Monday, March 21, 2011

I did not mean to buy these dolls

But here they are. Part of the same boxed lot the parts for the Cory vacuum coffee maker came from.

And I'll be honest, I didn't like them at first. Partially, it was exhaustion from spending so much time at this auction. And more likely, I was so excited about the Cory parts, I barely noticed the rest of the contents of the box.

But these ladies have grown on me.

Two are already strung, like Christmas tree ornaments. I think I may do up the rest the same way and add them to the tree this year.I don't know how this lady here makes what looks to me like a form of corn blight look like a suitable dress, but she does. It's a talent, I think.

And these two sisters look like they are sharing a joke with one another. The one on the left saying something like "Oh yeah, well I'll put your eye out with this broomstick." And the sister on the right says "No way. I'll break you down with my dope breakdancing moves, sucka."

Or something like that.

The Perils of Collecting - Pt III

So far, this pseudo-series of mine is basically about the fact that I can't spell. One of these days, I might actually get around to posting some actual perils. But until then, nope, it's more spelling foibles.

(yes, I had to look up how to spell word "foible", lol)

You could say, these words are real JEMS:
(Oh snap. I am just bringin' the funny today. Bringin' it ;-)

Amethyst - For context, I was looking up Hazel Atlas Moroccan Amethyst. I misspelled both Moroccan AND amethyst. Huzzah.

Sapphire - This word continues to look wrong to me. Sapp-hire. Sap. Hire. I couldn't spell this word right in a Spelling Bee if my life depended on it.

Me: (shaking in my shoes) "Could you use it in a sentence, please?"

Super-Official Spelling Bee Person: "Sapphire"
"We've just received a memo from home office to do a new round of sapphires. Make sure they are real shmuckuses."

Okay. Enough Vaudevillian, knee-slappin' comedy for one day.

Happy Treasure Hunting!

At the auction

Went to my first auction the other day. It was exciting, and surprisingly exhausting. Apparently, just sitting around for 5 hours (!) was far more draining than I ever imagined. Well, in truth, I had absolutely no idea we'd be there that long. But at least now I can say that I've been to an auction, whether it was "one of the good ones" or not, and stuck it out - from the moment where furniture was sold at 500 dollars apiece to the final moments where entire table loads of boxed junk were being begged away at 2 dollars a table.

Hubs and I walked away with a tab higher than I'm willing to admit to, and we brought home:

3 turquoise Pyrex fridgies
1 upper chamber and glass rod to complete a vintage glass Cory vacuum coffee maker
a handmade cat-themed quilt (I'm still laughing over that one)
and the Mr. got a vintage checkwriter/money-order writer for his growing collection

Also in the mix: a Fire King casserole dish (which I gave to my mom), a large Pyrex Square Flowers fridgie, and a turquoise Snowflake Pyrex oval casserole (in a neat, aftermarket carrier).

My 5 dollars of fun in a boxed lot was the Cory upper chamber & glass rod, a collection of cornhusk dolls (that I'm liking more now than I did originally), two boxes of taper candles, a painted cigar box containing arrowheads and wooden clothes pins, most of a fondu pot (sans lid), empty glass spice jars and a travel neck rest. SO random!

Dad bought a table of junk for a couple of bucks. I suspect it was purely because two boxes were records he wanted to give to his son (Altogether now: aaawwww, how sweet :-). He's still working through the contents, but two of my favorites are a record of Robert Frost reading his poetry (that was recorded in his house in 1956) and the Breakfast at Tiffany's soundtrack. I probably won't be wearing these guys out playing them, exactly, but I think they're both charming additions to his record collection.

Lazy me just took some pictures:
Woo-hoo! These guys are kind of a holy grail of Pyrex to me. They're priced way out of my league on ebay, and I've never seen them for sale anywhere else. I'm missing the largest one to complete the set, but still, I say again WOOO-HOOO.

They have some baked in stains I don't know how to/if I can remove. I don't dare use Bar Keeper's Friend, because in my experience, the older pieces don't handle it well. It removes all the shine. No matter, I still thoroughly enjoy them.
A complete Cory vacuum coffee maker! Well, sorta. Top and bottom are a mis-match in model numbers, and I'm missing the plastic (bakelite?) lid that would go on top, as well as the piece you set the upper chamber into once the coffee has brewed. But the fact that I now have the 3 central pieces, complete with nifty glass rod filter (and my feeble attempt at a close-up)makes me happy. For a number of reasons, I've decided this guy is for display purposes only. I have my workhorse Sunbeam Coffeemasters when I need a vacuum coffee fix!

All in all, a pretty sweet first auction to go to!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I collect: Fire King teacups

First, I apologize. These pics were taken under less than ideal lighting conditions, and I'm entirely too lazy to try to photoshop them into submission, so they are what they are. I did however play with scrapbook paper to try to give a little nicer background than my sorta-scrappy hand-me-down (but still functional) kitchen table.

These teacups make me happy. But I'll be frank. I don't actually drink out of them. Like many items from this era, these guys just don't hold the half-gallon of coffee it seems to take to get me going in the morning. I do use a modern-made coffee cup by Anchor Hocking (the manufacturer of Fire King), but it is positively huge in comparison. It probably holds the same amount of coffee as all 5 of these teacups put together.

Ah, modernity. Not only is it making us fat, it's giving us unprecedented levels of caffeine buzz.The origins of these teacups is still a mystery to me. I have yet to acquire a Fire King resource book, so I'm going on what I've seen in online auctions. According to what I've read most is that these were giveaways in Mother's Oats boxes.

And I'm unsure if these ever had official pattern names. I believe that the teacups I have & show here were not full dinnerware patterns, with the possible exception of this blue pattern that coordinates very well with the Taylor, Smith, Taylor pattern "Boutonniere".Some of the other patterns available (that I don't have) are indeed full dinnerware patterns. These include "Wheat", "Forget-me-not", "Fleurette" & "Primrose" and quite likely others that I'm not yet aware of.

One thing I enjoy about collecting these sets is that I've reunited many of them from a variety of locations, and very inexpensively. In fact, the only pattern I bought together was when I lucked into a set of 4 of the Red Roses (very top picture) at a Goodwill. The rest have been purchased one teacup or saucer at a time, usually for no more than a dollar.

I also really enjoy the fact that these teacups have multiple colors and smaller, more delicate patterns. As a Pyrex collector, I almost forget this exists. I love my Pyrex, but it's definitely a nice change to have more colors and details going in a single pattern.

I think this is also the reason I find myself picking up certain Glasbake bakeware items, even when I have a Pyrex piece that is just as functional.

Anyways, I am charmed by these teacups. I hope to assemble sets of 4 in these patterns, and perhaps a couple of from the dinnerware lines, and I would consider my teacup collection complete. (I have to give myself some parameters here, lol. For my house, for my husband, limits, girl, must.have.limits...)

So much cute stuff - just not enough cute house to put it all in!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Apparently my Pyrex dinnerware photos are nice enough than someone see's fit to stealing them for their crappy websites.

You hear me? Your sites are crappy McDoodoo.

Do you know what that is? That's like McLobster, except it's got doo-doo on it.

That is all.


The hubs was on vacation for 8 blissful days. He went back to work, but I'm still dragging my feet about getting anything done. It's been very rainy, cloudy, windy and overcast, and I'm being a big baby about it. Uninspired, lazy bones.

But the vacation itself was pretty fun. In the modern vernacular, I guess this was a "staycation". No exciting trips to far away locales, but we did however check out some antique stores in the area we hadn't visited before.

Old brick downtowns are quite possibly one of my favorite things ever. I absolutely adore them. My hometown still has one. My mom's hometown is about 20 miles away, and it is even smaller and more unchanged.

And one thing is for sure: There are still places that are semi-untouched from an antiques standpoint. Places where you can still buy Jadeite and Fire King mugs for more like 5 or 10 dollars, instead of crazy ebay prices. I certainly wouldn't guarantee they'd be the rarities, but at least they aren't priced for the Japanese market.

And as usual, I spent too much money. Between the antique stores and a few thrift stops, I added no less than 13 plates to my various collections.

And honestly, I need 13 more plates like I need 13 pet raccoons. *But* I can say that the plates are significantly less trouble.

I added 6 cobalt blue Fiesta plates to my growing collection ( yes! a new post with photos is in order), 3 Forest Green Fire King Charm luncheon plates, and 4 Regency/Forest Green Pyrex dinner plates.

I also found a Lime green Pyrex creamer. It made me inordinately happy. Unlike the Regency/Forest Green plates, the Lime does not have the gold trim. I am trying to collect pieces of the dinnerware WITHOUT the gold trim, but of course, I have little self-control when confronted with pieces with it, so I buy both.

I'm also not convinced that the Regency/Forest green was ever produced without the gold trim (though it is said to have been). I've scoured the internet trying to find even 1 photo of this color without gold, and so far, no luck. This may be one of the things Barbara Mauzy (author of Pyrex: the Unauthorized Collectors Guide) was meaning when she said this color is the hardest to find.

And in the same shop I bought the dinnerware, I also bought a 1953 Heinz promotional Pyrex baking dish. It is a unique shade of green said to match the green of Heinz cans of the time. I think there's something of a joke inherent in this piece. It is numbered 507 - the only Pyrex piece I'm aware of that used this size number. Pyrex 507? Heinz 57?!

But, the funny thing is, it's almost an exact match, colorwise, to the Regency/Forest Green dinnerware. Promotional dish appeared in 1953. This color in dinnerware appeared in 1954. Coincidence, much?

But anyhow, it was a nice vacation. And hopefully the sun will come out soon and I can get some decent pics to post.