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 China in Pastels – Bring Spring

vintage china Franciscan 1960s

I just cannot resist those trays of Danish sweet rolls at Costco. And what better way to serve them in sweet, small bites than some vintage dessert plates?

In this case, the plates are in the Maytime pattern by Franciscan.

This is an uncommon pattern, from the 1960s, during the period when Gladding McBean produced Franciscan in the USA. Retro style and pretty colors. What’s not to like?

Why Pastels?

Just some of the reasons I can think of, why pastels remain popular: Light color palette has an open, springy feel Sweet colors complement and soften details of other . . . → Read More: Vintage China in Pastels – Bring Spring

Best Vintage Dishes for Back to School

Back to school dishes

What vintage dishes would work well for a student going off to school?

I was poking around a thrift store recently, in company of some folks who were looking to outfit a grandson for his first college apartment.

They were shopping for cookware. Someone else had the dinnerware checklist.

A lot of people are looking to go second hand when it comes to items for their students. The same might be said for a first apartment for a graduate as well.

Attributes For Back-to-School Dinnerware

Practical. The dishes should be the right piece types to go with the foods they . . . → Read More: Best Vintage Dishes for Back to School

Noritake China Inspired By a Diary

Country Diary Edwardian Lady Noritake china

Even if you know of the book, The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, you might not know that this classic inspired a dinnerware set, made by Noritake in the 1980s.

The book was a publishing hit, when it came out in 1977, in a facsimile edition of the naturalist diary of Edith Blackwell Holden (1971-1920).

Originally the book was called Nature Notes from 1906. She was known in her lifetime as a teacher, watercolorist and book illustrator. This 1977 edition was a publishing success.

It would have been expected for a naturalist at that time to keep a sketchbook . . . → Read More: Noritake China Inspired By a Diary

Florenteen Fantasia – One Sweet China Pattern

One of the sweetest vintage china patterns we find in our travels is Fantasia by Florenteen.

This dinnerware was made in Japan and is typical of 1960s patterns and products. Especially look at the swoop shapes of pieces such as the creamer, sugar bowl and gravy boat.

This china features dainty sprays of flowers in soft rose pink and blue, on a white background, and platinum rims.

Use this vintage dinnerware in your contemporary table setting when you want to have a charming, cottage table setting. Or for a special tea party with a group of intimate friends.

Fantasia will . . . → Read More: Florenteen Fantasia – One Sweet China Pattern

Restaurant ware – a retro classic to collect

Restaurant ware collection


You know the kind of local restaurant I’m talking about. Mom and Pop. Everybody knows your name. Not a cookie cutter, nor a cliché. A neighborhood one-of-a-kind. The orders are called out loud to the short order cooks, and the clatter of china is common.

A waitress carrying three, four, or more full meals balanced carefully up her arm darts between tables. Heavy china serves a wide array of comfort food, like steaming coffee, luscious stacks of pancakes, massive salads, substandial steaks and hand-formed burgers with grill-toasted buns.

The hardworking china they use is called restaurant ware. It . . . → Read More: Restaurant ware – a retro classic to collect

Wedding table settings – vintage china makes memories

Wedding dinnerware

Weddings – in June or any other time – celebrate traditions important to family and friends.

Vintage china, carefully selected to complement a wedding theme, can add meaning and beauty to your engagement party, rehearsal dinner or a wedding banquet. If the wedding will feature a big dinner, consider using vintage dinnerware on the head table where closest family and friends will sit.

Today’s wedding themes almost endless. Here are a few major categories:

* A cultural theme, such as Irish, Polish, English, African or Jewish * A location theme, like the beach or seashore, forest, garden . . . → Read More: Wedding table settings – vintage china makes memories

Blue and white china – set a summer table light

Blue and white china patterns

Blue and white china. Crisp and clean, great for summer table settings.

Around our house, you can have any color, especially blue. It’s easy to mix and match with other blue and white wares, especially those with simple bands of color.

Blue and white reminds me of the salty sea shore or a breezy summer sky. Some of our favorite patterns:

Maitre d’ by Oneida Catalina by Crate & Barrel Brasserie Blue by Williams Sonoma Allegro by Dansk Fjord by Noritake Café Blue in Corelle by Corning Americana by Nikko Indigo Moon by Japan . . . → Read More: Blue and white china – set a summer table light

Mother’s Day: Top 5 Gifts for Moms Who Love Vintage

What to get for your vintage-loving Mom for Mother’s Day ? It can be a challenge, but here are some ideas:

Use her kitchen theme as a starting point. Does she have a flower, a color or an animal as her common thread? If she likes chickens, for example, look for a cookie jar, mugs or dinnerware with a chicken motif. If she favors tulips, go with china that echoes that motif. Add to her existing china. Look for the gravy boat, large oval platter, or extra pieces of her favorite dishes. A well-used set often suffers damage or loss . . . → Read More: Mother’s Day: Top 5 Gifts for Moms Who Love Vintage

Inauguration leads to Lenox, too

Remember the tag line, Love Leads to Lenox, used in print advertising during the heyday of department store wedding registries? Lenox fine china and crystal were so associated with weddings, that if you were in love, registering a pattern and, ultimately owning Lenox, was deemed inevitable.

Today the fine china market has softened, and Lenox china is no longer made in the USA. Yet tradition remains. As it has done for 20 years, Lenox has made commemorative pieces for the presidential inauguration, as gifts to the new president and vice president.

Lenox Group Inc. has designed and created the inaugural . . . → Read More: Inauguration leads to Lenox, too

Chocolate cake, remember when

One yummy chocolate cake

It must be the change in weather. When things get cool, we get itchy to bake. We first paired this easy and moist chocolate cake with a simple cooked frosting about 40 years ago. Just learning to cook then, and prowling in mother’s cookbooks for ideas. The combination has become a family favorite.

Cockeyed Cake

1 ½ cup flour 3 T. cocoa powder 1 t. soda 1 cup white sugar 5 T. vegetable oil 1 T. white vinegar 1 t. vanilla extract 1 cup cold water

Grease and flour a 9×9 cake . . . → Read More: Chocolate cake, remember when

Chickens, hens, roosters…more dishes

Over my kitchen cabinets, I have a display of chicken things. Mostly dishes, but a few other pieces as well. I have some other chicken-related things around the house as well. I’ve just chosen to collect because they’re fun, and then…

Above the kitchen counter

My grandfather raised and showed bantam chickens for many years. He passed before I was old enough to remember him, but I remember the chicken houses and pens at my grandmother’s house. The sound of the chickens and the smell of the clean straw.

We had a few chickens at our house, too. I . . . → Read More: Chickens, hens, roosters…more dishes

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