tea time in a vase on monday

Ribes & Myosotis

I’m told that this is actually a chocolate set. I used it to serve eggnog during the holidays, but that is the first time it has left the shelf, a shame, really. Last week’s tiny bouquets were short-lived, all but the Ribes and the foliage of the Stachyrus praecox, so those are getting an encore in the tall serving pitcher.


There are six of the cups and saucers (one patched together with glue), each with a different hand painted floral pattern. I was thinking it would be fun for a party to have one at each place setting. The forget-me-nots are just coming on. I thought their dainty little faces filled the cup perfectly.


Here’s a shot where you can get a better look at the lid to the pitcher. I love all the little details of this set: like how the cups transition from round at the lip to square at the base and the saucer follows suit. Gram was a “saver” while Mom was a “user”. As a result, most things from my mom are damaged in some way but she got enjoyment from them. When I pulled these from the shelf, they were caked in dust. As I washed it off to reveal the beauty beneath, I got a bit closer to the user camp. How do you come down on that issue?


I’ll take you a little closer for one last look at the delicate china painting and the Ribes in full flower. These showy currants have been planted in several places by the birds who, in their wisdom, chose sites in varying degrees of shade. These come from the shrub that gets the most sun, but there will be a parade of blossoms as one after another strut their stuff. Cathy at Rambling in the Garden has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging us to find something in our gardens to “plonk” (her word) in a vase each Monday. Try it…you’ll like it, and you may find yourself pressing into service some treasures that have been languishing on a shelf.

36 thoughts on “tea time in a vase on monday

  1. The Ribes goes very well with the pattern on the pitcher. It’s that endless dilemma, do I keep something on the shelf or in the cupboard and keep it “nice” and “good” or use it and enjoy its usefulness and beauty at the risk of damaging it.

  2. The flowers are set off perfectly by the lovely containers. Who wouldn’t enjoy having tea or chocolate with you! I believe in using objects like this–they give a lot of pleasure.

  3. I love this set….I’d have to say I am a saver with old china and special things like this…wow, if I saw this in a shop I would have to have it…rare and stunning. The ribes are perfect in it as are the FMNs.

    • Donna~I’m such a klutz that handling fragile stuff makes me nervous, but I still like to get it out there to be enjoyed every once in a while.

  4. What beautiful china Ricki – just perfect for showing off those lovely forget me nots and flowering currants. I have moved from the ‘keep for best’ camp to the ‘use i’t camp – these lovely things are no use to anyone tucked away in a cupboard.

  5. Use it! My daily flatware for ages as been my grandparents wedding silver(plate). I admired it’s Art Deco lines and my grandma was sure to give it to me way before she started clearing things out. “I want to know you’re using it, we never did and should have.” Sometimes I look at it with regret, “I should have taken better care of it!” but what a gift to have my grandparents near at every single meal! I do love your chocolate set, what great lines.

    • Loree~My mom used her sterling silver flatware to such an extent that more than half of it was lost or chewed up in the dishwasher beyond repair. That’s what I call “hard use”. Who’d have even thought you could DO that? Like you, I’m using the silverplate from my MIL and enjoying the mix of beauty and nostalgia that it brings to the table. I like being able to use an overworked catch phrase like “bring to the table” for its original, non-political meaning. Your grandma sounds like a gem.

  6. I believe in using special objects too, even if they do get chipped or broken at some stage, and this set is so pretty – it was a great idea to put the ribes in it!

  7. I suppose we have nothing that is really ‘precious’ so I don’t have that that dilemma, but as you know I do have lots of ‘stuff’ that was bought purely for display – certainly good to be now using some of it for vases and props, even if it does entail dusting first 🙂 I love the shape of yours and the fact you say each cup is different, so presumably they are handpainted. Doesn’t that ribes look stunning in the pot? And how sweet are the forget-me-nots?! It’s all very well people saying they run riot but they never establish here, which is very odd. Thanks for sharing your thought today, rickii.

    • Cathy~The forget-me-nots do run riot here, but are always welcome…unlike the buttercups. Half the weeding I do is keeping the buttercups from taking over the world.

  8. The ribes looks just right in the jug as does the forget-me-nots in the cup. I’m a user … when I remember what I have tucked away in various cupboards 🙂

    • Elizabeth~They don’t do us much good tucked away where we can’t see them, do they? I do know some who have display cases with glass doors. I guess that works, but I can almost hear these inanimate objects sighing “thank you for bringing me out of the darkness and into the light”.

  9. You are so creative with your vase arrangements, Ricki. I always smile when I stop by your blog to see them. I think if I was going to collect something it would be tea cups and servers, which look stunning with flowers in them and near them. 🙂

  10. Possibly my favorite of you’re In a vase on Monday arrangements. O.K. they’re all my favorites. The little rose covered cup with the forget-me-nots is precious! So Victorian. Roses were my mom’s favorite flower and forget-me-not is the state flower of Alaska so this spoke to me.
    When walking through antique stores, I’m sometimes saddened by a collection of something or other that was once enjoyed greatly and now up for adoption. As you wondered, will the next generation be interested in these things? Use them! I feel somehow connected to the past, to those I love but see no more, when I use things that came from them. A china cabinet that allows you to see the things every day and use them or not as you wish is a nice compromise.

    • Peter~I feel your kindred-spirithood here. I love so many things for their own sake, but when an additional connection enters the picture, for whatever reason…well, what can I say?

  11. What a fab, unusual set! And the perfect adornment as usual… I think I need to host more dinners – it seems all the good china in our house only comes out for special occasions, mostly because we are such creatures of habit, I think. It takes time and effort to switch things around. But, when we use it, I really LOVE using it. Wonder why I don’t do it more often…

  12. So, I’m pretty much convinced you have some experience in professional floral arranging. i can’t remember if I read that in your book or not but looking at these exquisite photos convinces me. So pretty!

    • Grace~Not at all, but the longer I participate in the vase challenge, the more I find out (both from doing and picking up tips from others).

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