Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blessings too numerous to count

What a wonderful Christmas! I feel very blessed to have a such a wonderful family, and amazing in-laws. There were so many highlights of the day that it's hard to single them out, but by far and away, the best feeling in the world is when the people you love know you so well that they can give you gifts that are so thoughtful and insightful that they almost transcend even being objects. They are treasures! It's the best feeling in the world to be able to hold something in your hands that is amazing and awesome just exactly for what it is, but what you really feel is their heart & their love for you.

And I can't even express how wonderful it truly is to have not just one loving, amazing family, but to have 2 of them. I am one fantastically blessed and lucky girl!

Hope this holiday found everyone well! Healthy, happy, safe and loved. Onward and upward to a bright New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas to me!

Christmas came early this year! Ever since I started collecting Pyrex dinnerware, I've been dying to get the other colors and make a mix-and-match set. So, my dear husband, ordered me a place setting in both the lime green and turquoise.

And like a little girl playing tea party, I spent the better part of two hours trying out all the various possible color combinations and taking pictures of them.

Watermelon-y. Yum.

He also bought me a lovely turquoise blue square chip and dip set. It's gorgeous. Every time I look at it, I almost cannot believe that it dates to the late 1950's. It's in wonderful shape, but like a lot of these sets, it's missing the brass holder that would hold the ramekin bowl above the larger bowl. (Shown here with yellow ramekins from the same era)

I want a china cabinet, so that I can look at these guys all time. So cheerful, and exactly what I wanted for Christmas!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Christmas Rant

Over the last 6 months, I've become a frequent thrift shopper. Some of these places are chain thrift stores, but about half of them are mom-and-pop private owner shops.

In the chain stores, the employees know us, at least by face, smile and speak to us warmly.

In the mom-and-pop places, same treatment. We get good deals and are treated well. We've been given small items just because we've shown interest in them. We've even been trusted to 'mind the store' for a few minutes while the owner ran down the road to the Dollar General to buy some tape.

We've been thanked, out of the blue, just for being regular customers, despite the fact we never really spend much money.

And I'm finding that these things are truly effecting my shopping habits. I've found myself putting off shopping for the stupid little things, like hair conditioner, razors, paper towels, etc. Or find myself picking them up at the grocery store because I don't want to have to go to a separate store to get them.

Last night, I decided that I wanted to get some of my Christmas shopping out of the way. I've gotten specific requests for some of those pre-fab gift sets that are all over the place this time of year, so I wanted to go ahead and get those out of the way, figuring that doing it midweek when it was slow in the stores might save me some trouble. I also opted to shop at Kmart, thinking I would deal with even fewer people.

The trouble is, I was overtly treated like a shoplifter. In a very short period of time, I was followed, and there was not just one, but two separate pages over the PA system of the "scan and record" variety. Was it because I was wearing a coat? (Sorry, Kmart, I was wearing a coat because it's mid-November, NOT because I'm trying to yoink Rock Band 3)

-The following paragraph should be read with sarcasm dripping like a black, oozing heart made of maple syrup:

Or was it because I had a *GASP* 10 dollar Stetson gift set in my shopping basket? Because, you know, NOBODY actually pays for cologne. It all gets STOLEN and that's the REAL REASON why your chain is always BANKRUPT.

-My apologies, dear reader. I had to get that off my chest.-

So with this concludes my Christmas shopping at all stores chain and box. I will order online from now on, even if it makes me feel stupid paying shipping on something I can readily get in store. And there will be no more shopping at this particular Kmart, ever again.

Oh, and did I mention that even though I was overtly treated as a shoplifter, I was solicited for a charitable donation 3 times in that one very short trip? Nice, huh?

I'm entering into this holiday season with renewed dedication to buy local whenever possible. And not just local, but handmade and vintage as well.

Watched this documentary last year. It's funny, sad, poignant & crazy. Definitely recommend it if you are feeling the pressure to overspend this year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Perils of Collecting

As a newbie to collecting Pyrex and other types of vintage glassware, I've found out two important things:

A) I can't spell worth a darn.

B) This shows no sign of improving.

And despite countless and frequent Google searches:

The word restaurant I will continue to spell restaraunt.

The word burgundy will continue to be burgandy.

The word refrigerator will continue to be refridgerator.

The word turquoise I just couldn't spell at all until I tried to make myself remember that I will type two U's before I get to the O & I.

And frankly, some people may prefer to call it Aqua, but I think it's because it's easier to spell, lol.

And finally, here I've managed to write a blog about spelling without covering the word I'm still never sure I've spelling correctly: Misspell.

Oh, the irony...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

1950's Vintage Love

Yellow Cronin teapot I mentioned in my last post. From what I saw, the yellow is less common than the blue (but they are both perfectly lovely in my opinion). This dates to the 50's and was an A&P grocery store premium.

This pattern also coordinates with DRU Holland enameled cast iron from the same period. I've been wanting to try enameled cast iron but am gollywhopped by the price. This may end up being another thing were the vintage alternative is actually better (and cheaper even!) than the current. *ahem*cough*LeCreuset*holymoly*cough*

Two early Pyrex patterns also dating to the 1950's: Pink Gooseberry & Sandalwood.

Pyrex dinnerware in Dove Grey. Cream & sugar in Regency/Forest Green. The cream & sugar are the only pieces I have in this color. They are gold rimmed and I'm trying to collect pieces without it. But they were 4 dollars at an antique store, so I could not resist.
And finally, all the rest of my Pyrex dinnerware. Flamingo pink. 4 of these saucers have the mark in-mold and are a slightly different color. I suspect these could actually be a part of the restaurant ware line. The color name is Coral. I don't know how to find out for sure other than post these to Pyrexlove on flickr and see if I get any feedback from the restaurant ware collectors.

The casseroles above are Blue Stripe/Blue Barcode & the green is called Square Flowers. I got the two smallest pink gooseberry fridge dishes and the two blue barcode casseroles the same day, same place for 15 dollars. On a different day, I got 5 of the Flamingo plates and the cream & sugar set for 15 dollars as well. The funny thing is, it's this crazy little store that mostly specializes in comics, cards, toys and general fanboy fare. But the guy who runs it always has at least a tables worth of Pyrex, Fire King and other vintage glassware. A real his-and-hers kind of place if you are into vintage glassware. Definitely a one of a kind place to shop, and reasonable prices to boot.

Great thrifting day

Yesterday I had one of those days. A pretty amazing day, in fact. The kinda day that I read about on other people's blogs and think, "Wow, I'll totally never be that lucky."

First off, it was half-off day at Goodwill. And despite the fact that I do not and have never sewn before in my life, I found fabric that I absolutely had to have.
I think this print is my favorite print I've ever seen. I bought it without even unfolding it. And when I did, I realized it was already cut to a shape that would be perfect for an apron.

And honestly, I don't even know what this type of material is called. It's thick & probably more suitable for something like drapes or pillows. It doesn't seem quite right for a tablecloth, but that's what I keep wanting to do with it.This one I'm thinking about framing. I have no idea what the end result would look like, but it just looks like a piece of art.

These fabric samples are small, but I would love to figure out how to make purses out of them. They're probably more suitable to use as purse liners, but they are just so outrageously tacky-cute I really want the pattern to be seen.

And finally, I got a cute yellow Cronin teapot for a buck-fitty. I want to post a picture of it, but Blogger formatting gets the best of me every single time I try to post a picture-heavy post, so I'll save it for later. And speaking of saving for later, I also completed my Pyrex primary mixing bowl set the same day. Not a Goodwill purchase, but one I'm very pleased with. All in all, good day out junkin'.

Friday, October 1, 2010

One Mans Trash Can -OR- There is Light at the end of the Tunnel Vision

(Sorry for the two blog titles, I was having a Rocky & Bullwinkle moment)

I believe I have just ventured into territory that even some thrifters would fear to tread.

I just bought someone's old (and obviously used) trash can. From Goodwill.

Even I had a moment where I paused, looked at my husband and asked if I was going too far.

He responded with his absent-minded-professor shrug and "Nah" - a manner that I've since come to learn means that he's found something he wants but won't tell me what it is.

Turns out, someone had donated a HUGE box of random vintage bulbs (mostly for slide projectors & cameras) that the hubs was deeply contemplating and would not say a word to me about because he had no idea if any of those bulbs would fit HIS slide projectors.

Once we got home and he had a chance to research, he found out there was a good chance some of the bulbs would indeed work. I said "Good. Go now. And take this box of donations with you."

Sad thing was, the huge box was gone. The whole thing. They had the bulbs priced at 89 cents apiece, and there were perhaps 50 bulbs in all. Now there's always a chance that someone scooped these up for a good reason or cause, but to me it seemed like someone knew these bulbs could be pricey a/o valuable and scooped up the whole box at once the same way that there are people who will buy 50 dollars worth of lottery tickets at the same time.

But my husband is a sweet man. Disappointed or no, he did the rounds, looking through plates, housewares and glassware for me. And in that section, what would appear but a small cardboard box. A small cardboard box that held 9 bulbs, the exact ones that would fit and were the right voltage for his projectors.

He had done just enough research to find out what would fit. But in his haste, he didn't actually pay attention to what these bulbs retailed for. I was the one who was curious about how much they cost to replace. Lowest price I found was 25 bucks apiece.

Holy cats! We got lucky. We certainly don't need 9 of them at the moment, but this was definitely like winning a 'lifetime supply' contest.

I will always be curious about the fate of those other bulbs. I'd prefer to think that a school or church is now well supplied, but I think it's more likely that someone with a little knowledge and cash to burn is dreaming and ebaying a Florida getaway right now, lol.

And waaaayyy back at the beginning of this long, long blog, I mentioned that I had done the unthinkable (ha!) and bought someone's USED trash can. Well here it is, freshly cleaned and sanitized, a charming vintage Rubbermaid that looks lovely in my bathroom.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

My new old Family

The Fired-On Family so far. My only regret is that this pic didn't include my grandmothers light green casserole (in use at the time that the mood struck to take pictures).

The vast majority of this is newly acquired Pyrex. All the refrigerator dishes were bought at an antique mall, all wrapped together with tape (and free surprise bonus diabetes magazine !?). No lids unfortunately, but the bundle was half price, so I was still a happy girl.

Also suspect that I'm one red and a whole lotta lids away from having 2 primary refrigerator sets (!). Completely unintentional, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get, especially when it's a decent price. I'm still unsure though about the blue. It's hard for me to tell. These 3 are all the same shade and seem more like Horizon blue than I ever imaged the primary blue to be, but I've never seen either in person. Hopefully, someone in the know will read this some day and be able to tell me for sure.

Also, I've noticed this: All 3 blue dishes have the Pyrex markings made in different ways. I'm very curious if this would shed more light on when exactly these were made.

The pink round 024 casserole was from Goodwill, same day. Very happy to find anything pink, but especially happy that my first and only piece is this shape. It's my favorite, I'm a bit sad that most all the patterns and promotional items are oval casseroles.

The rest of the family here is Fire King and one lone orange Federal mug. I just love the solid colors and wanted to have at least one picture of them all together as a family :-)

This was truly Pyrex motherlode day. It was my husband who spotted this lovely Empire Scroll (vines) promotional casserole from 1965. 6 bucks. Not too bad, especially since IT actually came with a lid ;-)

I also scored this amazing Hazel Atlas mug at Goodwill. 29 cents *LOVE* I'm also just a little bit smug proud of myself that I could tell it was a Hazel Atlas mug just from the style/looks of it, without having ever seen it before or even flipping it over to confirm. I've yet to buy any resource books (although I desperately need some right now, I'm too interested in spending money actually BUYING the stuff than buying books about the stuff, ha).

Newbies, right? All I need is the internet, a few resource books and an Etsy store ;-) Just kidding! I am in awe of the amazing finds (not to mention creativity and mad photography skills) of most Etsy shops & sellers I've seen. For me, it will be a long time before I've got the skills, knowledge, and not to mention, treasure-trove of goodies that I could actually stand to part with. Right now, I am buying for myself, to learn, to treasure and to replace a lot of the modern crap-ola that I've furnished my home with for the majority of my life.

Before just a couple of months ago, I had no idea the lustrous peach bowl I've eaten out of my entire life is Fire King. Nor did I think much about the green casserole dish or Butterfly Gold Cinderella mixing bowl that continues to this day to be my moms mashed potato serving bowl. (And it's still beautiful. Selfishly, I'm grateful that my mom has never had a dishwasher!)

I also never knew that cute little mug that looked like Tony the Tiger that was hanging around the house when I moved in with my husband wasn't actually Tony. It's the Esso Tiger ("Put a Tiger in your Tank!") that would later become the evil Exxon we know today. But he's the cutest little Fire King mug, you just can't stay mad at him.

So, I'm buying to learn and to fill my home with color, joy and pieces of American history. It's great stuff, plain and simple. And one of these days, when the larder is full, I'm either going to become a seller or a certified hoarder. We'll just see what happens first ;-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


There seem to be trends in what has been showing up at Goodwill lately. Even the website appears to confirm this. For instance, one of the random things I've bought lately are some mismatched Homer Laughlin dishes in patterns & shapes that were discontinued in the late 1950's. I bought these locally, only to see the exact pattern going on auction the same day.

One thing seems consistent, the 50's and 70's and 90's seem like the decades people want rid of the most right now. I'm sure there are plenty of of 60's and 80's being stuck in for good measure, but this does not seem like the bulk of what I've personally spotted.

For one thing, good lord at the Avon bottles and Beanie Babies. Resisting the beanies is easy, but the Avon bottles really-really depend on what they are. Especially the ones I caved on. I bought not just one, but two different owls, both filled with forms of Avon Moonwind. I'm not sure if I'm just weird, lucky or my smeller is broken, but the scent is still actually quite pleasant to me. I would go so far as to say I might order a bottle just to have a version of it that is new and less intimidating, if it wasn't one of those scents that has long since been discontinued.

No offense to those who rock the older colognes. I just have a suspicion that if I even so much as tried it, I'd break out into chicken pox-looking hives.

The types of dishes I've seen though, well, they sorta break my heart a little bit. The Homer Laughlin ones I mentioned earlier are both shapes and styles that from what I read ran from 1949-1959. One is rhythm, Lotus Hai pattern. The other is duraprint, Highland Plaid pattern. I believe they are both 'charm' shape.

These terms are still confusing to me and I've yet to really research them, so forgive me for mentioning it before I really know what I'm talking about.

At any rate, I just get a bit sad sometimes by the Goodwill fare. Chances are good that these dishes were acquired when they were new, and they were probably relatively inexpensive. Likely, they were used for a good long time before being exiled to a back cabinet. And these are exactly the kinds of things end up in estates sales, yard sales or given for donation.

This much is a good thing. There is a chance for these items to end up in a good home or become someones new, old treasure. *But* there is something kind of animal shelter about the whole thing. I don't know the exact fate of any unsold item going to Goodwill, but I do know that what isn't sold in a normal store can end up being shipped to an Goodwill Outlet Store. This doesn't sound particularly favorable for the more breakable objects. I imagine it's inevitable that some of this is going to end up broken and in a dumpster somewhere.

I don't know what I wish. That breakables end up donated to an Antique Store?

I think I do sometimes. I can't shake the feeling that certain objects - particularly those from my grandparents generation and particularly-particularly those designed for everyday use - are falling off a cliff and shattering on the rocks below.

Collectibles is a very broad category. Even when narrowed down by decade and style, there are still tremendous variances in the popularity of one name over another.

For instance, I've only been familiar with the name "Fire King" for maybe two months now. I now have several 'rescued' Fire King dishes and will probably continue acquiring them for the rest of my life. And there's no shortage of people who are doing the same as we speak.

But very broadly speaking, incredibly similar objects and makers (Glasbake, Federal, Hazel Atlas, etc) can sometimes be quite a bit less valued. For one, these makers lack the advantages of Fire King having Martha Stewart obsessed with their Jadeite and Japanese collectors radically obsessed with their mugs.

Homer Laughlin Co. (and their 20,000+ patterns) is famous for Fiestaware, but Lotus Hai is much more specific and a bit lost in a crowd.

In this respect, I'm grateful for things like Pyrex Love, who make it spectacularly cool to be flagrantly obsessed with a lovely form of kitchenware. And Tupper Diva, who sheds shining light and cool information on a huge company with nifty products who has magically managed to stay remarkably poorly documented in this digital day and informational age!

I will end up with a lot of these things myself. Ugh, I've already got a damn good start! But I'm also looking with a eye out for the next Flambo-ware and every other strange, unfamiliar, and totally rockin' name I come across.

Polyethylene or no, over the cliff it's going. Even if it bounces when it hits.

50 years from now, museums and private collections will contain some of the finest objects we've made. They will be rich with bone china and antique carnival glass. Large corporations, whose names still exist in theory, will have visitors centers with wallpaper pictorial black-and-white blown-up images of their founder, preferably posing with his T-model Ford, under which, encased in glass, will be example pieces of their own early china work, its coloring based on some molecular malfunction that sickened or killed the people who applied it, but darned isn't it pretty?

But it will take private citizens to run the closest-approximation-to-flickr-in-the-future to run an active Flambo Fan Page.

And I'm guessing I'm just one of those folks.

Friday, July 23, 2010


This has got to be one of my favorite finds ever.

The moment I saw it, I adored it. The style of it seemed 1940's or somewhere thereabouts, and I immediately fell in love with the detailing on it.

And at 50 cents, the price was right.

When I got back to the car with my purchase, I proudly pulled it out and declared to the hubs that this was probably my favorite thing I had ever thrifted.

This is the part I got absolutely right.

But it's what I don't know that could fill a book. Or many books. Volumes, even.

The main thing I had absolutely no suspicion whatsoever that this is the pot from a Cory
vacuum coffee maker. And the truth is, before today, I barely had a notion of what a vacuum coffee maker was.

Okay. Scratch that. I'm totally lying. I had no flippin' idea what a vacuum coffee maker was.

Now, I'm pretty sure they are things of abject and perfect beauty and I really really really want one (or at least the upper part, tube & various other accoutrements that go with mine).

Scratch that, too. I want vacuum coffee makers out the yin-yang.

Santa, if you're listening, I don't even need anything new and fancy (like this). I'd be perfectly happy with a vintage electric Sunbeam Coffeemaster (any model will do).

But seriously, it's things like my find yesterday that remind me how grateful I am for the internet. There are an awful lot of passionate folks who have turned their interests, finds, and treasures into invaluable information sources for twerps like me. Because of their generosity, I was able to identify my strange-little-coffee-pot-without-a-hole-in-the-top and discover something completely new to me.

This old Cory brochure was one of the first things I found to help me identify my little coffee pot, and I think it is just the cat's pajamas. Check out the amazing collection here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Pop quiz. How many of these objects end in the word "ware"?

If you glanced at the picture, counted 5 objects and made that your guess, you get 3 points.

If you glanced at the picture and suspected that these were 5 different "wares", you get 5 points.

If you glanced at the picture and thought "This girl needs to learn how to use a camera a/o Photoshop" you get all the bonus points you want.

But of course one of these is my much beloved Tupperware. Hint: think orange. But the other "wares" in question I had never even so much as heard of until they hopped into my cart at Goodwill.

(Yes, vintage objects can move about at will. Much like people, getting older has caused them to realize that they can do what they damn well please.)

The green lidded pitcher is Lustro ware. God, I love that name. So far, I haven't been able to ID it on the webs, so I don't know much about its age, but it has the same texture and 'feel' as 50's era polyethylene Tupperware.

These 3 pieces, as best as I can tell, are melmac/melamine. Don't laugh, but the term melmac is a new one on me. As far as I ever knew, that was Alf's home planet.

The red cup is Oneida ware. Yellow cup below it is Boontonware, and finally, the little blue bowl is Mallo ware.

Who knew there were so many wares? Who knows when I'm going to make the next bad joke? Here goes: Am I gonna need a warehouse to start storing all my thrifty wares?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tales from the Dark Side

This is a tale of going over to the dark side.

It all starts with 70's Tupperware. Avocado green. Harvest Gold. Paprika. Servalier lids.

It's a good story. The kids in it wear their hair in ponytails and wear jumpers. They eat oatmeal for breakfast. (Guess what kind of bowls they eat it out of).

But then something terrible happens. But before I can tell you what happens next, I have to tell you something about myself.

You see, as hard as I try, I never really completely shook all the traces of Goth off from my formative years. ( Would those traces shine like silver I wonder? Black, shiny, evil-midnight silver? )

So anyway, there is a part of me that never wants to eat my oatmeal. No matter what kind of bowl it is served in.

So, also, there aren't any kids anymore now. I tricked you. This whole post is about me. And Tupperware. But also, mostly about me.

My husband just reminded me of something. I said these words to him: "Stop me if I start collecting the pastel."

I told you. Dark Side.


It started innocently enough.

70's Tupperware from my childhood spotted at the local Goodwill. It was enough to bring back a few memories I hadn't thought about in a couple of decades.

It was just a simple canister. But it was funky and retro and practically made out of titanium.

Memory is a funny thing. I hadn't really thought about Tupperware in years but yet the branding had stayed firm in my mind. This stuff was made to last a lifetime.

But, believe it or not, I didn't buy it. Branding or no, I treated it like almost every other memory-evoking object at the Goodwill. "My mom had this!" is a pretty frequent expression in that there Goodwill.

But the Tupperware stayed in my mind. I decided I had to go back and buy it the next day.

In the meanwhile, out of both boredom and curiosity, I did a search for vintage Tupperware.

That did it. One flickr photoset later, I was hooked.

Alas, the piece of Tupperware I had seen a day earlier had sold. Ebay loomed deep in my mind, taunting me with blue canisters.

But the funny thing was, two blue canisters were waiting on me the next trip I took to Goodwill.

My fate as Crazy Tupperware Lady was sealed, simple as that.

See the picture? Even my tomato hearts Tupperware.