thewirecutter mention

thewirecutter mention

A wee shoutout to thewirecutter.com for their unexpected mention of FlockofTeaCosy’s wares as a good gift for mom on Monther’s Day.  Chest puffed out, head swelling, generally feeling chuffed.

Wool felt tea cozy for 4cup teapot in Peacock Blue wool felt

Here’s their item from April 30th, written by the clearly lovely Alex Arpaia and titled “A not too twee tea cozy”:

Does your mother’s taste run more to Heath Ceramics than Blue Willow china? Danish modern rather than Louis Quatorze? Assam loose-leaf instead of Hawaiian Kona dark roast? Then she might just be in need of a tea cozy that doesn’t look like it came from Queen Victoria’s drawing room. One of these simple yet colorful wool-felt cozies—handmade in Toronto by Michaelle McLean, a certified tea sommelier—will keep the tea in her teapot warm all morning. (McLean makes cozies for French press coffee makers and mugs too.)

Multicoloured wool felt tea cosy in yellow orange and green modern design Minimalist coffee cozy in Mulberry Red wool felt

Thanks et merci!

Spring reopening

Spring reopening

It’s a different world than when we closed the Flock of Tea Cosy shop for our winter break — but we keep washing our hands and carry on!

Wool felt tea cozy for 4cup teapot in Peacock Blue wool felt Purple magenta tea cosy in wool felt

Mother’s Day 2020 – order by April 27th

Enjoying pots of tea is one of the daily comforts that keep us going, yes?  And fortunately — with thanks to our posties who continue to work during this pandemic — mail-order remains viable so Flock of Tea Cosy’s sleek modern wool felt tea and coffee cosies can still be yours.  Or your mother’s, perhaps more to the point.  Here in North America Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10, 2020.  Order by Monday, April 27th to be sure, although if you’re in a major urban centre the following Friday May 1st will likely be fine.

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Physical distancing has certainly given us a lot of time to clear out those closets and get to spring cleaning.  I’ve also joined hundreds of other sewers making fabric masks for one of our local hospitals — as well as some extras for friends and neighbors.  And tried to find some time almost every day to keep up a watercolour painting practise, not all of them keepers, mind you. (WestofLunch shop or Instagram)  I know many with the gift of cooking well are busy trying new recipes and I really look forward to sampling when we can all finally start eating together again.  In the meantime, stay healthy and, in the words of my local MPP, “be nice, we’re all in this together.”

Small original watercolour painting for sale of freesia flowers

 

 

 

 

Watercolours, WestofLunch

Watercolours, WestofLunch

About five years ago I took a watercolour class.  Its lightness was very appealing and painters I’ve loved, like Raoul Dufy, make it look so fine, so breezy, so easy.

Raoul Dufy watercolour painting of bouquet of flowers

By Raoul Dufy, 1953 — one of my inspirations

It turns out learning watercolour is not nearly as simple as it looks and small variations in paper, liquidity, humidity, brush size, etc etc affect how things turn out.  But it has completely seduced and intrigued me and so I continue it as a practise, particularly when travelling.  Along the way I leave a trail of little paintings, and some work out okay.

Small original watercolour of Caltabellota Sicily from 2018. Small colourful watercolour painting of lilac tree trunks in evening light 2018.

Now offered in the shop.  Helps pay for more paper and paint.  All originals. Payment is processed through PayPal’s secure site.

Original watercolour painting of flowering anenomes

The painting practise, for some reason, was dubbed West of Lunch.  Explore on Pinterest or follow on Instagram.

Eco-concious ‘Puzzle Piece’ trivets

Eco-concious ‘Puzzle Piece’ trivets

Multicolored ecoconcious trivets and coasters in european wool felt offcuts

Puzzle-piece wool felt tableware

A few years ago the “Puzzle Pieces” were introduced after the pile of tea cosy offcuts next to the sewing machine became too high to ignore.  This fine quality, well-made 100% wool felt from Europe was just too dear to throw out — and the colourful scraps far too pretty to ignore.

Stack of colourful wool felt coasters, eco concious and stylish.

The excellent manufactured wool felt that Flock of Tea Cosy uses (both the locally made Industrial felt and the colourful European felt) is wonderfully consistent —  exactly 1/8″ thick, evenly dense, smooth, crisp and clean looking, and the rich jewel-tone colours are pretty and colour-fast, remaining bright for years.  The natural baaa-baaa colour of the industrial felt also holds its natural colour.

Industrial wool felt hotpad with orange zig-zag stitching.

Wool felt coasters, trivets, hotpads, table-toppers

I was particularly drawn to this wool felt’s density which makes it an excellent insulator — perfect for tea, coffee and mug cozies.  When noodling for ideas of what to make with the many small off-cuts it was primarily the insulating quality that inspired me.  The result is a bevy of coasters, trivets, hotpads and table toppers that protect surfaces from hot teapots, warm serving plates, and damp vases.

Eco-concious colourful wool felt trivet and coaster set made from offcuts.

Their making is akin to the quilts or rag-rugs our grand- and great grandmothers used to make using up otherwise useless scraps and small fabric pieces, although I take a much more free-form approach.  Their rugs and quilts embodied an ethos that is enduringly forward- thinking and contemporary which we now call “green thinking” or “eco-friendly.”

Carefully fitting the trivets, coasters, etc together is a wonderful piece of puzzling so they’ve been dubbed “the puzzle pieces.”

Elegant, handmade table-topper in European wool felt soft neutrals.

They take a silly amount of time to cut and sew together but I’m very pleased to not be wasting the fabric, and love the final pieces.  The felt has a wonderful hand-feel and weight, and the zig-zag stitching holding the pieces together both ensures durability and adds a graphic visual element that I like.  I find creating them it somewhat akin to drawing especially as each one is different, like a small piece of art.

‘Cruz Collection’ trivet & coaster sets

Some of the larger offcuts are cut and stitched with a simple cross pattern — dubbed the Cruz Collection and bundled into trivet and coaster sets.  They make a perfect complement to one of the tea cosies, or alone as a gift set — a hostess gift perhaps?

Upcycled wool felt offcuts in Moss Green trivet and coaster set.

Shop trivets and coasters