Friday, June 21, 2013

More thrift finds

 Yesterday's thrift post left guessed it....ready for some more thrifting. These were my kitchy finds.
Decorated jars, an International China "Heartland" mug & a Jeannette "Cherry Blossom" depression glass pitcher.

The decorated jars are a mystery to me. I keep thinking they are the 1980's version of Swanky Swigs - that they would have originally come filled with peanut butter, jam, or some other consumable, and when empty you'd have a cheerfully decorated whatnot jar. I have another jar same shape & maker that has a blue lid with blue & yellow flowers. Someday when I least expect it, one of these will pop up with an original label and I'll find out more about it.

Heartland dishes are another accidental collection. They keep presenting themselves at prices too cheap to pass up. I've only got two pieces that were not thrift or yard sale finds. Who doesn't need a china pattern with chickens, pigs, ducks, cats, horses, sheep, farm people, and gigantic fruit sticking out from the sides of houses? :-)

More tacky-kitchy absurdity in the wall art. Again, who doesn't need lobsters and jars of plums decorating their kitchen?   :-)

I was happy to find the Shamrock Fiesta salad plate. I already had one, but for .59 cents, I couldn't refuse another. There was a very scratchy cobalt dinner plate I passed on. In fact, I don't have any P86 cobalt plates anymore because mine were so scratched I just didn't like looking at them. So I donated the two that I had. But hoarder that I am, it was still hard not to throw that dinner plate in the cart.....

Finally, a depression glass pitcher, Cherry Blossom pattern by Jeannette Glass. This piece has been repro'd, so I can't say with certainty that this is the real deal. But I read up enough about it to think it is.

 I had to take pictures of it with my American Sweetheart. The pinks are definitely not the same shade, but the difference is more subtle in person than how it photographs. I think it's neat how both patterns, despite being made by two different companies, have such a similar style.

This pitcher set me back $9.99. They had it behind the counter in the collectibles section with a pink depression glass butter dish, I think the same price. When I asked to see them, something struck me about the butter dish, a vague idea floating around that it was a repro - specifically of a piece that was never originally made.

Turned out my hunch was right. It was a knock off of the Madrid pattern by Federal Glass. A pink butter dish that was never made in that color originally.

Of course that makes me suspicious that this pitcher is also a repro - and it definitely HAS been repro'd - but it's pretty much okay with me if it is. I now have a pitcher to go along with my slowly growing American Sweetheart collection. A real pitcher in that pattern would be practically impossible to come up with, and as valuable as they are, I couldn't bring myself to use it if I had it, unless it had some significant damage to it.
No doubt about it, I'm in over my head with depression glass in general. But I think I'm fine if I think the piece is attractive and affordable. I would never pay big bucks for something I didn't know for sure was the real thing. And honestly, paying the 'big bucks' for it would take all the fun out of it anyway.

Hope you're finding thrifty treats & treasures!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A few thrift finds

Fisher Price Discovery Globe
Now I really thought I'd read about these on Apron Thrift Girl. But when I looked for it, I must have skipped over it. Of course it's quite possible it was one of her thrift share links I was actually reading.

Either way, I was glad I read it, because I knew even from a distance exactly what this was and that I totally wanted it.

It cost 3 bucks from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
And instead of describing the features, I'll just post this youtube video about it. Who the heck knows why someone filmed this. And added music also? Perhaps a very thorough ebay seller? lol I clicked on it hoping it was an original commercial, but alas, no. Still totally worth posting though :-)

Out of sheer Pyrex desperation, I bought a piece of Forest Fancies.

Yes, Forest Fancies. You do realize what a sad I have, when I'm super-dooper-whoopered up over a lidless piece of Forest Fancies with no lid and with silver metal utensil marks on the inside. AND it was 2.50.

As in, two dollars and fifty cents. Which is exactly two American dollars more than I was really willing to pay for it.

But I still bought it anyway. Because I'm a desperate Pyrex fiend and it's been probably 3 or 4 months since I last found ANY piece of decorated Opal Pyrex in a thrift store, in ANY condition, at ANY price.

Oh, and that loverly Snowflake Blue casserole didn't even come from the thrift. It came from the Antique Store next door. No lid, 7 dollars. Which is about 5 dollars less than what a decent piece of Pyrex seems to go for around here. And considering I could totally see Goodwill charging 6.99 or more for this exact piece, I'm counting this as a thrifty score.

It's a brutal, brutal Pyrex world out there, kids. People are cray-cray. Charging Mondo-Buckos for my once cheap-and-cheerful Pyrex friends.

In fact, it's been so bleak, I've been cheating on Pyrex.......With Corning Ware!

The top dish was my thrift find. Two dollars, and it came with a lid.

Now that's more like it.

These are the patterns I like most. From top down, Floral Bouquet, Wildflower & Country Festival.

I would also gladly take a few other patterns such as Meadow. And probably others, I'm sure.

Most other Corning Ware collectors I've seen are all about Cornflower Blue & Spice O Life. Neither pattern does much for me. But these more recent & kitchy lines match or are good go-alongs with several Pyrex patterns, so they stay. God help me for all the various dishes I have! :-)

Finally, this was neither a recent score nor a thrift find. But at 3 dollars, it's my favorite piece of Corning Ware.

It's an employee gift - Greencastle Plant Family Day 1974. (Sorry for the crappy pic!)

Corningware from before I was born! (Which is incidentally about the closest I'm going to get to telling my actual age. The number is indeed higher than the maturity level, I assure you. Haha.)

This piece is called a Petite Pan, and it's the smallest size of the two. It holds a whopping 1  3/4 cups. I think this size is adorable. I think of them as Corningware fridgie dishes. :-)


Here's the original commercial for the light up globe. And I TOTALLY REMEMBER THIS. Whooooooo!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Birthday & a Relish Tray!

Last week was my husband's birthday. We went to an amusement park, and went antiquing (of course!). In fact, we crammed some of both in the same day. Was so worn out afterward I basically couldn't move the next day. Oh hurray for getting older  :-)

I had two big splurges I found during his birthday vacay. First I completed my vintage Fiesta relish tray! 

I paid a small fortune for the ivory base, which was the only piece I needed to make a complete tray. I've very luckily found the inserts for a fraction of their worth, so I still did well, pricewise. I'm just happy I have a complete tray, and I hope I will find many more pieces on my future antique treks!

Complete vintage Fiesta relish tray. Hopefully over time I can replace the an ivory & yellow side insert with a turquoise & red for an all 6 color tray.

And oh heavens, this beautiful find caused me lots and lots of anxiety. A beautiful service for 6 in Hazel Atlas Ripple (also known as Crinoline). In minty mint, unused condition. For a price far below ebay prices, but still pricey enough to cause me to initially walk away from them.

See, I had just completed my relish tray a few days before, and I really didn't feel right about dropping another chunk of change so soon. Especially since it was my husband's birthday vacation and he just wasn't finding anything much at all that he really wanted.

Hazel Atlas turquoise Ripple, service for 6, and beautifully mint condition.

I bought them. I think they really are a find of a lifetime, and I was a very lucky lady to be presented with such a 'tough' choice. Truly.
One of my two other pieces I've managed to snag at a cheap enough price to make me bite - a pink dinner plate I think I paid two dollars for.

Note the dinner plates are by modern standards luncheon sized at nearly 9 inches around. There is only one larger plate - a 10 1/2 inch sandwich plate- that is considered a serving piece. And it's quite rare. Even these luncheon/dinner plates are becoming scarce. 
Pyrex Salad bowl - collectors have dubbed it the "Fetus Bowl".  Can you see why?   :-)
All my Pyrex finds were 12 dollars each. It's just plain strange the number of Pyrex items that I've paid 12 dollars for. That must be the new local standard.

Above, the "Fetus" bowl. Do you see the baby, or do you see a pear with a leaf over it. It's very psychological. Lol! :-) The bowl itself is an unusual shade of Heinz 57 can green that Pyrex used on the Heinz promo, this bowl, and the Regency green dinnerware.

The yellow bowls were actually 3, another small 401 bowl not pictured. They were 12 dollars for all 3! Some utensil marks, but Bar Keeper's Friend cleaned them up rather nicely! Below them is a turquoise 023. An uncommon size. A half quart smaller than the much more common 024. This was the first time I've even seen the turquoise 023, so I was very happy to find it.

Pyrex all Yellow set on left, Daisy bowl on the right. Pyrex yellows are hard to sort out unless you've got them side-by-side.
 And finally, I wanted to take pic of the difference between the all yellow Pyrex set and the yellow bowls from Daisy (also known as Citrus) set.

Pyrex yellows are a massively confusing mess. Every time I think I've got it sorted out, someone comes along and adds another yellow to the mix. In mixing bowls alone, there's still the Primary yellow, the small yellow/green from the Verde set, a 403/443 in butter yellow from the Town & Country set. Not to mention the refrigerator dishes from these patterns. And lately, I've seen a mention of there being an all yellow refrigerator dish set to accompany the bowls. Yay?

Hope you are finding thrifty treats and treasures!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Confessions of a Goodwill Shopper

Everyone has their own opinion of Goodwill Industries. Here's mine:

3 years ago, my grandmother, who has since passed away, began giving me various kitchen items. Pyrex, Fire King, Hazel Atlas, etc.

While researching these new-to-me items, I remembered various things my other grandmother used to use. I identified some dishes I had already inherited, and practically in the blink of an eye I was hooked on vintage kitchen stuff.

For the first time in my adult life, I began stalking thrift stores. I started visiting the ones I already knew about and found several new ones, such as Habitat for Humanity ReStore (Definitely my favorite of all to both buy from and donate to).

What I wanted was Pyrex, and lots of it. I discovered Pyrex Love, the flickr group, and a cool blog called Out Thrifting that was talking about the exact same things my grandmother gave me and was finding more of at the thrift store.


At the time, I could buy a Pyrex teacup or mug for 29-59 cents apiece. I bought colored Pyrex bowls & dishes for anywhere between 59 cents to $1.99. I bought a vintage rose Fiesta teacup for .19

I went overboard. Now, I wasn't exactly finding mixing bowls and dream pieces for these prices. Mostly it was stuff I really, really didn't need. Like Corelle in Pyrex patterns, Pyrex tableware/restaurant ware. Some Fire King & Hazel Atlas mugs. Miscellaneous Glasbake.

In other words, anything with that "Milk glass" look that was decorated in a kitchy way.

I had no outlet yet for the overload, so I actually donated most of it back.

Yep. Only it was typically bought from Goodwill but donated back to the ReStore.

Now, I kept plenty. I just bought lots of crap. Overeager beginning collector syndrome. And I've seen enough of the same thing from various thrifting blogs to know I am not the only one who goes overboard. :-)

For maybe a year, this is how it goes. Then, almost suddenly, no Pyrex anywhere.

I thought, "Oh no! They've caught on to it being a collectible!" I still kept hitting the thrifts, but nothing, nada. Once in a blue moon I'd find something at one of the non-Goodwill, church-based thrifts.

I also discovered For a good long while I was pretty happy that I could bid on things I had never seen locally. For my Pyrex fix I've bought a set of the gray banded dinnerware, the larger sized pink gooseberry casserole dishes (the 480 Cinderella casserole set) & that same set in "Friendship" with the decorated lids. I bought almost 2 sets worth of pink mixing bowls and refrigerator dishes, and the complete set of "Snowflake Blue" refrigerator dishes with lids.

I know that sounds like a lot, but spread out over two years, it's not so much. And also, I've never, even once, bought anything from ebay. So I still don't consider myself much of an online shopper.

Anyways, in the rare times now that I find pretty much anything vintage, it's priced crazy high. The glory days of finding Fire King mugs for less than a dollar are long gone, it seems.

But the reason I'm writing this post today is because I realize how defeated I feel. And it's not just prices that's doing it.

Out of habit, I searched shopgoodwill for Pyrex earlier today. Instead of being interested in what I was seeing, I felt sad. Every one of those auctions are Pyrex pieces that I think should be sitting on a store shelf, just waiting for a cute little blogger like me (Haha!) to buy it, clean it up, love it, blog about it. Instagram it. All that.

It's a local piece that came out of someones home. The original owner may not be with us any more. I think it deserves a chance to stay in the area and go to another local person. I know that may not ultimately be its fate, but it stands a lot less of a chance when it's being presented to a global audience, to whomever is willing to shell out the most $$$

I'm thoroughly sick of online. It's only online because it makes them more money. And does anyone know where exactly that money goes?! Cause I sure don't. I think they think that paying their employees is their charitable deed. But by that logic, Walmart is a charity. Target is a charity.


I hate how ugly my emotions get when I think about it all. I'm at that point where I feel that a part of me is saying that I don't want to shop at Goodwill anymore, because I don't want to give them any more of my money.

The other part of me is a real shopping addict that doesn't know if I can give it up! Even when I practically HATE Goodwill some days.

There have been many occasions where I've felt like what I buy is being inspected, so they can mark it up next time. I've been asked by a cashier if I'm a dealer, and I basically said "No, I'm just a hoarder." LOL!

Frankly, I don't think it's anyone elses business! AND when I buy something from the thrift store and resell it, I only resell locally. So I'm at least as good as my opinion that a local item deserves at least the chance to stay local.

And whether you like it or not, vintage is just the thing these days. Before the economy tanked, house-flipping was the side hustle of choice. Now it's flea market flipping. It's American pickers. The tides will turn when there are more opportunities to seemingly make more money in an easier way.

So, no, I don't think vintage is going to be as hot a few years from now. But by then, all the good stuff might have been auctioned off to the highest bidder in Japan, where they seem to have more of an appreciation for vintage glassware!

And as for the future of Goodwill, well, I don't think it's very bright either. I don't know that I believe thrift stores as a whole can even survive. Too much disposable crap that isn't really resellable. I think in general, thrift stores are going to basically become used clothing stores with progressively tinier sections for everything else.

I go back to Goodwill and will continue to go back because I'm a gambler. I play the odds, I lose money sometimes, and sometimes I win big. I have enough small wins to keep the hunger alive.

Intermittent reinforcement. It's a hell of a drug. lol!

Thoughts? Do you have a thrift chain you just love to hate?

Happy Thrifting! ;-)