Sunday, April 23, 2017

Have You Heard? Taylor Ceramics Are Back!

Images from MacKenzie-Childs, Used With Permission
Have you heard the news?
MacKenzie-Childs is bringing back the
retired patterns in the Taylor series.

I fell in love with MacKenzie-Childs dishes
when I first discovered them in the 1980s.
These dishes were how MacKenzie-Childs got their start,
and they were the start of my own personal MacK-C collection.

When Spring arrives, here at HFTS
that means bringing out the MacKenzie-Childs dishes 
in the Taylor Series and dining alfresco out on the terrace. 
MacKenzie-Childs' web site notes 
that these dishes "mix and match in playful harmony." 
 It was exactly that characteristic which drew me 
to these fanciful dishes in the 1980s.

Stack of Salad Plates in Wallcourt Collection Await Dessert
~ Pastel Colors ~ Fanciful Patterns ~ Ruffled Edges ~ 
~ Flat Edges ~ Polka Dots ~ Checks ~ 
The Taylor Series and the Wallcourt Collection 
mix it all up for delightful springtime dining.

Austin's spring weather is perfect for alfresco dining.  
Pull up a chair and join me for a light meal and an
evening of conversation outdoors.

Pastel plaid tablecloth, Ambiance Vintage Garden white chargers, 
and vintage flatware are all that is needed 
to set the stage for the mix of patterns on the table.

Bearded Iris pattern "pays tribute to the bright, colorful, beards in our artists' drawings of flowers from our gardens."
Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs 
founded the company in 1983. 
MacKenzie-Childs was purchased by Pleasant Rowland in 2001, 
and has since been sold to Twin Lakes Capital.

Aalsmeer pattern is named for the place "where
Victoria's sister and family lived in the Netherlands."
It represents the Dutch colors and boxes of tulips.
The Taylor Series was the original 
dinnerware collection of MacKenzie-Childs
 It was "designed to be mixed at random 
like a happy ceramic bouquet."

King Ferry pattern "is a grid of fields and flowers
and sky neighboring the village of Aurora. "
These contemporary Majolica plates 
come in this ruffled edge or with a flat rim. 
Each is hand formed from red clay and painted by artisans in 
Aurora, NY, using fanciful designs of the same color palette.

Myrtle pattern is named for a "Belfast lass who
wears a floral apron just like Milly Molly Mandy's aunt."
I liked the idea of mixing it up with different patterns, 
so when I first saw them in a local store in the 1980s, 
I decided to purchase a plate or two at a time, 
each in a different pattern.

Madison pattern for the "Indiana, smokestack,
riverboat, 4H, farm town on the Mason-Dixon line 
where Victoria finished growing up with 
Southern belles and pet pigs."
As indicated above, some of the patterns are now retired, 
but MacKenzie-Childs continues to add new patterns, 
and on occasion, like the current offer, 
they will bring a pattern out of retirement.

Monet pattern "honors Giverny's dining room beyond
the trellised gardens, decked out delphinium blue and yellow."
Over the years I've limited my Taylor selections
 to mostly dinner plates, mugs, mini compotes, 
special serving pieces, and a vase or two. 
 I appreciate that they are each hand crafted 
and made by artisans in Aurora, NY. 
 There is no doubt that I will ever tire of the 
charming designs and beautiful colors of these ceramics.

I used a potted spring annual in a whimsical  
carrot tin container as a simple centerpiece.

Hand painted napkins in pinks and greens
are tucked into the handles of petite bunny creamers.

My friend Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is 
was the inspiration for this idea. 
 I had planned to use the bunny creamers 
filled with flowers at each place setting, 
but when I saw Mary's idea of using a mug 
filled with flowers as a napkin ring, 
I knew these would serve the same purpose.

To visit Mary's gorgeous Tulip d'Or table click here.
Each little creamer can go home 
with a guest for the evening's party favor.

A yellow Kalanchoe plant offered the
perfect petite bouquet with which to fill each creamer.

A simple light salad of fresh cucumbers and tomatoes 
is served in an Odd Fellows footed compote. 
 The Odd Fellows pattern is "a 
medley of patterns patched together."

Heather pattern is named after founders' Victoria and Richard's daughter "who always reminded them to appreciate the purity, grace, and playful perfection of the child in us all."
Parmesan crisp are served in a Heather pattern
fluted bowl to offer a little crunch to the meal.

Aalsmeer pattern is named for "Aalsmeer in North Holland which is known as the flower capital of the world.  A beautiful spot to visit, tulips in vivid colors and varieties are precious commodities packed in boxes and carried home as gifts. 
Napa Rolls offer a rabbit friendly 
light entree for our spring evening and are served
 on a large platter in the Aalsmeer pattern.

The Napa rolls are filled with Napa cabbage, 
chicken, julienned carrots, and 
a blend of mint, basil, cilantro, and scallions. 

Sauces of spicy peanut and hot sriracha,
served on a small oval platter in the Odd Fellows pattern,
give the Napa rolls an added tasty kick.

For dessert ~ carrot cake cupcakes, of course!

The cute carrot cupcake toppers
were purchased from World Market.

Keukenhof pattern is named for "gardens that fill the space beyond the spiral paths, with dots of Dutch flowers everywhere."
Iced pretzels, served in a Keukenhof  bowl, 
offer a sweet/salty taste.

 Images from MacKenzie-Childs, Used With Permission

My MacKenzie-Childs Spring Catalog 
arrived over Easter weekend.
The cover announced the Special Event.
Limited Time Only

Images from MacKenzie-Childs, Used With Permission
Inside the catalog is a special insert 
with a brief history of the Taylor Ceramics 
along with all twenty patterns shown and explained.

Image from MacKenzie-Childs, Used With Permission
For one month, April 17 - May 14, 2017,
MacKenzie-Childs collectors can pick a pattern and 
select a silhouette of their choice from the catalog
and order pieces of this famed and beloved series of ceramics
specially created using your favorites of the retired patterns.
According to the web site,
 "each piece will be custom made and shipped in about 60 days."

There is a small window of time,
so you'll need to place your order soon.
Please, help yourself to a scoop of citrus jelly beans and
head over to view the special offer here @ MacKenzie-Childs.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Sharing Springtime Delights

A big brown envelope embellished with special stamps

 and watercolor treats, arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago.  

An early Easter gift, post marked ~ Canada!

Inside were two treasures 

that made my heart skip a beat.

The handmade card with this precious bunny

and sweetest gardening quote and

a darling piece of needlework stitched years ago.

(Needlework so special it will get a post of its own.)

Someone in Canada knows my heart.

I suspect she may have heard my squeal of delight

all the way up in Quebec.

Thank you Monique @ La Table deNana,

Spring Delights!

This cute guy came to Texas last summer,

secured at the annual MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale

by thoughtful friends who knew he was on my shopping list.

Patti and Debbie

Personal shoppers extraordinaire!

Handsome guy had been in my sights since Easter 2016.

I mean, not only is he a rabbit,

he's a Courtly Check rabbit, 

a Courtly Check rabbit holding a Nantucket Basket.

Need I explain more?

Yes, to Courtly Check Spring Delights!

Wouldn't you know, this year MacKenzie - Childs

added yet more to their Easter offerings.

So many temptations!

I couldn't resist this sweetie with the crown.

Delightfully Spring, wouldn't you say?

You know the saying, "How one thing leads to another."

Or the domino effect!

I found this Easter chick decor at TJ Max, 

but it wasn't too interesting with pastel eggs.

Lucky for me, I have a talented friend who 

agreed to "Kenzie" it up for me.

Patti @ Pandora's Box

worked her magic to create

this one of a kind piece for my personal clutch.

sent me this little chick in a basket last year.

Another friend gifted me this adorable peeper.

He's quite happy perched in my Courtly Check mug.

Are you beginning to see a pattern?

It's been delightful playing around 

with different vignettes for the dining room buffet.

Spring Delights ~ Delightfully Spring

Debbie @ Mountain Breaths

created this adorable vignette with the same pieces.

You can read her post here.

What delights has spring brought your way?