Monday, March 26, 2018

Homer Laughlin

While thrifting I recently happened upon and purchased two different partial sets of dishes made by Homer Laughlin.  This is the first set.  I thought these were very elegant.  They are cream with black and gold.  The pattern is called Westchester.  The partial set included 6 dinner plates, 6 salad plates and 8 bread and butter plates.  I set a place setting using an Italian gold leafed charger, borrowed gold flatware and gold stemware from three different patterns.

 The chargers are substantial, each weighing three pounds.  It states on the back that it is made in Italy and gold leaf.  It seems to be pottery underneath the gold.

The flatware belongs to my daughter.  It is called enchanted rose.  I am storing it for her and thought I should quick use it before it makes its way back to her.
 The napkin has an embroidered design on one corner.  The napkin ring is brass.

The little soup bowl is a different Home Laughlin pattern.  It is a cream color with a dark green stripe near the bottom and thin gold band at the rim.  I liked the shape when I bought it and still do.  I like the lug handles.  There were eight of the soup bowls, no other pieces at the time and I haven't found any other pieces since.  I think that they work with the Westchester.  Here the soup bowl rests on the salad plate.

  I also tried the bread plate as a saucer and I felt that that worked too.
And I tried a black charger.
The glasses are three different patterns of stemware that were found at the same thrift store at different times.  The have a similar general shape, wider at the rim, and a similar pale gold color.

I am joining BNOTP for Tablescape Thursday here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A gray and pink table

I am a thrift store addict and one of my favorite haunts had a fun pink and gray tablescape when I visited recently.  New Leaf is a nonprofit in my hometown that specializes in estate sales.  Although they have a few pieces that they sell on consignment the majority of their inventory is donated from estates.  They have vintage pieces and modern pieces, some at thrift store prices and some an antique store prices.  I always find something interesting there.

This table was set with stoneware from one estate and linens from a different one.  They couldn't be a more perfect match as the soft pink of the dishes is the same as the soft pink of the linens.
The napkins and tablecloth were the same fabric.  There was a silver thread design running thru the napkin and a sheer silver runner down the center of the table.
The dishes had a mark on the back with an intricate, difficult to read font for the company name and Shadows and Japan more easily read.  It is also poor picture quality, poor natural light as it was near dusk and a reflection obscures the company name.  Oops.  Kathryn has not been able to find this dish pattern when researching and I so far have been unsuccessful as well.  It is felt that it was probably 1950s era.

The table included the serving pieces,
mismatched silver,
And two different crystal patterns.

Also included on the table was something that I have not seen before.  A silver and crystal Victorian cruet set.
 Kathryn, of New Leaf, shared that this piece would have been from the 1800s.  Up until this estate she had never come across a complete set, and this estate contained a collection of four complete sets.  Two sold at the estate sale and two were donated with the remainder of the estate.  I did not take a picture of the second one but it is less ornate. Both contain all of their cruets.  The patina of the silver and the etching on the cruets of this one is absolutely lovely.
  All in all, it was an amazing vintage table.

Updated 10/16/16

In an interesting bit of timing, Susan at Between Naps on the Porch published a post with a tour of a historic home that included a photograph of a drawing of how a table would have been set in that era and smack dab in the middle of the table was a castor which apparently is another name for this Victorian piece.  In reading about a castor there would have been bottles for salt and pepper, the stoppered bottles would have held oil and vinegar and perhaps soy sauce.  There was usually a container with a hinged lid for mustard, and often one for castor sugar and one for spice.  Some contained salt dips and perhaps a bell for the butler.  According to my research they were patented in 1862 and by the early 1900s they were considered old fashioned and no longer widely used.

I am joining Tablescape Thursday with Susan at BNOTP.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


On a recent thrift store expedition with my sister I snapped up this stack of four plates.  I could not have left them there.  It was so sad that they were there in the first place and they needed me to love them.  These plates appear to be hand thrown, made by someone on a potter's wheel.  If the signature on the back is accurate they were made by someone named Bear in '88.  Bear, whoever he or she is, shaped these plates, glazed them and fired them.  Perhaps Bear is a pro, making thousands of plates day in and day out with never another care about those plates.  But the romantic side of me thinks that Bear might have made these plates as a gift for someone special and that is what is sad is that they now were at Goodwill to be purchased by me.

They are a beautiful creamy color.

The glaze appears to match the glaze on several pieces that are displayed on the wall at my house.  These pieces are on loan to me, made by my daughter, Nikole, when she took a pottery class in college.

The back has the same unglazed center area.  Both have the signature of the potter scratched into the back.
The coordinate nicely with these four dark plates, also made by my daughter in the same class.
And to fill out the placesetting perhaps some wood.

A carved wood napkin ring, wood salt and peppers, and a small wooden salad bowl.  All thrifting finds. 

And what did I pay for these beauties?
Sad that something so special, someone's hard work, should be sitting on a shelf at Goodwill.  So glad that I was there on that day to grab them up. 

Joining tablescape Thursday at BNOTP here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

cordial collection

I now have quite a few cordial glasses.  Cordial glasses are tiny glasses from which a person sips tiny amounts, one or two ounces, of a liqueur.  The liqueur is usually served neat with no ice or mixer so a small amount is just right.  I have been planting fruit at the farm and my plans have always been that when the fruit started producing I would make jellies and cordials from the bounty.

I started this cordial collection when I happened upon a set of four of these on an online auction.  The base is metal, I am assuming pewter.  The glass bowl is very delicate.

Not all cordial glasses have stems and these were found at a thrift store.  An internet search revealed pictures of what appears to be the same glass called Galassia  by Bormioli Rocco in Italy.  I have a set of six.
These are two different silver cordial glasses.  They were discovered at two different shops within a couple of weeks of each other.  I have five of one and six of the other.  I have not searched out their history yet. 

These are similar in shape to the Galassia above but these have the Princess House pattern of etching on theme.  Another thrift store find.  Six of these became a part of my collection.  Years ago Princess House sold crystal at home parties, kind of like Tupperware then or Pampered Chef now.  I bought quite a few pieces in two of their lines.  One of the sets that I purchased had the same etched design so these will coordinate with those glasses. 

These are also Princess House with the same matching etching.  These hold a smaller amount of liqueur and are stemmed.  I found 11 of these.

The glasses in the right corner are a peachy colored glass.  I have 10 of these.  They match nothing else in my dish stash but I thought they were cute. 
I wrote about my first attempts at making a fruit cordial here. and posted the recipe here..  It should be ready in time for the holidays--Thanksgiving and Christmas for sure, maybe Halloween.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

collected white

A few years back I started collecting white dishes.  I was not collecting certain brands, just anything white that caught my eye.  Some of my pieces are new but recently I have been doing more thrifting and everything on this table, except for a couple of exceptions, is from one of several thrift stores or the estate store in my area.

This table is set for a ladies night out.  The group is small, just four, for a few Italian favorites and some conversation.  The table is ready but the food is not.  I will, however, share links to the recipes.

The tablecloth is a length of fabric purchased at Goodwill.  The napkins, napkin rings, candles and candlesticks were all purchased used.  The salt and pepper shakers were a recent find and I am using an individual white salt cellar at each place that will hold freshly grated Parmesan cheese  The flatware is my everyday stainless. 

Our meal is meatless so the antipasti is simply bread dipped in a small puddle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  The small bread plate is centered over the other plates in the setting and the soup bowls are stacked at the end of the table to be brought out for the first course.  The bread plate is part of an appetizer set sold by Pampered Chef.  The white cruets, a Goodwill find, hold the olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.  

The first course is a butternut soup.  The rimmed soup plates were purchased new and a gift from my daughter.  They can also be used for pasta or salad but today they are holding soup.

 The soup tureen was a Goodwill find.  The butternut soup recipe is here savory butternut squash soup.

The second course is typically a meat but we will be substituting a pasta selection.  The large bowl that will be used to serve the pasta was found at New Leaf, a local thrift store that specializes in estate sales.  The pasta is a homemade pumpkin ravioli with a white sauce, sauteed kale and Parmesan cheese.  The recipe is here pumpkin ravioli.  The ravioli is served on a white salad plate found at Goodwill.

The third course, the salad course, is a caprese salad.  Tomato, basil and mozzarella with more olive oil and balsamic vinegar served on a dinner plate from Savers.  This recipe is here caprese salad.

The dishes for dessert sit waiting on the dresser.

The lion's head bowls found at New Leaf will be used for the affrogato. Affrogato is a serving of cold gelato with a shot of hot espresso poured over it.  I have been pinning recipes for homemade gelato but today we will be having a version purchased at the grocery store.  The espresso, though, will be authentic, made in a vintage Italian moka pot.

We will end our evening with the digestivo--a small glass of limoncello served in a fun thrift store glass.

buon appetito

Joining Tablescape Thursday at BNOTP.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Classic Heritage in Green

I shared this picture of my late breakfast/brunch here.

It was a special treat, a celebration of sorts, a leisurely cappuccino in a vintage cup and saucer with several chocolate almond biscotti to dunk at my desk while I caught up on my email.

These dishes were a recent purchase.  I first spotted them a couple of months earlier in a shop that is a nonprofit and is half thrift store, half antique store.  What first caught my eye was the color.  A rich,creamy center with a celadon green rim and two gold bands.  The green is very similar to the wall color in my front room, which is dining at one end and living at the other.  The other thing that attracted me to them was that there were a lot of pieces.  Not a full set of all the pieces but lots of each and there were seven different pieces in the place setting, a dinner plate, a cup and saucer, salad plate, bread plate, soup bowl and a dessert bowl.

They were more than I was willing to spend so I admired them in passing several times when I was in the store.  And then one day when I was in the shop I discovered that the business was going to be moving to a new location and they were having a sale.  Every thing in the store was half price.  They came home with me that very day.  Not every piece is perfect.  There is an occasional chip and the center gold band is worn off of some of the dinner plates.  I seem to have the most cups--12--but there are sufficient pieces

three sizes of plates

two sizes of bowls

beautiful cup and saucer
In doing some research I learned that they were a china pattern made by Taylor, Smith & Taylor around the late 1930s or 1940. They are pictured above on a white tablecloth.

But they also look nice on this deep red one.

Shortly after I bought them my younger daughter hosted a bridal shower for her sister, my older daughter, using several different patterns of vintage plates.  Some of the plates were hers and some were mine. They were part of that table paired with a goldleaf charger.  Here a brass napkin ring suggests that brass candlesticks and vases would be lovely on the center of the table.

Joining Susan at BNOTP here.