So I'm playing with Blender some more. This time, I went through a beginners modeling tutorial I found at http://blender.org. (See below for the link.)
The tut had me shape the vase, then apply an image as texture to both the vase and the floor (for the floor, I used an image I found via Google Images). Then it gave a simple lighting setup, that I copied. A little ambient occlusion and anti-aliasing for good measure, and you get the image shown here.
Pretty neat thing, that I could follow everything the tutorial was doing (including the things that weren't where the tut said they'd be, due to 2.42/2.49 differences), without frustration. Part of that is due to it being a better tutorial than some I've tried, but part was both my growing experience with Blender, and a better, "lets just play" mindset to it.
Putting the time in, and it's all in how you look at it. Two lessons I'm learning these days.
Oh yeah, about the tutorial. The link at blender.org was broken, but Google found it at this address instead. And the tut was written for Blender 2.42, so there are changes. But anyway...