Out with the OLD and in with the NEW!

As we begin the new year it is important to focus on the fact that every day is a NEW day and we get to try life all over again. I have always wanted to repurpose an old piece of furniture. I have a friend who is cleaning out a building he owns so I picked up this nice old oak dresser. He had tongue and groove drawers, of which are all in good condition.

Sometimes it is really hard to see past the exterior of things to see what they could potentially be. We as people are no different, we have dings and scars and sometimes our exterior doesn’t always match the interior or out heart and soul. None the less, we are all still priceless. I suppose that is why I love “old things” and I love to breathe new life into them.

My awesome son went with me early on New Years Eve in the rain and snow to pick this up and drop it back off at the house in the garage. He had some other plans and Ben is flying, so I decided to head to the grocery store, pick up what I needed there and ran over to home depot. I decided on chalk paint. I didn’t want a gloss paint look on an old piece of furniture and I was fine if it doesn’t look even or perfect.

I settled on the white chalked paint for the first two coats then this deep blue, not navy, not royal blue. It looked so classy to me. I will add, I have only ever used acrylic paint to stencil, so I was working on a wing and a prayer here! I had no idea if this would even work. I grabbed an old plastic lid to a container I can no longer locate (please don’t tell me all of your Tupperware is mated…….really?

I used a spray adhesive pictured above to make sure the stencil stayed flat. I couldn’t lay this piece on it’s back to paint it because the drawers became to recessed, so I really had to continue to push the drawers from underneath to keep them even with the sections in between. It was quite the task to get the front done and flat!

You can see in the second picture how uneven the stencil was in the wood section between the drawers. I was careful not to push the drawer in, but pulled out a much smaller stencil brush and went back over these areas. Alas, I was finally done with the front!

It’s kinda funny, I decided I didn’t like the knobs that were on it. They were just plain round oak knobs painted a hideous shade of green! I looked at Home Depot and wanted to try and find something that looked old. I have glass knobs on my kitchen cabinets that are amber colored glass. The look old, so I was on the hunt for some that were a cobalt blue color. No luck, but after thinking about it, I didn’t want anything that would take away from the pattern itself, so I decided on clear glass knobs. Sad to say I paid more for 8 knobs than I did for the dresser itself. But I think they are classy, so all is good.

Next I loved on to stenciling the sides of the dresser with a portion of the stencil. Again, adding adhesive spray and some tape and something to help me hold it flat while I worked. You will see it is not perfect and yes, I worked in my jammies in the garage, but regardless, I think it still turned out ok.

I finished both side and took a step back. I love the final product. It is night and day from the previous version!

Well, for now, until I have a chance to let it dry and touch up any where that I need to, it is as done as it is going to get! I had a friend remind me it would be nice to line the drawers with blue willow paper. I have to have blue willow wallpaper around this house somewhere so that may be phase 2! If I get it sealed and in place, I will let you know!

So, good bye 2020, hello 2021. Let focus on letting go of the old and receiving new.

Happy Willowing


Commemorative Willow – A Time of Celebration!

Above is a stunning piece of willow. I don’t have many of these commemorative pieces, but when I get a chance to buy one, I do my best to make it happen. This bowl commemorates the marriage of Queen Victoria, who was born May 24, 1819 and Prince Albert who was born on August 26, 1819. They were married on February 10th 1840. This piece has no chips or cracks and is unmarked. It is a vibrant blue and has the traditional willow pattern border around the outside edge, which is what drew my eye to it.

I find it fitting to post a new piece of willow that I adore right here on the last day of 2020. I am excited to put this year behind me, but I am also thankful for the many blessings I have had in 2020. I found out I get to be a grandma! We managed so far to avoid COVID despite me working in a hospital and Ben being a pilot! I completed one step study and am 3/4s through another one. Each one helps me grow emotionally and spiritually. I begin a new one this Sunday!

But I want to talk more about something commemorative in my life. Today marks a very important day for my husband and I which is why I selected this bowl to post about. My husband and I have been married coming up on 25 years in March. in November of 2012 I had all I could take. The alcohol, the tension, the hatred….I asked for a divorce. I wanted out. I was miserable, our children were miserable.

After many marriage counselors, I bumped into a friend who recommended he try something different….Celebrate Recovery. He didn’t get sober right off the bat but he did begin to change fairly quickly after attending. He would try to stay sober at home then drink when he was on the road. But….after 17 years of marriage it was the most effort I had seen.

I had no idea if this attempt at sobriety would work. He had tried so many times before. He described getting into a hotel in Myrtle Beach on New Years Eve, telling the other pilot he would catch up to him and the others. He took a trip to pick up a 5th of liquor and a 12 pack. He has all good intention of drinking it all before he drove…yes drove to catch the others at a bar.

As he lifted the can of beer he caught a glimpse of his face….the years of addiction made him sad. He describes it as the ghosts of Christmas past. He realized what all he had lost while being trapped in the chains of addiction. I was done, his kids were done, what did he really have left? That night, he poured out every single bottle. I would like to tell you it was smooth sailing, but as many understand the next day was filled with regret….look at what I wasted. But since that night my husband has not had any alcohol. Today he is 8 years sober! To me, with how this year has went, that is something to celebrate and commemorate. I think I need a willow plate!

I am so very thankful for Celebrate Recovery, my husband’s sobriety but most of all the man and father he has become. Today, choose to celebrate life.

Happy Willowing. Much love and Happy New Year! Stay Safe.


Merry Christmas Willowers!

I wanted to take a little bit of time to wish all of my fellow willowers a very Merry Christmas. This year is not like any other. Some of us have not taken the time to shop in stores but rather online to avoid this virus, others are out and about. Regardless, gathering without all of the family makes things a little less real and sometimes less cheery. But life still must go on.

My family and I celebrated at home yesterday evening so we can mask up and go visit my mom today. I miss the many shopping trips we would have made to prep for this time of year. We will still make the best of it today. For that I am thankful.

My lovely husband purchased me some beautiful black and gold willow bowls I had been looking for to match my Christmas place setting. I also got some new pans, towels and kitchen gadgets. All of which were much needed. The highlight of my day yesterday was getting my new glasses so I could hopefully see a little better.

This year Ben got me a beautiful Tiffany necklace to match the one he purchased me in Rockefeller Center last year. For the past several years, we took a weekend trip to NYC to purchase Christmas gifts, sip on hot chocolate, take a carriage ride through Central park and enjoy ourselves. This year, there was no way to make that happen. So he simply purchased from a Tiffany in Pittsburgh. I love it anyway. I just miss the last vacation of the year we normally take to get a much needed break.

I did have some breakthroughs in researching the piece I posted about last. The “Swinging Coffee pot”.

I did receive some feedback from others, mostly negative comments about what this pot was not versus what it might be. As a collector, I will make mistakes on identification, use of an item, but as I post and share more, and listen to those who are willing to take the time to “teach” me versus condemn me for an inaccuracy, I will get better at this.

One of the comments questioned whether this piece was registered. It in fact is registered. I was finally able to get my internet back up after a snow and the research came a little easier.

The first step to identifying the mark was to determine what each letter and respective number meant so I could date the piece. I used the following document to help me identify the month, day and year of the registered piece.

Turns out June 7th 1882, the silver portion of this item was registered. I located the information on the UK National Archives. I also took the time to dig in and determine if the manufacturer I think made the piece had applied a marking that agreed with other sites.

Here is the mark on my piece:

I traced the mark using a British Hallmark website: English electroplate silver: marks and hallmarks of British silver plate: Ha-Hh (silvercollection.it) It is a match to the very last mark! Success.

Next I went to the National Archives and searched for the respective date in the Earthenware portion of the search engine. I found the following:

I had one collector reach out to me and clued me in to what I was looking for. He didn’t comment on the page but rather messaged me, told me he loved the piece, but could I check and see if there was was a strainer in the spout of the pot. This would clue me in as to whether it was used for tea or coffee. If the spout had a strainer it was for tea. If not, it was most likely coffee. This made me use the key word coffee in my search and helped me get to the registry details above.

I have ordered the transcripts of this registration but don’t yet have them. I will share them once I get them. A search of the manufacturer gave me some insight into where items were made, etc. This data only relates to the silver portion of my pot, not the entire piece. The pottery portion was without a doubt made by someone else, but who?

In researching I found a toast rack made by WW Harrison as well online.  The base of the toast rack is in a red willow pattern.  The impressed mark is almost warn away but says Brownfield’s. A picture is below.  I went ahead an began researching this manufacturer.  The toast rack silver portion I found registered in October or December of 1882, the same year of the coffee pot, so maybe the same pottery was used.

Now before you jump too quick, I do not know if Brownfield made the willow pot, but it would make sense if he used them for the pottery portion a little later in the year, they may have made the Swinging Coffee Pot as well.

In the end, I think I have learned something with all of this. I think I have learned not to let the negativity get the best of you. I will continue to post regardless of how others view my post. We are all at different stages in our collecting and all at different stages of knowledge as well and that is ok.

Merry Christmas everyone. I will update you when I get my registered info from the National Archives.


A Little Blue Plate Coffee Anyone?

I have to say I love Blue Plate brand advertising items. I have several different types of blue plate items such as peanut butter, crab apple jelly, crunchy peanut butter, coffee, salad and cooking oil and lastly mayo! I have seen so many of these items in varying product lines.

I believe I have 3 different coffee tins as shown. I have contemplated opening that white tin just to see how good the coffee was but decided I didn’t want to take a turn for the worst!

The Blue Plate brand is still used today by Reily Foods Company and is based in Louisiana. The mayo is still produced today and has won several awards! check out their site below:

History – Blue Plate Mayonnaise

Yorkshire Relish still utilizes the blue willow plate to help advertise their condiments. I have been lucky enough to obtain both an old bottle and a more current one, yes I contemplated opening it too but it expired 4 years ago!

Here you will see a current can of vegetable soup and a vintage can of Blue Willow coffee from Alberta!

I guess I just love any advertising that uses the blue willow plate. I might add these manufacturers of products are pretty smart given us willowers will purchase just because of the packaging!

I just wanted to hop on and put a post up since I doubt over Christmas I will be doing much posting. Happy Willowing, enjoy your holidays and please stay safe and well.


Willow Pattern Tea Time!

This week has yet again been one of trials, many hours of work, transition, and unfortunately more and more COVID. There were a couple of highlights of my week prior to seeing this beautiful willow piece when I got home late last evening.

Highlight #1 – on Monday we did a “live” Recovery meeting on Facebook with the ministry. Our ministry normally had anywhere from 20-40 in attendance but due to COVID my husband and I decided to do some live sessions as some attendees were in quarantine. We decided with so many watching on Monday to leave the post up. We had over three thousand watches. I now have had ladies from all over the country join my January step study!

Highlight #2 – on Tuesday I tracked a package several times (I know I am not the only one). It arrived and I texted my son to ensure it got brought inside from the cold. I cannot leave precious willow out in the cold. He went out to the porch and retrieved my find. It had arrived 5 days early! That never happens this time of year, but the delivery men know my front porch so well.

Now for the not so good parts of my week: Struggle #1 – our hospital hit an all time high in COVID cases and we began asking everyone to pick up extra shifts even in areas they do not normally work to help keep beds open. When we topped 101 inpatients, my heart sank. The state also had close to 40 deaths in a day. I made the tough decision to distance myself from meetings, or gatherings of any kind over 10 (even church). I do not want this awful sickness.

Struggle #2 – work was so hectic, trying to cram two weeks of work into one in preparation for the holidays left me exhausted. I went in this week every day at 6:15 and didn’t leave until after 5 and plugged my pc back in as soon as I got to my rental. Exhaustion has been tough and today and tomorrow are no different.

Struggle #3 – I hate when I am away from home and a cherished willow item is delivered and I know it will be days before I get home. Right now it is not so bad because my son is home from college (he is 19), but normally, there simply isn’t anything I can do other than hope it remains safe, even in the heat and cold. This week I lucked out as my son was home!

I tracked the package several times when I got a notification it was being delivered early. This rarely happens when an item is coming form the UK. My son took the box inside after I texted and made the request. Knowing I wouldn’t be home for a few days I later texted when I had a few minutes and said, can you hear anything in the box? You know, the willow shake test. He said I am assuming you don’t want me to shake this box very hard?! what a good kid he is!

He texted back and said “Mom, do you want me to open it and send you pics so you know if it is ok? I took and deep breath and said, go ahead, but asked please be careful, I don’t know how it is wrapped and it is an amazing piece, probably now one of my most favorite pieces (there is no favorite just so you all know, that’s impossible).

He texted me the picture below and said does this make you feel better?! I was like yeah, but please move it off of the bar, I don’t want a cat or someone to knock it off by accident. Needless to say, he did everything right. I feel confident now I can enlist his help in the future!

Now onto the piece itself. This is probably one of the most unusual items I have found and purchased. It was listed as a hot water pourer. I believe that is probably what it was actually used for. If it had been wine or tea, I would have expected the interior to have some sort of staining. The inside is completely clean.

The cradle is hallmarked and I haven’t had a change to research it, but it is silver plated. I took some time to date the actual piece and it appears to have been registered June 7th 1882. I found one registration around this date by Minton’s but my internet was so bad due to snow, I couldn’t even pull the site up to investigate if it was it.

This piece stands approximately 13 inches tall and is 6 inches wide. The cradle is as I said silver plated like the ring around the pot itself. The ring around the pot has a triangular mark that helped me date the piece. I referenced a British pottery page to determine what the letter and numbers meant. The pot itself is unmarked with only a 7 on the bottom. I am assuming maybe the 7th pot made? I don’t know.

I would say this was used to pour hot water for tea. It makes sense to me that every area you would touch to pour would be metal and would not be as hot as touching the pot itself. You can see the side views and the back of the pot as well in the picture below. It was probably used for tea, but since I don’t drink tea, I will say hot cocoa!

The part I find most intriguing is the little tab at the bottom that prevented it from tipping over backwards. What an interesting way to prevent spills. Each side of the pot has two metal pieces that hold it in the cradle itself and keep it from from tipping sideways.

You can see the small painted tab on the bottom in the picture above on the right. This helped the piece remain stable and from tipping the wrong direction. You will also see all of the amazing gold guilting. I love how precious the details are. I took a close up picture of the front of the pot itself so you could see the pattern is not the full willow pattern.

My guess is that they took a traditional pattern and placed it on the pot and removed sections that did not quite fit. For instance the bridge only has two people and the tree is not complete either. Regardless, it is still a prize to me.

You will NEVER hear me say I have seen it all! That simply will never be the case. Seeing collections of those like Loren Zeller, Jeff Siptak, Hugh Sykes and so many more in the IWC, I can attest to not knowing enough or seeing enough!

For now, keep researching, keep looking for your next find!

Commemorative Willow Pattern

Who else loves willow pattern with beautiful calligraphy? Oh how precious this piece is. Normally, like a post from last week, these pieces were small and used to give someone as a gift, or to commemorate a special occasion. Now, I have no idea who Anne Pugh is, but she must have been special to someone! What a gorgeous water jug this is at over 12 inches tall, it is the largest piece I have with writing on it.

I have no idea who made this piece, but it is obviously English in Origin and is adorned with the gorgeous butterfly border. I love the gold guilting and details on the handle. The octagon shape is really neat. I don’t have many pieces with this shape. This is not a light weight piece. It is heavy and a very sturdy pitcher. Oh and I would date this to 1849! It is 171 years old!

Now, you all know how I am I had to at least attempt to locate an Anne Pugh with an important date of 1849. My research yielded and Anne Pugh who was deemed a convict at the age of 14. She was transported to Wales for a 7 year sentence! She left England in 1800 aboard the Earl Cornwallis.

While aboard the board, she met a gentleman who would become her husband and later they would have 12 children! EEEK – 12 Children? She passed away Anne Nichols in 1849. Now is this the same lady who is in the story above? Who knows, but to be a 14 year old sent off on a boat for 7 years of your live as a convict, I think I am amazed she survived!

Regardless of whether this is the same Anne Pugh on my jug, it is a neat little tidbit in history and man am I glad we are not where we once were! I also am thankful I managed to purchase this gem for less than $50 with postage from the UK a year or so ago. It is one of my prized possession.

For now, do your best to not get kicked out of the country, wear your mask and stay safe! Oh an think about what important milestone in your life you can commemorate with a special piece of willow. For me, if I am breathing, it is a special day!

Happy Willowing Christine.

Take a cup o’ Kindness for Days O’ Auld Lang Syne

Good morning everyone and happy Friday! This Friday could not have come soon enough. I am sorry I haven’t been posting much. If you have read previous blogs, you know I work in a hospital and run a recovery program with my husband. This week has been one of the toughest weeks in a long time for both, which is why I haven’t been posting much.

We hit an all time high of in house COVID patients at work, then to make matters worse had a chemical plant explosion and some COVID cases popped up in our ministry forcing us to do online ministry for the next few weeks. If you want to see what we do go onto Facebook and search for Horizons Salem Celebrate Recovery and like the page. We will be going live on Mondays at 6:30.

Back to Willow. I have always loved willow with writing on it. I felt like this post is rather fitting for many of us. Do you know where the saying “Take a cup O kindness for days o auld lang syne ” comes from? This saying was pulled from a Scottish Poem by Robert Burns written in 1798. The English took this to be bidding farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve! Like seriously who else doesn’t want to get rid of 2020? Lets bid farewell and start again!

The cup above is the only piece I have in a color other than blue. It is a bright orange and is a mustache cup! How precious is that? It has beautiful scalloped edges painted with gold guilting and is a fine bone china. It is made by Copeland, one of my favorite manufactures of the willow pattern.

Next up is my most cherished piece, but for a completely different reason. When I met my husband we were so young. I believe I was 19 and he was 18. We met at college. He was a swimmer and I was a cheerleader. Ben’s roommate was a male cheerleader so we met before classes even started. It wasn’t until a few weeks after that we went on our first date.

About 6 months into dating, I made my first trip to Erie to meet Ben’s family. Ben’s mom said to me later, I knew the first time you came here, he was going to marry you! That first trip to Erie was to “camp”. I had grown up camping with my mom and stepfather and loved it but we had a really nice camper with running water, and all of the amenities. Well “camp” had none of that…… outhouse, bats, a spring, spiders……

That first trip, I helped hang drywall at camp. I was none too excited but you know how it goes when you are “in love” you will do anything to make them happy! I spent much time on a ladder with Grandpa Lloyd, but Grandma Mag got a huge place in my heart that weekend. She was such a kind gentle little lady, who adored all of her grand kids. She reminded me of my great grandma I lost when I was 7. Yet even as dainty as she was if Lloyd got out of line she helped him abruptly back on the right track!

Grandma Mag and Grandpa Lloyd had a place in Florida where they spent winters near St. Pete beach. I had only been to Florida 2-3 times as a kid with my parents, so getting to go to another area of Florida to visit them was so cool for me. Grandma Mag knew I liked antiquing, so we would hop in a car, leave the boys behind and head to Front Street to catch a few shops. Sometimes the boys went along but were left at the counter to talk war stories!

All the shop owners knew my dainty little counter part and would ask how Lloyd was, when he was playing at the VFW as he had a band in Gulf Port and had quite the following. Anyhow, one of the shops was a huge 2 story old plant building they turned into an antique mall. It was called the Gas Plant Antique Mall. I loved this shop. In West Virginia, we didn’t have antique shops like this.

The gentleman behind the counter knew Grandma Mag, of course, who didn’t! She was the cookie lady who followed Grandpa Lloyd to all of his gigs. I saw on the top of a shelf this jug I so desperately wanted. It is pictured below. I think it was $45 at the time. I have got to say I think I was making $4.25 an hour (minimum wage at the time). so that was a lot of money. I decided to go back home and see if I could find it in any of my books.

I think I even message Jeff Siptak from the International Willow Collectors Group to see if he knew of such a piece. This was probably early 90’s. He thought it could be a fairly rare piece, so I called Grandma Mag and asked her if I mailed her the money, could she go back to the shop and see if they would ship it to me. Obviously she did that for me, with no issue. She loved chatting with the people at the shop, so off she went.

I received the jug in great condition and later it was featured in the Willow newsletter. At the time, I felt famous for having a picture of something of mine in a newsletter. Now all I do is write about things, so it is kind of funny how things change! This piece is made by Royal Doulton. I have only seen a few so I don’t know how widely it was made. This is missing a metal lid of sorts, but it still holds a big place in my heart! Thanks Grandma Mag!

Next up is some lovely Tiffany. You know how I love anything Tiffany!!!!!! These too are Copeland and are simply gorgeous with animal finials and gold guilting. I love the shape of these pieces. I hope some day to get an entire tea set with this pattern. A girl can dream right?

And lastly I have a set of 6 of these cups that well, don’t match anything I have, but who knows, maybe I will come across something that matches them. I was intrigued when I looked at the mark because I believe the mark is on one of my copper printing plates I could not identify! I still can’t identify it, but hey now I have more than one reference…sigh.

Well, that is mostly all I have for you today. I hope you have one of those pieces that brings back cherished memories of someone you loved dearly. I am hopeful that in heaven they have antique malls full of blue willow and everything is free!!!

Happy Willowing, Much love…tune in on Monday at 6:30!


How to get clear pictures of you favorite willow treasures

I simply love souvenir cups, creamers, and any other willow item marked with “A present for” or “A gift from…” But items like this are sometimes really hard to photograph. For me my light above my small table simply isn’t big enough and I probably need to bite the bullet and replace it, but just haven’t done so.

I typically have to wait until the sun is up, and I have good lighting to be able to take any photographs to upload and share here. I don’t have a fancy camera, I use my Iphone and I don’t have any lighting other than a ring light I try to use to give my area a little more clarity. I have probably spent $25 on having an area to take photos.

I decided this year as a Christmas gift to myself, I was going to look for better ways to photograph my willow collection. I found a cute little photo booth Amazon, I think with shipping it was like $65. So yes, here comes another present to me! The photo booth also came with a camera stand and two lights that will not produce a glare.

The booth folds up in a pouch for easy storage too. My husband will like that part at least! The booth I ordered is a 16 inch box, which most of my willow pieces will fit in. I also have other motives for the purchase as well. I think COVID is out of control here so we may be forced to go back to an online ministry soon and our church does NOT have enough lighting to do a good video set, so these will be multipurpose lights.

You can see the clarity of these pictures. I did take them way early this morning so it was dark outside. But none the less I think they came out fairly good. Now to share what my photo box looks like and what came with it.

For those of you that sell on Ebay or another venue, this might help you get better pictures of your items so I thought I would hop on and share. I am happy with the results and hopefully you can see the results going forward.

Happy willowing everyone!

Willow Christmas Presents

I am fairly certain at this stage in my life I don’t truly “need” anything. I am happy with my belongings and have more clothes than I could wear in a year, so I need to truly declutter. Honestly, I simply don’t want anything this year…or so I thought.

I recently saw a post put on Facebook by my friend Loren Zeller. Loren has been an amazing resource for transferware and willow and I truly love reading his articles. He is a wealth of knowledge for some rookie collector like me. I did ask my husband for an autographed book, but we will see if he listened. I am guessing, I will need to purchase one for myself after the holiday!

Anyhow, Loren started his own gallery of his favorite items and also began a sale page. I immediately decided to purchase this little hound for myself. I am pretty good at buying some wonderful willow pieces when I see them and I hate the feeling of regret for that “one that got away”. So without hesitation, I hit purchase input my info…and the rest is history.

I was good with this purchase meaning I didn’t track it 5 times a day. In fact, I never even got the tracking number. I only asked after 3 business days. The mail, even priority is slow at the moment. I was pretty excited when the mail lady came but out of sheer fear, I continued decorating and didn’t open m package until hours later. I would have been shattered if it wasn’t in perfect condition.

I will tell you, I have longed for a dog with a willow pattern base. I had no idea there were so many kinds until I saw his gallery. My mouth literally watered. Check it out at http://www.zellercollection.com. The gallery of figurines is simply amazing. Regardless, I am happy to have purchased the one item I truly wanted.

Many of these figurines are contributed to being made my James Kent in Staffordshire. This little guy is unmarked. I am truly pleased to have a piece of Loren’s collection. I have admired his posts, presentations and articles since I began collecting. I will take really good care of this guy! And yes, this was a Christmas gift to myself. I didn’t think twice.

Here is to buying your own gifts for Christmas! I am all about just buying what you want. By the way, if you need any additional reference materials, I would strongly recommend joining the IWC. They do have a webpage, Facebook and marketplace but they also produce a quarterly newsletter that is a wealth of knowledge to help you learn. I will also add it is a way to learn where items are made, what reproductions look like and how to not buy things that are new to the market. It is easy to get taken these days. http://www.willowcollectors.org is where you can join the IWC.

Now I need to name this little guy….. maybe Rudy…short for Rudolph for some Christmas cheer!!!???

Happy Willowing Friends

Creating the perfect Christmas Willow Table Setting

Well, Thanksgiving came and went quickly. Now to gear up and decorate for Christmas! Every year for the past several years, my husband and I have taken a trip to New York City. The kids have went with us a time or two but the really aren’t all that fond of the crowds, and hastle, so last year we took some time for us. It was a wonderful few days for us to do a quick get away from my birthday.

Unfortunately with COVID, this will be a year without a trip to New York City. Last year when we went we came across a few large antique malls along the way and my husband purchased these beautiful Black and gold willow plates. These are a new remake of the traditional willow but I was in love when I saw them. Many people found them at TJ Maxx but I was never lucky enough.

But last year our hunt paid off, we finally scored 8 plates. I had purchased 8 salad plates on line. I love the black and gold and immediately thought of either a black and white or red and white plaid table cloth to go underneath these beautiful plates. If anyone has every read through my blog, you know I love to set a table and even love mixing old and new.

Today’s post is about how I layer to get the effect I am looking for! I always start with a base table cloth (sometimes I use a smaller one in the center as well). I then add some colored place mates. I this case I wanted to keep with a solid color since my table cloth has a pattern to it. I then added a beautiful gold placemat over the green to give it some focal point.

I also added a runner in the center that has hints of red, black and greens. It has a black plaid look but is an off white. I then added a plastic underplate before I placed my dish on top of it. I always place a full sized plate and a salad plate in my settings if I have them. I think layering makes a table look sophisticated.

Next I placed a beige and gold plaid napkin long ways on my plate. My husband worked in a restaurant for years and knows how to best fold a napkin, me not so much!!! I then placed my salad plate over my napkin.

You can see it is finally starting to come together. I am one to combine old and new glassware. In this case you will see I added white milk glass Pioneer Woman dessert cups in the center. I love the pattern, but you could truly use any milk glass. I love white hobnail milk glass, especially Fenton. It will probably make it’s way up from the basement to add to my table!

Because I used a green placemat underneath, I felt like my glasses had to also be green. It pulls the placemats together with the center runner and doesn’t look so dark. These are vintage green glasses (typically I find this stuff in my mom’s building or her antique booth!)

Lastly I through in a center piece. It needs some love but will have to do for now. I just did not have the energy for black Friday shopping today! I am not one for crowds, so maybe I will just sit right here and order from Amazon! I am still waiting for them to delivery my llama. I swore I ordered one! I have ordered everything else.

Well, It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

If you want to see a quick video of the stages of my place setting, feel free to take a look!

Happy Willowing! let me know how you set your table!

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