” is one- I have the Juanita Bennett illustrations (only the first book, sadly) but I discovered yesterday that Norman Rockwell also illustrated Little Women- sort of. He did a series of paintings and drawings which were never published in a copy of the book. Oh now, really? I want copies of all of them and I’ll tip them into a book and make my own, thanks.

I also discovered that “The Wind in the Willows” was illustrated by Rackham, then by E H Shepard (of Winnie the Pooh) and then by Tasha Tudor. Oh for heavens sake- which one do I choose? (No, only one. I’m not having three copies- one of them is best… but which one?) So now I’m dithering. And it’s entirely a matter of personal taste- my best is not someone else’s best.

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So yesterday was a fantastic day!

My daughter and I drove up to meet my BFF for eclipse viewing to the closest place it would be 100% (Athens Tn). We had planned to go down to the park but there were so many people that we went the other way and found a paved turn around on the side of the road. We pulled in and watched from there.

Yes, we had glasses.

It was fabulous! BFF wanted to be an astronomer when we were kids so this was really special for her. I enjoyed watching the moon dragon eat the sun… but I also enjoyed watching the weird twilight come on and, close to the total coverage, the shadow actually moving toward us!

Then we went for food and, having discovered that the traffic was purely mad, went to her hotel room and napped for a bit before heading home.

The traffic was still mad… but probably not as bad as it had been… and she came home with us for an extended evening of board games, cheesecake and coffee.

We played one game each of Morels, Gloom and Tokaido (and Rokoko last night) none of which she had ever played before. She liked Tokaido so well that she’s thinking of getting her own copy!

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Some new pretties on my table!

First, the new tea cloth:

This is the one I looked for for two years before I found it! I was planning on trying to make one from pictures because I had actually given up on finding one of my own.

Then, to keep the tea warm:

I’ve already started my own version of a cottage tea cosy- which I will (eventually) finish but I do love this one! I love the bird in the cage and the black cat stalking another bird along the back

I had a bit of an accident today while taking Emily to her job interview- I think I have sprained my wrist.

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Happy Friday

Yesterday was my birthday and the tablecloth I’ve been trying to buy a copy of for two years arrived yesterday:

Amusingly, my gift from Mom was a tin cottage filled with English Toffee:

She didn’t know anything about the tablecloth.

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