The Every Ten Years Fiesta Collector: Ooh, Marigold

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

When I turned 21, I started collecting Fiesta, also known as Fiestaware in some circles, but to the true collector (and according to Wiki), it’s just Fiesta. It’s dinnerware — plates, bowls, mugs, cups, serving dishes and, more recently, bakeware.

I had always wanted to start my own Fiesta collection. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, my parents’ farm was 8.9 miles from the Newell, WV home of the Homer Laughlin China Company. My parents didn’t really collect it, though they had a few pieces. My grandma didn’t really like it, and I still maintain it’s because the dinnerware became popular during the Depression. Most who lived the Depression aren’t quick to embrace things that came of it. Whatever the case, my parents and grandparents helped me start my collection of Plum Fiesta when I was 21-years-old.

Or, in other words, 10 years ago.

I loved my Plum Fiesta. And then a couple of years later, I met the man I would marry. It’s not that he didn’t like the Plum color (which is purple for those of you who view colors in singular groups and not shades of), he just didn’t care one way or the other. The Plum Fiesta moved into our first apartment with us and followed us to our first home. Most recently, it followed us to our second home which, prior to unpacking the kitchen boxes, I was afraid the wide plates wouldn’t fit on the shelf. They do.

Even before we bought this house, I knew I would do my next kitchen and dining room in gray, white and yellow. I’ve been lusting after the color combination for quite some time. Once I started a Pinterest board, there was no going back. I imagined grand plans of refinishing the hutch that my Grandpa built in the 70’s in a bright, bold yellow. I saw chevron yellow and white curtains. I saw fun artwork in various shades of yellow.

I did not see Plum dishes.

Alas, it is my lucky year all around. Not only did we buy a new house in which we are slowly making the kitchen and dining room look like the dreams of my pins, but Fiesta released a new color this year — Marigold. It’s the 75th Anniversary color. It’s lovely. Absolutely lovely.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

Problem? It retires 75 weeks after it was released, meaning that production ends in September 2012. I never do things the easy way, do I?

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

I had been wanting to change colors of Fiesta for awhile. I had repainted my kitchen at the old house a lovely brown at one point and considered going with Chocolate Fiesta. I never moved on that idea, and I’m glad. Once I fell for my yellow, white and gray color scheme, everything kind of fell into place. A random sale made me choose between two shades of yellow Fiesta: Sunflower (light, “country” yellow) and Marigold (slightly more orange undertones and much, much brighter) sight unseen (minus some flickr searching). It arrived and, oh, I fell in love. Now I’m in a mad rush to get eight place settings and as much of the serving ware and accessories as I can possibly find between now and then.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta


I purchased two five-piece place settings (cup and saucer > coffee mug) and the famous Fiesta pitcher recently. Then I put everyone on notice: I am officially collecting Marigold Fiesta. In fact, after the discussion I had with my grandma, she got in her car and drove to the factory to pick me up a spoon rest, salt and pepper shakers, a platter, a butter dish and a gravy boat. Those are actually Christmas presents, but she couldn’t buy them and not tell me because I would have picked them up myself. Grandma is smart, even if she thinks Fiesta is too heavy. (As an aside to that, I broke one piece in ten years. ONE!) For my birthday, my mother-in-law gifted me with a lovely oval serving bowl. I seem to be coming along nicely.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

Next weekend I’m meeting some of my Pittsburgh friends for lunch and to raid visit the Factory Outlet Store in West Virginia. I’m mainly concerned with place settings and bigger serving pieces at this point.

As far as the Plum goes, I’ve been packing away place settings and sending them to the basement as I get new ones. Right now, I have Plum and Marigold side by side in the cabinets, which is very royal and regal and almost quite Mardis Gras! (Just add some Shamrock.)

Plum and Marigold

I can’t get rid of my Plum. It’s a part of me. And, to be honest, if I only change dinnerware once every ten years, I’m doing pretty darn well — according to both my grandmother and my mother-in-law! The Plum will be pulled out for use when I feel like it, just like my never officially released Sugar Plum Fairy comes out for Christmas and still will, even in a yellow, gray and white dining room. (Remind me to blog that one some day. Should be a hit!)

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

As Plum retires (in our house) and Marigold takes its place, I’m quite pleased with the way our kitchen and dining room are coming along. We still have work to do: the cabinets need refinished, the hutch needs refinished, we do eventually want to replace the floors with laminate and I have absolutely nothing on the walls yet. But things are coming along — slowly… as new houses do. I must say though, that I love my new curtains and my new Marigold Fiesta so very, very much. Tell me they weren’t made for each other:

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

Ten years ago I started with Plum. I had no idea that ten years later I would be switching to a color that didn’t exist at the time. I also had no idea I’d be living in a house with one husband, two sons and no pets. Of course, ten years ago I made the really bad hair dye decision of black and my favorite color was pink. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a slightly different person now.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

I still don’t know how to use an iron… so that’s the same. But that’s why I married a man in the military, I suppose! I wonder what color will strike my fancy in ten years. Or if I’ll know how to iron yet.

Do you collect Fiesta? What colors do you have? Or want?

PS: The Factory website has been redesigned. Amazon links are through the Affiliates program.


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A Bird Feeder with Family History

A few days after we had our new house under contract, my husband’s phone rang. It was about mid-afternoon, so we knew who was calling. It was Gramps, my husband’s grandfather. He calls almost everyday. Just to see what we’re doing. To make sure we’re doing what we should be doing, not doing what we shouldn’t be doing, to check on his great-grandsons whom he loves dearly, to give me a hard time because that’s how he rolls.

I listened to my husband’s side of the conversation and knew what was being asked.

In short, Gramps was making sure that we were taking the bird feeder he made for me with us to the new house.

As if that was ever a question.

I love birds. If you’ve followed me over the years, you know of my love for birds. When I found out, years ago, that Gramps could make a bird feeder, I asked for one. It took him nearly four years to get around to making it, but when he did, it was the Taj Mahal of bird feeders. Two floors, a heated bird bath and a tin roof. It was amazing and wonderful and brought even more bird friends to our old back yard.

So, yes, by golly, I was taking it with us!

Shortly after we moved in and settled, my husband went back for the white bird feeder. He had me pick where I wanted it put in the ground. It had to be viewable from my office as I spend most of my weekday hours there, so I picked a spot in line with the window from my office. But it also had to be viewable from both the window over the kitchen sink and the dining room windows. So I ran around the house while my husband stood in the spot that I had picked for the bird feeder. I’m sure we looked funny; him standing still, all alone in the yard, me peeking out of windows.

And then he went about digging a hole and burying the pole.


With some help.

LittleBrother is in a “helping” phase. Sometimes it’s… annoying. Because it’s quicker and easier when I set the table, but why would you say no to a child who wants to help. And it’s faster to wash the car without little hands and many questions, but the helping heart is so pure that saying no feels cruel.

So as FireDad attempted to dig a hole and set up my bird feeder, LittleBrother stood and asked his daddy a billion and twelve questions.

Bird House

Bird House

And really, it’s quite perfect. Because now my bird feeder that I adore so much because I love birds and my husband’s grandfather took the time to make me such a masterpiece also has the additional family history that our youngest son talked his dad’s ear off while “helping” put it in the ground.

Bird House

Knowing that I’ll think of Gramps, FireDad and LittleBrother every time I look at my bird feeder makes me smile. I love that something relatively “new” in our family has so much history attached to it.