Tea Towels Make Great Gifts (We Love These Lily O’s)

As we are still in high season for hostess gifts, it is especially thoughtful to give things  people actually want. Tea towels are always useful, and a fresh, pretty one is always welcome.  They give your kitchen or bar a lift, and life’s little lifts add up. (Now say that three times fast.) 

These bright and colorful Lily O’s were sent me by a friend and je les adore. Based on the charming watercolors of American artist Thomas Vieth, who, with wife Susan, founded the company, the towels are sold via the website here and in select retail outlets.

La Belle France – Lily O tea towel

The paintings have a Matisse-like quality that is so appealing, non?

Chardonnay – Lily O tea towel

 Here is the artist in action… He is from IOWA, and his name is Tom, just like His Grace (aka my husband for new readers). Beat thou cornstalks into paint brushes, I say.

Tom Veith painting in Perigueux

When I contacted Susan about this post, I learned Tom Vieth does a lot more than tea towels. See ThomasVieth.com here, and enjoy his wonderful paintings. I also learned that a few years ago, Tom and Susan followed their dream and bought a house in the Dordogne region of France. He paints. She organizes life so he can paint. She also  pens the delightful blog, A Small Village in France.com, where you can read more of their inspiring story.

Don’t you  love it when people do their dreams?!

Pansies and a chateau in Bourdeilles, France, near the home of Susan and Tom Vieth.

P.S., and en garde, Hermès… Lily O has recently expanded into scarves, also with original designs and as bright and exuberant as the tea towels. 

Lily O scarves, coming soon…

Just don’t get the scarves confused with the tea  towels, à la Little Edie of Grey Gardens… I saw Sallie at the Piggly-Wiggly and for the life of me, she had a tea towel wrapped ’round her head...See the scarves here, available September 1. Which is right around the corner, which is un-buh-leeve-able, n’est-ce pas?

Oh, and speaking of confused, the Vieths had a cat named Lily who apparently thought  she was a parrot, as she used to perch on Tom’s shoulders as he painted and gardened. They named the company after her anyway. She must have been a character.

All images via LilyOs.com, and as ever, there is no remuneration for posts in FrancesSchultz.com. A bientôt.  


  1. Oh my word, if that is Susan in the photo, she looks almost identical to my mother! The towels and scarves are beautiful, as well!

  2. Oh thank you! I needed a gift idea and those are be-u-ti-ful! What I didn’t need? ANOTHER blog to follow!! Oh well, c’est la vive> you always have good ones. (-;

  3. Have spent over 20 years renting a house in the very village where tom paints and have watched him at work..and always bring home some of the towels as petits cadeaux….plus I love his paintings….great to see this on your blog…xoxoxo

  4. funny, we have two Dufy’s left to us by my husband’s parents, and my first thought was of Dufy and Matisse also! they are VERY fun, creative and whimsical. Love them, Frances, thank you for sharing! GREAT gifts… can never have too many towels!

  5. Oh, my! Catching up with my favorite blogs, just added LilyOs to my favorites and ordering some of those tea towels, the “Champagne” one being my favorite, getting it framed for my new kitchen. Currently in major re-do/nesting mode, even when I know full well I am pulling up stakes next year. Fall being my favorite season, it always sends me into full-fledged nesting mode. Merci for another wonderful post, keep ’em coming and how’s that wonderful Bee book coming along? So looking forward to it!

  6. Just found your blog via the article in HB about tea towels.

    These are my favorite souvenirs as well. They weigh nothing, lie flat, and are always available all over Europe, certainly. I have one’s from Lisbon, London, Paris, Provence — what a nice list of places to remember. I have just started to subscribe to your blog and look forward to more reading.

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