Sea Blue Lens

Unique Vessel: Be Still Week 47


I’m going to be working here for a while (rather randomly) on some Be Still – 52 lessons I need to catch up on. For Week 47, we were challenged to find unique vessels for a still-life setup. Kim’s example included a ball of twine as a holder for a dried flower.

Here’s my “unique vessel,” another treasure unearthed from that old house where I lived for a while:

Photo May 18- 1 45 28 PM

This is a Victorian mustache (or moustache) cup. According to Wikipedia:

The moustache cup is a drinking cup with a semicircular ledge inside. The ledge has a half moon-shaped opening to allow the passage of liquids and serves as a guard to keep moustaches dry. It is generally acknowledged to have been invented in the 1860s by British potter Harvey Adams (born 1835).

Photo May 18- 1 36 02 PM

But this is one of the most delicate, feminine-looking pieces of porcelain I’ve ever seen. It looks as if it could be crushed like an eggshell by a careless masculine hand. The colors, the delicate pattern…does that look like something designed for a man? In any case, I thought it would make a nice container for a little bouquet of pink and white lily of the valley.


What did I tell you? Totally feminine.


This handkerchief consists of an eight-inch square of linen, so sheer you can almost read through it, bordered with three rows of exquisitely delicate lace edging. It was only when I put it next to my little bouquet-in-a-cup that I realized the lace is embroidered with lily of the valley! In all the years I’ve had this family heirloom, I had never noticed that before.


Then this afternoon, as I was actually preparing this post, my eye lit on something on the bookshelf that gave me an idea I wanted to try. These were quickly set up on my dining table and photographed in natural light with my iPhone. The first and last are straight out of the camera, while the middle one is cropped a bit and had some slight clarity and exposure adjustments made to the background in post-processing.

IMG_1538Sea and Sky I

IMG_1540Sea and Sky II

IMG_1548Sea and Sky III

I love the soft, natural colors of these. I think that last one might be my favorite of all.

In her video for this lesson, Kim demonstrated a couple of new features of Lightroom 6 that tempt me to get it. They’re not the “big” features that are being widely promoted, but a couple of small things that I’ve actually wished for in the past, like being able to apply the brush tool to modify the graduated filter. Thanks, Kim – I got a lot from that video!

9 thoughts on “Unique Vessel: Be Still Week 47

  1. Simply gorgeous! As I have said multiple times, you have such interesting things – I love seeing the way you pull them out and put them together in such interesting ways. And yes – I can’t see a man using that delicate cup. But oh how well it works as a lily-of-the-valley vase. But your final bolt of inspiration is quite brilliant – love this combination of feathers and shells.

  2. At first glimpse of your teacup my response was “Oh my”because I too have a mustache cup (or actually mine is more a mug). It is heavy and earthy with the face of a mustached man carved into it’s surface! Wow! What a contrast to your delicate cup and, yes, the lily of the valley is perfect! The addition of the handkerchief was perfect. I also love the last of the three shell pictures. It is the subtlety of color in the third that draws my eye! Beautiful as always!!

  3. I let out a little gaspt when I saw the mustach cup. I agree it does look quite feminine and is perfect for your sweet flowers and handkerchief. But, you know you stold my heart with the shells and feathers! Stunning! I love all three, but the simplicity of the first one draws me in. I’m sure you’ll be caught up quickly. You didn’t miss too many! Can you believe we only have one more?

  4. I really loved each photo. Just beautiful.

    Sent from my iPad


  5. I haven’t seen a vase before, cool,cool find and just perfect for this. I have only seen the cups, not vase. Just perfect for the prompt.

  6. What a perfect vessel for those lovely flowers, Leon. And what an amazing discovery of the lilies of the valley on the lace handkerchief!

  7. These are really wonderful, Lee, and that cup is truly so unique. Love it!
    Happy Sunday to you, my friend. xo.

  8. Very dainty for a man’s cup. I love the last set. I am a from above shooter, so I loved that one. Trying desperately to get caught up on blog reading. The weather has been too nice to be inside.

  9. They are all lovely images. I love the softness and the muted almost transparent colours (in the first couple of photos). I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a moustache cup. 🙂

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