Dish-aholic Part 6: Brown Beauty

I took some time off from quilting this afternoon to play with some breakables:

I started the Spode Woodland mixed with Delamere collection years ago (when the pieces were still crafted in England) for my husband because autumn is his favorite season. I think the game bird motif and the floral border make the perfect marriage combining the masculine and feminine tastes:

Well, some of the usual suspects refused to be left out…

Now that playtime is over (time to get back to quilting), how about some tea before you leave for the other show-and-tell? It rained here yesterday, and it’s been cold today. A hot tea would do me good before I head back to the sewing dungeon…

Don’t be bashful – I have plenty more cups and mugs in the cupboard! If Earl Grey doesn’t sound good, I have other blends too. :)

As for my favorite piece in the collection – it will have to be a toss-up between the teapot (because of the acorn-shaped knob on the lid) and the cornucopia:

Thanks for stopping by – it was nice having you. Have a marvelous weekend, everyone!

Dish-aholic Part 3: Beautiful Botanicals

You know we use our plates for mostly food-related purposes. But sometimes we also have certain plates for the eyes only because they are extra pretty, or special. For today’s show-and-tell, I am showing some of my for eyes only display plates. These are from my incomplete set of Spode Botanicals from their Cabinet Collection. Here are #5 and #6:

Here are #2 and #3:

Here is #1:

I especially love the border design. That soft peach is reminiscent of the color scheme used by England’s 16th-century architect, Robert Adams, for interior design :

I also have two that are in a slightly different color scheme:

Thanks for coming to my show-and-tell today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

p.s. Ellen, if you ever come across any of my “missing” plates during one of your trips to the thrift stores, please let me know, okay?! ;) Ellen always comes across some AMAZING finds posted on her blog!

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Click here for more Dish-aholic posts: Part 1, Part 2, and others.

One (of many) benefit of blogging

Even as a person who is keen on details, I noticed that blogging has caused me to be even more attuned to details. The proof is in this favorite vase of mine:

It is called a Chatsworth vase from the Spode Cabinet Collection. The designs are from the Spode Company’s archive. I always knew and thought it was a beauty, but it was not until earlier today when I was taking pictures of the vase did I notice the amazing details on the different flowers:

I asked myself, “How did I, and how could I have missed the beautiful details after all these years?” Were it not for blogging, I might have NEVER found out. But then it is definitely very exciting to discover details on a piece of treasure that has been with me for a long time, much like discovering something new about my husband, sister, or an old friend after years of knowing them.

So, who says blogging is a waste of time?! ;) I would love to hear your take on the benefits of blogging, or blog surfing!

Meanwhile, I wish you a wonderful day discovering the wonderful details surrounding you and your life!

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A side note: I have treasured this vase for many many years, but I never had the perfect spot for it. I got an antique china cabinet to use as a bookcase a couple of months ago, and it wasn’t till then that my favorite vase received the proper “respect” due it. Now, I love walking by the bookcase and be able to see this vase! Sometimes we just need to find our treasures that “perfect” spot for us to really enjoy them, don’t we?

Fragrance for free, anyone?

Okay, this isn’t exactly a gardening post that is directly related to me because I hadn’t planted these beauties. My husband pointed out to me at some bushes that were blooming way out there from our backyard (well, not quite, but it would be the furthest I had to venture out from our deck). I found to my very pleasant surprise they are rose bushes! They are big, and there are three of them, and they are profusely covered with these fragrant dainty little blooms:

This is to show you just how challenging the terrain is for my venture out there… just kidding! :) But we do have a little creek that runs along the back. See the white patches in the bottom right corner – those are the start of the rose blooms:

Of course, I took full advantage of these fragrant beauties:

My husband made my day when he pointed me to these roses. We were marveling how well these roses grow with no care, no special feeding or spraying… nothing! And yet the Heavenly Father takes care of them. I quote from Matthew 6:28b-29: “See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” How true the words ring concerning these roses!

Have a fabulous weekend, my bloggy friends. I will be back Monday!

p.s. I would appreciate it very much if anyone could tell me what kind of roses these are! The blooms are roughly 1″ across, and they are very fragrant, almost like lilac.

I’m a little teapot…

I anxiously wait for Gracious Hospitality‘s assignment each week to see if it’s something I can participate, and this week’s is on teapots!!! I think I might take a stab at this difficult assignment… :)

I am rarely a mix-and-match person; I think that methodical quirk is the engineer in me. So, the teapots I have purchased are ones that are made for the china collections I have.

If you have been visiting my blog for a while, you would have caught quite a few sightings of this Royal Albert Lady Carlyle teapot. I absolutely love the scrolls and the gold, and of course the bouquets all adeptly incorporated fit the daintily beautiful shape of the teapot. I actually purchased this teapot at a china shop in Gatwick airport during a layover while I was on an overseas trip. I had been looking for the teapot for quite a while then, and was simply delighted to find one at the airport store. Since we were traveling light, I requested the shop ship the teapot back to the States for me – which they did without any mishap! I have received many many compliments from you all on my Lady Carlyle pieces, THANK YOU! If you are interested to see more Lady Carlyle pieces and know a bit about the history, please come back this Friday when I do a Show-and-Tell post on my Lady Carlyle china:

This silver teaset (shown minus the intricate silver scroll work tea tray) is an old set made by Oneida Silversmith. It is a set I use when I am using pieces that don’t have their own matching teapots. Since silver goes with anything and everything, the setting always comes out looking nice:

You have seen these two before. The one on the left is from Taiwan. It’s a gift from a dear friend. It looks to be in a traditional Oriental shape. My father told me that he had seen similar teapots like that when he was growing up. The one on the right is well-beloved by many many many over the generations (since its production in 1814) – the Spode Blue Italian 6-cup teapot. Its regal shape mixed with the blue and white is simply breathtaking to me. I never get tired of looking at it:

I almost forgot about this one because it’s now put up and stored in the cabinet. This teapot is from the Spode Woodland Collection which I only use during the fall. I started the collection in honor of my husband whose favorite season is the fall. I stumbled across just the teapot a few years ago WITHOUT the lid and bought it for $15. I had to place a special order for the lid from Spode, and had to pay close to $50 plus shipping for just the lid! You win some, you lose some, I guess:

Seeing all the beautiful teapots others have posted, I think it’s perhaps time to spread my wings and branch out a bit and buy some teapots that are individual and unique. :) This has been a fun assignment. Thanks, LaTeaDah!

OFB Smocked Daygown Part 2: Chugging Along

This accountability thing is REALLY working. THANKS EVERYONE! I never once received a phone call asking how the smocking is coming along. I never once heard even a peep about how I should be hurrying up on the smocking. Somehow, I was just motivated on my own to work a little each day on the daygown because of this accountability thing. To date, all the smocking (fun) part is done! You can see the two front pieces and the two sleeves:

You must have noticed the clock I used as a prop to photograph with the daygown pieces. I decided to include the clock to keep up with the “baby” theme. The clock is a nursery plate clock from Spode’s Edwardian Childhood Collection. I love the different old-fashioned toys featured on the clock, don’t you?

I am only showing the close-up of the smocked daygown front because I have already shown the sleeves in Part 1. I will at some point add some light pink boullion roses on the front (I think) depending on what my mentor/dear friend Annelle tells me what my next step is:

Hopefully not too long from now… all these batiste pieces will somehow come together nicely and look like this:

That’s all I have for now. I have so much more to share, but it’s been crazy at my end. I just picked up two new magazine assignments within the last 24 hours. Anyway, I will be back and try to catch up with you later!

p.s. I can’t leave without asking you this: do you seem to get the faintest hint that I love Spode after reading the posts on my blog?! ;)

The Anything-and-Everything-goes Salad

While I was doing some major cleaning around the kitchen one day last week and didn’t feel like doing too much for dinner, I decided that it was time to serve our favorite Chicken salad for dinner to kick off the warmer weather:

My Le Telerie “Grapes” tablecloth that normally covers my breakfast table at this time of the year was not dried from the dryer in time for dinner. So, I did without and went ahead and set the table. I used my Spode Tower Blue dishes on the Spode Vermicelli service plates. As you can see, I am crazy about just any English blue-and-white transferware:

I decided to be a bit fancy to make up for not having my tablecloth and brought out the crystal goblets:

Back to assembling the chicken salad… you can just add whatever vegetable that suits your fancy to this salad in addition to the cubed chicken breast (grilled) and crumbled feta cheese. I normally season my chicken with lemon pepper seasoning prior to grilling. For this particular day, my salad has — (in alphabetical order) — avocado, (chopped) basil, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, dried cranberries, red cabbage, red onion, Romaine lettuce, sesame seeds, (torn) spinach leaves, and (Roma) tomatoes:

The dressing is made with mayonnaise, honey, a bit of soy sauce and ground black pepper (to taste):

(Optional – sometimes I serve the salad with garlic bread straight from the oven). Husband’s comment at the end of dinner: “Very Nice!”

Well, this is one of those days where I have been staring at my computer screen for 8 or more hours… guess what’s for dinner at my house?! (Hint: please refer to the title of this post)! Only this time, I will use different veggies, and dishes – and I do have my tablecloth! Before I sign off, I thought I should mention that serving this salad for dinner tonight would allow me to have more time to sew and quilt! :)

Dish-aholic Part 1: One thing led to another…

I have to admit I am a dish-aholic. I love dishes of all shapes and forms, whether or not they are functional. I have always love the blue and white color combination on dishes. So, years ago, I started with a couple of Spode Blue Italian plates (well, and other blue and white dishes) for our spring and summer dining uses —

Then, when I started looking around, I realized I had to have these to go with the plates (the middle Devonia tray on the middle shelf is a gift from my cousin):

Next, I discovered I needed these to make my collection more complete:

Somehow, I just couldn’t (or rather wouldn’t) resist these:

Now that it’s been almost 10 years since I started collecting Spode Italian, I look at my stash and wonder why in the world I had thought a few years ago I simply couldn’t live without this ( a spoon rest?!):

Yet, Spode still makes many many more pieces that I don’t have. The Blue Italian pattern has got to be one of the most exhaustive collection Spode makes – mustard pot, Parmesan pot, Dutch jug, wash basin, mixing bowl, measuring pitcher, sandwich platter and the list goes on. You name it, they would probably have it! (Notice I am naming the pieces I don’t have — wonder if my brother-in-law would get a hint if he reads this post, hehe! You can find explanation on my brother-in-law in this post.)

I have to say collecting dishes has been a very enjoyable process and hobby. I have learned to appreciate the beauty of each piece of handiwork. I love taking time out once in a while to just stop and admire each piece and see how the motif is incorporated onto the form and shape of each piece. Some stop to smell the roses, I stop to look at my dishes because right now my roses aren’t anything to speak of – make that the whole flower bed in the front yard (*SIGH*)! That is another story for another post.