Saturday, March 8, 2008

Friendship Pansies

Better known as Johnny-Jump-Ups or Violas.

When I was a kid, both my grandmothers had these in their gardens.

They were all over -- and for me, iconic -- at Beach Grandma's (Effie Whetstone) place on Vashon Island (actually Maury Island, but they are connected by an isthmus). She was the one that called them Friendship Pansies.

My Town Grandma's (Olga Winston) place at 70th and Palatine, had fewer, with just a scattering along the edges of some of the flower beds, but they were there and I welcomed them. When I called them Friendship Pansies, at least once she tried to correct me, but I wasn't buying.

A few years ago there was a nice batch in the parking strip of a place on Loyal Way that I often pass on walks, but last year they were a no-show -- weed elimination?

This year I will plant my own, in our own yard.

[It amuses me that the LillyMiller packet (bottom right) uses the same picture as the Ed Hume (top left). Lily Miller is a brand of Ferry-Morse (top right), while Ed Hume is a local (Puyallup) operation. I would prefer to think the seed packet photos are from their own plants, but I guess they just buy stock photos off the internet.]

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


The creamer is an old family piece. We had quite a bit of this pattern in the 1950s, of which I also have a few butter-pats and a cereal bowl. I think we may have a sandwich plate around somewhere too, Maybe under a plant.

Jo found the sugar bowl, sans lid, at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago.


That got me interested enough to track down that it is Louisville Stoneware, Harvest Pattern (sometimes known as Pear Pattern), and find a bunch of it on Ebay.

Yesterday I won a pair of mugs on ebay -- these still seem like the "proper" thing to drink cocoa from.

Most of what I see on Ebay doesn't grab me much, but it is fun to look at.

And it is something fun to look for in thrift stores. The bottoms of larger pieces have a "John B Taylor" signature in blue, while the smaller pieces just have a script "JBT."

Not something I want a lot of, but but great fun in small quantities.

Sometimes I say I was all but born in a pear orchard. Apple is closer to the truth, but hey, there were pears nearby.

There was also a pear tree on my grandmother's property on Vashon (actually she was on Maury Island & they are connected).

Pears are good things. (Pairs are too [waves at Jo].)