"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Festive

The inspiration for decorating my garden shed.
 I've been running around the garden popping bits of greenery into urns and hanging wreaths on windows; today is our Santa Claus parade and the official start of the festive season.

I don't have a country property to pillage greenery from so I bought up some natural wreaths and urn arrangements at the grocery store.  I even decorated my little garden shed but it needs more work, when I have it looking fully festive I'll take a photo.
I was heavily inspired by the little shed above, I like the paper on the inside of the windows, nice touch isn't it?


In other festive news I've found a Christmas china pattern for my table.
Royal Stafford "Christmas Home"
I've always loved the idea of having special dishes for Christmas, even though they need to be stored the rest of the year and are certainly a household indulgence.  I just love the idea of bringing them out and using them all throughout the holidays.
My Dad started collecting Christmas dishes for my daughters many years ago, the dishes collect and grow.  One has an English pattern and the other an American, both gold-rimmed and appropriately cheery.
I found my dishes at a home discount store and was instantly attracted to them, the outdoor Christmas scene reminded me of a holiday story I loved as a child: Cranberry Christmas.
It's funny, I hadn't thought of that book in years and years, yet the humble green and red decor and the windows lit up from within brought the storybook back to my mind completely.
My favorite childhood Christmas book.
The nice thing about the dishes is that they were being sold off separately which meant I didn't have to buy traditional five-piece place settings.  I picked up ten of the shallow cereal bowls (as seen above) and ten of the dinner plates.  The shallow bowls are the perfect size for a first course soup and dessert as well.


Do you have Christmas dishes?  Did you buy them yourself or were they collected for you?

I hope your Sunday is a peaceful one, and if you are going to a Santa Claus parade today I hope you have fun!
xoDani

48 comments:

  1. Those Christmas dishes are just beautiful, I've always wanted a Christmas set too, what a lovely pattern. The little shed is just perfect, I'd love a holiday in one just like it.

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    1. Tabs you have a garden shed don't you! You could decorate it and go out there for a tipple!

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  2. Dani - you are my girl indeed - wait till you see tomorrow' post, which I just finished writing!

    I started collecting Christmas dishes - mine is Royal Doulton's Night Before Christmas - I love that the pieces all have individual verses on them and they seem toile like. Right now, I am mixing them with cheap President's Choice christmas dishes, but I plan to get them out this week, as I have now officially adopted the American Thanksgiving as the start of Christmas chez nous. I am actually going to get some greenery this afternoon. Am still in full bore relaxation mode and am going to see Skyfall with friends tonight - a nice diversion and Louise really liked it and posted about it a couple of days ago, so am hopeful!

    I am unfamiliar with this book, but will look for it! I have a couple of books that I am going to post about in the coming weeks for all of those lucky folks with little children or grandchildren!

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    1. WMM, I am biased being a Bondie, but it really is a "best of Britain" film, so I think right up your street. Enjoy your night out!

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    2. WMM I hope you liked the movie, I think we're going to see it this week!
      Your dishes sound gorgeous, please do a post on them.

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  3. Dani, Thanks for the holiday post bright and early this morning.The sun is shining here and the air is crisp,a perfrct morning to go picking greens! I do love the shed ,just the little perks of red are perfect. I think its great to get some of the decorating done early so there is more time to celebrate and cook.Hope all is well at your home and enjoy sunday! Go Pats!!!

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    1. Hi Anon, I think the Patriots did win and HOW, didn't they?
      I am planning to have all of my decorating and shopping done before the 1st of December, leaving lots of time for cooking and just hanging out with the Rascals!

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  4. DISHING Dani, adore the windows of that shed in my un-Martha way! Thanks for sharing. (Hmm, could I paper all my condo windows to block out the external grime too?!) I have an inherited collection of BIG turkey dinner plates - charger sized - with two truly massive platters (I think Spode Woodland?) at the pater's homestead. They come from the 1940s when a grand worked at Eatons. As a veggie teen I hated eating off them, but now I find them charming. Unfortunately, so large they wouldn't even squeeze in my condo cupboards. But will get an outing this year. Hmm again, I might now scrounge-collect a few holiday bowls/ sideplates to add to cocktails and our white work-a-day dishes here.

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    1. Oh, and must look for the Cran Xmas book, new to me and potential great Xmas giftie - ta again!

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    4. Hi GF, that book was popular in the 1970's, I was thinking of looking for it on ebay. I think papering your windows would work against grime but you'd feel as though you were in a shop that hadn't opened yet. I adore Spode Woodland!

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    5. Ladies, we'll have to look on ebay - I asked yesterday and it's out of print!

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  5. Beautiful Dani.This year I am contemplating Emma Bridgewater's Christmas Joy dishes.Maybe just some serving dishes though.Have a lovely Sunday.Xsue

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    1. Hi Sue, That range is beautiful, I love the Bridgewater dishes but the markup on them here in Canada is horrendous!

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  6. Hi Dani - home discount stores are the best! We don't have any holiday dishes per se, apart from a cookie plate in the shape of a Christmas tree in white and gold. We are currently shopping for a newborn gift and I'm going to add some books - this one would be a great addition.

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    1. Hi Patricia, I normally avoid those stores like the plague but I was there to buy a toilet paper holder, a stand-alone one which I found for $15, then I found my dishes so it was worth the pain of being there!

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  7. dani I do not have Holiday dishes, just lovely white with gold rimmed! My mother has a beautiful set which was given to her by a special friend of mine. I love playing around and putting together unique vignettes!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Giveaway from Scalamandre!

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    1. Karen white with gold is totally classic and lovely!

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  8. I love the detail on your dishes. The house looks so cozy all lit up and framed in the garland with snow falling around the border. Our china pattern is Noritake Silver Palace and I have the Palace Christmas serving dishes as well as the salad plates and mugs. Unfortunately that is all the pieces that were made in the Christmas pattern but they go perfectly with the base pattern so we're set.

    I never thought of decorating the garden shed, what a fabulous idea.

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    1. xoxo what a great idea to have Christmas serving dishes that complement your good china, that will certainly save on storage space too.

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  9. Love the garden shed, so charming. I use my grandmother's wedding china over the holidays. It's Spode as well, and each piece is hand painted with flowers, and slightly different from each other. I just hung a wreath on our front porch yesterday, which is beautiful. Love your Christmas dishes.

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    1. Kathy, Spode, how lucky that your grandmother had such good taste. Sounds like you are int he festive spirit as well!

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  10. By the way Dani, I meant to tell you - I bought an Instyle magazine yesterday and there is a beautiful 4-page advertising spread for Louis Vuitton, featuring your bag! Have you seen it? The model could be you - in slim-fitting black sweater and a-line skirt, wandering around the Louvre. I don't have my Vogue yet but I'm sure it will be in all the other magazines as well.

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    1. Patricia I saw the ad, or bit of it, online. I know it's my bag! I admired that outfit too, a perfect sweater and skirt, it's a very subdued ad which I like. The end of bling bags!

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  11. This post is enough to get me in the holiday mood! I am looking forward to seeing your decorated garden shed. I have never had a wreath on the front door before, but this year, I think I will put one up. The touches of red and green are so cheering. We don't have any Christmas dishes, but before the first Advent, my husband goes crazy decorating the house with traditional Swedish Yuletide decorations. My favourites are the candoliers (candelabras) and a large pine wood Advent star which are put in the windows and lit at night - you can see the designs here.

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    1. Louise I really like those Swedish decorations, we have some good friends from Sweden, they've been living here on academic scholarship (my friend is a Marie Curie scholar) but sadly they go back home in December. Now I want to go to Sweden to see them and the country!

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  12. What a charming shed and I love the greenery and the red bows...so cheerful!
    Your china pattern will be lovely for your Christmas table. I use our Royal Albert that we have had since we were married in 1974. It would be fun to have a Christmas set but we just do not have the storage space.

    You have inspired me to go out and get busy sprucing up our bungalow.
    Our city had the Santa Parade last night too!

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    1. Hi Hostess, 1974! You've been married nearly 40 years, good for you and MrHB!!
      The parade was a big hit, there was a real camel.

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  13. Hi Dani, What a pretty pattern! I'm sure your holiday table will look lovely. I inherited a full set of Spode's Christmas tree dishes which we use from Black Friday to Boxing Day. The partying reindeer (Pottery Barn's Reindeer Collection) come out to play from early December through New Year's Day. We even joke about their off-season storage location. A relatively inaccessible cabinet above the Sub Zero refrigerator is dubbed the "North Pole"

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    1. Hi Muffy, You have given me the perfect place to store my Christmas dishes, I've been fretting about it but I have a cupboard above the refrigerator as well, North Pole it is!

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  14. You are definitely inspiring me with the shed photo, I usually do a decorating theme every year and I think this year I want to have an "Evergreen Christmas" -- very sensory.

    I have a Nativity Plate and a red Christmas serving plate (that I sometimes use during the year!) Winners sometimes have lovely Christmas dishes.

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    1. Hi LR, I love the idea of Evergreen Christmas! It's nice to get the Christmas pieces on discount, I bought mine at Homesense which I believe is associated with Winners.

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  15. What a pretty pattern. I have the Pottery Barn Reindeer dessert plates and mugs-a gift from my late MIL. Christmas isn't really my thing, but DH likes to decorate outside, hang lights and he puts up a tree with the kids. We share both holidays, but the decorating the house gene isn't in my DNA so I cook, bake, plan and gift wrap to get into the season - of course I do all of the shopping too.

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    1. Julie, I get MrBP to do the tree and lights as well, though I usually do the urns and doors. And like you of course I do the shopping!

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  16. I love your new Christmas crockery, Dani - so charming. I also have a collection of assorted pieces that I use over the festive period. I also use special trays and glasses. There's just no stopping me!

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    1. Sulky I need to buy some glasses, I'm down to one champagne glass, I don't know what happens to them. I hope you post this week I feel like laughing!

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  17. What a wonderful ideal for papering the windows . Planter's boxes always look great stuffed with greenery. Love the china and I have Royal Doulton in green and I also the Spode Christmas trees in serving pieces. You've motivated me to get my act in gear and I'm baking cookies today. Happy Sunday.

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    1. Hi Marsha, I need to start with the cookies this week, also marzipan! I have to get some more greenery for the window boxes on the shed, I found my clippers so I'll be pillaging my own garden!

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  18. What a lovely pattern! For years I had Block's Poinsettia pattern Christmas china, I loved it, but with the family scattered all over the world it doesn't make sense to store a service for 12 in a NY apartment, so I donated the china and make my table festive with linens, flowers, candles and red water glasses. A family friend gave my mother a cut crystal wine glass in a different color every year, they came with a legend, that somehow involved the friend's family crossing the Danube under gunfire with glasses, china and a good jacket, and I use those at Christmas too. We were disabused of the legend when I discovered a tiny "Lenox" label on the bottom of one of the glasses, but I still use them, and the story of the legend, to brighten up the table.

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    1. Fred, what a character this friend with the legends! That's hilarious!

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  19. The shed and swishes are so charming! I have a set of red dishes which come out just after Halloween and stay until just after Valentine's Day, as they cheer things up once the snow flies! These dishes are complemented with various Christmas dishes from Emma Bridgewater that I've collected over the years...I love bringing them out! Today I made my Christmas pud, cake and mincemeat and am starting to feel quite festive! Now, if only my shopping had even been started!

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  20. Um...dishes...dishes...not swishes...:)

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    1. Rebecca, Hey that's a really good idea with the red dishes out until Valentines Day. Keeps up the cheer of the holidays during gray January too I'm guessing.
      I want to make a Christmas cake but my mixer is broken, I may be too wimpy to mix it by hand!

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  21. Oh the shed is lovely, just makes me think happy thoughts, thank you! I don't have Christmas dishes but I love yours. I do have some platters and a beautiful table cloth that I got as a wedding gift along with Easter one the are hand embroidered and I love taking them out. I love the pattern on your dishes!

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    1. Hi ajc, I was thinking you might have the PB reindeer pieces! Your wedding gifts sound beautiful.

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  22. We decorate our barn and fish house/dock with lights and winterberries-- my favorite shrub. I love your dishes! I put out children's Christmas books all over the house on Thanksgiving for all to enjoy. " I remember that book, Mom!" Love it!

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    1. Hi Lane, what a great idea for the books. I would love to see your barn and dock looking festive and cheery, that just sounds beautiful!

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