Trinkets and Treasures

Day number 2 in my first official week as full-time wife and mom and everything that goes along with that. We had a lovely day, full of feeding, playing, and cleaning. I don’t mean that to sound as sarcastic as it does in print – really, it was a very nice day. See, while caring for Ben, I am also attempting to tackle the unpacking from a month long road trip, plus finding homes for the fifty trillion wonderful gifts we received from a couple baby showers. Ben received all really nice thoughtful gifts, but then you get it all home and realize once you’ve cut off the tags, washed all the clothes, broken down the boxes, and saved all the ribbons, you have to then put all the stuff away, which of course means rearranging everything else to make homes for all the new stuff. A lot of work, but kind of fun too. I still think I’ve made a bigger mess than I’ve cleaned up, but I suppose it is always worse before it is better.

So what do I do when I have piles and piles of stuff accumulated on every possible surface? I hang a shelf. Then arrange pretty things on it. I find the whole house environment, as well as my day spent tackling it, is rather worthwhile when at the end of it you have something lovely to look at. My mother-in-law picked up this shelf at a garage sale for $5, then my mom refinished it. It is hanging in the kitchen right at eye level when you walk in the back door, and has a few of my treasures on it.

The top shelf has some of the Portmerion dishes I picked up from the factory where they make it in England, a place called Stoke-on-Trent (I’m sure I butchered the spelling). They have a shop full of "seconds," where if one little tendril of one little leaf isn’t perfectly straight, they mark it down considerably. They had some marked down even more with flaws that were more noticable – those they send to America, as they say we don’t know any better. And usually we don’t. Anyway, the second shelf has a few of my peach lustre Fire King cups and saucers. Don’t ask me where I picked up a liking for this set, but it struck my fancy about a year ago. I had a mind to pick up some black dishes then have a festive set to work with in the fall. The bottom shelf has three pink depression tumblers I got on sale at an antique store during our recent (well, only) trip to Fort Collins, CO. I don’t even collect Depression glass, but they were SO pretty on their shelf, they looked like they belonged on a cover of a magazine – like on a white wicker table and chair set out in the garden with a pitcher of pink lemonade with fresh mint inside. The cup and saucer is the Autumn pattern of Royal Daulton’s Brambly Hedge – the illustrations look just like Beatrix Potter, but I don’t think they’re related at all. I absolutely love it. This cup I found for $10 at the Goodwill, of all places. Then the covered glass dish thingy was a gift from my mom – I threw her a tea party last year for her birthday, where she and a bunch of her friends drove up and when antiquing for the day while I prepared their meal. She came home with this for me, which I typically keep full of some kind of candy.

So that’s the story behind my shelf. I’m not sure that anyone really cares what each item on my shelf is or where it comes from, but it felt good to tell it anyway. I only arranged all that stuff on here because I thought it looked good, but as I got to writing about it, I realized each piece has a personal story and memory. I tend to not like decorations for the simple sake of decorations, I like them to mean something to me in some way. I didn’t think I was being that meaningful when I put the shelf together, but now that I think about it, there’s a lot of memories on there. Maybe that will inspire me in some way tomorrow when I start tackling the dishes with a sink whose hot water nozzle won’t turn off (if you can even get it on in the first place). Again. Sigh.

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