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My Grandmother’s Dishes

Aug
31


Since I posted photos of my grandmother’s dishes in the August CITR newsletter and in this post here, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the pattern. It’s called French Rose 1264. It’s a vintage china that was imported from Japan.

I’ve tried researching it and have come up with very little information. I can’t find what years it was produced and sold, though I have found places that list replacement pieces.

The pattern is in delicate shades of pink and gray with a platinum edging. I think it’s beautiful now, though I haven’t always thought that much of it.


I can remember eating on these dishes at my grandmother’s little house in Oklahoma. My grandmother was a frugal farm woman and she didn’t have a lot of excess. This was her fine china for holidays and special occasions. It’s an extensive set, including an assortment of serving dishes and variously-sized plates in somewhat incomprehensibly changing numbers. There are 18 tea cups and saucers, and 18 dinner plates, but 12 of most other pieces.

Some pieces are hard to decipher–we don’t eat on fine china as a society so much anymore and I don’t even know what some of these pieces are for. I think these must be little side dish plates. (See below, the small, shallow bowls in the foreground. They’re too shallow for soup.)

There are other plates in a small size and a medium size. Maybe one is a dessert plate and one is a luncheon plate. Or perhaps a salad plate.

The serving bowls are wide and shallow, but they hold more than you’d think, as I found when I served dinner on these dishes after our outdoor labor party this weekend.

That was the first time these dishes have been used in who knows when. I’ve had these dishes for about 15 years. My mother gave them to me after my grandmother died. My mother’s tastes ran toward the more formal and fancy, and she didn’t want to use them even though she was sentimentally attached to them. To be honest, I didn’t really like them that much myself, but I took them because I thought my mother wanted me to take them. I put them away in a cupboard and never used them.

Then I moved, and put them away in a new cupboard.

Then I moved again, and put them in a box. And never took them out. I moved again, and they remained in the box.

That box eventually ended up on my porch here at our farm, and eventually I started thinking about those dishes. I especially thought about the dishes when the chickens started laying eggs in the box on top of the dishes. Sometimes the cats sat in the box on top of the dishes. (The box was open at the top. They weren’t that well packed.)

I know. Could I deserve these dishes less?

Recently, as I started working on minimizing and purging in my house, I thought about the dishes some more. I brought the box inside and decided I would wash the dishes and put them away. In fact, I had an urge to use the dishes. I’m not a “china person” in a lot of ways. China always feel too formal to me, but this china has a softer, gentler feel to it than most china. The pattern is quiet and minimal, inviting rather than imposing. My grandmother lived a simple life in a simple home. It fits that her china was also simple.

I’m not sure what sparked this new and intense interest in dishes that I have neglected for 15 years, but it’s probably a combination of factors including my own growth and appreciation for the old over the new combined with my mother’s recent passing, and the sense of how life rolls along and the connections to the past change and fade. To the day my mother died, she called my grandmother “Mama”–I will never hear someone speak of my grandmother again and call her Mama. I knew and remember my grandmother, but my children don’t. Morgan wasn’t even born when my grandmother died.

I need to serve my children meals on “Mama’s dishes.”

However, I had no place to put the dishes. I used to love the TV show Clean Sweep and I think about the host’s lectures quite often–he was always telling people that you don’t need a hundred things to remember someone by, you just need a few special things, the most special things of all, and in order to honor those special things and the memories that come with them, GET RID OF THE JUNK. The junk dishonors those things that are truly special, devouring them in clutter. This is so true, and with this in mind, I went after my china cabinet. It was filled with quite a bit of junk. The top cabinets hold what is, without doubt, special–my mother’s own china that Morgan chose for herself to inherit someday. (I’m not a huge fan of that china, as I’ve written about before-it feels too fancy and formal to me–but Morgan loves it, so I consider myself the conduit to give that china to Morgan. If you’re interested, you can see my mother’s china here.) My mother’s silver tea set is on the counter of that cabinet, and then in the closed cabinets below is all this junk. Various pieces and parts that I picked up here and there or were given to me. There, in those cabinets, is where I could put my grandmother’s china. If I got rid of the junk.

By the way, I’ve created a sub-section in my Crafts archives for Vintage Style & Minimal Living to file my posts on purging and decluttering, among other posts about keeping an old-fashioned home, style-wise. This section of my blog was originally titled Primitive Crafts & Country Style, and my intention for this section included posts both about crafts as well as old-fashioned, vintage home style. I think vintage style and minimal living go together perfectly–after all, our ancestors didn’t have homes full of junk! They didn’t have it, couldn’t afford it, or just plain knew better. Living frugally and simply is about more than saving money. It’s a lifestyle that permeates your entire home. Anyway, Primitive Crafts & Country Style was too long for the menu bar. Or the archive button. So it got shortened to just Crafts, but don’t be surprised when I post here about various other aspects of keeping the home. Just wanted to make a note of that here, especially to those of you who are new to my site.

Back to the dishes–I unloaded those lower cabinets, spreading it all out on the floor then the dining room table. Morgan came by and went over the pieces with me. She thought the cat cookie jar with a mouse on top (as the handle) was adorable. I said, “Yes, it’s very cute, but who uses a cookie jar?” I’ve had this cookie jar for about 25 years and I can’t remember the last time it saw a cookie. I wouldn’t put a cookie in there unless I wanted to hide it. I put cookies, brownies, and other goodies in a glass cake stand where the kids can easily find treats. That’s how I live, and a cookie jar just doesn’t fit in.

I asked Morgan if she liked the cookie jar so much, would she like to take it to her room and keep it? Uh, NO, she said she didn’t have room for it. I said, “Now you understand.” If you don’t love it enough to make room for it, you don’t love it enough.

It’s a really cute cookie jar, and there were various other somewhat cute, and not so cute, pieces. I compared each item to my grandmother’s dishes. Did I love it enough to make room for it by my grandmother’s dishes, or did I love my grandmother’s dishes more and could get rid of it to make more room for them? I also wondered, of course, if this or that might be something I don’t care for now but might love in 15 years?! (The answer to that question can usually be found in whether or not there are any special memories associated with the piece. I have no special memories associated with that cookie jar, for example. I bought it myself, because it was cute, then never could figure out what to do with it since I don’t like using a cookie jar.)

I boxed up all sorts of various items to give away and cleared out that cabinet enough to make room for my grandmother’s dishes. I got out that box where chickens had laid eggs on “Mama’s dishes” and I unwrapped the dishes one by one from newspaper that was shredded in places, probably because mice had been in the box.

I washed it all by hand then I washed it all twice in the dishwasher to sanitize and sanitize again.

And now I’m serving meals to my children….

….on “Mama’s dishes.” And it feels pretty good.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on August 31, 2010  

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  1. 8-31
    1:35
    am

    Cooking and setting a table for one means that I have a lot of things I don’t use! My tableware tends toward paper plates – and I do have a dishwasher. “Mama’s” dishes are beautiful – even I can see myself using them. I tried to get my daughter to take some things that had been handed down, but she wasn’t interested. She’s our family’s cleaner-outer! She’s helped me move a few times and I always end up with a lot less stuff. Her motto is, “Mom, if it took you 3 months to miss it, then you didn’t need it!” Yep – anytime she volunteers to sort through a box or closet, I shudder. My kid sister says we all need one of her!

  2. 8-31
    1:42
    am

    Dishes and food both look great. I really need to declutter and I have recently been thinking that I need to get rid of a bunch of stuff I got just because it was cute or attractive to me in some way. I had already told myself to keep the stuff that meant something or came from someone and get rid of the stuff I just bought. NOW, you post this… as an inspiration to actually do it (instead of just rolling it around in my head). Thank you. Who wants to come help?

  3. 8-31
    1:55
    am

    Dear Suzanne,
    Thank you for this post, it really speaks to my heart. We are getting ready for a garage sale in a couple of weeks and I will be going through all the things in my house and garage. I have so many things that were my Mom’s and Sister’s that I have kept, thinking that these things kept me close to them. It is time for me to let go and only keep the things that are precious to my heart. My Mom was not a clutter bug, and I know she is probably shaking her head at me for hanging on to all of this stuff. I just want to thank you! :fairy:

  4. 8-31
    2:22
    am

    Thanks, Suzanne, for this post. I am soon moving to a 16 x 20 cabin about a mile off of the main road. I now live in a 2 bedroom apartment, so have been selling off a lot of items. I just sold the dresser and chiffarobe that belonged to my grandparents. It once help sentimental value, but just wouldn’t fit in the cabin. There would be no way to get it into the loft because the staircase is too narrow – so I sold it to a 20-something young lady who is going to paint it white, and put it to good use. I am going thru boxes and boxes of stuff I have toted with me for years on each move, and it’s time to get down to minimal possessions. Your posts on purging items couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Thanks so much! :wave: – BTW my Mom is a hoarder, and now that she is in a nursing home, my Dad is suffering for all of the hoarding, trying to go thru things to make room in his home for some simplicity. Thanks, again – from Kathy in Fayette Co KY.

  5. 8-31
    5:25
    am

    Everyday I enjoy your posts!! I too have been trying to downsize some..I love to collect stuff.But I have been getting rid of some.I have alot of stuff..lol
    Love your mama and grandma’s special dishes. And how wonderful you are now using them.
    Hugs Granny Trace

  6. 8-31
    5:28
    am

    I also have a china cabinet full of this and that cute stuff, and last week cleaned it out and filled it with what I refer to as a memory collection, dishes and salt & pepper shakers etc from my grandmother. I find myself looking at that cabinet more than before and smiling at the sight.~~HUGS~~

  7. 8-31
    5:50
    am

    I recognize your grandmother’s china pattern as one that my grandmother had a few pieces of as well. She too was a frugal and simple woman. I believe that the small luncheon plates she had she acquired by collecting coupons from some product she bought and then redeeming the points for merchandise. She let me use these plates when I moved out and got my first apartment. Then and now, I believed the pattern to be beautiful. Enjoy them, and make memories for your family.

  8. 8-31
    6:39
    am

    I love these dishes….not too formal. It resembles the set I got from my grandma. They are used once a year on Thanksgiving. They reside in a corner cabinet that was built for my great grandma’s corner, I have to put cardboard under one side, my floor is level, hers wasn’t. That’s all that is in that cabinet. I have one corner in this house that that cabinet will fit…in my dining room.

  9. 8-31
    6:55
    am

    I think those shallow bowls are fruit/dessert (sauce) bowls. I have the same size and had to go look at mine on replacements, ltd to get the name out of my mind.

  10. 8-31
    7:33
    am

    The china looks beautiful on your table, all ready to serve, I’m glad you decided to make room for it. Just a thought, though. Generally china with the gold/silver/platinum ring around the edge should not be washed in the dishwasher as it could destroy the edging. I know the dishwasher is good for sanitizing, but from now on you’re probably better off hand washing.

  11. 8-31
    8:09
    am

    Those dishes are lovely, Suzanne….simple and elegant but not so elegant that a nice slice of pizza wouldn’t fit right on there!
    Most of us have our links to our own past…not just things stored away or kept in safety deposit boxes. But things our loved ones used in their daily lives and now we use in the same way. Like your dishes. By the way, the little shallow bowls are probably berry bowl or fruit bowl.
    I have a collection of rolling pins…maybe 25 of them. But the ones I use over and over again are the ones that I have a family connection to….the pin that my own grandmother used, the one my first husband’s grandmother used and the one that my sister bought a long time ago that was an antique when Truman was in office! I roll out pie dough with one of them and I think of that person. Just like you think of your grandmother when you use the dishes. And your kids will think of her, too. Life goes on for us.
    How is Ross doing? I bet he’s showing everyone how it should be done!!!

  12. 8-31
    8:22
    am

    Your “Mama’s” dishes are wonderful!

    I cherish a set of my grandparents china that was given to me when my grandma moved from her home to a nursing home.

    De-clutering is a difficult task, but a necessary task…

    Thanks for the inspiration to get off my fanny!

  13. 8-31
    8:26
    am

    Did a similar purge several years ago, and, like you, I decided to USE what I had. By doing so, I am creating new memories for my kids to associate with those “things”. After all, who wants to only be remembered when their kids see a plastic Dominoes cup? LOL.

  14. 8-31
    8:32
    am

    I, too, often think of “Clean Sweep” and the idea that you don’t need to keep every single thing to remember a person. That’s such a great piece of advice. I’m glad you’re enjoying Mama’s dishes. :)

  15. 8-31
    8:35
    am

    You’re “Mama’s” dishes are beautiful. In fact, I think they are the same dishes that my “MawMaw” had…my sister now has them. I will ask her to check the back of the dishes. She did some research on them years ago. I simply can’t remember what she found out. The cookie jar is adorable. I hate to even ask, but if you are going to rid of it, would you be interested in selling it? I collect cat items so naturally it caught my eye even before I read the entire post.

  16. 8-31
    8:45
    am

    Beautiful dishes! I have a few things of my grandmothers around here that I use and always think of her. Some things I buy at thrift and antique stores just because she used one like it. Flour sifter with a red knob handle, an old egg basket…I miss my Mamaw!

  17. 8-31
    9:01
    am

    The dish story reminds me of my Mom’s dishes. She spent her whole life collecting the apple pattern by Fransician. She loved the dishes and only used them on special occasions. When she past away none of her three children wanted the dishes. We decided to give them to Goodwill. I couldn’t sleep the night after the decision. They meant so much to Mom and yet none of the children had any desire to keep them. Well, the next morning I got the boxes and took them home and now we use them everyday and every time we use them I think of Mom and know she is smiling.

  18. 8-31
    9:02
    am

    You are so fortunate, in so many ways. As I have gotten older I too look at lots of things differently. Some things matter more and some things matter less. It’s all good though. Love your stories Suzanne.

  19. 8-31
    9:03
    am

    Oh man, Lisa beat me to it. That cookie jar is adorable. If you decide to get rid of it, could I be second in line, if Lisa decides not to take it?

  20. 8-31
    9:09
    am

    Suzanne–
    Is it possible the dishes were part of a grocery store promotion, with a different piece offered at a discount each week? That would account for the wide variety of pieces. My grandmother had a very similar set that was built that way. When I was growing up we used both silver and china that my mother purchased using Betty Crocker coupons.
    Here’s an idea: why don’t you have a swap table at your fall party? Your guests can bring things to share/trade with the understanding that what’s left at the end of the day goes to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. Someone definitely will want that cat/mouse cookie jar!
    Thanks for the de-cluttering posts.
    And, sorry to say, I’ll miss the party again this year. Curses! Foiled again!

  21. 8-31
    9:26
    am

    This post makes me think of something Fly lady says (www.flylady.net). I don’t remember word for word, but essentially it’s something about using your fine china every day because your family is good enough for it.

  22. 8-31
    9:28
    am

    Suzane, I found the same thing–I wanted to use the things that my mother kept stored away “for good.” They are lovely and brighten my days. Not a dinner service like yours, but teacups, serving bowls, even the silverware. It means a little more work–not all china can be washed in a dishwasher, for example because the silver trim will wash off. And no microwave use either, because many were made before there was such a thing as a microwave. and the silver needs to be cleaned every so often. I am finding, however, that these simple kinds of tasks are relaxing, almost meditative, and an antidote to the stress of everyday commuting and working.

  23. 8-31
    9:45
    am

    My grandmother would have called those small, shallow bowls sauce dishes. In her day, they often served canned fruit or canned tomatoes (during winter). She’d can whole tomatoes one quart at a time. She cooked them gently until they were fork tender then tilt the canning jar to let them slide to the bottom without breaking. They looked special in the sauce dish. I remember eating them, and they tasted special as well.

  24. 8-31
    10:06
    am

    Suzanne,

    When I couldn’t find any information on my own grandmother’s china (it’s a rather unusual one), I emailed Replacements, Ltd. (http://www.replacements.com/) and described it. I also sent them a picture of the pattern and the back side of one of the dishes so they could see the marks.

    They were wonderful. They responded within just a couple of days, identifying the pattern and giving me a short history. I can’t speak highly enough of them. They sent me a list of additional pieces they have to offer but never pressed me to purchase anything.

    My son has decided he wants the set, and if he ever needs to purchase replacement parts we know exactly who to contact! (We too use it regularly; it was always our Sunday dinner tableware even for the littlest among us when I was growing up).

    You might try emailing them with the information and questions you have ~

  25. 8-31
    10:07
    am

    what a touching, moving post Suzanne; you make my cry with such beauty.

  26. 8-31
    10:09
    am

    My mother has those same dishes! My father bought them for his mother when he was in Hong Kong during the Vietnam war. My mother recieved them after my Grandmother died. They are quite lovely.

    We use our “fine china” every day- life is too short to not treat every day as a special occasion!

  27. 8-31
    10:12
    am

    Thanks for sharing both your dishes and the story! I’m in desperate need of a purge. So many of my things are “put by” for special occasions.I’m looking foward to making every day special!

  28. 8-31
    10:12
    am

    I bought this set at the thrift store and am using them for every day. The only thing I find “wrong” is that i cannot microwave with them because the edges make lovely scary sparks in the microwave. But they are gorgeous. MY grandma’s old china is in my china hutch, probably forever…

  29. 8-31
    10:20
    am

    Suzanne, I’m one of those people who has purged things in the past because as I grew older, I kept receiving things as older close relatives passed away. I can’t tell you how much I regret some of my decisions. I would give anything to go back and have some of those things again. I don’t know what made me get rid of them because they really didn’t take up much space and yet, I felt they had to go. Now, I realize that, in some cases, I let real treasures go. I don’t think at the time I let them go that I was mature or thoughtful enough to have made the decision to get rid of these things. I’m not trying to make you feel remorse, but really, really think about it before you do away with some of these things you’ve been given because once they’re gone, they’re gone. No, I’m not a hoarder now. I’m just older and sadly, wiser.

  30. 8-31
    10:49
    am

    Hi!
    I love old dishes myself and eat off German and Austrian porcelain every day. So beautiful! And the dishwasher is great with them; after all, they were FIRED when they were made; what can a dishwasher do with them? Of course, I wouldn’t put them in the oven or freezer, and never in the mircro!
    The small plates are probably bread and butter or for dessert. The small bowls are for fruit.
    I’m glad to see the giant puppy; I’ve missed her lately…
    :purpleflower:

  31. 8-31
    10:54
    am

    PJ, I’m not talking about giving away any family items from relatives!

  32. 8-31
    10:55
    am

    I am pretty sure my mom has the same pattern. Im heading to her house in a couple weeks so I will check it out. If it’s the same I will see what the story is with her china. I think my Dad bought it for her but I will have to double check the location and the dates.

  33. 8-31
    11:13
    am

    I’m glad to see that you are using Grandmother’s dishes every day….I am now using my Grandmother’s dishes after they were “packed” just like yours. They sat in my attic for a few years, but when we moved, I decided it was time to use the “good” dishes. My grandmother would not cook a turkey on holidays because she didn’t want us cutting on the plates. She’s probably giving me the evil eye from Heaven cause we use them every day, every meal. I think it’s better to remember our Grandmothers every day by using those dishes.

  34. 8-31
    11:22
    am

    I just received my grandmother’s china (from my aunt) and I love it, but it’s still sitting in a big box because I have nowhere to put it! I would love to get a small china cabinet or something, but our house is so small that I just don’t know where we could put it. We’d have to get rid of our secretary desk – that’s the only place I think it would work, and that’s in the living room! Anyway, I’m glad to see you’re cherishing family heirlooms. I do too, but most of my family doesn’t understand why.

  35. 8-31
    11:23
    am

    I have a thought about what you can do with some of your excess things…..save a few for “door prizes” for your upcoming 2010 CITR Party on the Farm! You will only have to keep them for one more month. I mean that cookie jar is like brand new! Re-gift a few of your like new and hardly ever used things.
    I have my grandmother’s Creative fine china (Regency Rose). Not expensive, purchased a piece at a time when you bought $?? of groceries. I love it because it was grandma’s and I don’t have many things of hers. It is mostly packed up and will stay that way until after I retire and move within the next couple of years. When the time comes, I will pass it on to my niece who never knew her great-grandma.
    I like your grandmother’s china, too.

  36. 8-31
    11:39
    am

    Hi Suzanne! I LOVED this post and the cookie jar is beautiful! I would love to buy it from you, or you should post pics of what you aren’t going to keep and auction them off to your readers. I’m just sayin’……. :wave:

  37. 8-31
    11:44
    am

    Bravo, Suzanne! Your determination is inspirational! I am so glad that you decided to embrace your grandmother’s dishes after so long. What a treasured keepsake. As you spoke of your grandma’s simple way of life and of your mother’s memories of her mother, I got tears in my eyes. The ties that bind us together as family can be made from many things, I guess. In this case they are made of china.
    Thank you, as always, for your beautifully written moments.

  38. 8-31
    12:00
    pm

    I just had to add my two cents . . . I think the shallow bowls are indeed a soup/salad bowl. Think of a first course soup not a hearty meal in a bowl soup. Secondly I have to say how thrilled your Grandmother must be to know her china is no longer being used as a laying nest or cat bed, hahaha. I also think your Mom’s china is beautiful. The important thing is to use your china. I think there is nothing lovelier than an outdoor table set with beautiful linens and china.

  39. 8-31
    12:37
    pm

    Totally agree with Victoria. Those ARE soup bowls, but for a smaller serving that cooled fast enough in the shallow bowl to eat fairly fast and make room for the next course! Back in the day when we served courses that is.

    I’m not a china person either but cherishing the memories makes it worth hanging on to and using, not just letting it collect dust.

  40. 8-31
    1:03
    pm

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes, and I’m not even sure why.

  41. 8-31
    1:34
    pm

    This is a great post and something we all probably need to either do or at least think about. Why do I keep stuff that I’m not attached to and don’t use? Just because something was a gift doesn’t mean I have to keep it forever when it could be useful to someone else.

  42. 8-31
    2:05
    pm

    Thanks for sharing your memories, I love the china. I really do need to declutter, and this makes me more determined to get on with that job.

  43. 8-31
    2:26
    pm

    I agree, the special things deserve a place of honor and are diminished by clutter. I think your Mama’s china is beautiful and elegant in its own understated way.

    I love posts of this nature. How pleasant it is to slip away into nostalgia for few minutes on an otherwise hectic day. It’s a nice “place” to rest my mind for a bit.

  44. 8-31
    3:33
    pm

    Just have to say I loved both posting about your family’s dishes. Maybe my all-time favorites. Very touching in a quiet way. You are an amazing writer.

  45. 8-31
    3:33
    pm

    flylady says STUFF is ‘S’omething ‘T’hat ‘U’ndermines ‘F’amily ‘F’un and she is so right & I am soooo guilty. My house needs attention badly as I have inherrited a lot of my mother’s & grandmother’s stuff…plus I love going to thrift stores. I look at pictures of my family’s homes from the past & they had no excess clutter & that is how I too want to live…wish me luck!
    You are doing a good job Suzanne….excellant post that gives me inspiration ~ Thank you!

  46. 8-31
    3:46
    pm

    My MIL set an example for me during the three-plus years I dated her son during college. She used her fine china and fancy table linens for Sabbath dinner EVERY WEEK. It made the meal after church special, and the stuff got USED – and enjoyed. I’m not as regular as her in using my nicer dishes, but better than I would have been without her example.

  47. 8-31
    5:47
    pm

    Oh, Suzanne, I loved this story. It seems that I always try to save things for “good” and come up with some excuse not to use the “good” stuff. We should celebrate every day. I’ll try to use the good stuff more often. By the way, love your grandma’s china.

  48. 8-31
    5:55
    pm

    I know that Grandma had no ‘dishes’ to speak of—that family of 6 with an alcoholic father struggled mightly both before and after the depression. I do have my mom’s service for 12…lots o’ different pieces, e.g,. demitasse cups which I suppose would pass for expresso cups today. (The Ladies Home Journal or some such must have recommended a service for 12 sometime in the ’40s.) My mom and dad purchased the china soon after they married. She was very fond of the dishes, not just because their maroon and gold leaves and berries were regal, but perhaps because they represented something to be wished for. They may have represented a certain place in the world, the wherewithal to have china and a home that would welcome friends and relatives. The dishes were dutifully washed before and after holiday and ‘company’ dinners. I think my mom continued to long for the Ladies Home Journal way of life through all her working, married life. (The thousands of recipe clippings are quiet testimony to that.)
    I remember the first time I was old enough to be trusted to dry the smaller bowls and plates. I even remember hoping that she would say that I might have the china after she was gone. (I’m an only child but it was not a forgone conclusion, we had a difficult relationship.) I have the china now and the cabinet ti keep it in. All packed in lined cases, each piece protected from another with a milk filter. I use them now and again, along with my aunt’s silverware, maybe with the same wistfullness my mom felt. My only hope is that they find their way to someone who will love them for what they are and make them part of their own fantastic family memories.

  49. 8-31
    7:14
    pm

    Ahhhaaa….
    Your daughter has a good eye for the elite…as well as your Mother….”Spode”….smart girl…could buy a few college books if she ever decides to sell them in her later years…LOL…which I doubt she would…I would definitly buy your cookie jar..!
    Your Mammas dishes are beautiful as well….different companies called their pieces by different names at times…those flat bowls would be called flat soups most of the time…the round deeper bowls cereal bowls..some have a two handled deep soup to hold and drink the soup.. in older sets…the small flat plates bread and butter plates…of course salad plates and sometimes two sizes of dinner plates…then some old sets have bone dishes to match (those are the half moon plates that sit at the top side of the plate for guess? bones), as well as finger bowls,to clean off the fish messs.etc and butter pats…you can go on and on…LOL…can you tell I love dishes and was in the dish business for years…

  50. 8-31
    11:52
    pm

    My mom has a set almost exactly like it….I will look at the backs to see where it came from…

    And, I totally hear you. We try not to have too much stuff as well! Good luck with your efforts!

  51. 9-1
    8:29
    am

    I look forward to more minimal living posts; if only there were a section for your vintage lifestyle living, instead of sharing with crafts.

  52. 9-1
    8:32
    am

    Liz, I do have my country living section, which is another aspect of “vintage” living, but the vintage posts that will appear here will be related to style and the home. (at least that’s how I explain it to myself, LOL)

  53. 9-1
    9:15
    am

    Your grandmother’s china is beautiful. I love the soft colors and simplicity of the pattern. It looks lovely on your table and the meal looks delicious. I’m sure your mother and her “Mama” are smiling to see the dishes being used and appreciated :sun:

  54. 9-1
    12:00
    pm

    I totally get the dish thing! I moved my mother’s china around with me for twenty years; a precious memory to be packed in boxes and never used. When I thought of “disposing” of it, I remembered how she carefully collected it place setting by place setting as she could afford it. Even though I thought it should be in a china cupboard somewhere, I couldn’t part with it. Finally the day came when I looked at my mismatched, chipped and cracked everyday set, I really needed to buy new dishes. From somewhere in the ether, I heard my mother’s voice, “USE THEM!” I disposed of the crap in my cabinets instead and replaced it with my mother’s dishes. I’m not sorry. Everytime I touch one of them, I think of her. Using them has been a way for me to honor that love and all the memories from another time.

  55. 9-1
    2:27
    pm

    My mom has the exact same chine although not as large a set. I myself decided years ago that china did not need to be saved for holidays or special occasions. I use any excuse to break it out and enjoy – even used it last week as we ate outside on the patio al fresco. I’m a firm believer that meal times are times to be enjoyed and shared and part of that is setting a pretty table…for even ‘ordinary’ days.

  56. 9-1
    5:55
    pm

    Assuming those small, shallow bowls are about the same size around or smaller than the saucers, the proper name for them would be “fruit nappies”. You remind me so much of the purging going on in my own home right now. I’ve grown tired of the years of accumulated clutter, and have also found that asking myself if I love something enough to make room for it to be an excellent gauge of just how badly (or not) I need to keep certain items. Thanks for the reminder.

  57. 9-2
    12:20
    am

    Suzanne, Grandmother used her small bowls for desserts. Ice cream (homemade of course), fruit cobblers, fresh fruits and cream. There were also small dessert plates for cakes and pies. There were salad plates and the largest were dinner plates. Enjoy your set!

  58. 9-2
    8:26
    am

    Suzanne, I went online and found a site that explains dinnerware and what each piece was for. The site is : http://www.graciousstyle.com/webstore/control/static/~page=dinnerware_guide#sizes
    Near as I can figure, the dishes that look like saucers with curved edges could be salad plates. Anyway, they are beautiful dishes. Hope this helps.

  59. 9-2
    7:07
    pm

    Way to go, Suzanne! I act like too many things are sacred. My mother used every piece of crystal, silver, and china she had. She really enjoyed her pretty things. I think you have the right idea using things. Cleaning out too!

  60. 9-3
    11:39
    pm

    Yipes! Be careful putting your china in the dishwasher. The decoration and glaze may fade.

  61. 9-3
    11:55
    pm

    Maybelline (and other who have mentioned this)–it IS bad to put china like this in the dishwasher. I did it for sanitizing purposes this time. It should be hand-washed for normal purposes.

  62. 10-24
    1:42
    pm

    My mother in law had these same dishes, She used them often, so there were not many left when we sorted though her household after her passing, I really enjoy reading your blog, Am just new here and look forward to more !

  63. 11-17
    7:57
    am

    I have this same set of dishes. My stepmother purchased these when I was seven years old. I ended up with them in 1991 when she passed away. Like you I seldom ever use them, but this year at Christmas time when family comes for the holiday I think I will lovingly take them out of the china cabinet and let family enjoy them. When I was young this set of china was used every Sunday for Sunday dinner. We almost always had guests on Sunday and she was so proud to display this set of china.

    Yes, it is a weird combination of pieces in that there are odd numbers of plates, small, medium and large in the set.

    I have no children of my own but I will leave these to one of my nieces when I am gone. I wonder how long they will survive? I wonder if they too will leave them in boxes for years and not use them because they don’t fit our lifestyles anylonger.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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