Wheat is a classic vintage design. As I shared in a previous post, wheat is the symbol for prosperity, love, home and hearth, harvest, spring, birth and hope, making it the perfect pattern for America’s favorite family holiday, Thanksgiving. As a special request from Jami, here is a Thanksgiving tablescape featuring vintage wheat patterns, amber glassware. linens and silverware from Southern Vintage Table!
Pinecones with tags and twine become place names for guests and leaves collected from the woods are nature doilies on the vintage lace tablecloth. (The tags are a free download from the website, Love vs Design.) I also tied the corners of the rectangle lace table cloth with twine – saw this trick at the state fair table setting competition!
The centerpiece is a tower made from an antique sieve with a wooden distressed cake plate turned upside down. The final piece is an antique spool once used in clothing factories with an arrangement of dried flowers in the center hole. A burlap ribbon (see directions at the end of the post for how to cut a straight line in burlap). Pine cones, leaves and nuts complete the natural centerpiece arrangement.
For practically all my life Thanksgiving has been spent with my extended family on my mother’s side. We all bring our favorite dishes and sit down to a great Southern meal – turkey, ham, dressing with gravy, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, collards, chicken & dumplings, potato salad, field peas – and amazing desserts such as carrot cake, chocolate pie, pecan pie and chocolate eclair cake. After our feast, the older folks linger at the tables and catch up on family news and the younger crew heads outside for the classic Turkey football matchup. I’m now part of that older crowd but I do remember some great football games when I was younger!
This year, with the help of my sisters, I am setting the table with plates from the vintage stoneware collection from Southern Vintage Table for our annual Bass/Heath/Roberson family reunion. I’ll be sharing photos in an upcoming blog!
May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and joy with family and friends!
“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Since I opened Southern Vintage Table, I have been heartened by the excitement of my friends and family for the concept of this business. Folks love the idea of finding, collecting and bringing together the collage of vintage china and tableware patterns! Many have also generously gifted me with their personal family treasures and I have loved hearing about their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. In this post, I want to honor the family dinner table pasts of four women – Mildred, Grandmother Björk, Edna and Lillian.
Mildred, who recently passed away, lived in the NC mountains all her life. She and her husband of nearly 70 years dearly loved each other and their family. Her son and my brother-in-law, gave me her set of amber Whitehall glasses by Colony Glass. I do love this vintage amber pattern but I mostly love that they were once part of the Webb family’s happy dinner table for so many years.
I got a call one day from Nancy that she was cleaning out cabinets and had some things she wanted to share with me. Along with the vintage glass, silver items and decorative aluminum trays, she had a set of 12 gorgeous vintage placemats made by her husband’s Grandmother Björk. Nancy remembered that Grandmother Björk loved to crochet and even when she was almost blind, she was still sewing and edging linens. With their delicate, perfect design and their classic ivory color, I can easily envision Grandmother Björk carefully stitching these to use at her family dinners.
My friend, Priscilla, sent me a message that she wanted me to come over for a visit. She showed me all around her happy home and I reveled at the beautiful nature displays. (She and her husband both taught science.) Our tour ended in a room where she had stacked items she thought I could use with my business. Among the many treasures were two boxes of vintage silverware and one was from Edna, her husband’s mother. Edna, the wife of an agriculture professor and the mother of two PhD boys, loved to cook fresh vegetables from her garden. Everything about this visit filled my heart with gratitude, especially this lovely vintage silverware that Edna lovingly set around her family dinner table.
This week Carrie of Fernrock Farm and I made a business call to the Chapel Hill Carriage House. It turned out that the owner’s daughter was once a student of mine and I knew her sons as well. At the end of the tour of her beautiful grounds, Brenda asked me if I would like to have her grandmother’s china. She explained that it had been boxed up for years and she really wanted to share it with someone who would love using it as much her grandmother did. Her grandmother, Lillian, lived in Arlington near Boston and enjoyed serving big dinners to her family. Of course, I was both honored and thrilled!
The delicate blue and red roses against the cream background give this pattern that perfect vintage look. Although I couldn’t find the name of Lillian’s china, it does say on the back that it was “made expressly for Gilchrist – Boston”. Gilchrist, I discovered, was a major department store in Boston that opened its doors in the mid 1800s and closed them in the mid 1970s. Now, Southern Vintage China is the caretaker of Lillian’s lovely set of china, which probably dates from the 1920s-30s.
One final story about this week’s gifts. When I was visiting Priscilla, I met Becky, a friend of theirs who regularly goes on mission trips to tear down houses that need rebuilding. After Priscilla introduced us and told her about my business, Becky shared that she recently had been to her 90-year-old father’s home and had picked up a set of glasses that were now in the trunk of her car. The glasses, she explained, had once come packaged with tea and then she offered them to me. Wow – aren’t they incredible? They will be featured in an upcoming blog!
Sets of glasses, linens, silverware, china and more – all shared by the families of Mildred, Grandmother Björk, Edna, Lillian and Becky’s mother. How does one show her appreciation for such beautiful gifts? SimpIy and sincerely, I thank you.
Each time we set the table at Southern Vintage Table, we honor these women and many others who loved their families and the special time they spent around their family dinner table. Namaste.
PS – My to-do-list continues from weeks’ past. Something more interesting than ironing napkins and cleaning silverware always comes up! Thank goodness…
Two weeks ago I mentioned that I had picked up a beautiful vintage china pattern from the 1930s that I needed to photograph and inventory for Southern Vintage Table. Time to check this goal off the list!
This pattern was made in Japan by a company called Garden City. According to a leading china replacement company, Garden City had only 17 patterns. This one is known as GAR13 – pretty plain for such a delightful, bright pattern!
Normally, I don’t buy whole sets of china, but there is the exception – might be that the pattern is extraordinary or it’s an exceptional buy – and in this case, it was both. Here’s the set I purchased.
What I saw in this pattern wasn’t necessarily how beautiful it would look at the dinner table but how well the florals of green, blue, yellow and pink would go with so many other patterns. With the distinct green rim, it is a perfect pattern to layer. Whether it anchors the place setting as the dinner plate or sits between the dinner and dessert, it makes a lovely presentation.
Starting with showcasing the dinner plate, here are a few gorgeous place settings!
The outer green rim sets off the trio of vintage patterns so beautifully in these settings with the Garden City pattern as the salad plate!
And, of course, two layers are simply beautiful as well!
China Garden’s GAR13 is now part of Southern Vintage Table‘s inventory. We can mix and match it with our other beautiful patterns for a charming, eclectic look your guests will love!
The continuing saga of my long list of goals continues. But first, I want to update Carrie’s ribbon count – she won 10 blue and 6 red! Her flowers are that beautiful! This week I’m focusing on painting and ironing with a marketing call in there, too. Thanks for checking in!
Last week’s post was about setting goals for the week at Southern Vintage Table. This practice had the desired effect – it kept me focused, busy and feeling very accomplished as I checked things off. But I didn’t get to everything and, having been a teacher, I can’t help it – I have to give myself a grade. Here’s my personal evaluation of the week, starting with the trips.
Trip 1 – Nursery. Monday was a beautiful day for a country drive to the nursery with Carrie of Fernrock Farm! I bought 5 varieties of sedums, including my favorite – hens and chicks. Later in the week I drilled holes in 16 teacups/gravy boats/bowls that had small and even not-so-small imperfections, like cracks or chips. Now they have become sweet little sedum gardens. Imagine seeing one at your place setting with your name on it – wouldn’t you love it?
Trip 2 – State Fair. Carrie, Trudy and I went to the state fair Tuesday and had a marvelous time. We checked the outdoor garden area for ideas and then went through the Cut Flower competition Carrie entered her dahlias, a speciality of Fernrock Farm, into the fair competition for the first time and won 6 blue and 2 red ribbons. She’s now officially an award winning flower farmer! I, on the other hand, didn’t get to enter the Fine Dining competition because of the lottery, and when we found the display, we quickly realized why. There were only 7 tables in the competition. The tables were lovely and some were quite glamorous, but if I get to be in it next year, I do believe I’ll be adding “award winning table setter” to my resume!
Trip 3 – Mom and the thrift store. Mom, as usual, was delightful and loved the treat I brought her. I found two unusual things at the thrift store stop – a set of Tiara Glass Ponderosa footed tumblers and a stein ice bucket. Aren’t they great additions to our Vintage Bar collection?
Trip 4 – Merry Hill Farm. Three goals were related to Merry Hill Farm – the book, the special pricing and the vignette. Got all done! Thanks to feedback from Carrie, Trudy and Randy, I finalized the special offers to couples who book with Southern Vintage Table, Fernrock Farm and Merry Hill. The beautiful trio of venue, flowers and vintage china is the perfect package for a special event! Our book for Merry HIll arrived Friday – perfect timing for Saturday’s couples coming to Merry Hill. And, here’s the vignette I delivered and set up.
Other goals. I cleaned 6 pieces of silver – got a full basket still left to do. I started measuring and taking photos of the lace toppers. As I put them on the clothes line, I noticed that I have some repair work to do on several. Sigh… but not a surprise with vintage linens I didn’t iron one napkin, didn’t take inventory of the new china additions nor did I paint and distress this week. I did put up a chalk board for blog ideas but need to add more.
With the beautiful weather ahead, I look forward to my work week at Southern Vintage Table and checking off my old/new list. As far as my grade, I’m giving myself an extension but so far, it’s looking pretty darn good!
PS – Here are Carrie and Trudy looking at the Decorated Cake competition at the fair. Yes, they were beautiful! Inspired us to go to our next stop – fried elephant ears. Can’t go to the fair and not get something fried, right? And, you have to see the giant pumpkins, too!
One lesson I am learning as the small business owner of Southern Vintage Table is to set goals for my week ahead and create a schedule. This practice keeps me focused, busy and positive! Here’s what I am working on for this week- and probably into next week, too.
1. Write a blog and keep it real. (Working on this goal right now.) Publish Monday. Get an idea board for future blog topics.
2. Produce and order a photo book with Carrie from Fernrock Farm in collaboration with Merry Hill Farm. Deliver to Lynne at Merry Hill on Friday for Saturday’s appointments.
3. Finalize special pricing packages for Merry Hill clients. Print copies and get vintage china vignette ready for Friday delivery.
4. Visit nursery with Carrie to pick up indoor sedums to plant in china teacups for Merry Hill vignette and future clients. Drill holes in teacups and plant sedums.
5. Visit the NC State Fair Fine Dining exhibit. (Yes, they have a competition for table decorating but there is a lottery for entrants. Unfortunately, I didn’t not get selected but I’m going to do a little research and be ready for next year! I’m working on an idea that uses one of the vintage trumpets I won at the auction as a center piece.)
6. Plan with Carrie our next marketing strategy (wedding planners and caterers?) and set appointments.
7. Take photos of recent china pattern purchases for inventory book and for upcoming blog. (I picked up a beautiful pattern from the 1930s that I can’t wait to share!)
8. Measure and take photos of lace toppers for inventory book and upcoming blog.
9. Paint and distress recently purchased frames. Buy blackboard, have it cut and mounted in each. Take photos and inventory.
10. Clean recently purchased silverware. Take inventory. (I may try a new technique for cleaning off tarnish that uses baking soda, aluminum foil and boiling water.)
11. Iron and sort vintage napkins.
12. Stop by a couple of thrift stores on my way to visit my mom. (Love this part of my job!)
LOTS to do, but after years of teaching, planning and grading papers, I LOVE that my work schedule includes trips to the state fair, a nursery and a few thrift stores! Work is fun and fun is work!
Armed with nearly a hundred receptors in each, your fingertips perceive your personal environment – soft or hard, cold or warm, pain or pleasure. While pain receptors help us know when we are hurt, receptors also help us feel pleasure – like when you pick up a textured vintage goblet or glass.
One distinguishing feature of many vintage patterns of glassware is texture – it can be cut or pressed glass, bumpy, or cubed. Vintage colors span the rainbow, with greens, yellows, blues, pinks, reds, and clear. There are many, many patterns and here are some of our favorites of amber, green, and blue glassware at Southern Vintage Table.
I call this crinkle glass and have seen it described as lava glass, bark, or bumpy, but two official pattern names are Milano, manufactured by Anchor Hocking, and Driftwood by Seneca. Both patterns come in varied colors and Southern Vintage Table has many in green, gold, blue, and clear. I love the way this glass feels in my hand and how the light shines through it.
Both the color and texture are noticed in these beautiful blue vintage glasses. The first pattern is Tartan by Anchor Hocking and the other goblet is Facets by Libbey/Rock Sharpe glassware. The pattern names of the two circular tumblers are unknown. Wouldn’t these all be lovely with vintage blue and white plates?
One of my favorite patterns is Whitehall Colony glassware. It’s heft and cubed texture make it just perfect to sip any cold beverage. The colors are also varied – harvest gold, amber, avocado green, light blue, emerald green, and clear.
This happy vintage pattern is called Country Garden made by Libbey/Rock Sharpe. Discontinued in the mid 1970s, this embossed flower pattern embodies the saying “flower power.”
One style of glassware that fits perfectly in your hands has a “thumbprint” indentation. Colony’s Crown pattern is one and we have this lovely glassware in green, gold, and blue. We also have goblets in green and bowls in amber.
Imperial Glass has several patterns that use the thumbprint feel. Two are Provinicial and Williamsburg. Their green and amber colors are rich and the feel of the glass is impressive.
The final set of featured goblets are our most recent additions. I found them at a thrift store and both the owner and I had never seen these! They are very substantial and unusual with the coolest feet and pedestal. The citron green goblet was manufactured by Franciscan Crystal in the 1970s and the pattern is called Madeira. I cannot find the dark green goblet with the bark-like texture but I haven’t given up just yet! It’s full of details and I’m certain I’ll eventually find out more. Any help out there identifying is welcomed!
The sparkle on the table is the glassware and vintage glassware patterns give you much more – texture, heft, deep colors, and history! These patterns and more are available at Southern Vintage Table for your guests’ pleasure and enjoyment!
Square vintage plates are now high on my list of favorites here at Southern Vintage Table. Whether it’s a dinner, salad or dessert plate, glass or porcelain, the unexpected shape is a sweet surprise! They look terrific layered and also make fabulous serving dishes.
One classic vintage square plate pattern is Madrid by Federal Glass, manufactured during the early 1930s in Columbus, Ohio. This is the only Madrid dinner plate I have found on my adventures and will be a lovely serving plate for sweet treats or hors d’oeuvres.
Classic blue and white – a look we all love. This white swirl salad plate by Johnson Brothers between the two vintage blue dishes makes this place setting distinctive.
This setting features a square plate with a Godey print. The image comes from a publication called Godey’s Lady’s Book which was popular in the mid to late1800s. Here’s a link to the site, Accessible Archives, with articles from this vintage publication – very interesting material!
This final layered settings are for that high drama look. These vintage china patterns featuring gold and flowers and beautiful by themselves but layered together, wow!
Square is in – at least for vintage china place settings. They can be center stage or the backdrop pattern but two things are for certain – they will add pizzazz to your table and Southern Vintage Table is ready to help!
Green is much more than a color… it’s the essence of nature and environmental enlightenment. The color green is also classic vintage.
Vintage plates featuring green range from a delicate sprinkle to a vividly bold pattern.
The avocado green and teals of vintage vases are quintessential midcentury. Texture also was popular with vintage glassware.
So, sorry Kermit, being green is easy with Southern Vintage Table! Whether you are looking for classic green crinkle goblets or the delicate pink dinner plates, choosing us means you are choosing green. From vintage plates to vintage decor, our inventory is eco-friendly, rescued, restored and ready for you to appreciate and share with your guests.
Having a party and want something that’s gonna raise the bar just a bit? Pun intended, of course… Consider renting vintage bar supplies from Southern Vintage Table.
We have vintage ice buckets and decanters; vintage relish dishes, snack bowls, platters and small snack plates; an eclectic mix of vintage stainless steel flatware; and vintage glassware. We also have an assortment of tubs to chill your beer or other drinks for your guests.