Saturday, April 30, 2016

#collectandstyle - April Monthly Favorite

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Hello #collectandstyle community! Welcome to Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog. I'm so excited you're here!

Today is the first monthly feature from my new Instagram #collectandstyle hashtag. Meet lisa_loves_vintage, a self proclaimed "barkcloth hoarder and vintage obsessive." In February, I first noticed Lisa's colorful styled photographs in 91magazine's Instagram hashtag 91magazine_fleafinds. Then, when I started #collectandstyle, Lisa graciously contributed a few of her images, of which this one is my favorite.

Lisa not only loves vintage, but as this image shows, she loves color as well, and enjoys styling a seemingly endless variety of fascinating collectables. If you love vintage like Lisa does, you're sure to find something in her gallery that will please your eye! As well as collecting and styling vintage, Lisa also offers beautiful handmade bags and homewares in her etsy shop at very reasonable prices. So, check out Lisa's links and I'll see you here next month for May's #collectandstyle monthly favorite!

Thank you for visiting, and if you like what you see here, please consider signing up in the sidebar, under my profile photo, to receive notifications of each of my new posts.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Styling The Seasons - April

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Here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, we are no strangers to rain. Most of our days from autumn until spring are set against the backdrop of rain-filled, cloudy, 'atmospheric' gray skies, as we go about the daily business of work, school, and our travels from here to there.

But when the month of April arrives, there is a slight shift in the weather as fluffy white cumulus clouds begin to roll in and slowly replace the cloud canopy that has ruled this landscape for months. As the sun begins to shine in irregular patterns while it darts in and out of rain clouds, the parade of ornamental blossom trees that began blooming under the darker skies of March continues, and I enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood looking for stray and forgotten blossoms. One would think that I would have taken an umbrella, but sometimes I'm a bear of very little brain!  

On one of my walks I found some beautiful white pear blossoms spilling into an alleyway. So, for this months Styling The Seasons, I'm featuring them in this somewhat wild and natural looking arrangement, displayed in a Fiestaware vase, along with some red and orange ranunculus flowers I purchased at the grocery store.

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This is a somewhat precarious spot to place such a display because this is my kitchen counter and it is of course a very busy corner, but I love the approach to styling that Katy Orme of Apartment Apothecary suggests, which is that we style any surface in our homes. So, although this was a very short-term styling session (over a weekend), still it reminds me of my neighborhood walks on unsettled spring days, and represents springtime in all its various moments - wind, sun, rain, and even some thunder and lightning!

A poem found in a book from my childhood, entitled A Child's Book of Poems, reminds me of these fluctuating spring days:

The Rain (author unknown)

The rain came down in torrents
And Mary said, "Oh, dear,
I'll have to wear my waterproof,
And rubbers, too, I fear!"
So, carefully protected, she started off for school, 
When the big round sun,
Came out and chuckled "April Fool!"

*            *            * 

Here's a few more peeks to show you some of my favorite thrifted treasures. This 'jazz kitty' as I call it, is actually some sort of planter or vase, as it has an opening in the back of its head. Like most of my vintage finds, it's made in Japan, as is the little wood shelf the cat sits on:

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If you found just one vintage red cardinal salt or pepper shaker, would you buy it? That's me, too. I love it when I find a perfect set of salt and pepper shakers - nothing missing, no chips, no broken pieces glued back on. But when I see just one perfect shaker, I can forgive the fact that the other one is long gone, and enjoy the remaining one as it is, especially when it's a bird!

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The wabi-sabi, Oriental shaped lantern is from a downtown charity shop that I love to frequent. One week this past February the shop's theme was "Asian Celebration", which coincided with the Asian Celebration festival happening in our town at the time. I purchased the red lantern knowing I would place it on this wall mounted hanger.

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What does the month of April mean to you? Style any surface in your home and share it on your blog and/or on Instagram, tagging Katy Orme at Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts and Lots.  


Sunday, April 10, 2016

#collectandstyle - A New Instagram Hashtag

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Hi Friends! Are you a collector? If you are, and you have an Instagram account, come join my new hashtag - #collectandstyle! We'll be looking for colorful styled vintage, antique, or new collections: Have you recently purchased a new coffee or tea cup? Maybe you were out over the weekend at an antique store and found some lovely spoons, postcards or letters? Perhaps you went thrifting and happened to find the coolest vintage books, and you're dying to share them? Style them up and share your collecting passion! Each weekend I'll post four of my favorite images on Instagram and at the end of each month I'll feature my favorite hashtag image here on my blog. So visit me on Instagram, check out my new hashtag, #collectandstyle, and don't forget to say hello!


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Vintage Finds: A Touch Of Gold!

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April, Spring, and Saturday - what could be better? I'm excited to share with you three vintage house ware items, all found within the last month. Although diverse in their manufacturing origins, all of these share certain design elements that make them well suited to display together.

Are you familiar with Daher Decorated Ware (the serving bowl on the left)? I only recently became aware of Daher when I found another of their pieces at a charity shop about a month ago and later discovered that the company made tins, trays and bowls in England from the 1940s to the 1970s. I spotted this bowl more recently at a different charity shop, and its design and the colors used immediately caught my eye. This piece, with its beautiful nature inspired Asian theme, was destined to come home with me!

The other two items, the Wales three footed tea cup and the Napcoware bird-themed decorative plate, are both made in Japan. I'm particularly keen on the organic, flower inspired shape of the cup, and the plate features not just any bird, but a three dimensional Gold Finch to be precise (birds are my favorite animal of all time). You may have already seen how I've styled these two items on Instagram.

Up until now, for something to be collectable, for me, an item must not only be vintage, but preferably also made in Japan. As a plus, a piece might also have either a depiction of the natural world, or a symbolic representation of nature, as well as the more subtle feelings of beauty, character or perfection. Or even a lack of perfection: think wabi-sabi.

Although made in England, the Daher bowl reminded me of all those qualities, and when I realized that all three items were so very well suited to each other in style, theme and color, as well as having details in gold that tied them together in my mind's eye, I just had to take a photo of the three together, and share it with you!

As always, thanks for reading!

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