If I could pop into the Tardis, spit myself out of it in 1997 and tell myself that I'd become passionate about handpainted stoneware and porcelain I may well threaten to clock myself round the ear 'ole with my Pied a Terre strappy sandals and call myself a lunatic. Secretly though, I already rather liked it.
Paintings hung on the wall are the bees knees but a handpainted cup or plate has three dimensions and it has utility aswell as good looks. Fill it with tea or stick a slab of Victoria sandwich on it, add a friend or two and perhaps some knitting and the little painterly flowers become part of something joyous.
Most days I'm a mug fan. None of your teeny cappucino numbers for me, I like a sizeable vessel for my brew and if it holds nearly a pint then so much the better. I have to take my tea upstairs and oversee 'getting dressed for school' every weekday morning. Sometimes this is a long and arduous business involving tears about tiny tights - there's no time for repeated trips to the teapot. I have a thing for these massive teacups. The one below reminds me of feedsack florals. I'd give my eye teeth for a skirt with this design.
I managed to find a 19th C handpainted mug in an antique shop in Pateley Bridge. Joy.
My dear friend Fleur likes gentility when it comes to tea. When she comes round I break out my delicate teacups. I suppose I have a collection. This may seem middle aged and tragic (my 25 year old self is jeering) but a teeny patch of handpainted Spring flowers from the nineteenth century for 50p from a Car Boot sale that you can drink tea from. Erm YES PLEASE. This scenario has occurred several* times leading to a collection of around 5** teacups.
My teacups are singletons - I have no sets. They're a right jumble and not all have saucers but I admit to fetching them down from their pegs now and again, gazing at the tiny flowers and leaves and swooning a bit. The same applies to my cake plates. These are used more regularly for the homemade biscuit break during each of my workshops. I'm not keen on the idea of 'looking china'. I prefer 'drinking and scoffing china'. I like to use it.
Mr M is now used to my odd ways when it comes to old china. He asked me if I wanted an extra birthday present - I directed him to the Foodie Bugle's electronic pages of joy. They should come with a health/purse warning. Oof.
I suspect I'm not alone with this slightly Granny-ish excitement over bits of painty porcelain. Care to confess?