Category Archives: Table Decoration Ideas

Decorating ideas for your table!

A Springtime Tea Table: Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown, Tea Time Magazine

Tea Time Magazine is one of our favorite resources for tea inspiration. Along with their large and loyal following, we expect you’ll agree!

With Springtime in our thoughts, please allow us to direct your attention to Tea Time’s article for a bird themed tea table. It includes slideshows showcasing three different ways to decorate: Classically Elegant, Playfully Childlike and Casually Refined.

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown.

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like these recipes for Salmon Mousse Tea Sandwiches and Apple-Pomegranate Gellies.

Apple-Pomegranate Gellies shown with Pear-Walnut Gellies

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

From Tea Time Magazine: Teapots by Amy Cates

This week, we’re sharing a nice article on teapots from Tea Time Magazine.

Teapots by Amy Cates

Teapots by Amy Cates

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like slide shows for making Candied Lemon Zest Curls or Sugared Flowers, printable recipe cards and many downloadable recipes.

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

Candied Lemon Zest Curls Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Sugared Flowers Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Silver Plate vs. Nickel Plate?

Acorn Demi Spoons

Once or twice a year, I pull out my lovely silver plated demi spoons for a special tea party. I already know how they’re going to look even though I carefully packed them in a silver cloth. Silver tarnishes and that’s just the way it is!

It’s not a terrible thing, but I always say “good thing, I don’t mind the polishing or these babies would be gone!” Polishing the silver is a labor of love and part of the preparation for a special event. However, there are ladies who don’t want the extra fuss. Is there an alternative to silver or silver plate?

There is indeed! Nickel plated tea accessories are showing up in the market place this year. The price is good and the look is so similar to silver plate that you’d have a difficult time telling the difference. So, which is better?

There isn’t really a clear cut upside to either silver or nickel plating. It really comes down to your own preferences.

As previously stated, silver plate and nickel plate have a very similar coloring and brightness. Although, nickel can appear a little brighter. The obvious difference is the tarnishing aspect of silver whereas nickel doesn’t tarnish so no polishing is required. That, in itself, is a big plus for some gals.

Cake & Pastry Tongs

The debate over nickel plate vs. silver plate seems to be most rigorous when discussing musical instruments or jewelry findings. Silver plate is considered more durable for musical instruments such as flutes or horns. In regard to wearing jewelry, one of the more common metal allergies is to nickel. 

In my opinion, the durability and allergy questions aren’t particularly important to our discussion. In the average home, demi spoons are usually only used a few times a year: not enough to worry about durability and not enough skin contact to worry about allergies.

So, let’s sum up! The color of silver and nickel plate is very similar. Durability and allergies don’t really matter in regard to demi spoons, tea service or serving pieces. In the end, it comes down to silver tarnish. If you’re fussy about polishing silver, go with the nickel plate. If you don’t mind cleaning the tarnish, go for the silver. Either way, your table is going to be lovely!

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n Moreand browse our latest selection of English bone china teapots, tea sets, tea accessories and antique tea cups.

Tea Bag Folding

Tea Bag Medallion, picture by Paperfacets

For our “crafty” friends, we came across a charming idea using tea bag papers. It’s called Tea Bag Folding: a combination of origami type folds with tea bag papers to create lovely medallions and rosettes. One happy caution: Tea Bag Folding is a whole world unto itself!

We can see many applications for these artistic creations such as decorations for thank you cards, invitations or book marks. How about using tea bag medallions as decorations for your tea table or maybe have a lesson in tea bag folding as an ice breaker for your tea party? You could even create a tea bag folding starter kit as a home made hostess gift!

Bookmark Ideas, picture by Paperfacets

We’ve included a few trusted links to some very well done articles on Tea Bag Folding with lots of examples, history, beginner lessons, patterns, paper purchasing tips and other resources. We hope you enjoy our discovery and will share some of your creations and ideas with us!

Tea Bag Folding and Pattern Instructions

Websites for the Craft of Tea Bag Folding

Tea Bag Folding Butterfly Card

Tea Bag Folding for Children and Beginners

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

My 4 Cup Teapot is 24 ounces?!?

Summertime Rose 2 Cup Teapot

We have a riddle for you: When is a one cup measure not 8 ounces?

Answer: When it’s measuring the volume of an English teapot!

No, really…it’s true. Okay, you’re not laughing. We have to admit it’s more confusing than funny.

For instance, you buy a 4 cup teapot for your Tea Set for Four. You expect it to be a 32 ounce teapot, 8 ounces times 4 cups. However, when it arrives it appears so small and you discover it is only 24 ounces. What gives?

Well, teapot manufacturers have a quirky measurement for teapots. It does actually make some sense and once you understand it, you’ll always know what to buy.

Summertime Rose 4 cup Teapot

The first thing to know is that manufacturers measure the volume of teapots to the rim. Of course, you won’t fill it that high, but this is quirky measurement #1.

Secondly, the cup measurement used is 6 ounces, not the standard 8 ounces. This is based on 6 ounces of tea per cup. Therefore, a 4 cup teapot will hold 24 ounces which should be enough for four tea cups. Now you see that “cup” refers to tea cups not standard measuring cups.

Remember that we don’t fill our teapots to the rim? Here’s where the measurements fall apart.

Summertime Rose 6 cup Teapot

Imagine you’re having guests for tea. Let’s say three guests. Maybe you fill your teapot with 20 ounces of water, about 2.5 standard cups. You pour for your guests and yourself, filling the tea cups about two-thirds full, 6 ounces.  So you’re pouring about 24 ounces of tea, but the teapot only made 20 ounces.  The teapot is too small!

Tip: We recommend at least a 6 cup teapot when serving four guests. A 6 cup teapot, which is 36 ounces to the rim, will brew about 32 ounces of tea in the real world.

And what about refills? Good question! The tip below is our tried and true solution for a quick second pot. It works as long as you’re using a good quality loose tea which is brewed loose in the teapot. Otherwise, you’ll need to pull the tea bags and start a new pot brewing.

Summertime Rose 8 cup Teapot

Tip: As soon as you’ve poured the first pot, refill with more hot water and pop on a tea cozy. You’ll get another steep out of your leaves and be set for refills by the time your guests are ready.

So, a small mystery is solved. We hope you’re entertained and helped, not royally confused!

Below are the teapot measurements in ounces for easy reference:

2-3 cup Teapot: 12-18 ounces (A Tea for One Teapot)

4 cup Teapot: 24 ounces (Think Tea for Two…or Three)

6 cup Teapot: 36 ounces (Perfect for a Tea Set for Four)

8 cup Teapot: 48 ounces (Hard to find, but good for a Tea Set for Six. Otherwise, we recommend you buy a second teapot.)

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of teapots, tea accessories, teacups, tea miniatures and elegant tea sets.

Thoughts On Collecting Tea Cups

Vintage Hand Painted Tea Cup & Saucer

This week, we acquired a lovely old estate tea cup for our vintage and antique collection. It is old porcelain with no mark and completely handpainted. A beauty! The only historical clue is an old sticker on the bottom of the saucer which says “Aunt Claire”…apparently the former owner. When I hold these old tea cups, particularly the ones with a little character, a romantic notion strikes me. What have they seen? What joys celebrated? What sorrows comforted? What frustrations soothed? What would they say if they could talk?

Collecting tea cups, or anything vintage, is always an adventure. Sometimes you’ll find a bit of history or a rare treasure. Other times, you’ll find a common piece that you really love. With tea cups, there are so many to choose from at flea markets, estate sales, antique shops, garage sales and online. In fact, the choice on ebay alone is staggering! So, how do you determine what to collect?

Satsuma Hand Painted Cup/Saucer/Plate Trio

Some people collect tea cups made in specific regions such as England, Japan or Europe. Others collect specific manufactures such as Royal Winton, Lefton, Satsuma or Limoges. You can collect certain patterns or types such as Geisha Girl porcelain, Blue Willow, Royal Winton Julia Chintz, or Limoges hand painted designs.

However, most collectors choose tea cups they love. We believe this is the best way to collect and offer the following simple guidelines for your consideration.

1. First and most important, choose what you really love and will still enjoy 10-20 years from now.

Royal Winton Julia Chintz Cup/Saucer/Plate Trio

2. Don’t collect for value or profit. Tea cups or anything vintage are like fine art. It will only be as valuable as the consumer demand for it. A tea cup purchased for little money may never be worth much except to you or it may someday be valuable to collectors. Conversely, a tea cup in high demand and highly priced may eventually lose value if the demand for it goes down. So again, whether vintage or new, buy what you love.

3. Finally, make memories with your collection. It’s easy with tea cups! Make sure you have tea parties with your collection: big, small or even just you. Celebrate joys, comfort sorrows, sooth frustrations, share your life and enjoy your tea cups. They won’t talk! :-)

For information on Wileman Shelley China, visit our posting The Wileman Shelley Potteries: A Brief History.

We invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our current selection of vintage & antique tea cups as well as new bone china teapots, tea sets and other delights.

 

Tea Sets for the Next Generation

When I was young and engaged to be married, casual decor was in. You may remember rustic  furniture, earthenware dishes, browns, greens, rust colors and none of the fancy things our mothers had! My mom suggested I register for fine china, crystal glassware & silverware, but that was silly, I thought. When would I ever use all that fancy stuff?!

Fifteen years down the road, I was kicking myself for not listening to her when others would have purchased that beautiful finery just because they loved me. But, I was young and dumb.

Summertime Rose Bone China Tea Set

At 21, we know everything! By 35, hopefully, we’re beginning to discover how smart mom really is.  She knows the need will eventually arise for lovely things.  As our families grow up, we find ourselves in our mother’s place, hosting holidays and celebrating passages of life that make us want to set out the good china, crystal…and we finally understand!

With bone china,  high quality is an investment. Around here, we think Heirloom English Bone China is the finest, but we’ll save that subject for another post. Superior bone china will stand the test of time and, with care,  be available to the next generation.

English Pansy Bone China Tea Set

In the world of fine bone china tea sets, we’ve noticed that certain patterns seem to have a timeless appeal to them. At Teapots ‘n More, we call those lovely designs classics.

You may be comtemplating the purchase of a fine tea set for yourself, a daughter or perhaps a young bride.  We’d like to suggest the following classic patterns for your consideration. We hope you enjoy the happy job of choosing your pattern. Contact us if we can help!

Classic Bone China Tea Set Designs by Heirloom

Classic Bone China Tea Set Designs by Heirloom

Visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of english bone china tea sets, teapots, tea cups and tea cup trios and much more.