About Kimbesa

I love dishes, and I continue to haunt thrift stores, estate sales, and other places where vintage china, dinnerware and glassware are to be found.

I talk about Dishes

Made in the USA

More Pleasure Vintage Dish Shopping

vintage dinnerware shopping finds

Any time is a good time to shop for vintage dishes, and especially now, when there seems to be more and more available in secondhand marketplaces.

Where I live, there are new stores that have opened, and the regular thrift shops are often stuffed to the max with vintage wares.

I handle my shopping via my permanent shopping list, set up with categories to help me keep some kind of focus. If I didn’t do that, I might spend half a day in a single store. A nice idea, but I do have a life outside of vintage dishes.

Some Vintage Dish Categories I Use

On recent shopping trips, I found good items in four of my categories: Serving pieces, Christmas, Pyres/Corning/Corelle and Retro Classics. (I have other categories for particular patterns I want to add as well.)

I am a kid in the dish candy store.

There is a method to my madness; I cannot keep everything myself, even if I wanted to.

I have gift giving in mind, for all holidays and occasions year round. I like to give a vintage dish full of cookies or holiday treats. I don’t have to be concerned whether I get the dish back, it’s part of the gift.

Smaller pieces can be party favors or go into Easter baskets. The possibilities are endless. And you get to enjoy the thrill of the hunt. What you find might even inspire the next theme for your party, table setting, or centerpiece. Read on for details about what I found.

Corelle and Corning ware dishes


Pieces in this category are so practical. One of my “giftees” is a bachelor, challenged when it comes to home cooking, and the bakeware is especially good for him, though these particular French White by Corning round casseroles with lids might have to stay with me. Finding them with tops in not common.

There will be more where those came from.

I also got small places in the Honeydew pattern by Corelle. This sweet design can go for lots of “green” holidays or other events. This is the size we use all the time.

Then there is a serving bowl in the Friendship pattern by Corelle, another very practical piece type.

Christmas theme dishes Vintage


Many of the stores I like the best now have permanent sections devoted to Christmas. I guess I’m not the only one who likes to plan ahead for important holidays.

You’ll see the small Corelle plates have reappeared. This shade of green can be dressed to go with a Christmas theme.

I also got dinner places, Magic of Santa by Sakura. This pattern is from the 1990s. Santa appears on other piece types in the group. These are nice because they can go with other holiday wares, as well as the one they match.

No doubt I was getting the two soup or salad bowls in the Naif Christmas by Villeroy and Boch. This pattern was recently discontinued, after being made for more than 30 years. Holiday patterns stay in style. They are evergreen in more ways than one.

If I don’t keep them myself, these can be filled with spiced nuts, peanut brittle or other holiday candies, wrapped in cellophane, tied with a bright ribbon, and given as a gift.

Retro china and stoneware

Retro Classics

This is a group that is always dear to my heart because they remind me of dinnerware we had at home, back in the day.

I found a creamer by Taylor Smith Taylor in the Indian Summer design. This is ware from the late 1960s, featuring bold, rich colors that are back in style, especially for a Bohemian look.

I had to have the single salad plate in the Country Morn pattern, from the Country Roads Collection by Japan china. This stoneware is very well made, and it’s a shame it’s not more popular (based on what I see in my travels). Again, another design that features warm colors, easy to use as a palette for a vintage table setting.

Pfaltzgraff bread tray Village pattern

Serving Pieces

If you want to get creative with your table setting, or want to add a pattern to your collection without going for place settings, serving pieces could be right for you. You get to enjoy the design as a one-off, which you can feature on your table or buffet, either to serve a special dish, or use in a centerpiece.

I found a bread tray in the Village by Pfaltzgraff. This pattern screams Americana, and it has been made since 1976. There is a lot out there, some made in the USA, some overseas. Condition note: this piece is crazed. The glaze is cracked and food might be able to come into contact with the ceramic underneath.

I’ll use this with a bread cloth or parchment to separate the rolls or muffins I serve in it. Do not use crazed pieces for baking, or serving any food where liquid can get into those superficial cracks. If in doubt, it’s a centerpiece.

Temperware roaster Lenox Countryside

Then there was my splurge, more from the angle of where to store it, vs. the price. That is the oval roasting dish in the Countryside pattern by Lenox. The material is called Temper-ware. In my experience, these pieces can get discolored over time. This one is pristine. I’ll use for serving, not in the oven. It’s a good size for a lot of dishes made in quantity to feed a crowd.

And that’s it for this round of shopping.

There is so much good vintage china  available out there, priced to sell. It seems people are downsizing and the younger generations are not very interested in these items.

The good news is, dish lovers who want to build a collection of dinnerware based on any criteria can have a great time collecting it, whether you’re looking for grandma’s dishes, floral themes, special party dishes or tea sets, or any other dinnerware under the sun.


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Vintage Violets and Birthday Cake

Birthday cake and vintage china plates

Another year older: Happy Birthday, Diary of a Dishie!

I found these pretty dessert plates with violets on them, February’s birthday flower. Looks like a few white primroses, too, on a white background with gold rims.

This pattern is called Beverly and was made by Aichi China in Japan. I’m not familiar with this maker, though my research shows they have made other floral dinnerware motifs, available through vintage dinnerware outlets.

This pattern is typical of vintage dinnerware designs from the 1950s and 1960s.

There are lots of floral dinnerware patterns available among vintage wares. I only found . . . → Read More: Vintage Violets and Birthday Cake

Chop Platters Round and Sweet

Mikasa platter with Valentine treats

It’s so much fun to use vintage dishes for display pieces to show off some special holiday treats.

I went straight to my collection to find a sleek, modern plate to show some pretty Valentine goodies. I love to use my vintage favorites, like these platters. They are beautiful, and really personalize a creative table setting.

I wanted to use this particular chop platter to go with the pink Valentine’s Day cookies.

This Mikasa platter, in the vintage Tivoli pattern, is a simple, sleek style, and the china has a nice weight for its size. The blue and avocado . . . → Read More: Chop Platters Round and Sweet

Grab a Snack in Vintage Style

Corningware snack bowl and plate

Having an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich, or that favorite chicken noodle soup?

Summer or winter, these foods are simple and easy, snacks you may remember from childhood.

And if you are in a certain age bracket, you might remember the Grab It bowl or Snack It plate shown here.

Velveeta cheese or Campbell’s soup: Do they taste better when you serve them on vintage dishes?

Corningware dishes like these remain popular after many years, though they are discontinued. If you’re a garage sale or thrift store shopper, you will find these pieces in the secondary marketplaces.

This bowl and . . . → Read More: Grab a Snack in Vintage Style

Christmas Roses – Sweet Briar and Cheesecake

Vintage china dessert plate with cheesecake

Vintage china featuring a rose motif is a classic choice for Christmas and wintertime entertaining.

The colors are traditional. Designs that feature shiny metallic rims add bling, as do the gold rim and verge line on this petite dessert plate.

The Sweet Briar pattern by Princess makes dessert even sweeter. This is a vintage pattern dating back to the 1950s, and is still available in secondary marketplaces. The high quality ware was made in the USA.

The timeless design makes this one worth seeking out, especially if you like traditional or floral table settings.

I’m serving cheesecake on this . . . → Read More: Christmas Roses – Sweet Briar and Cheesecake

Fire King Swirl – Vintage Classic

Anchor Glass 22K gold

This white glass dinnerware with golden edges is my newest collection. I found several pieces within days of each other, in thrift shops in the area.

Was it a sign?

This Swirl pattern reminds me of days long ago, eating egg sandwiches around the kitchen table. I liked the pieces, and the memories.

This dinnerware is part of the Fire King line by Anchor Hocking. These dishes can go in the oven, but not the microwave, due to the metallic decoration. The edges are highlighted by 22 Karat gold.

This is classic 1950s dinnerware.

I was happy to find . . . → Read More: Fire King Swirl – Vintage Classic

7 Vintage Dinnerware Favorites

Vintage Dinnerware Favorites

How to make a list of only a few special patterns? This is a challenge.

I decided to review prior posts that have gotten the most comments so far, over the 8+ years that I’ve been writing on Diary of a Dishie.

I enjoyed this review of favorite wares. It was like stopping by a friend’s house for a chat to catch up on things!

You might like these, too. Just pour a cup of coffee or tea, and read on as you wish.

Readers had a lot to say about long-time favorites like these:

Federalist by Sears. This . . . → Read More: 7 Vintage Dinnerware Favorites

Grandma’s Party Dishes – Making Memories

Glass party set Orchard Crystal

When my grandmother’s estate was settled, I got her party dishes. That was what we called them: three boxes of glassware snack sets, in an unknown pattern by Orchard Crystal, a total of 12 sets.

The plain boxes, somewhat the worse for wear, did not attract anyone’s eye, but I knew what they were.

It’s not that us kids got to use these dishes, however.

My grandmother used her glass party dishes when she hosted card parties in the afternoon with her “club.” This was her special group of church women who met at each others’ houses once a . . . → Read More: Grandma’s Party Dishes – Making Memories

7 Reasons Why Corelle Keeps Its Popularity

Corelle mug Shadow Iris

Corelle dinnerware has been popular since its early days in 1970.

At our house, Corelle is the workhorse dinnerware we use first every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We use it to serve food just cooked, as well as warming leftovers in the microwave. We like the Country Morn pattern.

Corelle is practical, hands down.

Here’s a list of reasons why we like Corelle, and others do, too:

Stylish – the Corelle line includes many patterns as well as plain white wares. It’s easy to build a matching set, or mix and match. Durable – this dinnerware . . . → Read More: 7 Reasons Why Corelle Keeps Its Popularity

A Little Gold Bling for Your Vintage Table

Vintage glassware Swedish Modern

Shiny glass in gold or amber is just right to give some extra pizzazz to your dinner table for the coming holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are not so far away on the calendar.

If glassware in gold is not on your permanent shopping list, now is a good time to add it as you hunt for other vintage items, online and in secondhand stores.

I like glass myself, because it’s easy to find (at least, as vintage items go) and flexible to use along with plates, bowls and other dinnerware pieces. It is also generally . . . → Read More: A Little Gold Bling for Your Vintage Table

Vintage Dinnerware Christmas Toys

Vintage Salem china candle holders

It’s time to plan for holiday dinnerware, especially if you’re using vintage patterns. The special pieces you want to use for your menu, and to enhance your table setting, can take time to find.

These candle holders in the Noel pattern by Salem (made in Japan) are the kind of sweet little addition to add charm to your holiday table setting.

The applied pattern – a Christmas tree with toys and packages tucked below – is used on some other vintage dinnerware patterns. This means you can mix and match them with other, similar holiday patterns, or any pattern . . . → Read More: Vintage Dinnerware Christmas Toys

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