Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Importance of Tea

The importance of taking time for tea in our fast-paced society today may seem trivial, but is all the more necessary--just that time to breathe and appreciate life for a moment. It can be so hard to make space in our busy lives, but when we do it's well worth it! This teatime can be a moment to read a good book, knit a few rows, sit outside and enjoy the flowers, appreciate some of our favorite art, or listen to inspiring music.  We can share this time with a friend or enjoy a bit of solitude.  Whatever we choose, this time feeds our soul.

Teatime has been a part of life for many years.  What better example of these peaceful moments than a few pieces from my favorite artists.  

Mary Cassatt

Pierre Auguste Renoir 

John Everett Millais

This week I had the pleasure of sharing my teatime with some close friends.  For some unfathomable reason, many of my two- legged friends do not share my enthusiasm for dog biscuits (unbelievable right?), so I made a cake which was much more to their liking.

This favorite recipe was clipped from a magazine a while back (sadly I don't remember what magazine).  I thought you might enjoy it.

Flour-less Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cup pecans- 1 cup fine ground, 3/4 cup coarse chopped 
14 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) + 3 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
8 eggs, separated 
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
fresh raspberries

                                    oven 350F, 9" springform pan           
                                    greased and papered  

* melt 8 oz. chocolate with 1/2 cup butter
* beat yolks and sugar in large bowl 
* stir in fine ground pecans and melted chocolate
* in second bowl beat egg whites to stiff peaks
* stir 1 cup whites into chocolate mixture
* gently fold rest of whites into chocolate mixture until there
  are no white streaks
* spread evenly into pan

bake 30-35 minutes until cake is set and slightly puffed
let cool completely, then invert onto plate

* melt 6 oz. chocolate with 3 Tablespoons butter
* stir in vanilla
* spread evenly over top and side of cake
* press coarse pecans onto side and refrigerate uncovered until
  glaze is set
* decorate with fresh raspberries

"A person should hear a little music, read a little poetry and see a fine picture every day in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, April 18, 2013


   Personally, I don't usually make a big deal about birthdays, but some are just too good to pass up!  And 13 just happens to be one of those birthdays, so here we are! (actually it's 65 in dog years, which is also a good age, but I like to stick with one birthday per year).

 At our house we have a family tradition that on your birthday you get to be "Queen for the Day!"  So of course, I went all out with the crown and all; we also got out our special occasion Dancing Girl depression glass!  This style depression glass, actually called Cameo, was produced by Hocking Glass in Ohio from 1930-1934.  Legend has it that the pattern was released in honor of Isadora Duncan, the famous modern dancer.  This glassware has become a very special family heirloom and always makes an appearance at birthdays.  Below, you can see the detail of the small dancer.

For my birthday I received this wonderful little sailor suit style sundress!                                                                          


It was made especially for me by my personal designer! Below is what it looks like when creative genius takes over.... or maybe it's a sign that she needs an organizer...

I think a sailor suit is an absolute staple for any girl's summer wardrobe!  The sailor suit has been around for many years, and though it was originally a uniform for the Navy, it has become a very classy piece.  Here are some of my favorite sailor suits from the past.



See you next week!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

                                    My Favorite Art

   Spring seems to finally be here and all the lovely colors that 
come with it. 

After all the long winter months I can't seem to get enough of these wonderful colors which make me instantly think of my favorite artists, Mary Cassatt and Auguste Renoir, and I thought who better to share some of my favorite works with, than my nonexistent, I mean, readers!  

I absolutely love the moment caught in this segment of one of his larger works, the yellow and red in the woman's hat really complement the small dog's fur.  Whenever I see this piece I can't help but smile!

Hug Me!  This woefully sweet portrait is one of my favorite Renoir pieces done with his soft signature brush strokes, not to mention the striking warm brown tones. 

     This piece has such character! The dog asleep on the chair is Mary Cassatt's Griffon Terrier, who was a gift from her good friend Degas.  Part of what I love about this piece is that it is so far from the stiff posed portraits of its day, it was a part      
                      of a whole new era.

  The sunny quality and softness of the pastels gives this piece a wonderfully warm atmosphere, not to mention that this especially cute canine looks an awful lot like me, if I may say     
                           so myself!



Hello all... or none,
   My name is Katherine Delores McBride.  As you may have read in my profile, I am a retired stylist and a patron of the arts.  As I am getting older I have slightly more time on my paws and thought it might be interesting to write a blog featuring one post per week.
   I am a whimsical, free-spirited Cairn Terrier, also very friendly and of course, stylish.  I consider myself to be an intellectual of sorts and a connoisseur of dog biscuits.  Some of my favorite hobbies include dressing in self-designed outfits and taking daily walks (though I enjoy dress-up and intelligent conversation, don't let it deceive you, I'm a hardy Scot underneath).  There is nothing I like better than being out in the sunshine and smelling the flowers.
   My thought for this blog (as the title implies) is that you are stopping by for tea and we are having a pleasant chat, and hopefully a belly rub!  As my project continues, I'm sure we will get to know each other better, but for now that will be all.  Stop by next week to see what we have been doing or thinking about or maybe just for a dose of furry, pint-sized inspiration.