You know how I’m always bragging about my Kon Mari lifestyle and not accumulating Excessive Stuff and so forth? (Yeah, you know about this.)
I got my comeuppance recently. No religion, even the Church of Kon Mari, is free of lapses and inconsistencies.
Last Saturday I was relaxing. Feet up, Instagram rolling.
Instagram likes to suggest things that I might like. Instagram is really good at this.
Sometimes it’s a hilariously rude dog.
And sometimes, it’s a mitten inspired by Royal Copenhagen china.
(The Porcelain Flowers mitten pattern is in Nina Granlund Sæther’s 2016 book, Mittens from Around Norway.)
Royal Copenhagen china is the absolute best. It’s blue and white. It’s old-school and old-lady, but they’ve managed to update it brilliantly into a mix-and-matchable line of heirlooms. I don’t own a single piece of it, but I once gave a plate to Belinda for her purposely-unmatched set of “posh plates,” and to this day when I am dining on Tudor Road, I request My Plate.
Oh boy, was Instagram right. I re-grammed Nina’s photo immediately. This led to wonderful conversations with Instagram pals about blue and white china and how much we love it. This led me to remember that Most Moisturized Mom once had a set of Johnson Brothers china in the “Indies” pattern, a Royal Copenhagen for the masses. MMM could teach Kon Mari a thing or two, because she had unburdened herself of this lovely set, which has great sentimental value because it was a surprise gift from Great-Aunt Elsie in the 1960s, when MMM didn’t have any “good dishes.” One afternoon, a big box just showed up from J.L. Brandeis & Sons department store, with an Indies service for 8.
Not only did MMM get rid of the precious Indies, she skipped a generation, passing it along to my niece, without so much as asking any of her own children if we wanted it.
MMM is a Kon Mari badass.
The niece also has the Kon Mari gene, so one time when I was reminiscing about the famous Indies set from Aunt Elsie and its marvelous square dessert plates, she said, “I think Grandma gave that to me. It’s still in the box. Do you want it?”
Reader, I took the set.
Johnson Brothers Indies. Apparently the marvelous square plates are a Johnson Brothers thing.
Either we are three generations of Kon Mari genius, or we are an epic Kon Mari fail, unable to get rid of a set of china that nobody has used in 50 years. But here’s the thing: I love that set. It’s dishwasher safe! It’s blue and white! It came from Aunt Elsie! It is the very definition of something that sparks joy. The only problem is that it was a small set to begin with, and there were too many pieces missing for me to really use it. And I have enough Kon Mari pride left that I want to use it and enjoy it, not simply store it.
Saturday evening, inspired by Nina’s mittens, I went hunting on the internet for a few minutes, and discovered that Indies is widely available and (hurrah!) reasonably priced. They only stopped making it in 2009! In a few minutes of googling, I had replaced and augmented the dinner plates, gotten mugs (mugs! in the 1960s we had no mugs!) to replace the missing teacups, and doubled my collection of magical square plates.
The joy, it is sparking. I’m so happy I don’t know what to do.
Thank you, Nina, for your marvelous Royal Copenhagen mitten. And thank you Instagram for introducing me to a knitwear designer in Norway, Nina Granlund Sæther, whose fresh, modern designs are inspired by Scandinavian tradition, with flashes of humor. (This one is a particular favorite.)