Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pyrex as a Learning Tool -- Start Them Young!

We have one cabinet in the kitchen with glass doors where I keep all a little of my Pyrex, Coronation & kitchen glass collection.   Ever since my granddaugher (now 13 months) was old enough to hold her head up and look around at things, I've carried her over there and shown her the all the goodies inside. At about 6 months, she started really paying attention, but I didn't realize until this past week how closely she'd been watching.

I open the cabinet and say 'Pyrex!' and then start on the primary set first (don't all Pyrex collectors?)... 'Yellow, green, red, blue  (then, moving to the right) -- turquoise, pink and Flamingo pink!'  I take out the 'There'll Always be an England' glasses and the Coronation glass and the little flamingo on the bottom shelf and show them to her.  If I forget to go back to the little maple leaf cream and sugar on the bottom shelf and say 'yellow', she points to them to remind me.  I think it's a good way to teach colors (though her parents think it's pretty funny that I've been teaching their baby turquoise and flamingo pink).

So, last week, Mr. KV was holding her in another part of the kitchen and I said something about Pyrex and she turned around, looked right at the cabinet and started grinning!  If you ask her 'Where's the Pyrex?', she immediately looks at it and gets excited.  Only 13 months, just starting to walk and talk and she already knows the good stuff -- that's smart!

I can see a great time treasure hunting with my little buddy in the future -- I'd better save a granny cart for her!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mystery Stetson China Pattern - 1957

When I first began selling at the antique mall, I bought lots of odd place settings of china: dinner plates, cups and saucers, creamers and sugar bowls.  I thought that people would buy them -- after all, both Martha AND Flea Market Finds had said on television and in print that mismatched china was cool!  If they said it, it must be true, right?   Not so...most people don't want one or two plates unless they need that particular pattern.  Mismatched china IS cool, but people don't buy it!

So, I've been hunting and gathering in my junk inventory in the basement -- looking for all the odd bits and pieces of china that I've bought over the past 4 years.  We're planning a road trip to Florida and I'm planning to make a side trip to Replacements and sell them most of it.  What they don't want, I'll sell in a bargain basket at the mall or donate away.

I found several serving bowls in this mystery pattern.

It's clearly backstamped Stetson and is dated 1957.  I think it's pretty cool -- especially for spring entertaining!  I'm crazy about research, though, and a real perfectionist when it comes to identification and I can't find the pattern anywhere.  It's driving me crazy!  It's not on Replacements or any of the other china websites and a picture of it doesn't even come up in a general Google image search.  I searched Marcrest, too, because they distributed a lot of Stetson china.

Do any of you know the pattern name?  Was it distributed by a company other than Stetson or Marcrest?  If I can't find it, I'm going to have to resign myself to not knowing, but I hate an unsolved puzzle.

Have a great week, everyone!  (And, oh by the way, if you need any odds-and-ends dinnerware, just let me know -- I've got you covered!)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

First Flea Market of the Year -- Cowboy Cool!

With the holidays over and nothing but snow and cold here in Michigan, cabin fever has really been setting in!   I haven't been out shopping since December, so when my friend Bargain Hunter asked me if I wanted to go to the Ingham County Indoor Garage Sale & Flea Market today, I jumped on it.  We had a great time -- lots of laughs and catching up on news, plus finding some treasures to take home.  

I found was this great mid-century cowboy ceiling light cover as soon as we walked in the door.  
I didn't know it at the time, but 'cowboy cool' was to be the theme for the day.  I found three western-related treasures, which are always really popular on Etsy.  There was a lot more western stuff there today, but this is all I got.  As usual, I got some mid-century and a few linens, too (as if I needed more!)

Here's what I came home with:
Wonderful 'shop class' project lamp with a western saloon scene and original cowboy lampshade
The cowboy and saloon keeper at the bar have hand-cut detail
A kid's holster set from the 1950s.  I remember having a red one very much like cool!
Sweet made-in-Japan kitty figurines
The aluminum drink spoons are still in the original package!
Love these black and white spatterware shakers
This barkcloth drapery panel has a big stain in the center, but was bargain priced.  If I can't get the stain out, I can use it for pillows
An unusual India-themed tablecloth.  I'm not sure how old it is, but it's the first elephant tablecloth I've seen
Pre-Disney Florida tablecloth -- also bargain priced!
Roosters & mid-century color scheme -- hard to pass up
This black Americana tablecloth is in great condition
I think this tablecloth is going to end up going to live with Bargain Hunter.   She needs tablecloths
You'll probably see some of these in my Etsy shop soon.   Did I get anything to keep?  Maybe this terrific, tacky musical mushroom with gnomes!  I haven't decided if I should keep it or sell it.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yikes! Where did 3 Months Go?

I just looked back at the blog and realized that I haven't posted in almost 3 months!  It seems like November, December and now January have blown by in a whirlwind of activity....New booth...Thanksgiving...Christmas...and the super-busy holiday shopping season on Etsy.

I went all out decorating for Christmas this year!  It was fun to go to the antique mall holiday open houses and sales and to buy even more vintage Christmas (as though I don't have enough already...).

I got this sweet wooden elf at Williamston Antiques.  He was originally part of a set of 13 or 14, but he's the only one that came home with me.  I put him inside the big (four foot) lighted wreath that my dad made for Mr. KV and me about 35 years ago.  The elf looks like he belongs there!
At Little Red Schoolhouse, I got this great bottle brush tree with a music box base.  It's in mint condition with ALL of its ornaments and mercury glass candles.  (I didn't take a picture of it all by itself -- it's the little tree on the right, next to the beautiful baby).
We found this big wood NOEL at Jeffrey's Antiques in Findley, Ohio on the way home from Thanksgiving.  It looks great in the kitchen.
I picked I added several Japanese pose dolls to the growing collection.  If you grew up in the 50s or 60s, you will remember these -- they have stocking faces and are wrapped over wire bodies so they can be posed.  I got a Santa and an elf this year.
I was lucky enough to get three big blow mold Santa faces this summer and couldn't find a place on the front of the house for any of them.  I'm going to sell one or two of them, but hung one on the back porch, facing the kitchen.  I love being able to look out and see him there -- he makes me smile every time and our little granddaughter loves him.  Maybe I won't take him down.  Is it weird to have Christmas light up all summer?
We found the perfect place for the plywood Santa that I got last year -- next to the fireplace in the living room!  He kept blowing over on the front porch last year, and I was afraid he'd break.  He looked just right there.
After Christmas, I went back to Williamston Antiques with my sister, because it's one of her favorite malls.  I got this great angel display from a dealer who used to be at our antique mall.  It's big -- about 4 feet tall -- and really fragile, because it's that thin celluloid plastic from the 50s.  I don't think it's ever been out of the box.  Isn't it great?

The new booth has kept me really busy.  Two weeks AFTER I moved everything in, I decided I hated the wall color that was there and couldn't live with it.  So I moved everything away from the walls and painted.  Not the easiest way to do it, but where's the fun in doing things the easy way?    It's been a lot of work to keep both booths stocked (that's good news, though, because it means things are selling).  I don't think I realized how much more planning and prepping would be involved with just adding one more booth.  The furniture is starting to thin out a little in the barn and garage, though, and Mr. KV is very happy about that!

The 'Etsy Every Day' project was a real success.  I listed almost 400 items in 2014; well beyond one each day.  I've been keeping it up so far in January, but have really enjoyed not having the every-day commitment to deal with.

I know that there will be lots of flea markets and sales coming in the spring, so I've been trying not to buy now, but rather take a look at what I have and get it listed and in the booth.  I've bought some great stuff in the past few years and completely forgotten about some of it!  It's sort of like a treasure hunt (for free!) or an archaeological dig, going to layer after layer of cool vintage finds.

I found this really sweet tin Valentine candy box from the 1920s.  It was made by Tindeco for the Sanders Chocolate Company, which was a favorite confectioner in the Southeast Michigan area, but are now gone. The box has great Art Nouveau styling and is in excellent condition.
I'd also forgotten about this Franciscan Coronado demitasse set that I got in Kentucky almost 2 years ago.  It's really beautiful!
I looked in a back corner of one shelf and found lots of blue transferware that I'd bought at a sale almost four years ago.  I think I moved it to the back in a 'safe place' and then didn't remember where I put it (have you ever done that?)  How could I completely forget about 3 covered vegetable bowls, a gravy set, 10 plates and a platter?  It boggles the mind!
I'll update more often now and will post pictures of more treasures as I find them in my basement.  I also know that there will be a few sales that I just can't miss and some shopping adventures with my friend Bargain Hunter, so there will be new things to find.

I'm really looking forward to getting back into routine.  In a way, January, February and March are a relief, with no outside work to do and no holidays to plan and just lots of time to get inside jobs done.   Am I the only one who feels like this?  Do you get lots of inside work done in the winter?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Painting and Pricing and Worn Out!

I'm running out of time to get things prepped for the new booth (if the previous dealer vacates on time, I'll move in the day after tomorrow).  I've spent the past several weeks sorting and pricing items and painting furniture from the barn.  Mr. KV is really excited, hoping that the 'hoarder's heaven' in the barn will retreat and we'll be able to see the walls again.  I'm not so sure, but I don't want to burst that bubble of hope, so I don't tell him.  I know that more will arrive to take its place (I have NO idea how it gets there...)!
The barn, before...
The girls don't care what I do, as long as I don't start storing stuff in their coop
My side of the garage is full of tables, shelves and chests of drawers in various stages of being painted.  I've been making my own chalk paint, which I don't think is quite as nice as the commercial brands, but it's so much less expensive!  I shop the 'oops' bin at Home Depot every time I go and usually find some interesting colors in their small sample sizes, which are just the right amount for a batch of chalk paint.
Waiting to be painted (not the white cabinets -- they're great just as they are)
I'm getting Christmas stuff ready for the new booth.  This choir boy is one of my favorites, along with the home-made porch candles.  
The white bench needs a top and I just have to choose which vintage fabric or barkcloth I can give up.  I hate to ever cut them and give them away -- I'm such a fabric junkie!
making progress
These two turquoise pieces will be mod podged with some map pages.  I'm not finished with them yet, so the 'after' pictures are still to come.  I'm really having fun doing things with maps and globes!

The two-tone drawers on this little chest REALLY bother me, but the green is great!  Why would anyone leave just two drawers and the knobs unpainted?  They must have been getting in touch with their artistic side....  I looked into getting a complementary green for the opposite drawers, but it ended up costing too much to make it worthwhile for resale.  Instead, I found a perfect shade in a sample size to match the green and am going to paint just the two odd drawers (but not the knobs).  I might paint the knobs antique white, but I'll probably end up leaving them alone.

Mr. KV and I will be moving things into the new booth Saturday morning (Lord willing and the other dealer moves out...)  One thing we're taking in is a mid-century metal office desk that we've had all of our married life (37 years...).  Neither one of us can remember where we got it, but we know it was when we were newlyweds and one of our offices remodeled, so we got it for free.  It's so cool -- seafoam green with a formica top and all the style of the 60s.  It's in near-mint condition, even though we've moved it to 5 states.

I'll post pictures of the booth next week when the dust settles.  There might even be a barn picture where you can see the walls, but don't count on it!

Find of the Week -- Wedell & Boers Carpenter's Case!

I took time out from painting and prepping to go to a family run estate sale that was on the way to the antique mall.  The sale was in a 100+ year old farmhouse on almost a hundred acres.  There wasn't much in the house that I wanted, so I went out to a little block building (about the size of a big garage) in the back.  It was the milking parlor and was full of old farm implements and tools I couldn't identify or begin to guess the purpose of.  I got an interesting heavy cast iron bowl that was the water bowl for the cow being milked (the elderly son of the even more elderly farmer told me this).

My greatest treasure, though, is this really shabby suitcase!  It's cloth over wood and has a drop-down side with a removeable tray.  It's really beat up and in poor condition, but so interesting.  It turns out that it's a carpenter's tool case made by Wedell & Boers in Detroit, probably sometime in the late 1910s or 1920s.  I'm going to vacuum it out, figure out how to clean it up without ruining it and get it into some kind of shape.

It's a fun bit of history, even though it will never be in great condition.  Do any of you know what these slats were for?  The leather belts snap over them to hold the contents in -- I'm guessing that they were for the carpenter's rulers, guages or metal files.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Monday Sale -- Chenille, Quilts and Yo-Yos -- Oh My!

We went out of town last weekend for a family wedding -- always a fun thing -- and I returned last night to find an email from my friend Bargain Hunter telling me about a sale today.  We've shopped together for so long that we know exactly what the other one looks for.  So, when she tells me "I know you don't want to buy right now, but you have to look at this sale", I pay attention!

And, of course, I saw lots I liked and, of course, I went to the sale.  It was run by a great estate sale company -- really friendly and relaxed (as opposed to frazzled and crabby, as some of them are). Everything was priced, there were plenty of workers to answer questions and the prices were fair to both the sellers and the buyers, so it was a pleasure to shop.

I met one of Bargain Hunter's Facebook friends there, too (who, I found out also reads my blog).  That was a fun's always nice to meet new vintage shoppers!

I came home with plenty of cool stuff -- mostly linens and kitchen stuff, but also a mix of good things for the booth and for etsy.

Here are the highlights...
A chenille doll bed cover, a blue chenille bathroom rug and the primary striped throw is a baby bed size -- perfect for snuggle time!
A french provincial musical jewelry box, a large quilted hatbox (it's hard to see it with the pillow inside of it) and a pillow made from a chenille bedspread
This photo doesn't do justice to the soft aqua blue of this quilt and the cool polka dotted accent fabric.  It's frayed and worn, but I think this sweetie has to stay with me (at least for a while)
I love this peachy lap quilt and yo-yo pillow
A set of Cory 'his and hers' individual carafes, a pretty iris tin and what looks like a Fiesta Go-Along vase, spooner or flower pot (Bargain Hunter will know if this is true).  The stripes are certainly Fiesta colors
It's hard to see what this is, but it's an old metal wall-mounted shaving mirror.  And an ice bag with original box
Brookpark Melmac Thanksgiving platter and Made in Japan turkey salt & peppers
Such a sweet painted and embroidered nursery picture and a Plaskool tray puzzle "Let Us Set the Table"
And of course, how could I pass up a pincushion, a bank or some postcard folders?
These yellow kitchen chairs are near-mint!  Look at the great detailing on the back
I know it's nerdy, but I was thrilled to see these while walking out to my car... They're garden mushrooms -- either pottery or chalkware or a combination of both.  The caps are on springs so they'll bob, I guess.   These will look perfect in my new, enlarged herb bed!
 I was thrilled with everything I got.  It's so seldom that I come home from a sale and don't have even one item I regret buying! I usually have buyer's remorse over some bit of 'junk' or another that I know I should have left there.  This time, though, everything was great.

Thanks again, Bargain Hunter, for the heads-up!