More About My Recent {Plate Collection} Obsession

I have been sharing with you about how I have started to collect mismatched plates for parties.  It started last summer when we had a couple backyard parties and didn’t have enough plates for everyone.  I prefer the real thing over paper…it looks pretty and saves us money on buying disposable since we like to entertain quite a bit.  So I put together a few plastic plates and some random white plates that all used to hang on our walls.  My plate hanging obsession has died down a bit, so now they go back to their original purpose of serving food.
I remember at one birthday my cousin {my little creative protégé} picked through the plates to pick one she liked…ah, a girl after my own heart.  Such an attention to detail.  From there I found that I loved how the bright colors added festivity to the party and that it created a cute and unique look.
Since then, I decided I would like to collect more plates, to accommodate more guests, and to add more color to my collection.  Of course, it began with plastic outdoor plates {no fearing that they will get broken} and has turned into a collection of vintage china and pretty flower dishes for inside or more fancy pants parties.
I still swear by having my serving dishes be white…timeless pieces that look great in our home.  But by collecting some inexpensive pieces for parties, I am able to mix it up without a huge commitment.
My main rule for the plates is that they have to be inexpensive.  I try to not pay more for $2 for a dinner plate, unless it truly is an unending love relationship.  I mainly look at thrift stores, yard sales, and the clearance section at Marshall’s/Ross/TJ Maxx/Target.  They can be as cheap as 50 cents sometimes!
A random note on this bird feeder…I picked it up at a thrift store because I liked the design.  I am not a big animal person so I was not sure how much I wanted to allure birds into my yard.  But since filling it with bird seed I have found I get so much joy seeing little blue birdies hoping around the yard.  Pretty and functional, right?
Like with other home décor items, I am enjoying the hunt.  Falling in love with each individual plate over time makes it a fun and exciting process.  I do not have enough plates to host a larger party, so my old white plates once on the wall will continue to stand it.  But allowing myself to find it over time and not feel pressured to have the collection right this minute, I am patient to find plates that I truly love and am able to spread it out financially.  After I have a more complete collection I would like to start looking for bowls.  But for now I am sticking to dinner plates, salad plates {for birthday cake} and colorful plastic serving pieces that match. 
What are you into collecting this summer?