Saturday, May 28, 2016

#collectandstyle - May Monthly Favorite

rogersmade, #collectandstyle Instagram, #collectandstyle monthly favortie, Tiffany Rogers, milkglass, The Colonial Twins of Virgina, Lucy Fitch-Perkins

  Hello #collectandsyle community! Welcome to Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog. I'm so excited you're here! Today is the second monthly feature from my new Instagram #collectandstyle hashtag. Meet rogersmade, where Tiffany Rogers chronicles her work as a "maker/photographer of inspired home goods, jewelry, edibles, and imagery", featuring her and her husband Matt's products. Throughout Tiffany's Instagram feed, you will find artful displays of their merchandise, such as Tomato Leaf Farmstand Soy Candle, and Peach Preserves Farmstand Room Perfume, all perfectly styled with flowers, ephemera, and all manner of interesting collectables.

Along with an extremely smart business sense, Tiffany is an "avid seeker of rusty and well-worn treasures", which really appeals to my collector's heart! Tiffany's love of collecting and styling her treasures shines through, with her Americana-inspired themes using vintage books, book pages, and beautiful old typewriters, to name just a few of the items I've gushed over. You'll find a few of her humorous typewritten "fortunes" in frequent postings to the Instagram
hashtag fridaysfortune.

Tiffany recently found several pieces of vintage milkglass, a few of which are shown in the above image. I think Tiffany is on the cutting edge of a trend with her recent acquisition of milk glass, and my guess is that we're going to be seeing a lot of it showing up in the charity shops, if we haven't already!

Congratulations Tiffany, you have won a Flowering Tea Set in Bamboo from #collectandstyle's generous sponsor for the month of May,! And a huge shout out to Michelle Bushneff at Numi Organic Tea for all her hard work and dedication to the #collectandstyle community, and to the creative folks on Instagram. Please consider following numiorganictea on Instagram - not only have they been very supportive of all our creative efforts, but they also care about our planet and the people around the world who work so hard to provide us with our daily ritual of tea.

Numi Organic Tea, #collectandstyle Instagram, Under The Plum Blossom Tree


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Styling The Seasons - May

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Rhododendrons, or 'rhodies' are a very common ornamental plant here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. The first flower buds begin to appear in late April and throughout the month of May this diverse species of shrubs, bushes and trees is bursting with colorful floral displays in what seems like every nook and cranny of town. It seems appropriate then, to bring some of this glorious color indoors. 

I enjoy a brisk walk around the neighborhood, and if it involves looking for wild and stray flowers, then I'm out the door in a flash, seeing what I can find. The town I live in, due to its temperate climate, yields an abundance of seasonally cultivated trees and flowers year round, and you can pretty much rely on something always being in blossom here.

During a recent outing, I was able to gather an interesting selection of colorful blooms, shown above displayed in the dining area of our kitchen. While I'm no expert on the kinds and types of rhododendrons, I do enjoy putting a display such as this together, and the fun part is looking through my collection of vintage and new vases and planters and choosing just the right containers for the flowers.

Fiestaware Pearl Gray bud vase, Fiestaware, Homer Laughlin, Homer Laughlin Fiestaware, Fiestaware retired color, rhododendron, rhodies, made in Japan, Japanese ceramic, Japanese bird ceramic, ceramic bird made in Japan

I placed a single stem of bright pink bell-shaped rhodies into a Pearl Gray Fiestaware bud vase, above. And below is a vintage rectangular planter that was well suited for several short stemmed rhododendrons.

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405-USA, vintage ceramic planter, vintage ceramic planter 405-USA, rhododendrons, rhodies, rhododendrons in vintage ceramic planter, rhododendrons in vintage 405-USA ceramic planter

Vintage ceramic birds made in Japan usually always accompany my seasonal flower displays. Displaying decorative birds indoors reminds me how much we enjoy welcoming real birds into our backyard, and providing food, shelter and water for them.

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The tall stylized bird statuette on the left is a Norcrest brand, crafted in Japan. It's painted a pearlescent antique white, which provides a lustrous shine, and the overall patinated surface lends a bit of a shabby chic sensibility. The delicate ceramic cherry blossom flowers at the base of the bird are still perfectly intact. I've never seen an all yellow crested bird in real life, such as the ceramic on the right, but perhaps there is one living somewhere in the world. I don't know much about this bird; its only marking is the word 'Japan' impressed into the backside of the base. It's interesting how the paint has worn over time, and I'm very fond of its current 'Wabi-Sabi' appearance.

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A couple more seasonal blooms, this time in a Stahl California planter which features an unusual looking scratched surface. I had to use a 'frog' on the bottom of this planter to secure the pink stems. A frog is a piece of metal with sharp spikes, onto which flower stems are forced, to hold them securely in place. It is a common tool used in flower arranging, perhaps most popularly used in Ikebana, or Japanese flower arranging.

rhododendrons, rhodies, rhododendrons in Stahl California 801-B planter,

I created the paper map banner last summer from a piece of 12x12 Webster's Pages scrapbook paper. It's part of the Nest collection designed by Brandi O'Neill. I've used it in a few of my Styling The Seasons posts and still enjoying using it.

12x12 scrapbook paper banner, Webster's Pages scrapbook paper, Webster's Pages Nest Collection, Webster's Pages Nest Collection designed by Brandi I'Neill, paper banner, handmade paper banner, hand made paper banner, tassels, paper banner with tassels, map scrapbook paper, map scrapbook paper banner
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With the arrival of the month of May came longer, sunny, and blustery days, along with allergies, Mother's Day and a reminder that the school year is nearly over. What better way then, to celebrate life's moments both big and small, than with colorful blooms, characteristic of the spring season?

Styling The Seasons is a monthly online styling challenge: Katy Orme at Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte at Lotts and lots co-host a gathering place for anyone who wishes to style a surface in their home, and share it on their blog and/or social media. Just use the hashtag #stylingtheseasons on Instagram and tag Katy and Charlotte.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Vintage Finds: Gimme Those Blues!

Noritake Folkstone Lilac, Noritake, Folkstone, Lilac, mid-1970's stoneware, stoneware, Indiana Glass Company, Colony Park Lane, Indiana Glass Company goblets, Park Lane by Colony goblets, Colony Park Lane goblets, Park Lane water goblets

Hi friends! Thanks for stopping by for another edition of Vintage Finds. Today we're looking at two 'Folkstone' stoneware plates (left), featuring the Lilac pattern made by the Noritake Company from 1972-78. And to the right, is a pair of Indiana Glass Company water goblets in their Colony Park Lane pattern, manufactured from 1957 until the mid 1970s.

The Noritake Company has a long history in the United States, from their humble beginnings in New York City as the Morimura Brothers import goods store in 1876, to the world famous tableware brand it is today. What strikes me about this pattern, with its big, bold, colorful design, is the abstract, painterly quality of the flowers. The brushstrokes look hand painted and remind me of traditional Asian brush painting. Note the beautiful distinctive blue band around the perimeter of the plates, encompassing the energetic and free form dancing lilacs.

The Colony goblets are one of six shapes produced by Indiana Glass. They also made a wine goblet which was a bit smaller than these water goblets, as well as juice glasses, champagne or sherbet glasses, and cocktail and cordial glasses. All were made in several colors - gold amber, olive green, clear crystal, blue, and 'gold carnival glass', which is apparently hard to find. Matching glass luncheon plates in the same colors were also available. Appealing in both color and shape, the goblets have a striking pattern of elongated triangular and oval shapes cast directly into the outside of the glass, which your fingertips fall right into when you pick it up. Even a nervous butter fingers could be confident holding onto one of these goblets at a cocktail party! Since this line of glassware was manufactured beginning in 1957, I'd say they were way ahead of their time, because in my mind, they scream classic 1970s!

The stoneware and the glassware were each found in different charity shops at different times. Since purchasing these pieces, I've been imagining an expressive table scape blending both of these two blue elements together: a combination of the energy and vitality found in the plates, along with the cool and calm stability of the goblets. A white tablecloth and some pink peonies like the one pictured above, with its fascinating blue tinge, would complete the look I have pictured in my mind. Luncheon anyone?


Friday, May 6, 2016

Introducing: Under The Plum Blossom Tree and Numi Organic Tea - A #collectandstyle Collaboration

Under The Plum Blossom Tree, Numi Organic Tea, Collaboration,

Hi friends! There's exciting news 'brewing' over on my new Instagram hashtag #collectandstyle. Numi Organic Tea is sponsoring #collectandstyle for the month of May, and they have graciously offered a stupendous prize package giveaway! Here's a bit of background on how I'm running the hashtag, in case you want to get involved: each Saturday four favorite images will be selected and posted to the #collectandstyle tag, and at the end of each month, one favorite image will be selected to be featured here on the Plum Blossom blog. 

Numi Organic Tea will be giving away a total of 17 prizes during the month of May! Each of the weekly four winners (16 total) will receive a box of Numi's Collection tea assortment, as seen in the photo above. Then there will be one grand prize of a Flowering Tea Set in Bamboo for the monthly winner featured here. 

If you would like to enter, head over to Instagram and follow Numi Organic Tea and Under The Plum Blossom Tree. Then share your collecting passion by posting your colorfully styled vintage, antique, or new collections to the #collectandstyle hashtag. See you there!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mind Your Mind Project

Rite Of Spring, With Tea, photograph by June Anderson, Mind Your Mind Project, Lane County Mind Your Mind Project, mental health awareness

Lane County, Oregon, where I reside, has declared the month of May as "Mind Your Mind Month." The Mind Your Mind Project aims to raise awareness about the connection between mental health and the quality of life, and suggests a number of ways in which we can participate during the month, including spreading their message on social media. The activity that got my attention was a call to artists for the Mind Your Mind Art Contest and Exhibit to be held at The New Zone Artist's Collective. In addition to submitting a piece of art that expresses "What Mental Wellness Means To Me", artists were also asked to write a short statement, which will be displayed with the exhibited works.

Here's what I wrote for my submission:

"For me, the act of creating art lies somewhere in the gap between an ideal of perfection I think I should achieve and the imperfection of taking action and getting the work out into the world. Expressing ideas in visual form, even when imperfectly perfect, relieves me of the mental anguish I may have about my own abilities, and in fact helps me to see the depths of my capacities."

The framed photograph is an iPhone image I took for my Instagram feed, where I enjoy creating and sharing floral flat lay compositions. I've titled it Rite Of Spring, With Tea. In this particular arrangement, I attempt to symbolize the transient nature of life, or sakura as it is referred to in Japan: an homage to one's state of mind when struggling with coming to terms with our collective impermanence.     

Shortly after the submission deadline, I received an email letting me know that my photograph was selected for the show. This is the first juried show that I've submitted artwork to, and considering the level of artistic talent in my town, I feel honored to have been chosen.

The Mind Your Mind art exhibit will open this Friday, May 6th at 5:30 p.m. at The New Zone Artist's Collective, and is part of the city of Eugene's First Friday Art Walk. Besides viewing the works on display in the gallery, there will be music and refreshments to enjoy.

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