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

Vintage Dishes – Farmhouse Style

Look through any decorating magazine these days and you’ll probably see what I’ve seen: articles and product showcases to help you create farmhouse style in your home.

Examples of vintage dishes to add to a farmhouse style decor

Many of these spreads feature a lot of white, cream and wood tones. The cabinets and table clothes are white, sometimes the painted chairs and upholstered furniture, too. It’s a minimalistic and sleek look that often includes some rustic elements.

And any pop of color really stands out on this canvas of calming monochrome.

White Milk Glass

When I first thought about what kind of vintage dishes would work well in this farmhouse color palette, white milk glass was the first thing that came to mind.

White milk glass pieces

There’s something that shouts “grandma’s house” about milk glass. It’s easy to find in white when you’re checking out secondhand stores and thrift shops. It’s common for the store to make up a section of shelves or other special displays to feature it.

This glass is the kind of thing that you may well have already on hand. That’s what I did, started to create a special collection specifically for farmhouse style just by raiding the dish cabinet.

Vases are easy to find if you’re just starting out. I have several in my collection, including the tall one with the colorful dahlias. It has embossed leaf outlines on it, as well as the three rings, and has a good weight for its height – nice to prevent spills when it’s holding a bouquet.

Also shown is a hobnail short vase with a frilly edge by Fostoria, and a square bee-motif covered box by Tiara, to hold comb honey.

When I’m shopping, I remind myself to look at the top and bottom shelves, to spot some of these kinds of pieces. There is a lot of milk glass out there to find, in all kinds of piece types: including plates, cups, relish dishes and bowls.

Like any vintage glass, remember to check for chips and cracks. And the surfaces should be shiny, not dull from improper cleaning (though they’re still perfectly useable).

Milk glass was made in pink and blue, as well as white, though those pieces are harder to find.

White Ironstone Dinnerware

White ironstone china

White ironstone was the next kind of dish I thought of to add to a table setting in farmhouse style. The bowls shown are in the Federalist pattern by Sears. This dinnerware has remained popular for years  even though it was discontinued more than 40 years ago.

I was happy to find these bowls in perfect condition, along with the little Regency-Snowhite plates by Johnson Brothers, made in England. These will be very sweet to serve a small dessert or classic dinner roll. There are multiple variations of this swirl shape decorated with different motifs. Some have silver or gold edges. The plain white was made for more than 40 years, but has been discontinued for more than 12 years.

Depending on your color choices, there are many ironstone patterns to collect for your farmhouse dinnerware set. The Sears line alone has at least six different versions in this shape (Federalist and Mayhill), including with the classic plain white.

As with all china dinnerware, watch for chips, cracks or crazing when shopping for vintage pieces.

Drip and Sponge Decorated Dinnerware

China decorated with drip or sponge applied glazes

If you want to add some rustic color, there are dinnerware patterns in dripware and spongeware patterns to consider. Both these terms describe how the glaze was applied to the piece before firing: drizzled or dabbed. That gives them a handcrafted quality that fits well with my ideas of life on the farm in times past.

The brown fruit bowls are not marked, but look for makers like Hull, McCoy, and Pfaltzgraff if you’re seeking this kind of china.

The spongeware plate is by Tienshan, which made several patterns in different colors that feature sponge-decorated pieces. Pfaltzgraff and Hartstone also made patterns with this kind of decoration.

I found plenty of dishes and vases by a quick search though my stuff. Farmhouse is a style that speaks to what I like. I might go with more color than what I saw in most of the magazines, but that’s okay. Style should evolve, and ultimately be what you like.

If you’re looking to get started on a farmhouse collection, these are just three ideas to chew on. More to come!

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Vintage Dishes – Seen in a Magazine

When I’m shopping for vintage dishes, I sometimes buy old magazines as well. Many home publications contain how-to articles that are just as “evergreen” as my favorite vintage dishes.

I can see why writers, photographers and food stylists choose to use vintage classics to show off the food in a recipe story, or illustrate the important points in articles about style.

Good design always shines!

These three example vintage dinnerware patterns all date from the 1950s and 1960s.

Paging through a copy of Taste of Home’s Cooking for Two (Summer 2016) I saw a striking photo of a . . . → Read More: Vintage Dishes – Seen in a Magazine

I Shop Vintage Christmas in July

Christmas Tree dessert tray by Spode

Vintage shopping for Christmas in July? No problem!

I had a great time visiting just three of my favorite thrift stores to see what I could find to add to my collection of holiday dinnerware. Why should new goods shoppers have Christmas in July all to themselves?

I have noticed that some thrift stores create a holiday section later in the year. Some have a mixed section all the time with Christmas, Halloween, Easter and whatever they have. Others have a dedicated Christmas goods section all year round.

I can always find Christmas goods when I look for them. . . . → Read More: I Shop Vintage Christmas in July

Vintage Pitcher for Your Favorite Summer Drinks

Vintage glassware pitcher for lemonade

I find vintage glass pitchers like this one pretty often in my travels. They come in handy on hot summer days, to serve some lemonade or iced tea.

There are many sizes and styles to be found. For beverages, the larger ones are designed to hold enough of your favorite drink to serve several people.

This one is called an “ice lip” pitcher, due to the extra glass around the spout, which keeps larger ice cubes in the pitcher as your pour.

A pitcher like this has a large capacity, more than 2 quarts before the ice. Some models . . . → Read More: Vintage Pitcher for Your Favorite Summer Drinks

More Pleasure Vintage Dish Shopping

Retro china and stoneware

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.

. . . → Read More: More Pleasure Vintage Dish Shopping

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

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