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Sunday, September 30, 2012

No Tea Cozy? Herbal Gift class and a Critter with Good Taste!

Beautiful Tea Cozy!
Photo by
Good afternoon, All!    My theme for the day is tea cozies.  Why?  I was just curious about the whole concept of tea cozies.  They are so English to me.  (Well, and with a last name like Thames, you might understand the fascination with anything British!)

Tea cozies rate right up there with scones, shortbread cookies, and Agatha Christie.  And believe it or not, I do not have a single tea cozy in my kitchen!  I had read the entire Agatha Christie series by the time I was 13.  When I was a kid, I insisted on English riding lessons.  (Yikes, there is nothing to hold onto on that saddle! For me riding a horse with a western saddle is a much safer option!)

Cousin Sandra and I have at least 10 teapots and dozens of mismatched tea cups  and saucers.  I have consumed my share (and more probably) of scones and shortbread cookies.  I have a pair of Wellies, (though in Texas they are just considered "those
Love this Pumpkin Tea Cozy!
Photo by
old green dairy boots"), and I have watched most of the British mysteries on Netflix at least twice.

My herb shop is filled with English antiques, I drink a cup of tea at 4 o'clock daily (with a shortbread cookie or a scone and I wonder why I had  to give my apron maker all my old jeans!), I faithfully read Victoria magazine, but I do not own a tea cozy!  I even have Tea Cozies in my herb shop!  I use one daily when I make herbal tea for customers.....but I don't have one at home.  I wonder why?

Okay, enough of that!  Let's learn something about tea cozies!

You would think that the history of the tea cozy would have started in the 1660's when tea was introduced to Britain, but no, it didn't start then.  And how come the Chinese or Indian tea drinker didn't mention using a tea cozy to keep their tea warm?  Or did they?  And I am just missing this fact.  The lovely Duchess of Bedford was probably the one that got tea cozy use
Anna Marie Russell
Duchess of Bedford
Sept. 3, 1783-July 3, 1857
Photo from
started in England.  (Okay, let's give credit where credit is due!)  The cook or ladies maid that snuck the tea and goodies up to the Duchess's room probably invented some sort of cover for the tea pot because the Duchess and her gal pals got to gabbing and their tea would get cold.  And tea was very expensive at that time.  And the Duke probably got terrible upset if said gabby ladies didn't drink their tea while it was still hot! Red faced, he stomped up and down the lady's chamber, muttering, "After all, Anna, do you think I am made out of money!"  Oops, sorry!

Okay, the tea cozy became popular during the late 19th century because the Victorians  had an obsession of decorating and covering objects? This info is from Wikipedia.

Well, I had some lovely photos of The Cozy Kitchen's Tea Cozies that are for sale at StarDragonfly Herb Shop.  But, wouldn't you know, the camera is sitting on my desk, in the store, 20 miles away.  So, for those of you who follow me on FACEBOOK, well, watch for tea cozy photos this week!


I love this one!

Photo from


Introduction to Basic Herbalism series
Class 1 Creating Herbal Gifts!

Thursday evening, October 11, 2012, 7-8:30 pm
Tuesday, morning, October 18, 2012 10 - Noon

$35.00 per person

This will be the first class of the Introduction to Basic Herbalism series!  And what a great way to get started!
I want this one!
photo from

  • Learn fun ways to incorporate herbs into gifts for family and friends!
  • Learn the medicinal value of herbs that are in the products you will be creating.
  • Receive handouts and recipes!
  • Share your experiences with other class members!
  • Start building your vocabulary of Herbal Medicinal Properties.
  • Students will receive 10% discount on "StarDragonfly" products on day of class.
Class size will be limited, so please call or email to reserve your spot at the herbal work table!

StarDragonfly Herb Company
"The Little Herb Shop on Elm Street"
Winnsboro, Texas

Time to close and do something besides sit in front of the computer!  I think I will make myself a pot of tea (and use a tea towel as my cozy, drat!), grab a cookie, dust off a copy of Agatha Christie and snuggle in for the rest of the afternoon.  That is to say until I have to put on my Wellies and do chores!  Sure wish you were here!  Herbally, Susan

"Under certain circumstances there are few hours more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

-  Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Photo from

Monday, September 24, 2012

It is almost Thyme for the "Herb" Mysteries Book Club!

Thyme of Death
by Susan W. Albert
This is the first book the
"Herb" Mysteries Book Club
will read!
photo by www.gflibrary.com
Good morning, All!

The "Herb" Mysteries Book Club
Introductory Meeting
Thursday, September 27, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

Join us for a fun evening of herbies and cozy mystery fans, getting together to read the Susan W. Albert, China Bayles Mystery series.  These herbal mysteries are easy and fun reading. China Bayles is a fictional herbalist who owns and operates, Thyme and Seasons, an herb shop in Texas.  Each book contains lots of herbal information and some recipes.  This first meeting will be FREE and please, bring your favorite herbal snack to share with the group.

Sip herbal tea while enjoying this introduction to The "Herb" Mysteries Book Club.  We will be learning about the series, and planning future club meetings.

This Group will meet on the last Thursday of each month at 7:00 - 8:30 pm.

Meeting place:  StarDragonfly Herb Company
"The Little Herb Shop on Elm Street!"
Winnsboro, Texas

Susan W. Albert
photo from www.blogbooktours.com
For more information, please contact:
Susan Thames

If you would like to learn more about Susan W. Albert and her other mystery series, check out her website www.abouthyme.com and subscribe to her e-letters.

The Winnsboro Farmer's Market will be on Market Street all Saturdays in October!

StarDragonfly Herb Company will be open at 8:00 am on Saturday mornings in October!  So, when you are shopping the Farmers Market, just come on across Elm Street and have a cup of herbal tea and say "Hello!"  Will be looking forward to seeing everyone from the market!  

There will be a Farmers Market Bingo game going on during the month of October!  SDHC will have a space on the card!  Make "The Little Herb Shop on Elm Street!" one of your stops!  And there will be a sale on all bulk herbal teas for Bingo participants! 
Winnsboro Farmers Market
Summer 2012

Did you know......that Thyme has been associated with courage since ancient times.  The Greeks, the Romans, the Scottish highlanders, and the knights of the Middle Ages all thought thyme brought one strength and courage! www.health diaries.com  Hmmm, I am sure these fellows needed all the strength and courage they could get, but what I do know is that Thyme tea with mullein and yarrow helped Cousin Sandra when she was coughing because of bronchitis!  Herbally, Susan

jpg. from www.perioddrama.com

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Goldenrod, Another Class! and Elvis in Winnsboro, Texas?

Riddell's Goldenrod
Solidago riddellii
Buckeye Butterfly
Goldenrods, Asters, a thistle and some bugs.
Good morning, All!  Wow!  The last couple months have been crazy fun at StarDragonfly Herb Company!  SDHC has been in business now for 3 months!  I was telling Cousin Sandra the other day that SDHC is like having a young baby.  Right now,   the store NEEDS me and all my energy!  So, for those of you that have missed the Blog.  Well, my sincere apologizes!  And thank you so much for letting me know you missed the Blog and Thank you for all the support I have received from friends, family and customers to get StarDragonfly Herb Company on her feet or should I say get her "roots set"!  Oh, and by the way, SDHC is doing FANTASTIC.  Inventory is growing daily, new customers come in daily and more folks are getting turned on to HERBS daily!  Now that is what I call SUCCESS!

Goldenrod, Tall
Solidago canadensis var. scabra
Now, I will try my best to give the Blog more attention!

First announcement!

Thursday evening was the Introductory meeting for the Introduction to Basic Herbalism class series!  It was a smashing success!  There were a total of 17 of us!  After we introduced ourselves, Nancy of Falster Farms gave us a brief history of Honey and some of it's medicinal uses.  Then we stopped for a short break and Nancy provided us with Chicory tea (to which we added honey and half and half), chocolate covered meringue bites and a very delicious honey and (Young Living) citrus essential oil flavored Kefir cheese.  After our snack we talked about the amazing medicinal properties of Cayenne Pepper  and made a massage oil for cold, achy joints with Cayenne and Coconut oil.

I would like to send a Thank You to Nancy for helping me with this class and being the first speaker of the series and providing us with such yummy treats!

Let me tell you, I have had phone, email and Facebook requests to teach the Introduction to Herbalism class during the day!  So, I know this is short notice but, here we go!

The Introduction to Basic Herbalism class series 
Tuesday morning
September 18
10:00 am - Noon
$15.00 per person

(other classes will be $35.00 and up)

For more information or to register, please give me a call (903-588-4313), an email or get in touch with me on Facebook.

There are 2 more events this week at SDHC!

Native Plant Society of Texas
Winnsboro Chapter
Thursday, September 20
6 - 7 pm

 We love for you to bring your mystery plants and try to "stump" the local "experts"!  Or educate us with some facts about local wildflowers! And you just never know what might happen!  Last meeting, Shawn built a "friction" fire using a Mullein stalk!
All are Welcome!
Watch for Elvis sightings in Winnsboro, Texas next
Friday night!

Winnsboro, Texas 3rd Friday ArtWalk
StarDragonfly Herb Company will have a Speaker!
Karl of Falster Farms
Subject:  Bees and Honey!
6 - 8 pm

Listen, Folks, if you have never heard Karl speak, well, you are missing an oratory from a very fine southern gentleman!  Karl gives a great talk on bees and honey and is funny, to boot!  Besides, Nancy usually shows up with some yummy honey laced treats!
So stop on by Winnsboro, next Friday evening!  Oh, and dig out those Poodle skirts and Saddle Oxfords, get your special guy in that white t-shirt and rolled up blue jeans!  Put a pink ribbon around your pony tail and slick your guys hair back and join us for Fifties Night!  I bet we will be "Rock'in"! Elvis style!

Yes, I have missed Blogging!  There is so much I want to tell each and everyone of you!  But, I will close for now!  Until next time, enjoy this cool weather!  Herbally, Susan

Goldenrod is not only beautiful
a Texas native,
and makes a delicious tea!
But you may not want to dry it in the house!