Friday, May 30, 2008

Confessions of a tableware addict

I love, love, love china of all sorts. My current everyday tableware is Blue Willow, which is the pattern I had when my husband and I started seeing each other. It's kind of sentimental. After we began working we bought several sets of dishes, but after the inevitable breakage, the replacement pieces weren't always available. Thus, another whole set would be purchased. After doing this twice, we said, "Why not just get Blue Willow? There will always be Blue Willow." So we did.

The reason I had Blue Willow to begin with is that I adore blue and white china. In the past several years I have begun to pick up Spode Blue Room pieces whenever I find them at a reasonable price. (Thank you, T. J. Maxx!). I like to do holiday dinners on the Zoological Series, although I feel guilty giving someone the rhinoceros plate! I have serving pieces and teapots and cookie jars and all sorts of blue and white ware.

My serious china is a pink rose pattern. It's gorgeous, delicate stuff, the thickness of a sheet of parchment, and I always panic when hand washing them, for fear that I'll break a piece. The funny part is where they came from. They're gasoline purchase china. (You know, 99 cents with a fill-up.)

My father was a Standard Oil dealer. In the 60's, the company ran a number of dishware promotions. Each piece was available for a week or two, except for the plates, which you could buy all during the promotion. The pieces were about a dollar each when you filled up your car. The pattern is called Island Rose, and the promotion was announced during a dinner meeting of Standard Oil dealers with the theme "Come to the Chevron Island." Island - you know, pump island. Think gas station. I remember this because Mom and Dad came home with silk flower leis and we thought it was so funny.

Anyway, when the dishes arrived, Mom started putting away a set for me. I was in high school at the time. She was forward-looking enough to know that when I was out on my own I would want china, and good china is expensive. I think it is beautiful and I have always enjoyed using it. I love telling dinner guests that the dishes came from a service station!


Suzan Oxenreider said...

Another addict...I had no idea! Do you find yourself wandering around the tableware department in stores just looking? I have filled up my china cabinet so I have much of my excess on shelves in my storage room.

Love your pink & white china. It is lovely.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for tableware addicts! My best friend Amanda and I have more dishes than shoes or handbags! We're both 30 years old and are absolutely in love with all manner of dishes, china, and tableware. We LOVE Spode (yes, thank you T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, particularly on this grad student's budget!), as well as Portmeirion and Royal Albert. I'm so happy to have stumbled onto your blog today! AND, would you believe it? Amanda has THE SAME pink and white china that you do! We use her cups and saucers for our weekly (well, sometimes daily) tea sessions!

Keep up the addiction and let us know what else you stumble upon!

Connie said...

Your mom was a peach to set aside a set for you! It's lovely!! I'm a plate-a-holic too!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful stuff! Does it give the maker on the pieces?

When I wash mine, I put a dish towel in the bottom of the sink, and the drainer. It makes me feel more confident.

Thanks for this blog!

The Calico Quilter said...

Kimbesa, I found out from a helpful blogger that the pattern is made by Creative China Company and was called Regency Rose (pattern #2345) when sold in stores. Mine says "Island Rose" on the bottom, so Creative must have made a special batch for Standard Oil's promotion. But it's nice to know that I can buy replacement pieces if a disaster happens. (bless their little hearts!) has some of the major pieces in stock.

QuiltingFitzy said...

I have china I "think" is Blue Willow, do you know much about it? Would love to "pick" your brains, I've only seen one piece at an antique shop and would love to supplement my supply!