Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Having Tea with the Kings: Part Two

Are you ready for tea?

This is Part Two of a ladies' tea and Bible Study
that I featured on a July 17th post.
The study focuses on Daniel and the Kings he served.

I thought I'd share some photographs
from the actual Bible Study
and tea at my church.

If you would like to print the
journal/worksheet for Part One, click

After King Nebuchadnezzar passed,
Daniel served his grandson, Belshazzar.  

When Daniel 5 opens, Belshazzar is enjoying a large party complete with women, drinking and idol worship.  His guest list numbered about 1,000 and included his wives and his concubines.  At some point in the evening's festivities, Belshazzar decides to add some spice to the party by asking for the Jewish temple cups to be brought out from his grandfather's treasury. These were the vessels King Nebuchadnezzar seized from Jerusalem's temple when he conquered the city decades earlier.

Sharing a picture

To use the Jewish temple vessels for such a feast was an intentional slight to the Jewish race now residing in Babylon.  It seems that God had had enough. 


Daniel 5:5-9 records that a hand appeared in the king's palace and wrote on the plaster wall words that all at the feast could not understand.  Belshazzar fears greatly what the words could predict for his future.  He already knows that tension is building between his empire and the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians.

The Menu

When Belshazzar struggles to find an interpretation for the words on the wall, the queen comes to the rescue.  (I love it when God uses a woman!)  She wisely reminds Belshazzar of the now much older Daniel.  "Remember the man whom your grandfather put in charge of all of the soothsayers and magicians because of his wisdom.  Why don't you call for him to interpret the words!"


Daniel, brought before Belshazzar, refuses the offer of gifts in exchange for the interpretation.  Daniel 5:18-23 gives us Daniel's interpretation.  Belshazzar, Daniel explains, knew of his grandfather's history.  He knew how God had humbled the proud Nebuchadnezzar until the old king acknowledged the one true God.  Daniel reprimands Belshazzar, "And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all of this."  Daniel 5:22.

Belshazzar then receives the interpretation of the words written on the wall: 

His kingdom was to be defeated.

He was judged unworthy by God.

The kingdom would be given to the Medes and the Persians. 

Belshazzar's life ended that evening; 
King Darius the conquering Mede was now king.

Smiles . . . .

Sometimes, we believe we'll have an endless amount of tomorrows to take care of our relationship with God.  That's not always so.  Look at Belshazzar.  He received God's message from Daniel and later died that evening.  His time was up.  Verse 27 says he was "found wanting." He knew the witness of his grandfather, but had chosen a lifetime of idol worship instead.

Sometimes, we don't learn from our past either.  The old saying "history repeats itself" is true.  When Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom reached its pinnacle, Nebuchadnezzar honored himself as the cause.  (Daniel 4:30)  God struck him physically down for his continual rejection of God as the Supreme Being.  Once Nebuchadnezzar repented, God restored to him his throne.

Here was history's warning to Belshazzar.  Here was the warning he ignored.

(Wade Red Rose Tea figurines)

I love to find the stories of vintage items because I love looking back.  I want to know the china cup's maker, the tablecloth's design name, the crochet pattern's publication date.  I want to know the history.  Learning each item's history gives me knowledge and wisdom that I can use toward future purchases and future finds.

It should be the same in our spiritual life.  God has given us His Word to read for an example of how we should live today.  Just think of all the great spiritual examples that God gave us in the Bible:  King David, the Apostle Paul, and Mary, to name a few.  We can also learn what not to do from the examples of Jezebel, Jonah, and Judas. 

We truly can't afford to ignore the "writing on the wall" -- God's Word.  James 1:23-24 says that the man who doesn't obey God's Word is a man that ignores what he sees in the mirror.  He looks, but doesn't change anything about his appearance, despite the fact that his hair needs combed, his teeth need brushed, etc.

We don't have the promise of tomorrow to take care of our relationship with God. 
What is God's Word teaching you today? 

Let's listen, read, and learn.


"For if any man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." James 1:23-24

For a printable journal/worksheet, click

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Library Book

Each Friday, I love to share
a recent find.

Earlier this month, I picked up
a book out of a "freebie" garage sale box.

The 1954 book was a biography
about Clara Barton with wonderful illustrations.

Although the book was in really bad shape,
I thought I could salvage the detailed illustrations
for art tags and such.

I loved finding the school library card and pocket still in the back cover.

Of course, I have my own lovely memories of signing my name
to a school library's book card.  After I signed my name, the school librarian
would stamp a date on the card and the back of the card's pocket.

Although I wouldn't want to go back
 to this type of system at my local library,
I do miss those little cards in the back of the books.

They tell the book's story -- "Look where I've been."

Tucked inside the book were the card catalog records
for my Clara Barton biography.

They'll be great for some collage or tag art.

What have you found recently?

I'm still eagerly waiting for the day I come across a
 wood library card catalog cabinet.

I doubt it will be in the "Freebie" box.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Decorative Embroidery Hoop Tutorial

Do you have a piece of vintage embroidery
 that's seen better days?

Consider this easy up-cycle.
My embroidered pillowcase
had several loose and damaged threads.
I picked it up at a garage sale for next to nothing: 
 it was the perfect candidate for an up-cycle.

Choose a wooden needlework hoop that fits the
 size of the embroidery you wish to feature.

Stamp the front edge of the hoop with a water-based ink. 
Choose any color that coordinates with your embroidery. 
 I wanted mine to appear vintage and chose a
dark brown from the Ranger line of Distress Inks. 
Use a small brush to apply water to your ink.
  It will act as a stain to the hoop's front.
Brushed-on water has been applied
 to the left of the brush in the right photograph.

Choose a stripe from your scrapbook papers
 that coordinates with your hoop and embroidery.
  Unless you are using a very small hoop,
 you will need to cut two stripes from the 12" by 12" paper.
Cut the stripe to the width of the wood on your hoop.

Attach the paper to the hoop with Aleene's Original Tacky Glue.
End each stripe at the halfway point/bottom of the hoop.

Glue a vintage button no bigger than the
width of the hoop about 1 1/4" from the top.

Prepare your tag art. 
Be inspired by the embroidery design.

Use buttons, charms, and ribbon
to embellish your embroidery.
Use these items to hide loose threads and damage.

Place the embroidery in the hoop. Tighten the top screw
 as tight as you can once you get the fabric in the desired placement.
Cut the extra fabric as close as you can
 to the back hoop with fabric scissors.

Add your tag art by wrapping a ribbon around the button!

What do you think?


Friday, July 20, 2012

Betsy Ross Needlework, NY


The following embroidered linens
are both from the
Betsy Ross Needlework Company
from New York, NY.

I would love to say I just know this from
decades of study and research,
but actually the stitcher preferred a straight edged
runner instead of the printed
 curved end on the edge.

This left me with the pattern instructions
and the company name on both pieces!

The blue print was so faint on this dresser scarf
that the blue print would not show in the photograph.

Betsy Ross Needlework, Inc. was also known as the
 Crescent Art Linen Company.
  In 1967, the family owned company was involved
in a dispute regarding labor policies.
  Like many companies during the fifties and sixties,
 the needlework company was facing unionization.

The court records give us a unique glimpse into a needlework/linen factory.
Eugene and Bernard Yokell were co-partners of the company.
They acquired the decorative linen plant after their father's passing.

  Since the records state that the company had not had
union representation for at least twenty-five years,
  we can date its beginnings at least to the 40's.
The records state that Eugene Yokell 
asked to meet with all of the employees on the eighth floor.
Eighth floor? I wonder how many floors the company leased!
The record doesn't state if the needlework company was leasing all of the building.

Not all of the employees could attend Mr. Yokell's meeting. 
Thirty-six were present.
The court notes also contain an interesting
discussion of the needlework company's busy season. 

If you'd like to read the court documents,

Of course, this is only one piece of a company's long history.
It was a piece of history that many companies shared.

I give the story here because of the glimpse it shares
 of factory-life inside a needlework factory.

About 40 employees in the 60's
Located at a Multiple-Storied Leased Plant.
Linens Machine Manufactured.
Employees' Jobs Seasonally Influenced.

I hope you enjoyed this vintage find!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tea with the Kings . . . Part One

Each summer, I open the doors of my glass fronted cabinets and gently bring out my teacups from storage.  Each cup and saucer gets a good hand-washing before its bundled up and taken with the others over to my church.

There, for one summer month each year, the ladies and I will have a special tea and Bible study.  When the ladies come into the Fellowship Hall, they love to choose the seat that has the cup they really want to use for the evening.  Each year we try new teas and recipes while we study God's Word. 

At the end of each study, the ladies bring their teacups into the church kitchen.  Usually one or two attendees will stay behind and perform twenty minute dish duty to handwash them all again.  Every once in a while, one of the ladies will say to me, "I'm so afraid that I'm going to drop my cup."

I try to assure the speaker that they are much more important to me than the teacup which can be easily replaced.  Over the five or six years that we've had these teas, not one cup has been chipped or broken.  I have so many memories of the different ladies, some who are no longer with us, who have used these teacups that I think we've gotten more than our fair share out of any one of them.

This year, we're studying the book of Daniel.  Daniel served some interesting Kings during his captivity in Babylon -- hence the name of the study "Tea with the Kings."   While I cannot share all that I'm teaching in the classes, I will pass on the handouts to you which lend themselves to personal devotions.

Daniel was a very young man when taken out of his home environment to serve Nebuchadnezzar.  He was tested right away to break Jewish dietary law.  Daniel 1:8 says, "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat."

Daniel made a decision that he would obey God's law for the Jews of his day even though probably no one would have faulted him for obeying Nebuchadnezzar while in captivity.  He took a stand for something most of us would have considered trivial . . . not worth the risk. 

The rest of his life, he based on the spiritual foundation given to him by his family.  As far as we know, Daniel had no Scriptures with him while in Babylon.  Anything he knew of God's Word was something he had been taught as a child, yet we know from the whole book of Daniel that he continually chose to follow God through any trials he faced.  What a true spiritual heritage his parents had passed to him!

Have you recently been tested?

Most of us have.  Chances are, if you haven't already purposed in your heart to follow God's Word, you probably didn't respond well.  Let's learn from Daniel the importance of having already decided to follow God before the testing comes . . . .

Wishing you could join us for tea.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Eleven Minutes!

Each Friday I love to share a vintage find.

Today I have more than one.
I was recently with some friends out of town.
Along the journey, we passed the local Goodwill.

Well, I really couldn't pass that up!

I often have better luck at thrift stores
 than I do at Goodwill,
but I was miles away from my home turf.

Who knows what treasures awaited me!

Knowing that my friend was
 not a thrifting enthusiast,
 I asked for twenty minutes
to go check it out . . .

Here is what I found.

One New Needlepoint Pillow

One Large Embroidered Table Runner
in Excellent Condition

One Finished Candlewick Embroidered
Pillow Front in Excellent Condition

My purchase came to less than $3.50,
and I was back in the car in
eleven minutes!

My friend who loves needlework responded,
"I could have been in there all day. 
 I never would have found that stuff."

Is there an art to thrifting?

Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Join the Tablecloth Contest!

Do you have a favorite vintage tablecloth?

If it's tagged, get it pictured in

Database Contest

This great resource has almost 700
 identified tablecloths in their database.
Their goal is 1,000.

If you have a paper tagged
 or sewn-in tagged vintage tablecloth,
consider getting its pic's entered.

You could win a fabulous prize!

No tag on your tablecloth beauty?
 There still may be a place for its picture in the database.
Click Here For Contest Details

The Club has a $25.00 fee to access all of its resources,
 but the contest is open for non-members!

Join in the fun.