Sunday, September 26, 2010

Transferware, meet Topiary

I've been busy this weekend making use of some of my transfer ware pieces with minor flaws and imperfections which make them unsaleable but still too nice to toss.  I can't stand to throw things out.   I've turned cups, sugar bowls and pitchers into transferware topiaries.

This Masons pitcher had a cracked handle.

This old stein has a chip on the inside rim but you'd never know it now.
 Below is a Wedgwood childs coffee pot which has no lid

 Here's an open sugar bowl in the Tonquin pattern which has a small rim chip.  It's the smallest of the topiaries I made, standing about 8" high.  The Spanish moss completely disguised the flaw.
 I tied a sheer striped blue, brown and white ribbon around the base of the ball on this one and added speckled blue eggs in the moss.

 The double decker topiary below is made from a teacup whose handle was broken off.  To disguise the break I added bows on each side which concealed the damage.  A little bird is perched on top.  I've got a tablescape coming up this month with this pattern...Harvest Time.

 I decided to try something a little different with this one.  I made the topiary a rectangular shape to balance out with the length of the gravy bowl.  What do you think of the shape of this?  I have a few more gravy bowls to work with.

 Here's the lot that I've made thus far.  I am planning to sell them in my shop when I finally get it open!  I had one in my kitchen for a while and it looked so cute next to an old mortar and pestle set and a small transferware rabbit. 

With exception to more blisters from using a hot glue gun than I care to admit, these topiaries were pretty easy to make.  I will take some pics later with the step by step and show you how I made the moss balls, etc. in another post.

Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative
Show and Tell Wednesday at Blue Cricket Design 
It's a Very Cherry World for Rednesday 
Making the World Cuter
Metamorphosis Monday
vintage Thingy Thursday
Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Nancy,
    These are just gorgeous things to make with a piece of china that has seen a lot of life! I especially love the little blue eggs against the brown transferware!
    Are you selling any of these. They are so creative and tastefully done.
    Little works of transferware art!

  2. Gorgeous!!!! I love them all!! Great idea for using the pieces you can't sell as perfect! Of course, I LOVE the red one!! Soo cute! Love them! You should consider joining my FEATHERED NEST FRIDAY party this week- it is all about decorating inspirations- these are DEFINITELY inspirational!! :)

  3. Lovely....I like the topiary inside transferware...I have a jade plant in one of my cracked mugs and I enjoy it. The greenery lends itself well to transferware of all colors. I can't wait to see your directions so I can make one too...and likely get a burn or two as well.

  4. Nancy, what an ingenious idea! They're all so pretty, and who'd guess they weren't quite perfect. I think the jug withthe little nest and eggs is my favourite, but I love the shape of the topiary in the gravy boat. Worth every battle scar!

  5. They turned out great! The red one caught my eye too, really fun:@)

  6. Sending a sweet hello from Frog Hollow Farm. These topiaries are just darling and I love, love, love that you are using pieces of transferware that are somewhat damaged - they are still very beautiful! I am looking forward to the tutorial on making these beautiful topiaries! Ciao, bella!

  7. Nancy, you just didi a beautiful job! I've often used chipped pieces as planters- can't bear to throw them out. Just wonderful!
    xoxo Pattie

  8. Those are really cute, I can't make up my mind which I like the best, seeing there isn't a green one! I like the way you have put little bows on each side of the polychrome and a little bird at the top. The tablecloth is beautiful, too.

  9. Darling!I just have trouble parting with any of my china,even slightly damaged ones.I wonder about myself sometimes.

  10. Absolutely beautiful. I love them, each and every one. What a great idea. I'm looking forward to your tutorial on how to make them as I've got several less than perfect peices I'd love to continue to use.

    Thanks so much for being a part of Seasonal Sundays!

    - The Tablescaper

  11. Wow - what a clever way to conceal breaks and cranks in china one doesn't want to throw away! I'm looking forward to your tutorial. Two small ones would look lovely on my fireplace mantel.

  12. These are lovely, and a wonderful way to feature bits and pieces that might not be suitable for regular use.

  13. Love all of your topiaries! You did an awesome job and love the way you used transferware to make them.

    Have a wonderful day.

  14. Hi Nancy, I left a question for you on your etsy shop, don't know how else to contact what you did with the china, I also use less than perfect pieces for floral arrangements, pincushions and other crafts...waste not.....cleo

  15. Beautiful!! I love how you "breathed" life into those dishes.

  16. Nancy,

    These are great!! I collect topiaries and I love how you have used chipped china as containers! Wonderful the rectangle one too!

    Miss Bloomers

  17. Love that you are using the pieces and not just chunking them away. the topiaries are quite lovely.

  18. What a lovely idea!! and I know what you mean about those hot glue gun burns - but it's all good - look at what a charming end result! Thanks for sharing...

    Happy to have found you today over at A Silly Little Sparrow's link party...

    :D Lynda

  19. Those are darling! I did one for a little tea cup, but you took above and beyond! I love the red check ribbon that you add! :)


  20. Hi Nancy,
    Just an amazing collection of topiaries!! I love them all grouped together.
    BTW, I've yet to receive the tea caddy...I was going to wait until the first of next week and contact the PO with the tracking number you sent me. I know pp takes awhile, so I was waiting 4-6 weeks, which I am sure is next week. I will let you know as soon as it arrives.:o)
    Thanks again for the giveaway and also for such a fun post today with a great idea!
    The Tattered Tassel

  21. Nancy! What a brilliant idea!! LOVE those topiaries! Also, I have the same talecloth..sans the darling ruffle (maybe I'll add one now that I see how cute yours is!) and I always bring it out for fall..tablescape of mine is coming soon using that tablecloth..I cannot WAIT to see what YOU have in mind!! You are so very talented and creative!!

  22. Nancy, those are so charming! I especially love the ones with the birdie and the nest.

    Happy Rednesday,

  23. Very pretty topiary, I really like the one in the tea cup! TFS, Nan

  24. You've really given your chippy pieces a new lease on life! The chips don't detract from their beauty at all, and your topiaries are just gorgeous!
    Happy REDnesday!

  25. I love that brown Mason pitcher jar. Great design.

  26. Wait! You have so many and I only want is that fair? :)
    Happy Rednesday!

  27. How adorable, and what a GRAND idea to do this with "damaged goods" -- brilliant.
    I think my fave is that sweet little 8 inch one-- it could just tuck in anywhere.

  28. These are so dang wonderful! Thank you for sharing your darling designs. Cherry Kay

  29. I have searched your blog for posts on what I think would be called "commerative" transferware.
    I picked up a purple transferware mug that is 4-3/4" iches high with a 4" diameter base,3-1/4" diameter top. It commerates Boot Hill in Dodge
    City Kansas! On the bottom is says Fine Staffordshire Ware, made exclusively for Boot Hill Museum Inc., Dodge City, Kansas, Made in England, underglaze detergent proof. Do you ever carry this sort of transferware? Is it
    inferior in some way to other transferware? I love the color on mine and I like drinking coffee
    from it. I am having trouble finding out about my mug. Any information you could share would
    be appreciated. Marie

  30. Your topiaries are so pretty. You are just full of creativity, not mention having the prettiest collection of transferware....Christine

  31. Oh, these are just lovely. I love all the transferware....they look wonderful grouped together!! Happy VTT!

  32. I have not seen such creative ideas for chipped things. You are one talented lady and it these do not sell, something is wrong. They are great.

  33. What a fantastic idea to use your chipped and cracked pieces this way! I like that they have been given a second life! :-)

  34. This is a wonderful thrifty way to make use of damaged pieces. I love the idea. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  35. I just found your blog and the topiaries in the transferware are beautiful. I wish they were for sale.



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