I call them tea creatures because that’s what my friend Lisa calls them. China collectibles found in boxes of Red Rose Tea, my sister and I couldn’t wait for our mother to open a new package to see the figurine inside. There was something magical about freeing the cellophane-wrapped china ornament from its nest of teabags. Our collection of Red Rose figurines or Wade figurines decorated our dining room window sill.
For some reason, I hadn’t taken my half of the tea creatures when I moved away from home. I suppose it didn’t really matter – I knew where they were. But when we were starting to clear out the house in preparation for my father moving into the retirement residence, the first thing I did was go looking for them. The window sill in the dining room sported plants; no Red Rose Tea figurines in sight. Tea creatures? My sister didn’t make the connection but my dad did.
When I brought them back to Vancouver, I displayed them proudly on one of my bookshelves. But gradually the task of dusting each individual ornament became annoying. While in Winnipeg visiting Lisa, I asked her what she did with her Red Rose Tea figurines. She pointed to wall-mounted cabinets in the shape of narrow houses. Perfect! But she couldn’t remember where they came from – she just always had them. Oh well…I didn’t give it another thought; I resigned myself to dusting 25 or so tea creatures on a weekly basis.
So, imagine my surprise when two Christmases ago, I received two flat, but oddly shaped Christmas presents from Lisa’s daughter. Later, Lisa told me that she had found them, unpainted, in a crafts store. My niece chose the colours and painted them by herself. Being intimidated by having to drive nails into walls and hang things straight, I never got around to the task until recently.
They are a perfect way to display my Wade figurines (named for the British potter who designed them) or Red Rose Tea figurines or tea creatures for short.