Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Do Believe

I do BELIEVE, yes I do!
My word for 2011 is BELIEVE.
It hasn't always been an easy word.
I knew I believed in God, Fairies, and Whimsy,
but what I didn't realize is that it would teach me
that I BELIEVE in me.

Then this following quote came along from Women Who Create
and I felt this was just perfect to fit with my belief in myself.

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder
than one closed by Belief."
by Anahata Joy Katkin

What I am learning by believing in myself is to still keep that touch of wonder,
whimsy, and make-believe.   To keep the childlike heart to discover
the little beauties of life.

Did you pick a word for 2011?
What are you learning from your word?
Are you planning to have a new word for 2012?

*pictures taken at Bella Flora, a place of whimsy and fairies.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Walk with me - Japanese Gardens

Walk with me.
Click on any picture you would like to see in more detail.

Yesterday the weather was just perfect for a walk.
Not just any walk, but a walk in the Japanese Gardens here in Portland, Oregon.
I have taken you to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens, but not to the Japanese Gardens.
It is above the Rose Gardens on the side of a hill looking down on Portland,
a lovely view indeed.  Very peaceful on a Monday afternoon.
Have you taken a special walk lately?
Where do you like to walk?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Table

Really I don't mean to make you hungry, really I don't.
When I looked at the pictures it brought back fond memories.
I just couldn't help myself, I had to share.
The table was set with my grandfather's china full of daisies and violets.
The final dahlias from the garden were picked and tucked into low vases.
When the food looks like this how many flowers do you need?
The candles were nestled in popcorn kernels for a festive, golden look.
Pies were sitting nearby waiting their turn to shine,
but oh that turkey and the wonderful cranberry relish were stealing the show for sure.
Sharing good food and dear friends and family make this a very special holiday.

For those of you in the US that celebrate Thanksgiving,
I do hope it was shared with special loved ones
and your hearts were full of gratitude.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tea for Thanksgiving

For those of you that have followed me along for awhile,
you know that I traveled to Taiwan in May to visit tea farms.
Last week I was looking for some vases in the typical place
I keep my vases and I found this beautiful blue and white tin.
I had tucked it away and there it sat waiting to be discovered in the most unusual place.
It was decided this should be our Thanksgiving tea.
I was thankful for finding it again and the opportunity to share it with family and friends on this special day.

Inside the tin was a lovely Muzha Tiequanyin Oolong from Farmer Zheng.
It is not a floral oolong, which I have been drinking.
It has more body and a lovely after taste that is not at all bitter, just a lovely
slight sweetness.  It reminded me so much of the time we spent with
Farmer Zheng with his lovely smile and enthusiasm for raising
Tiequanyin in the traditional ways of his father and his grandfather.
If you would like to try some of Farmer Zheng Tiequanyin Oolong teas
you can find them at The Floating Leaves in Seattle or HERE online.
You won't find this lovely tin, but you will find the wonderful tea inside.

Having friends and family sitting around my Thanksgiving table and sharing a cup of tea was pure DELIGHT.
I hope you were each blessed this Thanksgiving with pure DELIGHT.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Farewell Autumn Leaves

— Elizabeth Coatsworth
(thanks Elizabeth Knight for giving me this poem) 

The leaves are almost all on the ground now.
They were spectacular here in Oregon this year.
Some years just shine and this Autumn definitely did that.
There are a few dried leaves sitting on my mantel for the pure pleasure
and still enjoying them.
May each of you have time to wish the leaves farewell for another season
with a walk or a picture singing their glory.
For they will return on another day and in a different form,
but be assured, they will return to dazzle us again.
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Play in Fairyland

Saturday I had the opportunity to play in fairyland.
Oh what fun I had making my little bird with an attitude in wool.
There were 3 students and 1 leader of the fairies to take us into the land of fairies.
One made the beautiful bird, another made a bird that turned into a turtle,
and I made the bird in the middle.  What fun we had, escaping the land of humans
for just a few hours.  I highly recommend finding the land of the fairies and playing awhile.

Now you can see here fairies don't always live in holes in trees,
but sometimes they play in little rooms packed with goodies and fun delights.
So if you come to Portland, Oregon one of these days,
we really must escape to this fairyland of delights.
If you are searching on your own, this delightful place is called
Bella Flora and is located on N.E. Fremont Street.
Another day we can return here for more pictures, there is so much to see.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sittn' in the Light

Sweet Chrysanthemum
Pink Delight brings great JOY.
It's sittn' in the light.
God's light shines down on it
and it is glorious!

Anticipating the holidays and
bursting with laughter of time spent with family and friends.

Do you have plans this week that involve
family and friends?
Oh, do tell.
The time is near for turkey, then mistletoe.

And the winner of Dainty Dining is: 
Tracy from Prana Light
Tracy, please send me your address 
and the book will be on it's way to Norway.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dainty Dining

Yesterday I received Dainty Dining by Angela Webster McRae in the mail.
I was so excited to get my hands on it, as I had known it was in the works
for awhile.  Angela put together a lovely tribute to America's department store
tearooms of the past with lovely pictures and recipes too.
This does bring back fond memories of peaking in the doors of some of these
department store tearooms and wishing I could have tea there.
Now I can step inside and savor each moment through Angela's lovely book.

As a special celebration I have an extra book to give to one of my readers.
Please leave a comment here and I will announce the winner on Monday morning.
If you are interested in purchasing a book visit Angela at Tea with Friends blog for more information.

You can also follow Angela's blog Tea with Friends for new adventures in tea.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Teacup Thursday

I love the colors of these simple cups.
They always cause me to smile when I see them stacked just so on my shelf.
What's extra special about them is that they were made probably about the 1950's
in California.  We find so many teacups made in England, China, or Japan;
but how often do we see cups made in California or the USA.
Under the saucer it says: Early California, Authentic Vernonware, Made in USA.

This holiday season of gift buying coming up, my thoughts are going
more and more to shopping local.
So this morning it is fun to be sipping from a teacup made in California, USA.

Do any of my tea drinking friends have teacups made in the USA?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sending Love

Sending love this Wednesday to each of you.
When I am out walking and kicking up the leaves,
I love seeing these heart shaped leaves hanging there.
Take time today to notice the small things.
Just saying, get out there and enjoy the day.
I am on my way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Autumn Leaves

When you were a child, did you love running and kicking up the autumn leaves?
Does the child in you still love kicking up those leaves?
Mine does.
Recently I was out walking and kicking up those leaves.
Walking by the university in my neighborhood there was a huge mound of leaves.
There was a student there spraying water on the leaves.
I turned to him and said, "if you weren't spraying water on those leaves
I do believe I would need to jump into that pile".
He looked at me strangely and said, "you would want to jump into a pile of compost?".

So young and yet he had lost his child's heart.
It is all in the perception.
Do you still have that child's heart that wants to jump into a pile of autumn leaves?

Monday, November 14, 2011


The passion flower.

Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms
without losing a particle of its original ray; nay,
when it strikes on a kindred heart, like the converged
light on the mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness.
It is not perfect till it is shared.
 Quote by Jane Porter

When happiness shines through our face and shines with a smile
that is pure passion.
Quote by Me

Friday, November 11, 2011


Do you say TGIF or Thank Goodness It's Friday?
Do you look forward to dancing in the sunlight or in fresh falling snow of the weekend?
Do you make small celebrations on Saturday and Sunday?

I love the image of dancing and mention it often here.
There is just something that makes my heart sing when I imagine it.
What special something do you have planned for the weekend?
I hope it makes your heart sing and laugh with JOY!

And the winner of my cozy pattern is: amherstrose
Congratulations to you! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tea with my Mom

 Steph at Steph's Cup of Tea is hosting Tea and Truth
this month.  It is a weekly writing that involves tea.
What you will read below is my writing last week.
I hope you enjoy it.  Yes, that little bird did fly by my
window just as I was finishing this wonderful assignment.
Visit Steph to learn more HERE.
My mom has been invited to tea and soon she will be here.  The tea is ready.  I hear a knock on the door.  Welcome Mom, come into tea.  I wanted you to join me today because I want to tell you I love you and share a cup of tea.  It has been so long since we shared tea together.  Do you remember the times?  There was a time when I was going into 6th grade and the little ladies that owned the house we would rent served us tea.  It was a special time, just you and me.
No, I didn't fill your cup very full, but it is full to the brim with love for you.
I am so happy you like it.  I made a special oolong brought home from Taiwan earlier this year.  I know how much you love flowers and this tea tastes like a cup full of flowers.  Do you agree?  Oh yes, it is beautiful and filled with light and sweetness.
Do you remember after we moved into that little house on Bird Street and times would be hard, you would bring out the teapot and Lipton teabags, maybe even toast strips and we would sip, laugh, and raise our pinkies pretending to be rich ladies?  It is a fond memory I have of tea with you.
I am so happy you came for tea today.  I so wanted to tell you I love you and I wanted to share this ritual that means so much to me.  Yes, it is my morning pot of tea.
Aren't the pink roses pretty on the cups?  I always felt your color was pink, so I wanted you to have pink roses this morning.  They do make my heart sing too, as I knew they would for you.  Winter is coming and there are crystals on the ground.  The candle is burning to give us more light on this cold fall morning.
Just one more cup you say.  Is it getting cold?  Let's sit for just a while longer, sip our tea, and enjoy the silence of the morning.
Did you see my red necked hummingbird flutter by the window?  Did you fly away with him?  I love you, Mom.  May your spirit fly free on the wings of the little one.  Come anytime for tea, you are always welcome.

Don't forget the give away I mentioned on Monday.  Leave a comment on that post for the opportunity to win one of my sewing patterns.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gift Giving

A favorite Shaker song, which I have framed on my wall in my office is Simple Gifts.  It was written
by Elder Joseph Brackett and is considered a dancing song.  I sometimes use the words dance, dance where
it says turn, turn.
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right
I love these words and the tune is lovely too.

Earlier this week someone sent me a list of gifts we could give for the upcoming
holiday season that support our local businesses.
I have given this a lot of thought and wanted to share some of the gift ideas here.
Here is my list for today, though more could be added to it as we go along.
Please leave comments on other ideas to be added to the list.

1. Gift baskets of locally grown produce
2. Make a gift that someone would love
3.  Support a local artist or musician by buying their art or music
4. Gift certificates:
hairdresser or barber
local restaurants
oil change at a locally owned shop
cleaning lady for a day
5. Your time to take someone shopping or serve a special meal
6. Tickets for the local car wash
7.  Tickets for a special event
8.  Books from a local author or purchased at a locally owned book store
9. Tickets to do yard work or mow someones lawn in the summer
10.  Driveway plowed on a snowy day
11.  Make a donation to a local charity in your friends name

OK, your turn.

Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's give away too.
Maybe the winner could make tea cozies for gift giving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seeking Beauty in Everyday Life

The Purpose of Living

This morning I made myself a cup of tea and settled into the sofa to review some of the episodes on Charlie Rose last week.  I found an interview with Joan Didion, author of A Year of Magical Thinking and her new book Blue Nights.  As I watched their conversation unfold, Charlie asked this acclaimed writer a powerful question: "Joan, what do you live for?"  As I watched Didion take her time to thoughtfully consider his question, I waited for her response to such a loaded question.  The first words out of her mouth were:

"I live largely for certain small moments.  Moments of great beauty in the world..."

I took a deep breath, pressed pause, and stared at the television set.  Wow, I thought, that about sums it up for me.

To me, moments of great beauty can include an unexpected visit from a deer in the back yard, the eye-to-eye deep connection felt with a loved one, or the exquisite pain of sadness experienced while saying goodbye to something or someone I love.  These are the moments that stay with me, that touch me deeply.

Toward the end of the interview, Charlie asked another powerful question: "When you look back over this life, would you have done anything dramatically different?  Again, Didion carefully considered his question before she answered. "I would have spent more time appreciating those small things."

What a way to start a Sunday - considering such questions.  So, I ask you:  What do you live for?  What are your moments of great beauty? And are you appreciating what you live for?


Each week on Sunday I receive Cheryl Richardson's newsletter.
If you notice in my header it says
"Seeking Beauty in Everyday Life".
When I read this from Cheryl I knew I had to share with you.
I hope you enjoyed it.
Go out today and notice the great beauty around you. 

PS - Oops! This was my post for Tuesday, but it came up early.
Enjoy for an extra day!
Don't forget the give away mentioned on my first Monday post.

Sewing Patterns for Tea Lovers

With the upcoming holiday season I thought I would mention
my business.  I don't often mention it, but have the link on my sidebar.
I have had several comments recently on this blog asking where to
find my sewing patterns for tea lovers.  Because the request came from
Anonymous, I am responding here.
If you like to sew gifts for the holidays or other times during the years,
Marmalady's has 8 great sewing patterns including a pattern for the
above tea cozy.  Next year I hope to add more patterns to the line.
You can find the sewing patterns, plus other tea lovers gifts at:

Thanks for visiting me there and everyday
here at Delights of the Heart.  I love hearing from
you and having you visit. 
Just as a thank you, if you leave a comment
today on this post I will send a sewing pattern for
this cozy to the name that gets drawn on Friday morning. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Neighborhood Walk

Often I visit other blogs and enjoy the walks in your neighborhoods.
I walk in my neighborhood about 4 times a week, but become
complacent to what I see.  Yesterday I took my camera along
just to share my neighborhood with you.  I hope you enjoyed it.

If you are in the neighborhood come on by for my Holiday Sale today and tomorrow.
There will be some good prices on Jam, Books, and Teapots.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Green Tea

Helen Gustafson wrote The Green Tea User's Manual,
which was published in 2001.    What I am sharing today is from
her book.  Helen was the tea buyer for Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California
and was instrumental in much of the early education in the tea movement.

Green tea has become increasingly popular in the United States, drunk not only
for its delightful taste but for its myriad health benefits.  Many think there is only one green
tea, but indeed there are many different types, such as:  Gunpowder, Sencha, jasmine, roasted
teas, simple green teas, and the popular Japanese Gen Mai Cha, made with popped rice and
green tea.

A quote from her section in the book on The Joys of Green Tea:

When the water boils for the first time,
something akin to the eyes of a fish appear on the surface
and a faint hissing sound can be heard.

Then the gurgling brook develops
with a string of pearls round the edge
This is the second boiling.

Then the turbulent waves appear:  this is the third boiling.
quote by Lu Yu in A.D. 780

Most green teas taste best when the water is somewhere in the Fish Eyes (160-180 F) through
String of Pearls (180-190 F) range.  Experiment with green tea varieties and temperatures
and I do believe you will find delight.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Thanks for suggestions yesterday for surviving the darkness of winter.
One thing I like to do is dream of traveling to warm places.
I think this year I will make a collage of
those places and collect pictures on Pinterest
of warm places to travel to.
Then maybe a trip will come along,
but for now I will dream.

If you traveled to a warm place, where would it be?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Golden Days before the Darkness

One thing you might not know about me,
I am a girl of sunshine.
Growing up in California
I lived outdoors.
Right now I am enjoying the glowing
golden leaves of Autumn,
but too soon the time will change,
the days will be shorter, and
we will not see many signs of the sun.
I start burning candles for some extra light
and I have thought of getting a light box.

How do you make it through the dark months?
What do you do to bring sunshine into your life
and keep a smile on your face?
I really want to make it through the winter more graciously,
so any tips would be appreciated.

Happy first day of November!
This photo was taken recently at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens.
Tea at these little tables always gives me a smile.