Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cabinet Space

For the umpteenth time this year, I just reorganized my Pyrex cabinets. (Yes, cabinetS, in the plural). It looks lovely & tidy & colorful now. Whew!

Here's a peek into my newly reorganized cabinets. I hope this happy mess doesn't get me nominated for Hoarders.Bowls, bowls & more bowls. At this point, they take up an entire cabinet just by themselves. I'm kind of a crazy bowl lady. Also, the top right pink bowl is Glasbake. These are my Sunbeam standmixer bowls.
Top cabinet: Casseroles. Mostly 024's (probably my next favorite piece after the bowls), and 470 series pieces. Also, top is my collection of vacuum coffee makers. These are mostly Sunbeam Coffeemasters, but I have odd pieces that are Cory & Pyrex. These guys are impossible to photograph. The glare makes my camera go crazy, so this pic isn't the greatest.
And finally, the sweet sweet caramel-y center of my collection: Space Savers, Oval casseroles, Refrigerator dishes & bakeware. (Left of bakeware, my 3 lone Hazel Atlas bowls). The fridgies are a bit hidden. I love them, but don't actually use them much, so space-wise they've taken a bit of a backseat to pieces to the large baking dishes.

At this point, I'm one piece away from finishing so many sets. I'd really like to have a china cabinet of some sort to display them when they are complete.

And as haphazard as this all may look, I've actually really really tried to stay within some sort of bounds. I've focused mainly on 1950's colors, promotional patterns & certain shapes/styles that I like and use the most.

As for collecting, I've found that one of the best things about Pyrex can also be one of the worst: There's just So Much of It to Choose from! If I had to guess, I'd say there are several hundred, if not a thousand+ distinct color/pattern/shape configurations to choose from - which makes it all the easier to quickly & fairly inexpensively amass more of it than you'd even dream you had!

Now that I'm a year into collecting, my finds have really slowed down. It's so fun in the beginning, when you have very little. Everything is new. Now that I'm this far into it, I realize how much space it takes up. Both my storage & display spaces are maxed out, and a new & better solution is needed.

But for now, I'll throw open my newly-organized cabinet doors and admire my "purdy's" (as my grandma called them).

Happy Collecting!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Anniversary Swag!

This is my wonderful Anniversary loot! I love it.

First, I have to say, this is the least I've ever bought for the most amount of money. I'm so far out of my league buying Fire King that it is not even funny! However, in both mine and my husband's cases, we both love to collect certain items that are typically beyond our flinch-point, so we tried to budget it out in advance.

At first, some jadeite Fire King "Charm" luncheon plates were in the running for my splurge-tastic purchase, but when I saw this 4 quart FK Black Dots bowl, I knew the momentary love-affair with jadeite was doomed to be just a fling. It also didn't help that the booth owner just-so-happened to walk by when I was eye-ing his GORGEOUS bowl collection, and sweetened the pot with 25% off.

And in that same booth was an Apples & Cherries grease jar, fairly inexpensive because it was missing its lid. Cha-Ching! I had one at home that I had paid a whole quarter for, way before I knew what the heck it was!!! Mine.

The Pyrex "Sandalwood" mixing bowl is the very same one that I complained was too expensive the last time I went to this very antique store. This time, it was marked half price. Hooray! I really, really like this pattern, and the understated sandalwood color. It's not an especially popular pattern, but it's one of my very favorites. Just the smallest bowl left to find and I will have a complete mixing bowl set. Finally, the oval casserole is a 1957 promotional Pyrex pattern called "Black Tulip". I spotted it the last trip as well, and it was one I actually regretted leaving behind. This trip, my budget was already blown -just like the time before- so the hubs stepped up and said "I'm buying this for you. I know you wanted it last time, so I'm not letting you leave without it." Awwww!<3

I was sad to see that many of the same items I drooled over last time where still there. Overpricing at its worst. And of course, one of the things my husband liked last time, was one of the things that HAD sold. Poor guy!

BUT, right before we left, we stopped at a Goodwill close to our ATM. He doesn't usually have much luck finding specific things he wants at the thrift, but this time he did. So he had some good fortune there. I, on the other hand, was confronted with a sad, totally dishwashed Verde green Pyrex Cinderella bowl that was priced at an eye-burning $8.99. Come ON! If I wasn't about an hours drive from some actually NICE Pyrex, I would have cried a little & and then punched somebody. (Not really. But I like to have imaginary pity-parties for myself, Scrubs-style, lol)

Also, I'm going to interrupt my own swag-blog for a total digression: Same day, we hit up a big used book/game/etc. store. While browsing the records, someone's phone went off & their ringtone was the Scrubs theme song. Now, I LOVES me some Scrubs, but my husband and I just threw a look at each other and it took everything we had not to chuckle.

Good day, good swag, great anniversary!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

First off, I have to say Happy Anniversary to my husband. We were married 6 years ago today!

When we started off our lives together, neither one of us had much of a vision of how we wanted to decorate & furnish our home. Each of us had hodge-podgy mismatched pieces, some hand-me-downs, and tons of assemble-it-yourself Walmart-y fare. We dovetailed the mixture, made ourselves comfortable, and then never really got around to changing much.

This slowly began changing about two years ago. We'd driven past a store that was part used furniture, part antique store, for 4 whole years, always commenting that we should stop there, but never did.

So, of course, the first time we went in, we bought something. Something HUGE, and 100% off the map of anything we'd ever dream of buying. What we ended up with was a 1942 Marsh Hoosier-style cabinet! And thanks to the very kind, wonderful folks at Marsh (who is still in business), we have a original catalog scan, showing it exactly as it was originally, details and price point. How cool is that? One of these days I really need to a post specifically about it. There's some really great images & details!

For a couple of silly kids who have nothing but Walmart furniture and family hand-me-downs, a Hoosier cabinet was a very interesting addition, to say the least. (I don't think I had EVER stepped foot in an antique store before!) But this single piece of furniture was almost a ridiculously accurate bit of foreshadowing to the love of junk, vintage, & thrift that we've developed over just this last year.

Fast forward another year. My grandmother (who just recently passed away) had begun clearing out some excess kitchen items. Some of these included my great-grandmother's Pyrex loaf pan, which I cherish. There was Fire King, Pyrex, Hazel Atlas - all the GOOD stuff! Only, I had NO IDEA at the time that it was the good stuff!

But I did, however, have the internet. And when I started looking up my new treasures, that was it. IT. Capital I, capital T. The almost-indifference I had had towards home stuff & decor was gone. I knew what I wanted in my home. I knew what would make me happy to look at and use. It was like a void had been filled in me, a void that I didn't actually know was there. I was happy enough with the serviceable, functional things in my house, that much was true. But I just had yet to find out that I could really, really LOVE the functional, serviceable items in my home!

It's going to be slow-going replacing furniture & other large items. Finding what we're looking for take a certain kind of magic - being at the right place at the right time to find it at the right price. But we are hitting up thrift stores, auctions, and making a point to stop at mom-and-pop places we never would have looked at before, so I know we will.

But what I'd really like to do here the most is take a moment here to speak directly to my wonderful husband, on our 6th Anniversary:

Thank you, babe. With you, I've had some of the biggest, brightest, happiest, most wonderful adventures of my life. Thank you for accepting me and loving me as I am, no matter how much (or how unexpectedly) this "me" evolves. As ever, you are my complimentary opposite. Calm & cool when I'm crazy & uptight. Ready & optimistic when I'm feeling blue or doubtful. I ask a lot of you, and sometimes treat it as par-for-the-course, and I just don't believe I thank you as much as I should. Truth is, I love you dearly, and I wouldn't be the same without you. Not by half. I love you so!

Mushy stuff over, lol. We went out yesterday, hit some antique stores and scored some tasty swag that I will be posting about soon. But today I'm spending with hubs <3

Sunday, September 4, 2011

$13.50 Pt.1

This is $13.50 worth of fun. Yesterday, we had to good fortune to stop at a junk shop that is almost never open. In fact, I think we've driven past it for a year or more, and never once saw it open for business - but could tell what kind of place it was just from the tantalizing array of whatnots displayed in the windows. I've joked to my husband for a long time that I was dying to get in there, just to see what kind of cool stuff they had "held hostage" in this never-open junk wonderland.

I think places like this are great (other than the never being open part). I wish there were dozens of them. Even if you don't see a single thing you want to buy, the ambiance is like that of a yard sale that should have happened 25 years ago.

But I digress.

First up, I don't know much about shakers, but I recognized two of these from a collectibles book. Not a clue who made the larger solid white shaker, but it's definitely more of what I think of as being a Range shaker - large-sized to cook with instead of being the smaller more table-appropriate size. If I wasn't afraid of the lid, I'd put this guy straight to use.
And I just thought this Old Farmer's Almanac juice pitcher was sweet. And appropriate, since I fancy myself as something of a gardener. I come across vintage garden-related items on occasion, and snatch them up, if they are a good price.

Have to break the rest of this post up, since blogger isn't letting me post more than 5 pictures, so the rest is continued here

$13.50 Pt. 2

(Continued from previous post)
This is my 3rd Pyrex "American Hostess" teapot. Ridiculous, I know, but I just couldn't pass it up, since I was basically being charged a dollar per item. First off, it's very rusty - which I don't know if I can do anything about. It's also banded with a darker color, a gunmetal grey. Usually, I believe these guys had a stainless steel band, but all 3 of mine are this same gunmetal grey. Perhaps a regional difference? For what it's worth, I live in the South, so this may be the common version to my particular area. Also, I don't believe this lid is correct (I actually reunited them from two different corners of the room, so there's no telling). I believe it actually belongs to the 2nd, updated version of the teapots & percolators. But it fits, so I'll take it, lol!These two red Pyrex refrigerator dishes I passed on the one-and-only other time I caught this place open. They both looked hopelessly discolored. The lighter of the two had some black streaks that I seriously doubted I could remove without also removing the shine. And the darker one wasn't even red - it looked like it had been painted with metallic silver spray paint. I really should have taken a Before picture!

But strangely, they both came perfectly clean with minimal effort. I soaked them in hot water, and lightly rubbed them Magic Eraser on the stubborn spots.And another odd thing, the one on the right is much more tomato-red than the other. The shape is different as well. You can kind-of see how square the bottom is. It feels very squared-off to the touch. I don't have any other fridgies with this bluntness on the bottom.

And finally, 3 Corning restaurant ware saucers in Dove Gray, on the right. To its left, is the marked Pyrex home version. These are my first pieces of the restaurant ware line, so I wanted to photograph the two side-by-side to show the differences in color & shape.
The restaurant version is marked Corning, with the Glassblower stamp beneath it. This logo was originally a part of MacBeth-Evans company letterhead, and Corning began using it as a mark after acquiring the company in 1936.

This backstamp is also known as "Little Joe" (named after who, I no earthly idea). I've seen this logo misconstrued in various -and sometimes humorous- ways. Often, it's called "hornblower" - which is understandable. But I just about spit my coffee out all over my computer screen when I saw it being called "a dancing girl".

And finally, two Pyrex lids. One is a lid for a tiny little opal white 022 casserole I bought for my mom a while back. The oval, patterned lid is actually for a promotional piece dubbed "Blue Doily". No pretty turquoise base to go with it, though, unfortunately. Add another piece to my wishlist, and something else to look for on future junkin' runs!

So (finally!) there's my 13 bucks worth of fun. Here's wishing you happy treasure-hunting!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams

One of the collectibles books I received for Christmas last year was "Kitchen Glassware of the Depression Years" 7th Edition by Cathy & Gene Florence.

I can't tell you how many hours I've spent pouring through the pages, and using it as a reference. I'm forever seeing something in an antique store that is a vague half-remembered image from these pages - although, in too many instances, just as proof that what I saw was a reproduction!

It's been just a single year since I've started collecting. Thanks in part to fantastic resources and enthusiastic fan-base, I've acquired more lovely vintage Pyrex than I can possibly use.

But lately my interest has shifted more towards Hazel Atlas (which I rarely see) & Fire King (I see it, but it's usually priced significantly higher than Pyrex).

Worse still, I've developed a serious crush from afar on McKee Dots items that I have yet to see in real life shopping excursions.

I suspect part of the trouble is the hours I've spent looking at it all in my collectors book. Somehow my brain gets befuzzled into thinking that it's some sort of mail order catalog. Like I can just sit there checking off items. "Let's see. I'll take one of those, and one of those, and oooohhhh, LOVE these bowls! I'll take a nesting set in EVERY COLOR."

Just yesterday I was standing in the middle of Goodwill, thumbing through a Martha Stewart book. (yes. martha stewart. A very youthful looking Martha Stewart, at that). The massive jadeite collection behind her was no surprise to me. But what really got me was that she had just been mixing-away using none other than the same green dot McKee bowl I've been crushing on.

Crush is the right word for it.

Talk about unexpected. It was like......it was like......pining over the dreamiest boy in class. The guy you've never even spoken to, ever. He's out of your league, you think. But *BUT* you have watched John Hughes movies. Maybe, just maybe....wistful sighs.

Then you see him with his girl. And Oh God, she's beautiful. And she looks just like a young Martha Stewart, ahhhhhhh.


But you know what? I'm just going to keep Dreaming Big. Martha Stewart or no. Big budget or empty pockets, a girl can still dream, can't she?