Monday, 12 September 2011

How to display tea cups

I've got so many tea cups, they spend more time in storage than they do on display.  There is only so much space on my dresser.  My tea cups are stashed here there and everywhere.  It's got so bad that I've forgotten what I've got.  A few weeks ago the Big Man found a bag full to the brim with a gorgeous Limoges tea set.  It  had been thrown into the corner of the spare room.  Thankfully nothing was broken inside.  But I could not for the life of me remember where or when I had bought it.  I may have been the one who threw the bag into the corner in a bid to hide it from the Big Man.  But you can't prove that!

I think it's time to admit I have teacuphoardingitis.  My name is Madison and I am a tea cup addict.  If only there was some way I could display more of my tea cups, then they would be more of an interior-design-decor-type-thing rather than evidence of my out of control hoarding.

A Google search beckoned and there's so many clever ideas on t'internet.  I've decided to do some redecorating.

First up my dining room.  Well my dresser lives there and it's already kinda full of tea cups so how about the table itself?  I came across this fabulous idea from a wonderful blog Sweetology.  It's so gorgeous.  I can imagine all my lovely tea cups on display in the middle of the dining table.  I'm not sure the tea cups could withstand the table kicking the Wee Man likes to do during dinner though.  Hm!  We'll eat on the sofa in front the telly from now.

Image from "Sweetology"
There's also my side board which has all my cake stands on it.  I'll just have to put the cake stands into storage and have these lovelies instead.  Column upon column of tea cups beckon.   Thanks to  "Something Special" for that idea.

Image from "Something Special"

So that's the table, dresser and sideboard sorted.  How about the dining room walls or the Wee Man's art gallery as it is is known.  The Wee Man's at school now so surely he's old enough to not have to put his "artwork" on my lovely walls.  Do we really need to stare at his juvenile scrawls and splodges during dinner?  Well since we're eating on the sofa from now on - no.  How about some tea cups on the walls instead?

Image from "Teacup Gallery"

Look how lonely those tea cups look.  The racks would be so much happier if they lived at my house.  They'd fulfill their life's purpose and be ever so pretty.   

That's the dining room sorted, now onto the hall where the coat rack will be removed and replaced with this rack.  The boys will just have to take their coats upstairs and hang them in their wardrobes and if they're too lazy to go upstairs they can just keep them on. 

Image from "Teacup Gallery"

The fireplace in the living room will be removed and a call will be made to Mark the Builder who will build me one of these.  (If you're reading this Mrs. Mark the Builder, I expect a neighbour discount for the building of this unit)  The unit will span one entire wall of my living room unless Mark the Builder does me a very good deal in which case the unit will go across two or maybe three of the walls.  Best get my Haggling Hat on.

image from Heart Handmade UK

The downstairs loo will also get the new interior-design-decor-type-thingie treatment with this lovely little stand which will be placed charmingly on top of the cistern.

Image from "Teacup Gallery"

Job done!  I am now an Interior-Design-Decor-Type Guru!  

The fantastic hanging racks and individual stand can be found at  Wonder if they'll give me a discount on all the racks I'll be buying?

Car Boot Loot #11

It's all gone "Pete Tong".  It's pee'ng it down outside and I had planned on taking pics of all my goodies today.  Tut!  No worries, I have some photos of goodies I haven't shown yet.  Today's Car Boot Loot will not have any vintage china at all.  Shock!  Instead I've got some gorgeous vintage cutlery to show you all.  Woo Hoo!

First up some silverware I bought at a car boot a couple of weeks ago.  Actually it was the day the Big Man's parents left and to celebrate we headed for the local car boot.  :0)

Hidden amongst some toot on a table, I spied this cute little silver plate sugar tongs.  I did my usual humming and hawwing and the lovely lady stall holder gave it me for a meagre 50p.

As I paid for it I also spied another very tarnished piece of silverware and as I picked it up the lady offered it to me for 50p also.  50p for a silver plated cake slice!  Of course I'll take it.  A lot of elbow grease and silver polish has brought it up a treat.  I love the detail on it.

Whilst the Big Man's parents were here we headed into London, to Greenwich.  The Wee Man "drove" us there on the DLR and whilst the boys headed for the Maritime museum, the girls headed to the flea market.  I must admit I had a lovely time with my Mum in Law.  We cooed at some lovelies and discussed some family politics i.e. gossiped.  Whilst at a stall I picked up a strange looking spoon to ask the stall holder what it was. 

Before I could stop her, my Mum in Law did her usual and whipped out her purse and paid the £5 the stall holder was asking for it.  I bit my tongue as I knew my Mum in Law had no use for such a thing and was merely buying it for the sake of buying it.  I knew this gorgeous vintage lovely would spend it's life in a plastic bag at the back of a drawer.  I knew that given some time I could have haggled the price down, but we were having such a lovely time I didn't want to spoil it with my moaning about her shopping habits.  

I'm really glad I did bite my tongue, cos my Mum in Law bought it as a present for me.   

I love the detail on it's handle.

Can you guess what the spoon is used for?   I'll tell you at the end of the post.  Go on, start guessing.  

Next up is a mystery "spoon" that I picked up ages ago at a car boot.  

It's kinda like a spoon shovel thingie.  I have not a clue what it's used for.  Does anyone have any ideas?  

And lastly another present my Mum in Law gave me.  She had a good rummage around in her overflowing cupboards before she came down and brought me loads of goodies.  You'll have to wait a bit longer to see them all but until then, here's a sneaky peek. 

A beautiful set of vintage sliver plated tea spoons.  She was given them over twenty years ago by an old lady she had befriended.  The spoons were the lady's grandmother's, so you can imagine how old they are.  My Mum in Law has a tendency to "pick" up little old ladies who seem to be drawn to her.  She spends every Tuesday afternoon with an old lady who lives round the corner and even though I have never met this lady, she always, always gives the Wee Man cards for his birthday, Christmas and Easter and always with a £10 note in it. A  couple of years ago the lady's brother started sending cards to the Wee Man with money in it too!  Again I have never met or spoken with this man or this lady.  It really is lovely and the Wee Man always, always sends a  handmade thank you card to both of them.

And the last picture...

It wouldn't be the same without some vintage china, would it?  Doesn't the spoon look pretty with the china?  

There will be more details of the vintage china when I get some proper photos taken.  

Oh and the spoon with the holes in it?  It's a spoon used to put sugar on strawberries.  Very ingenious don't you think?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Anyone want some support?

Well, I've only gone and done it.

All too often I've lamented the fact that the Big Man and I are on this allergy journey alone and scrambling around in the dark.  I'm a talker (gossiper) and would love nothing more than to have a moan with someone about this and that.  With someone who understands what I'm going through and what life is like with allergies.  Living life with the knowledge that your little one's lungs and heart could suddenly stop working.  I have tried in the past to talk to my friends about it but all too often I get the feeling they see me as an overprotective helicopter Mum with a crumb phobia.  A slight roll of the eyes and a twitch of the mouth is enough to convince me of their thoughts on the matter.

I was introduced to the Anaphylaxis Campaign by the Wee Man's school nurse.  They are a fantastic charity who are:  "the only UK wide charity to exclusively meet the needs of the growing numbers of people at risk from severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) by providing information and support relating to foods and other triggers such as latex, drugs and insect stings"

Amongst the many services they provide, they run workshops for parents and young people and also support groups.  I'm so glad I've become a member of the charity but I was very disappointed to find out that there wasn't a support group near me.

So, I went and did it.  I've volunteered to run a new support group for my area.  Yikes!  I've never, ever run anything like this before.  If it were a testosterone filled company directors meeting, I wouldn't flinch.  I could run them in my sleep.  But a support group?

I have images of sitting alone in a dark, damp room with only the sound of a dripping tap to keep me company.  What if no one turns up?  What if it is just me, talking to myself?  Worse still what if there's loads of people and they all sit in silence staring at me, waiting for me to "perform"?

The first meeting is in six weeks and in that time I have to drum up some people, otherwise I may well be making conversation with the walls.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Car Boot Loot #10

It's been a couple of weeks hasn't it?  I've lost all sense of time.  Hopefully now the Wee Man has started school I can give my blog some dedicated time.  The house will most probably suffer but hey ho, I am a Lady of Leeeeeee-jure now.

This morning I've been playing catch up with taking photos of the lovelies.  I've had to take a rain break so I'll post the photos I have taken,  more to follow at a later date.

First up, something I paid a lot more than I usually pay for things but a real bargain none the less.  A complete Queen Anne tea set with six teacups, six saucers, six tea plates and a cake plate.  Nineteen pieces in all for £7.50.  That's 40p for each piece!  It's so lovely and in mint condition.

Next up found amongst a tarpaulin littered with old rusty tools and general garage crud was this china sandwich plate.

According to the seller it's Ming Dynasty!  But according to the mark it's Minton.  After some haggling down from the thousands of pounds the seller wanted for his very rare Chinese antiquity!  I got it for a very respectable 75p.  Some quick ebay research told me I had in fact bagged myself a serious bargain.  This exact piece is being sold for between £10 to £25.99.  I'm not sure what it's really worth but I do know it's worth a lot more than 75p.

Next up another piece by Minton.  I know it's a jug, but I'm not really sure what kind of jug as it's got a saucer with it.  Does that mean it's for something other than milk or cream?  Maybe it's just a posh jug?  A little bit extra added to justify an extortionate price?  Not that the price I paid was extortionate.  One shiny British pound was paid for this beauty.

And the last item I got to photograph before the rain started was this lonesome little teacup.  I cannot for the life of me remember where or when I bought it.  I do know it was from a carboot sale this past fortnight.  But I have no recollection whatsoever of the actual purchase or the price paid.  I'm thinking it was a bargain price because I only buy things at bargain prices.  But I just can't remember.

Is this a sign of old age or maybe it's because I've bought so much stuff it's all becoming a blur. Yikes!  Another sign of hoarding?!

Do you ever get home from a carboot sale/ charity shop/ flea market (etc) and forget how much you paid for things?

This post is shared on Whatever Goes Wednesday Time Travel Thursday, Vintage Thingie Thursday Thrifty Thursday, Show and Tell Friday Thrifty Things Friday
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