June 26, 2019

collecting: thrifting for transferware

Monday was a fun day as I had a chance to catch up with my dear friend Laura at her adorable new home in Orange and do a little thrifting with her as well!

Laura recently moved to the historic district in Orange to be within walking distance of the adorable downtown area there. Her home is actually a little 1946 cottage that she and her husband recently updated with the most amazing mid-century style!

We had fun catching up at Pandor for breakfast and then immediately hit a few of the antique stores there near the Orange Circle.

Laura and I are truly thrifters at heart, so we quickly moved on to a few of the local thrift stores, and began fun treasure hunt, with transferware being at the top of my hunting list!

I rarely find purple transferware and couldn’t pass this plate up. It’s actually a souvenir plate, similar to the state plates that I love, and just look at the floral border!

These shops did not disappoint, and here are the handful of pretty plates I found. In addition to this fun transferware, I also found three more faux bamboo forks and knives to add to my collection. 😉 

I just love blue and white state plates, and I found the Chicago and Nashville ones on Monday! They're going to look great on my red, white and blue table that I'm setting for 4 of July. 

What could be more patriotic that featuring your favorite states at each place setting?

Red transferware is always on my radar as well, and I just love the tea cups that have intricate designs on the inside as well.

This one had no saucer, but guess what?! It’s so easy to mix and match single cups and saucers and make new sets.

Sometimes the hallmarks on the bottom of these pieces are just as interesting as the intended design on the top!

Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved the patterns on this type of china. The red transferware also works great with green, which is harder to find.

I think I only have two sets of green, and you may remember I used these for a Christmas tablescape a few years back.

Black transferware is also amazing! I love it at Halloween, or just to set an elegant table any time of year!

And then there’s brown which is so pretty for fall. Here I've combined it with this pretty April Cornell tablecloth that coordinates so well wit this viney pattern on the plates.

I especially love the brown transferware that’s hand painted with some color. You see a lot of this for Thanksgiving featuring a turkey or fruit.

I have used purple for this Mardi Gras table a couple of years ago, but like I said, it's hard to find vintage purple transferware while thrifting. 

I got lucky on Monday with that one plate! The ones above were actually found at TJ Maxx years ago!

So now that I’ve got a few more state plates, I’m working on a fun red, white and blue table.

Are you a crazy dish collector like me, and do you collect transferware? If so, what’s your favorite color?

I hope you’ll check back later this week for more on the patriotic table I’m working on…

ciao! fabiana

June 25, 2019

time for pie

Vintage pie plates are really fun inexpensive collectables. I pick them up here or there at thrift stores, rummage sales or yard sales for only a dollar or two.

Not only are these ceramic pie plates cute, what makes them really fun is that the pie recipe is already printed on them as part of the design!

And I don’t know about your family, but mine absolutely love any kind of pie especially fruity summer pies, so today I’m sharing a few additional recipes that we love.

Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Icebox Pie


10 graham crackers (2 1/2 by 5 inches)
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced (a few whole berries reserved for garnish)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend graham crackers with 2 tablespoons sugar until finely ground; add butter and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Press mixture into the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until crust is lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cranberry juice, 2 cups strawberries, cornstarch, and salt. Using a potato masher, gently mash strawberries. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in remaining strawberries. Pour into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours (or up to 1 day).

3. In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over cream and continue to beat until soft peaks return (do not overbeat). Spread whipped cream over pie, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border around edge. Garnish with whole berries. 

Very Berry Cream Tartlets recipe found here

Tommy Bahama's Key Lime Pie recipe found here

Lemon Meringue Pie recipe found here

Homemade Pumpkin Pie recipe found here

Please stop by again later this week 
when I'll share a few of my new vintage finds
from my visit to the Orange Circle yesterday

What’s your favorite collectable?

ciao! fabiana

June 24, 2019

patriotic tablescaping monday

It’s tablescaping madness here in the breakfast room today. I got out a big part of my transferware collection, particularly the blue and red, to start playing with different combinations of patterns.

I usually like to go red-blue-red or blue-red-blue when layering the different sized plates.

Here’s some past inspiration using some of these same dishes…  

I just can’t get enough of blue transferware, and red is a close second. I love combining the different colors of transferware plates together for unique looks each time.

The red and white also works fabulously for Valentine’s Day and Christmas of course! Stay tuned this July for my favorite transferware combos using other types of plates like cabbageware and majolica.

I’m off to the Orange Circle right now to meet up with my dear friends Laura who recently purchases a little vintage cottage there, and we’re going to hit some of the local antique stores there. Transferware beware, Fabiana is headed your way!

ciao! fabiana

Ciao Extra:  A favorite book on tablescaping.

June 23, 2019

a sunday spent in the garden

Sunday’s the perfect day to take a little hunk of time and reserve it to spend in the garden. Whether it’s 20 minutes or all day, time spent outdoors enjoying a garden is beneficial to the mind and body.

Earlier this year, I discovered two Netflix shows that kind of changed my life. The first one is English gardening master "Monty Don’s Big Dreams, Small Spaces".

Believe it or not, watching folks in London or in smaller British towns transform their small gardens into fantastic spaces got me soooo motivated to dig and totally enhance my own backyard.

Now that summer’s here, I can actually go out to the garden and gather hydrangeas, old-fashioned roses, lavender, herbs and even some vegetables from my garden.

Just like everyone on Monty’s show, I had a “Big Dream” of what I wanted my garden to look like, and it’s literally come to fruition! My vision was to have a relaxed English cottage garden or French potager that incorporates pretty flowers intermixed with vegetables.

Now I’ve got my tomatoes and flowering sage growing under my apricot tree. I’ve got beautiful eggplant growing amongst the roses and hollyhock. My garden has truly been transformed and it’s so rewarding!  

So, in honor of “time spent in the garden”, I’ve gathered a few pretty garden snapshots from pinterest and combined them with some of my favorite inspirational garden quotes.  

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” –Gertrude Jekyll

“There is no real need for decorations when throwing a barbecue party - let the summer garden, in all its vibrant and luscious splendour, speak for itself.” –Pippa Middleton

“I have an organic garden and love being able to say, 'I'm going to see what I can pick to throw in my salad.'” –Christie Brinkley

“It gives you a good feeling. Each year, you rediscover in a garden the magic of life. A flower arrives, and it is a miracle. The leaves fall in the autumn, and it looks fantastic. There is a tenderness about a garden, and you can't help but be sensitive to that.” –Hubert de Givenchy

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”― Audrey Hepburn

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”  ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.” – Unknown

“If you have a garden in your library, everything will be complete.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Life begins the day you start a garden.” – Chinese proverb

I have yet to photograph the favorite parts of my garden but I’d love to share them with you soon. You may have caught a little glimpse of it during my magazine photo shoot with Cottages and Bungalows. Check it out here.

And if you’re wondering what the second Netflix show that changed my life is, it’s “The Paleo Way” with Australian Pete Evans. The amazing recipes are what got me hooked, and yes, I’ve been eating Paleo since February 1. More on that later!

ciao! fabiana

photos:  pinterest

Here are some of my favorite new garden books...


June 22, 2019

minnie driver's English country boho style

Celebrity homes always seem to be a popular subject matter on the blog, and today we have chic home style by  British actress Minnie Driver.

In fact, it’s a bit of a triple header as we have two of her homes that have been featured in magazines and pieces from her new English country furniture line on One Kings Lane.

Her fun furniture line captures the coziness of English décor, but she’s designed it to fit in with a more modern farmhouse style. It’s also got a touch of shabby chic charm going for it as well.

"It was lovely and charming, but I wanted something that really worked as a space to entertain in, and it does that now."— Minnie Driver

What do you think of Minnie's new furniture lifestyle brand?

"It is so beyond what I expected... Seeing it go from rendered drawings to actually there in the space, it’s made me so happy. I absolutely love it." — Minnie Driver

Now we move on to Minnie’s Hollywood Hills home that was featured in 2017 in Elle Décor. She describes the style as “English gypsy” which translates to a sophisticated color palette with boho chic style.

You had me at the gorgeous blue front door and amazing peacock chair, Minnie!!


And now here’s a look at Minnie’s fun little Malibu pad. It’s light-hearted, cute and the decor centers on casual California beach style.  

Of the three styles, English country, boho chic, or fun California beach decor, which one’s your favorite?

ciao! fabiana

photos:  Elle Decor and One Kings Lane

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