Some of my collecting habits I can trace back almost to the day they started, such as my love of stationery (primary school, Mrs White's class). Some collections, however, seem to have snuck up on me, developed over the years, only apparent when I realise I've accumulated a large number of a particular item, and that I can't walk past them in a store without checking out the display... such is the case with mugs.
|Our marvellous, miscellaneous mug collection|
Ah, mugs. Not teacups, definitely not teacups. Sturdy, reliable, comfort giving mugs. There's just something about the shape and feel of a mug, the warmth and weight of it when you fill it with warming hot chocolate or stimulating coffee. I love that shiny white porcelain, the perfect background and accompaniment to any and every colour, much like our house - pretty much all white with pops of colour throughout.
I love the social association with mugs - they remind me of coffees and cakes with friends, gathered around our dining room table and putting the world to rights whilst tucking into a slice (or three) of the Husband's famous Victoria sponges.
I have specific mugs for coffee and others for tea, and I really don't like the two to become confused. I prefer a heavier vessel for coffee and a lighter porcelain for tea. Don’t assume, however, that I'm a coffee nut or a tea connoisseur, quite the opposite. Give me the option and I'll choose instant coffee over 'real' coffee any time, and I take it very milky. I like bog standard tea from a bog standard teabag, although a friend introduced me to red bush teabags last week and the jury's still out on those at the moment… I've struggled to come to terms with fruit or herbal tea, although I did get a freebie teabag recently which was lovely - Green Tea with Strawberry and Vanilla by Taylor's of Harrogate. I enjoyed it so much that I priced it up in the local supermarket, but a box required a second mortgage so I settled for its poorer cousin, a similar version by PG Tips. Which is quite nice, as it goes.
I'm such a sucker for a good looking mug that I cannot resist buying them. They don't have to be expensive - as with all my homes purchases, I've found a good number of these little beauties in charity shops or in the local supermarket. The Husband has tried imposing a 'one in, one out' rule on my mug buying, and as far as he's aware he's succeeded. I just hope he doesn't look in the bottom of the dresser, which is where I keep my 'spares'… Well, it's important to have at least one or two (or ten) in reserve just in case one cracks, or smashes, or we unexpectedly have a huge number of people around for coffee…
Now, although this looks like a higgledy-piggledy, mish-mash display of mugs, I am a creature of habit when it comes to cuppas and, as such, each mug has its own place, and its own purpose. For example...
The spotty Emma Bridgewater mug was a gift from my lovely Husband, and is the mug he makes me a coffee in most evenings.
|Mug by Emma Bridgewater. Daily evening coffee provision: the Husband.|
It holds heat well, which is a very good thing as invariably I get distracted by some crochet or a good TV programme and suddenly find an hour has gone by. I know some people will recoil in horror at the thought, but I'll happily drink tepid tea and coffee, although I prefer it warm given a choice!
The red spotty one on the top row, far right, doesn't get used much for drink, as I find it doesn’t hold enough for my liking. However, it's the perfect size to hold a sachet of melting coconut when I'm making a curry so it continues to earn its place on the shelf.
The Herdy mug (brown with sheep) is most definitely a coffee mug for me, and was one I'd coveted for a looonnnggg time but couldn’t justify the price of. I couldn’t believe my luck when in 2015 I visited Yarndale, an amazing festival and exhibition of all things yarn-based held in Skipton each year; Herdy were exhibiting that year and were selling seconds mugs for a fiver each. I love the little sheep detail on the inside of the rim.
|Mug by Herdy|
|Look at the little sheep, bless!|
This mushroom detail mug is also a coffee mug and is just the right size for me, I love it. I also very much love the fun(ghi) design, the detail is fantastic. This was a charity shop purchase years ago and has really stood the test of time.
|LOVE this design|
My grey starry mug is reserved for the odd occasion when I need a mahoosive mug of coffee - it really is like drinking a jug of the stuff!
|Big mug, little mug...|
Alongside it is my smallest mug, which is a Whittards special. This one only gets used during the month of December, in the run up to Christmas, as it's when I treat myself to a bottle of Baileys. I love the stuff but if I had it all year round I'd be the size of a house, so it gets restricted to Christmas only, and this little mug holds my favourite festive tipple beautifully.
I have an Earl Grey cuppa every morning with my breakfast, supped from my favourite mug of all, my Orla Kiely.
|Orla Kiely mug from my bestie, Clare|
This mug is special, not just because it's blinkin' gorgeous but because it was a gift from my very best friend, my lifelong best buddy, Clare. I had a different Orla Kiely mug previously but sadly it developed a hairline crack - I couldn't bear to throw it out, so it now sits proudly on our dresser, for display only.
|Couldn't bear to throw this one away, despite the crack which makes it unusable.|
|I think it looks great on our dining room dresser|
And on the odd occasion I treat myself to a cup which I know full well I will never use, but which is so beautiful that I display it on our dresser and which brings me much joy just looking at it. Here's my current favourite:
|Cup by Thomas of Germany; the retro design is right up my street|
How could you not love this little treasure? It's tiny and totally impractical but look at that design! It's made by Thomas of Germany and I have no idea about its age or its design name, but it's just gorgeous.
Thanks for indulging my love of mugs - I hope (I know) I'm not the only one who goes mad over mugs. I'm off for a cuppa…
Bye for now xxx