Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tea Sets and Cornflowers





My mother would have to be one of the most hospitable and generous persons I know. Despite living out in the country while we were growing up, she would often have people over for meals or a cuppa and a stroll around her garden, loading them up with plant cuttings, good home-cooked food and unconditional love.

Her two bone china made-in-Engand tea sets were in frequent use, my favourite one being this Kent and Taylor Cornflowers one.




Although I don't ever remember her growing cornflowers, she grew nearly anything else she could find, expanding into a green house and eventually selling plants locally.










Growing cornflowers (bachelors buttons) this season has been another first for me and I have delighted in each and every stage, having no idea what to expect - I love surprises!




When we bought our home 12 years ago, my mother gave me what remained of the cornflower tea set. I have always loved the simple yet beautiful flower design and also the wonderful rounded shape of the cups, sugar bowl and milk jug.

Last night I rang Mum to confirm the history of this tea set, it had been a wedding gift to my parents, just over 50 years ago (my father passed away two years ago). 

















It has been pleasing to discover that these flowers (natives of Europe) in real life are every bit as elegant yet simple as those depicted on the tea set, right down to the delightful rounded base of each flower. Somehow this makes the tea set even more special to me now.

Photographic note: Each of the close macro shots (#3,5,7,8,9) were taken with my  fixed lens Lumix camera + my "cheap" Raynox macro conversion lens. The remaining photos were taken with my Canon DSLR, the last with the same Raynox lens clipped onto the Canon 50mm lens.

Sharing at I Heart Macro, Macro Monday.

69 comments:

geanina said...

beautiful story with great pictures!
:)

Mystica said...

Nice to own a piece of family history. Beautiful pictures as well.

Dave said...

Although we too have grown cornflowers I have never looked at them as closely as your excellent macro shots. They sure do bring out the extra beauty in the flowers Karen - Dave

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Excellent series of macro, and i like the first !

Rosemary said...

A lovely combination of cornflowers and china - soft pretty pinks and blues complimented by the white of the china.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, your photos are amazing. Love the beautiful flowers and the tea sets.

Cinzia said...

non sapevo ci fosse il the al fiordaliso...sono dei fiori molto belli e profumati (nn so quelli selvatici) e pure il servizio è molto bello...e le tue foto...beh, splendide!
Cinzia

flowersandhome said...

I love cornflowers. Simple but so beautiful, especially when they come in a variety of colours like you show us here. The china your mother gave you is sooooo beautiful! I always wonder where people find pretty china like that. I absolutely love it.
Thank you for sharing this summer beauty for us all to enjoy while winter it getting nearer and nearer over here. I'm actually glad there's an opposite side to the world ;-) and internet so we can enjoy summer while experiencing winter.
Bye,
Marian

Robyn said...

Sometimes the simple things are the best things. Now in true British style may I suggest freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam to go with that lovely tea set...not forgetting the tea itself of course ;-)

Giga said...

Cudowna historia Twojego ślicznego serwisu do herbaty. Połączony on z kwiatami chabrów tworzy piękne zdjęcia.Pozdrawiam.
The wonderful story of your lovely tea service. He connected with flowers cornflowers creates beautiful images. Yours.

s.c said...

I can not believe that the cornflower is an natural flower in australia. It must have come with the sheep and the rabbits I think. But they are doing well so to see. Sun, heath and water always good for a flower. Perhaps in this case also a bit shadow. Lovely post.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

It's not natural to Australia, it is native to Europe. I bought a couple of packets of seeds.

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Love the story along with the photos of the tea set with the cornflower! Those pictures are amazing!

Lisa said...

Oh I love this post! How special to have one of your Mom's tea sets! I see also that perhaps your love of flowers was passed on to you through your Mom's interest in them. The pictures of the flowers with the China are so pretty -the last two are my favorites. What a great idea to photograph them together.

Anna said...

Hi Sunshine,
This is well so gorgeous... I love your macro's and the colors with the tea sets... so lovely!

Thanks for visiting ;))
I used my old Canon EOS 350D with the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x macro lens.
Nice day and warm greetings,
Anna :))

Sylvia K said...

A lovely story, a beautiful tea set and exquisite flowers/colors! Such a lovely post to start my day, Karen! Beautiful captures as always! Hope you and your family have a great week ahead!

Doug Hickok said...

It is a joy to see your images and the expert way you present them. Beautiful work!

Evelyn said...

A really gorgeous array of flower photos ~ all stunningly beautiful!

Shel said...

What a lovely post and the photography is beyond amazing - as always!!

Annette said...

The macro shots are gorgeous! I love the tea set and the sweet story of your Mum!

Ana Eugénio said...

lovely story and tribute to your childhood, beautiful flowers and great photos. hope your having an extraordinary Sunday, dearest. xxo

Deborah Tisch said...

What a lovely post! The china and the flowers are photographed so beautifully. Love the story that goes with your precious tea cups.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Gorgeous shots! I love cornflowers although I prefer the "original" blue of the wild cornflowers you can find in the fields here.

Kaipiroska said...

What a magnificent sequence this one. The flowers are beautiful and the first shot with the tea set and the flowers is so lovely. Loved them all :)

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Great shots! The flowers look so lovely with the tea set.

Happyone said...

The tea set is lovely and elegant. The real flowers by it and the story makes it enchanting.

Just last year I gave my china set Memory Lane, which I bought in Scotland to my daughter, who has loved it since she was a little girl.
I hope she loves it as much as you do yours. : )

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

An incredible post! Wonderful family history and that you grow the flowers...I'm just in awe! I am not a fan of collecting "things" for no reason -- but beautiful objects that have a family connection like your dishes are wonderful (beyond description). I love this.

Debbie said...

Dreamy images, these are all just gorgeous and I am so happy you shared the story about your mom!

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

You photographed the flowers and china so beautifully!

Rena said...

What elegant, delicate, beautiful photos! I always thought teacups and flowers go so perfectly together and...you confirmed that thought. Thank you for the piece of contentment you brought to me today.

thefisherlady said...

this will be a favourite post... the china and flowers hit a special memory of my own! Thank you for all this beauty!

Chez Vies said...

lovely story and great photos :)

Rick said...

Absolutely gorgeous shots - the colours complement the tea set so well. All the photos are beauties and the 3rd is just stunning.

I did some browsing down through earlier posts - what a delight. (been a while since I was here)

btw - my drive-by shooting was done from behind the wheel (yes - my bad, but I was careful !)

Linda R said...

I do love stopping in and seeing your photos. They make me very happy.

Hugs~

anthony-samson.blogspot.com said...

Great Photo's

Merike said...

Gorgeous and lovely macro photos.

kulasa said...

I loved reading from start to end and those cornflowers are indeed so lovely and colorful! The tea sets are so precious and beautifully made, only true loving hands could keep them looking beautiful through the years...your mom is a rare soul and raised you very well with love and contentment to share...

Stewart M said...

Great pictures - but I'll take the flowers over the pottery any day!

Stewart M - Australia

Lindsay Drya said...

Amazing close-up, especially the blue ones! :)

Rollercoaster Mum said...

Wow those close ups are amazing - absolutely stunning.

Robert Geiss said...

The colours are amazing ! Excellent pictures. Please have a good new week ahead.


daily athens photo

Nicola Carpenter said...

Each and every pictures is stunning!

Herding Cats

Rosemary said...

How beautifully you have brought together the design on the china, your childhood memories of it, the significance of it as a wedding gift and the real-life flowers, all gorgeously photographed :)

Ash said...

Your shots of the cornflower is stunning..love their colors!!
Those china are a priceless treasure Karen. Full of beautiful memories :)
The time will come when you will be handing it over to your kids.

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Magnificent photography and what a treasure your Mom's tea cups are ~ beautiful ~ (A Creative Harbor) artmusedog and Carol ^_^

Emily S said...

Such beautiful flower and a lovely tea set with a wonderful story!

Ingmarie We said...

Lovely macrophotos. And a very lovely tea cup. Have a wonderfu week.

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful photography!

Connie Smiley said...

How exquisitely lovely!

Dina Lettre said...

Lovely sentiment and shots!

Seeing Each Day said...

I so enjoyed reading this post - the connection between the flowers you're growing and the tea set was lovely. Your third and fourth shots are my favourites.

Ocean Soul said...

Well done on the display of china and the real cornflowers with them! Just amazing!

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

Love the history of your beautiful tea set! And I have always loved bachelors buttons! :)

Kateri said...

That set of dishes along with the fresh corn flowers is just melting my heart. LOVE them!

ladyfi said...

These shots are utterly gorgeous!

Red Nomad OZ said...

Now there's a blog post that was a long time in the making! LOVE your flower shots - such astonishing colours and clarity!!

Stiletto said...

You capture the loveliness of the cornflowers beautifully and you have such a wonderful story to tell. The calyx of the cornflower seem to be edged with lace which is so unusual.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Oh my what a beautiful post! Your mom sounds like a doll, how kind and sweet! I love what you did with your different lenses. Fantastic captures!

✿ chica said...

Tudo lindo e tão delicado.Vale ver e rever! beijos,chica

joy said...

You know I am so touch with your pictures and your story and your faith in God. Im so happy that I discover your blog:)

Barb said...

You captured the beauty of the cornflowers and the tea set so perfectly!

Tamar SB said...

These are gorgeous!!! What lovely colors!

Jana said...

what a great family story and so beautiful pictures! did you actually tried the cornflower tea in this cornflower tea set?sending you warm greetings from cold Holland and have a good+happy new week!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Hi Jana,

I didn't end up making any cornflower tea. I don't drink tea myself (or coffee - just water) but my husband does. As the cornflowers fade with age I presume you pick and dry them while at their peak. Might still dry a few flowers yet.

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Georgianna said...

Lovely, charming, so sweet and full of memories. Beautiful post and photos, Karen. How special to have that tea set.

Tezzie said...

Incredible cornflower photos! I love Bachelor Buttons...they'll forever remind me of my childhood in Sweden. And, man...I've really gotta get me a macro lens. I attempted some photos of Bachelor Buttons this summer, but I just couldn't do them justice, like you've done. It's like seeing the flower again...for the first time :)

Liz said...

What a beautiful series!! Beautifully and creatively photographed.

Patchwork and Play said...

My love for cornflowers has just grown even more! What stunning photos! My mother had cornflowers in her bridal bouquet and on her hat when she was married during the war - not being able to afford a white wedding gown. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story too!

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