Put some SPRING in Your Plans!


Oh, Winter, Take a Powder!

Hyacinths and muscari are pushing through the ground and lavender and thyme are starting to green up in TYF’s little front garden, and that’s all the encouragement I need to THINK SPRING. So fettle your fine joints and drop by TYF where the whole shop is abuzz with excitement. Let’s start with tea. Are you looking for a little something to take the edge off your appetite? I can pack up a bag of Sleek and Slender faster than you can notch your belt. Are you on the fence between coffee and tea? Why not sit ON the fence with Dirty Chai–the best of both worlds, a fine black tea with chai spices and cracked coffee beans. It is DEEEElicious!

Are accessories your thing? Mine, too! Scarves are fluttering, Turkish pewter is glowing, sterling is dazzling and there are cutie pie skirts and handbags in a dozen spring shades.

A few surprises are waiting, too. At least one of them has YOUR name on it. Let’s go, Geronimo!

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What’s New, Pussycat?


Snow? Uh? What is it good for? If you have been snowbound like much of the northeast these past few weeks, you have just about had your fill of being indoors, am I right? Don’t despair, though. Brighter days lie just ahead especially when TYF props open its doors to welcome shoppers back after a much-needed winter break. Wait till you see the new treasures awaiting your approval: a pirate’s ransom in jewels all shiny, sparkly, clever and cool. Trailing silk scarves that would set Isadora Duncan’s heart a patter. Knitted coats that defy description. Soft stuff. Cuddly stuff. Beautiful stuff. The STUFF of dreams. And if that’s not enough, there are no fewer than SIX new teas to tickle you silly. So mark your calendar for February first and maybe, just maybe if you show up the day before, maybe I’ll be around to give you a little peek!

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Variety is the spice of life

rooibosSomeone suggested that I list all the teas available at Tickle Your Fancy. I think there are 74 to choose from. Please have a look! ūüôā After all, tea IS the new coffee!

Tickle Your Fancy Tea List

Green teas (13)

1. Cinnamon Apple: organic green tea, apple bits, cinnamon

2.  Walnut: green tea, China Sencha, brittle bits, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, almonds

3.¬†Fog Tea: Organic green‚ÄĒlight, sweet, aromatic

4. Ground Hog Grog: green tea China Sencha, coconut, almonds

5. Moroccan Mint: green tea, gunpowder, nana mint leaves

6.  Green Mango Peach: organic green tea, organic mango cubes, organic peppermint, organic ginger root, organic green honeybush, natural peaches

7.  Jasmine: organic green Jasmine tea

8.   Honey yuzu: Organic green tea, grapefruit and orange flavors, honey

9. Cherry Marzipan: Organic green tea, natural cherry flavor, organic raspberries, natural almond flavor

10. Coconut Mango Colada: Organic green tea, coconut pieces, orange peels, lime pieces, mango and pineapple flavors, vanilla

11.  Chopped: organic green tea, peas, carrots, roasted sweet corn, savory bacon

12.  Anji Duet: Spring tea Anji in Zhejiang China (bags only)

13. Ophelia: Green tea, ginger, honey

Black Teas (23)

1.  English Breakfast: black Ceylon tea, golden infusion

2.   Earl Grey Classic: black tea with Jasmine blossoms

3.   Brown-Eyed Girl: Black tea with cacoa bits, Bailey’s Irish Cream flavoring

4.  Earl Grey Moondance: Black Ceylon  tea, orange peels, cornflower blossoms

5. Cha Cha Cha: Black tea. Orange peels, cinnamon, cloves

6. Persian Spice Bazaar: Black tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, rose petals, vanilla pieces, safflowers

7.  Snowflake: Black tea, coconut rasps, almonds

8.  Black Currant: Black tea, blackberry leaves and natural currant flavor

9.  Lei by Earl: Black Earl Grey tea, classic bergamot with coconut and pineapple

10.  Formosa Oolong: Classic Taiwan tea with deep raisiny and ripe fruit aroma ( in teabags, too!)

11.  Earl Grey Pride and Joy: Black Ceylon tea amped on citrus (teabags, too!)

12.  Oriental Spice: Black tea, cinnamon bark, orange peels

13. Cinnamon Tea: Ceylon black tea with very warm and high cinnamon flavors (teabags only!)

14.  Lapsang souchong: Black tea with savory, smoky, slightly cool and menthol. Crisp with sweet pine flavor ( teabags only)

15. Pu-erh-poe: Rare, aged, fermented tea from YunnanChina which stands apart with its soft earthy flavor ( in teabags, too!)

16. English Breakfast: Black tea from Sri Lanka Dimbula, flowery pekoe

17.  Cream Earl Grey: Black tea from Sri Lanka Dimbula, classic notes, cornflower petals

18. Lover’s Leap:  Black tea from Sri Lanka, light notes, good after-dinner tea

19. Earl Grey Lavender: Black tea, lavender flowers, orange peels, blue cornflowers, naturally vanilla , bergamot and crème flavor

20.  Ginger: Black tea, ginger root

21. Top of the Marnin’: Classic Irish breakfast

22.  Sungma: Classic Darjeeling First Flush

23. Bukhial: Classic Assam, mild and malty

Rooibos (11)

1. Swoon: Rooibos, cocoa nibs, natural mint flavor, peppermint leaves (in teabags, too!)

2. Sweet Thing: Rooibos, caramel cream

3. Creativity: Rooibos, lemongrass, apple bits, lemon peels, ginger bits, orange peels, basil, red pepper, cardamom, rosemary

4.  After Seven: Rooibos, brittle bits, sugared hazelnuts, chocolate, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, glucose syrup, peppermint leaves

5. Organic Rooibos Vanilla

6.   Tropical Sunrise: Organic Rooibos, apple bits, orange peels, ginger bits, cinnamon sticks, lemongrass, coconut rasps, pink peppercorn, cornflower blossom, red currants

7.   Root Beer Float: Rooibos with ice cream bits

8.  Fireside Chat: Lemons, cocoa, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, orange peels, cardamom, pink pepper, cloves, rose petals

9.  Little Jack Horner Rooibos, hibiscus, apple, rose hips, raisins, plum bits cinnamon

10. Gingersnap Cookie:  Rooibos, Ginger, hazelnuts, walnuts almonds

11.  Johnny Mango: Rooibos, apples, candied mango, marigold petals

White Tea (3)

1.  White Peach: White China tea, apricots, peach flavors, marigold flowers

2.  White Ambrosia: Pai Mu Tan, coconut chips, saffron

3.  Peach Rhubarb Preserve:  Organic white tea,  Hibiscus, cinnamon, blackberry leaves, marigold petals, rhubarb

Chai (5)

1.  Across the Universe: Black tea, cardamom pods, ginger root, cloves, cinnamon bark

2.  Bombay Chai: Premium black tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, black pepper

3.  Coconut Chai Latte: Organic black tea, ginger root, coconut, cardamom, black pepper, clove buds

4. Chocolate Chai: Pu-erh tea blended with chocolate and chai spices (in teabags, too!)

5.  Thai Chai: Black tea, cinnamon bark, ginger root, dried coconut, lemongrass, cardamom pods (tea bags only)

Tisanes and Herbals (19 )

1.  Berry Blues: Rose hips, hibiscus, apple pieces, blueberries

2.  Flora:  Hibiscus Flowers, cinnamon bark, licorice root

3.  Happiness: Hibiscus, currants, papaya, lemongrass, rose hips, orange peels, lemon peels, pineapple bits, mango bits

4.  Gingerbread House :apple bits, candied pineapple, beetroot, candied papaya, cinnamon sticks, popcorn, roasted almonds, grapes, peanuts, coconut chips

5.  Exotic Dream: Pineapple vanilla taste from hibiscus, apples, currants, rose hips, pineapple bits, papaya bits, cornflower blossoms

6.    Summer Passion: apples, raisins, carrots, beetroot, candied pineapple, candied papaya, bamboo leaves, lemon fruit

7.  Georgia on My Mind:  Hibiscus, apple pieces, black tea, green tea, orange peels, safflower blossoms, red currants, peach bits

8.   Lin’s Secret: apple pieces, hibiscus blossoms, rose hips, orange peels, lemon peels, safflower blossoms

9.   Strawberry Kiwi: Strawberries, kiwis, apple pieces, hibiscus, rose hips

10. Tickled Silly: Apple bits, candied papaya, grapes, beetroot, strawberries, popcorn

11. Goodnight: chamomile, rosehips, valerian, peppermint leaves

12.  Fezziwig’s Mug: Apples, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, roasted chicory

13. Raspberry Patch: Rose Hips, hibiscus, apples, raspberries

14. Mango Melange: Rose hips, hibiscus, mango, apple

15. Girls Rule: Cinnamon, apples, rooibos, ginger, raspberry leaves, fennel, chamomile, cardamom, alchemila, cloves, orange peels, St. John’s Wort, black pepper, juniper berries, goose grass

16. David Austin: ROSES! Hibiscus, apples, oranges, elderberries

17.   Citrus Mate:  yerba mate tea, orange peels, lemons, oranges, sunflower petals

18.  In a Pear Tree: Pears, apples, cinnamon, vanilla, sunflower petals

19.  Pumpkin Spice: Pumpkins,


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From Chelsea to You, With Love


One of the most unforgettable features of the Chelsea Flower Show was . . Are you ready? … the washing up fountains inside the tented loos. Leave it to the Brits to turn this most mundane of experiences into a delight by making sure we had bottles of soaps and lotions at the ready to delight our senses. Heyland and Whittle supplied all that memorable luxury and now Tickle Your Fancy is delighted to bring that little corner of Chelsea to you. Look for enchanting fragrances of Neroli and Rose and Lavender and Citrus to soften out the edges of these rapidly-growing shorter days.

Husband and wife team Paddy Heyland and Ursula Whittle joined their names to create the Heyland & Whittle Brand in 2003. The logo includes the Heyland family crest which dates back to the Battle of Waterloo. Inspired by their original location, on a farm in rural Surrey, Heyland & Whittle produce a range of handmade soaps in the traditional cold-processed method, using only the very best natural ingredients.Essential oils, herbs and spices are combined to create our sulphate and paraben-free range. Heyland & Whittle products are all handmade, expertly cut, filled and decorated. Recently launched are candles and reed diffusers in a range of fragrances including the classic English formulations of Neroli & Rose and Citrus & Lavender.

Quintessentially British! And right here in McConnellsburg!

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Tickle Turns Two

two coats of pain on walls

September 2011: Two coats of paint on walls.

Opening day
Opening day October 1, 2011

With less than our usual fanfare, Tickle Your Fancy (TYF) will celebrate its second birthday this week. What can you expect to find should you stroll in for a visit this week?

Do expect tea. Expect the best tea. Expect new tea. Tea with health benefits. Tea with whimsical names like Swoon and Raspberry Patch and In a Pear Tree. What NOT to expect? Do not expect ordinary. The usual. The uninspired. That’s not what Tickle Your Fancy is about. Not now at two. Not ever.

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Hope Floats


White clouds scuttle across an azure sky this morning and that, along with temperatures in the low 60’s, has created a floaty optimism in me — the kind of feeling that engenders a playful spirit. What could be a more appropriate tea du’jour than “Root Beer Float”? Well? Did you say, “Excellent choice!”? I knew I could beat you into agreement. I am just about to make a pitcher now in my Takeya Flash Chill pitcher so it will be perfect for you when you visit TYF today. Put on your rose-colored glasses and skip right over. Ta for now!

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Silver Ship Just in Time for September

Tinsman bracelet

The Silver Ship sailed right into Tickle Your Fancy yesterday afternoon and you will not believe the gorgeous treasures it carried. Carnelian, moonstone, onyx and amethyst embedded in silver rings both plain and ornate. How will I bear to part with such pretty gems? They are lovely. Also new tribal bracelets arrived to put on your pretty little wrists and silver starfish to rest against your throat. There’s a pitcher of freshly-made Strawberry Kiwi and another pitcher of freshly-made Tropical Sunrise. And just to pull out all the stops: Ginger-currant scones. September arrives Sunday. Don’t you deserve a little special something? Of course you do!

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Storied Store

Meadow Grounds lake north end _MG_5516051213

When I started my little McConnellsburg-based business in the Albert Stoner building, I wanted to pay homage to its strong place in local history and owner Glenn Cordell and Stoner/Lodge heir and friend Melissa Horton have proven invaluable allies in helping me assure that storied past is part of Tickle Your Fancy’s present and future. Furthermore, a commemorative booklet composed and printed during Sandy Richards’ long-term tenancy serves as a primer for visitors far and near who marvel at the beauty of this wonderful building. Should you wish to see some of the tin work that Albert Stoner made, do make a point of stopping by TYF and checking out the display. It is marvelous.

First time visitors should also check out the collection of hats that grace TYF starting with ladies’ hats and their histories in the front gifts and gourmet room and gentlemen’s hats in the tea shop. Each hat tells its own story– a fiftieth birthday, a shopping trip to New York City in the 1940’s, a honeymoon in Paris, a trek across Scottish Highlands or a most recent visit to a wedding in London. The owners and wearers were style icons, folks who believed in setting one’s best foot forward. They are inspirational even if seeing such hats does nothing more than remind us to stand a little straighter, have a care about our hair and feet, and consider lives other than our own.

For several weeks a banner bearing the image above served as a reminder to all who love Meadow Grounds Lake that grassroots support is integral to its restoration. Inside TYF, you can buy or order your own “Just add Water” tee-shirt to show your support. There is a long battle ahead to assure the restoration but who knows what may have happened to our beloved lake without the activism of local folk?

Finally, there is a new addition to TYF that gives me a thrill every time I look at it. The Fulton County Quilt Club has its raffle quilt on display inside the shop and it is a humdinger. First of all it is glorious red work in Irish chain making it a quilt that is at once both traditional and contemporary. To sweeten and personalize this annual work of communal art, two dozen of its talented members have embroidered baskets to fill each square and each one will make you smile if you have ever held an embroidery hoop in your hands. So nostalgic. So endearing. You can buy one chance to win this beautiful quilt for one thin dollar or you can purchase SIX chances to win for one thin five dollar bill. Come on in and see it. I guarantee you will want it.

My earliest memory of a store is from my childhood in the 1950’s in Clear Ridge and TWO stores: Harry Fraker’s which was also the town post office and Lou Fleming’s. Between the two, you could purchase everything from penny candy to sliced jumbo baloney, from three-buckle arctics to Evening in Paris perfume. These were our local stores and they told our local story. Do stop by TYF and see that the storied store has not disappeared. It is just waiting for you.

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Author Michael Henry to Visit Tickle Your Fancy

Michael Henry Has Penned a Second Novel, Uncle Tommy Squatch

Local Writer to Visit Tickle Your Fancy

Have you ever wondered what it takes to write a book? Ever wonder about the story behind publishing and promoting? Plan to be at TYF on Friday, August 9, 2013 at noon to hear local author Michael Henry discuss his particular journey and its pitfalls. Michael will speak briefly and then plans to field your questions about becoming a published author. Copies of UNCLE TOMMY SQUATCH will be available for signing and purchase and we will be celebrating the 114th birthday of the Albert Stoner Building so you can expect cakes. And tea. Definitely tea. Do join us.

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“Girls” Rule


More than a decade ago NEWSWEEK chose as their cover story the women’s World Cup victory captioned with the words, “Girls Rule.” What a powerful cover! What a powerful image! Today I am choosing to share with you a pic of one of my favorite friends and a “girl” who definitely rules, Betsy Ruderfer. In the last few years following retirement, she has recorded two jazz and classics CD’s that I enjoy listening to–partly because she is my friend, partly because I love the songs and she performs them well, and partly because she set a goal for herself and then went out and made it happen.I don’t know about you, but that is what I expect of my “girls” — that they get things done. In honor of all the women who have influenced me along my way and with all the respect they have earned and continue to earn, I am calling a brandy new tea “Girls Rule.” This is an extraordinary blend of the following herbs and fruits combined with the ever-healthful rooibos: fennel, chamomile, cardamom, alchemila, cloves, St. John’s wort, black pepper, juniper berries,and goose grass with apple bits, cinnamon, ginger pieces, raspberry leaves and orange peels. Doesn’t that sound like an awesome blend? You know it does! ūüôā This afternoon there is a planned visit with two friends and their friends–all of them colleagues in one of the most innovative educational programs in the Tri-State. I’ve made up a nice, refreshing pitcher full of Girls Rule just for them. Oh, and for YOU, too! Because ALL my friends know how to set a goal and make it happen. Cheers!

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