Saturday, July 6, 2013

Read, white and blue for Fourth of July: Tea Magazine's first blue and white issue delights and inspires

July/August Tea Time, first official blue and white issue
It's always a cause for celebration when my Tea Time Magazine gets delivered, but the most recent July/August issue really inspired me over the holiday weekend. The cover title boasts "sensational blue and white issue" over a beautiful, glossy photograph of a teapot and teacup in the aforementioned color scheme. As I poured through all sixty-six pages of the magazine, filled with tablescapes ranging from an elegant birthday party with teacups lined in gold and accompanied by cobalt blue crystal,  to a casual porch tea using a more informal country cottage floral-patterned tea service, I couldn't agree more with its title caption - blue and white is sensational!

Collection of blue and white china on display
In her "Editor's Letter", Lorna Reeves shares that the combination of  blue and white brings her "cheer" which  is why most of her own china is comprised of those two colors. Further evidence of her affection for this color scheme is that she not only owns so much of it, but that she prominently displays the china throughout her home. That caused me to take another look at my own small collection of blue and white tea ware and, perhaps, bring it up more up front and center.

The timing was perfect, too. We just had our upstairs redone - all rooms painted and floors refinished, including my home office. My husband and I had packed up closets and bookcases filled with a multitude of treasures, clothes and books. Now it was time to re-sort and replace. That's when my July/August issue of Tea Time arrived - just in time for inspiration. And, on the Fourth of July extended weekend, after our big family gathering on Thursday, I had an extra few days to focus on the home.

I gathered up my small collection of blue and white china that had been  dispersed in several plastic storage bins. Putting the grouping all together in small, antique knick-knack shelf I relocated from the master bedroom to my office really put a nice welcoming touch to the room.

Blue Willow tea set from Adagio

As with most of my teaware, each has a story and a connection to someone or someplace worth remembering. The blue willow tea set and tea cup were a few years' worth of Christmas gifts from my brother-in-law Bryan. He found those at Adagio Teas and they were always a treat to receive. Adagio still has the collection available (should anyone want to know!).

Tea cups represent the range from fancy to country casual
Like the range of china in Tea Time's tablescapes, my two other tea cups represent the endpoints of the spectrum from elegant to country casual.  The cottage-floral patterned cup was a present from my friend, Christine. We were shopping together one Saturday at Kristeas in Berkley and she bought a set of blue and white tea cups. At the cash register she surprised me by putting a cup and saucer in my bag. It's a great reminder of the fun afternoon we spent and it's one my favorite go-to cups for at-home teatime. (See the video in my last blog story, featuring Barb's TEA Shop with Mr. Tea.)

Tea cup from a good friend becomes resting place for Mr. Tea

Checking the stamp on the bottom of the saucer, I found it's  from J & G Meakin, England. The pattern is Classic White Nordic, and according to Wikipedia, the company started in the mid-1800's producing affordable china for domestic and export sales. Production stopped in 2004.

Elegant blue and white tea cup with gold trip comes from Russia
The fancy cup is a recent acquisition - I purchased that at the Detroit Institute of Arts last December when my family and I went to see the Faberge Exhibit. The DIA sold many Russian-related items in their gift shop for the occasion and this tea cup was part of that offering. I don't know much about it other than where I bought it and some heavy red script on the bottom that I can't make out, next to "made in Russia".

I love the knew look in my office. I have the shelf next to a comfy  chair so guests can be welcomed by the blue and white china display. I hope it brings my visitors as much cheer as it brings to me (with much credit to my kindred spirits at Tea Time).

New corner in home office brings cheer to all who visit

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