Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
My faith tradition believes in the communion of the saints; in other words, when we worship, we join with all Christians past, present and future as we worship, known as the Communion of the Saints. It is particularly appropriate that we in the Church Militant (still living) celebrate the Lord’s Supper in thanksgiving for God’s gift of Jesus and in memory of those who now worship as part of the Church Triumphant (dead). I am never reminded of this belief more than when I am confronted with memories of church members who are now part of the Church Triumphant. The scripture about the “cloud of witnesses” and the phrase “communion of the saints” were never brought home to me more than at an estate sale I went to a few days ago.
A church friend of mine, I will call her Sally, called the owner/manager of our flea market to say that she had finished cleaning out the home of her late in-laws. All of the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids had gotten what they wanted; Sally had taken several loads to the local charity and thrown away gobs of stuff, and she still had so much stuff in the house. She did not want to do a huge estate sale with the items in the house. Sally could not bear to think of crowds of people going through her in-laws’ possessions, but she did want to sell as much as she could. She told the manager that she would open the home to us vendors for a few hours one morning. Luckily, I was able to get over there pretty quickly and do some picking. The picking outing was much more meaningful and special than a normal visit to an estate sale because I knew the family and they were special church members.
Sally’s mother-in-law, I’ll call her Jane, had lovely things. The first thing that caught my eye when I walked in were canisters in the Gail Pittman Flame pattern. Do you remember that this is also my pattern? I’ll try to keep my story brief, but you know how I am! I started collecting this pattern years ago, and after it was discontinued, I purchased a good bit of it on eBay pretty cheaply (almost impossible to do now). When I redid the kitchen 6 or 7 years ago, I specially picked the burgundy paint color to show off this pattern. I think that David was quite surprised after we finished the kitchen when I started pulling out Gail Pittman dishes from every cabinet and shelf where I had them stashed. After accenting the kitchen with these finds, I decided that I was very satisfied with my collection and did not want any more of it. However, in a random eBay search a little over a year ago, I found 4 canisters in this pattern. I had no idea that canisters were ever even made! I put a bid in and won! I couldn’t wait for them to come in; I knew that they would be perfect in my kitchen. My hopes were dashed when I lifted the box. I heard it-the unmistakable rattle.
One canister remained unscathed, and I have had it on the counter ever since that dreadful moment. By the way, the seller was horrified and refunded my money. You can see why those canisters (there were 3 of them) were the first thing I snapped up at the estate sale. Now look carefully at both photos above. What do you see?
That’s right; Jane’s canisters were the Flame pattern with the burgundy background, and mine is the Flame pattern with the dark green background. I am now wondering if they were also made with the dark blue background. Anyway, here they are, and I am thrilled! I don’t care that they are different colors; I love them!
Jane’s other daughter-in-law owns a gift shop in another town. Several of the items that I purchased, such as these pilgrims, came from that shop.
I expect the pilgrims as well as this turkey to sell well right now.
I also purchased a box lot of table linens. Some of the table linens were handmade by Jane, such as these napkins with lace edging.
This tablecloth is lovely, and Jane made it as well.
She also made this table runner. I will enjoy using it in a lot of different tablescapes since the colors are so varied.
Jane and I also had the same taste in Hall. Do you notice that this is the same Blue Bouquet pattern as my Aladdin teapot?
I love these Kermit napkins and will enjoy coming up with tablescapes for them!
I will enjoy using these sweet strawberry napkins as well.
Jane also loved beautiful things. Isn’t this small pitcher lovely?
I was thrilled to find this Watt two-leaf apple pitcher in perfect shape. I’m not finished with my research, but it looks like this could be another valuable find like my Aladdin teapot was!
Likewise, this Mason’s Vista small pitcher is worth a good bit. I am still doing the research on it as well.
I don’t care for a lot of the Lustreware that I have seen. But I think that this Japanese tea set is really pretty. Remember, a Japanese tea set only consists of a teapot and creamer because they don’t use sugar. I like this color so much better than the gold-orange color that I more commonly see in Lustreware.
I have a customer who wants these Colony glasses, and I like to sell to her outright. It is a benefit to her and me both to sell to her without going through the flea market.
I also purchased them in blue. I will sell these at my booth.
I was thrilled to find 7 of these Ruby Red iced teas! You will be seeing these on my Christmas table. They have gotten very hard to find at a reasonable price.
I even found a set of salt and pepper shakers to purchase for myself. Because, you know, I “need” them.
I purchased a few more items, but I won’t take the time to delineate all of them. On to the tablescape that I created using Jane’s lovely table linens! I found this lovely open weave brown cloth and layered it over my white cloth for a fall look.
Then I layered on this gorgeous table runner. This table runner was on the top of the box deal of linens that I purchased and was what made me look at that box in the first place.
What goes best with these linens? The Friendly Village, of course–not only perfect for the season, but also perfect for honoring friends!
I chose my green napkins from the Napkin Lady and brass napkin rings. I think that brass is the perfect warm tone for fall.
I used my Grosvenor silverplate.
Of course, the Dollar Tree goblets are perfect for this table.
I wanted to use my harvest wine charms. Since I only had 6 wine charms but 8 glasses, I filled in with some others that I had.
I used my fall-themed Family Dollar plates for the top layer.
The pumpkins and fall leaves are perfect for this look.
For the centerpiece, I started with my brass candlestick.
Then I robbed the mantel of some of my pumpkins and gourds that I have collected over the years. I think most came from Dollar Tree and Fred’s.
I kept the centerpiece simple so that this lovely table runner would be the star of the show.
As a final touch, I put an autumnal set of salt and pepper shakers at each place.
Do you know that some people put only one set of shakers on their tables?
I certainly can’t!
Back to my opening topic, the communion of the saints. Jane was a saint to everyone in our church, and I knew that my mother would like something of Jane’s also. I gave her some of the table linens from my box deal, and I found three of these small antique plates made in Bavaria.
My mother loves pretty old dishes with pink in them, and I knew she would like those. I was right! I took them over to her earlier today, and she was quite touched.
In conclusion, I was quite moved to be able to purchase some things from Jane’s estate. I will keep several of the items, give away a few, and sell the rest. If you see something that you are interested in, email me. It might be a while before I have the time to list them on my internet store, but I am always open to selling [almost] anything that you see on this blog.
I hope that I leave you with not only pictures of great finds and a pretty table, but also with thoughts of the special people in your cloud of witnesses. Take some time today to remember them with love and joyousness, not sadness.