A Thing for Glass ♥

I love glass. I love it for the same reason birds love it, it’s shiny.  Cleaning the glass around my house, including my windows, mirrors, and the glass on pictures is one of my chief (and some would think, strangest) decorating tips for the holidays.  Glass makes the perfect palette for candlelight and twinkle lights to shimmer and shine which does a lot to make magic in any room.  Like the trail Tinkerbelle leaves as she flies by. 

Receiving this dish in my early 20’s was probably the thing that alerted me to the possibilities with glass and started the obsession.  It was a gift from my Aunt Maroline and Uncle Bob when I got married.  When I first saw it, I didn’t know what it was or what I would DO with it; there were no bananas in it when I unwrapped it, so I wasn’t sure what its purpose was.  I love things with a purpose, so when my aunt told me it was to hold bananas, I jumped for joy.  It had a reason to exist!  I could have it!  The pure charm and whimsy of the thing took hold of my heart, and this banana dish has been on every kitchen table, island, or counter in every kitchen of my life.  It is a mainstay.  I would be bereft without it.  We are never without bananas in our house. 

Inspiration is funny.  You never know when it will hit or what form it will take.  One summer afternoon, many years ago, we were sitting at the picnic table in the backyard belonging to a French man we know here on the island.  He spread a white table cloth over the wood table, brought out beautiful cheeses on a board, and served us cold white wine in short, straight-sided thin glasses like these, while French cafe music drifted out the open French doors to his house.

 I thought, oo, la, oui!  How continental!  How adorably foreign!  How Charles Trenet!  I must have this!

And so it began, the glass collection that will never end.  Because





it was becoming obvious that to lead an original romantic life, on the model of the early Zelda Fitzgerald, where dreamy French music and entertaining would take place, I was going to need to gather the ingredients (props); these glasses looked like a good place to start.

We’ve collected ours mostly one at a time.  We’ll see one on a shelf in an antique store, it will cost a dollar, and we will jump on it like it’s a trophy.  Our eyes narrow and shift around the store, to see, does anyone else notice this wonderful thing is only a dollar? And they don’t, so we grab it and run.  What is a dollar these days? A candy bar is a dollar.

Because we find them one at a time, our collection of these little glasses is very mix and match.  We’ve found them in pink and green depression glass, etched with fruit and flowers, swirled, and hand-painted.

We have found them etched with the Lord’s Prayer.

We have found ones that we can’t believe have survived so long!

Some of them could definitely tell a story. We found this one from the first Queen Elizabeth in the little antique store on board the QEII.  It was not a dollar.  But it had our name written all over it. The Finding-Nemo seagull word formed on the lips, “mine” it said, irresistibly, as in take me I’m yours.

Over time, we realized that others, with slightly different shapes, make wonderful water glasses.  I know some of you understand this love of pretty glasses, because a couple of weeks ago we put three sets of these little glasses, colored and etched, in the Vintage section of our website, and they were snapped right up!  Sets are really hard to find but Joe and I got them out shopping as we were crossing the country!  So happy you (whoever you are) got them!  I will keep looking, when I’m out and about, for more.

We have found them in all colors . . . and have broadened our definition of “what is acceptable” to include different shapes.  We had to, there was no choice; do you look at these yellow jewels and say, oh dear, no, the ridges just won’t do? No, you do not.  You don’t even think it.

Setting the table can be like putting together a puzzle, a little of this a little of that.  But, for better or worse, however it turns out will be very unlike anyone else’s, because, as you know, you can’t walk into a store and just get this stuff any time, it takes a long time to gather this, a person has to be choosy and get just what she loves. 

Glass obsession knows no end.  It graduates from wine glasses, and gets its wings with serving bowls, candle sticks, and cake plates.  It was probably thirty years of antiquing before I found this at a price I was willing to pay for it.  I’m just not paying $200 for a cake stand, but I will pay $56.  Yes, I will.  Here it is, home at last!  Holding my mom’s famous Coconut Circus Cake with pink sugar frosting. 

Pitchers and ice bowls call my name too.

Early morning light comes in through the windows and falls across the dining table, and this is what we get, free of charge.

Glass star bobeche and colored-glass vintage sugars and creamers are perfect for the holidays.

And here is my newest find.  Something I almost never come across, do you recognize it?  Yes!  It’s a really beautiful cut-glass Banana Dish, about as perfect as it can be.  But, you are saying, “She already has a banana dish . . . this isn’t fair!”

And I am saying, “I didn’t get it for me.  I got it for you.” 

Yes, I did; this little jewel is going to one of you, and all you have to do to be entered for the random drawing is leave a comment and tell me (and everyone!) your favorite housekeeping tip.  Or, like last time, you can just say hello! Or maybe a Jell-O recipe would be good. 🙂

In a couple of days, after everyone is all signed up, we’ll draw a name.  More fun in this giant mutual admiration society of ours!  Willard starts going out this morning…today and tomorrow.  I’m off to work on my book!  Talk to you later!  Happy day to all! 

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,791 Responses to A Thing for Glass ♥

  1. Robin Crittenden says:

    what a pretty dish. It looks like Fostoria “Americana”. I have my mother’s crystal that she bought when she was 27 years old (1941) and I love it. It just makes me wish she were here with me still. I don’t have a practical cleaning tip but I know how beautiful crystal is when it’s nice and clean. The sun just jumps off of it and creates beams of color across the room.

    thanks for your newsletter and blog, I really enjoy reading it every time you send it out!!!
    Robin in Virginia

  2. Gail says:

    I too have a thing for glass. It started when I looked into my grandmother’s china cabinet and was fascinated by her collections. In the old days she ran the church rummage sales and got to chose some wonderful old pieces for a song. My grandmother and mother are both gone, but her china cabinet lives on in my home filled with goodies. My favorite glass is pink and green depression era, which we use daily. I also am a huge fan of English transferware, particularly Johnson Brothers and Windsorware. The patterns are endless. I love your china set on the table in this blog and was wondering if you could tell me the pattern?? I am guessing it is Johnson Brother’s Harvest time in a pink/purple color scheme. I am right?

    • sbranch says:

      You hit it on the nose, it’s Johnson Brothers Windsor Ware! No other name on it, but it’s purple. Lucky girl to have your grandma’s china cabinet!

  3. Natalie says:

    Hi Susan, Thank you for enlightening me to what this dish is used for. I’ve admired them at tag/antique sales but never knew what I would do with it. Now that I know they are for bananas, I will have to get one! My favorite cleaning tip is using a small amount of amonia and water to clean glass–great for cleaning up antique glass!

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks Natalie!

    • Sally R. Radley says:

      At last!!! Thanks to “Peg” I finally found out where to leave a comment,,,I have been trying and trying,,not good on computer can you tell?? I have just wanting to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading everything you write,,,was kinda sorry when your recent trip was over but,,am still enjoying your everyday blogs!! I have never written to anyone before so this is a first!!! Can’t wait for your new book,,sometime!,, I have all of your books and just opened a box I ordered from you and love everything,,,especially the white feather tree,,will leave it beside my computer all the time!!! Thanks to Peg I finally left you a comment,,,thanks so much,,,Sally from Oklahome

      • sbranch says:

        Yay Sally, so happy to see you here. You did it perfectly! I got one of the feather trees too, aren’t they wonderful? Such a good play toy! Come back soon!

  4. Judy says:

    I love glass too! When my dearest Grandmother passed away I was so lucky to get alot of her favorite glass pieces. I have cherished them and use them in my everyday decorating and her memory is just not far away.
    I love the bannana dish, of course I love the cut glass! I will keep my fingers crossed!

  5. Carol Anderson says:

    It’s atmospheric here this morning(most would say gloomy, but old time movies use such weather to get you prepared for a tale full of … ?) however it is just what usually happens here. I am grateful for usual days. You may try out a something that sounds so good you must try it for dinner (pulled chicken sandwiches cooked in a crock pot) or make a standby favorite. You can make something clean that you keep meaning to get around to doing, or meet a friend at the fabric store to buy pink cupcake fabric to make new aprons together! Our bananas have just layed around doing nothing for years while they could have been working on making my home look cute, what was I thinking letting such an opportunity go to waste!! Have a great usual day!

    • sbranch says:

      Lazy bananas! We have a dark rainy day and I am loving it! So cozy, just me and kitty — Joe has gone out to get the Halloween candy, being the hunter gatherer in this house!

  6. Tricia V. says:

    Susan- always excited when I see Willard in my mail- provides a mini vacation from the cares of the day, both inspires and delights. Oh, if you only knew the hours I have spent (spend) perusing your books with tea in hand! Fairy cones, Laura Ashley, kitchen gardens and all manner of “intimate delights” have kept me reading and re-reading for years! The encouragement to ‘feather my nest’ and make a home of beauty and comfort for my family is always welcome! Your works have been a source of blessing to me. On my list of life’s favorite things- Thank You!!!
    My favorite tip… For those stove burners that seem like they will need a chisel and hammer to clean because of burned on food- lay a long sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, then a sheet of paper towel on that. Pour some ammonia to saturate paper towel. Lay burner on towel and wrap so that towel and burner are wrapped air tight. Add another sheet of plastic if necessary. set out of the way for for several hours or overnight and the burned on crud wipes right off. Rinse and be happy!

  7. Lorraine says:

    Dear Susan,
    You are so generous and lovely! I admire how you appreciate all the little things in your life. I am working on that and it definitely brings more joy on a daily basis. My favorite housekeeping tip is to ask my husband to do it (whatever it is, especially vacuuming) – then after he is done, praise him lavishly and cook him a wonderful meal! Joy to you all!

  8. Vicki Sincell says:

    Always remember, dust is a furniture protector. Do not disturb!

  9. Glenna says:

    My favorite serving dishes are the glass pieses I have found at flea markets. I have never found a banana dish. Beautiful. Thanks.

  10. Nellie says:

    Just wanted to let you know how this post on glass has affected me. Yesterday, antique shopping in a neighboring county, there were pink glasses on the shelves just crying out for me to bring them home with me! So, I did! Also, I saw a banana dish in one of the shops, maybe the first one I’ve ever seen. I can hardly wait to use my “new” pink glasses! They appear so delicate that I’ll probably be nervous using them. xoxo

  11. Janet Conn says:

    I love glass and dishes. So did my late mother. My grandfather once said, “Pearl, how many dishes could a person possibly need?” She promptly and courteously replied. “Oh, I don’t know, how many tools could a person possibly need?” He said, “touche.” She was always funny, but respectful. : ) I have never seen a banana dish before, but absolutely love it. My favorite housecleaning tip is to use vinegar and water for cleaning. It works fine in almost any situation and keeps all the harmful chemicals out of my house. Happy Halloween! Janet

  12. Grace says:

    My best housekeeping tip never varies. As is so often true, the old chestnuts deliver the best advice: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” in particular, is a valuable policy. It will keep your home neat, organized, and feeling cozy. Clutter kills cozy.

  13. Insead of a housekeeping tip, I will tell you that at our house we call them “gamanas” because that is how my sweet 13 year old son said “bananas” when he was a sweet, sweet baby.

  14. Kaathy says:

    Hi Susan,
    My favorite home keeping tip is to surround yourself with things you love.

  15. Sally A Marshall says:

    I have never seen a banana dish before I going to start looking for one.
    Tip: Windows outside
    1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda and 2 gallon of water.
    Used a brush to wash windows and hose it off, done in minutes.

  16. Sandy Richmond says:

    This isn’t exactly a “tip”, but I love cleaning my house when I am home alone.
    I can get so much more done with no interruptions. For the girlfriends that have little ones, here is something my Mom did when I was little. She would put on marching tunes, and my brothers and I would clean to the music- it made it fun and I’m sure it kept us moving faster. I am enjoying all of these tips and recipes coming in- now I need to take the time to go thru all of them!
    Thanks again for making this so much fun for all of us!

    • sbranch says:

      How cute the marching music is!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Sandy is my BF from 7th grade! Her mother, Dorothy, was a genius in raising children and keeping a wonderful home. She used to have me over to bake Christmas cookies with she and Sandy–it was so much fun! We have a lot of good memories of both of Sandy’s parents. Norm and I used to take them to Lutefisk dinners in the Fall when they got older and driving at night was hard for them. We loved those times together as they were so much fun to be with! I learned well from her–sometimes I put on zippy music and turn it up loud to help me get cleaning done faster! 🙂

    • Ann Y. says:

      I am just getting around to reading all the tips now and I feel just like you….My husband sometimes needs to go into the office on Saturday mornings and I love being home alone and cleaning our home. I feel like I am giving it love and thanks for being such a good house. I actually just finished…it looks and smells wonderful. I thought I was the only one..thanks for sharing your thoughts ! Love the band music…for me it’ show tunes….

  17. Susan (CLBCQ) says:

    I love the old glass storage containers from my grandma’s kitchen… complete with glass knobbed covers! My grandma also had these nifty wax paper plastic like bowl covers with elastic to hug the bowl… like a hair net idea… so much better than using plastic wrap all of the time! I have a friend who has some… I need to hunt them down… oh, and by the way, the darling Jones children eat A WHOLE BUNCH OF BANANAS! xoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Keeping that in mind! 🙂

    • Doreen Strain says:

      Susan (CLBCQ), you can buy those plastic covers with the elastic in them from a place called “American Pie” on Main St. in Chatham, NY 12037. Just google them and I’m sure they would be kind enough to mail you what you would like. Chatham is a small very quaint town in Upstate, NY. This store “American Pie” is one of those stores you can find all kinds of different things. I love the tea towels they have too. Just thought I’d mention it to you since you said you needed to hunt them down. I have several of those covers from the last time I went into that store. FOSB 4~ Ever! ~ Doreen ~

  18. Ranay says:

    I enjoy reading your Willard and you blog. You have such joy and inspiration that helps me come up with my own ways to celebrate life.
    Thank you

  19. Teresa Jensen, CA says:

    Love it!!!

  20. Elaine Ohgi says:

    I love glass dishes, too. I don’t have a favorite house keeping hint, but I get lots of hints and encouragement from The Flylady. My favorite is, “You are not behind, just start where you are.”

  21. Heather M says:

    My, but this dish is gorgeous! I especially love the ‘hobnail’ pattern as it is the one favourite my Mom likes to collect (hint, hint hee!)
    As for cleaning tip, having a lot of arthritis means looking for ways to get as much accomplished with minimum effort. I use those new Lysol (or other brands) wipes. They have really made a difference in my cleaning by making it fast and efficient. One in the bathroom (that sink is shiny in mere moments!) and one in the kitchen – Fabulous!
    Thanks so much for your lovely newsletter. I look forward to relaxing with a cuppa everytime I receive one in my mailbox!
    Thanks also for the chance to win this yummy dish!
    Heather in Montreal, Canada

  22. Marissa says:

    I enjoyed reading Willard this morning, Susan. What a beautiful collection of glass you have! There is nothing prettier than sparkling glass near windows and candles – It is truly magical! I adore your mom’s Coconut Circus cake. How cute is that?! That cake just has to bring a smile to your face before even taking the first bite. 🙂

  23. Marion Powell says:

    Help! It seems everytime I add a comment, my email address comes up as being on hold and checked. This is my family email address, using our initials. I need to be able to enter the contest. I love your writings! Thanks for all you do.

    • sbranch says:

      You are in Marion, I don’t know what has happened, but I know I’ve seen two other entries, and have answered them both. Gremlins again!

  24. Shirley says:

    Love the joys of glass pieces I’ve found or inherited from loved ones. Did not know a Banana Dish existed prior to your post! My hint: We put in a jacuzzi bath tub a couple of years ago & have been buying the commerical cleaners (expensive). Recently saw a hint I’ll pass on that works great. Fill tub above the jets, add 1 Cup bleach & 1/4 to 1/2 Cup granular dish washer soap and let the tub agitate half an hour, drain, scrubb a little with a brush, refill with clean water & agitate again…Wala…a sparkling tub and the bathroom smells really clean & fresh too. Love reading and checking for your blog every day.

  25. Raynore Jones says:

    I don’t know how much of a tip this is, but to get ready for the holidays I DUST everywhere, really well. I love the clean surfaces and they give me a chance to get all my Christmas glassware and decorations out and put them in just the right places. I have so many decorations from moving as a Military Wife, and they are clambering to be the ones that get put out each year!!

  26. Linda Napier says:

    I love glass too and have several pieces. The banana dish is awesome! I didn’t know what it was used for…Thanks!

  27. Karen says:

    Beautiful banana dish! I saw one in your store several years ago and I’m still kicking myself for not buying it. How did I let it get away?

  28. Mary S. says:

    I just read the latest “Willard” – as usual, it is wonderful and made me LOL!!!! I especially laughed at this: “We’ve had a thousand of these conversations and we still like each other. I just wish I would have written more of them down. They are so dumb.” – ROTFL
    Love you, Susan!!!

  29. Beth says:

    Susan, during the mid-1980s I was teaching in Germany and was told of a man in our little town who did wonderful cut glass. I bought a bud vase and a squatty glass, and that was it because the stuff was expensive (but a nice remembrance to have from my two years in Germany). Before I left Germany in 1987, I was given another piece of this man’s creations as a “thank you” gift for my two years of service. My love affair with glass had begun. Since then my husband and I have collected pieces in antique shops and garage sales and from my mother. We don’t use ours as much as we should, but I love to look at various pieces of it displayed our our mantle or in a little grouping on a shelf. Thanks for sharing your experiences and for reminding me to be thankful for all of the wonderful opportunities I have had over the years.

  30. Marsha Robins says:

    What is the saying? Housework, done correctly, can kill you! I struggle with keeping my house clean after working a full-time job. I have several beautiful glass pieces I inherited from my Mom, who passed away three years ago. Some of them were passed down through her Mom. I find that leaving some of them, and rotating them through the seasons, makes my house look more special. My Mom was wonderful at keeping a clean house and enjoyed it. I’m hoping those genes will kick in when I retire in a few years! In the meantime, looking at these special pieces I have inherited encourage me to “clean up a little bit.” I have never seen a banana dish. I’m sure if my Mom had seen one, we would have had one. She was always eating bananas because her body ran low on potassium. I like them too. The dish is beautiful. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can add it to my home to add a little more “sparkle” to my somewhat clean home!

    Marsha Robins

  31. Barbara Wilson says:

    I love glass, too. One of my favorite things to do is purchase plates, cups, saucers, etc, at thrift stores. I save them for special things, and sometimes give gifts of food to my friends. I really just love to look at pictures in books and magazines with table arrangements and try to copy some of them.

  32. Kristen L. says:

    Wow! I’ve learned more than just a few things reading these great tips~ Thanks for the opportunity to learn so much from the other readers, Susan! My favorite tip, and it’s not really a tip as much as a motto, is to do what needs to be done when you notice it needs to be done. It helps to keep the house neat and clean at all times! I love, love, love, the banana dish. It reminds me a little bit of some of the hobnail milkglass I have. Our bananas would look so stylish in it…

  33. nancy earl says:

    hi susan I love glass and I love the bananas in there. we always have bananas
    on hand my husbands loves them I call them his happy food. I would love to win this little gem. heres wishing you a happy sunshine and rainbow day. Nancy

  34. Kate B. says:

    One of the wonderful things about you is that you single-handed are stimulating our economy and helping the ‘buy USA’ with all your inticing pictures of antique and vintage ‘beauties’ like banana bowls. We’re all out looking with new eyes at things in the antique and used stores for glassware this week, OMG we are being patriotic too, using one of the 3 R’s-recycle! I can tell my husband when I buy something new, “Honey I am just recycling!” You are our Wonder woman! Love ya, Kate

    • sbranch says:

      That’s exactly what I think!! Recycle and be creative and buy USA all at the same time!

    • Cynthia says:

      Kate B. that’s the way I feel. We are all watching out for each other. I also did find a web site that gives you the names of businesses that their things all sport the “Made in America” label. It’s called Made in the USA.

  35. Deneice Sorenson says:

    Hi, Susan
    I am a great fan of all things glass and have my own little, well, maybe not so little collection of my own special finds! When I turned 50, my fruit of life became the banana! And, now that I know there is such a thing as a banana dish, I will definitely keep my eyes open in my adventures in hunting those special finds! Thank you for all the beauty of your artwork, love each page of “Vineyard Seasons” in cooking up the recipes!

  36. Janice says:

    I can just see Zoe all stretched out in her kitteness in this dish. Love, love, love it!

  37. Karen V says:

    Hello Susan,
    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog and website, I truly look forward to the posts every day! My family would laugh if they knew that I was writing a housekeeping tip (I’m not exactly ready for any “white glove” test here), but I think that my one tip is to keep on top of all the mail and newspapers every day without fail…if not, I find that papers pile up all over the house! Each day when I get the mail, I immediately sort into keep and recycle piles. We even keep a shredder hidden in the dining room to shred all those endless credit card applications,etc It’s amazing how easy it is to keep counters clear with this simple habit.
    I’m so glad that I now know what a banana dish looks like! I love all kinds of glass and also enjoy collecting odd pieces whenever I find one that looks lonely and in need of a good home…. I can never resist!
    Thanks again for this blog, it’s my daily SB fix while I’m waiting for your new book to come out!

  38. pam erselius says:

    I love your cozy style. I have great lyrics to match the aquiring of your first banana dish: Yes, we have no bananas
    We have no bananas today!

  39. Kristen says:

    Susan…you make me smile with your love for glass…it is so similar to my love of milk glass. I search and search everytime I’m at a flea market or antique shop, no matter where I am. My mom and dad bought me a banana holder way back when I first started collecting and I’ve been offered a lot of money for it recently as it is supposedly rare and hard to find, but I will never part with it! It keeps my loaf of bread for me in the corner in my kitchen. It is so satisfying to find a treasure for such little money. I always wonder who used it before me..and I always find a use for them all! 🙂

  40. Darlene says:

    I adore your site, books, drawings and the blog has been great! I have been getting into the French music and I love the idea of short glasses for wine I have seen them but haven’t purchased as I thought they would break easily – but if they have survived a long time they will probably survive me so I shall begin scouting some out! My cousin encouraged me to just collect clear glass decorating containers as you can always do something with them to fit the event The banana dish would be most welcome in my kitchen!

    • sbranch says:

      Something else that I haven’t dared to mention, I put all those glasses in the dishwasher! The only ones I don’t put in are the ones with the red enamel on them, or the ones with gold. Those and my wooden spoons (and Joe of course) are the only things that escape the rule in my house “If you can’t go through the dishwasher, you really can’t live here.” I wash them by hand when I feel like it, but I made the rule because sometimes I don’t feel like it! They are thin elegant glass, but they are sturdy!

  41. Susan, I must have this! What a great thing to have. Everyone should have such a stylish way to keep their bananas!

  42. Brenda Winter says:

    My daughter Marla, who left a remark above, sent me the link to your site. I think I have just become a fan! I love your glass and the fact that you use it is wonderful. I have been a fanatic for over 30 years and have had to spread it out between my daughters because I no longer have room for it all. Drat! Nothing draws your eye like light bouncing off a beautiful piece of glass. I have bought banana bowls for others but, unfortunately, don’t have one for myself. Not sure I understand why that is. LOL Your’s are beautiful!

    How about a Jello Ice Box Pie – my grandmother’s recipe. Cool and light – a great summer (or anytime) dessert.

    1 regular sized can of Evaporated Milk – NOT sweetened condensed
    Pour milk into a large mixing bowl and place in freezer.

    2/3 c. water
    2/3 c. sugar
    Bring to a boil, dissolve sugar, add 1 small box of Jello (I like Raspberry best), dissolve the Jello and put pan in refrigerator so it can cool down.

    Milk should have ice crystals forming around the edge of the milk so now you get to whip it. Evaporated Milk will whip just like whipping cream will. When peaks have formed, pour the cooled Jello mixture into the cream and continue whipping to mix.

    Add lemon juice to taste and to give it a nice tang.

    Pour into a graham cracker crust and refrigerate. It is light, fluffy and, best of all, delicious! Hope you try it and ENJOY!

  43. Debbie - Strafford, MO says:

    Halloween thoughts: I love, love, love picking out the Jack-O-Lantern pattern and watching my husband punch and carve away with all those this orange handled blades which come with the store bought kit. His birthday is October 29th so he always has had “a thing” for Halloween.
    BTW, he is my Susan Branch cookbook buddy. We enchange your cookbooks on special occasions. Last year for his birthday I gave him Autumn. 🙂
    Thank you, for being YOU. We love you, Joe and Girl Kitty!
    May your Halloween be spoooooooooky!

  44. Heidi says:

    With the number of bananas consumed in our household, I need a dedicated dish. I’d love for it to be this pretty!

  45. Vicki says:

    I just love your website Susan–and Willard! We must be kindred spirits, because glass and old china dishes are my favorite loves! Youngest daughter helped me clean out the china cupboard today and chided me for hanging onto a gorgeous pink lusterware pitcher with a chip out of the top! “Are you kidding?”, I said. “That was my great-grandmother’s pitcher and wildflowers would look wonderful in it!. She doesn’t “get” it—YET. I’ll give her a few years (she is 26) and I think she will eventually understand my sentimentality!
    I absolutely LOVE the banana holder. I can just picture the golden glow in my kitchen from those yellow bananas in a beautiful glass holder!

  46. Millie Ray says:

    My household tip is when you are making hamburgers for your family, as you put the hamburger into the bun, return the burger/bun back into the plastic bag the buns came in. Then fasten the bag, you will have warm, soft buns, when time to serve, no need to microwave the buns. Love the Willard letters, look forward to the homey contents. Keep up the good work, Susan.

  47. Bonnie Jo says:

    Hi Susan. I collect Swanky Swigs and I love antique glass. Your collections are beautiful! My “tip” would be just to say that it is important to love your home, so you should surround yourself with things you love to come home to! My Swanky Swigs are displayed on an antique rack that hangs on the wall.

  48. Gale Hill says:

    Hello Susan,
    I love clear glass too and treasure the pieces I have. It’s such a joy taking out pieces for a special occasion – they are like old friends. One of my favorites was my mother’s, and it is a dish that we always put the jellied cranberry sauce in – it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it! So many we enjoy daily and others have a special place on a holiday table. Looking at your small treasure of glasses reminds me so much of opening my grandma’s farmhouse kitchen cupboards and seeing those glasses sitting in their place waiting to be used every day. I can’t tell you how special you are in my life – you give me such joy with your love of old treasures!

  49. Terry says:

    I love the glass banana holder! How beautiful! It makes the bananas look so schnazie! 🙂
    My favorite house cleaning tip is to stick with the minumum amount of cleaners.
    Keep it simple ladies! Windex for mirrors, glass and toliet seats etc. Toilet bowl cleaner for …well you know! Spray foam cleaner for your tub and shower. And last but not least pledge furniture polish. There are so many different new poducts out there it can make your head spin! I just stick with the basic cleaners and they work great! 🙂

  50. Sarah Vee says:

    I love this beautiful glass post! The banana dish is exquisite. Surely better than the sad metal thing on my counter currently! I have no real house cleaning tips – except to squeeze it in AFTER you have spent the day quilting and BEFORE company comes. I used to tell my mother-in-law my spring cleaning tip was to open all the windows and put the ceiling fans on high!!! I got just the look I was hoping for:)
    Thanks for Willard. It is my favourite newsletter in my inbox. Pat Sloan hooked me up a few months ago.

    Keep painting the world happy, Susan!

  51. Becky Antel says:

    Dear Susan,
    I look forward to reading your blog. It cheers me up on gloomy days here in Ohio and brings back wonderful memories of visiting friends in Oak Bluff with my sister. I love the beautiful banana dish and will keep my fingers crossed that I win. I have many lovely pieces from both of my grandmothers and my mom. I try to find new uses for them so that I can keep them out and close to remember the wonderful women that had them before me.

  52. Gloria Howard says:

    OOOOH!!!!! I never even knew I HAD to have one of these. Now that I have been ‘enlightened’ by your blog…I have to have this banana dish. My bananas are just always all willy nilly on the counter. Messy and not very attractive.
    Pick me! Pick me!!!! Pick ME!

  53. Liza-Ann Tucker says:

    A throne for bananas; how wonderful :-} You should do several blog posts on the sources for your antique lovelies in your town.

    A wise person once said you eat an elephant one bite at a time. This embodies my best housekeeping tip; do a little every day. I do laundry when I have a load, I tidy after every meal, sweep nightly, put things where they belong, wipe the sink after use …. little things so that its not a disaster zone on Saturday morning when I do a deeper clean.

    I also have a few favourite convenience products that make things a little easier. I use zippered plastic bags to corral stuff from school supplies to party favours, parchment to line my pans so they don’t get too gungy and cleaning wipes to keep surfaces happy.

    Thanks for Willard! Pure escape!

  54. Laura M. says:

    I don’t have any really good housekeeping tips, but all your beautiful glass today reminded me of my recently hosted bunco night when I used some different size goblets and parfait glasses that belonged to my grandmother. They have little feet on them that look like bubbles; they were so pretty with vanilla and pumpkin ice cream in them for dessert. It felt special to use something that belonged to her…I think my love of pretty glass has been passed down from several generations before me!

  55. Francine says:

    Life is short surround your self with what makes you happy

  56. Denise says:

    Hi Susan,
    I found a polishing product called”The original Bee’s Wax” and it not only polishes wood beautifully but shines glass so crystal clear that it absolutley sparkles!!
    Love your blog and all your videos and pictures, so lovely to see your cozy little island thru your eyes!
    Thanks for these give-aways, they’re awesome!
    Happy Fall!!

  57. Nanc says:

    I have a white hobnail banana dish/holder and love it. Hello :-)!!

  58. Carolyn Parker says:

    It is such a pleasure and luxury to come home from a busy day of teaching 32 third graders, make a pot of tea, put up my tired feet and delight in your enchanting blog.
    I love the gorgeous banana dish. I have a glass “optic block” cake plate that was a wedding gift to my darling grandparents in 1916, and I just treasure it. Grandma was the best cake maker. Here’s her Italian Creme Cake:
    1 stick margarine, 1/2 c vegetable shortening, 2c sugar, 5 egg yolks, 2c flour, 1 tsp soda, 1c buttermilk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 small can angel flake coconut, 1c chopped nuts, 5 egg whites, stiffly beaten. Creme margarine and shortening, add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth. Add yolks and beat well. Combine flour and soda and add mixture alternately with buttermilk. Add vanilla, nuts, and coconut. Fold in egg whites. Pour batter into 3 grease and floured 8″ round pans. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting ( 1 box powdered sugar, a half stick margarine, 1 8 oz. cream cheese).
    This is my granddaughter’s favorite cake now and I wish you happy baking, its worth all the effort! Carolyn Parker

  59. Denise says:

    Hello Susan!
    When I read your wonderful description of the Frenchman, the cheese & the French cafe music- it reminded me of THE best movie – “A Good Year” with Russell Crowe! If you haven’t seen it- you must! You will want to buy it….so you can watch it over & over.

  60. Lucy F. says:

    My housekeeping tip: No home is complete without your very own little kitty to love. My Abbey (also known as Mama) keeps my toes warm in the winter, greets me every morning with a rub and lick, and always reminds me when it’s time to go out to the garden. She “keeps” my home filled with love.

    Your glass collection is beautiful,Susan. I love, love, love the idea of something so pretty having been created just to hold bananas.

  61. Margaret Parks says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love the Blog and Willard. Reading it makes my heart happy. I too love glass and are always looking for them at flea markets antiques malls etc. Never have seen a banana dish I don’t think, but love it. My household hint is this, Baking soda for cleaning burner pots or pans. Honestly, it works, just put a wee bit of water in the burned pot and sprinkle liberal amount of baking soda. leave soak over night and voila, the burner stuff just rubs off in seconds, and pot looks like new.

  62. Eugenia says:

    I love glass, too. To me it is better than any diamond.

  63. Barbra says:

    Oh Susan, you defintely know how to put a dazzle of comfort into your words here — SO lovely! I most enjoyed the photos, the sweet sounds of music from ‘back when’ and loitering much too long here at your blog – such a sweet aroma of ‘everything nice’ Susan……with thanks.

    God Bless,

  64. Debbie Gage says:

    It’s such an uplifting experience every time I come to your site! I get inspired and somehow *HAPPY* just thinking about all the fun things I want to do to keep me busy this winter (as if I didn’t already have enough to do! haha) But these ideas I get from you are ever so much more fun! My housekeeping tip would be something I decided upon recently. Since I still work full time and enjoy my alpaca farm nearly full time, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for the grueling job of housekeeping. ugh! It could be my attitude 🙁 Anyway, what I have discovered is that I can “keep” my house with so much less stress when I work on making just one room perfectly clean each day. Kind of a rotating housekeeping schedule! The house is never tooooo dirty, and if there is company coming, it doesn’t take much to spiff up the rest of the house! Works for me! Thank you for all you do for me, including the lesson on banana dishes! You make me smile, Susan!

  65. Bonnie Alexander says:

    I have never seen a banana dish in my life, but I absolutely love it! And how I love glass…when my grandma passed away, I was lucky enough to get all of her “special dishes”. Not having lots of money, they weren’t Waterford Crystal, but from the Heisey Glass Factory, which is no longer in existence. My oldest daughter has already said that she wants all of grandma’s glass dishes. I don’t think she’s even thinking about sharing with her 2 sisters! 🙂 Anyway, thanks for confirming my appreciation of beautiful glass!
    Bonnie in Colorado Springs, CO

  66. Bonnie Alexander says:

    Oh, my, I forgot to leave a tip…
    Mine is really simple. When you don’t have time to clean, always keep the counters cleaned off and dishes out of the sink. If someone comes over, they don’t look in the corners of your house, they just think you are a great housekeeper since there isn’t clutter laying around. Fly Lady taught me this!
    Bonnie in Colorado Springs, CO

  67. Katie Bulkley says:

    I don’t have many house hold tips, but I did see this quote on Pinterest recently and it sums up my view of housework.
    “Thought about cleaning the house, but then I thought: What has the house done for me lately?”
    thx for the Willard

  68. Trish says:

    How wrong is it that all I can think of is the song “Yes! We Have No Bananas”? And, F.Y.I., it’s sort of embarrassing to find myself singing that tune in public. Oops.

  69. Bev C says:

    Hello Susan,

    My house cleaning tip is one I found out by working out that citrus is a great cleaner. So I worked out that “citric acid” which you use in making cordials,cakes to have a citrus taste makes the best ever grout cleaner. You just sprinkle the citric acid on the tile grout add a bit of water and presto that gunk comes of. It is also great for cleaning the stove top.
    I have to say I am admiring your banana in the photo’s they were wiped out in Australia this year after the floods and storms. Very expensive, they say by Christmas time they should be more affordable. I think we will probably buy some to sit and enjoy on Christmas Day.

    Happy days.

    • sbranch says:

      Good tip! We sent our friends avocados from California, someone needs to send you some Bananas! Good care package! xoxo

  70. Janice says:

    I love the banana dish. I have seen dishes like that in antique stores but never knew their purpose. Thanks. I will be on the look-out for one now. I love bananas as well and have them always in a basket on the counter. But the dish is much more fun.

    My housekeeping tip is my mom’s, which is to put the kitchen “to bed” every night. By that she meant a clean sink, counters wiped, things put away. It makes a difference to get up each morning to a clean kitchen. It starts the day off right.

  71. Linda Trokey says:

    Yes! Another glass lover. I can’t stroll through any shop or antique mall withou checking out the glassware and recently my dad asked if I wanted my mom’s crystal (she died when I was 25) – my answer? Of course! I noticed your glasses with the etched flower design and mine are almost identical. I know have 8 wineglasses, 8 compote glasses, 8 water goblets, 8 cordial glasses and 8 parfait glasses. Thanks for some display ideas as I’m out of room but love, love, love glassware.


  72. Kathy says:

    My best secret would be to do a little bit every day. If you stay on top of the chores they don’t get out of hand! And I keep a bottle of 1/2 water 1/2 mint scented rubbing alcohol in each bathroom to wipe down the glass and counter tops with each day. Leaves them clean, sparkly and good smelling. 🙂 Thanks!

  73. Brenda says:

    Oh my goodness, I just love your banana dish (and all all your other lovely pieces). It is just beautiful! I also love anything glass and get most of my pieces from garage and estate sales. My kids always ask what are you going to do with all that stuff and I just smile and collect more. It gives me a feel good feeling to see all the sparkly things I’ve collected.

  74. celita says:

    Housecleaning tip… well, I will do a house organization tip… I easily get backed up on matching socks. Either, if you line dry them, hang them in pairs… or if you machine dry them, invest in small laundry bags and put a few pairs to one bag. That way they dry with movement to spare, but you will not lose any. Has done me a world of good to keep up with this…

    And… I love your cake stand!! and those glasses with the red lines through them!!! OH, they are unique, have a touch of color, and look like a real treat to take one away to another time in space. Just so wow…

    I don’t get to come by often, but every time I do… well, I wish I could give you a hug to say thanks… You are a breath of fresh air. God bless.

  75. Gail from Hingham, Ma. says:

    Hi Susan,
    I never even heard of a banana dish before I read your blog and now I must have one! They are so darling and I am on the hunt for one. My favorite glass to clean is the glass on my framed photos of family and friends. I have framed photos of the people I love everywhere in my home and they make me smile whenever I look at their beautiful faces. I use a spray of windex(with ammonia)and a paper towel to keep the glass sparkling. Enjoy this clear cold autumn day. Love to all the girlfriends.XOXOXO

  76. Susan Zetkov-Lubin says:

    I’d like to share a household tip to make long winter months more cheerful: Here’s a household tip for anyone who gets the Winter Blues: After the holidays and the Adrenaline has peeked and the Christmas decorations have been all taken down, things look less festive and fun. That’s when we go to our shed, retrieve our outside umbrella table and put it smack in the middle of our kitchen. We hang pretty light-up lanterns underneath the open umbrella and keep it just like that the whole winter long. We have “Inside Barbecues” and keep summer in our hearts even during the blizzards. When the first day of Spring arrives, we transfer the umbrella table to the outside and have a “First Day of Spring” party!

  77. JeannieA says:

    THANK YOU for adding Charles Trenet to my musical vocabulary and bobeche too! I always wondered what those dangly candleholders were called and Susan comes through with the answer.

    Got a new hiking song, too:
    always a delight to visit your blog – wishing you the warmth of autumn leaves drifiting by the window next to your woodstove 🙂

  78. Lee Ann Prowell says:

    I love bananas! This would make a wonderful addition to my kitchen.

  79. Molly says:

    The banana bowl is beautiful. 🙂 I’ve never seen one before, and I doubt I would have ever guessed its use. Like you, I love old glass pieces, old dishes, old linens. I found several old, rather battered plates and platters when we cleaned out my late mother-in-law’s house. I use them regularly to hold cookies, cakes, all kinds of baking. I guess that would be my decorating tip—use the things you love. Don’t just sit them on a table and look at them. Use them and wonder about how many other people have used them, washing them carefully and putting them away for next time. I like things with a history.

  80. Paulette says:

    No cleaning tip, but, you sure inspire me to go home and look at all my glass. I have a tiny house, so I have to display it in shifts throughout the year. We just finished a bought of having our large fire-king bowl on the dining room table! Also, with two 5 month old kittens, we’re being a little careful about glass on tables for awhile. Guess that’s a type of housekeeping tip!

  81. Kris Malkin says:

    Hi Susan! I have never seen a banana bowl either! Bananas NEED a special crystal setting! My best cleaning tip is just to turn the music to the 60’s tunes! I love great music to get me in gear! When my grandson was an infant, I’d lull him to sleep by vacuuming with one arm and holding him in the other arm! WOW! I had a very clean house that year!

  82. Kathleen Smith says:

    You put into words what is in my heart! Thank you, Susan.

  83. Mary Ellen Krivanek says:

    Here’s my tip- If a fly buzzes in and you need to dispatch him turn off all the lights-except the tv and stand by at the ready with a bottle of glass cleaner (windex is my choice). He’ll show up at the set and you’ll catch him and clean your screen all at the same time. This obviously works best at night, but on a sunny day can be achieved by drawing all the shades- except one and there you are at the ready! Spritz! Bye bye fly!
    I love your blog Susan- it is the break that refreshes me at work! And I would go just bananas for that special dish! Love you! ME

  84. Cynthia says:

    Susan, I just love this glass banana stand, & it would look so beautiful on my Christmas table, with my glass creamer, sugar bowl, & butter dish, that I will have out for our family Christmas breakfast. Every Christmas Eve we host, & since we live in the country, our parents/grandparents stay overnight. So on Christmas morning we all gather around for lite breakfast of fruit, yogurt, toast,cereal, coffee & tea, cookies & coffee cake, before we head out to another relatives house to feast again. You were the one that actually got me started with my glass obsession. In your Christmas book you mentioned using glass candle holders to decorate with, & the way they sparkle & twinkle. I did that & so loved the look that it just kind of spilled off into other glass things. I just love the way they shine all the time, in all the seasons. As for a cleaning tip, my favorite thing is this stone/sponge thing I found in all places a big box store (begins with a W). You use it to clean the tubs, grout, sinks, tile, all without having to use chemical. You wet it, hold it by the stone part, scrub & rinse. The stuff in the stone goes down into the sponge & poof the grime & soap scrum just disappears, leaving nothing but shine. My hubby is thankful that even though I like sparkly things, mine are alot less expensive.

  85. You-whoooo, it’s been a coupla days… my fingers are cramped from being crossed so long…:)

  86. Shirley says:

    Not sure if my post got through yesterday, it is the first time I’ve responded to a blog, so might have done something wrong? But, wanted to let you know I love checking your blog everyday, it is such a bright spot in my day. Thanks for shining a new light on the simple things in life.

  87. Krista T. says:

    Hi Susan,
    Just took a break here at work and enjoyed viewing your glass wear. So much fun. I’m sure each set or piece must have a special memory for you. I love the banana dish. Who would have known it was for bananas? not me. Beautiful.
    My hint is a window cleaner. It’s wonderful, no streaks. I not only use it for my windows, it’s wonderful for picture glass, mirrors, counter tops which makes them sparkle.
    1 capful of Woolite and
    1 8oz bottle of rubbing alcohol
    in a gallon of water. That’s it.
    One story I must share. My husband accidently dropped and spilled half of the container of Pear Apple Cider on the floor. Yikes! After soaking up the juice. I scrubbed the floor with my regular floor cleaner and after it dried, the floor was still sticky. I scrubbed it again. Still sticky. Then I thought what would get the sticky residue up, so I tried the solution of Woolite and alcohol together along with the water and 3rd time scrubbed the floor. No more apple cidar sticky. I swear by this stuff….
    I appreciate your amazing artwork, your blog, your calendars etc. etc. etc. Thanks for being you.

  88. Ritchie Saunders says:

    That lovely banana dish needs to be in California for the winter.
    I just love seeing all your pictures as it makes me feel closer to my daughter’s family in the Boston area and her 2 children in DC in college at American & Catholic Universities. We’ll be there for Christmas so hope the weather saves some snow for us then. Loved all your blogs and pictures about the Central Coast. We were there wine tasting in Paso Robles 2 weeks ago and they were still harvesting grapes. A lovely time to be there. Happy Halloween (my husband’s 75th Birthday) so getting ready for a fun party. Cheers! Ritchie

  89. Bobbie says:

    I love love love the banana dish!! I also love “traveling” with you and can’t wait to read my Willard as soon as I have a calm moment and a cuppa! Your blog posts always make me smile! My favorite household tip is to clean out the microwave by heating a cup of water in it for 2-3 minutes and wiping the microwave out with a towel- the steam loosens all the gunk!

  90. Bobbie says:

    I hope this doesn’t leave my comment twice- I love love love that banana dish! I also love “Traveling” with you. Your blog posts always make me smile! I wait to read Willard til I have a calm moment and a cuppa and can savour every word!

    My household tip: to clean the microwave place a mug of water in for 2-3 minutes then just wipe the microwave out- the steam loosens the gunk and it cleans up in a flash!

  91. Catherine says:

    Has someone won the Banana Dish? If not I would like to try. I love the way it looks. I like old jelly jars for my water glasses. Every now and then I find one in a thrift store. I also hang crystals in my sunny window, so I can see rainbows all day long.

    I love your site and love your art work. Thank you.

  92. Sandra says:

    Yes, I do know the contest is over but wanted to say, your outlook on life is a blessing and a gift. Many thanks for sharing! There are far too many folks who are frosty and crusty; to read your blog entries and Willard is a shot of pure joyful sunshine. Thank you, Susan.

  93. Patty O'Neill Fossler says:

    Each time I recieve your emails I smile to realize how many people reading them are so alike! No “Well behave women.” ! I too love glass….my south Florida home has been getting stuffed with it for so many year. Mismatched wine glasses are used for everything from wine to milk.! And even for taking vitamins! And now I know where our Finnegan (black and white, fluffy, rescued kitty) dashes off to in the palm trees. Probably posing for a photographer that uses him in a blog! Your creative art and wonderful recipies speak to me. I will be trying the maple/butter spread and the corn husk bread soo. So not a south Fl sort of treat, but seems so “fall” even when it is in the 80’s forever here!

  94. Kathy Housley says:

    My # 1 tip wash your canisters every time they need refilling. If you do a lot of cooking like I do, they never look grungy and dirty.

  95. Karrie says:

    I replaced one of the lamps in my bedroom with a 25 watt bulb – the soft wattage is romantic and soothing both at the beginning and end of the day.

  96. Gina Blank says:

    Love your banana dish! Now, I have to look for one.

  97. Phyllis Barton says:

    I found a Banana dish today! Thanks for encouraging me to hunt…part of the fun! I visited a few of my favorite antique shops and was lucky at the third one…three IS the charm! No Bananas in the house today so I draped some beautiful red and green grapes in it and it does look pretty!
    I live in (Colonial) Williamsburg, VA. and use some of the old household hints using herbs, spices and citrus peels to freshen the air and Pomander Balls for my closets.
    I’ve been a fan of yours for many years and truly enjoy all you do! Thank you.

  98. Karen says:

    Oh, dear… glassware is one of my weaknesses, too (as well as fabric).
    I handwash all my glassware items in Joy dishwashing liquid (also great for cleaning windows). Even though my kitchen sink is deep and stainless, I still use a smaller plastic tub with a tea towel in the bottom just so the glassware doesn’t “clink.” Oh, and I dry them with large flour sack towels or linen. Love the sparkle!!

    That sawtooth banana compote would be a most welcomed addition to my collection of glassware. Thank you for the opportunity to win it!

    I especially love Imperial Candlewick and Boopie. And snack sets… do you know about them? Cute little plates of all shapes, colors, designs with a matching cup.
    Here is my latest acquisition.

  99. Annie says:

    Ooooh…. How cute is that dish! Now remember, you said “housekeeping” tip which can have many meanings! For example,”keeping household messes out of sight!” My favorite is to quickly shove all paper messes into a lovely basket recued from thrift store. One, it “keeps” it out of sight when someone pops over for a visit and two, the purchase of these beautiful baskets recycles and helps the charity the thrift store supports!! My other tip is to put off housekeeping at all costs and do something for others or even yourself to bring on a smile!!!

  100. Mary says:

    Hi Susan!~
    Your thoughts and ideas always inspire me along with my other favorite artist- Mary Engelbriet. It is so comforting to read your books and website. The feeling is something akin to curling up in front of a cozy fireplace with mug of hot chocolate and a cat purring next to you. My best tip for having a home that is sparkling and inviting is to pray and bless the people in it with God’s presence and to invite Him to live there with you. My children love to bless everyone in their bedtime prayers and this is something we sometimes take for granted as adults. A thankful heart is priceless. Happy Autumn and blessings to you and your family today. ~Mary McCrady

Comments are closed.