Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Than Just A China Cabinet

Over at Tonggu Mamma's site... Our Little Tongginator... TM decided to do a China related post. Then, she made the mistake of asking her readers about their treasured pieces. So TM, this post is all your fault.

First...let me say I am totally envious of your file cabinet TM. LOVE it! And I'm not going to bother showing mine or MM's bookshelves. You don't need to know how ate up I am. (How's that for a blast from the past 80's term for you??)

So, like TM, our social workers and adoption facilitators asked us if we had anything already in the home that supported our interest in things Asian. Hah. We looked at each other and laughed. And the funny thing is that when we began our adoption process, we had no interest in the Asian countries at all. That is its own story. That we ended up adopting from China is rather a fluke.

Back to all things Asian.

My grandfather was stationed in Japan way back when...so my mother lived over there at one point in her life. Love hearing the stories. I always saw oriental pieces in my grandmothers home, and in ours also. Mimi would get tired of something and pass it on to mom. And with my dad being military and being stationed in Vietnam and Thailand, mom had cool new things to add to the Japanese pieces. Although I would not consider mom's or Mimi's decor as Asian/Oriental, it definitely was present.

So I grew up with a love of these things. My mom has a saki set that I am just biding my time on. Plus some carved wooden statues from Thailand.

When I got married I started adding little pieces that I could find here and there. Not near as exciting as I was finding them stateside. Then hubs got orders to Korea for a year. And as time went on and he changed career fields and spent all his time gone...he went to many, many Asian countries and brought me back little treasures.

So, to answer the social workers question....yes. Not only will you find Asian decor...you will find we make our own Asian dishes also. But, at this point I had no actual knowledge of any of these countries. After we choose China I began collecting and reading EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about the actual country. In the process I learned things about Korea and Japan and a few other countries also.

In China we bought LOTS of stuff. We have a bin full of stuff especially for MM, and we brought home things for ourselves also.

Since returning home I still pick up pieces here and there. I had no real plan to end up with an Asian decor...but its pretty much morphed into in by sheer volume. LOL!

So...on to the pictures. And as I said....blame TM.

Pre-Mighty Mouse:
A piece that belonged to my grandmother, that she brought home from Japan.
My grandmothers Japanese lamp. The movers shredded the shade this time and I haven't found a decent replacement.
Antique Mall find. Love the blue.
I can't remember if this was something Hubs brought me or if it was a gift from my sister or if I found it at a military BX. I believe it pre-dates all my children.
A set of 4 Japanese plates....they are the 4 different seasons. My uncle had these and passed them on to me. They are awsome in the super dark china cabinet.

The Korea and traveling years.....
Hubs brought me many cool vases from Korea. He also got this cool one with mother-of-pearl inlay for my grandmother (she loved him). After she passed away I was able to get my hands on it.
My only actual painting from Korea to survive the years. I love the carved frame on this one. It has been damaged and fixed almost every move over the last 20 years.
I have serval small pieces that have their own special glassed in "shadow boxes". They don't have a home yet but need to be hung soon. The tv we bought now covers the spot they were supposed to go. (Not complaining.)
Hubs mother-of-pearl dragons. He brought home lots of dragons.
Dragon book end. I could be wrong but I think he's the only survivor of the set.
The jewelry box hubs bought me. One day, long after recieving, I noticed what the cranes were doing.
Can't remember if he brought me these from Korea or Okinawa...I think Korea.
My Fu Dogs and dragon from Okinawa.

Brought home from China.....
I LOVE snuff bottles...especially the reverse painted ones like these. The middle two are the only ones I bought in China. I'd like to say I collect these but I don't know that 4 counts. But I always keep my eyes open for more.
More of the reverse painting.
MM's hometown is known for their ceramics. We bought two cool pieces for ourselves and one for MM. Its very hard not to steal MM's.
Hubs coasters.....looking like Chinese coins. He loves these.
My dinning room silk runner...very much like TM's.
We have an extreme amount of the Chinese Folk Paintings. I know I've done at least 2k in framing costs alone. I won't bore you with all of them.
One of MM's shelfs with her lion slippers and minority doll from China.
Painting collage in MM's room. We just changed her colors so these need to me redone. They are just in album frames and on poster board so its an easy fix...I just need to remember to pull them down and do it.

Post China....
Target rocks. Love the Tang horses...but couldn't afford any of the ones I liked in China.
Ebay is good for cool little things. That's where two of my snuff bottles have come from also.
Had to dig this Ebay find out from behing the Christmas tree. If I was a perfectionist...I would have dusted it. Hah!
Dollar General provided me with a set of 4 different coins for $2.
Burlington Coat Factory has provided me with many cool finds. I got about 6 of these soldiers for a buck a piece.
And this last week...look what my sister sent me in the mail. I guess she found this clock at an antque mall. Fun. MM loves it!

And I will be merciful and leave it at that. I could add Greek, African, German and other country treasures to the mix but I'm sure you are more than tired of reading.

Thanks TM!


  1. You would have a blast in China town here in LA. I had to be very disciplined not to buy the place out and everything there in the big market place we went into was great quality and so very inexpensive!

  2. This was the funnest post to read! Do more later, please. See you soon. ;)

  3. Joann - I could imagine nothing I would love better than to go to your China town there!!!!

  4. Awesome treasures, Autumn! One of my friends went to Korea for a year and sent me a couple "tea sets" I guess is what they are. Three pieces to each one - the cup (no handle) with another cup inside with holes in the bottom for the water to pour over the tea, and the lid. That's all I have.

  5. Oh, I LOVE it! And I am totally green over your ceramics (and MM's, too) and all of your folk paintings. But... umm... not the jewelry box. Umm... because. *grin* I had to laugh at the first part of your post, too, because we are waiting for my parents to give us some treasures from Japan, Okinawa and Korea.

  6. I love the collections - all of them. I try to get a little bit from everywhere, just because. Very fun!