Fall Nesting: Brown Transferware and Hydrangeas in the Potting Shed

I love brown transferware year round, but fall is the season when it really shines!

 I pulled my collection together to give them their due, and for a bit of fall nesting and tabletop fun in the Potting Shed!

Brown transferware is paired with Limelight hydrangeas that have made their fall metamorphosis. . .changing from summer white to green, before fading and drying to a papery texture, now burnished and brown.

My love of brown transferware is tied to memories of my grandmother. Harvest Time by Johnson Brothers was my grandmother’s everyday pattern and I have her remaining pieces, along with the memories of the meals she lovingly prepared and tables she set. I also have fond memories of helping her dry the dishes as she washed, which may be why there aren’t many of her pieces left. ;)

My brown transferware pieces were collected and picked up at antique malls and consignment stores over the years.

I think of brown transferware as the dish equivalent of comfort food, warm and homey. I didn’t make a conscious decision to collect pieces, it just sort of happened over time.

This Mason’s Ascot, little pitcher/creamer, followed me home this summer, found at a favorite antique mall. I couldn’t resist the $4 price tag despite the chips along the top, making it perfectly imperfect for a mini bouquet or a collection of vintage blooming flatware.

 A Johnson Brothers Windsor Ware Dover teapot is a favorite piece.

It was love at first sight when I spied the floral details on the lid.

To pair with the transferware, I added some abandoned nests. . .

White pumpkins. . .

And a little bird cottage complete with stone chimney, planter, metal fencing and roof.  In addition to its curb appeal, it’s designed as a functional birdhouse, with easy access and a clean out in the back, but I’ve only used it decoratively. The birds don’t know what they’re missing. They’ll have to reside in this hotel instead ;)

A set of two bird glasses, found roosting at Pottery Barn several years ago, were added for fall nesting.

Garden gloves hold vintage flatware, fitting for tabletop fun in Potting Shed, with a stamped spoon marker and reminder to ‘Keep Calm and Garden On’.

And an orphaned transferware tureen lid was missing its bowl. . .

I adopted it from a consignment store 20+ years ago and gave it a home.

And a Williamsburg Aviary by Wedgwood single cup and saucer is perfect for nesting, no matter what the season.

 Autumn’s Delight by Johnson Brothers has a brown and multi-colored fruit pattern. I’m delighting in autumn this week and looking forward to a few days of crisp, cool weather finally, with highs in the 60s instead of the 80s, perfect fall nesting weather!

Hope you’re enjoying a little fall nesting weather where you are!

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday


  51 comments for “Fall Nesting: Brown Transferware and Hydrangeas in the Potting Shed

  1. Susan Lewis
    October 16, 2017 at 6:35 am

    Absolutely beautiful!! Your transferware collection is wonderful! I have never seen some of these patterns. Very inspiring post!!

  2. October 16, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Had to chuckle at your drying dishes comment… I think my G-Mom-B may have lost a dish or two to a helper as well:@) Very pretty Mary, it’s always fun to spy a nice addition to a collection and bring it home to enjoy!

  3. Kathi
    October 16, 2017 at 7:00 am

    This post really puts me the in the Fall mood (finally). We here in North Georgia experience pretty much the same weather as you do…I am so over the hot and humid weather. This week is supposed to bring us much cooler temps. Today’s post is spot on for fall and is gorgeous!

  4. October 16, 2017 at 7:02 am

    I don’t know where or when my collection of brown transferware started either, Mary, isn’t that funny? You have some great pieces/patterns, especially those Harvest Time of your Grandmother’s. I love your latest addition – sweet, and don’t think I’ve ever seen Mason’s Ascot pattern. I have a few abandoned nests too.
    I agree with you – transferware is like comfort food. Have a great week and yes, bring on the cooler weather (although we didn’t have as much rain as was hoped for or expected).

  5. Cyndi Raines
    October 16, 2017 at 7:48 am

    What a darling birdhouse! All of your transferware is lovely and I enjoyed the stories that go with each piece . Sweet memories of grandma, very touching. They live forever in our hearts.♡ Great post.

  6. Linda L
    October 16, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Just a charming start to this fall morning. The bird cottage is just adorable. It’s cooler here in Ohio today. The warm weather has delayed the leaves turning colors.

  7. Norma Rolader
    October 16, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Just amazing and beautiful…I love all you have done in the potting shed God bless

  8. October 16, 2017 at 8:07 am

    One of my favs..Brown transferware..I have a whole set and pull it out every Fall.. it is comforting..it wants you to make chili or beef stew in your crockpot!! Love, love your table it truly is comforting ! Our cooler weather finally arrived here yesterday about 2pm.. Started the day in short sleeve shirt and shorts and ate supper in long pants and long sleeve shirt..WELCOME FALL!! 🎃🦃🍁🍂🌾🌻

  9. October 16, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Your mismatched collection of transferware is a delight. Since I collect birdhouses, yours is my favorite part of the setting.

  10. Karenlee Spencer
    October 16, 2017 at 9:01 am

    So beautiful…lovely memories… I remember washing dishes with my grandmother as well. I have some of her beautiful stemware which graces our holiday tables and warms our hearts.

  11. October 16, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Your bird cottage is so adorable Mary, I don’t think I’d share it with them either :) You make all the vintage chippy transferware shine like it was brand new with all your creative touches. This is indeed a comfort setting, and the dried hydrangeas are like a wonderful memory of summer, but tired now and ready for fall, just like we are! We are still waiting…but highs this week only in the 70s~

  12. Pamela
    October 16, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I love your collection of brown transferware! I only have 3 pieces but the one that sparked the whole love affair belonged to distant relative long ago so it is special. now that were settled into our new home this post is reminding me of what brings joy to me and I’m going to hunt for some more. thank you for a beautiful post.

  13. Jacki Salinas
    October 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Love it all! I adore my brown transferware and am so happy every time I look at it. What is the pattern name for the plate the little solitary lid is sitting on? Thanks!

    • October 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Thanks Jacki! It’s Johnson Brothers Devonshire 🍽😀

  14. October 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Your grandmother’s dishes are so beautiful and I enjoyed you sharing this memory. I love nests and birds so this is one of my favorite posts. I love the fact you adopted the tureen lid…it has a wonderful home and gets to be a star!

  15. Donna B Oliphint
    October 16, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Love the Harvest Time pattern! Makes me wish I had gotten another pattern besided the Turkey that I have since I can only use it one day a year. I do have a question: Where do you keep all of your china/dishware? Do you box it or, or do you have enough cabinets to handle all of the patterns, or have you come up with a neat storage idea you could share?

  16. Debbie
    October 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Very beautiful.

  17. Vikki
    October 16, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Okay, so now I need to go out and find some brown transferware. I always love your arrangements using your collections. Vikki in VA

  18. October 16, 2017 at 11:38 am

    You’re so right about brown transferware and your collection is BEAUTIFUL and truly honors the best parts of this type of dinnerware. Thanks for this lovely post.

  19. Melinda Perkins
    October 16, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Yours is the loveliest blog ever. I look forward to it and enjoy it tremendously! You have the cutest ideas, most beautiful vignettes, and extra special recipes. I love seeing your fine photography and your ideas are so inspiring. I always enjoy taking a trip to your place. By the title, I mistakenly thought it was about coastal style decorating. Instead, I found all my favorite things! The gardening and potting shed are my favorites. Thanks for all the fun! And how do you store all your beautiful things and keep track of them? Your fan, Melinda

  20. Vanessa
    October 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Love the bird house! If I were a bird, I would not mind living in this cute little house. :)

  21. Marion
    October 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Your Brown Transferware is beautiful.

  22. Marilyn
    October 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    What a beautiful collection of Brown Transferware. The bird glasses are so lovely.

  23. Joan
    October 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    A wonderful collection. I liked your thoughts on your grandmother. I have a few glasses and a Turkey platter from my maternal grandmother.

  24. October 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    I have fallen in love with brown transferware, Mary, and love using the pieces in the Fall. I can just picture you drying dishes for your grandma, and I’m sure using those dishes does evoke happy memories of her. You always find special uses for all your adopted pieces, Mary, and we love seeing how you use them.

  25. October 16, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Love the brown transferware and the bird glass is really special.

  26. Sue
    October 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Always love how you incorporate your flowers with your table settings. Where though, do you store your different dishes and knickknacks?

  27. Rattlebridge Farm
    October 16, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Mary, I love brown transferware, too, and each fall, it fills the house with a warm, cozy feeling. Your adopted pieces are so lovely. And the pebble chimney on the bird house is so detailed, it makes me wish I was a bird so I could build a nest! Loved visiting with you today!

  28. Virginia
    October 16, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Mary, I just love this post, your mismatched collection of brown transferware is displayed beautifully with the dried hydrangeas and bird house, and the memories of drying dishes with your grandmother so sweet. Thanks for sharing your exceptional talent.

  29. October 17, 2017 at 12:37 am

    This is one of my favorite tablescapes. It is so pretty, everything is just perfect and I love your transferware….Christine

  30. Ricki Treleaven
    October 17, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Brown transferware is my favorite! Everything is beautiful, Mary!

  31. October 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    So pretty! I think I need to bring out my transferware and set the table!!

  32. Evelyn
    October 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Oh, my!!! These photos are dream worthy!! I adore all transferware, but there is just something magical about the brown! It just tugs at my heartstrings! You collection and display are wonderful!

  33. Bonnie
    October 17, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your Brown transfer ware post, lovely photos of your collection. I, too, like different pieces of china used together. The garden accents are charming. I would love to have a tea party in your potting shed.

  34. October 18, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Brown transferware and hydrangeas, a perfect combination!

  35. October 18, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I so love your Grandmother’s Harvest Time dinnerware…I have a similar pattern of Pomona…just love the brown transferware with the fruit patterns. I always love it when you set the table in the Potting Shed. The Potting Shed always comes to life when you work your magic! I can honestly say that it would be so hard to choose a favorite season in the shed as it is amazing in every season and holiday…and every day for that matter!

  36. Kellie
    October 18, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I love all the brown transferware and all of your pretty dishes. Thank you for sharing. I feel a visit to the antique mall coming on!

  37. October 18, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Mary, I love brown transferware…I agree it puts me in the autumn spirit. Harvest Time is a favorite and wish I had a few pieces! Your fall nesting definitely puts me in the spirit!

  38. October 19, 2017 at 10:58 am

    The colors in the first plate are my fave! So gorgeous. And the utensils tucked into the glove! Oh my! Beautiful table made even better by the memories of your grandmother. Love this table.

  39. Kim
    October 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    How beautiful and inspiring! You make me want to start looking at antique malls and start my own collection. You have gorgeous pieces. Bumps and chips make them more special and deep with character and history. Wonderful!

  40. October 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    There is something about brown transferware that is irresistible. Now I think about it, all transferware is irresistible to me.

  41. jo
    October 24, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Harvest Time is my everyday pieces year round, I never tire of its beauty no matter how chipped. I picked mine up at a junk store long with one autumn delight. Thanks for the beauty you share.

  42. October 28, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    As always your talents draw me in to a world where it all looks so beautiful.

  43. November 19, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I am in awe of the time you must spend creating all your vignettes to say nothing about the time it takes to get just the right photos!

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