I have had some luck lately with permanent markers.
For the YMCA Chairs for Charity event, I created a pair of bistro chairs for a wine,cheese and charcuterie restaurant with a French theme.
I used a thin black ink pen (not necessarily permanent, but fairly indelible) to do the detailling and a chisel-tipped dollar store permanent marker for the rest!
The trick? Use a less-than-fresh marker to avoid excessive bleeding on the fabric. Sharp lines can be achieved using the thin black ink pen.
You can find all sorts of tutorials for how to use permanent markers on china - it works pretty well and is inexpensive, easy, and virtually mess-free. Great positives! You're supposed to bake the finished product for 30 mins. at 350oC to make the art handwash safe...it works, but is more prone to scratches than I would like. I have an air-dry sealant product used to clear coat painted designs on glass surfaces that I am going to use to give a protective top coat.
These dishes won't be dishwasher safe, but can be hand washed, preferrably with a cloth (no harsh scrubbers, please!).
These sets are earmarked as Christmas presents for some family and friends. This is a really easy activity - I did mine with a group of friends at my annual Christmas party! Worked great and everyone left with something special and unique.