Monday, August 15, 2011

This and That

I haven't written much in my blog this summer, too much yard work and company. But I have been trying to keep up with all the blogs I follow. As a result, I actually won a prize! Savannah Granny had a give-away and I managed to become one of her followers just in time to enter her draw. This also brought to my attention that my settings weren't correct. She couldn't contact me through my email! Thankfully she's very flexible and managed to contact me and help me fix this problem. I'm not sure what I'm more thankful for, winning a prize or discovering my email problem.

I've tried to do a few tablescapes this summer, but the outdoors called to loudly. I even set the table a couple of times and took pictures. Nothing turned out right, the pictures were poorly lit, out of focus (my camera is automatic focus) and just generally uninspiring. I did learn though that a good tablescape can't be forced, it has to flow naturally, like the good art it is.

So, I'll share a few of the wonderful things I've found at garage sales this past week.
This Royal Doulton plate was free. (A friend's sale)

This teacup was $1

This Partylite fairy was $1

This little Japanese dish was 25 cents.

At one Garage sale on Saturday we picked up a load of stuff for $10. The one lonely candlestick doesn't look like much right now, but it is Sterling.
Spode teacups

I now have a set of 12 of these French crystal flutes. All bought at garage sales.

Lead crystal vase.

And today, I picked up a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica for $10.
It would be nice if we had a passion for only one thing. Books or china or silver, etc. Oh well, as long as we enjoy it I guess we'll figure out where to keep putting it all. At least I finally got rid of one piano. I spent more than a year with two large antique pianos in my family room.

Afternoon Tea

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Elegy for an antique store

I'm saddened to announce the demise of our antique store. It, and all the wonderful stuff inside, burned to the ground. We are left in this area with one seasonal antique store, which is only open for about three months of the year and an antique store which is in the process of closing down. Thankfully there is still Ebay.

I know my comrades in blogland will understand the sorrow I am feeling. I think I need to seek some garage sale therapy today.

Friday, July 8, 2011


In this post I would like to admit to my illness. Dish-itis, a permanent addiction to all things china, glass and silver. I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but my husband also suffers from this disorder. We had both vowed, "No more sets of dishes". And what have we done recently? Bought more dishes. But! They were such a good deal! And so pretty, different from what we already own! Sound familiar?

The first dishes we picked up were: a partial set of Copeland Spode "Felicity".

With this set we also picked up a partial set of Kensington "Shakespeares Sonnets".

So far, not too bad. Both sets were only four place settings each with some extras. Then the next week there was a complete set of six place settings for $10. We resisted at the first trip to this garage sale, but when we had to take back a bookshelf stereo that was guaranteed to work (but didn't) we finally succumbed and bought it. When we got home with it I mentioned that I had seen the same pattern at a flea market a month previous. It didn't take much encouragement from hubby to send me to the phone to find out if the people had sold their set yet. (One of those times when it's good to be in a small area) They hadn't, and were very happy to sell us their set the very next day. We now have a complete set of 14 with lots of serving pieces. The only thing missing was a creamer, which I've purchased on Ebay and soup bowls. Here's our new set of dishes.

The pattern is "Diane" Fine Porcelain China Japan. One seller on Ebay says the company name is Wade, but I don't know where they got their information from. The only other thing on the bottom is a W inside a crown. It's a nice in between set. More formal than our every day English ironstone and not as formal as our English bone china.  The silver is 1847 Rogers "Remembrance".

I know there are many of you in blogland that have this same addiction and I will also admit that I have no desire of being cured. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

The gift of flowers

We lived for five years in British Columbia before we moved back to Ontario. While we lived in B.C., my grandmother mailed me some iris rhizomes. She had two types of old fashioned irises which we dug up and moved back with us to Ontario. My grandmother passed away a while back, but I think of her every time "her" irises bloom. No matter how many spectacular modern hybrid irises I get, hers holds a special place in my heart.
This is the larger one, the other is yellow and I thought I had taken a picture of it, but I was obviously hallucinating.

Another flower that holds a place in my heart is my blue columbine. It's not a showy new hybrid, it's actually a wild flower in other parts of the country. Our local columbine is red and yellow.
How this "wild" blue columbine came to be in my garden is an interesting story that still makes me wonder. After we had moved back to Ontario, a very dear friend of ours, Lily,  mailed us a packet of seeds she had purchase while touring Butchart Gardens outside of Victoria. I read the packet instructions and very carefully followed them. Nothing germinated. I tried the alternative planting instructions. Nothing. After two years of trying I gave up and tossed the rest of the seeds in a patch of garden and proceeded to forget about them. A few years later, our friend Lily died. That same year, the blue columbines flowered. I think of her often, but she seems especially close when her flowers bloom.

Does anyone else have flowers that mean more to them than just how decorative and beautiful they are?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Where do I keep it all

Well, this is not going to be a pretty post. And I certainly don't claim to be the most organized person, in fact I mostly feel one step ahead of chaos. But for what it's worth, here is where I store it all. Actually, here is some of the places I store it all, I have things tucked in everywhere, and that is very hard to photograph.

First off, the most obvious places, the china cabinets and side boards.
In this side board I have quite a bit of the smaller dishes in Petit Point and the large china platters are stored in each of the doors, as well as a few of the larger silver serving pieces.

In the other side board I store my Tranquillity china and most of my Richelieu in the doors at each end. In the drawers I have an assortment of odds and ends and in the bottom drawer I have linens. Mostly smaller tablecloths and some napkins.

After that, the bulk of my stuff is stored in totes and on shelves. There are recesses on each side of our fireplace (for wood) that holds a couple of totes each. At one end is my Vanborough and a tote full of linen tablecloths and at the other end is the Belmont and the Monteigne china.

The sets are the easiest to keep track of, the silver trays, bowls, candleholders, chafing dishes, cake stands, etc is much harder. I've recently devised a system, crude, but it seems to work. I put a sheet of paper with a letter on it in the end of the tote and then I write down what's in the tote on a piece of paper with the corresponding letter as the heading. I keep all the papers in one book and just need to look through my lists to see which tote the item I want is in. I used to have to pull out all the totes until I found what I wanted.

I guess I should actually show my china cabinets. lol 

I keep most of my set of Lavender Rose in a kitchen cupboard. It's the one we usually pull out for impromptu tablesettings.

The rest is on shelves in two different storage rooms. Unfortunately, we don't have a basement, only a four foot crawl space which is alright for seasonal items only. Some of the shelving is too hard to get a good picture of, but here's one to give an idea of what a mess they all are.
Well, that's pretty much my system, if it can be called a system. I hope it's of some help to someone, but I feel more like I'm needing help.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Treasures from my first Garage Sale of the year.

My friend C and I were driving into town to see the new art show at our local gallery and she says, "there's a garage sale on today (Friday), do you want to check it out?" As if she really had to ask. lol 

Well, we arrive at the garage sale and she stops to ogle a two burner wood cookstove while I scanned the place and went directly to the most promising section. She says she's not going to take me with her to garage sales anymore, because I find the good stuff too fast. I told her she has to sharpen her eyes up a bit.  Here's what I found.

A ginger jar and a matching small dish for $15.00.

And a brass peacock fire screen and fireplace tool set for $20.

I've been looking for the peacock fire screen for quite a few years now. I've been wanting one for over 15 years. And I've been sort of keeping my eyes open for a ginger jar for a few months. I can't tell you how excited I was!  I think they go very well with the fireplace.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The next wave of flowers

An update on my garden. The next flowers to bloom are the "Glory of the Snow", the "Siberian Squill" and the "Striped Squill" have also started to open.

I have a few clumps of these, including one pink group. (Which for some reason I didn't take a pictures of, what was I thinking.) I love these cheerful little flowers that fill the gap between the crocus and the daffodils.

These pictures were taken a couple of days ago. Today it's a much different world.
The wind howled, the snow fell and everything froze. 

I hope the buds and flowers haven't frozen off. I'll keep you posted. Goodnight from the frozen north.