Wednesday, March 30, 2022

In Which I Confess That I Have A Problem

My friends, I have a confession. I am a bit obscessed with dishes, more specifically, with setting a pretty table. When I go to thrift stores if I don't leave without buying a new piece, I can assure you that in most cases I at least walked around the store for thirty minutes trying to justify why it was ok to add yet another piece to my collection and then deciding against it. Sometimes I even regretted my choice and thought about it for days and went back only to find the piece had sold. Its a problem, for sure. And the sad thing about it is, I haven't been very good about even using what I already have since moving back into the apartment last year. I envision ushering in the weekend and the Sabbath on Friday evenings and setting a pretty table, and then closing it again on Sunday night with "Sunday Night by Candlelight". But to be honest, since most of the time it's just me, I refrain from all the trouble, even though I long for it. Which brings me to another topic, why do we feel we can't do these special things just for ourselves? We'll talk more about that another day, but for now let's get back to all of these dishes.
The dishes you see there at the top are my "Christmas" dishes, although in all honesty I love plaid so much I could use them year round, but to keep them looking new and making it special, I try to refrain. They are both sturdy, well made plastic, but the red/white/green set is a little nicer. I picked them up at Target this past Christmas.  The red and black plaid are the dishes I orginally bought to use in the van, but then we ended up going with something else but since I liked them so much I held on to them. I have a set of four dinner plates, salad plates and bowls in this pattern, but the red/white/green plaid, sadly, only offered dinner plates, either that, or I found them too late to get the other pieces. I have four of the dinner plates. 

The next set, the beautiful red ones (above), were my Christmas present from my daughter this year. They are from the Pioneer Woman collection. I have a set of four dinner plates, four salad plates and four bowls. Oddly enough, these did not come with coffee cups, which is pretty standard, but I don't mind so much, takes up less space. These are my new "special occassion" dishes, so they will be used for those Friday night Sabbath dinners I want to re-introduce, or Sunday nights, or birthdays, anniversaries, probably even Christmas. I tend to set pretty tables more around the holidays.

And that brings us to this set, the pretty black and white ones. I absolutely love these, and I could kick myself for not buying more. I got them at Dollar General, of all places, but they look and feel expensive. They have a definite farmhouse feel about them, and they are so cute with my black and white checked napkins. I used these in my tablescape for my birthday dinner this past year, and it was just so pretty. I have two dinner plates, two salad plates, two bowls and two coffee cups in this set, and like I said, I wish now I had purchased a service for four. I am thinking that once my husband is home these will become our everyday dishes that we use at dinner time. Though I won't go all out, I do want to start being more mindful of setting the table instead of everyone gravitating in front of the TV. That's ok, sometimes, but I don't want it to become a habit. I am really bad about not using things because I don't want them to get broken or chipped, but that's really not being a good steward. What's the point of having pretty dishes if all they do is sit in the cabinet? You can't even enjoy them! Not to mention the fact that I seem to have NO problem finding pretty dishes, so if one set is damaged, I'll just replace it with something new. None of these dishes are expensive, I think the reds ones cost the most, and they were a gift!

And now let's move on to the set I am on the fence about and may end up selling. I picked up a service for two, two dinner plates, two salad plates, two bowls and two coffee cups about this time last year from Target. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them. My husband hates them. He says they look too modern. Personally, the pattern reminds me a bit of a tree trunk, or the veins on a green leaf in the spring. I thought they had an overall nature/outdoorsy feel about them, and I think once he sees how I plan to use them in a tablescape, he will agree. But, because he didn't like them I only bought a service for two. They are a very nice quality set, but still were not that expensive. The outside of the coffee cup and the bottom of the plates are black and the inside of the cup and the top of plate is the most beautiful shade of green. You can just see the edge of the pretty green and red plaid napkins I bought around Christmas. They go perfect with these dishes, although I actually bought them to go with the red/white/green plaid dishes in the first picture.
And FINALLY, this set is what I refer to as my "Breakfast Dishes". I've had this lovely little set of white dishes with its delicate basket weave and sweet garland of fruit trimming the edges for a long time now. I picked them up at thrift store years ago and this was what the girls and I used for our tea times when we homeschooled, so there is a lot of sentiment attached to them. I have a set of five of these, because when I bought them we often had foster children in our home and I wanted them to have their own place setting. The larger plates are actually the size of a salad plate, and then I have matching saucers and tea cups. I'm not sure if there were ever dinner plates or bowls to match, or not, but I've seen this design in thrift shops since and they always seem to be this size. It was perfect for our afternoon tea times, and because they are are a lovely shade of white, it's easy to set a variety of tablescapes for different occassions and they always look lovely. I will probably never get rid of these because of their sentimental value. Eventually I'll probably give each of my girls a set of two, or maybe if one of them has two daughters one with get a set of three. Who knows? It also depends on if they last, because I plan to keep using them. I'm not sure when they transitioned from being tea-time to breakfast dishes, I think at some point after the girls grew up. Like I said, there are lots of memories tied to them, so it makes eating breakfast on them a sentimental pleasure.

In addition to this I have other serving pieces that match several of the sets, all in shades of red, green, black and white.  There is also a set of black dishes that belongs to my daughter that we currently use as our every day dishes. We have a service for four, but one of the salad plates broke last year, so if I'm using them in a tablecape, I can only set a full service for 2-3. I keep looking for a plate to replace it when I go to thrift stores (the pattern has been discontinued), but so far I haven't had any luck. 

As for glassware, we have four lovely black tumblers that we use with several of the sets of dishes, but to be honest, most of the time we drink out of canning jars in various shapes and sizes. I use them often in my tablescapes as I find they lend an old fashioned/farmhouse feel and none of my tablescapes are ever fussy, that's just not my style. For ALL of the dishes I own, I only own one china tea cup and saucer. Even when I registered for my wedding years ago, china didn't make the list of things I wanted. I've just never been that formal.

So, I hope you'e enjoyed perusing my obsession. :) If you like dishes and setting a pretty table like I do, then I'm sure you did. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the tablecloths, napkins, napkin rings. Oh my! They are all in the linen closet, which I'll hopefully get around to weeding through today! If nothing else, I hope this post has perhaps inspired you to set a pretty table and enjoy using the things you love! It's definitley something I want to become more intentional about!

Until then, my friends!


Patti said...

I, too, love dishes! However, when we downsized 3 l/2 years ago, I had to get rid of some stuff, as I didn't have room for it. I got rid of an entire set (6 place settings, serving pieces) of light blue Fiesta Ware. I also got rid of one set of Christmas dishes. What I use now is Pink Fiesta Ware, mixed with my grandmother's Desert Rose china for spring and summer. SO...I just got that out March 1st, and I was thrilled to see it, after it being put away since September. In September, October, and November, I use rust-colored plates and bowls from the Dollar Store, mixed with a collection of burgundy and cream vintage china. Then, in December, I use Christmas china from Gibson, mixed with solid red chargers. I really would love to have your red dishes (or red Fiesta Ware) and just get rid of the Christmas dishes. Your red dishes are absolutely gorgeous!!!

I understand what you mean about not going fancy for just yourself. When my husband works late or is out of town, I tend to just stand at the kitchen counter and eat. SO not a way to enjoy a meal.


Patti said...

Oh, and when I say "china," it's not fancy. It's more like pottery.

Kimberly Lottman said...

I went into this cabinet yesterday with the full intent of weeding out, but alas, I ended up putting it all back. I'm still on the fence about the green and black dishes. Thinking about putting them in my donate or sale box and seeing how I feel about them not being in the cabinet after a week or so. :)

Everydaythings said...

Trust me when i say that buying all this tableware is really trying to live your fantasy self. We really do need to look at the practicalities of our daily lives before buying up more and more of this stuff. I bought a huge dinner set about ten yrs ago, have i ever used it? Nope. What do i use as an empty nester... regular white plates from target. Im steeling myself to part with said dinner set...but its going to be hard!

Kimberly Lottman said...

@Everydaythings So glad to know that I'm not the only one! I'm really trying to ask myself "Will I ever really use this?" before I buy anything. But sometimes that's not even a good measure as I think I will, but then I don't, which I guess is my answer. But, ugh! It's a struggle! :)