Monday, August 23, 2010

China Dreams...

So, Justin and I (for a long and embarrassing story) didn't do a wedding registry when we got married. Which is totally fine, but I've always wanted "china." You know, the whole everyday china and fine china thing. So I've been looking at vintage china patterns for the four years that we've been married trying to find one I want to make "ours." There have been some close calls. But nothing that was totally perfect. I recently found 8 of these Blue Heaven glasses and then 2 of the plates, at two different thrift stores, so I thought maybe I'd go with that. I mean, I love aqua, and they have a neat modern design. Here's the dinner plate:
I also like it because as you can see from the Replacements listing, it comes in SO MUCH STUFF. There's even a line of Fire King Blue Heaven stuff. The crazy hoarder in me dreams of having everything in Blue Heaven. Right down to these darling Fire King custard cups.
BUT, I realized that even though I love this set, it's just to kitschy. It's not elegant enough. It's not grown up enough. So I kept looking (and now I'm thinking of listing those 8 glasses in my etsy shop...) and started learning more about different mid-century kitchenware manufacturers. Then I decided I should search for my wedding colors, aqua and red. That magical combination led me to this bowl on etsy (that I bought today, yay!). I am smitten with this design. And the bowl (with shipping) cost me under $9, which I would consider a lot, but will help me remember how much I love this pattern! It's the start of my "fine china" collection. :)
The only draw back is that I can't seem to find a pattern name. I know it's by Homer Laughlin, and I know it's from the Rhythm Line, but the pattern seems to be known by a number and letter combination: JJ167 They have some of it here at Replacements, Inc., but not as much as I'd love to see... I wish I could see what the rest of the pieces look like. But I'm just in love with it. I love the aqua color, and the way the leaves are so detailed. Lovely!

When I was on ebay looking for more of it, I found another Rhythm pattern that I want for my "every day" china. And the two patterns really look lovely together. The other set is slightly similar to Homer Laughlin's FiestaWare, but it's solid gray. And since it's from the Rhythm line, the shapes should be the same as the JJ167. I just love the color gray, and the simplicity of the china. I think it's timeless, even though it dates from the mid-1950's. Look at this sugar bowl! How adorable is that? And I think the gray matches the gray in the JJ167 very nicely (not that that is necessary, but if it was all in a sweet mid-century modern hutch, it would look pretty sitting near each other. Just saying.). The best part of both sets? Even Justin likes them. He is surprisingly picky about such things, but he thinks they are both very nice looking. He just doesn't share my enthusiasm for random bits of pottery... This set is also on Replacements, and seems to be slightly more complete. And there's quite a bit of it on ebay. Once funds are restored, I want to get a few pieces to start out!
My plan is to just buy a piece here and there and slowly build a collection. In the mean time, I have a collection of various brands of vintage plates that mostly feature floral designs. So if I'm able to collect some pieces here and there, they will blend right in with the mismatched sets. But some day, I hope I will have that hutch full of these pretty things!

And for the record, all of this silliness was brought on by an inspirational Apartment Therapy article about how you should buy things as you can afford them and not worry about getting the whole set at once. Of course, now that article seems to have disappeared, but I promise, it was oddly motivating for me. It's particularly nice to pick vintage china to collect, since you don't have to worry much about it being discontinued, and pieces only become available sporadically.

Last note... The neighbor who backs us is playing music REALLY loud. First, it was a Phil Collins song and now he's rocking "Piano Man." Yeah. Can I call the cops to complain about that? Is there a special section in the criminal code about blasting your neighbors with Billy Joel?

Sunday, August 15, 2010


In spite of two different e-mails from two different production people telling us our Curb Appeal: The Block episode would air next Saturday, it actually aired last night. We are hoping to watch it today at my Mom's house (thank goodness for DVR...) but they are supposed to send us a DVD of the episode sometime soon. Fingers crossed... If you want to watch it, and you have a TV, there is an episode guide here, listing when each show will air again. Ours is the one titled "A Boring Brick Ranch Style Home Gets a Modern Makeover."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


As the work finishes on getting the basement back to the glorious state it was in pre-flooding (haha), Justin and I are really getting excited about turning it into living space. In my scattered brain, I've been trying desperately to try and figure out priorities down there. Like, what needs to be done first in order to get us down there? I have a list now, so look out! I decided that a great start would be something that would help clear a lot of the stuff in storage down there. Our goal is to have only the basement closets filled with boxes, and only boxes that are things that absolutely don't need to be out, like baby stuff. Or holiday stuff. Since I've been hating the living room closet since we moved in and took the stupid bi-fold doors off of it, I decided to go ahead with our "somdeday" plan of turning it into a book nook. A couple/few Saturdays ago, I took measurements of the closet and looked closely at the one existing shelf so that I could mimic the construction. After dinner (and a beer or two for Justin) I convinced Justin to take me to Home Depot shortly before they close so we could buy the materials. Win for me! Roxanne had a great time "helping," and it was altogether kind of a newbie Home Depot lumber shopping experience, but it came out OK in the end. More or less. In any case, I measured, screwed, puttied and sanded supports into the closet to make more shelves. I did them fairly large so that we could display our (my) antique books as well as our novels, etc. Five million coats of white trim paint and four melamine white boards later, they are pretty OK. I still need to fill them with my books and some choice clutter, as well as figure out some kind of center support, but for now, I'm proud. I did them by myself. Justin helped a lot by keeping Roxanne busy for me to work. She kept trying to "help," which is heart breakingly sweet, but not necessarily productive.

Here they are all done, but not quite. :) I can't wait to load them up... If you want to read book titles, I think when you click and expand, you can see them. If you see anything you like, let me know. I might let you borrow something.
I took the rug out of here and put it in Roxanne's room. We took the side off her crib, and I was terrified of her hitting the floor when she rolls out of bed. I think Justin and I agree that it looks much bigger in the living room with no rug. I just took that little wood shelf out of here and put it in Roxanne's room, too. It holds her books beautifully.
Just to show you how we "watch TV" in our living room. That's Yo Gabba Gabba playing for me and Roxanne. Katie is sniffing some spot on the floor hoping for something edible. I can't wait to get some soft chairs in the living room. Justin and I agreed that we would love to find a pair of leather club chairs. Vintage ones. Cheap vintage ones. A girl can dream, right?

Photos of thrifted stuff

You guys, I feel like an idiot. All this time, and I just now realized that I can stick the memory card directly from my camera into the laptop to upload photos. I NEED NO MIDDLE MAN. That's so awesome.

In any case, here are some photos to link up with my previous post.
Justin says these are gross, but I think they are charming. It's just a piece of wood with these two little owls on it. Someone even attached a hook to the back for easier hanging. I found this at a thrift store in Chamblee. I wanted to put it in the bedroom, but had to lie and say it's going up for sale ASAP.
This was under a quarter at the estate sale. It's got some heavy staining, but I can't refuse a peacock. And staining is different from chipping... I hate chipping.
Little teensy bottles. My favorite is that purple one in the back right. It's a "ball and claw bitters" bottle. I have Roxanne to thank for finding these...
I don't know what song this is, but it sounds pretty. I think this would be a cute wallet.
Cigarette case closed. Did I just pun? Sorry.
Open view of the musical cigarette case. Isn't it cute?
Man, this image is so weird. And awesome. My favorite thing about this game was opening it up to see that the family had really played it. There were names written on the score cards..
This is a really cool set. There are TONS of shapes and sizes inside. Not mint condition, but still really fun.
This game is my favorite in terms of artwork. The game board itself is really cool.
The game board is much cooler than the box, but still... What a box!
This is the back of the "Noddy's Taxi Game" board. It's so adorable. This was the board only; no box, no game pieces, but the board itself was just soooo cute.
The front of the Noddy's Taxi Game board. Click on it to make it big so you can see all the fun stuff going on here. So cute.
Later in the day, I found these curtain panels at a thrift store in Chamblee. The little flowers are flocked. As soon as I saw them, I thought they would make a lovely pairing with the Noddy board. Maybe some day we'll have another baby and I'll use this a spring board for a nursery... Or I'll just try to sell them as a set. Sigh.
I bought a few of these Kohner games. Great boxes, but the games inside don't make any sense. Just some geometric shapes and no directions. Oh well. The boxes were worth the fifty cent price.
I have a TON of these. I still think they look like a Georges Briard design. But either way, they are too cute to use. What is wrong with me??? I'm turning into a hoarder!