Saturday, April 30, 2011

Retro Obsession

I've been collecting vintage diner china for years, picking it up at rummage sales and thrift stores when I find it. It is a collectible that you can still find at a reasonable price. Why do I collect it? My parents had a restaurant and used Buffalo China dishes there. They were sturdy, made a great sound when they clinked together, and nothing feels better in your hand than a heavy Buffalo China cup filled with steaming coffee on a cold day!

What's interesting is that you can tell how old your piece is by the code on the bottom. For instance this Walker China cup has a code of J-47. This means it was produced in January 1947.
Buffalo China has a unique code of its own, J-12 means that this stack of  small diner plates  was manufactured around December 1949.
I think my favorite marking would have to be the raised buffalo logo mark, which is most likely from the 50's or 60's.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One Man's Trash.....

So, last night was garbage night in our neighborhood. I looked out our living room window and saw a few items of interest in my neighbor's trash  pile. My husband kind of shook his head as I slunk out the door and grabbed my prizes. I think I found some great items. The best thing was this old watering can -which is vintage and in pretty good shape. I've seen these for sale in antique stores for $25 - $30, so I was kind of giddy to find this one for FREE!
I also grabbed this croquet set, It's not old but still cool. We could use as is or I might utilize the mallets and croquet balls as decorative items. I've displayed the croquet balls in a giant apothocary jar, and they looked pretty cool in there.
My last item was this birdbath base, which I'll either use as a new base for my birdbath basin, or as a stand for a gazing globe. So all in all I think I scored some pretty good junk! Next week is cleanup week in our area, so lots of folks will be setting items out for the curb shoppers to peruse. Maybe I'll have to get out there as well! Fun stuff.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Upcycled Vintage Cloche

I've seen lots of upcycled cloches out there, but here is my take on it......I bought this old mesh colander, and have actually had it for awhile. I was trying to puzzle out some way to add a handle on the top. I had some different metal cookie cutters out for awhile, but that didn't seem to look right. Then I remembered I had an assortment of orphaned salt shakers. So I dug out this cute little squirrel.
I used Super Glue and attached him to the top as a handle. I also wanted to make a cake stand for the little cloche to sit on. So once again dug through my junk and found this pretty floral plate with a silver rim, and a basic white candlestick. I glued the two together and now have a unique cloche and cake stand set, with plenty of vintage charm.
I topped the plate with a little nest and some wooden acorns that I happened to have around the house (I guess I've been squirreling away junk!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Retro Rummage

Well, my sister and I took part in the West Fargo Rummage Sale this weekend, despite the sloppy wet snow we had a good turnout and were able to sell a lot of our vintage wares!

My sister had a bunch of vintage and handmade jewelry that she was selling, she had it displayed in this cute travel case. She's been collecting pretty seriously for a good couple of years. Her faves are bracelets, signature pieces, and shiny glitzy rhinestones.

I also brought some of the upcycled purses that I had made out of t-shirts and felt (all my materials...t-shirts, felt, thread, and snap closures were cast offs from someone, that I had either purchased at rummage sales or thrift stores). I didn't have any luck selling them, maybe I'll find a different venue for them, I think they would appeal to the tween crowd (perhaps?).

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Fortune

During a treasure hunt I came across this fun find - Fortune Telling Birthday Book. I knew immediately what it was, as my grandma had one almost identical to it. In the book she had all of her children's and grandchildren's birthdays marked on the appropriate days.

I remember looking through the book and reading all the interesting and slightly mysterious fortunes, of my aunts, uncles, cousins and sisters.

Inside is information that was maybe more common knowledge years ago. For instance I know that a 50th wedding anniversary is golden. But did you know that your fourth anniversary is fruit....and your seventh is wool...and your eleventh is steel? The book also lists the meaning of birthstones, an Amethyst is sincerity, Sapphire is love and Opal is hope.

Hopefully the Fortune Telling birthday book is accurate, here's my fortune: "Your originality in everything  you do, will if cultivated bring you happiness and remuneration." Let's hope for LOTS of remuneration!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Retro Baking with Betty

This is a cool vintage (from the '50's?) Betty Crocker "How to have the most fun with cake mixes" cookbook. It has funky recipes and ideas on decorating and presenting your Betty Crocker cakes. This book was targeted to the brand new homemaker. There are holiday cakes in the shapes of rabbits, snowballs, igloos and Jack-O'-Lanterns.

There are also gingerbread hard sauce clowns which are made with sugar butter and vanilla and candy pieces for a delicious and creepy effect. Plus ideas for  zoo cookies, lemon ginger dessert and ginger fancy!
My absolute favorite is the FLAMING Peach Jubilee Cake - Yikes! Set that one down in front of your family! It uses canned peach halves, lemon extract and sugar cubes for the fiery effect. Thanks Betty, you've been making our lives sweeter for the last 87 years! Now where's my fire extinguisher?

Friday, April 1, 2011

I've got Junkmarket Style

I recently became a member of Junkmarket Style a blog and site for junk design, refurbishing and upcycling. A perfect fit for a person that likes to rummage and thrift and reuse and recycle. I posted a project for an upcycled candleholder, that used old patterns, glue and a basic candleholder from a thrift store. I just found out that I was nominated as member feature for March 31st. How exciting! Here is a before picture, showing my raw items, you can click on the link to see my final  finished project.

Vintage Spring Vignettes

To herald in spring, I purchased these sweet little vintage duck planters. They just looked so happy and made me smile. I've learned long ago that if something "speaks" to you and you have it in your hand, you should buy it! But what to do with them when I got them home.....?? I had some organic oat grass seed on hand and decided to sow it in these little planters, that way I could look forward to a patch of green grass and the smell of spring long before our own yard awoke from winter slumber. I think I paid aboutt $6 total for the two planters. They'd make a really cute display on a spring Easter table, all you'd have to do is add a few colored eggs, some nice china, and you'd have a pretty and inexpensive tablescape.

I also put together this spring vignette, some of the items are new and some of the items are vintage. A good chunk of the items I purchased at rummage sales (as usual)!
The giant egg is a real ostrich egg, that came with a few feathers and only cost a quarter! What a deal! I paired it with these cutie pie bird candles, added some pebbles, and put everything into this cool bowl I found on sale at TJ Maxx. I love the the fact that it fits right in with my vintage finds.
In the background is this great fan that I got at a rummage sale for next to nothing.....great color! The sign in the background was scavanged from my parent's farm garage, its the perfect finishing touch to this blue vintage vignette.