#FridayFaves: Dishes and Canva, a graphics site for beginners

Nature Background Framed By Green LeavesWelcome to Friday Faves , a weekly blog feature in which I present two of my favorite things. One of the items is personal, the other is publishing related (but not promotional). You can expect lots of anecdotes and pictures.


This week’s personal Friday Fave is…DISHES!

Maybe because I’m a homebody and a nester, I love dishes. If I had the storage space (and the money) I’d probably become the Imelda Marcos of china. Alas, I’m maxed out at four sets. My husband and I have been married for almost twenty-three years and we’re on our fifth set of everyday dishes (they break). My most favorite set of everyday dishes was a blue and green palm leaf pattern that we had when we first got married. But we broke some, and JC Penney discontinued the set. The most versatile set we ever had was plain, unadorned white. It was so easy to change the look of a table setting. If you only have one set, I highly recommend plain white.

Right now, my everyday dishes are yellow ones from Crate and Barrel. The color has been discontinued, but I learned from the JC Penney experience and bought extra for replacements.


Years ago, my sister-in-law gave me a white tablecloth embroidered with gold thread. It inspired a whole tablescape. I bought gold and white china, gold rimmed glasses, gold flatware, and crystal and gold candle holders.

gold tablecloth


For years, I “made do” with an everyday set and my gold-and-white china. A couple of years ago I decided to collect mismatched china for a “shabby chic” look. If you break a dish, it doesn’t matter, and it’s fun hunting at antique stores.


I had needed a platter to go with my mismatched set. My husband and I were at a flea market when I spotted a beautiful platter. Unfortunately, it was part of a entire set. The complete set was $15. I started to walk away. I didn’t need another set. My husband said,”Are you nuts? It’s only $15. Buy it and get rid of the other dishes.” Well, I bought it, and kept all the dishes. And that’s how I ended up with four sets.

blue set

Do I entertain a lot, you ask? No, what would make you think that?

Tell me about your favorite set of dishes. Does it have a story? How many sets do you have?

This week’s publishing fave is…Canva!


This graphic cost me $1 to do on Canva. I used their background and uploaded my bookcover.

Canva is a design site that allows you to create graphics for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc. I have to thank author Lisa Medley for cluing me in about Canva. Until she told me about it (and gave me a quick 5-minute tutorial), I didn’t know it existed.

Cy-Ops series

This graphic was FREE. After I did the one above, I found a free starry background, so this graphic didn’t cost me anything.

If how to login to Canva is a question on your lips then read on – you won’t be disappointed. Canva is SO easy to use. It has predesigned templates for all the major social media sites (but you can also do a custom size). All you have to do is drag and drop backgrounds, images, and text. You can use your own photos or find one on Canva. Adding text is a cinch. If you use Canva’s photos, it costs $1 per photo. They also have some free ones. If you use their freebies–or your own–the completed graphics are free. If you’ve been using Photoshop to make your graphics, Canva will probably be too limiting for you, but if you’re stumped by Photoshop, Canva is just the thing. I think I’m addicted to Canva. I want to create a graphic for everything now.

By the way, I did my Friday Faves graphic (the leaves) stumbling through Photoshop. I plan to do a better one using Canva.

Canva page

This is what Canva looks like. You pick a template, then drag and drop backgrounds, images and text blocks onto the template. It only takes minutes to create a graphic.

See previous Friday Faves

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16 Responses to #FridayFaves: Dishes and Canva, a graphics site for beginners

  1. Kayla Lords says:

    I loooooove Canva. I use it for nearly all of my graphics, too. I’ve made book covers with it!

  2. Lisa Medley says:

    Yay! You are a graphics wizardess already 🙂

  3. I like Canva 🙂 So simple and user friendly – and a nice pay as you go attitude!

  4. Your collection of dishes is wonderful. I guess we all collect something. Dishes would be problematic for me since I move so frequently, sometimes internationally, but I have quite a collection of nice, light, unbreakable yarn.

    Canva sounds awesome — perfect if you don’t need to become a graphics guru. I use Paint Shop Pro, with is Corel’s less expensive version of Photoshop. So far, I’ve been able to do everything I’ve ever wanted to do with it and then some. It does have a learning curve, however.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I got the last two set in our current house, so we haven’t had to pack & me four sets before. My plan is to not move again any time soon. Since we’ve been married, we’re lived in four different states.

  5. Thanks for that tip, Cara. I had never heard of Canva, but it looks much simpler than Paint Shop, which stumped me from the beginning. I will try a few designs on it.

  6. Ashe Barker says:

    I’d never heard of Canva but I’ve been having a great time playing with it. Made some swish graphics, dead easy. Thanks for the heads up

  7. Thanks for the tip about Canva. I had no clue.

    I’ve had white or off white dishes for my entire adult life. Every now and then I’ll think I want to jazz things up a bit, but then when I look at dishes w/a pattern, I think “do I want to live w/that every day?” and go back to something plain. As you said, much easier to change the look w/linens or other decor.

    Having said that, I do love the look of mismatched patterns.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      When I break off my yellow everyday set, I might go back to white. One reason I bought the yellow set was because you could buy “open stock” and replace the individual pieces–then Crate and Barrel discontinued the color. Oh well, I probably wouldn’t have stuck with yellow forever anyway.

      One thing I learned from my nephew who is a chef is that food looks better on a plain white plate. Often plate designs are so busy that they compete with the food. Of course, a chef, would want the food and not the china to be the showpiece.

  8. Bethe Carter says:

    What a fun post! I love dishes, too, but collect various dishes for serving appetizers, sides, and main dishes rather than a complete collection. I do have an every day set, plus a red and gold holiday set at home and use colorful Fiesta dishes and ocean-themed dishes in Florida!

    I knew about Canva but hadn’t yet tried it. Once I figure it out, I’ll probably be addicted to it as well. Thanks.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Serving dishes are fun too. I have a neighbor who collects Polish pottery serving pieces.

      You’ll figure out Canva in no time! It is super easy to use.

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