Thursday, March 9, 2017

Vintage Finds: Napcoware Bird Plaques

Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector

Hi friends, and welcome to another edition of Vintage Finds!

One of the down-sides of collecting vintage is the disappointment one may feel upon discovering a single item that was originally produced as part of a set, but then being unable to locate its mate. The most common examples of this situation are salt and pepper shakers. How many times have you come across just one and then found yourself searching all the shelves in the charity shop, hoping to reunite the pair? Oh, am I the only one that does that?

Since the beginning of this 'Vintage Finds' blog series, my intention was always to show you a somewhat random selection of my latest finds, mainly because that is how real life works, right? You never know what you'll find and part of the fun is sharing the latest discoveries.

But it just so happens that on one of my latest excursions, I was thrilled to discover the two large Napcoware bird plaques pictured to the left and right above. Some months prior, I acquired the smaller Goldfinch plaque (middle, above) and shared it in a post called Vintage Finds: A Touch of Gold!

Upon finding the Goldfinch plaque, I figured it would be an arbitrary purchase, since it was extremely unlikely that I would ever see any other similar plaques. Even though many ceramic knick knacks were mass produced in the 1950s and 1960s, there now seems to exist a sort of random selection of odd pieces in the second hand shops. So when I saw the Bluejay and Cardinal plaques, sitting together on the shelf, it was a complete surprise. Now it feels a bit like a display of rainbow-colored birds!

Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector
Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector
Napcoware, vintage Napcoware, Napcoware bird plaques, collecting Napcoware, Napcoware collector

There isn't a lot of information here on the web about Napco, or National Potteries Corporation. In its humble beginnings, it started in 1938 as a small manufacturing plant located here in the United States, in Bedford, Ohio, specializing in decorative ceramic home wares. In the post World War II era, like so many other manufacturers in America, the company turned to having their designs manufactured in Japan.

These high quality plaques are rich in color and feature extraordinary details such as the intricate layers of feathers, the scaly texture of the birds' legs, and the natural and wild portrayal of the floral embellishments in the backgrounds. Furthermore, the three dimensional relief provides interest, and the plaques' golden edges fall within the current home decor trend of gold accents around the home.

Thank you for reading another edition of Vintage Finds!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

Royal Albert American Beauty teacup and saucer, Royal Albert American Beauty teapot, Royal Albert Lavender Rose teacup and saucer, Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy, Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures, Vintage Tea Treasures for sale

Hi Friends! My enthusiasm for finding classic teatime china ware for you to enjoy, in your home and on your table, continues in this month's Vintage Tea Treasures update. Today I'm featuring Royal Albert bone china, a quintessentially high quality English brand, and now available in my Etsy shop. 

The Royal Albert china company has traditionally always paid homage to the beautiful flower gardens that are so prevalent throughout the United Kingdom. Their 'American Beauty' pattern (circa 1970s), as seen on the teapot, and the teacup and saucer set to its left, is one such example. You can almost smell the sweet scent of these large pink, fully-bloomed roses!

The teacup and saucer on the far right, also from Royal Albert, is another of their rose patterns; this one, featuring sprays of smaller roses, is called 'Lavender Rose'.

If you are a tea drinker, as well as a flower lover, you may well enjoy treating yourself to a slow tea-drinking moment, in exquisite floral fashion with one of these elegant treasures.

For all the details and to see more items for sale, visit Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy. Thank you for stopping by!


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#collectandstyle - January Monthly Favorite

Hello, #collectandstyle community, and thank you so much for visiting Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog. I'm excited that you're here, and thrilled to share with you the #collectandstyle January Monthly Favorite image.

The world of styling, on both a professional and a personal level, is a fascinating activity. There are many of us on Instagram who admire stylists who have the ability to cultivate a distinctive way of approaching the art of arrangement with a clear visual voice, and firmly grounded within their own unique practice of styling.

Instagrammer Tamsyn Morgans of Norfolk, United Kingdom, is a professional interior and prop stylist, whose love for renovating a run-down Victorian terrace coalesced her hobby and her career into the well loved blog she named The Villa On Mount Pleasant. This passion project led Tamsyn to enjoy "inspiring readers to make their home a beautiful place to live." A self professed thrifting addict, Tamsyn believes in "giving a new lease of life to vintage furniture and flea market treasure, reusing and repurposing, and weaving them in with modern homeware." 

The recent purchase of a mug at Anthropologie prompted a styled photo shoot; her use of vivid colors and interesting textures in the above vignette point to her impressive talent as a stylist, making evident her love of mixing vintage and modern home wares.

As well, Tamsyn's flair for consistent and chic style, whether viewing her personal or professional work, is noticeable throughout all of her various media platforms. No matter if you are reading her blog or her content on the social media channels, you will recognize Tamsyn's distinct pastel-colored style. Indeed, your heart will warm upon seeing how she employs textures like velvet, paper, fabrics, vintage china and flowers. And let's not forget her use of beautiful things that sparkle such as sequins, Christmas baubles and fairy lights.

Additionally, Tamsyn has collaborated with an impressive list of companies including Laura Ashley, Liberty Fabrics and Bloom and Wild. And last year she was shortlisted for the prestigious Amara Interior Blog Awards and her gorgeous home was featured in Country Living Magazine. The light filled rooms and treasure trove of vintage props that make up Tamsyn's home are also available as a shoot location for photography and filming through the agency East Coast Production.

After viewing the delightful world of Tamsyn Morgans, and finding yourself in love with her style, there's good news! You can also shop the things she loves right from her website. And if you live in the UK Norfolk area, Tamsyn and Katie of the blog The Vintage House That Could will be offering a Decorative Vintage Styling Workshop.

Besides Instagram and her blog, there are several other options for following Tamsyn; you'll find her on Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin', and Pinterest.

Thank you for visiting Under The Plum Blossom Tree, and I hope you've enjoyed getting to know Tamsyn Morgans. 

If you would like to join in with #collectandstyle on Instagram, you can read all the details in my introductory blogpost #collectandstyle - A New Instagram Hashtag. I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

Etsy vintage, Etsy seller, vintage Etsy, Etsy, vintage Fred Robert Company teacup and saucer, vintage Fred Robert Company San Francisco, vintage Noritake Rose China teacup, saucer and cake plate set, vintage midcentury Santa Anita Ware 'Vreni' coffeepot

Hi Everyone! It's a new month and a few more tea treasures have been added to my Etsy shop, and so that calls for a Vintage Tea Treasures update. 

The coffeepot on the left is a classic midcentury work of modern art. During the 1950's the Santa Anita Potteries in Los Angeles, California had their top stylist, Swiss designer Vreni Wawra, create a line of ceramic table ware that I'm sure you will agree is as timeless in its function, as it also is in style. Signed by the designer, this unique piece is surely a conversation starter!

Did you know that during the United States' occupation of Japan after World War II, the Noritake China Company was called Rose China? In the background is an on-trend white china trio, consisting of a footed teacup, saucer and cake plate, which features an elegant gold trim, and is backstamped 'Rose China' and 'Made in Occupied Japan'. The stamp itself includes greenery and a pretty rose. There are three trio sets available in the shop.

In the foreground is another example of fine Japanese ceramic craftsmanship: a delicate floral teatime duo by the Fred Roberts Company, featuring a beautiful tapered teacup. The Fred Roberts Company was a San Francisco, California based importer. Priced at just $15.00 plus shipping, this set is perfect for the lover of vintage chintz!

For all the details about any of these items, including sizes, prices and shipping costs, visit Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy.

And as always, thank you for visiting Under The Plum Blossom Tree, and Vintage Tea Treasures!


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Styling A Vintage Hutch: The Christmas Season

James Mont Chinoiserie Hutch, Chinoiserie hutch, how to style a James Mont chinoiserie style hutch, styling the Christmas season

Hi Friends! Ever since I purchased a limed oak James Mont chinoiserie-style hutch last spring, I've been wanting to style it on a regular basis and share it here with you on this blog.

As it happened, 'Life got in the way', as it often does, and for the most part this hutch became a repository for various tea ware items offered in my Etsy shopWhile that's still true to some extent, this is my first attempt at purposefully arranging the collectibles in my hutch in a manner that more characteristically reflects who I am. After giving it some thought, I decided that a good approach would be styling through the use of pieces that vary in type, shape, and size, yet are still consistent in color and style. Luckily, I collect a huge variety of 'stuff', and I thought that picking items with my styling decisions in mind would be a fun challenge for myself!

James Mont chinoiserie limed oak hutch, vintage James Mont chinoiserie limed oak hutch, vintage chinoiserie hutch, styling a vintage chinoiserie hutch

Choosing a color scheme of white, green and red, and a Christmas or seasonal theme, using all vintage items provided a consistent look. And having a variety of items - plates and teacups and saucers that vary in shape, size, and manufacturer - helped to tie together a miscellaneous collection of fun Christmas kitsch, such as the Santa mugs, elves and guest card holders (like the small 'Mrs. Claus' figurine), into a harmonious whole. Adding a touch of the modern world is a great way to bridge the past with the present; the paper fans (purchased at a Target department store) and the poinsettia plant displayed alongside a vintage teapot on the very top of the hutch help to accomplish that.

Here are a few close up shots, one from each shelf:

James Mont Chinoiserie Hutch, Chinoiserie hutch, how to style a James Mont chinoiserie style hutch, styling the Christmas season
James Mont Chinoiserie Hutch, Chinoiserie hutch, how to style a James Mont chinoiserie style hutch, styling the Christmas season
James Mont Chinoiserie Hutch, Chinoiserie hutch, how to style a James Mont chinoiserie style hutch, styling the Christmas season

I enjoy recording family memories, and took these photographs on Christmas Eve as part of a holiday story for a pocket photo album project. And now that I have taken down all of the Christmas decorations, and also begun putting away most of the items pictured, I realized that the photos I had taken were the beginnings of a new blog post series on styling a vintage hutch! And now, I can begin the process of figuring out what will go on these shelves next. What fun!

Thanks for reading. Soon, I hope to be able to once again share another post featuring the styling of my vintage James Mont hutch.


Monday, January 2, 2017

#collectandstyle - December Monthly Favorite

slcook52 on Instagram, Sylvia Cook on Instagram, Sylvia Cook image

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for visiting Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog - I'm so glad you're here for this last #collectandstyle Monthly Favorite of 2016! I can't believe I have managed to write a blog post for each of the chosen monthly images since starting this hashtag project on Instagram back in April. On the other hand, it is your support of the tag that keeps me going and I thank you for that. I plan on continuing the project throughout 2017, despite all the everyday challenges of life, work and family.

The traditional vintage blown-glass Christmas ornament, or bauble as some like to call it, is for many of us not a mere trinket, but part of our 'why' when we celebrate the holiday season. We appreciate them for their beauty and craftsmanship. We love them because they are a part of our family heritage. And when collected, they create within us feelings of nostalgia - for our childhoods, for tradition, and for remembrances of people, activities and stories that we cherish. The above image, by Sylvia Cook, who is known on Instagram as slcook52, conveys those feelings through its evocation of an evergreen tree, lights and ornaments.

The fact that Sylvia chose to photograph several blue ornaments from her collection is a hint of the delightful color palette that winds and weaves its way throughout Sylvia's Instagram feed. There you'll find pops of pastel blue, aqua and various other pastel colors, firmly grounded within the on-trend background of white walls, furniture and other decor. And Sylvia's blog Inspirations, provides a wider contextual view of the color and texture elements shared in her Instagram feed. Sylvia recently blogged her 'Christmas Home Tour 2016', which featured her bedroom, family room, living room, kitchen, and a hot cocoa bar which I'm sure her grandchildren loved. My personal favorite is the family room tour, where Sylvia's passion for "retro/vintage" and the color aqua are clearly shown, and where you can see more of her gorgeous and colorful vintage ornament collection.

Sylvia's many endeavors include not one, but three Instagram hashtag projects: #vivalavignettetuesday, #mycottageinstincts, and #mypastelcharm. And her boundless photographic creativity can also be found in Sylvia's Etsy shop Vintage Chic Images where you can find shabby-chic floral fine art prints, shower curtains, and phone covers in the pastel colors she so dearly loves. An even larger selection of art prints and home decor items can be found in Sylvia's Society 6 shop Sylvia Cook Photography and also in her Kess In House shop. And for portrait photography, visit Sylvia's website, also known as Sylvia Cook Photography.

Thank you for stopping by. If you would like to know more about #collectandstyle, you can find out all the details in my blog post #collectandstyle - A New Instagram Hashtag. See you there on Instagram, as well as later this month here on my Collect And Style Monthly Favorite blogpost!


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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