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I have been craving a set of melamine plates for quite some time now.

Thomas Paul Folk Dinner Plate Set

It’s not that I really need them. We rarely have more than one or two people over for a meal, and I don’t think we’ve ever eaten outside.

French Bull Pink Paisley Set

But the idea of having large outdoor dinner parties with beautifully set tables of melamine dinnerware makes me a little giddy. And there are so many gorgeous options out there.

Working Class Studio Dinnerware Collection

Then I’m forced back to reality…the reality where I’d not only feel guilty, but I’d feel like a complete fool for spending so much as a penny on a set of melamine.

So, I was sitting here pouting, when all of a sudden a light came on in my black hole of a brain – I already have a set of melamine dinnerware! Right at that moment there was, in the very back of my china closet, a long-forgotten bin of very old, very dirty melamine. Let me explain…

When we bought our first house, we were pretty ignorant of the whole process. One of the lessons learned from that experience was that unless it’s specified in the purchase agreement, the previous owner will not necessarily take all of their junk with them when they leave. So when we took possession of the house we also took possession of enough trash, junk, and other miscellaneous stuff to amount to more than one trip to the dump. The silver lining to this story was that among the junk we actually found a few treasures. One of which was a complete set of melamine picnic-ware.

It had obviously been stored in the dark and dank cellar where we found it for many, many years. It was filthy and had even suffered some water damage, but it was nothing that a good cleaning couldn’t fix. At the time, I was too busy packing for the move to our current home to worry about cleaning it, so I shoved it all into a couple of plastic bins and added them to the pile of boxes ready for the movers. At the new house it was stored with the other bins of dishes and, as I said, forgotten about…until now.

Melamine Picnic Set

Granted, they’re not as pretty as the ones above, and the condition is far from perfect, but the price was just right! (And I do love the robin’s egg blue color.) There is a full set of eight dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls, and saucers, plus one cup, a serving bowl, and a platter in the blue set, and an additional eight patterned plates, which makes more than enough for any dinner party I’ll ever have.

Melamine Picnic Set

There were other treasures to be found as well. This set of divided trays was in the same box, and I have to admit, it’s my favorite of the finds. Aren’t they adorable!? Sadly, there are only two cups, but still a great find, I think.

Divided Trays

The rest was a mish-mash of odds and ends from other sets, including a few more melamine plates, some insulated cups, bowls, and more miscellaneous cups.

Miscellaneous Picnic-ware

Overall, I’m happy that our ignorance paid off in plastic, but in the future we’ll make sure there’s a “take your shit with you when you go” clause in our purchase agreements. Odds are that next time we wouldn’t be quite so lucky.

(*For source information on the first three products, click on the pictures.)

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I think they’re almost ready to be harvested.

cherries

Perhaps a pie is in order!

cherries

What’s your favorite cherry recipe?

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

We spent ours with our dear friend Byron, who came to stay with us for a few days. It is so nice to have him back in the country! …And he brought more gifts!

First of all, these are the pajamas I mentioned before (the pink ones with the embroidery are mine – just in case you weren’t sure 🙂 ).

J's Chinese PJ's

My Chinese PJ's

Like I said, I had a hard time getting a good picture of them (maybe they’d look better if I’d actually ironed them! – oh well). I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a good photographer, and although I’m learning (and hopefully improving), lighting is still my biggest enemy. The sheen of this fabric gave me fits. I couldn’t get either of them to look good in a picture, so I just settled on the two best ones I had…Sorry for the poor quality.

As if that incredibly thoughtful gift wasn’t enough, this weekend he also brought us several kinds of tea and some tea snacks.

Chinese Tea and Treats

The chopsticks were part of the gift too. They’re called “lover’s chopsticks” – how sweet!

It’s all so pretty to look at that it’s going to be hard to actually eat/drink anything! Thank you so much, Byron! You’re awesome!

I picked up another frame today at Goodwill. This one was only $1.50! It’s my hope that seeing it sitting around the craft room will motivate me to give embroidery another try.

Thrifted Frame

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On a slightly different note:

I’ve had an idea in my head ever since I did the kitchen shelf redo a couple weeks ago, and I’ve decided it’s about time I shared it with you. While I was hunting for treasure to display, I realized how much “stuff” I have stored away in boxes, bins, closets, and cupboards, and I really started to feel guilty. There’s absolutely no reason for me to be shopping – even thrifty shopping – with so many under-appreciated goodies stored away in my home. So I’ve decided to change things around a bit. For the next several weeks (or until I run out of “stuff”), instead of showing newly thrifted goods on Thrifty Thursday, I’ll be highlighting some of those long-forgotten treasures, and in the process I’ll (hopefully) be giving each one a new life – either in my home or in somebody else’s (more details on that to come).

Each item I discover seems to have a story to go with it. Whether it belonged to a loved one now gone or was originally discovered on some unforgettable outing with a dear friend, every item holds some special, personal meaning, and the reliving of each of these beloved memories is the part of this adventure that I’m most looking forward to sharing with you.

So I figured I might as well get started this week with a particular something I’ve been especially neglectful to over the years. In my searching, I found a bin that has been lugged around move after move, but the contents of which has rarely seen the light of day. Carefully stashed away inside was a set of dishes that once belonged to my grandmother.

Atomic Starburst Dishes

They weren’t her every-day dishes. In fact, I can’t ever remember her using them or even seeing them in her house until after she passed. Which is why I’ve considered letting go of them, in the hopes that someone else might be able to appreciate them more, but now that they’re out in my dining room I’m enjoying just looking at them when I pass by. So for now that’s where they’ll stay.

Part of the reason I get such a kick out of them is that they are so unlike anything I would imagine my grandma owning. She was a very traditional woman, and even though she married and set up house during the 50’s, “mid-century modern” is far from an accurate description of her style. Still, I think they’re beautiful..and they’re in perfect condition (which could be explained by the fact that I don’t remember them being used).

Atomic Mug

Many of the things I’ll be sharing with you came from my grandmother’s home. She was very special to me, and even though she’s been gone nearly eleven years now, I still find it hard to believe I’ll never see her again. I miss her dearly and cherish the things she left me and the memories…especially the memories.

As promised, here’s the embroidery I made for my mom for her birthday/Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day Embroidery

Sorry for the shadowy pictures. I forgot to photograph it before I wrapped it, so I had to snap a few quick pics in the hotel parking lot.

Mother's Day Embroidery Close-up

I actually intended to embroider the entire bottom with flowers, but my mom said she preferred the simplicity of just one sunflower. I think she may have been right. My embroidery on the wording is still a bit wonky, but I think it’s better than my last attempt.

Remember the frame? Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, and I’m planning to try another one. After all, practice makes perfect, right?!

I think I must be the luckiest girl in the world. Look what I found on my pillow last night:

bird necklace

It was purchased by J from an etsy store called Imogene and Annie after I sent him several (not so subtle) hints via email. Still, I never thought he’d actually order it. I love it! It’s even more gorgeous in person. Thank you sweetie!

You can see more amazing products from Annie and Steve (and Joey), the faces behind Imogene, here. And don’t forget to check out their blog!

Apparently I needed more time to recuperate than I thought. Where did the last week go? Well, let’s see…

Our good friend Byron returned to Indiana last weekend after spending the last year or so in Xiamen, China. We spent Monday with him and his family. It was so nice to talk to him again and to hear him play – he’s an amazing guitar player – seriously amazing. He’s also an incredible photographer. You can see some of his gorgeous China pictures here. He even brought us presents! Silk pajamas and chopsticks. I haven’t been able to get a good picture of them, but I’ll make sure to post them when I do.

Last night J and I went to Bloomington to see Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet (featuring Bela Fleck). Abigail is a member of Uncle Earl, who J and I saw at the Royal Theater in Danville earlier this year (though I apparently never blogged about it). It was a great show, and despite the fact that I was fighting an allergy fit all day, it was well worth going to see. You can hear their music here.

Then of course there were the storms. The entire state of Indiana (along with much of the Midwest) was hit by a record amount of rainfall at the end of last week, causing flooding all over the state. Luckily we’ve remained dry here, and none of our family or friends appear to have been seriously affected. The worst we suffered was a damaged tree and ruined peonies. And as sad as I was to not get the chance to enjoy my peonies this year, it seems pretty trivial in comparison to others’ worries. Driving south last night we passed house after house whose residents were desperately trying to salvage their water soaked belongings – and they were the ones lucky enough to be able to return to their homes already. Others are still under water, and the forecast is calling for still more rain tonight.

I have to admit that after a month of blogging every day it’s been nice to focus on other things this last week, but I have lots to talk about, so let the blogging resume!

May is over! Welcome, June!

The end of May also brings the end of the A Post a Day in May challenge. I didn’t quite post every day like I intended, but I have gotten used to posting more often than I did before, which was the whole purpose of the challenge. So, needless to say, I’m very happy I participated.

As for my unannounced absence over the last few days: This weekend was my family’s (sort of) annual Sisters’ Weekend. About once a year my mom, all of my aunts and their adult daughters, along with my grandma, get together for a girls only weekend. This year we met in Lincoln, Nebraska, which meant an 11 hour hour drive for me. So that explains why I wasn’t around here Friday through Sunday. Wednesday and Thursday flew by as I was preparing for the trip, and despite my best intentions, I didn’t have time to stop in here to let all of you know my plans. The good thing is that my trip gave me plenty of blog-fodder, and I can’t wait to share all of it with you over the next few days.

But for now, I have a lot of catching up to do around here (unpacking, mail sorting, sleeping), so I will check in again tomorrow. See you then!

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