At last! The grey clouds parted and the sun smiled upon us this evening. A real glimpse of summer if not briefly. We're crossing fingers and toes in hope of some warm weather soon. The irony is that we have a hose pipe ban in force here in the north west of England and yet it's hardly stopped raining it seems in over a month. The potted plants however, are withering from thirst and we've simply been far too busy to find a moment to water them. *Note to self and mother* Must not neglect the allotment and garden. Vintage china must not take over our entire lives!
I'll let you into a secret. We have been run off our feet preparing a new website which is due online very soon and I'm going to let you have a sneak preview of some of the tea sets we have created over the weekend ready for the store. Since the sun made a rare appearence we instantly started to dream of picnics on the park and high afternoon teas in the garden.
Pretty pastels and fresh flowers were combined to create a cheerful tea set just perfect for fitting into a picnic basket. The cake stands are so easy to take apart and reassemble. Imagine placing that on a blanket on the beach and piling it high with pork pie slices and scotch eggs! Why not picnic with panache?
How many tea cups make a stack? Well in my estimation it's approximately three. I had so wanted to make a tall tower but that would have been a very bad idea indeed.
Once I'd got started I clearly couldn't stop. I just love the way the patterns on the tea cups are enhanced when put together this way. They would display wonderfully with some nicely weathered shabby chic items in that gorgeous country cottage kitchen that exists in my dreams.
The above is an Art Deco period Burgess Bros. teacup and saucer sitting very comfortably at the top of a matching three tiered cake stand. Such a sumptuous design overpainted with lashings of gold gilt. Quite lavish! Now then, what to fill it with? Chocolate fingers or crudités with a tasty dip around the edge in the saucer?
Another tea cup stack in a wicker basket. Just too pretty!
A cake stand! No of course we hadn't forgotten about those. Trust me, cake stands here is like not being able to see the wood for the trees. This one was picked out because it's a personal favourite. It's not often that you come across such striking pretty patterns and particularly purple tones. The berry colour in the Royal Albert saucer is picked up in the handpainted floral design on the Adderleys base plate. It contrasts beautifully with the turquoise blue in the Royal Stafford middle plate. The pink roses on the tea cup complete the colourway and match with those on the saucer. You see, even so called 'mismatched' pieces work best with an element of co-ordination.
Patterns are repeated in the above mixed vintage tea set to bring the pieces together as a whole. The colourway is based primarily on soft pinks and pastels. The fresh green in the cream jug echos that on the top of the cake stand. Of course you can be bold and mishmash the whole set with as much colour and pattern as your eyes can tolerate. However, it's fairly straightforward to continue adding to your collection if you choose to limit yourself to certain colours or patterns. Floral motifs such as ditsy roses naturally look lovely together as they would in the border of your garden. The principles are the same.
Colclough "Ivy" and "Enchantment" pink rose garland with a Dorchester "Dog Rose" on the top.
I read that it's now fashionable to serve cocktails in tea cups! A very good idea though I'd leave it until evening if I were you. A liquid lunch is fine but take note that the china holds more than you might imagine! Steady now!
Lastly, let's finish on a medley. No I'm not about to burst into song (you'll be thankful for that). We have here the ideal gift for that friend who looks upon your vintage china collection with envy. A vintage mistmatched china medley beautifully presented in a gift box. Also included is a scented candle teacup and saucer which can be reused for a nice cup of tea (or Pina Colada!) when it's finished with. The pieces can be added to an existing mixed set or make the beginnings of a new one. You may wish to add your own written warning if giving this as a present to someone special.... "Caution - Collecting vintage china is highly addictive!"