Monday, November 28, 2011

A flower garden of Petal

This is how I started collecting Federal "Petal" pattern. In my last post, I was saying how lucky I was to score 3 new pieces and a new color for my collection.

All of my pieces before now have had the points angling upward in a standard bowl shape. I'm not 1000% sure, but I'd imagine this style is considered 'scalloped' edge. But all my new pieces have the petals facing away from the center of the bowl, horizontally.The glass itself seems significantly thicker than the scalloped edge pieces.

This brings my colors up to 5, counting clear. I believe the colors I have now are Smoke (iridescent), Teal, Green, and (what I believe is) Sungold.I've yet to find a comprehensive resource for Petal. I bought a collector book by Cathy & Gene Florence, called "Collectible Glassware from the 40's, 50's, 60's (8th edition) that had a page dedicated to the pattern, but it only lists pieces by size and values by clear v. all colors - no reference to how many colors there are or any further specifics. Any color names I'm using, I've gotten the names from here.

I also found a globe to complete my hurricane lamp. It was a $1.50 antique store purchase, sitting all by itself, no base. Luckily, I had the base for it at home - another lone purchase from a pile of goods from "the little old man store".

And what a misnomer calling it a hurricane lamp. This guy wouldn't withstand much more than a light breeze. It's tiny! I put it here on a 12" sandwich plate. The base is barely bigger than the center of the salver.Wish I knew how many colors actually remain. I'm especially wanting to find pink pieces! At any rate, I've been doubly blessed and fortunate to have been led to collecting this pattern, and finding these pieces in such short order. I'm getting quite the multi-colored flower garden of glassware here!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

33 bucks

Haven't been posting much lately because I just haven't found much. A few reasonably priced antique store purchases, but almost nothing from the thrift stores. Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled to find all of this -in 1 day - for a tax-and-all total of 33 bucks!
First off -Le Creuset. Woo-hoo! This is a HUGE, HEAVY enameled cast iron au gratin, marked #36. It was $9.99 and in pretty fantastic condition, just a few minor scratches in the bottom and some baked-in crud that cleaned off pretty easily. Brand new, these guys are devilishly expensive, so I was thrilled to pay the 10 dollar price tag. Somewhere along the way, I've picked up the idea that white Le Creuset is 1980's, but I really truly don't know. Wish I could find a handy-dandy color chart reference for LC colors like what exists for Fiestaware.Same thrift store, not just one but TWO pieces of Pyrex. That never happens to me these days. Fire King saucer to add to the stack, and an unmarked individual casserole I took a random liking to. I united it with a fin-style glasbake lid I had, and it looks pretty cute. Should have gotten a picture of that as well. Tax and all cost was 20 bucks and some change. Pretty good!

But the best part of the day was going into what I've now dubbed "the little old man store". This place has only been open on random weekend days and is basically an indoor yardsale. The same older gentleman is there every time we've stopped, and as far as I understand pricing, I make a pile of things I'm interested in, he glances at it and give me a price.

First time I did this, it scared me. I had no idea whether he'd ask 50 cents for something or 20 bucks. But after being in there a few times and my total never going over 14 bucks, I stopped worrying about it and just made a pile. This stuff cost a grand total of 13 bucks!
3 pieces of Federal Petal to add to my collection, a Charcoal Snowflake Pyrex space saver casserole (no lid, but I had a spare at home), a couple of spare lids, a pink Anchor Hocking shaker to go with the blue one I bought from this same place a while back, a cute juice pitcher, an unmarked Hazel Atlas milk jug (another Kix cereal giveaway item, like the strawberry and apple jam jars!). And finally, a Hazel Atlas pink ripple salad plate.

If only junkin' could be this good all the time!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The little things

Today I'm grateful for the little things, like a simple cup of coffee. But I'm especially grateful for having discovered the wonderful world of thrifting. Without it, I'd never have this mega-uber-ultra snazzy Sunbeam vacuum coffee maker . (Heck, I still probably wouldn't know what a vacuum coffee maker even was.)

This champ here is a C-30c. Of the 3 models I have, I like it the best, just because it has a handle on the upper chamber. Not scalding yourself to death when removing the upper bowl was an absolutely brilliant idea on their part. Why oh why did they not put a handle on the upper chamber of the other models?!?

My dream model to come across would be a C-30a with the glass beehive top. Gorgeousness! Not only is it elegant-looking, it would be even more snazzy to get to watch the coffee brewing action.
And yes, I am actually using my new old vintage Fiesta coffee pot. It goes very, very well with my vintage Pyrex dinnerware. See, I have this problem with the fact that I buy this stuff to use, but then get fearful that I'll mess it up and I won't use it. Days like today I manage to remind myself that I'm only going to live once and this stuff was made to be useful and enjoyable. Use it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yellow ware, Ewer, and other words from Mars

For someone who loves kitchen junk as much as I do, I've really put off learning about pottery & ceramics. I just don't naturally gravitate towards them. I'm a glass junky. But here and there, I've picked up pottery pieces that has caused me to spend half a day on the computer, researching the company and looking at pictures.

First it was Hall china, then Fiesta. But I've managed to avoid picking up even the slightest bit of knowledge about some of the other big names - like McCoy and Hull.

Well, just today I found out that quite a few of my grandmother's kitchen items were Hull. The green wheat yellow ware sugar canister (with the mark that I kept thinking looked like a Heisey mark) is, in fact, Hull - and probably originally belonged to my great-grandmother, by the dates. Online auctions date them mostly as 1920's, has the dates at 1915-35. Yellow ware is a term that is totally new to me, so add another thing I will probably spend an inordinate amount of time researching.Also, the set of everyday china I ate from as a kid was Hull brown drip. It is just as sad & drab of a pattern as the name SOUNDS like it would be. No offense intended to Hull admirers, but boy-howdy, I just really don't care for this pattern - nostalgia or no.

One of the things that is so strange to me about Hull, having just started researching it, is just how very different the patterns can be. For example, I was looking at some pictures from of the pattern "Woodland". Not a huge fan of the coloration, but the shapes are really neat. Organic but fantastical at the same time. Going straight from looking at Brown Drip to that just cracked me up and how truly different they are.

That's where I saw the word "ewer" - which means a decorative vase, usually with a pronounced pour spout. Sometimes this stuff is like trying to learn a whole 'nother language. I mean, who is just born knowing that a bowl is sometimes called a "nappy"? What exactly is a "salver"? Really! But because of the internet (and partially because I'm crazy) I know that I could set my ewer in a nappy and carry them on a salver.

Useful knowledge, yes?

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Perils of Collecting Part IV

So I've been on a Fiesta kick lately. After much agonizing, I finally came to the conclusion that it's really only the pre-1970's vintage pieces, shapes & colors that I'm really interested in. I donated the set of plum dishes I had bought from GW back to another thrift (this time they went to Habitat for Humanity ReStore - an organization I feel very positive about).

Not too long after, I started connecting the dots between some of the other Homer Laughlin patterns and pieces that were being produced simultaneously to Fiesta in matching colors - such as Carnival (a giveaway in Mother's Oats), Harlequin, and Riviera.

I lucked into two different Carnival cups in one store. Then a few days later, I found a 3rd in one of my very favorite local antique stores. My husband and I had gotten into a conversation with the owner about a Harlequin set that she had just put out. I mentioned that I had actually come in specifically to buy a Carnival cup she had in another booth. Since it was one of her own items and not one of her dealers, she just gave it to me for free. How cool is that?! She said she liked to surprise her customers from time to time with a free item just as a way of saying thank you for being a good customer. Totally classy, huh?

So that's the good stuff. On the other hand, I had a particularly annoying Fiesta-related experience at a totally different antique store. I spied a dark (or forest) green vintage Fiesta teapot. I picked it up, no price label. When I asked the owner about it, she gave me a big spiel about how it was "Medium Green, the most coveted Fiesta color ever." She was asking 210 dollars for it. (21o, I suppose, so that she could let you 'bargain her down' to 200 or something).

First off, lady.You are a dealer. Shame on you!

This was a definite case of 'a little information being a bad thing'. She knew enough to know that medium green is a coveted color, but not enough to know that the coffee pots were never produced in medium green, in which case, she would also have to NOT KNOW her vintage Fiesta colors well enough to know the dark forest green when she saw it. -OR-

She's a disingenuous, dirty liar, knowingly attempting to perpetrate a total fraud on a customer.

Either way, I'm not interested in paying 210 dollars to a fool.

Oh, who am I kidding? I don't have 210 dollars to spend on vintage Fiesta, no matter how rare, coveted OR just plain snazzy it may be. But still, it's the principle of the thing, you know.

So anyway, Perils of Collecting! ALWAYS know as much (or more) about what you are looking for than the people who are trying to sell it to you! That's all I've got to say about it, except to say:

Wishing you Happy (and annoyance-free) Collecting!