These are a long story... like all my posts! But this one you'll be amazed at...
American Atelier Athena Ironstone, a pattern that was discontinued at the end of 2008.
I had purchased most of my dishes before the style was discontinued, but I still picked
up pieces here and there from ebay and an online store that still had pieces left, as well as
getting some pieces as gifts from family for all the yearly times you get gifts!
Last December, for my birthday, we found this dishes cabinet on Craigslist for an amazing deal! I was so excited, I have always wanted one of these and this was in the wood finish I wanted, at a price we could afford. It was love at first sight, just like the dishes!
I had never seen dishes I LOVED before! The first time I saw them, they were in a catalog and at a price I could NOT afford. So, I cut out the picture and price list out of the catalog and folded it up so I could look at the dishes longingly over and over until they were no longer available, but I could always have the picture...I have never had fancy dishes. 20 years ago we bought PyroCeram Corningware dishes that were a commercial grade corning ware. I have LOVED them. Even with five children, they have lasted and lasted, drop after drop, but they were just regular plain white dishes. When I saw these,
I knew they were just what I wanted in my fancy dishes.
It was just before Christmas of 2005, and I was about two weeks into one of the rough anxiety times I have had over the past 15 years. When I get in that particular place, I really sequester myself. I don't talk to anyone (believe it or not), I cook and eat really healthy, no sugar or dairy, I clean my house like crazy, and exercise every day. I immerse myself in positive music, positive thoughts, prayer and scripture. I could see where things were heading, I had been there before, and I decided that I would call the catalog and see if there were any dishes left to keep me company in my self induced isolation. (My body hurts so badly during those times, and emotionally I am a wreck, so it is just easier to stay at home mostly. I only go grocery shopping and to church.)
I started looking on ebay and after a month or so, guess what I found. . .? ? ? An entire set of these dishes, in a service for eight. . .Eight Charger plates (the large plates in the back in the above picture), Eight dinner plates (on the bottom of the stacks in the picture on the right), eight salad plates (in the picture above this picture in the stack on the right) Eight Bowls (on the left of the picture on the right...figure THAT out!), eight saucers and cups, a Teapot, cream and sugar, salt and pepper, three canisters, a 9"vegetable bowl, a pedestal cake plate and server, a 13" platter, a gravy boat, a large pitcher and a butter dish!!!! I also found the dishes in an online store. I was able to purchase this entire set for the online price of 7 of the charger plates, plus the shipping.
I was so excited when the dishes came! But when I opened the box... 7 pieces were broken, even though it had been packed well. Broken dishes were 3 charger plates, a cup, the cake plate, a bowl and a plate. I talked to UPS, the shipper, and told them what happened. They asked me to figure out what it would cost to replace the dishes. During the time I had been looking for the dishes, I realized that a nursery home decor store about 2 1/2 hours from me carried these dishes! But they were as expensive as the cataog had been. So I went to the online store, with discounted prices and copied and pasted the pictures and information into an email to UPS. I also took pictures of the broken dishes, so they could see what mine looked like after being shipped. I gave them the quote from the nursery home decor store as well as the online store info. They thanked me and said an adjuster would be vising my home to check the packing job of the shipped dishes. No one ever called or came but what did come was a check from UPS in the amount I gave them from the online store....which just happened to be nearly the same amount I had originally paid for the ENTIRE SET OF DISHES!! So, YOU KNOW what I did then...went back to ebay and within a few months ANOTHER set for eight came up for auction! Not all the pieces were there in this set, but there were a few pieces that I didn't have yet! Six large mugs that are wonderful for hot chocolate! So, I bought another platter, salt and pepper, sugar and creamer, dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, cups and saucers, teapot, vegetable bowl, gravy boat and butter dish! And I only spent the amount of the check from UPS! I have never had anything like this happen to me! Two sets for the price of one that was a really reduced price. The really interesting thing is that there has not been any more sets like these come up on ebay since. I have watched! And these dish prices have risen there for individual pieces!.
But, I did find a few MORE pieces, also made by American Atelier, the style is called Baroque, and it has a similar look and groups so well with the Athena dishes. Each plate is different in pattern or shape and is so much fun to mix with different colored salad plates or dessert plates. For the Spring, I have yellow "Fleur de lis" dishes by Sweet Olive Designs that Daughter*2 and her hubby gave me for Mother's Day last year. They were purchased from One King's Lane and I just love them! The white plates and bowl with the yellow flowers and green leaves belonged to my Mother's Mother, who died when I was a year old. I have always adored these dishes and was so happy when I inherited them. It warms my heart to have these dishes where I can see them and reminds me of the times, as a girl, I felt so "grown up" when my Mother let us eat with these "very special" dishes!!! : ) They still make me feel special and loved. I also have other vintage clear goblets and dishes in my dishes cabinet that I got from my own Mother, or antique shops or thrift stores. The waffle iron was my hubby's Grandmother and it still works! We even use it!
When the kids were younger, we would have candlelight dinners with everyone dressed up and on their best behavior. They would ring the doorbell and introduce themselves as they "arrived". They each spoke with some kind of an accent, and treated each other as guests and friends. My hubby even participated. He asked how I wanted him to dress, and I said "However you'd like, just not in jeans and a t-shirt." Once he came dressed as "Elvis" in a suede jacket and greased hair with LOTS of cologne on. Another time he came as James Bond...dressed in his wetsuit with a swimming mask on his head!
Heart hugs to you!
Blissful Whites Wednesday
Thanks so much, Becky!
LadyFinger pans from Lululiz's Etsy shop, La Croix Rosion.
this pan with me, so we can make tiny ones for hot chocolate parties!
Also, Daughter*4 and I are trying to drink more water so we placed our carafes on the
counter as well, to use for our water glasses and they look nice
as part of the counter decor.
This post was featured at
Blissful Whites Wednesday!!!
Thank you, so much, Becky!
I am so glad you like my dishes!