Sunday, December 14, 2014

Have a Merry Red and Green Christmas!!

While pulling out different looks for Christmas this year, I decided to honor the traditional colors of red and green.

I had never used these cute ornament salad plates from Cypress Home previously and realized that they would look fabulous with Spode "Christmas Tree" china. You might have read about my obsession with this pattern in a prior post. If you missed it, you can see it HERE.

Although, I have the table set with the ornament plates for salad, I plan to use them for dessert plates, since I am serving soup instead of salad for Christmas dinner.

I am using this wonderful "Christmas Tree" tureen, as my centerpiece and I placed stacks of soup bowls are both sides of it.  I bought this tureen last year, after Christmas, from Boscov's for a ridiculously low price. I was so thrilled, when I found it.

These red Christmas tree bowls were, also, purchased on sale last year from Sur La Table. I plan to use them for bread and butter.  I know, they are not actual bread plates, but I think a roll will fit perfectly in them and I had to use them somewhere!!

The stemware pieces are Tiffin "Killarney" green and Schott-Zwiesel "Delilah".

A Lenox tablecloth and Sferra napkins with jingle bell napkin rings were choices for the linens. Gorham "Strasbourg" silver (my work-horse pattern) will be used for dinner.


A few other accessories were added and I was finished!  Now, all I need to add is food.  Oh, how I wish that Kathleen of Cuisine Kathleen and Kitty of Kitty's Kozy Kitchen were here to cook for me.  I could really use their help! If you are not familiar with their blogs, you can find fantastic recipes on them, if you visit.

Wishing you all a very, Merry Christmas whatever colors you use. I have great hopes for the coming year that I will be more consistent in posting.  What a crazy year this one has been!!


Sharing at:

Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Obsession Number Eight - Fostoria Glassware

Little did I know that almost 47 years ago, when I married and chose my everyday glassware that I would start a love affair with Fostoria.

Avocado green and harvest gold were all of the rage in those days and I had chosen a china pattern with green.  These simple Fostoria "Mesa" glasses were the ones that stole my heart and I still appreciate and use them today. However, my Fostoria collection has grown just a bit (lol!), since the 60s.

This post was not written to give you the entire history of Fostoria, but I will tell you that the Fostoria Glass Company began in 1887 and last factory closed in 1986.  A few patterns were made by the Dalzell-Viking factory from the original molds, until 1998.

The history of the Fostoria Glass Company and all of the beautiful glass that they made is extremely interesting and I highly recommend that you purchase one of the many books written about them. Even though much of the Fostoria pieces were made during the Depression years, Fostoria is one of the companies considered to have produced, "Elegant Glassware of the Depression Era". Most patterns are not really considered "Depression Glass".

I decided to arrange my patterns by age and the ones in this photo were designed in the 1920s.

My oldest pattern is "Spartan" green and was introduced in 1927.  It was discontinued in 1944. It has a #5097 stem and a #80 needle etched pattern. It was made in green, clear, amber and plum.

In 1928, the 5098/5298 (5298 indicates an optic bowl) line was begun.  The #5098 stem has, also, been called the petal stem and the goblets from this line have been referred to as "Fairfax".  The reason for the reference to the petal stem is because looking down into the glass, the stem ends in a petal form:

The reference to "Fairfax" is inaccurate, as I soon discovered, when trying to purchase pieces of this line.  "Fairfax" refers to the matching dinnerware, serving pieces and accessories, like candlesticks. You can see a couple of those - a mayonnaise bowl and bonbon dish in the third photo in this post. 5098/5298 was made in seven colors and mine is rose. The pieces in this line were manufactured, until approximately 1940, and were used as blanks for etched patterns, like "June" and "Versailles".

Speaking of "Versailles" - this pattern was etched on four different colors: blue, green, rose and topaz.  All, except for topaz, used the 5098/5298 blank.  For some inexplicable reason, topaz was applied to a completely different blank! The stem used for it is #5099! Collecting always leads to these wonderful little mysteries. This same stem was used for another topaz etching called "Trojan". "Trojan" was made in rose, too.  I own topaz "Versailles" and a couple of the topaz "Trojan" goblets seen below:

Both of these patterns were discontinued in 1936.

 Here are my patterns from the 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Fostoria "Westchester" was made from 1935, until 1942.  It was made in five options - amethyst, clear, cobalt, green and ruby.  I am fortunate to own ruby.  There is no way to photograph or describe the beauty of the red color of these goblets.  They are truly stunning. The stems are #6012. These stems were used for several other patterns.  I believe that all of the others were clear with some sort of etching or cutting  on them.

"Holly" was a pattern that had an extremely long production run.  It was manufactured from 1942, until 1980. It was made using a #6030 stem and a beautiful cut pattern of holly around the glass. It is very thin and delicate.  It was only made in clear, although Fostoria did later manufacture a pattern of green giftware also called "Holly".  However, it looks nothing like these beautiful goblets.

Pieces in the "Fascination" line were made from 1958-1974.  The options were clear, lilac and ruby. Mine are lilac.  The stem is #6080, which was used, again, on "Trousseau".  This was a clear pattern with platinum trim, which Fostoria continued producing, until 1982.

One of the many things that has contributed to my obsession with Fostoria is the use of so many different and beautiful stems. The variety is amazing.

The last grouping of my Fostoria is from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, which includes those first glasses from my wedding tableware.

Almost everyone probably has encountered a piece or two of "Jamestown" at some point.  The "Jamestown" line offered glassware in amber, avocado green, blue, brown, clear, green, pink, purple, and ruby.  "Jamestown" brown was produced from 1961-1982. Some of the other colors were in production, as early as 1958.  These glasses are quite heavy, since they  were made of pressed glass.

Fostoria's "Andover"  is a beautiful, gold-encrusted pattern made between 1964 and 1974.  The stem is #6097, which was used on quite a few different patterns.  One is very similar to "Andover".  It is called "Richmond" and has gold trim without the encrusting. Fostoria made very few gold-encrusted patterns and "Andover" is my favorite by far.

I have already discussed my dear, old "Mesa" glasses, which were made from 1967, until 1974.  However, I did not tell you the color choices, which were available at the time.  This line came in amber, blue, brown, clear, olive green, and red. My daughter owns some of the brown and it is really pretty. Anyway, I found these fabulous matching salad plates recently on eBay and was thrilled to add them to my collection.

Oh, these crazy, wonderful "Moonstone"  wine glasses and sherbets! Fostoria manufactured these for eight years, between 1974 and 1982.  I must admit that they are not particularly my style and there are several other colors that I would have liked better.  The options were clear, dark blue, green, light blue, peach, pink, plum, taupe and this yellow.  However, on one of my visits to Replacements, I found the sherbets in the clearance room.  Have you ever been to Replacements?  Oh my goodness, the trip is worth just seeing the clearance room!!!  Anyway, the price was too good to ignore, so here I am with my "Moonstone".  The funny thing is that I have used these so often, especially in tablescaping - who would have guessed??

Dear reader, thank you for your patience!!  This has been a very long post, but we finally have arrived at my last pattern!
This one is called "Wilma".  It looks much older, but was made from 1974-1982. It came in several different colors (blue, iridescent, pink) and clear.  "Wilma" was used as a blank for other patterns, like "Navarre", "Meadow Rose", "Regis" and several others. The stem is #6016 and is gorgeous!

I wish that I owned all of the Fostoria famous patterns - "American", "American Lady", "Colonial Dame", "Coin", etc. However, I do have a few years left, so I guess I had better close this post and do some "Windows" shopping on eBay - lol!!

Seriously, if you have any questions regarding Fostoria patterns, please send me an e-mail or include it in a comment.  I would be happy to help .  I love doing research and it would fun for me!

P.S.  Have a look in your glass stash and I'll bet there is a Fostoria pattern in there somewhere! I would love to hear about your favorite.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall is Here!!

Oh, to think that Fall is really here!! I could not go without blogging for even one more day!  I have no idea how often that I will post in the future, but it feels really good to be back.

Since my husband retired, we have been soooo busy! Before school started, again, we enjoyed several weeks entertaining grandchildren and we have been traveling often (more about those trips in another post).  We still have not decided exactly what we are doing with the rest of our lives, but we are closer to a decision...

I have been entertaining some.  Here is a photo of the table I set for my daughter's birthday.  A good time was had by all!!

For today's table, I used a tablecloth that I purchased at the Lenox Warehouse Outlet in Cranbury, NJ - I, definitely, must do another post on that trip!!  Wow, did I have a wonderful day and my sweet, patient husband allowed me to take all of the time I needed to shop.  What a gift!

Lenox did not have the matching napkins, but I eventually found them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Oh, I loved setting this table!  Fall is my favorite season and seeing all of these beautiful colors together makes me smile all day!!

I  used a rustic and refined theme for the place setting.  Beautiful crystal and gold encrusted dinner plates with stoneware salad plates and rattan chargers. What fun to mix things up a bit!!

A simple centerpiece of apothecary jars filled with pumpkins and acorns and...

A garland of pine cones and fall leaves down the center of the table.

I hope that your Autumn is going well.  I have missed all of you and I hope that I will now have the time to see and comment on all of your posts.  You are my inspiration and have taught me so much! Thank you all for being part of my life!!


Sharing at:

The Style Sisters for Centerpiece Wednesday

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Monday, June 2, 2014

Minton Marlow

Do you have a favorite china pattern that you can use with many different colors?  One pattern that can be used like that is Lenox "Solitaire", which I recently featured in a post, which you can view  HERE.  However, the pattern that I am using this week is "Marlow" by Minton..

I cannot tell you how much I love this china. Do you see all of the beautiful colors of the flowers and the green leaves?  It is amazing and I think that I have used this china with every color you see.  For this post, I chose to use it with pink and blue.

After placing the china on blue place mats and adding pink and blue Fostoria goblets, I thought that I needed something more interesting for the centerpiece.  I finally realized that blue (actually, it is called "lavender") Wedgwood Jasperware would be perfect. Since, Jasperware is one of my many obsessions, I certainly had enough pieces to add to the table.

Of course, pink flowers were a must, so I made a trip to my neighborhood Publix to purchase some stems  and I had the perfect centerpiece for my pink and blue theme!

What is not to love about Jasperware?? All of the colors are gorgeous and, if you have an obsession, I highly recommend a trip to the Birmingham (Alabama) Museum of Art, which houses the Beeson Collection of Wedgwood.  My husband made a trip happen for me on one of my big birthdays and I truly was in china heaven.  Here are just a few of the many treasures that you will see there:

If you would like more information on the Birmingham Museum of Art, you can search the website HERE.

In addition to the Fostoria rose "5098/5298" and the blue "Wilma" goblets, I chose Watson "Bridal Flower" sterling flatware.

I always think of this flatware pattern, when I use "Marlow".  However, the pieces of this pattern, which was discontinued by 1910, are not always easy to find.  I have cream soup bowls and saucers in the "Marlow" pattern, but I do not have "Bridal Flower" soup spoons. I usually use Gorham "Strasbourg", when serving soup.

Pretty white on white embroidered napkins complete the place settings.  I found these napkins on Etsy a few years ago and I still think they are just lovely!!

There are so many things happening in my life right now and I am not sure if I will be doing any more posts for a while.  It will definitely be a "hit or miss" situation.  My husband is retiring this month and we are having to make some huge life decisions!! Of course, this comes at a time, when he has given me a wonderful gift to help create better photographs for the blog!  He bought me a set of soft boxes (told you he is a "keeper"!) to use in my dining room and they have made a world of difference! Shooting white has always been a challenge in that room.  Here is a photo that I took last year using a white tablecloth:

And here is a photograph that I took for this post using the same white Ralph Lauren tablecloth, but with the additional light from the soft boxes:

So much better!!

This is the first table that I have shot using the lights, so I am hoping that I will get better and better in figuring out exactly where to place them.  Oh, happy day!

If anyone is interested in seeing more of Minton "Marlow", you can find many different pieces on several sites, like eBay or Replacements.  There are two marks that were used on this pattern - the older, globe mark that was used from 1938-1958 and the newer, wreath mark that was used from 1959-1997. Most of my pieces have the globe mark, but I have some of the newer ones, too.  Fortunately they look alike, so it is no problem to mixing them together.

There is one more thing that I want to mention, before I close this post.  Over the Memorial Day week-end, one of my dearest friends lost her battle with lung disease.  She had endured a lung transplant eight years ago and was waiting for another.  She could not hold on long enough to receive it. She was very brave and grateful and she lived each day with a positive attitude. Without the first lung transplant, she would not have lived long enough to welcome all four of her grandchildren into the world. She leaves a legacy of three fine young men that she and her husband raised and their beautiful families.  She, also, leaves behind many grieving friends.  She loved life (she is the one in the middle in the back who is laughing), but when it was time to leave this earth, she did that with grace.  There is a good lesson for all of us here - we know what it is, but sometimes we forget.  Live each day with gratitude and, "when death finds you, hope it finds you alive" (Japanese proverb).  Rest in peace, sweet Mary. I will miss you always...

Hope to be back in blogland, as soon as possible!!


Sharing at:

A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday