Tea with LaVera

A World of Inspiration ...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teatime in England

Me with my tea buddies

England is a country where teatime was developed. Teatime is credited to the 7th duchess of Bedford.  Her name was Anna. Anna would get a "sinking feeling in the afternoon".  In England at that time they only served breakfast and dinner. Dinner was usually around 8 o'clock at night. The duchess started having a light snack with a cup of tea in the afternoon.  She soon started inviting her friends for tea and a walk in the fields. It quickly picked up in practice and became respectable. Then it was moved from her boudoir into the drawing room. Before long fashionable Society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.

I love the tradition of tea I find it very relaxing in the afternoon so I thought I would share some pictures of the teas I had along my journey. 

Ely, England

Even the most simple tea is time to sit and contemplate.

Anna's in Cambridge, England
  These were the best scones I've ever had.
Ely, England

Tea at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge

Tea in London

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cam River,Cambridge,England

Cam River, Cambridge, England,

There are many fun things to do in Cambridge including punting which I have only seen on the Cam River. Punting is riding on a low to the water squarish boat with a person balancing upright on the back while steering with a large pole.

Punting on the Cam River, Cambridge, England,

My Son :)

This takes a lot more talent than it looks. My son took us punting which was a lot of fun and plenty of laughs since he has not punted much before. We went round in circles a few times, crashed into several boats and he almost fell off the boat twice.

About to hit our first boat. LOL

Punting Boats

 Cam River, Cambridge, England,

                                            It’s also fun to walk along this beautiful river.

House Boats on the Cam River, Cambridge

Row teams practicing on the Cam River

 I would suggest that you ask someone when the rowing teams are practicing because the river just comes alive. Team after team row by while their coaches ride their bikes along the path dodging walkers while yelling instructions from their megaphones, it’s quite the sight. 

Row teams practicing on the Cam River, Cambridge

Another fun thing about the Cam River are the house boats.  They are anchored to the edge and also travel up and down it. It looks like a fun lifestyle.

House Boats on the Cam River, Cambridge

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Wonder of Stain Glass

I love stain glass it is such a beautiful art. Stain glass was used to tell stories when people were mostly illiterate. It was also used to honor those who gave money to install them, you may find their crests or sometimes their images are depicted in them. 

Here you see a crest and a hat worn by church leaders which represents the power of the church.

These show the land owners power over their serfs.

This one show the priest power over the people and the two main faces are probably the donors.

When Large windows are filled with stain glass it is magical.

This represents one of the kings that built this Chapel.

Rebuilt stain glass
 These two examples of rebuilt stain glass windows are beautiful. There was a lot of reasons windows got broken:  war, storms, a change in the religion of the church. In England the change of religions went on for quite a few years so a lot of amazing things were destroyed.

Rebuilt stain glass

Medieval Stain Glass

Stain Glass Telling Stories

Saturday, August 9, 2014

From My Studio: Painting with Gold

I am always trying new things in every aspect of my life. That is what made me a good fashion designer, I never had to do the same thing twice. But as an artist that works against me. As my friends know if you like something I'm doing buy it now because I will never do it again once I have it out of my system and that could be one week to years, I never know. I have been having fun doing these paintings with gold backgrounds right now. I'm also still doing my beaded dolls.  My love for making my dolls  has lasted a long time.


Advanced Style

Pink Flamingo SOLD

They look better in real life as they shimmer a bit.
You can click on the above paintings to see them on Etsy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Craft: Cinder Block Planter

When I was in England at The Manor Hemingford Grey 
I saw this rock planter and wanted one.
So this is what I did when I got home.

Rock Planter at The Manor Hemingford Grey 

I bought an old cinder block from a store that sells used building waste. 
It costed 1.00. 

Craft: Cinder Block Planter 

Then I found a place I wanted to put it. (Cinder blocks are heavy and when you add dirt and plants they only get heaver.)

Craft: Cinder Block Planter 

Then I took black garden fabric the kind you put in your garden to keep the weeds down and placed it in the bottom and up the sides. You may also want to put a board under your block if you plan on moving it.
Next I added my dirt and plants. 

Craft: Cinder Block Planter 

The look I got is not perfect but for a dollar who can complain.

Craft: Cinder Block Planter 

 I also found this cool cinder bock pipe and could not resist it. 
It was also a 1.00.

Just think of the possibilities.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon, England

I left Cambridge on a drizzly grey spring day to explore a house I had been told about called The Manor Hemingford Grey. I  found only two buses that stopped near the house going to and coming back so I had to schedule my time carefully.

 Thatched Roof House

I arrived near the house in a neighborhood full of beautiful thatched roofed houses. A woman on the bus had told me how to get to the Manor. 

 Hemingford Abbots 

She told me I would need to go straight down the road to the right of the Y until I met the river but in England nothing is ever straight she also mentioned it wasn't that far maybe a quarter mile. I did manage to find the River and I started wandering along its edge.

View from the trail along the river in Huntingdon, England

The trail led me past an old stone church with a small graveyard and many beautiful stone and thatch roofed houses. Besides the homes there were many beautiful gardens along this quiet River. As I walked I began to realize I had covered quite a distance. 

View from the trail along the river in Huntingdon, England

I had opened gates entering cow fields then closing the gates on the other side so the cows wouldn't get free.   I thought to myself that I think the woman on the bus would have mentioned the cow fields. Then I realized I must have gone too far.

View from the trail along the river in Huntingdon, England

 I decided to look for someone to ask. This was no easy feat there wasn't anyone around on this cold rainy spring day. After crossing the second cow field I saw houses so I continued through trails between the house listening for some sign of life. I ended up coming out of the trail in a small village called Hemingford Abbots.

Hemingford Abbots

The village was gorgeous.  There were so many thatched roofed houses each with a beautiful garden in front of it and the village had it's own stone church. As I was wandering the village I found a postman. I asked him where the Manor was? I was correct I had walked quite a ways past the house. He took his time to carefully explain my way back. I was two cow fields away.

Hemingford Abbots, Pub called Axe and Compass

 So knowing that I had a long walk back and feeling quite cold and hungry I decided to stop at a little Pub called the Axe and Compass. The pub was warm and cozy, the ceilings were just above my head. I asked the bartender, a sweet young man, if I could order lunch. And he said, yes, so I ordered broccoli soup and tea. I went to use the restroom and when I came back he had set my tea and soup up alongside a lovely wood stove.

Hemingford Abbots, Pub called Axe and Compass

 After completing this delicious meal I headed back to the Manor House.

The entrance was only a small gate in a stone wall that led off the river path, but I'm making any excuses for missing it.  As I walked towards the Manor House the lady of the house greeted me and welcomed me to see the garden and then told me she would tour me around the house when I was done . The garden was huge and beautiful,  full of perennials and roses.

Topiaries for the Queen's coronation
But the most fantastic part of it for me was the topiaries near the entrance which Lucy had done for the Queen's coronation. She had also done some chess pieces. I wandered  the garden for about an hour there was so much to see.

The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon

The Manor House is one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in Britain built circa 1130. The house and gardens are the setting for The Green Knowe's children's book series written by Lucy Boston. Lucy Boston was an interesting woman she lived until age 96. In her lifetime she did many interesting things: she was a painter, quilter, children's book writer and gardener. She also opened her house up during World War II twice a week where she had gramophone recitals for the local  RAF serviceman before they flew off on their air raids.

The Gardens of The Manor Hemingford Grey, Huntingdon

The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon

The Gardens of The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon

Her book series the children of Green Knowe won her the Carnegie medal.

The Gardens of The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon

I thought I would let the author describe her own home as she did in her story called, "The Children of Green Knowe". The room seemed to be the ground floor of the castle much like the ruined castles that one of the child book characters had explored on his school picnics.  It's thick stone walls were strong warm and lively. It was furnished with comfortable polished old-fashioned things as though living in a castle was quite ordinary. 

The Gardens of The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon

Lucy led him up winding stairs and through a high arch room like a knights hall. She called this room the music room and then up more stairs to the top of the house.   Here there was a room under the roof with the ceiling the shape of the roof and all of the beams showing.

The Gardens of The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon
 It was a long room with a triangle of wall on each end and no walls at the sides, because the sloping ceiling came down to the floor like a tent. There were windows on three sides and a little low wooden bed in the middle covered with a patchwork quilt.  There was a low table, a chest of drawers and lots of smooth, polished, empty floor.

The Gardens of The Manor Hemingford Grey in Huntingdon

I was the only visitor to the house that day. So I was able to see the quilts and asked lots of questions. I felt like I was a welcomed guest. I was there for a couple of  hours as I heard many wonderful stories.  I ended up missing my last bus.

Trail to St. Ives

 So I had to walk to the nearest town which was St. Ives. The walk took me about 25 minutes but it was beautiful.  I walked along the river in the opposite direction from what I had done the first time.

Trail to St. Ives

 I wandered down a path that took me past houses and finally through a mile-long buttercup field. I knew I was headed in the right direction because I was told to look for a church steeple.

Buttercup Field on the Trail to St. Ives

  I arrived at St. Ives which was also a beautiful little town quite different from Hemmingford Abbots. I took some time to wander through St.Ives then headed to the bus.

 St. Ives

England has many bus lines oand it can be quite confusing. The one the locals told me to take was called the guide bus. So I boarded the guide bus which pulled up at the bus station then traveled through the town and then all of a sudden it headed towards a field and started along cement tracks with tiny little rails on each side near the wheels to keep the bus on the track. The bus traveled very fast and was quite shaky. I sat on the second floor of the bus in the front, the bus roared through field after field straight through the English countryside, it was a lot of fun. So if you ever get a chance to take a guide bus definitely do it.

 Guide Bus, England
I ended this lovely day in a pub along the River Cam in Cambridge having dinner with my son. I cannot imagine a more magical day.

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