Show and Tell: My Pottery Collection

One of my passions is collecting pottery. Last weekend, while visiting my wonderful in-laws, we toured the numerous antique shops in the area. I had a fantastic time. One of my best purchaces of the weekend was the tall brown Haeger vase you see above, center. I started thinking how large my collection is growing, and thought, why not gather it all together to see what it looks like.

I love to scour thrift shops, antique stores, junk stores and garage sales. Some days I hit the jack pot and other days I don't find anything. It takes a comitment to go different places, hunt through a bunch of junk and sometimes it pays off and I find something really great. It's an art.

Usually things that catch my eye are vintage, handmade, and have interesting colors, form and textures. I also seek out items that have a Japanese or Scandinavian vibe.

I had a lot of fun going around the house, gathering all my pieces and arranging them together, then splitting them up by color:

The large yellow and white piece on the left is one of my favorites. I found it recently at St. Vinnies--the best thrift store in Madison.

I made the little vase on the right and the bowl on the left in a pottery class Matt and I took last year. The large bird is Jonathan Adler (a gift from Matt a few years ago) as is the curvy vase in the center.

Usually, I will go awhile without finding anything, and then one day I will really score big. I think this is one reason that keeps collecting so exciting. Yesterday I was poking around at a near-by second hand store and came upon an absolutely fabulous, beautiful, wonderful piece (which I will blog about later this weekend) and I literally got that rush of feeling like I really found something special.

I don't just shop second-hand. The square vase with the hole in it, above, is Jonathan Adler which I bought on sale online a few years ago. The little green owl is from Pier-1. I love him!

I found the planter on the right at a garage sale last summer. It holds one of my favorite plants; a spiny aloe variety.

The little birds you see on the right are a chick and rooster salt and pepper shakers. There are no markings on them, but they look Scandinavian to me. They are one of my favorites. I also found the Mexican folk art bird at a thrift shop--it's in perfect condition.

Thankfully I have an absolutely wonderful husband who never complains about my collecting tendancies. Sometimes I even catch him re-arranging some of them. :)


New Photos

Books! And we have a lot of them.

I love my bedside table. It is usually piled with books and magazines, and holds one of my favorite things I own: a Noguchi-inspired paper lamp from IKEA.

Adler curls up on the warm, fresh-from-the-dryer laundry. He's such a great cat :)


New Plants

Over the weekend, I went to the Garden Expo here in Madison. Seminars and goodies to buy galore. I went to a seminar on succulents, which mainly focused on the more run-of-the-mill plants for beginners and ones that can be planted in the garden in our region (I'm more into the more unusal varities primarily as houseplants). So I didn't learn much, but it wasn't a bad way to spend an hour.

The real highlight for me was coming across a man, Terri selling wonderful plants in the vendor area of the expo. The first time around, I chose a small Elephant Bush bonsai (the two photos above) that is just beautiful, although every plant he had was just stunning, making it a tough decision. But for a mere $12, I just couldn't resist. The man running it was so lively and funny that I could have stayed there all day talking and laughing with him. Later I actually found out he is very good friends with my sister's boyfriend. Small world!

So later, when we met up with my sister and her bf, we went back the the cool plant guy and I bought the other plant I had my eye on, this exquisite Jade tree. I couldn't believe he only wanted $15 for it. Judging by the girth of the trunk, this plant is quite old, and the grower took lots of time making into this woody bonsai form. I'm really excited to have these plants, and looking forward to visiting Terri's greenhouse this summer!


Cool Plant Happenings

While doing a little plant maintainance today, I noticed a few interesting things. First, my epiphytic cacti seems to have some flower buds. I've had this plant less than a year, so I don't really know what it's winter habits are. I've been leaving all my succulents quite dry, as it is winter, and there is no shortage of cold drafty windows in our apartment, so I'm thrilled that my plants are blooming--a sign I'm doing something right!

Several weeks ago, I noticed my Echeveria sprouting this long clump of little pod-like forms. I assumed it was just an off-shoot and was growing a new plant. I went to water it today, and saw this beautiful pink flower emerging! I've only been growing succulents for a few years, so I feel like getting them to bloom is a real victory.

Also, this interesting little form has grown from Matt's mini palm tree. I'm not sure what it is. A seed pod of some kind? Very neat, whatever it is!