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Kay/NC
Advisor

China pattern(s)?

Jillions of years ago, we had a "formal" china, and then they came up with "everyday" china.   Picking this pattern, crystal and sterling silver flatware were BIG DEALS when you became a bride. 

 

I did away with the flatware and formal bone china ages ago...too fussy and impractical.  Never had much of either one, and with my crystal nearing $200 a stem today, I am sort of intimidated by it, too. 

 Relied on mostly inexpensive boxed sets of dishes for most of my housekeeping years, but finally settled on  Pfaltgraff "Naturewood" maybe a dozen years ago.  It is one of their most prolific patterns...hundreds of different pieces and accesssories. 

 I stuck to collecting a lot of the small dessert bowls, sandwich servers, snack sets, soup mugs, etc., and accumulated a good number of nice serving pieces and things like candlesticks.  They mad e dog and cat bowls, which I came across in a cabinet the other day.  There's even a child's tea set here somewhere in a trunk, waiting for my grandma days...or second childhood, whichever comes first. 

This is our only china...still have a few pieces of the last one I had before this one, but they are in the backroom kitchen now.  I quit collecting Pfaltzgraff completely when the company sold to China, since the quality of the newer pieces just did not measure up anymore. 

Naturewood is very casual, garden-themed and muted in color scheme.  I did not even notice the red and purple in the border bands, until we did the kitchen over with some red and purple a few years ago, and it popped right out at me.  Funny how you miss a detail like that....

Just for fun, what is your china pattern?  What colors, designs does it have on it?  Have you had it for long...do you still like it, do you like everything to match on the table, or are jelly jars okay with you? 

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9 Replies
turkey feather
Senior Contributor

Re: China pattern(s)?

Some of you will think I am nuts but I now have daffodil dishes and glasses for Easter, turkey dishes for Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes and glasses. I have always hosted the holiday meals and I think if the table is pretty the food tastes better. A lot of people are going to paper for holidays but I don't mind washing the dishes, yet. I also get out my holiday decorations. I have a new set of pine cone dishes for the cabin to fit that theme.  As for everyday, I could use a matched set of nice dishes instead of the mixture we now use.  I like Corelle but it is a real mess if the fall on the ceramic floor.

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chick06
Senior Contributor

Re: China pattern(s)?

My china pattern is called Harvest. It has greens, golds, and reds. It has fruits and vegetables. I know it may not sound pretty but it really is. It is also one of the only gifts that my Dad told me to get. Three years after I was married a jewelry store was going out of business and he told me to pick a china pattern and he wanted to buy it for me. As usual, by time I did get to the store, I was so busy then, there was not much to choose from, but this one caught my eye. I use it for holidays. My Mom also has a china cabinet full which my girls will inherit. I use dishes from Kroger for everyday. THey have a rooster on them. My daughter has the Christmas dishes and loves to have different ones for different holidays. I really don't like the paper for holidays, but when your family is huge like ours, its better than being in the kitchen all afternoon, because the dishwasher would not hold them all.

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wt510151
Senior Contributor

Re: China pattern(s)?

A mixture of dishware doesn't look bad if it complements each other. We've got a hodgepodge of anything and everything from the solid brown dishes of the 60s or 70s to blue flowers on the edge in the 90s. We don't mind as we see something is better than nothing. Don't have many guests either so the look of real china isn't so important. Cheaper than buying paper products, too.

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suey1973
Senior Contributor

Re: China pattern(s)?

Noritake,  Champlain.  White with silver rings.   Honestly,   I had to go pull one out of the cabinet to get the info.  My mom has lots and lots of china.   I think at least 3 sets.    I've already gotten the Americana Fostoria Chrystal.     My everyday stuff is Corelle,  White with Brown flowers.   Popular in the late '70's.     Glasses are whatever  I feel like using.    Tupperware,  or cheap plastic.   

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lawinkle
Advisor

Re: China pattern(s)?

Years ago I began to collect china.  It has been a hobby of mine for a long time.  As I wrote this post I realized how prolific I have been in my collecting!

 

I have a service for 12 of authentic Franciscanware in the Apple pattern.  I love that for autumn. 

 

I have a service of 12 in Homer Laufton's (sp) Wheat pattern.  That is our formal china that I use for adults only dinners.  It is ivory with gold rims and was a gift from our children a few Christmases ago. 

 

I have a growing collection of Stangl Maizeware in all four colors.  It is our favorite and is very hard to find.  My dining room is decorated around this pottery type dinnerware which is an embossed corn pattern in spring green, summer yellow, harvest gold, and winter brown.  I absolutely love it!  Think Majolica and you can imagine it.

 

Our everyday dishes are Stangl Fruit pattern.  It is a hand painted European type ceramic that has a Tuscan Country look and is the theme of my kitchen. 

 

Oh!  There is also a service of 24 of cheap china in simple white with gold rim that I use when the grands are here for a formal holiday dinner.  They love it that they can have a grown up table.  I am with the poster who loves her dinnerware and doesn't like to eat on paper.  When I was dirt poor I always imagined what it would be like to eat on china with real napkins and proper crystal and silverware.  I love to set a table and enjoy the experience.  Even if it is out on the patio.  To me, that is one of life's little pleasures. 

 

Except for my Maizeware none of these patterns is expensive.  Everything is interchangable which I love.  The girls will each get a set some day when we downsize!

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Kay/NC
Advisor

Canisters and decorative pieces to match?

Tile truly is the kiss of death for a dish, isn't it?  My one completely broken piece of all my Naturewood bit the dust on the new tile hearth in the dining rooom a couple of months ago, and NO ONE has a replacement for it so far.  Rats!   I will keep looking for it on eBay and Replacements, Ltd. 

You remind me of the first time I saw Martha Stewart on TV...it was a Thanksgivin gdinner show, adn she had turkey plates, individual soup tureens, and seasonal everything, and held the dinner in her converted (tobacco?) barn.    I admire people who have all the energy to manage so many differenet sets of stuff for different holidays.  My pattern has its own Christmas set, and I do pull that out for at least the kids Christmas breakfast here...but, that is about it!

Like many of us, I lived with make-do settings for decades.  When I started on this pattern, i had no idea how many of the pieces would be offered.  I ordered pretty regularly for probably 3 -4 years, and have a decent collection.  I would probably not have stopped, if not for the lesser quality of the imports.  I love that - no matter what we are having - I can set a nice table. 

I bought 14 place settings of nice Oneida stainless at the same general time.  Butter master knives and individual spreaders, seafood forks, long-handled teaspoons, and serving pieces out the wazoo.  It is such a luxury, and Mike even notices how nice it is to be able to set a respectable table, as LA says. 

I do not really like to use paper even when we are camping...I think it feels more wasteful than anything to me. 

eBay had some "City Market" Pfaltzgraff pieces like a teapot, some tiny canisters and such, and I did order a few of them as decorative pieces for my veggie kitchen.  It is very cute, but I have no need for whole settings.  Colorful...I could not resist them. 

Being from NC now, I do like some of the Seagrove potters, and look for them and their work at craft shows and on vacation.  Have a couple of custom things, like a purple canister set, that one of them made for me.  I need to rearrange some of these and some of the Naturewood now that my dining room and hallway tile work is done....

My most favorite pottery piece is a medium-sized pitcher in a sort of speckled purplish pink with specks of ivory, made by a local craftsman.  It is just the perfect pitcher for a day's herbal tea or a meal's water refills.  

Out of every dish and piece of pottery, which is your most special one?   

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linda/IL
Senior Contributor

Re: Canisters and decorative pieces to match?

This sure brings back some memories.  When I was a senior in high school there was a salesman who sold my parents a set of cookware for me.  Along with it came a set of stoneware.  Cheap dark stuff that chips & shows a white chunk.  I still have a couple bowls & some saucers somewhere in my trashy basement.

Then as a newlywed I had a set of melmac.  Remember-that plastic stuff from the 60's?

I also picked out a pattern of stoneware which is my favorite yet.  Museum White by Iroquis, Henry Ford Museum.  It was discontinued before I got a complete set & I broke a few handles off cups.  They do have it at Replacements.com but very $$.  Pfaltzgraff picked up a similar copy of it but mine is a greyish white & theirs is white white & a little different shape to it.

I also have a 12 pc. set my brother got me in China when he was in the Navy.  White filigree w/silver edging.  Fancy.  Not my taste but what do you do?  Don't want to hurt his feelings.

My mom bugs me that I don't use it 'cuz he got it for me.

For everyday I have the Pfatzgraff white w/the blue design in the center.  Have quite a bit of it but it's heaviness is hard on the prongs of the dishwasher.

I always wanted the Christmas Winterberry plates for the holidays so when they went on sale through Amazon I sent for them.  My DIL had a funny look on her face when she saw my table.

Then I opened up my present from her to find another set; I think I must have about 20 or 25 plates!  LOL Really hope I don't use them at once!

At this point of my life I think I'd like a set of Corelle for everyday but haven't seen a pattern that grabs me.  What is it about china-I could collect so many patterns-it's an addiction I guess.

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Kay/NC
Advisor

Re: Canisters and decorative pieces to match?

Can you imagine gettting a girl a set of pots and pans for graduation today?!? I can hear the hissy fit now!

I do remember the plastic dishware of our youth...YUCK!  We had some plastic ware when the kids were small, for safety's sake, I guess.  It was clunky, and I always felt like we were eating in the cafeteria at school when we used it. 

It sounds like many of us have a crowd of china patterns in our past, and some still in our present.  My mistakes included a too-vanilla white Pfaltzgraff from the Williamsburg pottery outlet, and some Corelle, too.  I finally managed to break enough of that to have an excuse to buy some stoneware. 

I have alwasy preferred a more Oriental influence in dishes...teh formal China I got rid of was "Plum Blossoms" by Lenox, very far-Eastern.  The Naturewood I have amassed nwo started with a sale set of rice bowls adn buffet plates that are very Oriental-influenced.  The rest are more typical English-looking watering cans and bee skeps.  I liked the dragonflies and bees that turn up on this pattern everywhere, too. 

I wish I hah never seen this City Market pattern..it has the eggplants, tomotoes, and other veggies that gave me the inspiration for my red and purple kitchen, plus the white and black background to tie in with my black-backgrounded veggie rugs (Google up Claire Murray's "Harvest" rug to see my crazy taste..I have hte older version in an 8-foot round under my dining table, and several coordinating smaller ones in teh kitchen.) 

Let's blame eBay for bringing it up on a Pfaltzgraf "teapot" search.  I had to have the cute teapot, sugar & creamer, S/P, butter dish for the kitchen.  Am toying with perhaps buying a tiled serving tray and a couple of mugs, to pull them all together as a tea set. 

Have to go to Replacements for those, though, so they would cost, as you say, more $.  The stuff I got on eBay I got mostly either cheaply priced to start with, or offered a best offer about half the asking minimum, and every one of them took my offer!  I will do that when I think their shipping is too high to justify. 

Thinking about this thread last night got me to moving some of my pottery around in the house.  I like where it is better now.  I needed to do this before going to the craft show on Saturday.  Ought to help me control my impulses! 

I think like tellgi Lisa to give the kids a thrid of their toys at once, I need to do this with my decorative things...put most away and use a few at a time.  Just setting items in different locations last nigh felt like having new stuff...and it all looks better where I put it this time.  Oh, that makes me think of a good topic for a new thread!

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: China pattern(s)?

On epoint I wanted to reply to in your post...the part about not having many guests, "so the look of real china isn't that important." 

We rarely have anyone beyond Mike and me, and then, it's usually the kids and maybe a friend or two.  We eat at sort of odd times, and often eat truly odd meals, by most standards, so it's not for other people. 

It just hit me one day, after about 25 years of not liking the table settings I sat down to all that much, that this was a small pleasure we could afford. I wanted stuff to match, for my fork to have straight tines instead of the bent ones from being dragged to the sandbox, for my coffee cup ot go with the breakfast plate. 

Small things, but they have actually meant more than I realized they would.  Just knowing I had extra flatware has lowered my stress level when the  kids are here on holidays...I don't have to worry that I'll run out of spoons, if someone drops theirs on the floor. 

I know it's stupid, but it is a nice thing to have something pretty to look at three times a day.  Maybe these dishes and such helped me adjust to moving from a nice house to this rickety one...that may really have had to do with timing of the purchases.  

I don't know why...but it was really important to me at that time, and I am still happy that I spent that bit of money.   

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