Monday, August 4, 2008

Family Treasures

The grouting project has whipped my creative juices (and my mind) into a pulp that's pulpier than Minute Maid. So today I thought we'd talk about family treasures, those wonderful things that are passed down in the family. It may be a beautiful family bible, antique china, jewelry or things that have only sentimental value.

Yesterday I mentioned my grandmother's artist friend Edna. She was very talented and never let the scale of a project scare her away. My grandmother purchased many of Edna's beautiful pieces including a full set of dinnerware and a punch bowl and cups. When my grandmother died these items went to my uncle and when he died I got the punch bowl set. It's one of my treasured possessions, along with my grandmother's antique cameo and her BIble with her notes in the margins.

I thought you might like to take a look at the set. Here's the punch bowl, trimmed in 14 karat gold.

A couple of years ago for Christmas I filled it with pink and cream colored ornaments. I loved the way it looked and I left them.

A close-up of the painting.


Here's the front side of a punch cup. It's painted with orange berries.


The back side is painted in a different color of berry. They're very dainty cups.


My mother took a china painting class and she said that she struggled with one small piece. The amount of work involved in this set is unbelievable. Each piece must be painted at least twice, sometimes three times. After the first firing the design all but disappears. There's a light image remaining and the artist paint again and fires again.

We all have treasures. The pioneer women carried precious cargo on the wagon trains including family chairs, china teapots and plates. They were looking for something of beauty to behold.

How about you? What's your favorite family treasure? Are there memories behind it?


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Edna truly was an artist! You have some wonderful treasures as a result. Yes, I have some treasures, but none as spectacular as yours.

Have a great Monday! How goes the grouting?

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Now those are gorgeous. We have a friend that paints china...and yes, the amount of work is tremendous. Every year she gives my mom a plate or cup for is truly a remarkable set.

Heather said...

WOW! What a beautiful set. My prized possession is my grandmother's set of green crystal goblets. I used to admire them as a child and so she gave them to me when she moved into an assisted living center.

Marie Reed said...

If I were a pirate I'd bury this booty! Arrrg!

Lori said...

What a beautiful piece! I posted a family quilt last week but your post got has sure got me thinking about what other family heirlooms I treasure.

A Farmer's Wife said...

I love this post and yesterday's post! What fascinating women!!! My favorite family treasure so far is my Grandmother's high school class ring. I LOVE IT! It has her initials. My grandmother is also a woman who never stopped learning and never said "I'm too old for that." She was active, lively and game for anything! We all adored her and miss her terribly!!!

Mamahut said...

It is just beautiful! I would be terrified to take them out. I don't know why but my family up till now has not handed down very many heirlooms. Probably because I come from a long line of alcoholics and divorces. I love to go antique shopping. I am obsessed with china or metal tea pots. I hope my sons will have wives that like teapots someday lol.

belladella said...

That set is amazing. I am in awe of the work that went into that! You know, I've been so blessed to have many, many family heirlooms. It's hard to pick my favorite. I have a cake plate that belonged to my great-grandmother and my kitchen table was built by my grandfather and great-grandfather. Oh, and a jewelry box that belonged to a special cousin. It still smells like her when I open it. Good memories. Thanks for the sweet post!

StitchinByTheLake said...

So beautiful. It's hard to imagine all the time that took. My favorite thing of my mother's are the crock bowls. Simple, useful, even cracked....they remind me of simpler times. Blessings, marlene

Karen said...

Those are beautiful !!! I can't even begin to imagine the work that went into that.

Sadly, all my Grandmother's treasures, ended up in the clutches of the 40 something bleached blonde divorcee, that my Granddad married when he was in his 80's. He met her at the retirement home he was living in. She was a maid there.

However, I am making treasures for my own kids, that they will get, when I wander off into the next life :-)

Wanita said...

What beautiful treasures you have! I have some things from my mom and also my husband's grandma that I treasure for the memories they hold.

Thanks for sharing your lovely family treasures.

Marilyn said...

Oh my gosh, where do I begin.... Fist, your set is beautiful. I can't begin to imagine the time that went in to creating such beauty.
My most coveted treasure is my Grammy's complete set of Desert Rose. All I have to do is look at any one of the pieces and memories of Christmas dinners and family together come flooding in to my mind.
I can almost smell her cooking when I see those dishes.

Thanks for sharing.

lifeinredshoes said...

Such beautiful peices with wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself with all of us, it means more than you can know.

Mary said...

Oh Suzanne, how beautiful!!! I am fortunate to have several treasures from my parents and grandparents. My favorite is probably a Chippendale sofa that my parents bought secondhand when they were first married.

Thanks for sharing your treasures!

Leslie said...

This is an exquisite creation. So happy that its presence blesses your home. Treasures like this deserve to be out and appreciated on an everyday basis. Glad you are doing so!

My prized possession is my husband's grandmother's silver tea service from England. It is beautiful and one of a kind. Every time I see it I am reminded of this woman's unique spirit. So happy to have known her, if only for a brief time.

Cottage Rose said...

What beautiful punch bowl and cups. Edna was truly and artists. It is a wonderful family treasure. I love the detail in them, and the colors.
Oh by the way I have tagged you, stop by and see what it is all about.
Thanks for sharing.

carolyn at cranberry crossings: said...

Wow! I have never seen a punchbowl set like that! Very pretty!
I'm not sure if I can choose a favorite family piece. I love the 8diamond cluster ring from my Mama and my Daddy's dog tags from the Air Force.

Ritch in Love said...

My husband's father disowned him when he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His mother passed 3 months before he and I met. So as a result his father witheld many treasures that had been promised to him by his mother out of pride. Fortunately Michael already had in his possession 3 things that we truly cherish. His Great-Grandfather's amoir with the original mirrors, hardware, and wooden wheels. It is in our children's room and taken very good care of. We also have his mother's original Kitchen-Aid mixer. It is and old yellow and works beautifully! I just LOVE using it when I bake! (You can see it in the picture of me in my apron.) And we also have his mother's Bible with her notes in every empty space she could find. These are priceless treasures in our home.

TSannie said...

My favorite family treasure is a necklace my grandma gave me after years of me begging her for it because I loved it so much and thought it was so beautiful. Worthless monetarily speaking, but priceless to me.

Anonymous said...

That is so beautiful. My family treasure is an old cast iron frying pan. It was my grandmothers (my dad's mom) who when had to go into a nursing home gave it to my mom, who when I got married gave it to me. I love using the thing to cook.

Tara said...

Look at how beautiful that bowl is! WOW!

Chris said...


Your punch set certainly is a treasure! So beautiful, and after hearing about the work involved, I have a whole new appreciation for hand-painted china.


GemStateMom said...

what a lovely treasure, Suzanne!

My husband was given a set of monogrammed silver spoons owned by his great-great-grandfather...the original homesteader. They are mounted in a display case on our wall. My other 'treasure' isn't valuable; it's a yellow divided serving dish my grandmother used for everyday dinners when I was a child. Though not my 'color' I love to use it because of the memories.

Jeanne said...

WOW, that is the most beautiful painted china I have seen. True artistic ability. Gorgeous sums it up. Treasures to love.

Take care, Jeanne

Louise said...

This is amazing. What a punch set. Truly a beautiful heirloom, and I LOVE the ornaments in it!

Green Kitchen said...

What an artist! They are so rich.