A Vintage Adventure – Elegant to Retro Vintage Finds

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
My first find – delicate and elegant vintage teacups with beautiful “Forget-Me-Nots”

Rainy Sunday afternoons are made for browsing antique malls so last Sunday I headed over to Grandaddy’s Antiques in Burlington. If you haven’t been to Grandaddy’s, it’s a treasure trove of anything vintage from teacups to linens to comic books to furniture. Different vendors have spaces or booths in this revamped department store and that means you can find different prices on the same stuff. But, like most antique stores, there’s some bargaining room if you talk to the right person. This time I didn’t try to negotiate because I bought things that were already marked down but the last time I was there, I bought a set of china at a substantial savings.

You could spend all day there but I was on a mission – to buy a few special salad plates for Ashley’s wedding. I found some plates and – you guessed it – a couple of other things that are now part of our inventory at Southern Vintage Table.

The two gorgeous teacups pictured above were one of my first finds.  Not exactly salad plates, but they definitely caught my eye!  There’s no mark on the bottom and they didn’t have saucers but I found some on our shelf that look perfect. Aren’t they beautiful?  Update!  Mary Jane Pearson Baker of Springbranch Landscapes just told me these are “Forget-Me-Not” flowers. I should have picked up on that since I wrote a blog post on a china pattern featuring this lovely, blue flower. I’ll not forget this next time!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NCI also found this Fire King planter – I had never seen anything like this and, maybe more importantly, it was in the half-price booth.  As I was trying to arrange the camellia blooms in the planter I realized I needed something to anchor the stems. Guess what I used?  Wine corks! They float to the top of the water and hold the stems in place.  Pretty neat trick, I’d say.

The camellias look lovely in this vintage vase, too.  I love the creamy color, the shape and the quaint flower bouquet.  Sweet!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

Picking blackberries when I was growing up is one of my favorite memories. There were bushes alongside the roadway and, if we picked enough, mom would make her delicious blackberry cobbler for us. We were lucky to make it home with a bowl full because we loved picking and eating. Washing them before popping them into our mouths never even crossed our minds. This artistic plate made by Homer Laughlin brings back those sweet, carefree memories.
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NCThe last treasure is an incredible retro casserole dish called Blue Diamonds by Iroquois. I didn’t get this at Grandaddy’s – it would have been priced too high. I found it at a nearby thrift store on the bottom shelf and immediately loved it. Produced from 1958-68, the blue color, squat shape and the handle on the lid are amazing. This pattern was part of a series called Informal and was created by industrial designer, Ben Siebel.  Definitely dig this look!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

What a terrific set of eclectic treasures if I must say so myself!  From elegant to retro, Southern Vintage Table has the vintage style to fit your gathering!

So where are the salad plates I went to find?  Well, I forgot to take a photo before packing them up for Ashley’s wedding.  I’ll be sure to point them out In next week’s blog!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

 

 

A Vintage Adventure – Bartering for Vintage!

Vintage Rental NC

The first time I stepped into her shop, I didn’t meet Elma but I did meet her daughter who was minding the store for her.  It was on a Saturday afternoon and my friends and I were on one of our many adventures together.  Our agenda this time was to start at Dick & Jane’s Martini & Tapas Bar for lunch and well, a martini,  and then browse the eclectic shops on Clay Street in Mebane. When we walked into Elma’s shop, The Copper Awning, I realized that I couldn’t slow my friends down to give me time to look through her interesting collection, so I made a mental note to return the next week to see what vintage things I could get for Southern Vintage Table.

Elma was there on my next visit and I explained to her that I was looking for miscellaneous vintage china and tableware. She told me she had some terrific finds in her back room but she needed to get it organized before I could take a look. One peek at that back room and I knew she was right – I would come back later.

The following week I returned and when Elma saw me, she smiled.  “Well, I haven’t had a chance to do much back there but I’ll make a path for you.”  More than a few things were moved out of the way and then she left me to look.  I started making a pile of a few things – a wooden box, milk glass goblets, vintage books – and as I am surveying the room filled with stacks, boxes and bags of “stuff” as Elma calls it, my plan came to me. I walked back into the front. “Elma, I said, “you need help getting that room organized and I would like to offer my services.” I suggested a bartering deal – my organizing skills for vintage things. She loved the idea and so did I!

I’ve been there several times, sorting, organizing, opening boxes and cleaning in that back room and basement. We have carried things from the back room to the basement and from the basement up to the showroom. We have moved cabinets, shelving and bins. I’ve been there one week to return the next to find a room in the shop totally restaged. This past week she had a gorgeous wedding dress displayed on a table complete with matching shoes and bouquet!

So what treasures have been added to our vintage inventory?  First, we have more beautiful goblets –  milk glass, crystal, pink and blue – and a few dainty teacups. We also now have a nice collection of vintage tins to add to a tablescape – love these!

My favorite addition, however, is a gorgeous set of vintage china called Forget Me Not by Myott china. This set is perfect – cream colored with a swirl rim and sweet blue flowers. I love the pattern but mostly I love how they came to Elma’s shop. Scott and Elma bought them at an auction for me.  Such an act of kindness!  Look for an upcoming “mixing & matching” blog with this beautiful pattern.

This chance meeting has flourished into both a business arrangement and a friendship. I’ve met her husband, daughter, granddaughter, son and daughter-in-law when they have stopped in at the shop as well as her friends and helpers, Scott and Patsy. I have learned that her story is even more interesting than the collection of “stuff” she has in her shop – she’s a retired civilian Marine, she volunteers at her granddaughter’s school, she sings in her church choir and she was in the Pentagon on 9/11. 

Check out The Copper Awning on Clay Street in Mebane.  Not only will you find something you will love, you’ll meet the delightful, generous Elma.  Be sure to say hi for me!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

A Vintage Adventure – I Love Auctions but Thrift Stores are Still My Number 1

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Three little sugar dishes lost their lids and became sweet flower vases!

Recently I ventured outside of the thrift store arena to attend a couple of auctions and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I got some things that you probably can’t find at a thrift store today, like a butter churn and washboard.  But, for basic vintage bargains, the thrift store can’t be beat.  Whether it’s one topless sugar dish, a vintage ironing board or a set of beautiful gold trimmed bar glasses, thrift stores have it all – not all at once or at every store, but that’s part of the fun – you have to go out and find it.  And, you have to be a frequent visitor.

Here are some of my latest thrift store finds that have been added to the Southern Vintage Table collection.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
These gold trimmed vintage bar glasses are stunning!

After visiting my mom I usually stop at a thrift store closeby.  On this last trip there was a set of the coolest highball glasses sitting on the shelf! They were all in perfect condition with their intricate, delicate gold trim.  While I was inspecting them, the thrift store employee put out these small lovely blue vases.  With the vintage glasses, vases, blue drawer, sign and decanter, the bar is open!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Take one vintage wooden ironing board, add vintage dishes and linens and throw in a vintage butter churn and you’ve got a charming dessert station!

I found this vintage ironing board at one of the junkiest stores in town – it’s so packed you have to move furniture to get to some of the items.  Needless to say, I love stopping in.  This vintage wooden ironing board was sitting behind the door with a split down the middle.  After some wood glue and clamping, it’s ready to be part of your vintage decor.  Whether it’s a dessert table, welcoming station or drink bar, it will be charming!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
This seafoam green vintage typewriter actually works!

At one of the thrift stores nearby, they have an outside area with bins filled with left overs from estates.  Some broken, dusty and dirty, but good stuff to look through.  For $2, which goes into a fund to help local folks with the upkeep of their homes, you get to fill a box.  Sometimes there are also larger items nearby, which is where I found this vintage typewriter.  I have to say this is one of my most favorite finds – the color, the condition and the look embodies the spirit of retro vintage.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
This vintage silver plated shell dish has a beautiful sheen1

Another favorite thrift store is close to my home and I stop in pretty often. The prices are usually very low and folks appreciate it, so if you see something you like, or even think you like, you better get it that day or it will be gone.  I found this silver-plated shell dish for under $2.  It was very tarnished and a bit unsightly, but I took a chance it would shine right up.  It did – I almost can’t believe how beautiful it is.  Looked this one up – it was made in England and valued at about $50.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Found all of these vintage items at various thrift stores in the area

This collection of items all came from various stores. I love the old tins and the two candle holders, once tarnished and encrusted with wax, now gleam.  The teapot didn’t have a lid and I even found the candles on the shelf.  When I think about where each of these items have been and how they ended up with me, it’s like an adventure story!

So, will I go to another auction?  You bet – the energy, the variety of vintage items and the people make it very exciting.  The gambling atmosphere is a little risky (at least for novices like me) but certainly fun.  However, the everyday thrift store is still my favorite place to hunt. For the unexpected, and usually, very inexpensive vintage item, thrift stores are where it’s at.

All of these wonderful vintage items are here at Southern Vintage Table and we would love to share them with you at your next gathering!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

 

A Vintage Adventure – Oops, I Did It Again… At My Second Auction

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
My favorite unexpected find at the auction – recycled into a vintage bar!

Recently I went on a working day trip to a local auction house to check out a few items I wanted for our vintage decor collection at Southern Vintage Table.  My list included a butter churn, blue mason jars, a washboard and a suitcase.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Here’s one idea for a vintage washboard – display birthday greetings at your next birthday party!

I drive into the parking lot and quickly notice there aren’t many cars.  I start thinking, this is a good omen – not too much competition for the items I have come to bid on.  Hah – little did I know that those items are on other folks’ lists as well as mine.  Phooey…

I sign in, get my number and mosey around the place for the next 10 minutes before the auction begins. So many interesting old things – jewelry, signs, musical instruments, furniture, doo-dads, glassware, wooden boxes, magazines, books and much, much more.  Some in pristine condition and others dusty, musty and soiled but definitely vintage.

I sit close to the front and, after settling in my seat, I check out the other folks nearby.  A lady down the aisle starts pulling things out of her bag and I notice she’s got snacks, a drink, a book.  The guy in front of me has his computer in his lap.  Wow, I’m thinking, what a fun way to spend a Monday!  I get my pencil and paper ready. This was lesson 1 from my first auction experience – always write down what you buy and how much you spend.

One of the early categories was cowboy stuff – nothing I was interested in so I felt pretty safe to listen and figure out the pace of the bidding. Quickly I realize that folks were holding tight to their money and starting bids were dropping low – some all the way down to $1!  Somewhere in there I win a cowboy dinner bell that I didn’t know I had bid on and a signed Gene Autry photograph.  After bidding $2 on Gene Autry, the auctioneer says to me, “Ma’am, we are sure glad you came today.”  You can translate that anyway you want…

The blue mason jars come up and I sit up straight, thinking and hoping that folks were going to let these go low – well, no such luck.  The bid gets high really fast and I have to back out.  A bit later the butter churn comes up. Unfortunately, others also want it but I stay in this one and get the highest bid.  Ditto with the vintage suitcase – win that, too.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Here are two of the vintage decor items I won at the auction – aren’t they terrific?

The featured items come up soon after – an array of vintage musical instruments from guitars to trombones.  They are lined up down the center aisle for everyone to inspect before they came up for auction.  Again, starting bids are low and I just can’t resist bidding $5 for a trumpet … or two … or three…and a guitar or two…and a saxophone…and two empty banjo cases…and…

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Love these two vintage banjo cases!

Somewhere in there, I forget to write down my items and my card is full anyway so I start getting a bit nervous about my total bill. I’m thinking that I should pay up at this point, which may be one of the best decisions I make that day. Lo and behold, it is well over my spending budget!

After loading up my loot, I decide that I better not go back in even through there were three hours left.  Heading home I recount the adventure in my head and ponder what lessons I learned this time.

First, remember Lesson 1 – write down everything you win and how much you spend.  Lesson 2 – bid on the items you come for and maybe pay more than you think you want to.  Lesson 3 – only bid on other items if they are truly exceptional and suit your purpose, not because they are a good deal.

Now I wish I had saved some money for the blue jars and not bought those trumpets but I’m working on a vision for those, too!  But, I am glad about getting the banjo cases and the vintage radio – they are perfect additions!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
This purchase was one of those exceptional buys!

So, oops, I did it again by winning something I didn’t know I was bidding on, but I’m with the auctioneer, I am glad I went that day.  Not only did I learn more auction lessons, but I ended up with some wonderful vintage items. These and other cool vintage decor are available at Southern Vintage Table!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

A Vintage Adventure – Thrifting with a Kindred Friend is Twice the Fun

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

I really do enjoy looking for vintage items for my business, Southern Vintage Table and actually like going solo. I don’t have to consult with anyone about where I’m going, how how many times I walk down that same aisle of china or whether I want to stop at just one more store. But, no doubt about it, it’s tons more fun when you get to share the experience with someone, especially if it’s a friend who loves thrifting as much as you!

Last Friday, Jami and I explored my favorite haunts in Burlington and Mebane.  At our first stop we found some vintage wheat china and Jami’s keen eye spotted a beautiful blue and gold china pattern.  At the next store Jami found a pair of Golden Wheat glasses and I mulled over whether to pay $15 for a vintage school desk. As far as the desk, I decided that I’d keep looking.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
The gold on this vintage wheat pattern sparkles!
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Two Golden Wheat glasses that once came in Duz detergent boxes!

We toured a used furniture store and then went to the place where Jami would find the best deal of the day – the child’s metal school desk – for only $5.  It’s perfect for displaying a bouquet of flowers, a potted plant or even a sign. I got a few other things and Jami bought her major purchase of the day – a $1 plastic container with a lid for her paints.  Talk about thrifty!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
A greeting for your guests on a vintage school desk!

Clay Street in Mebane was our last stop and after eating a late lunch, we walked through Melville’s Trading. I knew Jami would love this place and she did.  It has a little bit of everything with different vendors renting spaces throughout the building.  I left with a vintage file box but also with visions for future projects.

It was a great afternoon – exploring, admiring and finding treasures – with my kindred friend.  Thank you, Jami!

Check out Southern Vintage Table for beautiful vintage rental china as well as unique vintage decor for your next event!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

A Vintage Adventure – Vintage China, A Cup & A Business Friendship

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

This vintage china rental business is a perfect fit for me.  I love vintage stuff – love the smell, the feel, the look, the beauty, the energy encapsulated in it, the history.  I also love to go hunting for it – what a thrill when you find something interesting and imagine sharing it with others.

One day I was looking carefully at each piece I had placed in my shopping cart at a Durham thrift store and an attractive woman approached me.  She commented about the array of dishes in my cart and I mentioned to her that I was looking for china for my vintage china rental business, Southern Vintage Table.  We chatted a bit and she went back into the china aisle.  A few more minutes later she returns with more pieces of the same pattern I had showed her.  The kindness of strangers – don’t we all love that!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
This is vintage china pattern I showed Terry in the thrift store. It’s Trent by Homer Laughlin.

The next time she came back to my cart she was holding a coffee cup with “Terry” on it.  It turned out to be her name.

Now, here’s the beautiful, eerie part – as she’s showing this cup to me, she’s explaining that it must be a message from the cosmos to talk with me about Southern Vintage Table.  She shared that she had worked as a consultant with some prominent local companies in the area, which certainly caught my attention,  My cosmic antenna was also up that day and I deeply felt this was not just a chance encounter.  We exchanged names and numbers.

Our fateful meeting turned into a wonderful business collaboration for which I am very grateful.  Her insight, experience and expertise helped get my business up and ready.  Thank you, Terry Melville, for understanding the message in the coffee cup!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Here’s Trent all dressed up with a vintage dessert plate and compote!

Southern Vintage Table is ready to help you with your next event – birthday, shower, anniversary, wedding reception, dinner party, tea party and any other gathering – with beautiful, interesting vintage china!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

A Vintage Adventure – Well, Perhaps Better Said, A MisAdventure…

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

Last weekend I went thrift store shopping for Southern Vintage Table and came across two beautiful vintage doors.  They were narrow and had three small windows in the upper half – just charming and I thought they would be perfect as a prop after painting and distressing.  I was trying to decide if I should go with a light blue or an antique white when I thought – oh no, I wonder if they have lead paint on them. Suddenly, I was the one who was getting distressed because I knew they probably did.

I love these doors, but with the lead paint, I had to pass them on.

I stopped by the hardware store and picked up a lead paint test kit, hoping that it wouldn’t be.  Got home, unloaded the doors, read the directions on the kit and tested them.  Bam – the tester turned bright pink which meant they had lead paint.  As I said, I was very distressed.  After researching how to remove lead paint, I decided to call on an expert.  Found out it would cost way more than I could afford for two prop doors.  Oh, well…

I figured this was another valuable learning experience and posted them on Facebook.  Within 30 minutes someone wanted them, even knowing they had lead paint. I was pleased because they needed to be saved and restored.  Lesson learned  – take a lead paint tester with me and check before I buy them!

Not all was lost on that shopping day. I did find two vintage china plates, a vintage berry bowl and a vintage table runner.   Only one of each but that’s part of the fun of thrift store shopping!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Three thrift store finds – two vintage china plates, a vintage berry bowl and a vintage table runner!

These and other beautiful vintage china and accessories are available for rental at Southern Vintage Table!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

A Vintage Adventure – Sold to Number 268!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
I found this in the box lot of dishes I got for $5.00. This certainly made up for the chair I didn’t mean to buy!

The seemingly small place was packed – with stuff, people and lots of chairs. I signed in and then made my way up to the front to take a look at the box lots. The items I came for were listed to go first so I wanted to make sure I was ready.  I sat down, listened and absorbed all the sounds and sights of the auction house. A gentleman sat next to me in a chair that was marked with his name – definitely someone who knew what he was doing – and I would be quickly thankful he did.

My hats came up. I raised my card with the number 268 but the auctioneer didn’t see me at first. Some of the folks at the front got worried for me so they let him know I was there. The rest was a bit of a blur, but I did end up winning the bid.  I wish I had a picture of my face when he said, “Sold to 268”.  I bet it was hilarious!  My friend then advised me to let them take the stuff to the side room so I could pick it up when I was ready to leave. Good advice.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
My husband remarked that this orange beauty was a bit over styled. Well, not if you want to be noticed!
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental
Classic red and black with a little veil

He then showed me on the ticket where you could keep track of the items you won. He said it helped him keep from overspending his budget.  Yep – more good advice. My hands were shaking as I wrote down my first auction win.

I was a quick learner and started bidding on the other items I had seen in the box lots.  The pace is fast and you’ve got to have quick reactions.  I was so quick that I ended up with something I didn’t mean to win – don’t know how that happened – but I was thankful it was only $7.50.  I also learned that you don’t go back in the room to pick up your stuff but you have to wait outside the door – that lesson came a bit harshly but the lady brought my stuff to me with a somewhat apologetic face.

In addition to the hats, I also got a box lot of miscellaneous china and glassware – well worth my $5 bid, a chair – which I didn’t mean to win, and a $5 wrought iron aquarium stand that I’m going to turn into something cool.

I decided to leave before the big ticket items came up.  Baby steps, I thought.  It was my first auction, and undoubtedly, won’t be my last.  As I was leaving with my arms full of hat boxes, another gentleman said to me, “I could see you were having a good time in there!”  He must have seen my face…

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
These plates are incredibly beautiful and the teacups are nice, too!

These hats, plates, bowls and cups are available for your next tea party or family dinner at Southern Vintage Table!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

A Vintage Adventure – A Collection Builds One Piece at a Time

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
My collection of green thumbnail tumblers begins with this one but I have several of the clear goblet pattern. It once came filled with Big Top peanut butter! We later found the cool tree bark pitcher at the local Goodwill.

It was our annual beach trip to Louise’s condo and all the yayas (Jami, Louise, Mary, Pat and me) were coming except for Cis, who was caring for her mother.  (Cis, we missed you!) This tradition is something we all look forward to each summer – hanging out with each other, cooking a seafood feast, talking school talk, watching a movie and sometimes even going on the beach.  For this trip, Jami and I added another diversion – thrift store hopping – although a few of the stores were anything but thrift, but they did have some beautiful vintage things that inspired us.

Our first stop was incredible – it was like a huge, dusty museum of vintageness.  Most things didn’t have a price and were covered by a thick coat of dust and grime.  The aisles were tight, the shelves were high and the piles were deep.  In other words, perfect – well, almost. The dust did get a bit obnoxious.

We were there for nearly 3 hours – looking mostly for china but marveling at all the cool stuff there, too.  Jami was on the hunt for the perfect tureen for her succulent garden.  We took our finds up to the front counter and quickly a pile was started.  In our collection were plates, teacups, glasses, a hat and a tureen without a lid. (Oops – that’s what happens when your hands are full and you have to move 10 things before you can get to what you wanted to see. They weren’t going to make us pay for the lid but Jami got the bottom for $2 which was the best deal we got!)

In the end, I got a few things, including some pink rimmed luncheon plates and two glasses.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Vintage Fruit Luncheon Plates

So, I started two collections (green thumbnail tumbler which goes perfectly with the amber ones I already had and the square luncheon plates) and added to my Big Top Peanut Butter goblet collection.  A fruitful adventure, indeed!

These treasures are available at Southern Vintage Table for your next gathering!

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

A Vintage Adventure – The Vintage Treasure I Almost Missed

I love to go to the thrift stores.  It’s a modern day treasure hunt – you never know what might be there.  Routinely I look for wares for my business, Southern Vintage Table, and I have gotten pretty savvy over time as to what’s vintage and what’s not.

Well, one day I saw a collection of pretty dishes.  The gold details were prefect and the flowers looked hand painted,  but to me, the pattern just didn’t have that “vintage” look.  I must have studied them for some time, trying to figure out what to do.  My collection was growing and I wanted to be smart with each and every investment.  In the end, something told me to pick up a few pieces, just in case, because they won’t be there tomorrow if I changed my mind.

I chose a set of 4 plates, cups, saucers as well as the creamer and sugar dish.  When I got home and unpacked them, I looked them up on the internet.  Of course, you know the end of the story – they became my oldest pattern in my collection, discontinued circa 1918, according to a major tableware replacements company.

After doing a bit more research, the pattern, Azalea by Noritake, was also a give-away by the Larken Company for buying and selling their products. I also see some conflicting information about the pattern being produced through the 1930s.  But, no matter, it’s vintage and beautiful!

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Azalea was one of the most popular midcentury china patterns.

I went back to the thrift store the next day to pick up the remaining pieces, but all were gone.  Needless to say, that’s the tricky part of thrift store buying that many of us know and love.

Lesson learned that day for me – I’ve got alot more to learn!

This beautiful pattern is available at Southern Vintage Table!