Thursday, April 29, 2010

Victorian Style

Victorian style decorating has been popular since its heyday during the Victorian Era, an industrious time of culture, change and discovery. Although the name finds its roots from Queen Victoria's reign in Great Britain from 1837-1901, Victorian style had spread across the globe.

In Europe, the architecture during the Victorian Era was very Gothic, with stone buildings featuring pointed arches, steeply pitched roofs, pointed windows with decorative embellishments, pinnacles, battlements and an asymmetrical design. Also known as Gothic Revival Architecture, this style can be found in stone buildings such as churches here in the United States.

While there are many Victorian architecture styles here in America, including Italiante House Style, Folk House Style and Shingle House Style, the most notable seems to be Queen Anne House Style. Houses built and decorated in this way are also known as Gingerbread Houses, as their colorful and decorative designs make them look like they are right out of a fairy tale. Some of the characteristics these types of homes share are steep, pointed roofs, rounded towers, elaborate, large porches that wrap around 1 or 2 sides of the home, bay or oriel windows, fish scale shingle siding and ornate designs that are very asymmetrical.

Typically,Victorian decor has fanciful embellishments and intricate carvings. Louis Comfort Tiffany's famous stained glass lamps, with their beautifully carved bronze bases and nature inspired, hand cut stained glass shades, were a perfect fit for the Victorian Era. While original Tiffany lamps are hard to find and quite expensive, you can easily find quality Tiffany replication lamps from manufacturers like Meyda Tiffany. Being an authorized online dealer of Meyda Tiffany, I am currently featuring some stunning fabric and glass beaded fringe Tiffany lamps on my homepage at HomeTreasureCove. These classic Victorian style lamps are so elegant.

I've also updated my Classic Collectibles page to include a Vintage Replicas & Victorian Collectibles category. Here you can find nostalgic little treasures for your home and garden that are affordable replicas of vintage Victorian style decor. If you like retro, shabby chic, cottage style, feminine decor, check this page often to see what new items I've found.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Affordable Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is on the horizon and now is a great time to find her that special gift. If you plan to shop online, its always a good idea to give yourself plenty of time to have it shipped. If mom lives in another city or state, you can have her gift shipped directly to her and save yourself a trip to the post office. Just remember to call ahead and tell her not to open her package until her special day, or better yet, get your father to hide it from her until then!

These beautiful home decor gift ideas will be sure to please moms of all types. These gifts are priced between $20.00 and $60.00. Just remember to spend whatever you can comfortably afford on mom. As she would say, its the thought that counts.

These flower touch lamps make a great, affordable Mother's Day gift. Or choose a traditional 6 panel or 8 panel touch lamp available in many different styles.

Hand blown art glass makes an excellent Mother's Day gift. If you choose a beautiful art glass vase, you can collaberate with another family member to get fresh flowers to display in these beautiful, unique vases. See some of these examples:

Beautiful Gold & Blue Handblown Art Glass Vase

C25 Vase

Hand Blown Art Glass Vase

Beautiful Hand Blown Art Glass Rooster Vase Pitcher

Blue & Purple Sommerso Beautiful Hand Blown Art Glass Vase

If your mother likes Asian decor, there are many affordable gift ideas she would truly love. These sake sets would make a great gift and come in two different styles.

Black Flowers Sake Set

Blue Qing Ming Village Sake Set

Another great gift idea are these Tea Sampler Gift Baskets. Give mom the gift of good health, as the quality packaged Asian tea that comes in these gift baskets has many health benefits. You can customize your basket by choosing the tea pot, tea cups and tea that is included.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Entertain The Healthy Way With Exotic Asian Tea

If you've managed to get your spring cleaning done, now would be the perfect time to plan a backyard or patio tea party with friends. There are so many great choices of tea available and many of them actually have great health benefits. I have recently expanded my inventory of exotic Asian tea which is all grown and imported from China. This quality Asian loose leaf packaged tea makes a great alternative for alcoholic drinks. Not that there's anything wrong with a little sake or wine party later ;).

Here are some of the new Asian tea flavors now available:
Gunpowder Tea- This type of green tea is grown in China's Zhejiang province and is made by rolling the large leaves into small balls that blossom in hot water. It has a satisfying, full-bodied flavor with a hint of smokiness. It is also known as Green Pearl Tea and is one of the world's most popular green teas. This tea is often served as a breakfast tea and pairs well with any food.

Lapsong Sauchong Tea- This smokey tea comes from the Fujian Province and is made by withering the leaves over pine fires, then rolling and pan frying them. After being pressed into barrels, the leaves are covered with cloth to ferment. Then they are fired, rolled and dried over pine fires. It can be served with or without milk and goes well with breakfast foods and fish.

Yunnan Golden Tips Tea- Actually considered a black tea, this tea is an extraordinary and rare treat. The golden tea buds steep into a deep red malty liquor with an incredibly long, rich finish.

Jasmine Silver Needle Tea- High in the mountains of China's Fujian Province, the downy buds of this fine silver needle white tea are picked and sun dried in April. In August, the dried buds are laid beneath a bed of fresh Jasmine flowers for a week, infusing the tea with the fragrant aroma of the flowers. Silver Needle tea has been grown in this beautiful, scenic place in China for over a thousand years.

Oolong(Wulong) Tea- Although this is not one of my newer teas, it's still worth mentioning because of its natural weight loss properties, including the ability to burn and break down fat, making it one of the most popular teas among Chinese people. It is often served in Chinese restaurants as it pairs well with meals and is believed to help regulate aging.

Black Dragon Pearl Tea- This tea is becoming harder to find as many growers are producing the ever popular Pu-erh Teas. A unique
Chinese black tea, it is produced in the southern province of Yunnan and has a surprisingly sweet undertone and smooth body.

Try serving one of these amazing Asian teas at your next tea party or browse through my entire selection of quality, importe
d Asian tea. Here are some great oriental style tea sets to help dress up your next tea party.

5-Piece Porcelain Tea Sets- These beautiful porcelain tea sets imported from China come in five different styles including:

Red Double Happiness Round Tea Set

Blue Qing Ming Village Tea Set

Red Blessing Floral Tea Set

Goldfish Tea Set