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Jubilee Tea Party

30 May

If you haven’t made your plans for the long bank holiday yet why not have a jubilee tea party and take tea like the Queen in proper china cups.

Millie Wilkins China Hire is doing a special hire offer of a tea set for six – one teapot, six cups and saucers, six side plates, sugar bowl and milk jug – for just £15. Collect yourself for free (central London) or have it delivered on Saturday (within M25 only) for £20.

Contact milliewilkinschina@gmail.com for more details or visit their page on Facebook Millie-Wilkins-Vintage-China-Hire.

Making a cake stand

8 Feb

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a large china collection that I hire out for tea parties. My hire sets include a tea cup, saucer and side plate per person and one teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug and cake stand between six. I don’t have enough cake stands but I do have some large cake plates and some spare smaller plates. So I found that you can get the pieces to make your own and bought a set from The Cake Stand store on eBay. (They are closed at the moment until 15th Feb)

There’s a lot of careful measuring and extremely careful drilling. I practiced on a plate that I was throwing away and discovered the most difficult thing is starting the hole and making sure you are central on the plate. The instructions explain how to do it by putting masking tape over the plate where you’re going to drill to stop it chipping, as you would with wall tiles in a kitchen or bathroom. On top of that there’s no tips I can give you for this except if you don’t have a steady hand and nerve then don’t try it!

Choosing which plates look best together is the most fun part and I have sorted out five sets to put together. If you haven’t got the time or steady hand to make one but would be interested in buying one drop me a line at milliewilkinschina@gmail.com and I can tell you what I have available or I can source to your colour/pattern requirements.

Collecting Vintage China

6 Nov

Last year I started collecting vintage china to hire out for weddings, hen parties, christenings or just to make a tea party a bit special. The idea came from seeing the explosion of vintage interior styling in magazines and the new trend of having afternoon teas at weddings.

It started as a business idea but it’s become a passion. From trawling car boot sales, charity shops and vintage fairs (see our visit to The Vintage Event) to scouring ebay and having friends all over the country looking out for pieces it’s on my mind all the time. (I must be driving them mad because I have had numerous birthday cards I’ve had with a teacup and saucer on since I started!) Other kind friends have given me china given to them by grandparents that they haven’t used.

It’s also taken over my home. Where I used to have candles and other ornaments there is now china. A cluster of sugar bowls next to the television, cake stands on the living room shelves, a gravy boat holds keys, buttons and other bits and bobs in my bedroom. I have favourite cups and saucers on a display shelf and others dotted around. As my collection grows I’m having to operate a rotation system otherwise the flat will start to look like it’s owned by a mad old lady.

If you’d like to start your own collection I recommend a few rules. Firstly, set a maximum price on every piece you buy. Teapots in particular are hard to come by, I guess a lot of spouts get broken. You could pay £40, £50 or more but I have set a limit of £15 on every one I buy. Secondly, only buy what you like. At first I snapped up everything I saw but now I’m more discerning as I know I wouldn’t be comfortable hiring out pieces I didn’t like myself. But that takes me on to my third point – if you are planning to hire your collection out, don’t get too attached! Breakages do happen.

I named my vintage china hire company Millie Wilkins China Hire after my grandmother who was a tour de force when it came to catering family parties, including my parents wedding. I hope my china is used to serve many more happy family events in the future.

If you’d like more information about hiring my collection please visit my facebook page.

The Vintage Event at Balham Bowls Club

16 Oct

The Vintage Event run vintage fairs around London gathering together a handpicked selection of vintage traders selling vintage fashion, accessories and ‘objects of desire’. We visited them at the Balham Bowls Club yesterday, an amazing venue which is full of loads of amazing furniture, decor and ornaments even before the traders set up. During the day it was all about shopping but from 8pm it turned into a dance with music from the 40s – 80s

I was really impressed with the range and quality of items for sale. I’m not into vintage fashion myself because I’m the wrong proportions to wear it but these hats definitely caught my eye.

Katie always keeps an eye out for potential wedding dresses and found this amazing 70s one at Pippa and Me but it wasn’t quite her style.

But she did buy some of these fabulous original magazines from The Hostess Hotties which will no doubt become part of a project soon.

I was tempted to a couple of items to add to my collection for Millie Willkins Vintage China Hire. I already have one of these Sadler teapots so was really pleased to find one in a different pattern at Simply Vintage Designs. And I was really pleased with this sugar bowl with built in sugar tongs from Tea-licious.

After all the shopping and chatting to the stall holders we were in need of refreshment, thankfully Mother’s Ruin were on hand to proved cake and cream teas.

All in all it was a brilliant event and one I’m sure we’ll be visiting again. Hopefully next time we’ll be able to stay for the evening too.

Birthday china

7 Sep

Lovely Katie bought me a present for my birthday on Saturday and I just had to write a quick post about it. Firstly the wrapping, which was a pretty piece of material instead of expensive and throwaway paper. This is a great idea especially if you have a scrap fabric drawer like we do. You can even use old clothes that you no longer wear. Perhaps not old bobbled jersey but a bit of cotton, cord or even denim would be nice. After you’ve opened it, recycle by gifting it on to someone else or use it in a sewing project, a patchwork or to make lavender bags etc.

Secondly, the gift itself was two gorgeous china trios that Katie bought during her recent trip to Tynemouth Market. I just saw a similar pattern to the one on the left on J’Adore Vintage. These are to add to my ever expanding collection of Millie Wilkins China which I hire out for weddings, hen parties, baby showers, parties and as set props. More on collecting your own china coming soon.

The only thing I can’t decide is which one is my favourite? Thanks Katie! x

    

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