Those Enchanting Hall Teapots

Warm and Wonderful Vintage Hall China Teapots

There aren’t many things more soothing than a hot cup of tea on a cold winter day! Maybe that’s why those sturdy and beautiful vintage teapots by Hall China have become my latest obsession. They were made in so many different shapes and colors, it seems there is one to suit every mood. From the simple, like this black and gold New York style,

Black and gold no back
Hall New York Teapot

to a more complex design such as this Cobalt Blue Airflow shape, a teapot made by Hall China can set the tone for entertaining friends or for a quiet evening at home.

Cobalt airflow no back
Hall Airflow Teapot

 

 

 

 

 

Fascinated by the shapes, I have become engrossed in learning about the history of these distinctive teapots. Each time I discover one I haven’t seen before, I am sure that Hall China Company must have made an infinite number of pots in every size, shape, and color! In fact, Lois Lehner’s Complete Book of American Kitchen and Dinnerwares quotes one of Hall China Company’s 1923 ads: “Forty-eight different teapots, no two alike.” Continue reading “Warm and Wonderful Vintage Hall China Teapots”

Thanksgiving Table Blog Post

Embrace Fall and Set a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table with Vintage Dinnerware

Okay, I admit it. Fall is not my favorite season. I feel a touch of sadness when the leaves begin to cover the lawn, and I don’t enjoy the cloudy days or the dropping temperatures. I’m sorry to see the summer flowers fade, and when that cold wind starts to blow, I kind of want to pull the covers over my head for the whole season!Fall Tree Dark

However, I have to concede that there are so many things to love about fall! As a child, I loved the excitement of getting back to school, seeing my friends, and having new shoes! As a teacher, well, I still loved the excitement of getting back to school, seeing my friends, (both new, young friends, and older, adult friends,) and, yes, having new shoes! Now that I’ve retired, I miss those exciting annual firsts of every fall.

Still, there are lots of other things to love about fall. It’s a great time of year to get outdoors. Apples, especially the most delicious Honey Crisp, are in season in Michigan. It’s so much fun to go apple picking with family, and we try to make an outing of picking apples at least once during the fall. I love seeing the delight on the little ones’ faces as they search for the perfect red apple. And who doesn’t love fresh cider and warm donuts to end a brisk autumn day?

Autumn Apple Picking
Autumn Apple Picking

Fall is a great time to take a drive on country roads. The colors of the trees in a Michigan autumn are unmatched in any painting!  The leaves seem to be touched by magic as they gradually change from the lush green of summer to the brilliant autumn reds and golds. And the entrancing aroma of burning leaves fills the air. The fragrance takes me back to the days of walking home from school and delighting in the crunch of the fallen leaves beneath my (new) shoes!

Fall Colors
Fall Colors

 

 

As September moves into October,  I have a lot of fun decorating my house for autumn. I’m captivated by the excitement of the grandchildren as Halloween approaches, and I love setting up the Halloween decorations. One of the great things about autumn decorating is that you can add just a few simple Halloween decorations to your fall foliage and colors. Put the Halloween decor away on November 1st and you’re ready for Thanksgiving!

Halloween Decorations
Halloween Decorations

Thanksgiving. A purely American holiday. Even after years of teaching, I was surprised to learn that our traditional Thanksgiving turkey was not one of the foods enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving! Here is a fascinating video about our Thanksgiving Traditions presented by the History Channel.

Some of our uniquely American traditions include the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Football, and more recently, the National Dog Show. Even our cat is fascinated by this tradition!

Cat Watching Dog Show
Cat Watching Dog Show

Though I’m sure American Football was not enjoyed by the Pilgrims, football is now inextricably mixed with Thanksgiving. All across America, family and friends gather round the TV to root for their favorite teams. Whether football fans or not, most of us still regard Thanksgiving as a time to feast, gather together, count our blessings, and feast some more!

One of the ways I like to show my family how much I appreciate them is by setting the table with vintage dinnerware and table decorations. For me, using vintage pieces reminds me of our past family traditions like going to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner. The torch has been passed from my grandmother to my mother and down to me, now a grandma myself.

I start with a festive Thanksgiving tablecloth and am grateful to add a beautiful autumn bouquet centerpiece, a gift from my mother. After her many years of hosting Thanksgiving, she says the flowers are her “passing dish,” and I love it! Fresh flowers are so refreshing on the table, especially when the weather outside may be rather gloomy. I especially like the stained glass leaves in this arrangement!

Fall Flowers Centerpiece
Fall Flowers Centerpiece

One of my estate sale finds was a complete set of this vintage 1940s Homer Laughlin Ferndale China. With its distinctive vintage style and soft colors, it is perfect for the Thanksgiving table!

Homer Laughlin Ferndale China
Homer Laughlin Ferndale China

These cute vintage glass salt and pepper shakers on a tray were made to resemble turkeys. You can find these easily at flea markets and antique shops, and they are adorable on the holiday table.

Vintage Glass Turkey Salt and Pepper Shakers
Vintage Glass Turkey Salt and Pepper Shakers

To add a little pizzazz to this tablescape, I added vintage 1960s Culver Glass tumblers in the Valencia pattern. These are made with 22 Karat gold and a hint of green inside each “window,” and they set off the autumn colors perfectly.

Culver Valencia Mid Century Glass Tumbler
Culver Valencia Mid Century Glass Tumbler

You can add candles if you like, vintage mirrored place cards, and cloth napkins with vintage napkin rings like the ones in the photo below that were made by Fostoria Glass. Or, choose one of the many Thanksgiving designs in paper napkins available at this time of year.

Vintage Glass Napkin Rings and Place Cards
Vintage Glass Napkin Rings and Place Cards

 

 

 

 

 

So, fall is not my favorite season, but I do look forward to Thanksgiving. I am so very blessed with a loving family and friends. And I am thankful for the chance to set a beautiful Thanksgiving table to show my gratitude and count my blessings.

Vintage Thanksgiving Tablescape
Vintage Thanksgiving Tablescape

You can find vintage dinnerware, glassware, and table accessories priced very low at flea markets and garage sales, just be sure to examine pieces carefully to avoid getting chipped and damaged dishes. These items will cost more at antique stores and online shops, but you can save time and energy by connecting with a dealer you trust to provide quality items.Things to Love About Fall

Why You Should Nurture Your Child's Love of Collecting parent and child's hands

Why You Should Nurture Your Child’s Love of Collecting

What child hasn’t picked up stones, seashells, or other found objects and started a collection? Collecting stuff is a natural part of a child’s interest in the world around her. What may look like an assortment of useless junk to us shines like a stockpile of golden treasure in a child’s eyes!Common driveway stonesThough the items she seeks may have no monetary value, fostering your child’s pursuit of those precious items can indeed bring very real returns. Here are several reasons to encourage your child in the hobby of collecting.

Setting Goals: Starting a collection is a fun way to begin learning to set goals, which many experts agree is a key ingredient to success in life. Continue reading “Why You Should Nurture Your Child’s Love of Collecting”

An Orderly Classroom is Child's Play with one simple secret

An Orderly Classroom is Child’s Play with One Simple Secret

An Orderly Classroom is Child's Play with one simple secretWould you like a quick idea to start the year that will help to make your classroom more efficient and even safer? My fourth-grade students taught me this time-saving safety trick several years ago. Continue reading “An Orderly Classroom is Child’s Play with One Simple Secret”

Falling in Love with Depression Glass

Watch out! The collecting bug will bite you without warning! I first learned about Depression Glass several years ago, when I was invited to attend an informal talk with friends. I had no idea what Depression Glass was and had only a passing interest in the subject of the lecture. I only went in order to spend some time with my friends. Little did I know that I was about to be bitten hard with a lifelong love of this beautiful glassware!

Pink Princess Depression Glass Green Georgian Depression Glass
Pink Princess and Green Georgian from Author’s Collection

Pastel pinks, greens, yellows, and even blues dazzled like jewels on our hostess’ table!  The patterns were captivating. Glittering glass bowls, plates, and candlesticks embedded with loops and swirls, delicate flowers, and joyful dancing girls – it was hard to believe such beautiful items were once dime store giveaways! Continue reading “Falling in Love with Depression Glass”

Vintage wine shimmers in the evening sunset overlooking the harbor photo by Kristen Dyson

Vintage – What Does it Really Mean?

Johnson Brothers Florida Flow Blue jug with Hybrid tea roses
Antique Flow blue jug with Roses

Vintage. It’s all the rage right now.  You see it in magazines about home decor and on celebrities at Hollywood events. The word is used to describe everything from cars to textiles to glassware. Recently I was asked to define the term, and I realized I’d never given it much thought! Have you ever wondered what the word vintage really means? Continue reading “Vintage – What Does it Really Mean?”