Friday, February 25, 2011

The Chocolate Chip Cookie - Toll House History

This morning I had big plans to write a blog post about a dress form Dear Hubs and I transformed this weekend for sale in the antique booth.

As I went to get my camera I realized he drove off with it this morning on his way to work. Rats!

So instead, I'm going to pull up a post I had ready for days like this.

The history of the Toll House chocolate chip cookie... I borrowed this message from daily devotionals I have sent to my inbox from Homeword Devotionals.

image from

Ruth Graves Wakefield is credited with inventing a favorite comfort food for many, the chocolate chip cookie. The story goes that she and her husband purchased a toll house that had been built in 1709 for the purpose of housing weary travelers. In the 1930’s, they built on to the house and began serving travelers at the Toll House Inn, where Ruth’s incredible desserts were well-known. One day, while making Butter Drop Dough cookies she realized she was out of one critical ingredient, baker’s chocolate. Whether she made the next decision out of necessity or ingenuity we may never know, but she made the now-famous decision to chop up a bar of semisweet chocolate and drop it into the batter thinking the chocolate would melt into the rest of the cookie. Fortunately for us, the chocolate didn’t melt. Instead, it held its shape but with a wonderful creamy texture. Voila! The chocolate chip cookie was created.

The truth is, many of the world’s best inventions started out as a mistake. What turned these mistakes into successes? Much can be attributed to the attitude, perseverance, and creativity of the person behind it all. Dale Carnegie once said, “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way,” which is exactly what Ruth Graves Wakefield did. She later began a professional partnership with Andrew Nestle, the candy maker who agreed to place her recipe for Toll House Cookies on the back of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate. And, as they say, the rest is history.

While I don't have the rest of this written piece on hand it went something like this....sometimes a mistake is a way to learn something with some mistakes being more bitter than sweet....but the moral to this story is this: you don't have to be perfect to have a heart for God. It is a journey where the results are always good!

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8

Something to think about the next time you have a chocolate chip cookie. I think I'm going to make some now!

Museum of American Glass - Part 2 Beautiful Pinks

Last weekend we took a "one tank trip" and along the way stopped to visit a glass museum.

It was fascinating. The displays were beautiful.

I saved the prettiest pinks for my Pink Saturday post!

One of the most gorgeous lamps I have ever seen... and it would fit my Bella Rosa motif perfectly!

All together these created a stunning group...

Glass topped hatpins and this wonderfully beaded pin cushion. Sigh.

An all glass beaded antique purse. Would LOVE to have this in my collection. But it was perfect on display... note the pedestals and backgrounds were pink!

Beautiful bottles.... and just remember, all handblown. To create the swirl in the glass is a real talent!

These were so pretty and the colors so soft... lovely!
There were about 15,000 pieces of glass on display. If you are ever in New Jersey, I highly recommend it!
Now hop on over to Beverly's blog, for more pink things being shared for Pink Saturday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring Fling Sale & New Arrivals

Today I'm announcing a SPRING SALE. There is snow on the ground here but I just know spring is right around the corner so I'm celebrating! I've created a new category on the site called "SPRING FLING." In it you'll find items to celebrate the colors and holidays of this upcoming colorful time of year. Vintage china covered in florals, Belleek shamrock vase, Easter greetings, and more!

I've also just listed a few items. Love, love, love this Eiffel Tower stereoview card.

Pretty pastel doilies and crocheted items.

Miniature child size green "Depression glass." A collectible from the sixties or seventies.

Ooooh... this mini chair trio is one of my favorites this week. I even added the chair in the middle which I found at the Paris fleamarket on my honeymoon. It seemed silly to just sell two chairs. Three makes it better!

Pretty red rhinestone and aurora borealis earrings.

A little late but Valentine hankies are not that easy to come across, so I've added them to this week's selection.

I also think these are great! Makes me hungry just looking at them because it makes me think of my time spent in Tuscany. The food there was delicious. These vintage chianti bottles make great decorator pieces.

Two categories to check out this week. JUST LISTED and a SPRING FLING sale!

Have a Bella Day!

Next up: Part II of my Museum of American Glass tour, amazing pieces! Stay tuned...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Museum of American Glass - Part 1

This past weekend we took a "one tank trip" to visit my parents. For something fun to do we decided to visit the Museum of American Glass at the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. (Located in New Jersey.)
From early days of glass making (the earliest sample they had was like something made during the Roman Empire in the first century... now that is old!)
Here is a little tidbit from their website:
The first attempt at glassmaking in the New World was in Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. Three later ventures were tried in New York, Philadelphia and Salem, Massachusetts. It was not until 1739 that the first successful glass factory was established by Casper Wistar in Alloway, New Jersey. Wistar defied English policy forbidding all manufacturing in the Colonies.
How about that? the English forbade us from manufacturing anything. Wow. Luckily this did not stop the colonists!
This picture and the one below show some early American made glass.

I highly recommend this museum! The views were fascinating. In my next post I'm going to reveal some of the most beautiful and amazing items I found there... all made from glass!

I'll leave you with this little beauty until then.

Friday, February 18, 2011

THE Perfect Pink Roses

Dear Hubs really went out of his way to purchase my favorite pink roses for Valentine's Day. This is actually the second bundle he purchased. The first set was well, pretty, but they were imposters. Ivory roses with a hint of a pink tip.

And they didn't open.

He was determined to find another set of roses for me and he came home with these!

Even better is when he said "you've just got to show these for Pink Saturday!"

Just when you think your man isn't paying attention, he is.

I hope you enjoyed them today.

Check out the rest of the oodles of pink today at our favorite pink fest: Pink Saturday!
I'm excited to be featured on Tammy's blog, Beatrice Banks. How sweet. I am completely honored. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Just Listed Things

Sometimes it is hard to part with the items I sell. But I figure I'm enjoying each and every piece that comes in for awhile before it goes out again. I can't keep it all can I? After seeing some of my favorites from this week... I may have to ask myself this question again.

When I first purchased this brooch I had no idea it was gold filled. An added bonus! Plus, it is prong set AND there is a designer's symbol on the back which I can't make out. Neat find overall!

I rarely ever come across rose oil paintings. This one is darling. Comes with the gallery paper of authenticity on the back.

Isn't she precious? Celluloid/plastic kewpie type doll with a corn husk skirt. Sweet!
Possibly and Ideal toy.

This is the creme de la creme for me this week. I'm completely FASCINATED by this box! On the reverse is where you can see an address written out with two antique postage stamps, I'm guessing turn of the century. What came in the box and who sent it???? Was it just a gift box to send items in or did a company make something that went in the box and was being sent as is to the recipient? Sometimes I just need to know MORE. Maybe a little research will help me.

Okay, when I said the creme de la creme piece was the box above, I jumped the gun. This is the sweetest little photo I've ever seen of a child sitting on a hobby type horse. To make it even better is this Victorian pansy 3-D graphic relief picture frame. Totally amazing.

I love what I do!

All these and fifteen other new arrivals, just listed!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

History of Tea - A Second Chance

Welcome to Second Chance Tuesday! This is where I highlight blog posts deserving of a second run... or maybe an item that was loved once before and is now owned by someone new, like an antique. Items repurposed / crafted from vintage things could fall into this category as well. I really enjoy seeing who links up to SCT so if you are interested, there is a Mr. Linky at the end.

Today I am running an old post about the history of tea. Unfortunately the tea set I mention is no longer available but the write up is still very interesting. Enjoy!

Ever wonder who started the habit of drinking tea? I suppose tea drinkers would not consider this a habit, but an EVENT. A way to start the morning, or to relax in the early afternoon. Either way, it has been around for a very long time and made its way around the world from China. The first teapot reportedly came from the Ming Dynasty. The beautiful rose teapot and matching teacup shown above and below are not from the Ming Dynasty, but were made and handpainted in Bavaria. They can be found in our online store, Bella Rosa Antiques. This lovely tea set came to us by way of a Pennsylvania small town country auction.

According to the website Memorial Hall Museum Online American Centuries:

Tea was "considered an exotic beverage when it first made its way onto the tables of the wealthiest Europeans and American colonials, tea was valued in the west as a very expensive medicine. Believed to cure the respiratory ailments, headaches, giddiness, heaviness, colds, and dropsy, tea was reputed to be a restorative against the loss of body fluids caused by excessive sweating and purging, two common medical curatives of the day."

In the 1770's and 1780's it became fashionable to drink tea from the saucer, perhaps to allow the tea to cool. One consistent characteristic of tea wares at that time was the deep saucer, borrowed from China. Later in the century, cup plates became part of the tea set and allowed the tea drinker to "park" her cup on the small cup plate while she sipped tea from the saucer -- all this in a seated position instead of standing, as before.

Often kept in locked cabinets or small wooden boxes called tea caddies, fresh tea was brewed in the morning. It was then not unusual for the tea leaves to be strained and reused for tea in the afternoon. Tea sets often included a tea bottle, a small lidded flask-like vessel, which held a modest supply of dry tea leaves. Because of the expense of tea, it was considered just as rude for the guest to refuse more as for the hostess not to refill one's empty cup. Generosity and acceptance were the fashion so, in America, guests learned they must turn their teacups upside down when they had enough.

The handless cup and saucer above and found in our shop, is consistent with many of the patterns and transfer wares found in Pennsylvania. As mentioned earlier, hot tea was poured into saucers to cool...but first it was poured into a handless cup. Tea was drunk from the saucer while the cup was placed on a cup plate to protect the table.

However you like to enjoy your tea, the history of it is fascinating. Also fascinating are all the different designs and patterns found on tea sets along with their dainty partners.....cups and saucers.

Feel free to tell us about your love of tea, your favorite tea set, or any other tea tidbit! Go ahead...we'll put the water on for a boil.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Transforms

These three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Celebrating a life

Tonight I am mourning the loss of a family member, my maternal Grandmother.
As all Grammas are, she was special.
Born of Italian descendents she had a great sense of humor and could throw out some really good zingers, if you know what I mean.

After meeting my Grandfather on a blind date, the rest was history as people say.
(He's the one who passed down the red hair gene)

They married, had three beautiful girls and enjoyed life together as a family. They had their ups and downs but stayed together through it all.

By the time I was born my Grandparents decided to pick up and move to Florida which was a popular thing to do in the early 60's and 70's.

I never really had a close relationship with them because of the distance between us. We kept in touch by phone, sent greeting cards, and shared Christmas presents being sent back and forth. Yearly visits were made. But it's not the same. Not like having a Grandmother you could bake a cake with, go to the park with, or raid the cookie jar.

But she was still very special. It is because of my Grandparents, who owned their own antiques and bookstore while they lived in Florida, that I probably have learned to love them as well.

Here she is later in life...surrounded by her immediate family members, the ones she loved the most. My Mother is on the left, my Aunt on the right, my Grandfather and my other Aunt above.
And just like in this photo... I'm celebrating her life.
A life well lived.

Miss you and love you Gramma Grace!

1921 - 2011

I'm linking with Pink Saturday for Valentine's Day... what better way to cherish her memory!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just Listed: Shabby & Romantic

Just a sampling of what I listed this evening..

Can't help but notice the pillows everyone is making using these... I'd love to try it but I barely have the time to keep up with this blog! So, I'm letting someone else go for it! (I just wish I could see the finished product from my sales.)

I was going to break up this set into individual sales but at the last minute decided to
keep them all together. I loved the teeny weeny keys!

Gorgeous fabric with a satiny texture... really pretty. I can see neat projects with this material. Valances, pillows, runners.

Dear Hubby picked these out for the shop. He knows what I like! Yay, hubs!

Sweetest little fairy tales book. Shabby but gosh, you just can't help but love it anyway!
Check out the rest here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Old Postcards Still Deliver Smiles 100 Years Later

Welcome to Second Chance Tuesday, where I like to highlight things deserving of a second chance. Today I'm going to talk about hold postcards.

They had their first chance of giving someone a smile when first purchased and sent to a good friend.

Now they get a second chance (or who knows how many really) when enjoyed by antique postcard collectors.

Recently my Dear Hubs purchased an old album full of cards. He paid a bundle. I'm really not sure if we'll ever actually make any money on them, but learning about some of these cards might make it worthwhile.

I thought this one was neat. Its a Valentine greeting as well as Jack Frost. It may or may not be worth much but I like it and before I sell it I'm going to try and do a little research on it.

I'd also like to ask little Jackie there to kindly leave our area and make room for kind little Miss Spring to arrive. How about you?

If you'd like to link up with SCT .... here is Mr. Linky below:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Winter's Morn

This winter has been tough, to say the least.
But despite the tough temps its beauty has shown through.

A hint of pink as the sun rises in the distance through our snow covered woods. This is the view out our back windows.

Bebe liked it a lot.

But really got a kick out of sledding (or should I say tubing) down the big hill nearby.

Today I'm linking with Pink Saturday.

Join the fun and check out more pink posts here!