Thursday, October 29, 2015

China Score at Last!

Yeah, I know, it's been awhile. But truthfully, it's been awhile since I found much on the shelves to write about! But today, despite fighting a horrible cold I had to make a run to my usual treasure hunting grounds to make a return before it was too late and I lost my store credit. So, off I went, and my efforts were rewarded with my first china loot in ages!

It is well documented that china is my main weakness and fortunately (or regrettably, depending on whom you ask!) I have plenty of space to store it in my home so there is little deterrent to my stockpiling. I have, however, narrowed my collecting focus in recent years to a few patterns and makers, or else I would be bringing home every pretty plate in a five state radius and let's just say that might affect marital harmony around these parts.

So, anyway, today I brought in my returns and received a nice store credit that had to be used today or else I would lose it. I immediately got to work perusing the aisles as I had limited time...and almost instantly spotted these stoneware cups and saucers.

I have amassed a decent collection of this pattern, informally called Daisy and Dot, which was made by Mar-Crest in the 1950s and early 1960s. My mother had several of these pieces, and I'm sure that is why I love them so much.

If you look carefully at the photo above, you will notice that the cups vary. I was curious as to why, so I googled it, and found a very interesting website devoted to this pattern. If you are interested in learning more about this very popular pattern, I highly recommend you visit Oh, and the answer to the mystery of the different cup handles is that they made them in one-finger, two-finger, and three-finger styles!

Nearby on the same shelf, I found this collection of ivory dish ware. My good friend collects this pattern, so I snatched them up.

I'd never seen the cups and saucers before, but I do find the bowls and plates fairly frequently. It is a nice vintage pattern that doesn't look too precious today, very versatile. These cups and saucers need a good cleaning, but they were in good condition.

I also collect Blue Ridge Pottery, and anyone who knows anything about Blue Ridge Pottery knows that there are seemingly endless patterns, so that can get dangerous. Some are very showy, with lots of flourishes and just a lot going on in general, and some are very simple. All (that I've seen) are hand painted using beautiful colors on a very smooth ivory background. I favor the very simple ones, but once in awhile I make an exception and pick up other patterns if the price is right. Today, I picked up a lot of seven Blue Ridge pieces just to get one piece. The ironic thing is that the one piece I really wanted wasn't even Blue Ridge!

This gravy pitcher is not Blue Ridge Pottery, although it is often mistakenly labeled as such due to its similarity. It is actually Dixie Dogwood by Joni China. I have hundreds of pieces of Dixie Dogwood, but I did not have a gravy boat, so I am so happy to have found this in such great condition.

Dixie Dogwood is one of my absolute favorite patterns ever! Again, my mother had a few pieces of this and collecting it and displaying it brings back wonderful memories and just makes me feel happy.

Here are the pieces of actual Blue Ridge Pottery that I picked up in order to get the gravy pitcher.

The pattern name is "Fruit Punch." It is a little more showy than I usually care for, but the colors are gorgeous in person. Photos never do it justice!

And then, finally, I found this complete set of the amazing Anne of Green Gables series for my daughter. She enjoyed the first book but has yet to read any of the sequels. These books meant so much to me as a young girl that I can't imagine my daughters not reading them, too. In fact, I may re-read them all before I pass this set along...I'm sure I'd fall in love with Gilbert Blythe all over again!

Perhaps I will curl up in bed tonight with a cup of tea and Gilbert Blythe, not a bad way to nurse my cold, ha!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A New Adventure

Well, friends, I finally took the plunge. After much planning and work, I have officially opened my Etsy shop, Anne's Pocket Finds.

I have only a few things in the shop so far, but my goal is to add new items each day, while making sure that I don't get in over my head. I did make one sale already, which was super exciting as the shop had only been open for a few minutes when the order came through. You should have seen my head spin!

For those of you have who encouraged me by leaving comments on the blog, offering helpful advice, giving me the big thumbs up on my posts on Facebook, sending me private messages and notes, or linking my blog to theirs, I cannot thank you enough. Your support and kindness has meant so much to me!

I have a lot to learn, and a lot of hard work ahead of me to make this successful, but I do hope that you will continue to follow along with me down this new path. In the meantime, please do take a moment to visit my new shop and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Goodies

Despite the deep chill in the air today, the backyard ice rink was not yet frozen solid when we ventured out this morning, so we scrapped plans to host friends for an impromptu skating party and dashed out to greet the new American Girl Doll of the Year instead. She's a cutie, of course, but if I have anything to say about it, there will be no more AG dolls joining our collection anytime soon. It's still fun to look, however, and my girls had a ball perusing all the new offerings before carefully spending their own money on the new doll's Baking Outfit and the Softball Set. We have big plans to make some of the new doll's accessories and faux baked goods ourselves, "knock-off style", which we all find to be great fun.

Even more fun was stopping at the thrift shop on the way home! It is one I rarely get to, and I almost dared not ask to stop, but since everyone seemed to be in a good mood, I did, and was rewarded with not a single groan or eye roll.

And I'm so thankful I took the leap. Moments after entering the store, I scooped up fourteen pieces of my favorite Christmas china. Four dinner plates, four dessert plates, four saucers and two cups. I am sure the other two cups were there somewhere but after searching for a while, I gave up on them. I don't really need them anyway as I already have loads of the cups. It's really the dinner and dessert plates that I want. I will have to do a count when I put these away for next year--I am certain I am close to having 20 place settings, if not more. Perfect for large holiday gatherings!

I also found two bags of vintage Christmas ornaments. Nothing fancy, mostly solid colored glass balls, but a few special ones. And all the Christmas stuff was half off, so I got a really good price. I have enough fancy vintage glass ornaments to decorate an entire tree, but these solid ones are great for tucking deeper into the branches to really bring a tree to twinkling life as they reflect all the lights so well.

I always stop at the books, and today I found some mint condition Magic Tree House books for my younger daughter, who has caught the reading bug and is tearing through the series at a fast and furious pace. I also found a well loved copy of one of my favorite vintage children's books: A Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken. It will be a gift for a very special (9-year old) friend. I am sure she will be just as enchanted with it as my daughters and I are.

Finally, I picked up this glass box. I have been rather taken by the Emily & Meritt line at Pottery Barn Teen, and these reminded me of their "wishboxes." Of course, it needs a little polishing up to compete in the looks department, but I am pretty sure with a little TLC it will look just as sweet.

See what a simple cleaning can do, for starters? I do feel a date with some Antique Gold Rub n' Buff is in order here...stay tuned.

And now, my dear lovers of thrift, I am off to spend more quality time with my precious (not-so-little-anymore) little ones. It is the start of yet another year, one which I am sure will speed by as fast as the last one did, and I intend to savor every moment I can. Happy New Year to all!