This is my china pattern. Isn’t it pretty?! It’s called Desert Rose, it’s Franciscan Ware, and was originally produced here in California around 1941. I was putting my china cabinet back together this weekend and had to dust all of the china off before putting it away again (due to the damn sawdust that’s taken over our house). And I was reminded that I really, really love the pattern.
Now you’re probably wondering why on God’s green earth I’m telling you all of this. Well, there’s actually a story behind it. And I want my girls to know how I got it so that they will appreciate it someday when I hand it down to them. Unless Tater wants it, since he’s going to be the next Top Chef and all.
One day, before I was married….before I even knew my hubby for that matter, I was at a flea market and ran across this beautiful china pattern. I instantly fell in love with it and knew that I wanted to collect it. Today, you can still buy this same pattern at Macy’s and I’m sure at other places, but I wanted the antique china. So my plan was to start collecting it, piece by piece. It’s wasn’t cheap, but I figured if I just bought a piece here and there that eventually I’d have a full set for 8.
A few weeks later, I had dinner at my Grandma’s house. I was telling her how much I liked this china I found, and started describing the pattern to her. She said “Wait a minute” and left the room. I could hear her rummaging around. She came back with a piece of my china! She said “Is this what you are talking about?” and I was jumping up and down saying yes.
Turns out, it’s the same pattern that belonged to my Great Grandma! My Grandma had it packed up in boxes in a closet. She told me that she’d never taken it out, so there’s no way I could’ve seen it. How cool is that?!
That year for Christmas, I opened a big, heavy box from my Grandma. It was the entire antique china set, serving bowls and all. It was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received, and my favorite hand-me-down of all time.
I don’t use it as often as I should. I’m too afraid that a piece will get broken. I have since then also got some newer pieces (not antique) of the same pattern that I use more often. I’m trying to remember to enjoy it, and hope to use it more often because I love it so much.
Now on to another matter…here’s a SUPER COOL thing I’m so excited to tell you about! Chelsey over at the paper mama is giving everybody the opportunity to get to know each other better. She is conducting mommy interviews, and she gives readers the chance to ask bloggers any questions that they have. This week, she is interviewing ME! So if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer…it could be about anything…head over to the paper mama and leave the question as a comment below the post. Thanks for the opportunity Chelsey!

Last but not least…be on the lookout tomorrow for a new review and giveaway that I’m excited to tell you about. It’s called Lash Food, and it helps make your lashes longer, thicker, and stronger…and yes, it works!

And so it goes…


  1. awesome story!!! I have my grandmother's china as well, and while it wasn't the pattern of my dreams, I love that it reminds me of her. :)
  2. Karen Mortensen says:
    Those dishes are beautiful. What a great present to get.
  3. Sippy Cup Mom says:
    What a wonderful story! And that is a gorgeous set!
  4. I'll bet your grandmother was so pleased to be able to hand these down to you, especially since you really discovered that you loved it on your own! I have my mother's entire china set, and even though it's not something I really use it means a lot to me.
  5. NanaDiana says:
    Hey Natalie! That was the pattern my mother-in-law had too. My sister-in-law has the set now. I always loved it too. It just reminds me of a softer, gentler time somehow. Glad that you got a gift of something you really love FROM someone you really love. How special is that? Diana
  6. How awesome is it that a pattern you loved so much belonged to someone in your family? It really is pretty. My grandmother gave me some china that I love. I may not use it (yet), but I cherish it!
  7. thepunkrockmom says:
    I love your china and the fact that it was your grandmother's is so awesome! I love all of my grandmother's beautiful china and knick knacks.

    Also, I wanted to say that I just found your blog through papermama, and I love it! Hope to see you around the bloggy-verse!

  8. Maxabella says:
    What an amazing coincidink. You obviously have a lot in common with your grandmother (including a generous heart - what a great and thoughtful gift).
  9. Pumpkin and Piglet says:
    That's a beautiful pattern and how great that your Grandmother had it too! I had a very old, very sweet tea set (tea pot, proper cups and saucers and so on) handed down to me by my Grandmother. I love it but we just don't have room at the moment, I worry it will break, so my Mum is keeping it safe for me. I can't wait to get it back though!
  10. cooperl788 says:
    What a great story! It's uncanny that you and your great-grandmother would pick out the exact same pattern, years apart. And you're right - the pattern is absolutely beautiful.
  11. MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) says:
    That's such an amazing story! I am an only child, and one of only five total grandchildren (counting both sides). I have both my grandmothers' china. The beautiful thing to me is that they coordinate together perfectly. And yes, I could feed a small army on very fine dishes. :)
  12. the mombshell says:
    -sigh- that is a pretty china pattern. mine consists of Thomas and Dora. -double sigh-
  13. OMG. I got chills when I saw that pattern - it's MY grandmother's pattern too. I love it, and I love the story behind it :) Chills!!
  14. Ms. Understood says:
    That pattern is beautiful and I mean, what are the odds that your grandma had the entire set. It was meant to be. I already submitted my question. Can't wait to see your interview.
  15. i love this story!
  16. Jhen.Stark says:
    LOVE the story. Adore the china. I love collecting antique china- mostly scouting for tea pots and tea sets. But this was a beautiful find and an even more beautiful gift. I love that something you liked, became something so meaningful!!!
  17. Courtney says:
    What are the chances of that?! What a great story, Natalie. The china is beautiful!
  18. That is SUCH a cool story! It's awesome that you chose the same pattern, and I'm amazed the manufacturer kept making the pattern!
  19. Megan (Best of Fates) says:
    Such an amazing coincidence! I have somewhat similar Waterford china that I absolutely adore - you should show us all the other pieces!
  20. That's one of the best stories of serendipity I've heard in a long time. Too perfect.
  21. Colleen (Shibley Smiles) says:
    This is a great story. I almost had tears in my eyes imagining how awesome it was to open your gift. I will head over to your interview.
  22. Very pretty! And very cool story about your grandma.
  23. I'd describe this entry like this:

    Good taste runs in the family.
  24. Mike's Crazy Wife says:
    Cool story! Made me cry, as I have my Great-Grandma's cast iron and use it almost daily. Use that China girl! Using it honors her memory!
  25. Aging Mommy says:
    That is a wonderful inheritance for your daughters one day, china passed down through your family for so very many years and it is a very lovely pattern, I can see why you fell in love with it, just as your Great Grandma must have once done.
  26. luckydame says:
    I love Francisian Ware. I'm always on the look-out for the pattern Swing Time.

    How cool that your Great Grandma collected that very pattern....what are the odds????
  27. That's a splendid story. And it reminds me to use my wedding china more often, too. As in more than once every two years. And it doesn't count if I only take it out to look at it.
  28. gringationcancun says:
    WOW!!! That's such an awesome story. Can't believe your grandmother had that! And an entire set, too!
  29. The Urban Cowboy says:
    Now that's eerie...that china was talking to ya.

    I would go over to ask a question, but I'd probably get banned, so I'll just wait for your lash food...a cowboy can never have too thick lashes, ya know. {did I just say that out loud?}
  30. Sharlene T. says:
    What a wonderful legacy... I know you're going to cherish this forever... as will your daughters...

    Twitter: SolarChief
  31. The Sweetest says:
    China (and crystal, too) is so fun, and often there is a great story behind it. I wish we had more occasions to use it (and room to store it!).
  32. The Empress says:
    Ack! That looks like my antique china. Except mine is red cherries. Same company.

    I loved the desert rose, though, I was torn which way to go.

    And I can just feel how happy you were when you saw her return with this pattern in hand. Oh, goodness..
  33. Mrs.Mayhem says:
    That is such a cool story. The dishes are beautiful, and they will never go out of style.

    We have some of my husband's grandmother's china, which is simply beautiful, and we use it for every holiday and special occasion.
  34. Melissa (Confessions of a Dr. Mom) says:
    That is so amazing Natalie...it was meant to be. That China definitely has so much more meaning now. I love this story :)
  35. Kimberly says:
    What a great story! Natalie, I love your blog. I am a new follower. Very fun and i just adore your title ;-) Blessings! ~Kimberly

  36. christie says:
    My grandmother bought me my first set of dishes, they were from KMart. Definately not as pretty. I can't wait to ditch them!
    What a touching story.
    I'm trying to think of a good question!
  37. Bethany @ Organic Enchilada says:
    How cool is that?? it's like fate! I could never have china - there would be not a piece left by now. In fact, we've decided that we will only buy plastic dishes from now until every last boy is out of the house, including my husband. Which means I'll have nice dishes when I'm old and eating alone.
  38. The Flying Chalupa says:
    Hand-me-downs are the bomb. My mom lived overseas and has a beautiful jewelry collection, which she is already starting to pass along to my sister and me at Christmas. The BEST presents ever.

    And yes, use the china more! It's so worth it having the memories of dinner together with it.
  39. Wow, that plate is super pretty.
  40. Booyah's Momma says:
    What an awesome present from your grandmother. It will be such a great story to tell your girls (or your little Top Chef) when they inherit it from you.
  41. I love this story about the china and your grandma - so sweet and really really touching. You need to use it as often as you can . . . I know you want to save it for your girls - but it will mean more to them when they are older if they have memories of you using it when they were young! So lovely, and I'm so glad you shared this story with us!!!!