On the front lines of the tea party catering business there are two thing that are inevitable: breakages and losses. Tea cups are dropped, lost, cracked or just too stained and crackled inside to measure up our exacting standards. Saucers are packed into the wrong boxes, dropped (usually by one of my staff while washing up- I love you girls but you know who you are- Marie! ) or damaged during transit (one of my staff packing too many saucers into one box – Marie!!).
And so I find myself to be the owner of great stacks of saucers without teacups and teetering towers of teacups that have been abandoned by their mates.
Now I’m one of those people who hate throwing ANYTHING away. So I keep all my orphaned beauties on the off chance that one day their long lost mate might somehow miraculously appear – poof! Or perhaps I’ll come across a perfect match at a flea market or antique store. Oh happy day! I swear my brain has a separate compartment where most people probably store terribly important and very useful factual information, but mine is jam-packed with individual snap shots of each and every member of my lonely hearts club. I am on a mission to reunite each and every one of them with their true love.
However, on the off chance that some of my beauties never find their sole mate… I started thinking about ways to recycle them – Heaven forbid I should chuck them. I’m no Martha Stewart, mainly because let’s face it, who has the time to be Martha Stewart? I’m sure she’s the first person in the world to have been cloned, there’s no way she does all she does, is there?
The first thing I came up with was some beautifully ornate cake stands. And I admit that I cadged the idea from an interior design client who was only too willing to share her inspirations. I used a lot of our cast off china pieces along with plates I found in antique stores. God bless Epoxy. Only problem with the stuff is that it tends to come unstuck when it gets a little hot under the collar – note to self – don’t leave cake stands in boiling hot car, there will be tears! And check out “cement” alternatives – it’s a learning curve, I’m sure Martha understands .
The trick, when building your stand is to make sure that the layers are graduating – starting off with a large plate and reducing as you build your tower of china.
My first one looked like the leaning tower of pisa – measuring and marking the center of each plate is a must – so is having an extra pair of hands and eyes around to make sure the plates are centered, plus it’s more fun getting epoxied to a plate when you have someone around to laugh with!
Also, it helps the end result to have some kind of color scheme in mind. The end result is spectacular – see for yourself: