In another time, a fantasy life if you will, I could have been a china merchant in a quaint little shop that specialized in antiques but did NOT smell musty! Only fellow dishaholics like Suzan of the oldgreymareprimitives.blogspot.com could understand. It was her recent post about her "white bowl love" that inspired me to write this post!
I love old things; objects that others have owned and passed on that have a history to them. I love vintage dishes--I have lots of dishes and glassware passed down from family members and acquired on the cheap at thrift shops. I wish I had time to entertain so I could really use them more, but they are eye candy to me! I covet English white ironstone, brown transferware, and Johnson Bros. Friendly Village. I adore French Quimper pottery, Polish pottery, the ever humble but charming Blue Willow, and the rainbow assortment of Fiestaware (although I don't have any YET. I fondly recall my late mother-in-law's set of lovely pine cone china that graced the table every Thanksgiving and Christmas--they weren't expensive, but were very special! So far they have eluded me, but someday I WILL find that pattern on Ebay! Teapots, cookie jars, honey pots, bowls and pitchers and English tins are another obsession of mine. When my mother moved to an assisted living center last summer I brought home the few remaining pieces of her wedding dishes--Franciscan's Starburst pattern. It is so quintessential 1950's vintage and I'm amazed at how contemporary they seem.
I want to be a better steward, buying more of what I really need instead of what I really want, so because they take up so much room, I've given up acquiring anymore stuff. Unless it's a fantastic bargain that I absolutely cannot live without, I'm passing it by! As a friend told me, "don't buy it unless it calls your name!" The cookie jar collection has been relegated to the top of the blue cupboard that serves as my linen closet in the laundry room, because there is absolutely no room at the inn, in my kitchen.
My favorite finds are floral patterns with a crazed finish from years and years of use--the humble everyday kind. Hey, a bargain at the thrift shop with a chip or crack or a little crazing to the finish, just makes it more interesting to me! The two beautiful ivory floral pieces I have from my great-grandparent's farm are in my china cupboard. I'm afraid the cat will knock them off the table, so they spend most of their time safely behind glass. An old teacup and a bowl are all that remain of the set.
I also have their old wooden bread board that my grandmother told me was used to roll out homemade biscuits three times a day! Can you imagine having the time to make biscuits three times a day? I found it retired, laying in my grandmother's attic many years ago, and because I imagine mice crawled all over it, I've never been able to bring myself to use it! Not even after cleaning it with bleach. Too bad she didn't hang it safely in her kitchen so I wouldn't imagine it all yuckky! I'm no germaphobe, but believe me the attic in that old house was really yuckky!
So, I am just wondering what is YOUR favorite dish pattern? Perhaps your wedding china, or a pattern of your grandmother's that you remember fondly?