Tea cups and my new bra
I had this post all planned out. I was going to tell you about kitchen tools that I love. Tools that make me like being in my kitchen even more than I already do. Those things that trick you into thinking it’s fun slaving over a sizzling stove or scalding, soapy dishwater.
Okay, well, maybe standing beside the microwave while it nukes the to-go box from eating out last night or a potato.
(Don’t even think about that recipe I gave you for the world’s best baked potato. Who in this world, with any kind of life– has an hour to wait sometimes?)
Or stuffing just one more dish in the dishwasher.
(There’s gotta be room– it’s just a flipping plate.)
It’s hot, hot work in the kitchen.
I was going to tell you about the pot lip pourer thingy. And the fish bottle salt dispenser. And some other things I like. I even ordered a new thing I liked on Amazon and planned to tell you about that. I was waiting for the package. It came! I opened it, all excited to include this last thing. And, what to my delight did I see?
The bras I ordered were in the box. Not my wonderful kitchen gadget I wanted to tell you about. I was all a dither. My plans had run amuk. So, instead, you’re going to see my bird feeders.
This started with some dishes my guy brought home from an abandoned house. Moss Rose china pattern by Johann Haviland. 6 plates, 6 fruit bowls, 6 dessert dishes, 6 saucers and 5 cups. We’d heard of Haviland, but neither of us knew their value, if any.
After Googleing around, I found the story about Johann. David Haviland, an American, moved to Limoges, France in the mid-1800s and founded the original Haviland China Company.
BTW . . . Limoges, France , like South Carolina, has large deposits of kaolin. This is a white, powdery clay used in a gazillion things like Kaopectate and fine china. Kaopectate is something you take for the trots. I suppose it works because all that clay just clots you up. There’s probably a slight bit of insight here: France made fine china, while South Carolina made trot clotters.
But, back to our history lesson.
David had two sons who couldn’t work together and split the family company into two separate, very competitive companies. John, a grandson, moved to Bavaria, Germany, changed his name to Johann and started his own china factory. They were such a happy family.
Unlike his family’s factories in France, which produced high quality china, Johann’s dishes were often grocery store promotions or used as hotel china. With WW I & II creating financial havoc in Germany, he went out of business and the company was sold to some Italians. Today, one of his dinner plates, or a cup and saucer like you’ll see here, sells for about ten bucks. They’re sweet looking, but not high-end. And I only had 5 cups for 6 saucers.
Then, my guy brought home a silver tea pot. Plated and chipped.
“Can you use this?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said. (I mean, who wouldn’t want something so unique– a chipped, silver-plated tea pot– with a scratch?)
What could one do with this? Yard ornaments! I remembered seeing tea cup bird feeders year ago at a street festival. I’ll make bird feeders.
You’ll need three things in addition to your unique item.
1. You need weather resistant glue. Amazing E-6000 Adhesive is what I used on these. You can find it lots of places.
2. You’ll need a pole to mount the unique item on top of and to stick into the ground.
3. And, a coupling to glue to the bottom of the unique item. You can’t just glue the stick to the bottom of the unique item. You’ll need a connector piece glued to the bottom of the unique item that will slip onto the pole.
The round thing on the left, above, is a 1/2 inch galvanized floor flange. The thing on the right is a 1/2 inch coupling. The smaller end on the right side of the coupling above screws into the big center hole in the flange. The left end of the coupling is the end that will stick down on your 1/2 inch galvanized pipe.
This is a coffee pot my guy brought home that I’ve not yet put in the yard, but you can see the flange and lid I ripped off and how they’re glued to the pot.
And, you’ll see from this photo, that anything can become a bird feeder.
First, clean your items well and let it dry. Polish it with silver polish, if necessary. That didn’t make the chipped parts look any better, but the rest sparkled so, it distracted you.
Decide how you want to assemble the pieces of your unique item. Cups to saucers. Creamers to salad plates. Lids to handles. If I were a bird, how would I want to have dinner?
Glue the pieces and let dry over night. If you want to let something sit at an angle like I did the creamer and salad plate, you’ll need to prop it up with something to keep the creamer in place until the glue hardens.
On the tea pot, I ripped the lid off and glued it to the rim & handle to hold the bird seed. If the birds did manage to get into the pot for dinner, they’d never get out, so I put the bird seed in the lid.
For your coupling, you have to consider the weight and size of your item. The tea pot was going to become a planter which would have more weight to it. The cup was small and would only have seed. The creamer was pretty substantial ironstone pottery. I used 1/2 inch galvanized pipe and an electrical flange and coupling for heavier items.
I turned the tea pot upside down on top of a pillow and wedged it between books to keep it vertical and not tip over, glued the galvanized electrical flange to the bottom of the tea post, and let it dry overnight. The coupling just screws onto the flange and fits over the 1/2 inch galvanized pipe I chose for a pole. This makes for easy removal anytime I need to clean them out or replant.
For the tea cup and saucer, I used 1/2 inch copper pipe and 1/2 inch copper end cap.
I glued the copper end cap to the bottom of the saucer.
The copper pipe looks way better than the galvanized pipe, but it costs a lot more, too. I sprayed the galvanized pipe, flange, and coupling with bronze Rust-Oleum. Now, they’re cute, too.
This is a flange and coupling glued to the bottom of a piece of pottery that didn’t turn out. It became a bird feeder, too.
This is a top view so you can see the bird seed inside.
That’s pretty much how you make a bird feeder or planter from old china and silver. It took more time to write this post, than to do the project.
- Super easy
- You can use items you have on hand
- The silver gets hot in the sun and the plants bake. I might try spraying a thin layer of foam insulation, if I’m going to insist they be in the sun. Probably better to use them in shade.
- There is no “roof” to these, so when it rains, the bird seed gets soggy. There’s a bit of housekeeping needed on a regular basis.
- I might spray the silver with polyurethane spray to prevent tarnishing.
But, now, after much thought, I’ve decided to show you the particular item that caused me to abandon the original thing I wanted to tell you about. My new bras. You’re not going to see my head, I’ve only been up ten minutes and haven’t had a cup of coffee or brushed my hair. I couldn’t do this by myself and I’ve waited for two days for my guy to find the time to take my picture.– which is now, 6:30 in the morning. We’re both grumpy. You’ll only see one bra– the others were just too small to show you– and you can tell me what you think.
Until next time. Be sweet!