Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Fling Party Sneek Peek Giveaway...

I am so excited to participate in this 14 day fabulous giveaway party sponsored by April at Wildflowers & Whimsy blog. My giveaway is Thursday March 31st. I have made Vintage Inspired Sun Bonnet Sue 100 % flour sack dish towels complete with blanket stitch border, one for each day of the week. They are great dish towels, very durable and large. They launder beautifully.

There will be at least two giveaways a day to join. I will be posting every day beginning March 20th where the giveaways will be located. Visit Wildflowers and Whimsy to see sneak peeks of the other giveaways! I am sharing my day with Strokes of  Magic. She has a darling giveaway as well.

Come back on March 31st to sign-up!

Great Nora Roberts Giveaway going on over at my book blog

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Collecting Vintage Franciscan Ware...

 Featuring today my vintage Apple pattern Tea Service

Be forewarned that it can be addicting!!! I started collecting Vintage Franciscan Ware about ten years ago when I discovered it on Ebay. I started with the Apple pattern which is one of their most popular releases. When I was a little girl my mother had Fiesta Ware which I truly loved and our family friends mother collected Franciscan Ware Apple. I fell in love with these dishes at six years old! I loved eating at their home because I knew whatever it was would be served on these dishes. She had everything, the mixing bowls, tumblers, casserole dishes, etc. They were so beautiful! 

 The hand painted vibrant colors are still so vivid no fading after 71 years. This Teapot was fired in 1940 when the pattern was first released. I got it off of Ebay for $35 eight years ago. It's one of my price pieces.

Franciscan Ware originated in Glendale, CA at the Gladding, McBean Co. back in 1934. The most famous patterns of this period was Apple, 1940 and Dessert Rose 1942. The inspiration behind the dinnerware was the American Southwest earthenware style Pottery. The name was created from the Franciscan monks who reflected the simple, informal lifestyle and belonged to California.  This vintage dinnerware is still very collectible today. I say the vintage is because the company was sold to England in the early 80's and was massed produced and no longer hand painted. Comparing the new to the vintage is very telling. The colors of the new editions are not nearly as vibrant or vivid. The dinnerware itself doesn't really feel like pottery. 


My collection is very precious to me for a few reasons; it reminds of my childhood and happy times, I love the fact that it is Californian. I have been raised and still live in Southern California and last but not least the pattern makes for such a beautiful table setting.

If you are thinking about collecting this dinnerware the best place at the best price is on Ebay. Estate sales are great as well, but often very expensive like the Antique stores. You need to be very careful of the back stamp on the bottom of the plate. Hand Made in California needs to be stamped on bottom. or Gladding McBean, Co. If it says it's made in England it is not Vintage and was made after 1959. True collectible Franciscan Ware Apple or Dessert Rose was all produced before 1959, preferably in 1940's. When shopping on Ebay always make sure the seller shows the back stamp on bottom of item, if not email and ask for picture before purchasing. 

 This is an example of a correct vintage 1940 era back stamp. You can see all the components; Hand painted, Made in California, and Gladdings, McBean.
I use this dinnerware often for Sunday dinners, but in particular for Thanksgiving. This Apple pattern is absolutely gorgeous with the table set in the fall colors. My children and grandchildren love.

This beautiful pitcher was the very first piece I purchased for my collection off of Ebay. This particular piece was fired in 1942.

I am still collecting pieces and branching out to new patterns. I so far have collected a service of 12 dinner, salad, dessert plates, 12 berry bowls and sundry of serving pieces. I collected some in lots of 4 but mostly just one or two pieces at a time. I am now currently expanding my Dessert Rose pattern.

I hope you enjoyed this informal history on Franciscan ware, I would love to hear your thoughts!! 

Great Nora Roberts Giveaway going on over at my book blog
All Things Royal!

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St. Paddy's Day Party Giveaway Going On...

over at my book blog All Things Royal. Check it out if you like Nora Roberts Romance set in Ireland. I'm giving away her Irish Trilogy Born of Fire, Born of Ice and Born of Shame. You can follow here on Puddle Jumpers. That will count as an entry, just leave a comment here indicating that and remember bonus points if you add the giveaway button to your side bar and let me know. Over this month I will be adding two more giveaways and you are welcome to enter them all. Hope you will!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sunday Dinner with the Best Coconut Cake in the Whole World!!!

In our home Sunday dinner is a tradition. When I was growing up I always looked forward to dinner when we arrived home from church. My mother was a great cook 7 days a week, but Sunday's were special. We always ate in the dining room with the good dishes. I remember roasts, hams, pork chops, her friend chicken and some yummy dessert to go with. I've been married now 36 years and have raised six children. Over the years I have kept Sunday dinner as a tradition in our home as well. It's the one day of the week that I try and pull out all the stops. My children are grown now and spread out over the United States but I still have two daughters that still live with us and and one daughter and her family that live nearby. We all meet up for Sunday dinner at either my house or my daughter's. I really look forward to this weekly tradition with good food and good table conversation. The little ones usually watch a special movie that grandma has that they don't :-) and the adults relax and visit. Last night was my turn and I really did do something special! On one of my very favorite blogs The Old Centennial Farmhouse I found a Coconut Cake recipe! It looked so gorgeous and reminded me of my Grandmother's coconut cake that I just had to try it. She claims it's the best coconut cake in the whole wide world and I have to say I 100% agree!!! I made it for Sunday dinner last night and WOW what a show stopper. My family ate the whole cake!

Go visit her blog, I have included the link and check it out for the recipe! It's pretty easy, the only thing I did differently was use 9" pans and added about 1 cup more flower to the icing as I mixed it. Other than those minor changes this is the best coconut cake in the whole wide world!!!!

I am also including quick tutorial on a yummy baked chicken recipe. I used package of eight boneless, skinless chicken 1/2 breasts, 1 lg package of French Fried Onion Rings and 1 cup of butter. Smash up the onion rings in plastic zip lock bag with either palm of your hand or rolling pin. Dip breast both sides in melted butter and then in the onion rings. Bake 350 for 1 hr. I made eight and ended up serving only five cut in 1/2 and that fed seven adults and three children. Chicken cooked this way is very yummy. Just served with boiled red potatoes, sliced tomatoes, and green beans. Kept the entree simple because the feature item was the Cake!!!


Happy Monday 

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