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The Willow & Pine Story

I’ve always been a “collector” of things.  I’m also extremely sentimental about these treasures that I have collected over the years.  

My mother and my grandmother had many beautiful and sentimental pieces of dinnerware.  They both collected antique ceramics and glassware that they found at auctions and estate sales.  Their pieces weren’t necessarily valuable, but they were loved and they bring back so many happy memories for me.
Now that I have been given many of those special pieces, I have them stored and displayed throughout my home.  When I look at them, I think of my mother and my grandmother and the many delicious meals they prepared for our family.

Sometimes, I use those special pieces for gatherings and celebrations with my own family.  My husband and I were blessed with 10 children. You can only imagine the craziness of mealtimes with our family!  When our children were young, we almost never went out to eat. It was too expensive and too much effort.  Mealtimes at home became one of the most important parts of our day...and a source of many great family stories!

We often had guests, or extended family, at the table.  To this day, we still enjoy family meals with our Sunday family dinner tradition.  As a bonus, we now have grandchildren to enjoy at these gatherings, as well.  It is a sacred tradition for us and we almost never miss a Sunday!

As a military family, we had the opportunity to live in Germany for two years.  While there, I went on several pottery shopping trips to Poland, Italy, and France.  You can only imagine what fun it is for someone like me to have the chance to visit the factory warehouse shops and dig through rows and rows of beautiful dishes!  Let’s just say that I brought a good bit of it home with me and we now enjoy these pieces at our Sunday meals!

In Europe, meal time is sacred...relaxing...and long!  On Sundays, most every shop and business is closed and people enjoy long meals and time spent with family and friends.  We lived on a military base situated at the top of a hill with vineyards and little garden plots located all the way down. You could walk among these gardens and vineyards and observe families dining “alfresco” at a simple table under a tree with a bottle of wine (or two!) 

I would think to myself...I want that experience for my family!

When we returned from our time in Europe, I went to work full-time as a middle school guidance counselor.  It was the first time that I had worked outside the home, full -time, in a meaningful career. It was a great experience.  I enjoyed the students and I loved my work family.  However, it became obvious that my real family...my aging father, my husband, my children and my grandchildren...needed me to be more available to them.  I had long dreamed of opening a small boutique offering pottery and ceramics from all over Europe. I decided, instead, to start small and create an online business that I could manage from anywhere, giving me the freedom to be with my family and still do what I love!

I tell people all the time...I don't sell “dishes.”  I help people create meaningful experiences with friends and family around the dinner table.  The dishes are simply the beautiful backdrop. Those special serving bowls and platters hold, not only the secret pasta sauce and the Thanksgiving turkey, they hold the memories we have of special times spent together.

I want for you to be able to create those meaningful moments with your loved ones, too!  And so...
I invite you..no matter the celebration or season...to pass love around your table.

                                                                                                  

 

My family!

 

Enjoying a little wine at Brunelli Vineyards in San Peitro, Italy on the first night of our wine & pottery shopping trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stopping for lunch on the streets of Verona, Italy.

  

Touring the Tommasi estate vineyards near Verona, Italy.

All that wine!!!

My Finezza Cream dinnerware on the table for the first time.  I bought this in Nove, Italy at the factory store and you can find it in my Dinnerware Collections.  (Had I know I'd be featuring it in a future blog post, I would have layered it all up!)

 

My Finezza with my grandmother's pink depression glass!

Pottery shopping trip with my friends in Boleslawiec, Poland.

Shopping for Polish pottery can be a bit overwhelming, but what a delightful experience!!

I even bought this gorgeous bathroom sink!

We took this photo BEFORE we finished loading all the pottery!

 

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