Thursday, June 14, 2007

$5 Daydream



I told you I would share my flea market purchase. This is so much more than a flea market purchase. This is a dream come true in a Pennsylvania Dutch plate, no? The dream goes something like this.....I wake up in my countryside home, that is situated somewhere between the green hills of Tennessee and at the foot of the mountains of Greece amongst the olive groves (which can happen in a dream, even if in real life that would put me in the Atlantic ocean)...how do I wake up you ask?? The rooster of course. Every ground floor window in the house is actually a French door, that opens up to a different garden vignette of flowers, herbs or vegetables. All the children (dressed in white or burlap-brown) are happily occupied chasing butterflies in the 12 acres that never needs mowing, and Jeff is building furniture in the wood shed (okay it gets fuzzy here, he's doing something manly).



After an espresso, I put on a long white apron over my charming but not too fancy red calico dress with piping on the pockets and walk barefoot to the kitchen garden. I am instantly greeted by the beautifully plump and ripened tomatoes and I gather up half a dozen or so in the lap of my apron. I walk into the kitchen to look for a suitable resting spot chosen from several wooden bowls and find one painted with gorgeous blue and tomato-red flowers that's just perfect (yay! that part is real!) I go on of course to make a lunch of fresh pasta with lemon, sliced tomatoes, brick oven bread, and oranges picked from the trees the night before. (In the dream we all cheered for Eleni who was tall enough to reach her first orange).



N'kay, dream over. I've been hunting and gathering for our kitchen for over a year, very slowly finding suitable finds that speak this dream to me. When we first finished the remodel it was hard to focus on details, largely because our eyeballs were popping out of our heads at the cost of it all. I always think the details should happen more slowly anyway. When I first set things on that mantle (which is about 150 years old!) it was all very symmetrical and basic by default. Lately I've been playing out color with those little creamers and such. I have a tendency to go completely overboard on color without thinking about it, so I put restraints on myself sometimes and do the simplest thing first...well aside from the aqua Italian tiles on the backsplash. I don't know what my style is or what the end goal is, I just get inspired or not when I see something.



I found a palette in this plate that was identical to that slipcover on the kitchen stools and the paintings in the kitchen. And its not that I ever want things to match but I was so happy to see someone else had combined color the exact same way in a completely different way decades ago. Not to mention I have a weakness for slightly folk-y things, so I brought it home. Who wouldn't for $5? In real life it will never hold fruit or anything else, but will rest on the wall.

Never mind that I don't know what it says and that even though I know its Dutch, it looks German, which maybe is the same, (is it the same?), maybe me thinking that might offend either a German or a Dutch, I can't remember how that works. I can't remember my own history let alone the world's. In my daydream, Greek, German, Dutch, English all get along beautifully, as they do in my kitchen and in my blood.

xoAM

46 comments:

  1. janet clare10:13 AM

    Fits in perfectly! I just knew you would have a vibrant, pattern filled kitchen.

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    1. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.

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  2. Wow! You have a gorgeous kitchen! And it matches your personality to a T .. very inspiring. Somehow the pink before kitchen doesn't look like it fit your or your family as well. :-)

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  3. I know what you mean about renovating kitchens - we finished ours late last year and it's only now that I can think about the extras. I love your blog and you are such an inspiration.

    BTW - Pennsylvania Dutch is a dialect of old German, when the Amish moved to PA, people were confused with the word "Deutsch" which means German, so called them "Pennsylvania Dutch"

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  4. I knew a genius would enlighten me on the Dutch/German/Pennsylvania situation.

    Thank you dear same, and for your nice comments too! xoAM

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  5. SAM-I just called you "same"...oops sorry
    :)

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  6. I can say it's not german, and it doesn't look dutch to me... i pretty much think it's a northern language, like danish or finish:
    "smorgaasbordet er nu daekket" means something like "the table is set (for meal)" and "vaer saa god" is like "please" or "you're welcome".
    but I can't tell which of the languages it is. fact is that swedish would be spelled different...

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  7. I had the smorgaasbordet figured as something to do with food/table etc....
    thank you for the insight! I at least felt like it belonged in a kitchen !
    xoAM

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  8. it very well may be "high german," the german dialect spoke by the amish.

    Yeah, I'm Pennsylvanian Dutch...which is just a fancy way of saying that my German ancestors settled in Pennsylvania a couple of hundred years ago.

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  9. Hmm... maybe it's just my computer: but I've loaded your page in several browsers and your photos aren't there. I will just use my imagination.

    I don't know about you, but there is nothing like a great find! :D

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  10. So fun. Love all the history here. :)

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  11. Hi Wende, my husband told me the same thing....gonna look into that now, thanks for letting me know! xo,AM

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  12. Ditto to what Wende said about the photos Anna Maria, but I love your "dream" story. Definitely cracked me up - as I've had similar ones involving me living on a vineyard in France/Montreal or the like!

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  13. It's Danish, and says "The smorgasbord is now laid - Help yourself"

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  14. Thank you Tina!!!
    or Danka, or however you say thank you in Swedish!
    ....and its looks as though the pics should be visible to all now.
    whew. That plate might hav cost only 5$ but it has taken me 3 hours to share it.
    :) AM

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  15. Love your blog...have been lurking around for a while, but thought I'd give you a little more background on your plate.

    The language is actually Norwegian and the painting on the plate is very specialized to that country. It's called "rosemaling" (literally -"flower painting"), and it's a craft practiced there. The text is translated as: "The meal is now ready. Please eat!" (I've taken the liberty of making the sentence make sense in English. I could do a literal translation, too, if you would like).

    I was an exchange student for a year in Norway half a lifetime ago and have maintained some fluency in the language. Hope this adds to your enjoyment of the plate!!

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  16. Okay, clearly the plate is at least trilingual.
    I love it, this is cracking me up, Only I could find a plate that has at least 3 translations. Maybe I wasn't such a dunce after all at being confused about which language its written in...I could spend all day investigating this, and other similar plates. I found an dutch wedding plate that was very similar and valued at almost 400$.
    Now I need to research rosemaling or write my book.
    Hmm, hope my editor's not reading this.
    AM

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  17. so gorgeous...your words, the colors, your dream, the kitchen. beautiful. thanks for taking us on a little trip today...

    (and your photos are always so wondrous. this set is going to be the catalyst for me to finally clean up my house enough to take some photos this weekend!)

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  18. The plate looks to be quite an interesting find. I always love it when a piece has an interesting story to accompany it.

    BTW...I LOVE your kitchen! Back when you first posted the pics I thought it was the most beautiful kitchen I had ever seen. Now the images are in my little dreams of the perfect little life. I really like the backsplash tiles - what a wonderful color.

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  19. Anna! This is sooo you! I love this darling plate! It's famous now, whatever language it may be! ;) I love folksy things, too...my momma and granny have the "hearts and flowers" dishes by johnson bros....old english or something. My mom and dad are heading to Norway this summer, so i will have them keep their eyes out for fun tole painted things like this! Back to your kitchen, I think that it would be too "forced" if you will, to just go out to the store and grab a pile of thingies to stuff on the walls/shelves...so have fun as you find the perfect treasures along lifes pathway. :) You know how to have fun, girl!

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  20. Hi,- the text is old norwegian, "Smørgaasbordet er nu dækket - Vær så god!" means "The sandwich table is now set- please help yourself!" or something like that in english. Someone have tried to paint in the old style of norwegian Rose painting, problably someone with norwegian ancestors perhaps? Anyway, it is lovely to see displayed on your wall! Love & hugs from Norway; Wenche, Northern Quilts

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  21. The plate is fits in perfect. Did you make that chair cover? I love it!

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  22. Ah, I love your daydream! I'm also loving that chair slipcover, I must make myself one of those!!

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  23. Love your daydream. We all need to spend time just daydreaming...great for the soul I think. The plate looks stunning espec. on the aqual background.

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  24. I am in complete and total LOVE with the light fixtures in your kitchen! Just beautiful!

    And, I just got some of the fabric that your chair covers are made out of! Yeah me!!

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  25. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Hey Anna Marie, Since you were talking about them and I keep meaning to ask, could you let us know where you got your aqua tiles, or who the manufacturer is? I have been thinking about these for a couple of weeks now as I too am redoing my kitchen and am looking for something "different" but I love the look of the subway tiles. Thanks, Missy from Knoxville

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  26. Beautifully written post -- thanks for taking us along. I'd love to see more of that painting on your mantle. Is it peppers? They look so fleshy and flirty.

    And, yes, that unknown "Heather" comment from a few days ago was me. When I use my "Heather" Blogger profile does the comment show up without a link? If so, I'll type my stuff in. It's always nice to know who's talking with you : )

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  27. okay, wait...this is my favorite post of yours ever!

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  28. What a beautiful daydream! Are there any other elements in it that you can work on making come true? That mantle is fantastic, as is the tableau upon it!

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  29. Your kitchen is amazing - you must have had such a vision for it when you started out to come up with something like that! I love that you have such a definite style as well, all those colours would be such an inspiration to me every day.

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  30. What a perfectly wonderful plate for your already perfect kitchen! I LOVE your home, its' warmth, its' colors, its' personality! Hmmm - sure reflects you, doesn't it? ;-) Now we want to see more, more, more!!!!
    xo,
    Kim

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  31. I love your fantasy and the plate as well!

    (German and Dutch are two totally different things and should not be confused... just a little Dutch frustration ;))

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  32. a beautifully written, beautiful dream and a beautiful plate too. i too dream in dutch...i have always wanted to go to holland.

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  33. Anna Maria you are such a delight to read! I love your color and style and you have the most amazing way of writing about everyday life.
    xoxo Berrie

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  34. Anonymous10:55 AM

    This is a great plate, but definitely not Pennsylvania Dutch - which many of my ancestors were. It looks Swedish or Norwegian to me - which some other of my ancestors were - and the art is like many of the Swedish or Norwegian folk art things. The Scandinavians had the Smorgesbord.

    Kristi in Ohio

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  35. it is danish, maybe enven from the danish island "Bornholm" the reason I think that is that it says "smørgaas" and not "smørrebrød"- smørgaasbordet means "smørrebrødsbordet" - try to look "smørrebrød" up on wikipedia. its a danish traditional dish.

    "er nu dækket" means the "table is decked"

    "vær saa god" - you would say " vær så god" these days - but it means " have a nice meal" or " be so good" directly translated to english"...

    hope you could use my analysis of it ... I am a dane myself living in copenhagen but with ancestors from Bornholm

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  36. Marianne3:02 PM

    Would you like another opinion on the origin of the plate? Well, here's mine :) :

    As the decoration on the plate looks very much like "Rosemaling" or rosepainting (found this via google, it explains it quite well:
    http://www.rosemaling.org/history.htm ) I think the plate is Norwegian (or inspired by norwegian, quite possibly made in America). The language on it does seem to be Danish, but while Norway was in Union with Denmark and for quite a while after, our written language was based on Danish, and the text found on rosepainted objects are usually written in this way.

    There you go, that was my theory!

    Love your work btw ;)

    -m-x

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  37. Hi.
    Nice plate you got yourself. As so many already has told you I't origin is either Norwegian or Danish. You've already gotten the translation, but I'd like to add that I've been reading your blog for a while now, and was quite surprised to suddenly read something in my own language :)
    If you were to write the same text today it would sound something like this: "smørbrødbordet er nå dekket - vær så god" or "bordet er dekket - vær så god".

    :)

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  38. who those are some good-lookin maters!

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  39. I've found your blog today through a link on disdressed and I'm LOVING it! What rich photos and amazing design. I've got you bloglined!

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  40. This is a gorgeous layout. I thought I was looking at Country Home magazine, or something. You take fantastic pictures!

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  41. Pin the seslivatan rest of the strap in place underneath the bottom of the envelope with each end equal distance from the center. Make sure sesli sohbet the strap is not twisted. Topstitch all the way around the envelope about 3/8" away from the edge. You may want to go back and sew some securing stitches arif bk where the straps are By_Karizma sewn in even closer to the edges.

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