The art of being a collector walks quite the fine line between an enthusiast and a hoarder. Fortunately for me, tea cups can be perfectly tucked within a bookshelf and handkerchiefs can be folded into a tiny, tidy stack. I can still recall the very first moment my eyes met the embroidered details that revealed the most precious petal. The ladylike lace and scalloped edges sent me swooning.
I was taken by the notion that these petite gems were once an everyday accessory. So, I intended to make them part of my daily rituals with the steeped leaf. The deliate dimensions and details seemed like the perfect pairing for a cup of tea. I've smoothed out their wrinkles and covered them with cups or tiny teaspoons, transforming them into perfect placements. I've folded them into squares to serve as miniature cup coasters. I've hung them from a clothesline to make the most airy bunting banner and lined up their edges for a vintage table runner (anchored by small vases of flowers).
As one who favors the aesthetic and decor of decades past, I felt within my heart that each possessed their own story that threaded memories of ladies who lingered in parlors. Needless to say, when I thoughtfully unfold a handkerchief from the tiny fabric stack, I take a moment to explore each printed pattern, embroidered bit, crease, and stain as I slowly sip my cup of tea. It's a ritual for me that's two fold, signaling the start of a quiet cup of tea where I can let my imagination wander and wonder and dream. Yes, honey and tea might be the darling duo, but handkerchiefs are the unsung hero for a steeped sip, quietly lingering and waiting.