Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tea for Two

A few weeks ago my sister told me that as long as I'm poking around at thrift stores and flea markets I might as well look for a tea set for her. She'd been wanting a tea set, she told me, the real china kind.
 "I think it would be fun for serving tea when my friends come over."
"Oh, do you serve tea when your friends come over?"
"No... but if I had a tea set I might!"
She explained that she was looking to spend somewhere in the under twenty dollar range. She'd like a nice, grown up lady tea set with a cream pitcher, sugar bowl, teapot, teacups, and saucers. Basically, the works... for under twenty dollars.


So I've been keeping an eye out for tea serving accessories at various flea markets and thrift stores. I found standalone teapots and teapots with matching cream pitchers and sugar bowls. I found dishware sets with teacups and saucers. But I did not find a tea set with all of the elements present.
I talked to my sister again and she clarified that she wanted a teapot, cream pitcher, sugar bowl, and teacups but they did not all have to match. I could buy the different parts of the tea set separately. My GOAL was still to find a whole complete tea set, but I realized this might not be possible, especially under twenty dollars. Most of the dishware sets I had seen with teacups and saucers (with or without cream pitchers and sugar bowls) were in the FIFTY dollars and up range because they were whole sets with bigger plates and meant to be used as one's fancy dishes. Plus, the prettier they were, the more expensive they were.

I found this at a thrift store last weekend.
I was about to buy it but then I noticed that the teapot was chipped. Plus, ehh, it just wasn't quite what I was looking for.

And then, AND THEN I went back to the Barn Sale on Sunday. KC and I came away with a ridiculous amount of stuff. He selected a trunk (for his linens), a bunch of planters (for his plants) and children's books (for his nephews) while I chose some little knickey knackies for my nieces and nephew (party favors for my sister's birthday) and yet another pretty canister to feed my pretty canister habit. They also had a section of 'fill a box for five bucks' which yielded some... very interesting finds.
And then I came across some cardboard boxes on the ground that appeared to contain dish sets-- dish sets with pretty little teacups, saucers, and cream pitchers and sugar bowls. I asked the lady how much they were and snapped up the cheapest one.

The set I bought included a cream pitcher, a sugar bowl, and EIGHT teacups and saucers. It also came with some bowls and larger plates. The set is Mikasa brand and everything appears to be in good condition (no chips or cracks), and it is a pretty pink flowery pattern. And the price? Fifteen dollars. WHICH IS BASICALLY A SONG.

Wanna see?
Those blue plates in the back aren't part of the set-- they're my mom's plates.
The set didn't include a teapot, but I knew I wouldn't find such a screaming deal anywhere else. And I figured I could find a teapot that was sort of matchy or at least coordinated somewhere.
Annnnd I just happened to find myself at Out of the Closet the other day (in search of a battery operated alarm clock and a sweatshirt) and I found a little teapot for two dollars and fifty cents.
I haven't actually seen the teapot and the rest of the set together since I left the Mikasa dishes at my parents' house for when my sister comes by, but I think it coordinates nicely.

This was a fun little project-- I like having a goal when I go to thrift stores and flea markets and I like buying things for other people that they like. Also, it seems that when the shopping goal is for someone else I am more patient and less irritable. When I'm searching for something for ME it can get a tad annoying because where the hell are all the handkerchiefs and why does the universe haaaate meeeeeee?

Total price- $17.50.
Tea Set Challenge- SUCCESS.