Hello and thank you for visiting my Blog! My miniature passion lies in making houseplants, but since most are viewable on my website, this blog will often feature wonderful treasures by other artisans, with a few diversions I hope you will find interesting.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

AN UNEXPECTED PLEASURE

Did anyone miss me? I can't believe it has been over two months since I posted! Well, it seems life had to intrude on my fun and I have not touched a miniature plant for ages. I have plans, such plans! But they are still on the back burner for a while longer. In the meantime I had such an urge to post something, so I thought I would show you something else that I have been collecting for the last several months.

I never felt an inclination to have nice china. My Mom had always wanted china, but she was a widow with seven children and no money. I can't remember how old she was when she finally started her set, but I think she was in her fifties. She chose a beautiful pattern designed in 1927 and started buying what she could find and getting pieces as gifts, without the use of the internet! The pattern, Lenox Blue Tree, was discontinued in 1974 but then reissued due to it's renewed popularity after Tricia Nixon chose it for her wedding in 1971. Mom was able to acquire 12 place settings, a few serving pieces, and some extras, which turned out not to be enough when the entire family had a dinner, but still enough for her three daughters to divide.

When Mom died last August and we faced the daunting and sad task of dividing her possessions, I decided I would not take any of her china. What would I do with only four place settings when I would need six just for my immediate family? It would cost me a fortune to buy what I would need for the future. Well, my sister refused to accept my decision and insisted I would still enjoy service for four, giving me all sorts of reason to keep it. I could have an intimate dinner with my husband, dinner with another couple, or a fancy table when only two of my children were around that night. She finally convinced me, and since I also was to receive my Mom's hutch, I would have a handy place to keep it so I would be more likely to use it. That's when I got hooked. I fell in love with the pattern. My Mom must have been guiding my hand because I was browsing eBay one day and decided to see what another few place settings would cost when I found what turned out to be a great deal on a big set. Just this week I was again fortunate to stumble across another great deal on a few more pieces, and my set is now complete.

I absolutely love seeing my Mom's platter displayed on her hutch in my dining room. I absolutely love using the china, and I love that the inspiration came from my Mom. I wish she knew that I ended up doing exactly what she had hoped I would. Who knows, maybe she does.

Thanks, Mom.

Who uses this many pieces for one meal?

No one in my family drinks coffee, so these pieces are kind of useless.

I bought two of these serving bowls for less than the normal price of one!

This platter is what is displayed on my hutch.

Still thinking about getting this piece, but would I use it?

19 comments:

  1. So glad that you have been inspired by your late Mum this is wonderful china! :o)) I love the pattern.

    The cup and saucer is for tea and not coffee, so if you drink that you'll be fine. :o))

    It looks like there is a dinner plate, starter/breakfast plate, a side plate, which could be used as a individual cake/sandwich plate too. :o))

    Michelle :o)

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  2. I have missed your posts. I am so glad you are back.

    I think that china is beautiful! Don't forget you can drink a hot toddy out of those cups! LOL

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  3. Me, me, me! I am glad to see you back. Everytime I go to Kristy's blog, I think of you :).

    Get them all, Carolyn. They are incredible heirloom pieces that will last for generation. Those cups are not just for coffee, they are for tea, cocoa, hot chocolate, double dutch (coffee with Milo, oops, no coffee you said?) or lemon water on a fancy afternoon. The cake dish is wonderful!

    Ok, I am now confused as I read back your post. Did you get everything already?

    I too have a close relationship with my mum and I am always "stealing" from her kitchen cabinets for things I can use in my dollhouses :).

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  4. Forgot to mention that I LOVE the pattern! Tree of Life or anything with a tree and for you who's art is plants, that is even more meaningful!

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  5. Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome back! Not sure how often I will be here as I still have so much to accomplish. My Mom was ill with Alzheimer's for five years and I was her primary caregiver, so many areas of my life kind of went on hold. As I bring in things, like a piece of furniture from her house, I have to rearrange my own, or get rid of something. I am currently working on a stack of papers three feet high. No joke! Then my sister will come back next week for a final clearing of Mom's house.

    Michelle, I hadn't even thought of hot tea. Duh!

    Catherine, what exactly is a hot toddy? My alcoholic tastes are limited to an Amaretto Stone Sour.

    Susan, I have everything I need, and probably more. I was just pondering whether to splurge on the dessert tray. It would be a pain to store, though.

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  6. It's about time woman!! Welcome back to the fabulous world of blogging, lol. Your mom's china is GORGEOUS! The desert tray is beautiful, but if it wouldn't fit in the hutch then I know you'd have a hell of a time finding a place for it, being the pack rat that you are, lol.
    By the way, a Hot Toddy is the best night time cold medicine there is!! Hot tea with honey, lemon, and BOOZE :D (I think usually brandy or whiskey).
    I'm going to have to educate you on the fine art of drinking while in Chicago next year. ;)

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  7. I've hardly been around this summer either, Carolyn! It's been busier than usual. I love the china and I have several sets myself, Lenox Eternal and the Christmas china, various place settings of Christmas china my parents collected, two of each, one for my brother and one for me; a set of dishes I bought from a lady in our church (she wanted me to have them and sold me an eight piece place setting plus all of the serving dishes for $100), a set of Mikasa black rimmed dishes DH bought me before we were married. . . .hopefully, there will be enough that my children will each have sets.

    Jody

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  8. Yes, Kristy, a pack rat I am. You know me too well! But I was thinking maybe I could display the tray on the hutch instead of packing it away. But that means dusting it. Humm... It's been on eBay for months, so I have some time to think about it. Looks like it's not a hot item.

    Speaking of hot, that hot toddy sounds interesting. I wonder what Amaretto in tea would taste like? Between you and Kiva I'm sure I'll get an excellent alcohol education! LOL!

    Jody, sounds like you have alot of dinnerware, and a good deal on one of them! Your post made me think about what I have stashed in my basement. I have my old Currier and Ives that I bought when I rented my first apartment. Then my neighbor gave me a large set of Blue Willow when she moved to Arizona last year. I have all these nice sets and I use plain old white Corelle everyday!

    I guess I need one more set so I have one for each kid, although I already made it clear that my only daughter gets the good china. It will be up to her to share it.

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  9. Carolyn, I love the set you have managed to add to. It is wonderful! My Mother has always been crazy about china and throughout her life has purchased enough sets for each of my sister's and I to have. I would grab that little tray!! It is a great serving piece for tidbits....morning pastries,etc. I hope you use this china a lot!!

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  10. Hi Patty, and welcome! I love to get a new follower:) Kristy and I started our blogs at the same time, but she left me in the dust! LOL! I need to start posting miniature pics again, but I have to make some first. Wouldn't my china be great in miniature?

    Thanks for the advice on the tray. Your suggestions made me realize I could use it by itself just to perk up my table. How would Oreos look? LOL!

    Did your Mom give you your set yet, and if so, what is the pattern?

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  11. Kiva only drinks piss water beer. Guess I'll have to school both of you.

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  12. Miniature enthusiasts can ignore this comment. I am posting this message for fellow Lenox Blue Tree collectors in the hope that it will turn up in a search engine.

    What is the difference between the Lenox Blue Tree black backstamp and the gold backstamp? The black backstamp was produced from 1927 to 1974. When Blue Tree was reissued from 1975 to 1985, it had a gold backstamp. The black backstamp seems to have more vivid colors, and the green swirls in the center design are a brighter green. The biggest difference is the size of the gold trim. The older black backstamp has a noticably smaller gold trim, maybe as much as half, than the newer gold backstamp. Personally I prefer the older design, but the narrower gold trim just took much of the sparkle away when compared to the newer gold backstamp. If you try and combine the two, it will be noticable.

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    1. It did turn up in my search and I am most graterful!

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    2. It did turn up in my search and I am most graterful!

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    3. Glad I could be of help! The reason the pattern was reissued in 1975 was because Tricia Nixon chose it for her wedding and that brought it to the attention of people who also wanted it. I should amend my comment on the two backstamps being noticable if combined. The smaller pieces are not a big deal. The paint lots of the gold backstamp can have differences as well. The black backstamp also has some pieces that were not made in the gold backstamp reissuance. Enjoy your pieces!

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  13. I like your miniatures, specially your mouse!

    Greetings Jody.

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  14. Oh my! Your miniature houseplants are gorgeous! :-) Jennifer

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  15. Thank you, Jennifer! I am embarrased that my blog has been neglected for so long. My website is even worse! But I have been working on new plants and revising some old ones, and I will update everything when they are finished.

    So glad you found me. Please visit again in May or June.:)

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