What is THIS all about?

Thanks for coming to my Blog! I am a Daughter of a King, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of five, MomInLaw of two, and Gram of three. Designing and creating feeds something inside of me! This blog will be sharing about my faith, my family, my life, my creations and collections. I am on a journey to learn balance and will be sharing about that as well. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blissful White Wednesday ~ My White Dishes

You have seen some of my dishes before, but here is their story! And they are Blissfully White to me!
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.)
The dishes weren't pictured in the most recent catalog and I hoped what they still had would be on clearance. And they were! In the second picture, you can see some of the pieces I got from there. The large pitcher, the gravy boat, the salt and pepper shakers, and the butter dish. There was also a 9" vegetable bowl and a creamer (the picture to the left) and sugar dish set. I asked if they were on clearance and she said, "More like clearance, Clearance, CLEARANCE!" There was also one box of dinnerware, or the computer said there was one box, so I said, "I will take it all!" When the box arrived, there wasn't actually a box of the dinnerware, they couldn't find that box. But when I looked at the invoice I was so surprised! The cost of those eight pieces and two lids, was only about $20....plus shipping! I could not believe it! (I found out later that in the less expensive online store, just the pitcher sold for $16!) And then the REAL fun began!

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!
Some of the silver and glass items in the picture to the left are from my Mother's things, some of my Mom~in~law's things, the silver bowl in the back was a wedding gift 32 years ago. The mini wine cooler/toothpick holder I purchased from Lululizinlalaland's Etsy store, La Croix Rosion. It was made in Sheffield, England and since our sparkling cider is called Sheffield Cider, it was just too perfect and I had to purchase a few of them from her! She also had those lovely vintage French rusty keys, they usually hang on the door knob of the cabinet. The bottle coaster was another item I found on ebay that was made in Sheffield, England. It had a small piece broken off of it and I got a great deal on it! I use it when I do cider tastings as well as when we drink cider for special dinners. Some of the goblets are crystal and from the thrift store and the goblets on the left are the ones we use  everyday. I have really enjoyed these dishes and continue to. I try to use them at least once a month for a family meal and more often for lunch with my hubby. One day our son said "Dad, can't you make her stop buying those dishes?", he was 14....My hubby said "Oh, leave your Mom alone, she loves those dishes!" I said to him, "Someday you will all leave me, and all I will have for fun is my DISHES!" Now I have enough for all my kids to get some dishes and they enjoy the special family dinners we have with them. I have tried to take some tablescape pictures with them, but I never get everything done in time to take pictures before the meal.
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!
Sometimes our meal was Pizza or homemade macaroni and cheese on paper plates, but there was music and candles and fun and we have great memories of those meals. Now we use nice dishes and candles and eat fancy food, and are still making wonderful memories of fun meals together. And now our son even thinks the dishes are great! He just wants to inherit some! If you made it all the way through the post, thanks for reading my LONG stories!
Heart hugs to you!

Betsy
Linking to 
Blissful Whites Wednesday
at Timewashed
Thanks so much, Becky!
The counter between the pantry and the refrigerator. Vintage Madeleine and
LadyFinger pans from Lululiz's Etsy shop, La Croix Rosion.
The pan in the back makes small Madeleines, and Grandgirl*1 is going to share
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!

19 comments:

  1. Wonderful eye - it's all beautiful. I love the depth of design on the plates. That soup tureen is faaabulous with the bird on top! Bet your heart just dropped when the broken dishes arrived. (Mine would have.) And, what a special memory your children will have of the grand dress up dinners:) That was brilliant; wish I thought of it.
    Have a beautiful day,
    JoeyLea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joey,
      My heart did break, I didn't know if they would replace the broken dishes or not. I was able to eventually get more charger plates and a cake stand to replace those pieces as really good prices, before the dishes were discontinued. I also found additional serving pieces, like the Pheasant Tureen, and it has been so much fun to use them!
      We will have to have a dress up dinner this August when my Grandgirls are here! That will be fun! Our entire family, the 11 of us!, will be together for the first time in two years! FAmily picture time!
      Hugs,
      Betsy

      Delete
  2. I love those dishes too! I have a set of Athena that my Christmas money from work bought me, a set of 8 on sale! I have some chips that I need to replace but I need serving dishes! Yours are beautiful. Di

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have serving dishes I ca sell you, let me tell yiu, I kinda overdid it!
      hugs,
      Betsy

      Delete
  3. Beautiful dishes, they were meant to be yours! Gorgeous china cabinet too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Karen,
      It seemed they were meant to be mine, to tell you the truth....and they speak to me! LOLOLOLOL Scary, I know!
      Thanks for coming by!
      Hugs,
      Betsy

      Delete
  4. That's an amazing story and the dishes are really spectacular. I can see why you loved them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by Derrith!
      It's always fun to see you!
      hugs,
      Betsy

      Delete
  5. Hi Betsy,

    What a great story! I love your cabinet !!
    The dishes are so beautiful. What a great idea to have
    these dinner parties with your husband and children.
    Love it !!

    Hugs,
    Wilma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am really glad I did it. I am NOT a perfect Mother by AY description, but NO ONE can say it was boring at Our House! LOL
      It's good to see you Wilma, hope all is well!

      Hugs,
      Betsy

      Delete
  6. Oh my goodness what a journey you took to get your dishes! They are just a gorgeous set and timeless. So surprised that UPS so readily covered the broken dishes!! I know your whole family will enjoy them for years to come!

    Carol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a journey, but I htink that part makes them all the more special. My SIL sent me a song because of my ebaying to find the dihes...I laughed so hard I cried! I will add a link to that.!
      Thanks for coming by Carol!
      Hugs to you,
      Betsy

      Delete
  7. Dear Betsy what an amazing story and what amazing dishes. I can see your heart in these pieces.
    So very beautiful! and just so perfect for that lovely cabinet. These things bring us so much joy don't they.
    Love your vintage pans purchased from Liz too.
    Hugs,
    Suzy

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love your dishes and hutch! I am a new follower from southern charm! I would love for you to check out my blog and follow me back! Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was sure I had commented as I had read this post, but I can't see my comment anywhere! I love this pieces of furniture and how fun is it to get to change it around. Again, we loved the extra cider. I am showing it again in another post - in a bride gown - you will have to wait to see it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. So much of your post resonates with me dear Betsy! What wonderful family moments you have shared.
    So loved reading your candlelight dinner stories & what fun for them to dress up & put on accents - beautiful! I too have madeleine trays like yours. Can I ask you how do you stop them sticking? I have tried
    greasing & flouring them - they still stick. I have given up using them & have them on display like you have. I found a silicone madeleine tray recently and will use that but I do so love the metal ones. Hugs to you x Kerry

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  11. Your dishes are gorgeous,dear Betsy.
    Hugs,
    Marie

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  12. What a neat story, Betsy. All those dishes were truly meant for you to find and enjoy. I really like your idea of having your family dress up and 'arrive' for a nice dinner, introducing themselves. How fun!
    Thanks so much for your kind visit and comments.
    xo, Susan

    ReplyDelete
  13. Betsy, your cabinet and dishes are gorgeous !!!!!
    You have such a great eye for balancing and displaying your dishes so they look perfect.
    I love the colours too xo

    ReplyDelete

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