Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The beautiful and the useful: Teacup / Coffee cup

I got bored with the 2013 in review (there's still one more post to go, but I just did not feel like finishing up those answers...), and then got busy studying and sewing (still nothing to show, but things to come!), and well, I just want to share something nice with you.

I got inspired by the Hope Chest series Jessica Boyer's been doing, and decided to share more of those beautiful and useful household items with you. I've actually already taken some of those photos earlier, so it's easier.

So here's a cup from a set that I've appropriated for my virtual hope chest, because it's always been sitting in the back of the cupboard, never used, presumably because mom preferred the simpler, gold-rimmed set more, and I actually love the colours and floral pattern of this one! The combination of aqua and orange and green is a bit awkward in our current home, so yes, I can understand why they never got used. But it fits into the colour schemes for my dream home beautifully...

I photographed it on a pillowcase that never got used, either. It's vintage, inherited I believe from an old lady that my grandma used to take care of. We have several of similar bedding pieces, with a sad story attached to them - they were for the hope chest of the daughter of said lady, who however died young. So they went to my family instead. These particular ones never got used because they do not fit any of our pillows (and there are some stains). But they make for a nice vintage linen backdrop. :-)

Aside from the colour scheme, I like how precious the shape of these cups is. They are fairly small (so probably coffee cups rather than teacups) and look like a flimsy china affair (you know the type, don't you?), what with their tiny handles, but they are actually nice and quite sturdy in the hand. (I would not risk dropping them on the floor, though. :D)

They're made in China; the pattern is just printed, not painted, so it's not a super special set, but it's special for me.


  1. oh hi. hana...
    the story about the bed linen really goes to heart. to die that young.
    i´m still using some pillow cases which were made for my grandma´s hope chest. she saved them many years and gave it to me when i started my own household 20 years ago. they had some yellowing but washing at 95°c helped. now they start to get little holes :-(
    believe or not - i had a hope chest myself. a big 100 year old fir chest and every birthday and christmas after my 14. i got towels, bedlinen etc. . not what a teenager wishes. but now i´m happy with the stuff because it is of much better quality then that what one can buy today.....

    1. In the book "Gabra a Málinka" I wrote about once, Gabra wishes for ice skates and gets some linen, and is obviously very upset about it... :-) Certainly not what every teenaged girl dreams of; I got a bit more excited about the idea when I was gifted a special tool for my favourite meal! I think that's another thing I should share...
      And one of my first posts on this blog was about the exciting find of damask bedding fabric. Sometimes, bedding really is a treasure, but it takes some time to grow into that mindset!

  2. I adore this tea cup Hana! It looks like something I would have asked from my Mom too! I think it was such a lovely thing for you to capture the cup up against the backdrop of that intricate white pillowcase! And what a sad story indeed! I only hope that the young lady was a child of God! I am so glad you were inspired to share with us your hope chest find! I get so excited when I read of other young ladies preparing for their future homes in this special way!

    May you continue to be blessed in your preparations for your own home.


    The eldest sister & singer

    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting!
      I was so glad to discover your series, because I'm a super disorganised person, and the orderly way in which you do your posts made me think more about what I do and do not have.
      I do not know much more about the story, I've never met the people because it all happened even before my mother was born... but I do believe my grandma knew them from church. I'm not quite sure. Mom only knew the lady when she was a child - she called her "grandma", even though they were not related.

  3. Precious things indeed! I find these household items far more interesting than super special antiques are. I have quite a collection of tea cups and saucers, none of them worth very much but I do love them :)

    1. One feels less sorry about using them, which is the point - why have something around that you never use? Better have something that is both beautiful and useful!

  4. Hi Hana - This post introduced me to an American English expression that was new to me. Whilst I could understand from the context, what a 'hope chest' is, the usual expression in British English, is 'bottom drawer'. The idea is that a young lady sets aside the bottom drawer of her chest of drawers, in which to store bed linen, towels etc., for use in a future home of their own.

    Buying useful household items when you can afford to do so, and storing them so they are available for use when something breaks or is worn out, is something my mother, and I suspect, many of her generation, used to do. When in the mid-1970s, my widowed mother received some unexpected money from two books my father wrote, she went out and spent it on new bedding, including two single-bed woollen blankets. When she died in 1980, I inherited them, unused & still in their original packaging. I still have them & they are both currently wrapped around our double-bed mattress, before fitting the bottom sheet!

    1. Thank you for another useful English lesson, Ricky! I think I've encountered that expression before, but never consciously. Personally, with all my preference for British spelling and such, I like the American term more, because it lends itself to the virtual status of mine better. :D
      Funnily enough, a bottom drawer is exactly where our bed linens are stored - but they are in use, of course. I've also recently emptied a bottom drawer, but I think it will store other items...

  5. Beautiful and useful - both important. It's good that your cup is sturdy enough that you feel confident using it. I like the linen, too!