One of my favorite quotes is by William Morris:
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
I think for the most part I try to live by that. As I was eating lunch and thinking about what I was going to write, my first thought was to start with the caveat that I am not a collector.
But then I thought about the things that I like:
- vintage Pyrex, especially bowls
- ironstone platters and pitchers, etc
- vintage linens
- Universal pottery Laurella dishes
- mid-century teak furniture
- interesting crockery
My hesitancy in labeling myself as such is that I really desire to be less bound up by possessions and things and to truly only have useful items in my home; and I like to delude myself into thinking that I am not a hoarder.
Also, the minute you start collecting something, invariably one of your friends will see that rooster you have on your kitchen counter, finds rooster salt and pepper shakers at a store, and buy it for you because they love you and they just know that you love roosters. Then another friend sees a rooster metal sign and gives it to you for your birthday. Now, instead of just having that one awesome rooster that you found at the thrift store for $2 and thought was adorable (and you could easily dispose of when you tired of it)....you have the beginnings of a whole tacky collection.
Anyway, the point of this is....well, there is no point, just some thinking aloud. On to the acquisition.
When my mom was visiting at Christmas, we headed to the town of Snohomish and spent a very nice hour in an antique mall while my wonderful stepdad napped patiently in the car. As we were shopping, we were talking about the amount of Franciscan dishes that we see in the area, usually in the same few patterns (a lot of Desert Rose and Apple Blossom), but that I never see the pattern that I grew up with, Bird 'N Hand. I think my parents may have received this as a wedding gift, as it was only made from 1968-72. Perhaps it wasn't terribly popular, I don't know and that's why we don't see it. I do like it's simplicity, white with a black line drawn trim.
I mentioned to Mom that I would like to find a usable piece to have. She has a platter, but it is white with black trim and no design. I have kept my eyes open for years for a useful bowl or something.
Not more than 10 minutes later, a beam of heavenly light shone from above and brought my eye to the last remaining Franciscan Bird 'N Hand pitcher in existence. That may be a slight exaggeration, but I doubt you can prove otherwise.
And so I now have a piece of my childhood dishes. But I will not be collecting them. Never mind that I immediately went home that same evening and found a creamer on Etsy. And then ran into another creamer (for $3!) at the Goodwill last week. But I am not collecting them.
I think I shall consider myself a conservator. Doesn't that sound better?