Blue Willow: Someone is watching me!

Have you ever walked through an antique mall and see a piece of willow that is they “typical willow” and you you keep right on going. It happens when you get entirely too much, which is where I am currently. If it isn’t a rare piece or something with advertising, I tend to walk right on by. I simply don’t have the room to purchase every piece of blue willow I see and I might add, my husband would disown me if I purchased more.

This piece if situated the right way would have not even gotten a lift off of the shelf, I would have told my husband, yeah I see it…not unusual. Further examination would have revealed two beautiful female faces on each side. Now , some of you probably saw this listed on Ebay a month or so ago as a blue willow sugar dish, but I was drawn to it and I don’t have very many Buffalo Pottery pieces, so I decided to open the listing.

I have to be honest, I have no idea what it is, but no one puts their sugar out on a table without a lid of sorts, so I would equate it to a tooth brush holder or something. It is too big to hold toothpicks. It doesn’t have a rim for a lid either.

I decided not to put this one off and I purchased it. Maybe you can help me determine what it is!!! I am clueless on this one.

I think it is a rather neat piece and is one of my most favorite Buffalo Pottery pieces I have.

I hope all of you slow down, give the pieces a second look and find some treasures. Happy Willowing!

Christine

I Love Willow Pattern Place Setting Competitions!

Good Morning! I am so happy to feel the brisk cool mornings and then feel the sun hit my face by mid day. It is a relief to feel some positive light and the seasons change. I enjoy spring and the sound of the peepers outside at night. I also enjoy a good place setting competition.

I have used this set above in a couple of competitions and have one first place This set was normally made with a background of white. It is Crown Staffordshire and is the only yellow set I have ever seen. I remember ordering it off of Ebay several years ago. It wasn’t listed as willow. I recall stressing over the shipping but the person who sold it assured me I had paid enough for packing that it would arrive safely.

I had it shipped to my place of work thinking it would present in a box the size of a paper box, but nope, instead it came in a box the side of a small appliance! I was a little embarrassed and had to set sit in my office carefully unpacking so as to not have little foam pieces all over the office, none the less I had one cup lose a handle. For a 10 place setting I felt like this was a huge win.

I managed to purchase the entire set, which may have been a sample set. I have a covered dish, a cake plate, a huge round platter, teapot, creamer and sugar. Each place setting came with a cup and saucer, bowl, salad plate and a double handled soup cup and saucer.

Anyhow, back to why I made the post to begin with. With willow I can get really off track. I am a member of the International Willow Collectors. There is a convention the second week in July each year and I truly enjoy them. This year it is once again online. One of my favorite parts is the Willow Place Setting competition. I truly enjoy seeing how others decorate a table. I have used the set above in the competition in the past. This year it is all about England, so I will need to figure out another amazing place setting to throw together.

I do truly enjoy the IWC, the newsletters, and their annual convention. If you haven’t joined, you really should. The cost is really low (less than $50) and you get so much from it.

Anyhow, here is to another place setting!

Happy Willowing!

Christine

Blue Willow Soothes my Soul!

As we pulled up the driveway late last night I said that little prayer many of you have chanted if you are honest with yourselves: “Dear God, Don’t let my willow be in pieces”! Like seriously, I can’t be the only one.

I have a couple of pieces with the pierced lattice work but didn’t have a bowl per se. This one is gorgeous. It is unmarked but I would suspect it dates to the early to mid 1800’s. The pattern on the interior of the bowl is only a partial willow pattern. Obviously a size constraint for the area the pattern was being laid down on.

It appears to be a traditional willow pattern but honestly I just can’t tell. It is gorgeous and is one of the most intricate designs. As I set here and type, my husband asked what I was blogging about. I said my first chestnut dish. He quickly asked if it was going to be my last. You know the look a mother gives a child when they are being loud in a crowd or they just said something obscene and everyone else was quiet….Yeah he got that look. Daggers included.

Anyhow onto the outside of this dish….it is so gorgeous and different than any others I have. I love the imperfections in the border laid down. I am thankful this piece arrived safely and I do believe it will get to be filled with beautiful shells we collected on our trip.

I have to say, I hate for Ben to see the boxes when the arrive. He always says, what is this…did you need that for sure? I did forewarn him I had a couple of items coming. I am always quick to remind him I can always see it to some willing willower and have done so many times…so he doesn’t give me too much trouble.

Anyhow, for now, happy willowing!

Christine

Blue willow and Butter – two of my favorite things!

I have fallen so in love with the pale blues of the Two Temples Two pattern. This is a gorgeous little butter dish. The edges are scalloped. My most favorite pieces have this pattern.

I think back to days of yesterday and why type of table would this stately piece set on. I can assure you the round mound of butter was nothing like we buy in the store. I’m certain their came from a good old churn like my grandmother used to use.

Now I have to be very honest, I have provided a mark but I have not researched this piece. I’d say it dates to the late 1800’s. It’s actually 4 am here and I am rather tired. Research will wait for another day.

Happy willowing folks. I’ll be in touch real soon!!! Christine.

Love is in the Air!

I have been blessed to become friends with people who share my love and passion for blue and white, specifically the willow pattern. As we approach Easter I intend to have a beautiful display of early light blue and white willow items adorn some various areas in my house. Today’s pick is this loving cup! I am simply in awe of this piece.

This is the only loving cup I own that sits beautifully on a pedestal. It is unmarked and has such a beautiful pearlware feel. I am simply in love. As I unpacked it Ben taunted me asking if he could drink his diet coke in it. The daggers that shot from my eyes told him no. I didn’t have to even say the word!

On another note, I was able to add to my growing frog mug collection as well. This loving cup tops my favorite mug collection, but take a gander at this one….finally one with an open mouth that spits back at the gent trying to drink his ale!

I simply love these pieces! Take a look at how the pattern stops on one side and it doesn’t match up with the pattern from the other side. I love the imperfection and this one is actually marked! This is the only piece of Mailing Pottery that I own!

Now for the collection of my favorite mugs:

I simply love how different all four of my frog mugs are and the star of the show is now my loving cup.

Happy Willowing! Keep hunting!

Christine

Blue & White Soothes My Soul

As I stand in line at the grocery store, it never fails, Better Homes & Gardens or some other Southern Living Magazine with blue and white on the cover always catches my eye. There may only be one page in the entire magazine but I am so drawn to the shade especially combined with shades of light green. I don’t know why but it always calms me and gets my mind focused on brighter days ahead.

This place setting reminds me Easter is right around the corner and the grass in my yard is going to begin to turn a beautiful shade of green. I simply adore the simplicity delicate pieces in this place setting. They traveled a very long trip from the UK to find their home here. The rabbit of course only traveled 45 minutes from Hobby Lobby, which I might add I believe the devil invented…I never have enough money to spend there!!!!

I mixed my favorite things in this photo, my beautiful willow silverware, my lace edge pieces, some delicate sea shells harvested by Ben and I on our trip last year to the beach and gorgeous willow pattern linens. But that darn big ole’ platter, I have no room for it…I would stash it somewhere…but well, I just don’t have a place for it. If I put it on my round farm table, as you can see I only have room for one place setting.

As we begin to see some shine on our faces, lets recall, this time last year, our lives got turned upside down and while fear might have been in the forefront of our minds, here we are yet again today…fear did not prevail! I encourage you to set your table, get gussied up and just enjoy the sun on your face, even if it is bitter cold, it will do you body and soul some good.

Happy Willowing!

Christine

Willow Wreath Development!

Ok, so I will admit, I rarely finish a project and it is just done! I find new ways to improve it or I tinker with it for months after. Sometimes I find little things to add or I just like improving what I have already done.

I am going to show you the progression of this wreath project! I started with a bare wreath and immediately knew I wanted it to have willow plates on it. I got it for $3 at a local thrift store. You don’t find good vine wreaths often, so if you do pick them up!!!

Next I went on a flower hunt at my local dollar store. I always find the pretty flowers there for $1-$3 a bunch. You can’t go wrong with prices like that.

Sometimes I get frustrated with a project because I am trying to make something look like something I have seen on Instagram or Pinterest. Because I am not using the same materials I have to take a step back and realize it will look different. I just have to keep tweaking my design to be what I want it to be and in the end it will be satisfying to the eye.

Above was my first attempt. It felt empty to me, but instead of giving up, I picked it up off of the living room floor and took it into my dining room where I could continue to see my vision. So I kept at it. Next I added some white flowers to help make it look fuller.

This one made me semi satisfied but it still felt like it was missing something. I can’t make a bow to save my life so that doesn’t help. But I finally let it hang. That same weekend I began cleaning out my closet (dungeon!) I came across some pretty green flowers….now that helped!

And well….it didn’t stop there. I stopped into the dollar store this past Sunday and saw these beautiful vibrant blue flowers and well, I had to have them.

I felt like the additional blues tied it in better next to the blue willow cabinet I painted with a dark shade of blue. I was pleased and that was the end to adding flowers…I may add more plates soon…but for flowers I am finished.

Then, I found a treasure in a thrift store….a deer head! Oh how I love these and have always wanted one but couldn’t spend $90 on such a thing at Hobby Lobby…although I can stand and drool for a while.

So there she is. I am now satisfied with her. I don’t have a bow so I have a deer instead! I am rather excited to show you the final project as we often give up and walk away when we don’t have it turn out exactly as we want. I mush say I am pretty excited about this one.

Keep crafting and loving your willow!

Christine

The Sisters Hawthorne & Willow Pattern Plate

Oh how I simply love this piece of willow pattern sheet music. I had this beauty put in a frame and under glass as it is so very fragile. I obviously loved the willow plate on the cover, but the entire bit of music inside is all about the Willow Pattern Plate. I purchased this online from a music museum in Chicago Illinois several years ago and have managed to lose the details of the purchase, but none the less here she is.

This obviously was a portrait taken of the Hawthorne sisters. Under the photo on the cover it indicates Regent Portrait Company 122 Regent Street. From what I have found on these ladies, they were American born but were British Hall singers and performed in London at the Oxford Music Hall.

This was what one of the ads for the performance stated:

The Oxford music hall, London, week beginning Monday, 12 July 1898
‘A highly popular favourite at the Oxford is Miss Lil Hawthorne, a beautiful American girl, one of the Three Sisters Hawthorne, who made such a hit in “The Willow Pattern Plate” last year. “Lil,” while singing her first song, creates a diversion by distributing a number of dolls among the audience.

Inside the front cover was this beautiful Willow pattern story is so cool and points to the facts that the plate got it’s name because the young lovers ran off during a time that the willow began to lose its leaves!

The music inside is all of the willow pattern plate story. I took some time to research when the music was copyrighted and to be very honest, it took me a while. I am not into reading roman numerals.

The music copyright date is 1816!!!!!!

How cool is it that they used so much willow back in the day. I may pull out some other paper items and post them here from time to time! It is fun to see how the willow pattern was used!

Happy Willowing!

Christine

Pastel Willow for Spring/Easter

Who else loves Pastel? I totally love Tiffany blue as all of you know. But man it is so hard to come up with full sets of pastel willow. I do have 6 place settings of the pink, but I also like to mix and match colors.

I love layering various forms of glassware. In this case, I have added some pink depression glass as well as some milk glass you can see in other pictures. I love the offsetting colors in this multi colored willow plate.

I also love mixing in some contrasting colors like this green platter. It is a heavy restaurant ware platter. There are two of these little gems on my table and I think they look so pretty next to the mulberry cups and saucers.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am so tired of winter weather, so today I am focused on Easter and the spring it brings with it! I just cannot stand to be stuck inside. One last question, does your place setting have to match? Do you layer different patterns? Do you mix and match?

Happy Willowing! Here’s to better weather days ahead.

Christine

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

What does this scraggly old wreath have to do with willow? I know, I know, follow me here! I am sure you are thinking, throw that thing out! But I am here to tell you, there is something inside of me that takes someone’s trash and turns it into treasure. And for that little bit of time that I am engrossed in my project, I am not thinking about the many things I have to get done or the struggles of the day, so believe it or not, this is my “healthy”. This wreath cost me $3.99 at a thrift store.

I immediately saw the value behind it and the little girl at the counter said do you want me to put it behind the counter. The anxiety in me wanted to put my hands on it and place it in my buggy, but I agreed to leave it behind the counter…I of course said, “now don’t sell that while I shop!” Mom and I walked off and began looking for cheap treasures.

I am not the kind of person that takes lots of time to make something! One of two things happen, it is done in 4 hours or I quit. I give up in frustration that it is taking way too much time! I also hate when I try something and my “fix” doesn’t quite work. Failure is a big struggle for me.

My daughter got married months ago so I had a good bit of blue and white flowers around. But I decided to take a trip to the good old dollar store to see what I could find for greenery. Here is what I came home with!

They were $3 a bunch and I took them all apart to have individual pieces to put on the wreath wherever it looked empty. So each $3 bunch gave me 4-5 flowers and 4-5 sets of leaves. I used little wire plate hangers and tiny little plastic ties to adhere them to the wreath.

Now for how it turned out. First and foremost I cannot make bows. Like out of my realm of possibilities so this isn’t finished yet but it is a great start. I took 4 little willow saucers. I think I probably should have used different sizes but I was in a hurry! Not real sure why, but I was in a hurry. 10,000 things to do going through my head.

I only had a little bit of ribbon and I think it need something else, but hey, it isn’t trash anymore!

I have a friend in Charleston that is going to help me make one…she is extremely talented and I have bare walls at the rental so we are going to work on sprucing those up a bit. I also have a beautiful white mantle there that needs something. So I will keep you updated. Not finished but closer than the $3.99 wreath I purchased.

Remember when you see something you think….hey I might use that or that would make a good start for XYZ…if you truly think you will use it pick it up and keep adding to it.

Happy Willowing

Christine

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