My mom has been gone for almost four years now, but she lives on in me and in her antique collections and furniture that now fill my home.


My mom passed away in June 2019 after a long illness. Not a day has gone by since then that I have not thought of and missed her. She was my mom, but as an adult, she was also one of my favorite people to spend time with. She was fun, energetic, and interesting, always there with a good story to tell and ready for an adventure.

My mother visited our property here in Maine when we still had the two small cottages, before we built the new house. I am sad that she never got to see this house or spend time here. She would have loved it.

About the same time we were building the house here, my parents moved into a place that would be easier for my mom to navigate and where she could get needed assistance. It was hard to say goodbye to my childhood home, but since they were downsizing significantly, it meant that my sisters and I could incorporate pieces from that home into our own places.

So, when I look around this new home here in Maine, I always feel my mom’s presence.

Come along with me as I share some of her special collections and antiques!

Blue and White Transferware

I come from a family of collectors. My grandfather collected antique treen (small carved wooden pieces). My grandmother filled the front window in her house with colorful glass. And my mom collected many things, but her true love was antique blue and white transferware dishes.

My mom and dad lived in London in the early 1980’s. During that time, and on frequent trips there after they moved back to the States, my mom bought up every existing piece of antique blue and white transferware. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but her collection was huge. She had so much that even after dividing it between my dad, sisters, and me, we all still have sizable collections.

My mom used to get up at dawn to hit the antiques markets in London. She really knew her stuff — checking each piece for damage and hallmarks. She could tell so much about a piece just by the feel of it. Her collection included not just classic “Willoware” pieces, but many other more unusual patterns. And dishes for all different uses — from traditional platters, plates, and bowls to asparagus holders, nursing cups, drainers, toast holders. leaf-shaped nut dishes, and more!

I love all the blue and white I got from my mom, but my favorite pieces are the hops and barley pubware — mugs and a jug — that I always display on the dining room mantel.

I plan on doing a whole blog post on antique blue and white transferware at some point. First I will need to do some research — I did not learn enough about it from my mom when I could!

Furniture Pieces

My parents house was filled with beautiful antique furniture, most of which they also purchased when they lived in London. To me, nothing adds more character to a home than one-of-a-kind antiques! And I love how you don’t need to worry about those pieces getting dinged or scratched. If they do, it just adds more age, patina, and history!

Here are some of these special pieces that grace our home!

Giant Sideboard

This massive English sideboard resided in my parents’ kitchen. I believe they had a space designed specifically for it when they renovated. I could not take advantage of such planning. By the time I claimed it as mine, the plans for this house were complete. Luckily it fits perfectly in this spot in the front hallway! I was even able to hang the shelf above it just as my parents did.

The detailing on this piece is amazing, and with all those drawers, it makes for great storage! I love the row of little drawers with the white knobs below the top shelf. They are great for holding stamps, pens, dog collar batteries, playing cards, and other miscellaneous small items!

Everyone’s Favorite Chippy Wicker

My mom and sister found this wicker set, with its fantastic chippy original paint, at an estate sale in Chicago. Getting it from Chicago to my parents’ home in New York was quite the ordeal. But it made it there, and graced their sunroom for many years. I think it was actually always destined for our home here in Maine, though! It couldn’t be more perfect, with its old Maine cottage vibe.

I took this picture yesterday when we were under the arctic freeze. Do you see the “sea smoke” out over the ocean? This phenomenon occurs when the air is much colder than the water.

Bathroom Vanity

This antique washstand with its marble top stood in the upstairs hallway at my parents’ house. I walked by it all the time without a thought. One day, though, when my parents were getting ready to move, and we were in the middle of construction, I stopped and looked at it. It suddenly occurred to me that it would be a perfect vanity in the downstairs bathroom! This piece was meant for our home here, because I already had a mirror that goes with it perfectly!

Cottage Dresser

This cottage dresser is everything I love in a piece of furniture : curvy lines ✔, sweet details ✔️, faux woodgrain painted finish✔️! I admired it for years when visiting my parents and was happy to give it a home here!

Sailors Chest

My parents had this sailor’s chest with the amazing ship painting in my dad’s office. I have no idea what the story was behind it, because it was really not their usual style. It is absolutely perfect , though, in our little coastal den!

Other Pieces

These are some other pieces from my parents house that I have incorporated into our home here.

On the left is a wood grain painted dough bin that I use as a side table next to the couch in the living room.

A small painted chest tucks neatly under the fireplace in the dining area. My parents used this as a coffee table in their sunroom.

This curvy wicker Victorian sewing basket is a perfect spot to drop keys next to the front door!

I love the sense of history these pieces lend to our new build!

Queen’s Bird

Our family also lived in England when I was very young. My mom liked to visit the Spode outlet, and over time she amassed a large collection of dishes in the Queen’s Bird pattern. When I was growing up, these were the “good dishes”. We always knew it was a fancy dinner when we set the table with “the Queen’s Bird”. These dishes bring back so many wonderful memories for me. It is such a sweet pattern, and I love how the bird’s position varies slightly on each different size and shape dish. My favorite pieces are the beautifully detailed tea and coffee pots!

I Am My Mother’s Daughter

All these things my mother carefully collected are daily physical reminders of her. Through them, I always feel like she is here with me in Maine.

Even without them, though, I feel her presence within me.

Like her, I have a thing for blue, particularly when paired with white. Love to decorate, arrange, and rearrange my home. Enjoy nothing more than the hunt for antique and vintage treasures. Am a clothes horse and fully admit that I own too many pairs of shoes. Love to prepare a meal for family and friends. Can’t imagine life without at least one canine companion by my side. And am happiest when surrounded by the people I love.

I am most definitely my mother’s daughter.

The Greatest Legacy

My mother’s greatest legacy, however, will only now manifest itself.

One of my joys in having a family of my own, was watching my mom with my kids. She exposed them to new experiences and was so interested in what they were doing. And proud, so proud. There was always laughter when they were together. She adored them, and they were crazy about her.

Last week I mentioned that by the time you read this week’s post, I would most likely be a grandmother. I am overjoyed to announce that James Tadeusz was born Sunday January 29 at 1:42 in the afternoon! Mom, baby, Dad, and canine sibling are doing well! James is, of course, absolute perfection. And I, of course, am completely smitten. I can’t wait to get him into my arms when I visit Minnesota on the 22nd of this month!

Alongside this great joy, though, there is regret that my mom will never meet her great grandchildren. Oh, how she would have loved spending time with them! However, as I now step into the role of grandmother, I am grateful that I was able to learn from watching the very best. I hope to honor my mom’s legacy, so that James and the grandchildren to come will always feel the loving presence in their lives of the Nana they never met.

Thanks, Mom, for everything. Miss you!


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