Monday, June 4, 2018

Vintage Finds: Copeland Spode Chinese Rose

Copeland Spode Chinese Rose, Copeland Spode Chinese Rose dinner plate, chinoiserie, chinoiserie revival, English china, English chinese-style china

Hi friends! Have you ever tried to establish a manufacturing date for a piece of Copeland Spode china? I'm learning that it's a somewhat difficult task because not all of the pieces were marked, especially in the early years, which was around the 1700s. Granted I will probably never come across any Copeland Spode from that time period, but I did recently find this gorgeous Chinese Rose earthenware dinner plate with a 1931 back stamp.

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Spode's Chinese Rose, with its quintessential Chinoiserie style, was an immensely popular china ware pattern with millions of pieces manufactured between 1911 and 2007. Its predecessor was a pattern called India - a blue and white ware 'Oriental' style pattern, designed in 1815. The inspiration for the India pattern came from Chinese porcelains produced during the K'ang Hsi period in China from 1700-1722.

Immediately upon seeing this one lonely antique plate, I knew that it was manufactured during the very Chinoiserie revival time period that I have become so very fond of.

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From the delicate quality of the hand colored florals, to the highly detailed motif of the transferred pattern, there is a perfection of the Chinoiserie stylized design ideals that are faithfully captured in this example that I feel are equally true to the spirit of both the eastern and western traditions.

Copeland Spode Chinese Rose, Copeland Spode Chinese Rose dinner plate, chinoiserie, chinoiserie revival, English china, English chinese-style china

My favorite aspect of this plate is the center floral arrangement. Not only does it perfectly capture the essence of the Chinoiserie revival style in its theme, but each flower expresses its own dynamic energy and vitality as they actively engage with each other in their environment, and together they appear to be happily participating within this unique atmosphere.

Copeland Spode Chinese Rose, Copeland Spode Chinese Rose dinner plate, chinoiserie, chinoiserie revival, English china, English chinese-style china

As mentioned, the back stamp indicates, I believe, a 1931 manufacture date. The Chinese Rose pattern for bone china was registered with the British Patent Office on December 13, 1913 with number 629599 and manufactured in 1931 in earthenware, with pattern number 2/9253. Both of these manufacture numbers appear on the back of my plate and I know for sure that it is made from earthenware, so my best guess is 1931.

Copeland Spode Chinese Rose, Copeland Spode Chinese Rose dinner plate, chinoiserie, chinoiserie revival, English china, English chinese-style china

Later pieces of Chinese Rose (from about the 1970s on) had an updated newer back stamp and do not have the red hand painted numbers.

Thank you for letting me share one of my newest vintage finds. If you would like to see more Copeland Spode Chinese Rose, I made a Pinterest board which you can view here.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

World Collage Day

#worldcollageday, collage art by June Anderson, June Anderson's collage art, owl collage art by June Anderson, June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree, cut up old books for collage

Hi Friends! Since Kolaj Magazine has declared today World Collage Day I thought it would be fun to share with you a few collage projects I'm currently working on.

Last month the local public library had its annual used book sale - tables and tables full of books for about $2.00 each. I happily filled one bag (the limit I imposed on myself!) with books about birds, flowers and art history. A couple of the books I purchased are shown above. 

Birds are some of the most fascinating creatures on earth and the collage pieces I'm sharing with you here today are my creative expression regarding the importance of birds.

National Geographic Magazine has declared 2018 the Year of the Bird in celebration of the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act passed by the United States Congress in 1918. The purpose of the act is 'to protect birds from wanton killing.' According to the Geographic, "Things with feathers can be found in every corner of every ocean and in land habitats so bleak that they're habitats for nothing else." Their diversity, social structure, ability to fly and migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles surely commands our respect. Not surprisingly, the Geographic posits that bird populations indicate the health of the ethical values of humans. From the recognition that birds are living dinosaurs, having witnessed life on earth for millions of years, to the fact that they connect us to the natural world, we must care for and about birds simply because humans have the unique ability to reason and reason inevitably leads one to a place of responsibility.

Because of these facts and more it only seems right to give owls a regal place in my imaginary owl world - a place that respects their ability to survive in spite of the pressures of human intervention.

Thanks for letting me share.


Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Dawn of Helena's Liberation

The Dawn of Helena's Liberation, a #metoo collage by June Anderson, collage art by June Anderson, papercuts, papier colle

Hello Friends! As I was combing through my file folders of images cut from magazines for the February One Little Word collage I came across a particular image that I have been meaning to use for quite some time. Knowing that the intake for a spring art show at a local gallery was coming up soon I decided to make an idea I had for using the image a priority and worked on making it happen.

The image I found in my stash, a two page spread from a National Geographic magazine, is now the background of the above piece. As I recall the caption in the Geographic stated that the photograph is of an abandoned house in a desert somewhere. Months ago, as I cut the image from the publication, I had this idea that someday I would like to create a scene within this intriguing magical space.

And what scene could be more intriguing or magical than the transformational moment when one receives specific knowledge of a coming event that will alter their life for the better in significant ways?

Meet Helena, whose name means bright shining light, and is the subject of the assemblage I'm sharing with you here today. I call this piece The Dawn of Helena's Liberation. Her real name is Young Girl from Anzio (Rome) and she is a Roman copy of an Hellenistic sculpture. Helena features prominently in this collage because she represents the women of the Hellenistic era (323 BC - 31 BC) who welcomed new laws that gave them legal, social, economic and cultural freedoms as well as educational opportunities, making them smarter, legally freer and economically stronger. This is my ode to that moment in time.

During the Hellenistic era, new philosophical schools of thought influenced the loosening of social constructs for women. For example, women were allowed to draw up and sign their own contracts and legal documents that protected their social status which made the exploitation of them more difficult.  And a prominent improvement in women's lives was that they were no longer required to have an escort or chaperone in legal matters or to enter public spaces or gymnasiums.

Being able to leave their homes unescorted, women became integrated into society and in the workforce, albeit in their more traditional Greek roles such as weavers, pot makers, launders, grocers and barmaids.

With education, women became literate in subjects such as mathematics and literature and worked as philosophers, poets, writers, architects and musicians.

Young Girl at Anzio was excavated in 1878, having been found in an early Roman Imperial villa, and is thought to be a priestess. When I first saw her in my vintage Art of Classical Greece book several months ago, I knew she would be perfect for some as yet unknown collage project. Then, as I was flipping through the book again, looking for an image to cut out and place on the mound of sand in the Geographic magazine spread, I knew she would be perfect.

I thought, what better recipient of a life changing event than a priestess named Helena? And how about the spiritual significance of a luminous silver bird that symbolizes the coming of the new rights bestowed upon women and who intimately delivers that message? I felt that this noteworthy dramatic story of transformation is best told in the midst of an azure colored temple and that it only seemed right that an event of this magnitude should take place within a powerful golden 'other-world' atmosphere. There, Helena sat, ready, waiting, clock ticking away. And when the moment came, she stood and formally received a grand and historic moment.

Are there significant moments in the history of women that you are fond of? What stories of women's transformation do you enjoy? Leave me a comment or send me an email. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Little Yellow Couch Style Manifesto

June Anderson Style Manifesto, On The Little Yellow Couch blog, Style Matters podcast, Do YOU show up in your home?, self improvement essay questions, styling, vintage styling, style manifesto, learn to style, how to style your home

Hi Friends! Do you listen to podcasts? I listen to several, and one of my favorites is Style Matters, hosted by Karen June Grant and Zandra Zuraw of the interiors blog Little Yellow Couch. When I first heard Zandra say "we believe that your style comes from knowing who you are" and that their mission on the podcast is to "get to the substance behind the style" I was immediately hooked.

On the weekly podcast Karen and Zandra interview designers and stylists to find out why style matters to them. And each week I am continually amazed by how much I learn about style as I listen to stories from people who are passionate about not just decorating their homes, but how their homes are a reflection of their personality, interests and lifestyle.

My own journey of home decorating and styling is a fairly recent one but my passion for collecting vintage home wares has been going strong for years. The truth is that my home has been more 'junk store chic' than purposefully collected and aesthetically decorated or styled. Life has been so busy with work and the raising of children that I just never had the energy, brain space or 'know-how' for anything more.

But life is different now, changing. My children are grown and I strongly feel that it's time to get serious about style and why it matters to me. I found a great place to start is Karen and Zandra's Style Manifesto, a discovery tool designed to identify how your personal values align with how your home looks and functions. It's rather scary to realize that the clutter in your home can be considered a reflection of the clutter in your head! But face it, I must...

Through a series of five essay questions, Karen and Zandra take you through an inspection tour, so to speak, of your home. I have always felt that being self analytical is one of the harder tasks in life, but what I have also discovered is that journaling is the key to working out issues. The first part of the writing exercises take you through identifying your values and where your personality shows up in your home. Then you will be asked to pinpoint the elements of your personality that are missing in your home and encouraged to brainstorm ideas that will bring those characteristics you would like to make visible into the foreground.

Once you have finished answering the questions the fun part is creating your own manifesto - an actionable plan for how you will achieve your newly found style goals! And since a manifesto is a public declaration, I'm sharing mine here with you:

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And of course, I'm always in for a fun art project and the blank space at the top and bottom of the manifesto were just begging for a little bit of collage.

I hope you will consider listening to the Style Matters podcast and signing up to get your own Style Manifesto. I'm sure Karen and Zandra will be delighted if you did!

Thank you for letting me share.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Under The Plum Blossom Tree - An Etsy Affiliate

Under The Plum Blossom Tree Etsy Affiliate, Esty Affiliate Program, Etsy Affiliate Program announcement

Hello Friends! A quick update for you. I'm excited to announce that Under The Plum Blossom Tree has been approved to be an Etsy Affiliate. What that means is that you will now see the official Etsy advertising banner on the sidebar or within certain posts in this blog. If you click on the link and make a purchase I may earn a commission.

To more fully understand what affiliate links are and how they work, please visit Also, by law I am required to have a Disclosure Policy which is now posted at the top menu bar of this blog. You will also see my disclosure policy on any blog posts I may write that promote Etsy products.

Thank you for supporting Under The Plum Blossom Tree!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

One Little Word - February

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Hey everyone! Welcome back to month two of my year long journey through the online One Little Word workshop, taught by designer, blogger, and teacher Ali Edwards.

The February creative prompt is to create a vision board that reflects your word. A vision board is, according to Ali, "a visual intention - a collection of images and words and phrases that speak to you for one reason or another in your life right now."

I am a collage artist and my word this year is BUILD. And if there is one thing I love, it is a collection of something! Over the years I have assembled a library of images that I've painstakingly cut from a variety of magazines. This 'library' consists of file folders labeled according to subject such as floral/fauna, letters/phrases, and home/garden. For instance, some of the images used in my vision board (above) are from Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, Smithsonian, The New Yorker, Better Homes and Gardens, National Geographic, Vogue, and some scrapbook and art publications that I don't remember the names of.

It was so much fun looking through my file folders while at the same time focusing on my word. It actually was a bit uncanny how many images I catalogued that reminded me of the word 'build'. In fact, at that beginning stage, I had chosen enough images to fill a board twice the size of the finished work and was seriously thinking of going out and buying a larger canvas. But eventually I talked myself out of the idea realizing it was crazy to make a huge collage simply because I was having a hard time whittling down my choices.

The piece, 18"x24", consists of both literal depictions and symbolic imagery.

The literal depictions are easy to spot: Gehry tower in the lower left corner; the scissors, camera, typewriter and paintbrushes are my go-to 'tools of the trade'; the watering can, bird house, roses, and Japanese-style garden lantern indicate essentials in the garden; the 'blue onion' patterned dinnerware plate calls to mind my newest interest in collecting vintage and antique dish ware; the tiny blue tassel reflects my obsession with the ever popular chinoiserie style of home decor; the textiles, wallpaper samples and hanging pendant bird lamp help to remind me of the home improvement and decorating projects I want to make happen.

Some of the symbolic imagery can be quite obvious as well: the plum blossoms stand for this Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog and the cup of tea stands for my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures. As well, the image of women and books is characteristic of my feelings for all the awe-inspiring creative women I've met on Instagram, in particular through #collectandstyle, a hash tag project I started; the watch and the clock - obvious reminders of time passing, time running out and making the most of the time that I have.

You may have noticed the minimal use of words and phrases on my vision board. The truth is I am an introvert. I prefer quiet, solitude and contemplation over crowds, noise and nonthinking. Even the aforementioned file folder marked 'words/phrases' is quite scant compared to the other folders, but I was pleased with what I did find: 'fun' because that's the way it should be; 'on a roll' to keep my spirit up; 'presence of mind' to keep me focused; 'power' to help me be strong; 'Pleasure, purpose, pride - the three strands of happiness' because, like in mathematics, there's an order of operations, right?

My favorite images are the free-form style white buildings with birds and flowers encircling them (upper left corner) and the whimsical people-like creatures riding unicycles (lower right corner). These represent a subjective symbolism for me because of their made up structure. They remind me that life is constantly full of new opportunities and new ways of seeing the world. They allow me to re-imagine a new way of living. And that is the kind of thinking that gives me hope, helps me to keep going in my endeavors, and enables me the willingness and the courage needed to look towards an unknown future.

Also, too, the fact that several of the images I've assembled on my vision board are collections of objects is a strong reminder that it takes practice, time and a caring attitude to build anything significant in life. I'm reminded of the many other words used to describe 'build', such as construct, oversee, incorporate, compile, establish, and develop.

I'm sure it's easy to conclude that my love of Mother Nature is evident. But on a deeper level my fascination with, and respect for, the natural world is steeped in the wonders of the essential 'building blocks' of nature; isn't it amazing how unseen particles and matter, coupled with the abstract concepts of time and space, unite and produce the physical elements that create beautiful life forms like the wing of a dragonfly, the feather of a bird or the perfect shape of an egg? The infinitesimal array of shapes, patterns, and colors delight the eye, command our awe and can inspire us to contemplate our very existence.

June Anderson, June Anderson and collage, original collage artwork by June Anderson, One Little Word February creative prompt, One Little Word BUILD, One Little Word creative project, One Little Word February prompt

My favorite part of Ali's words in her description of the project was that "it's a way to connect your head, your heart and your hands". I'm always in for a good art project, especially one with rich meaning, so I couldn't agree more!

Thank you Ali Edwards, and thank you dear reader! If you feel inspired to make your own vision board, I'm happy to answer any questions you may have. You can leave me a comment here or send me an email.

And if you like this series, please visit me next month for the March One Little Word creative prompt. If you would like to be informed when I publish the post you can sign up for an email notification at the top of this blog - look for 'subscribe' under my profile photo, enter your email address, and Blogger will send you an email. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

Vintage Tea Treasures, Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy, Vintage Tea Treasures Etsy Shop, Crown Dorset teapot, pink rose Crown Dorset teapot,

Hi friends!

Just popping in with a quick reminder that in my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures you'll find timeless, classic, and fun teatime china ware from name brands such as the Crown Dorset teapot and the Duchess teacup and saucer shown above.

The Crown Dorset teapot has a unique cube shape, a 40 ounce capacity, and will make six 6-ounce cups of tea. Adorned with beautiful fully-bloomed pink roses, green ivy, and a graceful scroll-like finial, it will be the perfect center of attention on your tea table.

The wild roses in pink with greenery on the Duchess teacup and saucer duo are a subtle reminder of the cherished rose in its natural state. An interesting egg-like oval shape sitting elegantly upon a gold gilded foot, this set is sure to please those of you that love styling your tea table in the shabby chic and/or vintage lace and roses themes.

Both pieces (and more details) are available now in the shop, where you can see even more delightful vintage teaware for sale, all at reasonable prices. And if you visit Vintage Tea Treasures and enter code PLUMBLOSSOM10 you can get 10% off your order.

As always, thank you for your support!
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