Blue willow, for Jamie January 18, 2007

I’ve always loved Blue Willow china and I have a few pieces of my own (though my all-time favorite, and our wedding pattern, is Temporama). My cousin Jamie collects it — she loves it because it was our grandmother MeeMee’s pattern, and I always think of both of them when I see it. Maybe it reminds a lot of people of their grandmothers — one of my boy roommates in my old house always reached for my one chipped Blue Willow plate when we were serving dinner, and he affectionately called it “the grandma plate” too. I think the chips and nicks almost made it prettier and warmer and more fun to eat off of, since it wasn’t fancy, just nice.

There’s just something so soothing about the serene blue and soft white, and the patterns are always just varied enough to spot the differences — I think it’s just beautiful. So the last few years, I’ve given Jamie a piece of china every Christmas, to add to her collection. I’ve found some at antique stores, some on Replacements Ltd., and some on eBay.

So when I was at Hearst Castle last week, what did I spot in the majestic kitchen but a whole Blue Willow service? I was beaming! I took a bunch of snapshots to share with her.

Blue Willow at Hearst Castle

I saw a few pieces here and there at the Rose Bowl flea market this weekend

Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena--blue willow

And when I was taking the pictures of the earrings for peace, of course I was thinking of Jamie too.

earrings for peace on a blue willow saucer

My cousin is such a wonderful person. She’s a beautiful photographer, a talented sign language interpreter, a passionate, progressive advocate for women’s rights, and a generous, lovely spirit. She’s also suffered a lot of pain in the last few years from a persistent, horrible health problem that’s been slow to heal. Today she’s having major surgery to address it once and for all, and I’m sad that she has to face yet another round of pain and recovery again. I know she’ll handle it with courage and grace, but I’m missing her today — she lives in Colorado, and I haven’t gotten to see her for a year. She’s my closest relative geographically; we’re the only ones who live out here in the west, but we’re still a thousand miles apart. It’s really so hard sometimes.

So just as I was looking at the clock today, knowing her surgery was starting, and getting teary and anxious, I got a little etsy e-mail that the last of the ten pairs of the earrings I made to raise money for the peace march sold. Thank you so much to everyone who donated to the fundraiser — it’s given me a lot of hope when I really needed it, and I hope you love your earrings! I’m sending the check out to United for Peace and Justice today with a lighter heart.

$100 for United for Peace and Justice

I’ll be posting ten more pairs soon, in a different design, too. Making things always makes me feel better…

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