I love scouring ebay for vintage miniature dishes. I was so lucky to win an auction recently of a set of dinnerware by an artisan from the 1980s, Jo Parker. Her dinnerware is very delicate, thin and the painting is very fine. The china is very formal - 5 piece place setting. I don't even own such a thing in full scale. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it will match your room when looking at it online but see how nicely it matches my dining room chairs:
Since I now have nice china I just had to set a table. But I didn't want to glue anything down to my nice table so I made a faux table top. I made a box to go over the top of the table from illustration board- just a little bigger than the table. Then I took an old pillowcase with nice, soft close woven cotton and cut it to cover the box and fringed all the edges.
There! Now the dining room doesn't look so bare! When I am tired of the clutter I will just pack away the faux table top, dishes and food and put a nice centerpiece on the table. But for now I'm just glad that someone was so talented in miniature ceramics and that I can have a piece of her work.
I have to put a plug in for another of my favorite artists: Sue Ayers (Sue's Little Things). She made the tiered cookie server (shown on the dresser above and in the photo below). She sells on Ebay and the detail in her cookies and food is awesome. Her prices are very reasonable.