Category Archives: Crafts

Tea and a Good Read – “A Dream of Daring” by Gen LaGreca

Update 5 July 2017: This novel just received this award!

Hello, humans. Your fave teapot here. My humans wanted to share this older article with you, since the book just got an award. TOOOT! Continue reading Tea and a Good Read – “A Dream of Daring” by Gen LaGreca


Book Review: “Fugitive from Asteron” by Gen LaGreca

Update 5 July 2017: This novel just received this award!

What do you do when you want to write novels? Well, you sure don’t sit around and wish, want, and hope. You write! This is the third novel from Gen LaGreca, published by Winged Victory Press. Her first two were Noble Vision and A Dream of Daring. The first was a medical thriller and the second a romance drama set in the days before the outbreak of the Civil War. Now she blasts off into science fiction, but with the same core philosophy that was the framework of the first two: the glory of the individual. We hold that within each of us, but for some, that wondrous thing we call the self never gets a chance. In this book, though, it most definitely does. Continue reading Book Review: “Fugitive from Asteron” by Gen LaGreca

Betty Blue Teapot Shows You How to Measure Your Teapot for a Cozy

Sizing a cozy just right for your teapot can be tricky, especially if it is being custom made by someone halfway around the world. If too small, the cozy will get handed down to a smaller teapot (the way we humans hand down our clothes from the biggest child to a smaller child). The measurements needed will also vary according to the style of cozy, a dome style being different from a snuggie, pullover, etc. All of this became glaringly clear when a knitter from Scotland was requested to make a custom cozy for Betty Blue Teapot. Thus, this guide was put together so you could benefit from the learning experience this all became for both them and us. Continue reading Betty Blue Teapot Shows You How to Measure Your Teapot for a Cozy

Little Yellow Teapot’s Guide to Cozies

by Little Yellow Teapot (a tea steeping marvel and occasional contributing author)

Your ever-so-proper-and-thoughtful teapot here to advise you humans on an important issue: teapot cozies (or, as the British spell it, “cosies”). There is more to know than you might think. Read on to see all the important details. Continue reading Little Yellow Teapot’s Guide to Cozies

Doilies and Lace and Tea – Not Just for Grandma Anymore

Get ready for Spring and Tea Time with LOTS of Lace!!

Decorating trends come and go, and the trend back toward those lacey doilies, tablecloths, curtains, and more that your grandmother had covering just about every surface of her house seem to be coming back in style. You see them at tea time and around the house – even in the chicest homes where mixing found “treasures” (items others call junk) with spanking new “treasures” is the stylish thing to do these days. Lacey tea time dresses as well as gloves, hats, and even women’s stockings are seen more and more at posh and even more casual tea times. Nice! Continue reading Doilies and Lace and Tea – Not Just for Grandma Anymore

A Bathroom Update That Leaves Plenty of Cash for Those Tea Purchases!

Whether you just bought an old house that you want to bring up-to-date, have been in your house for decades and think it’s time for a bit of freshening, or want to improve things for a quicker sale at a better price, the bathroom is often the target and one that many assume is rather expensive to improve. But that economic bathroom update is possible. We did it with our house that was built in the first half of the 20th century. Maybe this experience will give you a few ideas for your bathroom makeover. And you’ll save enough to buy plenty of tea to sip on while soaking in that tub! Continue reading A Bathroom Update That Leaves Plenty of Cash for Those Tea Purchases!

A Tale of a Kitchen Sink from Two Tea Lovers

Buying a house that was built in the early 20th century presents challenges but also a bit of history. In the case of our kitchen sink, it was very much both. The tale of the kitchen sink is one worth noting, was a part of our love for fine loose leaf teas, and might help you deal with a similar situation, whether your house is older or younger than ours. But first things first: grab yourself a tasty cuppa tea. We recommend some strong Assam black tea, like what Little Yellow Teapot steeped for us here. You’re gonna need it to face the photos ahead! Continue reading A Tale of a Kitchen Sink from Two Tea Lovers

Some Tea Décor Items for Your Home

Teapots and teacups aren’t just for steeping tea and drinking it anymore. These days, they serve as garden décor and bird feeders, but they are also seen as décor items around the house. You can add that certain tea time touch to your house with some of the items I discovered available. Continue reading Some Tea Décor Items for Your Home

Employers, How Do YOU Come Across in an Interview?

A lot is written about how job candidates should act to create that all-important positive first impression during an interview, especially that innovative technique that has swept the nation during the past 8 or 9 years: the panel interview where candidates get to sweat it out in front of a team of would-be co-workers.

A couple of recent incidents have me thinking that you employers need to polish up on your interview skills and think a bit more about how YOU are coming across to job candidates during that interview.

Conveying a Negative Attitude Toward Your Job and/or Company

Tea_Blog_TDT-Cha-Scarf002Be positive about where you work and what you do.

Whether you are aware of it or not, a job candidate is sizing you up as much as you are him or her. The difference is that that candidate will be more likely to overlook warning signs just to get to the next level of the interview process or (the big prize) get that actual job offer. I have been interviewed by many people who drift off during the interview to talk about how glad they will be to retire and not have to see that place again or how overworked they are and don’t get to spend enough time with their children, and so on. Gee, sure sounds like a someone I’d enjoy working for… NOT! No matter how rotten your day, week, month, or year has been, it’s a personal thing and may or may not be the same experience for the job candidate. If you dislike the job that much, recuse yourself from the interview process or do your best to put a positive face on.

The couple who recently interviewed me had started the company; both said they had hoped to be retired by now, and when I showed up for work that first day they were no where to be seen even though they had said that Mondays were their busiest days. Really conveys a negative attitude toward their own company.

Seeming That a Decision Has Already Been Reached About the Job Candidate

Even if you favor one candidate by the time another one’s scheduled interview time arrives, give that interview your whole attention.

It can happen when you put out that job posting that you find the right candidate early in the process. But some of you are that shopper type. That is, even though you feel very positive toward that one candidate, you feel that meeting others is prudent, that either you will be wrong and one of them will be a better fit or meeting them will confirm your impression of the first candidate as that right one. Those additional candidates are putting on their best face for you and making a lot of effort in the vain hope of being given due consideration for the position. Quell that “gotta shop around” impulse and only call in candidates whom you think are a serious fit. And if you think you have met the right candidate, go for it!

I recently experienced this employer faux pas, too. It was very clear from the way the manager spoke with me and how brief and informal that time was that she was just putting me through the motions. (Sadly, she also obtained sensitive information about me, including references that she required, under what could be described as false pretenses. In an age when identity theft is rampant, such a practice is a serious matter. She says the info is locked in her office, but she had also said that several employees have access to that. Not good.)

The Leaderless Team Impression

Working in teams is a common thing, especially in larger companies. But every good team to be truly effective needs a good leader, one that can help them stay focused on their goals and the steps to achieve them.

A big issue I have seen come up as companies have turned to those panel-style interviews, is the team members where no one seems to be the leader, even the person with the title of Project Manager. It’s like a ship without a rudder. And for employees who are evaluated on results their team has achieved, this can be deadly since the team will be less likely to achieve anything, let alone the goals set for it. We all laugh at Dilbert and his “pointy haired boss” and how the boss has no concept of how to manage and overdoes it, but worse yet is the laid-back boss who leaves it to team members to figure out what to do and when.

Awhile back I had been part of a team that had a big job to do: upgrade computers throughout the company without disrupting business. We achieved that goal. And it was mainly due to a strong Project Manager. I have been on other teams where the manager was a “well what do you think?” type where he really meant “I don’t want to make a decision here.” I should have known this from the interview. He relied on others to give a thumbs up or down on me (with me in the room) before reaching a decision.

It Adds Up to…

You can end up hiring a candidate who has been given the impression that he/she can push you around or a candidate who will care about the job even less than you do or a candidate who sees right through your duplicitous nature (calling them in for an interview when you have already selected someone else). Hone your interview skills so you are conveying the right message. That way you can be sure you get the best candidate who will become a valuable part of your company and/or team.

© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text