Dishes, Dishes, Dishes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Remember back at New Years when everyone in blogland was picking their word for the year? I didn't really find one that fit but I should have picked DETERMINED! I entered this year determined to NOT add to my lumbering collection of dishes. I've done pretty well. In January, I was off to a shaky start when I found these vintage Clover Blossom dishes to complete my everyday breakfast set.

But I gave some dishes to Goodwill in my January organizing blitz. That round of purging was pretty painless. It was mostly, the *WHAT WAS I THINKING* dishes.

Then along came March -- FOREVER I had been coveting some Mikasa white dishes and found (at Goodwill again) a complete set for 8 of French Countryside (with completer pieces) for a fraction of their worth, in pristine condition and they came home with me too.

I knew I'd use them and indeed I do. I replaced my old *everyday* dishes with them. AND I gave my old everyday dishes away to a friend. Although I liked my old white dishes, the parting was pretty painless.

Spring and summer found me pretty distracted and although I did do some thrifty shopping, I only breezed past the dishes. I completely stayed away from my old haunt, TJ Maxx....that is, until late summer. I went in there with daughter to *look at baby stuff*. I knew it would be hard for me and indeed it was. One stroll down the clearance aisle and away I came with ......

Now let me clarify, the green square Mikasa's were already mine (yeah, I lugged them babies all over Mall of America last year -- I think my right arm is now permanently longer than my left). What gave me such temptation was the square rooster plates -- BUT in all reality, I NEEDED square rooster plates to go with those (never been used) square green plates. I was TOTALLY justified in my purchase! When I got home, I searched my dish collection for something to go from my collection -- hum, I was pretty sure I could part ways with some funky dessert plates I had picked up somewhere in my travels. Off to the GW with them. Whew, I have not *added* to my problem, I mean collection!

Then I ran into a REAL problem -- A stack of 8 of these babies at GW.

Yeah, they are in my dish storage awaiting a holiday tablescape. NO MORE THOUGH -- NO MORE! Oh, and I didn't part with a thing -- my thought is I'll use them one season and then away they go! It isn't technically an addition if I'm not planning to keep them long term, is it?

A few weeks ago my daughters and I made our annual trip to Lincoln, NE to visit The Historic Haymarket (and this bad blogger totally went off without her camera -- it was sitting on the dining room table where I left it). This is a trip I look forward to every year. In the Haymarket is Burlington Antiques. My daughters ditched me there to run off and eat all sorts of foods that are forbidden for me to eat, lol. I was totally okay with that - you see, Burlington Antiques has more DISHES than your average antique mall. I knew I wouldn't be coming home with any of those dishes and enjoyed a long stroll through taking in ALL the wonderful antique and vintage dishes.

Even though I didn't buy a thing in that trip to the antique mall it STILL got me into trouble! You see, on Saturday, I was on the GW side of town and before I knew what was going on, I was pulling into the parking lot and heading right in the door. Let me say that this isn't my favorite time of year for thrifty shopping -- too many Halloween costume seekers are rummaging through my favorite thrifty source this time of year. That said, I made a pass around the whole store and then headed back to the dishes - spying a box on the ground, I take a peek inside and recognize what I see -- China -- made in England, bone china -- ROYAL WORCESTER CHINA -- TOPAZ BY ROYAL WORCESTER BONE CHINA. This was one of the chinas that I studied for quite some time during my trip to Burlington Antiques. I loved the fall like pattern, and the calming sandstone colored rim and the name -- my oldest daughters birthstone and now here I was holding a box full of it. The price ------ $3.00!! FOR ALL OF IT!! My GW has taken to putting sets of dishes in opened topped boxes and then using packing tape to make a see-thru but cannot handle thru top. You can see what is in the box but not really see anything under the first layer or so. Nothing was packed in paper so who knows what kind of condition these are actually in. Since the asking price was only $3.00, I took a chance on condition and exactly what was there. Once home, I inspected all the contents and basically pieced together 4 complete place settings (dinner plate, salad plate, bread & butter plate, dessert plate & cup & saucer). I am happy with that -- 4 diners is the most common at my dining table....anything more than that, and it will have to be a different set of dishes.
According to Wikipedia, Royal Worcester is believed to be the oldest remaining English pottery brand still in existence today.

Topaz was manufactured from 1958 through 1964.

These beauties will be making many appearances on my table over the next few weeks.

Linking to Susan's Tablescape Thursday!


  1. I think you have done VERY WELL! Think of dishes like a hobby! Some people collect hummels, some trains and some golf. Like I told my hubby, "You spend more money in one golf game than I do in 2 months of buying dishes". NOt that he ever complains, because he doesn't.
    So you are doing well with your "dish hobby"! Purge a little, buy a little. Isn't that a song?
    xo Yvonne

  1. Olive Cooper said...:

    Gail, buy what you love is my motto. China is hard to resist and storage becomes an issue I realize. The Topaz is beautiful. I just returned home to Georgia yesterday and opened my package from you. I enjoyed all of it and have not read the books entirely yet. A note is on the way back to you as well. Thanks so much. hugs♥Olive

  1. Last year, I turned a basement bedroom into a dish room for most of the dishes I seem to have collected recently. A few weeks ago, I cleaned out the room because there were things sitting everywhere and I will be taking a few sets to GW here. However, we just got back from 2 weeks in the south where I was in 3 HomeGoods stores...I rarely get in one, so of course I had to "stock up"! There goes the clean room!

  1. Shug said...:

    I think you and I have a lot in common...My husband is like "no more dishes." I have pieces of my grandmother's dishes, my MIL dishes, My moms set of dishes, my(several) sets of dishes, and I am always looking for more...Yikes! I'm running out of places for these things... just can't pass up good deals!
    I like the dishes you took a small gamble on...

  1. Love the roosters and Christmas trees!! What is about china? lol

  1. Betty said...:

    I love you!!! Thanks for the comment hint. It's working as well as can be expected. I love your dish story. I have a real problem with thrifting too. When I went to work I bought clothes and now I buy things to blog about. Just so much fun.

  1. Jacqueline said...:

    Gail, you exactly described my resolve and failures this year!!!! I had to laugh and laugh all the way through. You can send the red Christmas tree plates my way! My husband suggested that I have giveaways of all my plates after I used them!

    I have the same TJ MAXX weakness and fortunately I don't have a decent thrift shop - never anything good there, but there are other tempting stores that have sucked me in.

    I loved Yvonne's comments and have said the same to my husband and son- their hobbies are much more expensive and we don't all get to use their equipment.

  1. Gert said...:

    Oh all I can say is....I love all of your dinnerware
    ...wish...wish...wish!! smile.. Enjoy all of them and don't stop shopping at the GW...amazing what you might

    xoxo Gert

  1. I love those gorgeous dishes...ALL of them:) You are so lucky to find those great finds!!! If you are anything like know a good deal is hard to find and especially hard to pass up!!!

  1. You have some beautiful collections. I need to start collecting as we break so many around here.

  1. Kathleen said...:

    Oh my, those Christmas plates are lovely. You will have fun with those!
    And 3.00 for that beautiful set! Who could leave that!
    Beautiful, Gail!

  1. Such a lovely collection!This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
    Hope to see you on my blog:)

  1. Debbie said...:

    Oh no you didn't!!! You got an amazing prize. I think it was to reward you for your self-control in Lincoln. Those dishes are really pretty to me and something that I would love to own and use regularly.

    Actually, I love all your dishes, especially those which gave you Neanderthal arms lugging around.

  1. Abi's Blog said...:

    I just want your Goodwill store to change places with the ones around here! I NEVER find anything :)

  1. Wow I never NEVER find these kinds of dishes at my Goodwill!! I'm afraid I would have to succumb to those amazing dishes too. Great finds! Do not feel guilty!!!

    Jocelyn @

  1. Marigene said...:

    Wow, you sure got a great deal on that lovely china, but my favorite are the Christmas plates...wish I could find some of those. I bring dishes in often, but very seldom do any leave...sick isn't it!

  1. acorn hollow said...:

    all of your dishes are lovely but that last set is beautiful. Great buy.

  1. LeAnn said...:

    Wow, I loved your finds. I love dishes as well and finding them in a thrift store is so awesome. I loved all of the pictures of the dishes. The china from England is awesome. My mother collected teacups and now I have all of them. I also have her china as well and I had bought some when I was just out of High School for my future home.
    This was a fun read!
    Blessings to you and keep on enjoying your dish finding moments.

  1. Sandra said...:

    Hi my name is Sandra, and I am a TJ Maxx-a-holic! It is almost impossible for me to go in there and not buy a dish or two, or cake pan. It's a good thing we dont have Homegoods here.

  1. Alycia Nichols said...:

    Gail, the first step to healing is admitting that you have an addiction. I will sign you up to accompany me to the 12-Step for Dishes Program! :-) I think you definitely NEEDED the rooster plates. They are really cool, and they go very well with the green squares you already had. So don't sweat it. Actually, every purchase seems justifiable to me...but that's just the dish addict in me talkin', so ignore it! :-) The fact that you are able to give up some when new ones come in is admirable. I don't have that in me. So we'll go to rehab together, right? Let's meet up to go at TJ Maxx...just for the heck of it! :-) Have a great weekend!

  1. Score, score, score!! You are one very lucky, very talented dish finder. You can add that to your lengthy and fabulous talents.

  1. kitty said...:

    You sure got some great, unbelieveable deals!!! I love the Christmas set. What fun to find the china for $3.00! Who could pass that up????

  1. Ramirez said...:

    Beautiful collections! I have 16 different colors of Fiestaware I've collected over the past 20 years and inherited some depression Fiestaware from my grandmother recently. Other than a few other English small plates and lots of Pyrex vintage items everything I have is Fiestaware. I have bowls, covered dishes, pitchers, platters, oval platters, salt & pepper shakers, and even a spoon rest for the stove. I want the bakeware now. Why is it our collections are never complete? :)

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