Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays From Under The Plum Blossom Tree & Vintage Tea Treasures

Ranger-Ware Buffalo Molded Plastics, Inc., Ranger-Ware snack set, Ranger-Ware serving bowl set, vintage christmas, vintage Ranger-Ware snack set, Boston Pops, Fielder Boston Pops, Pops Christmas Party, RCA Victor, RCA Victor LM-2329, Target style, Target wrapping paper, Target garland, Target ribbon, old scissors

Dear Family and Friends,

It is so wonderful that this year, tonight is both Christmas Eve and also the beginning of Hanukkah. No matter what holiday you observe, we here at Under The Plum Blossom Tree and Vintage Tea Treasures wish you a peaceful, joy-filled celebration.

I would also like to extend my deep gratitude to those of you that have taken the time to read this blog and/or visit the Etsy shop, Vintage Tea Treasures.

Here's to a fabulous 2017!


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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy, Spode's Tower Pink Transferware 10 3/4" dinner plate, Viktor Schreckengost Christmas Eve Snack Sets, M8 26 Christmas poinsettia teapot USA, vintage tea party, vintage tea ware, classic vintage tea ware, classic teatime teaware

Hello Friends! Tea and cake is a timeless tradition. Equally timeless are the one of a kind vintage and antique tea treasures you can find in my Etsy shop, Vintage Tea Treasures. Here's a quick update on a few of the holiday themes and colors currently for sale over there:

Collecting vintage can be especially fun when you not only mix and match your pieces, but repurpose as well. The antique Spode transferware 10 3/4" plate, pictured above center, was originally a dinner plate, but it also makes an attractive serving plate for a 6" holiday chocolate cake.

Tea and cake, or maybe tea and cookies - either way, the whimsical pair of Viktor Schreckengost Christmas Eve snack plate and tea cup sets, to the left and right of the Spode plate, are sure to please children of all ages!

Lastly, a unique cube-shaped 'M8 26' teapot, made in USA, featuring a lovely poinsettia-spray decal and an Asian inspired natural woven rattan handle. A lovely addition to a holiday vintage tea party. With a capacity of 40 ounces, you'll be able to make about six 6 oz. cups of tea. Just $15.00 plus shipping. [Update 12/17/16 - SOLD]

For all the descriptive details, prices and shipping information on these and other distinctive items for sale, visit Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy!

Thank you for stopping by!


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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Vintage Finds: Christmas Bits and Bobs

Vintage Finds, thrift store vintage, Christmas vintage finds, vintage Christmas decorations, vintage holly teacup and saucer, vintage made in Japan tree ornaments, vintage Josephs Originals, Joshephs Originals, Josephs Originals Santa decorative dish, Josephs Originals santa decorative dish, vintage Lefton China, vintage Lefton made in Japan, vintage Lefton soap dish, vintage Lefton Christmas soap dish, Target Wondershop paper fans, Target Wondershop Christmas paper fans, Target Wondershop Christmas decor, Target Wondershop holiday decor, Target Wondershop brightly colored paper fans

Hi Friends! Where has the time gone? I intended to share a few of my latest Vintage Finds last month, but November slipped by and I never got the chance.

Now that it's December, I'm excited because it's that time of year when the volunteers at my favorite local charity shop, Assistance League of Eugene, have stocked their shelves with loads of holiday decor, including some fun vintage Christmas bits and bobs. Also, every December the Assistance League sells tickets to their exclusive holiday event, giving its patrons a chance to shop the newly stocked holiday merchandise before the general public. And the best part, of course, is that the Assistance League serves children in need through several philanthropic programs, such as Operation School Bell, Children's Dental Center, and Operation Heritage.

So here's a quick post with the items I've found so far:

The star of the show in this vignette is the stylized holly teacup and saucer. What a wild thing, right? I love the unusual texture and the dark green color - a quintessentially 1950s shade. Unfortunately there is not much information about who made it. The saucer has a 'U.S.A.' incised stamp and the bottom of the teacup is stamped '1363' in ink. This set will definitely be showing up in my Instagram feed soon! Laying on the saucer is a '50s Lauffer teaspoon made in Norway. It features a classic midcentury modern design coupled with a primitive style wood handle. This spoon is part of a cutlery set which has not only the usual knife, fork and teaspoon, but also salad forks and soup spoons.   

The pair of colorful birds and the 'snowgirl' in the yellow dress are tree ornaments made in Japan. Each of the three ornaments shown has a hard plastic body covered with a stiff colored fabric. The feathers and eyes of the birds are made of felt that has been pieced together and glued on, and their beaks are a hard plastic, also glued into place. The dress and orange hat of the snowgirl are also made of felt, plus she has a cute pink pearl nose and painted-on eyelashes. I love how little ornaments such as these have a very homemade look and no doubt, a lot of handwork was involved in their making.

The glass ball ornaments were all made in USA except for the little pink one on the bottom left, which was made in Japan. Here's a cleaning tip about these old relics: to remove dust, dirt and other debris, very gently wipe them with a soft dry cotton cloth only! I learned the hard way that if you try to clean these with a wet sponge, you may actually remove the painted finish!

And lastly, two decorative dishes: The jolly Santa with the friendly eyes is a Josephs Originals, made in Korea. The leaf shaped dish on the right, featuring a child dressed in a festive red outfit carrying sprigs of holly, is a hand painted soap dish, made by Lefton China, in Japan.

Oh, and if you are wondering about the three paper fans, I got them at Target last week. Definitely not vintage! I enjoy mixing vintage and modern. 

As always, thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you next time, for more Vintage Finds!


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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

#collectandstyle - November Monthly Favorite

OandYStudio, Andrea from OandYStudio, hoop art, wool hoop art, handmade hoop art, handmade wool hoop art, transferware, blue flow transferware, vintage flow transferware, vintage blue flow transferware

Hello everyone, and thank you for visiting Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog! I'm so excited that you're here, and thrilled to introduce you to this month's #collectandstyle Monthly Favorite: Andy of oandystudio!

As you can tell from the image above, Andrea Brinkley is both a collector of vintage blue and white china ware, and also a master fiber artist. Andrea creates one-of-a-kind hand embroidered wool art, or 'stitch painting' as she likes to call it, featuring botanicals and flowers.

She had posted an image at #collectandstyle a few months ago of a very unique blue and white teacup and saucer set that she had given to her mom when Andy was fourteen. I immediately was taken by how she had connected a lovely story from her past, to her current love of collecting blue and white china:

#ihavethisthingwithblueandwhite, blue and white teacup and saucer, O&Y Studio, Andrea Brinkley of O&Y Studio, vintage blue and white teacup and saucer

Since that time, I've enjoyed seeing more of Andy's images of her beautifully styled blue and white china ware, along with her delicious looking French tarts, flowers, and the landscape and scenery surrounding her adopted town in North Carolina (Andy is from South Africa). Then, I noticed a shift in focus, and with this image, Andy began talking about how she is intentionally working at fulfilling a creative dream:

O&Y Studio wool fiber art, wool fiber art by O&Y Studio, oandystudio on Instagram

When Andy posted the above image, she wrote:

"For several years I've been writing down ideas and aspirations in my Big Ideas notebook. I have let many interruptions (big ones like illness and a wedding and small ones too mundane to mention) delay my goals. With much prodding, love and encouragement, I am happy to say I've been making a good start lately. I'll be sure to keep you posted."

And in just the past couple of months, BOOM! - Andy opened her Etsy shop, oandystudio, and has been hard at work, stocking it full of her gorgeous original hoop embroidery designs such as the first image you saw at the top of this post.

Do you find this story inspiring? Do you have a creative dream? My feeling is that for all of us women in the creative community, there is a lot of value in watching another's dream come true. It can inspire us to take up challenges we have set for ourselves, to inspire others, and to work to lift one another up.

I plan on continuing to follow Andy on her creative adventures, both on Instagram and on Etsy and I hope you will too! You can also find Andy on her website oandystudio.com, and on Facebook.

And don't forget, if you are looking for a unique gift for someone special (or for yourself!), I'm sure Andy would be happy to help you choose just the right hoop embroidered floral or botanical wool art piece, lovingly handmade in North Carolina!

Thank you for joining me for the #collectandstyle November Monthly Favorite! And if you would like to know more, and how to join in on all of the fun, please visit my blog post, Collect And Style, A New Instagram Hashtag, right here at Under The Plum Blossom Tree.



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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden, The Flat Garden at Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Oregon Japanese Garden, hira niwa, sea of raked sand, sake cup, gourd-shaped bottle, Circle Island, Gourd Island

As the days here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon passed from late summer into early autumn, the leaves on the trees in our yard and in our town began to turn from bright green to tinges of yellow. Then, mid autumn came, with its brightly colored orange, gold and red tones, and the change in season brought with it an enthusiastic desire for adventure.

The Portland Japanese Garden, with its spectacular display of autumnal colors, quiet inviting mood and powerful meditative symbolism, was the destination of choice for James and I on a recent Saturday. The Flat Garden, or hira niwa, shown above, is one of five garden areas in the 5.5 acre park, located within Washington Park.

The Flat Garden is a dry landscape style garden, where the design is a purposeful balance between the ground plane and the volume of stones and clipped shrubbery, creating a sense of depth of space. This living sculpture features a sea of raked sand which suggests water, while mountains and hills are depicted in the shapes of azalea shrubs.

Portland Japanese Garden, The Flat Garden at Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Oregon Japanese Garden, hira niwa, sea of raked sand, sake cup, gourd-shaped bottle, Circle Island, Gourd Island

Through a series of extended pathways, one can meander throughout the entire park, viewing the various stone, water and plant elements in all their glorious landscape-style interpretations.

So join us for a moment and catch a glimpse into this magnificent garden, proclaimed by His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, former Ambassador of Japan to the United States, "the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan."

One of the first sights to behold when entering the park is an antique 5-tiered stone pagoda lantern that was given to the city of Portland by its sister city Sapporo, Japan.

Portland Japanese Garden, antique 5-tiered stone pagoda lantern, autumn Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden in Autumn

And in the Lower Pond area of the Strolling Pond Garden, or chisen kaiya shiki niwa, are a pair of stone cranes, symbols of longevity.

Lower Pond of the Strolling Pond Garden Portland Japanese Garden, stone cranes in Portland Japanese Garden
  
A ceremonial Tea House, called Kashin-Tei, or Flower Heart House, is located in the Tea Garden and was created in Japan by master craftsmen using wooden pegs in the traditional Japanese style, and reassembled at the Portland Japanese Garden.

Portland Japanese Garden Kashin-Tie, Portland Japanese Garden Flower Heart House, Portland Japanese Garden Tea Garden

There are at least two machiai style meditation shelters - this one was near Kashin-Tei.

Portland Japanese Garden machiai shelter, meditation shelter at Portland Japanese Garden

And of course a blazing Japanese Maple tree just beginning to lose its autumnal leaves.

Autumn colored Japanese Maple at Portland Japanese Garden, Japanese Maple tree Portland Japanese Garden
Autumn colored Japanese Maple at Portland Japanese Garden, Japanese Maple tree Portland Japanese Garden

Another stone lantern. This one was next to another machiai shelter.

stone lantern Portland Japanese Garden

It was a surprise to see this beautiful 'living topography' sculpture by Anne Crumpacker.

Sculpture in Portland Japanese Garden

Ponds, streams, and waterfalls all play a significant role in the Japanese garden. Another type of water feature is the water filled basin. The first one shown below is mechanical in that when a section of the lower bamboo piece on the right gets filled with water from the higher bamboo stalk on the left, the weight of the water pulls it down and it then releases the collected water, after which it quickly springs back up into its original position.

water basin Portland Japanese Garden
water basin Portland Japanese Garden

Zoki no niwa, or the Natural Garden, is an informal garden with streams that meander under small bridges. James is standing on one of them while he concentrates on his photography, in this case taking a picture as I walked over a stone path bridge.

James Aoyama in Natural Garden at Portland Japanese Garden
June Anderson in Natural Garden at Portland Japanese Garden

A leaf composition taken in the Natural Garden.

Natural Garden Portland Japanese Garden

And one more stone lantern.

leaf composition by June Anderson at Portland Japanese Garden

Karesansui, or Sand and Stone Garden is another example of the dry landscape garden style, expressing the beauty of blank space, or yohaku no bi. Weathered stones rise up from a bed of sand raked to suggest the sea.

Sand and Stone Garden Portland Japanese Garden
Sand and Stone Garden Portland Japanese Garden

Also featured along one wall of the Sand and Stone garden is a lovely stand of bamboo.

bamboo at Portland Japanese Garden
bamboo at Portland Japanese Garden
bamboo at Portland Japanese Garden

From this vantage point, as James and I stood under a Japanese Maple at the Pavilion Gallery, we could see Mt Hood, which in this setting is very reminiscent of Mt Fuji, in the distance.

Japanese Maple Leaves Portland Japanese Garden
Mount Hood as seen from Portland Japanese Garden

As we walked back to see the antique 5-tiered pagoda one more time before leaving, this striking scene caught my eye.

autumnal scene Portland Japanese Garden
autumnal scene Portland Japanese Garden

Our last stop was the gift shop, where I was taken with how the colors of this koi banner hanging just outside of the shop were delightfully similar to the colors in the leaves of the trees behind it.

koi banner Portland Japanese Garden
  
Thank you for strolling along these beautiful and intriguing garden paths in the Portland Japanese Garden with me. To see even more beautiful images of our day in this wonderful setting, you may like to go to James' blog, Origami Night Lamp.

June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog at Portland Japanese Garden

Oh, and one last thing! One of the highlights of the Lower Pond is to stand on the Zig Zag Bridge and watch as graceful koi swim to and fro - a beautiful and mesmerizing sight to behold!

June Anderson at Portland Japanese Garden



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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

Vintage W.T. Copeland & Sons Abbey Ruins Transferware Teacup and Saucer Sets, Antique Haviland CFH GDM France Limoges white with gold trim teacup, vintage Price Bros white with painted gold lustre grapevine leaf teapot

Hello everyone! Just a quick post to bring you up to date on the latest vintage and antique items listed in my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures.

• Four antique W.T. Copeland & Sons 'Abbey Ruins' transferware teacup and saucer sets.

• A vintage Price Bros octagon-shaped teapot with a painted gold lustre grapevine leaf pattern and gold gilded trim.

• Antique Tressemann & Vogt (T & V) France Limoges white teacups with gold trim and gold painted handles and feet. Shown are two of four available. I also have six of the exact same teacup marked CFH GDM (Haviland), for a total of ten gorgeous Victorian era teacups!

If you have a desire to own some pretty vintage or antique tableware for the upcoming holidays or are looking for a gift for someone special, perhaps you'd enjoy visiting Vintage Tea Treasures at Etsy, where you can find all the details about the above items, and see even more 'Classic Teatime China Ware' listed for sale.

Thank you, and have a wonderful week!

  
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Urban Foraged Autumn Apple Pie

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There was a time in America when small towns were just that - small. These were rural places surrounded by farms which fed their communities, and where those that lived in town would have gardens on their properties and in their backyards. If someone wanted to make an apple pie, all you would have to do is walk outside to your field or garden, pick some apples, and make a pie.

Of course we all know how that all changed with industrialization, and how those small towns turned into small cities and then into even larger cities that become unrecognizable to anyone born and raised in the earlier, semi-rural environments. The farms became housing developments and shopping centers, and the backyard gardens went by the wayside.

I live in such a city.

But there are places around our city where remnants of that old way of life are still visible. We may be driving somewhere and pass an open field, and just by the placement of a group of trees, it's obvious that there used to be a farmhouse tucked amongst those trees. Sometimes we'll see traces of an old house foundation surrounded by a large field, or even houses completely caved in and nearly swallowed up by blackberry vines!

A few weeks ago James and I were driving in a part of town we hardly ever go to, and as we passed by a shopping center, my eyes lit up! There it was - an old green apple tree, long forgotten, growing right on the fence line between a parking lot and an old farmhouse.

I convinced James that we had to turn around and go check out that apple tree. And sure enough there were ripe apples just falling off the tree. James found a grocery bag in the car and there I was in high heels and a skirt, shuffling through layers of ivy growing all around the base of the tree, picking apples. James held the bag for me and also helped me pick the apples. 

I don't know why, but sour green apples from old trees make the best pies.

And the best pie crust is made with butter. My favorite pie crust recipe is this Pate Brisee from Martha Stewart.

For the filling, peel, then cut tart green apples into bite sized pieces and add a small amount of sugar - about 1/4 cup, and a lot of cinnamon! A sure fire way to know the right quantity of apples to use is to put the cut apple pieces into an empty pie pan until you've filled it a bit over the brim. Remove them from the pie pan and place in a bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon and toss to combine. Roll out your chilled pie dough and place in the pie pan. Add the apples. Fancy up your top crust and bake for 40 minutes to an hour at 350 degrees.

Let cool and then, dig in and enjoy!

  
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#collectandstyle - October Monthly Favorite

Emily Quinton, Makelight blog, collect, style, October, autumn still life, autumn botanical still life, Makelight Studio,

Happy October #collectandstyle community! Thank you for visiting Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog. I am beyond excited to share this month's Instagram #collectandstyle Monthly Favorite with you.

In her photograph above, Emily Quinton shares with us a view of her creative workspace, decorated with a number of inspiring items - natural botanicals, photos, and various interesting paper ephemera. In all, she has created a wonderful autumnal mood in her studio.

If you have not yet been introduced to Emily Quinton, you are indeed in for a treat! In her fabulous blog Makelight, along with a whole lot more, Emily imparts her philosophy on how to collect, style and photograph interesting things; especially those items we'd like to share in our own blogs and other social media. Her ideas on how to do all of this are a helpful guide to learning and practicing the skills needed to accomplish our own goals. She also shows us how to express personal meaning and story telling in visual form. This resonates deeply with many of us who are looking for creative ways to share what we love in meaningful ways.

A very good example is her video Styling With Prop Boxes, in which Emily explains her idea of keeping a mini prop bag or box, filled with a gathering of favorite items that are alike in color. She explains that having similar items assembled and at the ready, can contribute greatly to using our photography time wisely. Emily walks us through the variety of items she keeps in her own prop bag, and then shares several images she created using those items.

And in Styling A Flatlay Emily walks us through her process of using the items from her prop bag to create flay lay images, sharing several expert tips, suggestions, and finally, her inspiring photographs.

For more examples of the items Emily gathered for a winter prop box, and ideas to keep you inspired during the upcoming dark months, you might like January's Prop Box

Many of us have also been inspired by Emily's flower images, especially on her Instagram feed. If you are interested in learning about flower photography, you may like Photographing Flowers - Hydrangea or A Hundred Photos From One Bouquet. And speaking of Emily's Instagram, you might say that one of Emily's great claims to fame is her weekly hashtag #floralfridaycompetition. With thousands of images already shared, it's a welcoming community of flower loving photographers from all over the world. Please do join in - you can post your images any day of the week, with Friday being the most popular day for posting. And if you love Pinterest, you'll find Emily there as well; with almost 100 pin boards and nearly 10,000 images there is plenty of inspiration!

For anyone who might want to take an online or in-person professional educational course, Emily has plenty of those to offer as well. Emily's course offerings are for both beginners and the more advanced, in subjects such as food, makers, street photography, tech, and Instagram. For all the details, her current offerings, and a free 'Taster Course', visit Emily on Makelight!

Thank you for joining me today for the #collectandstyle October Monthly Favorite image. I hope you will join Emily in her adventures in styling and photography.

And if you would like to participate in my own Instagram hashtag project #collectandstyle, I would love to see you there! Click here for all the details on how to join in.


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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Vintage Finds: Colorful Roosters!

vintage California pottery, vintage pottery made in California, vintage made in California orange rooster wall pocket, vintage rooster wall pocket, vintage wall pocket, vintage Norcrest battling roosters, pair of vintage Norcrest rooster wall hangings, 2 vintage Norcrest rooster wall hangings, two vintage Norcrest multicolored rooster wall hangings

Hi Friends! Here in Oregon, we've already had the change of seasons, and it's been cloudy and grey and raining for over a week straight, so let's have fun with some rich autumnal colors and tones, to balance it all out. October's Vintage Finds is a colorful rooster theme; a pair of Norcrest ceramic wall hangings on the left are a recent find while the large orange California pottery wall pocket rooster was purchased awhile back. Although very different in style, shape, color and manufacturer, the subject matter is quite interestingly similar.

Once upon a time here in the United States, decorative household ceramics production were very popular, a trend beginning in the 1930s and lasting through the 1960s. During that time, Los Angeles, California was the largest center for makers of colorful ceramics, with as many as 300 manufacturers in those early years. After World War II began, imports from Europe and Asia were discontinued, and the California ceramics industry reached its pinnacle in the post war era with over 800 small family and larger company businesses in existence. In the 1950s the US began importing ceramic wares again, leading to a decline in the number of California potteries. Sadly, only a few have survived into the 21st century. 

No doubt, this abstract orange rooster was made during the post war heyday of the California pottery makers. It bears an impressed stamp that says 'Made in Calif. USA' along with three letters which are hard to read. It looks like 'CHP' - California something Pottery? What attracted me to this rooster was its modern abstract design, and the fact that it functions as a wall pocket, which allows for some fun floral arranging, resulting in a captivating statement piece!

vintage made in California abstract orange rooster wall pocket

Norcrest China Company has its roots right here in the state of Oregon. The story begins with Hide and Fukiye Naito, who emigrated to America in 1912 from Tara, Japan, a farming community near Tokyo. The couple had two children, Bill and Sam, both born in Oregon. 

In 1920, Hide opened a Japanese imports shop on Washington Street in Portland, selling Japanese goods to the general population, which was considered unconventional at the time because Japanese owned businesses were usually only located in Japan-town, and sold their goods to other Japanese. When the Depression hit, Hide's business savvy was in full gear, running a variety of different small businesses, while at the same time expanding the import business. In 1938 Mr Naito opened an import warehouse in Portland, which at the time was a major West Coast seaport. 

Once the United States entered into World War II, Japanese families, including the Naitos, were forced to give up their homes and businesses and were relocated to internment camps in various isolated areas around the western interior. Although the Naito family was scheduled to go to one of these camps, they were instead allowed permission to go to Utah and live with family.

After the war, the Naito family returned to Portland, and Hide and his son Sam reestablished their family business, which became known as Norcrest China Company. Interestingly, one of the ways in which Sam worked to reestablish their business was to bring pottery up to Oregon from California, most likely sourced  from those very same pottery concerns from which my abstract orange rooster came from! The family continued importing goods from Japan, and due to popular demand for English tea ware, they also began importing bone china teacups and saucers from the United Kingdom.

In the 1960s Hide's son Bill expanded Norcrest China Company into several other businesses, including the "Made In Oregon" retail stores and Import Plaza. These holdings allowed the Naitos to invest in Portland's run-down area then known as "Skid Road", revitalizing the district that they then renamed Old Town. Bill's son Bob joined his father after finishing college, and together they worked on other historic development projects in the Portland area. Bill Naito died in 1996 and Bob has carried on his fathers legacy of historic preservation and sustainable development.    
Considering the humble beginnings this pair of Norcrest stylized dueling roosters represent, I've come to appreciate their striking dynamic appearance, kitschey energetic design and rich color palette even more. I'm already very fond of Japanese vintage collectables, and now look forward to finding additional Norcrest pieces.
  
Norcrest China Company, vintage Norcrest China Company, vintage Norcrest roosters, pair of vintage Norcrest roosters, vintage Norcrest China Company roosters, two vintage Norcrest China Company roosters

Thank you for letting me share my favorite vintage finds. See you next month! 
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Friday, October 7, 2016

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

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Hi friends! Just a quick update on a few of the items recently listed in my new Etsy shop, Vintage Tea Treasures; a four place tea set of Johnson Bros teacups, saucers, and cake plates, a Regency bone china teacup and saucer, and a Gibsons teapot. They are all beautiful, vintage English tea ware.

• The Johnson Bros tea set consists of four teacups, four saucers and four cake plates, all in Johnson's lovely Greydawn color, which is a pastel sky blue.

• The Regency teacup and saucer set both feature a repeated pattern of rose bouquets, and the saucer has understated edge scalloping.

• The Gibsons teapot has a distinctively styled spiral fluted body and lid, with a delicate spray of red lilies on the front and the back.

Both the Regency teacup set and the Gibsons teapot are embellished in gold gilding. 

If you would like to know more about these items, including detailed descriptions, sizes and condition, please visit Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy! And if you have any questions, I'm happy to help. You can leave a comment here, or in the shop.

Thank you for visiting my shop, and while you're there, I hope you will consider showing Etsy you support Vintage Tea Treasures, by "liking" or "favoriting" an item, or clicking on the 'Favorite shop' button. Thanks again!




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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

#collectandstyle - September Monthly Favorite

#collectandstyle September Monthly Favorite, Instagram hashtag challenge #collectandstyle, plum cake, transferware, late summer early autumn plum cake

Greetings #collectandstyle community! Thank you for visiting the Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog. I'm thrilled you are here!

For September's #collectandstyle Monthly Favorite I have a special surprise. This month's favorite image was not only created by my brilliant fellow Instagram friend in the U.K., Madeline Norris (@bymeeni), but Madeline also agreed to share with you, in her own words, the story behind these beautifully styled pieces of transferware from her collection of vintage crockery:

"Over the years I have acquired quite a few pieces of vintage crockery. I’m not quite sure how this collection began but I have always been interested in objects with a history and a story to tell. Some of the items in my collection have been handed down to me and belonged to my grandma and great grandma, other pieces have been gifted to me by friends and family and some things I have bought myself.

I don’t collect a particular make, design, period, or colour of crockery and my collection is quite eclectic. I often look on the bargain shelves, as I don’t mind if something is a bit damaged, in fact this often draws me in. For me this gives the piece more character and I want to give it home and a purpose.

The large blue and white plate that I used for my homemade plum cake in this photo is just such a find. It was in the bargain bucket at a little antique shop that I visited while on holiday last year. I love the crackles in the glaze and it’s signs of use. The white and gold plate is part of a tea set that was my grandma’s and I bought the plate with the rose to add to that set, I like to mix and match.

You will notice in this photo a couple of doilies and these are part of another collection. I started collecting these for use in the textile pieces I design and make but some of them have found their way into my prop box and have become a kind of signature in many of my photos. My family often tease me about my doilies!"

Since connecting with Madeline on Instagram, I have been influenced and inspired by her numerous creative talents, and I'm so happy to be able to share this sample of her work with you. As I have only recently discovered, and come to appreciate, the beauty and history of transferware, it seems fitting to include Madeline's image here, since it was other beautiful photos by her which led me to the discovery of transferware in the first place.

To discover more of Madeline's work, including her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest accounts, visit her on her blog bymeeni for all the links.

And if you would like to participate in #collectandstyle, click here for all the details.

Thank you for reading, friends!
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vintage Finds: Antique Burgess & Leigh Chinoiserie Revival Indian Tree Platter

Indian Tree pattern, Burgess & Leigh Indian Tree Platter, antique pottery, chinoiserie, Chinoiserie Style, Burgess & Leigh Indian Tree antique transferware, antique transferware, decorated transferware, handpainted transferware, antique handpainted transferware, Indian Tree transferware

Greetings vintage and antique lovers, and welcome to another edition of Vintage Finds! Today, I am pleased to share with you a beautiful antique Burgess & Leigh transferware platter, in the well loved and timeless Indian Tree pattern, that I recently purchased at my favorite charity shop. It was manufactured by Burgess & Leigh in the late 19th or early 20th century, which, as I've mentioned in a previous blogpost, falls within that time period known as the Chinoiserie Revival Period.

The Indian Tree pattern was created by Coalport China in 1801, and, not surprisingly, was one of their most popular patterns. Its distinctive feature is an Asian inspired tree situated in a still life floral setting. The Indian Tree motif has its origins in textiles from India; the typical colors found in this transferware pattern theme were green, blue, pink, and orange, which were often hand painted over a monochrome transferred pattern. Over time Indian Tree earthenware was manufactured by other companies besides Burgess & Leigh, such as J & G Meakin and Johnson Bros, in varying degrees of quality.

If you look closely at the painted colors in this particular platter, you'll notice that the greens are faded and the turquoise is nearly gone, while the pink, red, dark blue and brown have remained quite bright. Furthermore, the glaze on the entire piece is crazed, and a patina continues to weave and wind its way into and onto the aged surface. It is just these qualities that most interest me, and appeal to my curiosity about antiques. They add what feels like a timeless charm, making this piece even more unique, since no two will ever age in exactly the same manner!

And speaking of timeless, that is exactly the right term to describe the tradition of Burgess & Leigh earthenware. Their primary place of manufacture, the Central Pottery, located in the town centre of Burslam, Stoke on Trent, England, began as an earthenwares business in 1851 by a Mr Hulme and a Mr Booth. Although Frederick Rathbone Burgess & William Leigh established a partnership in 1862 which took over Central Pottery's works and changed its name to Burgess & Leigh, 1851 is still considered to be the official establishment of their business.

Various backstamps used from these early beginnings are identified by a 'Burgess & Leigh' inkstamp, while later wares, beginning around 1907, became known as 'Burleighware' (a combination of Burgess and Leigh's names) and were stamped as such. Thus the platter pictured is from Burgess and Leigh's earlier days, between 1862 and 1907.

Here's a detail shot of the backstamp:


Indian Tree, Burgess & Leigh, English pottery, English pottery backstamp
Don't you just love the way the tree branch curls around the names?

In addition to this backstamp, there is an impressed 'B & L England' stamp on the back - another indication that this is a very early 20th century piece.

Over the years there were moves to other facilities (Hill Pottery, followed by another to Middleport Pottery), always improving and refining their crafting of underglaze transfer decorated tableware. And the good news is that Burleigh continue making beautiful English earthenware to this very day, and still at the Middleport Pottery!


Burgess & Leigh Indian Tree, Burgess & Leigh antique pottery, antique Indian Tree pottery, antique Indian Tree earthenware, Indian Tree pattern, Indian Tree earthenware, antique earthenware, Indian Tree transferware, Burgess & Leigh Indian Tree transferware, Burgess & Leigh Indian Tree antique transferware

My new platter will join other antique Chinoiserie pieces purchased over the last few months, alongside other vintage items in a more modern style. My plan is to style my c. 1950s James Mont Chinoiserie Limed Oak Hutch with an interesting variety of Asian inspired ceramics and collectables. While researching Burgess & Leigh, I found a very interesting article on the Burleigh website; "Achieving The Dresser Look, The Art Is In The Detail", is a step by step guide on how to style a kitchen dresser (also called a hutch or china cabinet).

And if, like me, you are now hooked on Burleigh, I'd like to share with you a two minute video entitled "Burleigh: handcrafted at Middleport Pottery", from The Story of Burleigh ware, a feature in the culture section of the online magazine Ralph Lauren. Enjoy!







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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Under The Plum Blossom Tree Presents: Vintage Tea Treasures - An Etsy Shop

Vintage Tea Treasures, La Marr teapot, Cauldon teacup and saucer set, Maneki-neko, good luck cat, Flow Book For Paper Lovers

Hello everyone - this is my 100th post here on the blog and I have an exciting announcement for you. Under The Plum Blossom Tree now has a vintage teatime china ware shop! "Vintage Tea Treasures" is now open for business. 

Some of you may remember that last spring, Numi Organic Tea sponsored my Instagram hashtag #collectandstyle for the entire month of May. Michelle at Numi Tea graciously donated a box of tea for each of twelve winners, as well as provided a lovely flowering tea set to one lucky winner at the end of the month. Since that sponsorship, I thought it would be fun to expand on the collecting and styling aspect of the hashtag, and offer antique and classic china wares for those of you who love vintage style tea parties and collecting tea ware for styling props. And now that the shop is up and running, I am so happy for you to see the results! 

I've been having a lot of fun searching high and low for unique and beautiful vintage teacup and saucer sets, teapots, cake plates, milk jug and sugar bowl sets, and serving plates to fill out the inventory in my new shop. My goal is providing you with the best quality porcelain and bone china pieces from a bygone era. So far I have in the shop, brand names that you most likely will recognize, such as Wedgwood, Old Royal, and Noritake. I also have many pieces in stock from other companies such as Spode, Royal Vale, and Haviland Limoge, waiting to be listed in the shop.

I'm very excited to be able to share my growing knowledge, expertise and passion for vintage tea ware with you in this new way!  Please join me over on Etsy at Vintage Tea Treasures, and while you are there, don't forget to say hello!



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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Camping At Newberry Caldera

Newberry Caldera, East Lake Newberry Caldera, Newberry National Volcanic Monument, volcanic lake

Volcanoes are both scary and fascinating. The thought of being near an exploding volcano is frightening, but as I stood on the floor of Newberry Caldera last week and thought about how this very large caldera was produced as a result of a volcanic eruption 75,000 years ago, my mind was blown away!

Newberry Caldera, in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, is located on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains in the Deschutes National Forest of Oregon and encompasses 54,822 acres. When Newberry Volcano exploded, the violent eruption produced two lakes - East Lake, pictured above, and Paulina Lake which is about one mile west of East Lake. Newberry Volcano is, to this day, an active volcano with both seismic and geothermal activity! 

Last week our family took great pleasure in escaping city life for a three day camping adventure in this captivating environment. For three days and two nights, we basked in warm sunshine and breathed clean dry air, surrounded by volcanic mountains, a variety of tall conifer trees, clear cool water and a fair amount of wildlife such as birds, mule deer, ground squirrels and chipmunks.

Cinder Hill Campground Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Cinder Hill Campground, Anderson campsite Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Newberry Caldera East Lake, Newberry National Volcanic Monument East Lake, Newberry East Lake
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Golden Manteld Ground Squirrel Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Chipmunk Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Cinder Hill Campground Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Newberry National Volcanic Monument, camping at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Cinder Hill Campground Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Map of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Lakes of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, East Lake Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Paulina Lake Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Our campsite was situated amongst many pine trees and located near the shore of East Lake, in the Cinder Hill Campground. There's about one hundred yards between the camp and the lake, with willow bushes, tall grasses and sandy soil between the two. Of particular interest are the red, white, and black 'cinder bombs', or volcanic pumice rocks, that litter the floor of the caldera:

cinder bombs, volcanic pumice rocks, Newberry National Volcanic Monument volcanic pumice rocks

The campsite had ample room for our three tents and included a large picnic table where we set up the campstove. (That's Jim tending the stove.) There was also a fire pit which we used during the evenings for light, warmth and cooking. 

Newberry National Volcanic Monument Cinder Hill Campground, James Aoyama, James Aoyama at Cinder Hill Campground, James Aoyama at Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Cinder Hill Campground Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Coleman campstove, Coleman Powerhouse 413, campstove cooking

There were also some very simple meals:

camp breakfast, breakfast at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Cinder Hill Campground camp breakfast, Joe's O's, Joe's O's breakfast cereal

On our one full day in this beautiful wonderland, relaxing and exploring were on the agenda. Audrey relaxed in the sun with a favorite book on the shore of East Lake and took occasional cooling dips in the calm water. Takeo explored the variety of interesting rocks that lay within the waters edge.

Audrey Anderson at Newberry National Volcanic Campground, Audrey Anderson at East Lake Newberry National Volcanic MonumentTakeo Anderson at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Takeo Anderson at East Lake Newberry National Volcanic Monument

A hike was also a priority and Takeo, Jim and I did just that. We headed straight up the hill from the lake and found an animal trail to follow. We saw ancient volcanic rock formations, skeletal-like dead pine trees, and many new pine trees bursting with cones.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument, East Lake of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, snag at Newverry National Volcanic Monument, pine trees and rocks at Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Newberry National Volcanic Monument, pine cones at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, East Lake forest at Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Newberry National Volcanic Monument, pine cones at Newberry National Volcanic Monument, pine forest at Newberry National Volcanic Monument

It was a great pleasure to be able to sit quietly on the mountainside, soak up the magnificent view, and breathe in the fresh pine scent. To listen, watch, and observe. As I sat watching a flock of Clark's Nutcrackers flitting in and out of a snag (dead tree), communicating through call and response, I thought to myself: these are the moments to live for. 

June Anderson at East Lake of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, June Anderson photographer, June Anderson at Newberry National Volcanic Monument

As is characteristic of all of the National Parks we've visited here in the Western United States, one of Newberry Volcanic Monument's primary missions is its focus on recreation, and that is exactly why our family made the trip. Of course we all understand recreation to mean something we do for fun and is not work. But recreation also refers to a mental or spiritual consolation, or a source of comfort. On each of the two nights we camped, I lay in our tent, looking out its screened window at the silhouette of the trees against the sky at dusk, listening to the quiet stillness of the forest as the last of the evening light faded into darkness. That view and the tranquility of that moment came home with me and still resides in my mind's eye.

"Keep close to Nature's heart. Break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
-John Muir
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