Vintage Cups and Saucers

My mother-in-law moved back to Oak Park from Des Moines, Iowa last year. She downsized, going from living in a large home to a small condo… plus fourteen thousand storage units that she is now renting.

She’s working on getting rid of a few.

We, along with Brandon’s sisters, have been the beneficiaries of said downsizing. Sometimes the stuff is a little odd (she has an extensive collection of fake food), but sometimes it is awesome. Like these vintage cups and saucers (a set of twelve).

Vintage Cup and Saucer

She thought I might like them because they seemed like my style, and they reminded her of our living room chair. She was right. Aren’t they fantastic?

Also, I just got this email from her today:

I noticed somewhere on the blog something about “what do you do with 150 yardsticks?” We have a similar amount of antique ones, some with very entertaining ad slogans on them. When we get our act together, we are making a wainscoting (vertical placement) in the powder room here. (The one with the tree stump sink.) They will look awesome and will provide for some good reading for visitors, seated or standing.

She’s referring to this tweet, but there are three things that stand out here.

  1. She is in possession of 150 antique yardsticks. (Please refer to the earlier mention of fourteen thousand storage units.)

  2. “tree stump sink”

  3. She is conscientiously thinking of both genders when designing her bathroom.

My mother-in-law is pretty great.

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  • Melissa Irvin
    May 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Love the cups and saucers. Maybe you can post a picture of the water closet wainscoting when she is done (from a seated or standing presentation)?

  • Diane
    May 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Please show photos once it is complete! Sounds awesome :)

  • Kathy
    May 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Oooooh I LOVE the cups and saucers, so jealous! I am trying to find somewhere that makes retro dishes, any ideas? BTW you are looking so slim! What’s your secret, you look fabulous :)

  • HollowSquirrel
    May 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Oooh, I can’t wait to see the wainscotting. Cool! The cup/saucer is perfection and SO you! No wonder she loves you!

  • Kathleen
    May 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I adore my mother-in-law and grandma-in-law too! And that cup and saucer – I just died of jealousy.

  • Jules
    May 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    This was awesome.

  • Kelly
    May 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Lucky girl!!! Your “Mil” sounds like fun!

  • Bean Dip Girl
    May 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I need to see a picture of the tree stump sink. Who’s with me?

    • aussie jo
      May 14, 2010 at 1:49 am

      I’m with ya!

  • Mrs Soup
    May 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Okay yeah, your Mother-in-Law is pretty awesome!

  • Kelsey
    May 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I live in Des Moines, Iowa! Is that where Brandon grew up?

    • Making it Lovely
      May 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm

      No. He grew up here, but his mom grew up in Des Moines.

  • kristen
    May 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    that rules. all of that.

  • Gini
    May 12, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    OK, I am absolutely, positively drooling over those cups and saucers, AND the MIL with 150 antique yardsticks!!!!! If I didn’t enjoy this blog so much I would call you a bee-atch just for being so lucky.


  • Nicole S.
    May 12, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    You married well! :) I think I would get along with your MIL!

  • Carmen (Country Mouse)
    May 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Oooh, the wainscotting sounds very cool. And, love those vintage cups & saucers. What a great mom in law you have.

  • Kari
    May 12, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Anyone who says that you can marry the man without marrying the family is either delusional or lying. And a good mother-in-law can make all the difference in your journey of a long and happy marriage.
    Congratulations on the treasures–the divine teacups and the mother-in-law.

    • Dana
      May 13, 2010 at 9:03 am

      I totally agree and was thinking the same thing… couldn’t have said it better!

  • Kalee
    May 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I love vintage cups and saucers! They are always so charming!

  • Michelle
    May 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Those are spectacular! Love.

  • Anna
    May 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Your daughter will go through a fake food phase. Best to save some.

    I’d love to see a photo of that bathroom some time!

  • Dallas Landrum
    May 12, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Super jealous that you have those. All my MIL has is chewed up furniture and unattractive hand-me-down baby clothes :( I still love her though.

  • Erika
    May 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Those cups and saucers are fabulous! Sounds like you have a very nice MIL!

  • Sarah
    May 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Those are great and they really do match the chair well!

  • jbhat
    May 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Time for a tea party. Those are very cute.

  • peggy
    May 12, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Nicole, do you remember this table from VivaTerra? It’s pretty awesome:

    Of course, she’d need your DIY expertise. Here’s another one, where just the top is covered in yardsticks.

    I think it would be pretty cool to cover a coffee table top with them. Please show us pics of what she comes up with!

  • b.a.
    May 12, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    she’s from des moines?! i live in des moines!!! and i moved here from the suburbs of chicago!
    see nicole? we were totally meant to be friends! or maybe i was just meant to stalk your blog and succumb to your subliminal advertising. you’re such a sell-out.

  • Condo Blues
    May 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I am completely in love with those vintage cup and saucers. The antique yardstick idea sounds fun, but how to you end of acquiring a 150 antique yardsticks?

  • milk tooth's rain
    May 13, 2010 at 6:43 am

    so cute!

  • Michelle
    May 13, 2010 at 6:50 am

    ohhh fun, I love getting stuff from my mother in law, she has fabulous taste! Aren’t they great :)

  • jenhense
    May 13, 2010 at 9:46 am

    how can it be that nobody has questioned the “tree stump sink” yet? can we get a visual on that?

  • Brittney
    May 13, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I’d love to see the tree stump sink! We just moved from Des Moines to Santa Monica!

  • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode
    May 13, 2010 at 10:51 am

    1. I want to see the sink.
    2. I also want to see the finished wainscoting.
    3. That cup and saucer is TO. DIE. FOR. sigh.

  • susan
    May 13, 2010 at 10:52 am

    oh yes. you MUST post a picture of that powder room! i cannot even imagine a tree-stump sink! i’ve seen the idea of decorating with antique yardsticks before but usually as a chair rail. i think it’s pretty great she has enough to consider it as wainscoting. i also love love love that cup and saucer. it is, indeed, pretty awesome. you are one lucky girl.

  • melanirae
    May 13, 2010 at 11:03 am

    We, too, are often on the receiving end of MIL hand me downs. Sometimes it’s so bad, it’s good.

  • jodi
    May 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    she sounds super awesome!

  • Julie Anne
    May 13, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    No wonder Brandon turned out to be such a fab husband – what a great Mom!

    You lucky girl to have such an awesome mom-in-law, and lucky Eleanor to inherit all the great style and creativity genes she’s getting from all the branches of her family tree!

  • Louise
    May 13, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    How did you say 14,000?? storage units – are they small boxes or something. I’m in Australia and I’m used to storage units being about the same size as a garden tool shed. I’m currently clearing out my house from one end to the other, I thought I had alot of “STUFF”. ha!

  • Anja
    May 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

    fake food is a little bit odd?
    hey Nicole, is it really you, saying that?
    I remember your fake turkey (tee hee)

    thumbs up for those cups. like them!

  • shaina
    May 14, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    your mother-in-law sounds terrific. :D fun post.

  • Meghan
    May 14, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Oh wow. These are why we get married, right?

  • S and O
    May 14, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    That tea cup is so coffee-luscious reminds me of Starbucks; and your Mother in law is such a sweet and thoughtful lady, you truly are blessed.

    Have a great weekend
    Sarah :D

  • Beau
    May 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Lovely teacups. I love it when people have collections like these. You are lucky with a mother in law like that!

  • Justine
    May 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Please post a picture of the wainscoating when it’s done! I’m so curious. :)

  • Jess
    May 18, 2010 at 11:53 am

    That tea cup and saucer is beauoootiful! Lucky you!

  • jane
    May 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Wow, love the teacups and saucers. Is their a manufacturer’s name on the bottom? I live in Des Moines …mayyybe I can try to find them.

  • veronica
    May 20, 2010 at 11:38 am

    hello! new to the blog. love the cup and saucer but where did you get that wallpaper? i’m sure you’ve covered it in another post but just wondering. thanks!

  • Jessica Fulkerson O'Brien
    June 2, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    she is all sorts of fabulous! this post made me smile big time!

  • Kate
    October 27, 2010 at 10:44 am

    I just bought a salt and pepper shaker set that has a pattern that looks very similar to these, only in light blue. All the bottom of the set says is “Japan” Does the bottom of your cup & Saucer say anything? I am dying to find out more about these awesome dishes! Thanks in advance for any help on the identification of them!

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