Monday, May 30, 2011

Tea Time Tuesday~Blue Willow Memories

Welcome to my first Tea Time Tuesday, hosted by Sandi from Rose Chintz Cottage. I have wanted to join in for tea on Tuesdays for so long, and while this is my first post, it marks 70 Tea Time Tuesdays for Sandi. Thank you Sandi for having room for one more. Visit Sandi for tea and the list of participants sharing teacups and special treasures relating to tea.

When I refer to Blue Willow Memories, I think of times having tea with my grandmother using the gorgeous Blue Willow cups and saucers that filled the hutch at Nana's house.
As a child, I was fascinated by the pretty design all in blue and white with the gorgeous love birds that graced every piece. When I got older and enjoyed tea with my grandmother, mother, aunts and cousins, these cups and saucers became even more dear.

Comprised of two different styles of Blue Willow dishes, grandma's set was very large. The older cups where marked Japan on the bottom and had a small design on the inside rim of the cup. The newer styles did not. Here I have pictured both designs with the vintage being my very favorite.

Having tea with these precious cups and saucers, we talked about our hopes and dreams, plans and accomplishments. Many times, tea in these cups, soothed our hearts through disappoint or a bad cold. It was at Nana's table, enjoying tea that I still recall the best times.

When my grandmother passed away, my mother inherited all the Blue Willow. With care and purpose, mother gave each piece a special home in her beautiful hutch and the tradition of having tea continued. Many happy times and sad ones too were accompanied with a cup of tea using the dear set so loved.

As the years rolled by and my mother passed away, the Blue Willow became mine. For many years I kept it packed away only to take out now and then, until I realized, I was missing the joy and memories by not using it more often. So I carefully found a place for each piece in my Tuscan kitchen today and use these gorgeous pieces everyday. Each time I pour a cup of tea in these precious cups, I know I keep the memories of times with my loved ones near to my heart. The tea just taste better too in a pretty vintage cup!

The teapot was a gift from my dear hubby for Christmas a few years ago. It makes the perfect addition to the entire set.

The Love Birds fly overhead each scene and a true vintage piece will show chubby birds while the newer styles are much thinner.

Recently I stitched a set of 4 napkins to go with my set and they go nicely with the china bird napkin holders that were given to me by a good friend many years ago.

For today's tea, I baked Cherry Dream Squares with a dollop of whipped cream. It is warm from the oven and is the perfect dessert for a cup of Earl Grey Tea.

As our TEA TIME comes to an end, I so enjoyed your company today and I want to Thank Sandi for hosting with the list of participants. I look forward to visiting others for tea and hopefully the blogger glitch of the last week will be resolved to leave comments.

Until we meet again, I'll place the vintage blue willow cup and saucer in a little basket for display and save keeping. It has a place of honor with wonderful memories starting with my grandmother so many years ago. So many family and friends held this cup and enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee over the years. If this cup could talk, I am sure it would have a million stories to share.

Thank you for coming to tea, have a wonderful week!
Smiles from Texas and Blessings Be Yours, Celestina Marie

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Saturday, May 28, 2011


In Remembrance and honor to those brave men and women who have served our country to keep us free and to those that continue to sacrifice each and every day for America, we give our heartfelt thankfulness.

As we celebrate our nations hero's, let us give thanks for their military dedication and safety. We can never be thankful enough to those that serve America, but we can lift our prayers for them each and everyday. When you see a military person, take a moment and say thank you. The encouragement will honor them as they realize people care and remember.

My Father Joseph,fought for this country in WWII on Omaha Beach in Normandy France. He used to say, "I wouldn't give you a nickle for my experiences, but, I wouldn't sell them for a million dollars either" Words from a proud and glad to serve, American! I dedicate this Memorial Day to him and the bravery he carried as he jumped off the ship and swam to land on Omaha Beach with his fellow soldiers. God was with him that day as he ran forward to defend America.

When I saw the movie, Saving Private Ryan, I realized for the first time, what he must have faced that day. I thought, Wow Dad needs to see this movie. Then I realized, he doesn't need to see this, He was there! It just gave me chills.

Whatever your long weekend plans, enjoy, be safe and REMEMBER!

Happy Memorial Day and Blessings Always!

Hugs, Celestina Marie XO

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Prayers For Our Neighboring States

What a week! Tornado's all around causing heartache and loss for so many dear people in Joplin, Missouri, Piedmont, Oklahoma and right here in North Texas. I can not even imagine how horrible it has to be for so many. Homes and business can be rebuilt, but the loss of loved ones and the missing, is devastating.

Tuesday night arrived with a furry as one storm after another seemed to keep our sirens in my town blasting, for what seemed like, FOREVER! In my area they report 9 tornadoes total for the evening. Our Oklahoma friends to the north were hit with much worse high winds as a tornado touched down taking life and limb on it's path. Lives changed forever.

My heart and prayers go out to those with the challenge of rebuilding their lives. Prayers for the family in Oklahoma whose little boy was ripped from his mother's arms. For the family in Missouri who's high school graduate son, was lifted from the car he was riding in with his Father, right through the sunroof. Just horrific stories and so many more we will never know about.

As we approach Memorial Day, Let's keep in our thoughts and prayers those that will not be enjoying a long three day weekend with backyard cookouts or relaxing in the back 40. We take so much for granted in our lives and how quickly life can be changed by mother natures strong temper. As the days move forward, God bless those recovering and bring peace, courage and strength for the challenge ahead.

Thank you so very much for the emails received to check on me here in the Lone Star State. Miss Beazy and I huddled in the closet with our pillows, cell phone, water and radio. This always happens when my guy is out of town, but we did fine. Missy B was challenged to stay calm and did pretty well, considering she has storm anxiety and terrified of thunder, lightening and hail. Today, we have clear skies and for this we are thankful

As a side note. Blogger has been really glitching for me and I have not been able to sign in my blog all week. It will only let me visit a few blogs to leave comments. Very frustrating indeed. I hope it is fixed soon and till then, just know, to those that have visited me, thank you so much. I will continue to try and visit you in return and hope that at some point I can leave comments again.

Blessings always,
Celestina Marie

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Monday, May 23, 2011

From Etsy Cottage Style, Cottage Colors Party for May ~ Yellow!

All this week at Etsy Cottage Style Blog we are showing our cottage colors sharing treasures we love with the color YELLOW.

I have learned over the years that I like the color yellow in accessories or as an accent color, but I do not like it on the walls. Thus a bathroom redo in the works which I will share soon. But for now, on to the party to celebrate yellow for the month of May.

As I walked around my cottage I realized I have a little more yellow then I even realized. So to start I will share one of my favorite rose bowls that is displayed on the fireplace mantel at the moment.

Have a cozy rest in this soft darker yellow guestroom chair.

This Tuscan pitcher is a real favorite for long stem flowers and I found it about 9 years ago at Hobby Lobby down the 80% off aisle. It had one little chip that I filled in with paint and wha~la, like new!

Another favorite pitcher used for ice tea is this one in a very soft yellow.

Looking through my collection of cookbooks, I noticed this one for Springtime from Gooseberry Patch with a yellow binding.

And, among my garden books I have this vintage gem with a yellow background.

Very dear and very old is this sweet needle holder book my mother created in needlepoint many years ago.

For many years I have collected metal vintage signs that are displayed in the pantry off my kitchen. Here are a few with a bit of yellow!

In another room I have a touch of yellow by accenting with these red and YELLOW Poppy flowers. They always remind me of my grandmother who grew the most gorgeous Poppies.

Pretty pillows with a touch of yellow.

How about a cup of tea from this pretty yellow teapot,

which sits a top one of a pair of vintage yellow nightstands.

Letters and stationary find a spot in this yellow with red rose organizer.

I love the yellow face of my large porch rooster.

And the yellow roof of my garden fence birdhouse.

Sweet is the yellow of this vintage bird vase.

Just picked for you from the garden is my Yellow, New Day Roses or the Yellow Rose of Texas in my garden!

Lastly, I leave you with an angel from my collection holding a yellow rose.

Thank you for visiting Etsy Cottage Style, Show Your Colors Party today. The fun goes on all week and each day new participants arrive so visit again HERE if you'd like to see more treasures. Enjoy!

See you soon.
Blessings and Blue Skies Be Yours,
Celestina Marie

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Creative Journey!

As most of you know and have followed my blog from the beginning, I am a decorative artists and interior display decorator. I have been so blessed to work in a field that I love and have tons of fun doing.

For many years on my journey and for the creating of all types of styles from primitive, folk art, country and the romantic style of today, I have meet and made friends with so many wonderful people who have supported me in the arts with their valued patronage and friendships.

My thanksgivings over the years has filled 2 scrap books full of cards, emails and letters from wonderful people taking the time to write about their treasures purchased. I am truly humbled and so appreciative. These scrap book treasures are my valued and cherished gifts that I can visit anytime for a gentle reminder to carry on. Carry on when the going gets rough, the days are long and overwhelming and for the times when the creative juices need a pick me up.

Recently one of my long time special customers, J.Melissa, purchased my tea table and birdhouse to add to her ever growing collection of romantic decor. When communicating with her, I merely commented that I would love to see some pics of how she used some of her treasures over the years and would love to share them in a feature. Not really sure she would respond or even have time to comply. People are as busy as myself and we have limited time for anything extra.

Well, to my thankful surprise, J. Melissa sent not only some pics, but wrote a little of how she has her treasures displayed in her lovely cottage home too.

I was so thrilled to revisit some of those hand painted items, because over the years, and painting and designing so many items, I truly forget how much I have created. Since the beginning, it has to be thousands of items that fill many CD's and boxes of pics before digitals pics were even developed. My portfolio runneth over with designs. LOL

So to thank J. Melissa for being so kind and truly a gracious lady, I share with you the letter and pics she sent.

I first discovered Celeste on eBay in the Spring of 2007. I immediately took a liking and love for most of her items. That Summer I probably purchased 15 Pretties total. Then she moved to Etsy, and in the last year and a half, I have purchased many more of her items, as my budget will allow.

Most of my items are on this 5 Tiered Shelf unit. I display most of my treasures because they are really too pretty to use, and I do not want to wear the paint off.

On the first shelf is a flower pot (too pretty to use), Recipe Box and a Dog Photo Frame with 2 of my Angels. The second shelf has a wood Carry-all Tote with assorted bottles and sachets. The beautiful back metal tray is in the blue Beach Cottage style. The bookends are from another artist.

The third shelf has two wooden old-fashioned Sewing Drawers. In the front is a little basket, and in the back is a saucer in the blue Beach Cottage style.
The top one has a really neat, old-fashioned style lunch box. I would love to take my lunch to work in it, but it is just too pretty to use! So instead, I display it with the two matching candle sticks, filled with a rose painted Bible, 2 rose heart boxes and painted rose note cards, all from Celeste.

The bottom shelf has a really nice treasure - I love cake covers. I was a cake decorator for many years and I love to bake, so I really like to see these painted cake toppers. I have it displayed on a clear glass pedestal stand.

The little table next to this shelf is my newest treasure. I have just a simple rosebud vase on top, so that I can easily grab it and place it in front of the couch, for when I am eating and watching television.

This is the table next to my couch. At the top of the photo is the Birdhouse that I just acquired - really neat and beautifully painted with details from Celeste. It is sitting on a Counted Cross Stitch Rose Clock that I made over twenty years ago. See - I have loved roses for a long time! In front of that is a very heavy bowl that is painted with various flowers in multiple colors. I found the perfect thing to put in there, those are yellow and pink rose floating candles that I think adds the finishing touch and really brings out the colors of the bowl. At the base I tied a white ribbon.
The lamp may look a little silly, but it was too short for the table, so I put it on top of an old Ice Bucket that I purchased from Celeste in 2007. Still fits my style design.

In my kitchen above my sink is this display! At center is the most beautiful Serving Party Platter. Most people would display it on a table, but I think it looks really striking on my Mint Green painted walls. To the left is a Heart Cake Mold, a wooden Cupcake Ornament and two wooden Serving Spoons. The Cutting Board is from another artist.

I have too many items to fit into the perfect spot, so I now just display the overflow items together on my casual Buffet Hutch! In the center is the most striking old-fashioned Washing Water and Bowl. I got this in 2007 and first put it in the bathroom, but it was getting too much moisture and hairspray on it, so I brought it out to my living room.
From left is a wooden box with a Fairy on top. Sometimes I display this open because the inside is painted pink with a large rose on the lid - really striking! Standing up is a Flower Tray that can be hung up if I so desire. Two different bowls - the one at left is a perfect match to my candlesticks on the 5 shelf unit, and the one at right has more reddish roses with green leaves that has a Christmas look to it. I still display it year round. Laying flat are two rose spoons that can be hung. On the right are two glass votive holders and a lovely Lace Box that I prop up so that it can clearly be seen. The pillow in the back is a Counted Cross Stitch project that I made in 1988.
I do have some items that I really do use! One is a Tissue Box Cover and the other is a Message Board that I keep above my desk - too messy to show!

I hope that you have enjoyed looking at my prized Celeste Treasures that I certainly enjoy looking at daily. I want a beautiful home and this certainly helps greatly, they cheer-me-up and make me so happy to be here!
J. Melissa McQuaid
Mattoon, IL.
Thank you so very much Melissa for sharing the use of your hand painted treasures and your wonderful cross stitch talents and pretties too. You have blessed me more then you know and give me the encourgement to continue My Creative Journey.

So back to the studio I go as I just filled the shelves HERE with many more new hand painted treasures for you to browse.
Have a wonderful weekend friends! Thank you for your visit and comments
Blessings always,
Celestina Marie

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Hummingbird and Hibiscus Blooms, A Decorative Painting

With Springtime in full bloom and warmer days finally here, I was inspired to share a painting I did from an art book study years ago. The book is, Birds in My Garden by Barbara Baatz Hillman.
This wood box piece is shaped like a fan and slides open to hold small keepsakes or wrapped candy. The perfect little accent for a coffee table.

As I view the hummingbirds in my own garden I love to watch these amazing and gorgeous little birds work so hard and suspend in one spot in the air drinking from a feeder or enjoying a flower in full bloom.
The skill, strength and stamina for such a feat is just beautiful to watch. My dear guy loves to observe the birds in our garden too and has hummingbird feeders for these elegant birds to enjoy throughout our garden.

The beautiful Hibiscus flowers are a favorite of mine to paint and grow, but our Miss Beazy loves to eat them, so I have to plant in an area she can not reach.

The Decorative Arts has been a huge part of my life for so many years and as a
Decorative Design Artist and member of the National Society of Decorative Painters, it has enriched my world, not only as a designer, but challenging me with a skill level to push my creativity.

Thank you for joining me today for a view of decorative painting from my own personal collection. I will share more from my collection in the future and till then, I will be over in my etsy shoppe filling the shelves with a few more treasures designed last week.

See you soon and have a blessed and wonderful week.

Smiles from Texas, Celestina Marie

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend Flower Show!

Here we are~~back to Monday, which I have always loved. When Monday rolls around I find the day all anew, refreshing and the start of a terrific new week if we choose to approach Mondays with a great outlook.

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful weekend. Here in Texas we were met with a warm 92 degree day and mild winds. The flowers did not disappoint and came out for a gorgeous show of color and greetings.
As I walked around my garden, I could not help but take a few pics of the gorgeous flowers. Thankful for my many blessings and grateful for another Mother's Day. I truly miss my Mother, but I know she is always close by and never more nearer ~ then in my garden.
I hope you enjoy a few blooms I have to share this Spring, starting with the gorgeous 20 Red Tulips from my son. The scent is heavenly. Also, Mr. Lincoln's Rose bloomed with a gorgeous spray for a perfect bouquet.

Aren't they pretty? Thank you for taking a little walk around the garden with me this new Monday. I hope you are off to a great week. For me, it is a busy day filled with happy paint brushes and lots of plans for new creations.
See you again soon.
Have a beautiful Monday!

Smiles, Celestina Marie

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