I've mentioned before how I allow myself to buy birthday presents for me during the month surrounding my actual birthdate. This year I started early.
I blame a magazine called "Tea Time". I pick up a copy now and again because I love to read the recipes for tiny sandwiches, biscuits (cookies) and scones that would be fitting to serve at an afternoon tea. While standing in line to check out of a crafts store the other day, I glanced over and the current issue of "Tea Time" had a lovely picture on the cover of a tea set in my china pattern, Royal Doulton's Old Country Roses. I figured it was a sign that it was time for me to leaf dreamily through an issue. It had been awhile since I had picked up a copy.
So I went back to the office, and while eating my lunch, began to idly thumb through the magazine. About half-way through I stopped and said "I must have".
The article I don't remember a thing about. What caught my eye was the tea service that was being used. The teapot had a ribbed knitting pattern embossed in the porcelain, as did the tea cup and, oh my, the tea cup had a ruffled edge saucer. The next page showed a spread of cookies displayed on a footed cake stand, also with a ruffled "knitted" edge. I was in love.
I hastily headed toward the back, hoping for a buying guide that would tell me where I could find the set. I got lucky (I thought at the time) and the source for the tea set was listed. I knew that as soon as I got home, I would be checking the Internet to find out where I could buy.
Alas, I found the website and the company did indeed have a "Sweater Collection", but it was not the same pattern as the one in the magazine and it did not look like they carried that particular pattern any more. I liked the new version, but it was just not as tempting as the one pictured in the magazine. I was not happy.
But I am a genealogist and when I don't find what I am looking for in the obvious place, I've learned to hunt around for a back door that might lead me to my goal. I began to run searches on every kind of combination I could figure out that might lead me to the knitted teapot I lusted after.
It wasn't long before I had identified the exact set I wanted. I headed to Amazon, my source for all things that I can't find anywhere else, and was delighted to find that they had the teapot and the cake plate, but no dessert plates or tea cups. But, I now had the exact wording to use in my next round of searching, and it wasn't long before I found the tea cups/saucers and the dessert plates located through the online catalog of Bed, Bath and Beyond. But Bed, Bath and Beyond didn't carry the teapot or the cake plate.
So naturally I placed two orders and waited. In a few days I had the Amazon order, sitting on my front porch when I got home from work, box bashed in on the side and just sort of tossed against the door. I opened it to find that there was virtually no packing to cushion the two cartons containing the teapot and cake plate and the box holding the cake plate was in pieces. I cautiously lifted the box and found, to my relief, that the interior of the china boxes had been well padded and both pieces had made the trip intact. I was DELIGHTED with my teapot and cake plate and couldn't wait for the order from Bed, Bath and Beyond to arrive.
And I waited. And I waited.
Bed, Bath and Beyond was taking their own sweet time getting the rest of my set shipped.
But today it finally arrived and I love, love, love my knitting tea set.
Now the other thing that "Tea Time" did to me was cause a big shifting of china. My Old Country Roses China had been resident in the small kitchen china cabinet and I needed one of the shelves for my new tea set. So today I've spent a hour or so emptying out the large china cabinet in the dining room and finding homes for the contents and moving all the china and stem ware to the dining room. I decided to make the kitchen china cabinet a tea cabinet, leaving my fancy Old Country Roses teapot and the new every day Old Country Roses tea set I got for Christmas in the upper shelf and the knitting tea set in the lower shelf. It's looking good in there.
Of course, you notice there are now three teapots and three makes a collection. Let's hope this time I'm content to have a collection of just three.
I'm going to have to come up with a reason to host a tea-sippin' knitting party, I guess.
I did not feel too, too guilty for starting the birthday indulgences two months early….but then while I was wandering around Amazon looking for knitted teapots, I stumbled across a piece of my luggage collection that I didn't have yet…and it's due to arrive next week.
It looks like this is going to be an expensive birthday.