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Recently I discovered that I had given away or sold all my dishes when I left Oregon in '09. So, I went shopping at the local thrift shops. Boy, even sets can be costly, and I kept finding things I could afford but didn't like and vise-versa. That is when it hit me. Why do my dishes have to match? Why can't I find unique place settings that give each guest a set of their own?
So, at the local St. Vincent dePaul store's "as is" in the back, where plates are .50 and cups and saucers are .25, I found these plates, saucers, and mugs and gave them a new home.
The next time you are thinking that everything should match - well, don't! Get fun and whimsical and find what you like. This inspired me to find more back in the "as is" section to use for planters, clocks, and to break up for frames and serving trays. If this inspired just one other person, then my job is done!
By Sandi/Poor But Proud from Salem, OR
I made a mistake about 10 years ago, when I decided it was about time I had a full matching dinner service for entertaining. The children were grown so there was little chance of it getting damaged and I would be more likely to have people round for meals
As it has turned out, I think I have used it twice since I bought it. Not that I haven't used any of it at all, but not as a full set. What a waste of money! I didn't even buy a set that I particularly liked, but one that I could afford. It's not an ugly set, but not particularly beautiful either. Now I am stuck with it and some is now missing.
Now that is the main problem, if you don't have a lot of money. If parts get broken, they usually can't be replaced to match exactly. Then it looks a bit naff if one person has the odd plate or cup. Do you buy a whole new set? And what if you have a set for six people and you have seven at the table?
So about 6 months ago, I decided that instead of having a nearly whole matching set, it would be better if every item didn't match at all. So I have starting on a quest to collect a totally eclectic dining set from second hand sales and charity shops and occasionally brand new. This way it won't matter if a piece gets broken because it can be replaced with something totally different
There are rules to this that I have made for myself so that I don't end up with just a pile of junk.
Don't buy a piece unless:
Every piece should make the user say "oh, isn't this lovely" when you place it in front of them. Hopefully in a year's time, I will have the most unique and delightful eating set in the world, and all for very little money