Sunday, May 4, 2014

thrift store spoils, ch. 24: Domino Mobler, Libbey Prado, and Dale Chemical

A spring break trip to North Carolina and Merlefest, a focus on getting some Etsy and Ebay items listed (and some soldyay!), and good old fashioned procrastination have all kept me from posting about my thrifting finds. 

Now, though, I'll just jump right in. And I may as well start with something big, something found at the Manassas SA on 25%-off-everything day (the crazy SA day I swore off a few weeks back). 

I bought a très cool piece of mid-century modern furniture.

This Domino Mobler sideboard and hutch, made in Denmark of teak and teak veneer, was marked at $199. That's a good enough price in my book any day. But I was there on the aforementioned discount day, so I paid about $150 for it. Score!

I called the hubby from the store and texted a photo, wanting him to talk me out of buying something so room-altering. But, wouldn't you know, he was the one who talked me into bringing it home. The piece was too big for our Honda Pilot, though, so I hauled only the sideboard portion home that morning and returned with the hubby in the evening to pick up the hutch. 

And the only two problems I see with it are a one-inch or so's worth of water damage to the veneer on the bottom right sidedamage probably caused by a spill or leak that affected the carpet the piece was sitting on, and (maybe) a couple of missing drawer runners. You see, I've looked up photos of this piece online, and the narrow drawer I've placed below the fold-out desktop probably belongs instead above the desktop in one of the open shelves. But, as I said, the runners for the drawer are awol. 

Still, not too much damage for something that's been around since the 1950s, I don't think. Check out the stinkin' great minimalist handles.

Also, look at the beautiful veneer here. (And I promise that it's richer in person.) 

This piece has altered the room, for sure: it now sits where an old warped, crowded bookshelf (one made by the hubby years ago) used to sit. I am pleased, indeed.

Now on to some other finds, some of which are for me to keep for my very own self and some of which I've listed in my Etsy shop.

I have several tumblers in this pattern, tumblers that belonged to my Florida Mamaw. However, I've never taken the time to research them online. And until recently, I only knew that they were made by Libbey and that they can break into several pieces if used to get ice from the automatic ice dispenser on the freezer door. (Yep. They can break, if you try that.) 

Over the years, I've found that the pattern itself is pretty common in thrift stores, though often dishwasher damaged. But I had no idea the glasses also came with handy-dandy gold handles. Who knew?

But here they are. And I've now done some research and discovered that the pattern is called Prado and that these particular glasses were advertised as Casual Cups, although Libbey also suggested using them as punch cups. Okay, then.

This fun confetti ashtray was made by Dale Chemical Co. (yep, Dale Chemical), according to the info stamped on the back. Fun!

I love this Mother Mary planter. Isn't it beautiful-cool, as well as kitschy-cool, at the same time? I love the colors, the soft 1950s blue against the shiny gold. I love that it's functional. And I love that it's the Blessed Mother.

It's obligatory Pyrex find time. I picked up these two casseroles in the Verde pattern for my mom because the price was so good. The bottom dish has a lid, by the way.

And I found this one frosted cocktail glass (I believe from the 1950s?) all by its lonesome at the SA on the crazy day. The signature on the art/cartoon is W. Steigthat is, The New Yorker cartoonist William Steig. (I believe he's also the one who created Shrek!, on which the movie was based.) I don't really find his cartoons LOL-funny, but his stuff seems to be sought after. We'll see how this glass does on Etsy.

This is just a goofy plastic (or melmac?) bowl I found and duly bought. 

But, hey, the bottom is stamped "Japan," and it's a super-tacky and bright yellow, like the color my colorblind Florida Mamaw once painted the stucco on her South Florida home. (This is no lie, and I'm not exaggerating.). How could I resist?

I bought these Tupperware containers (perfect for herbs and such) for me, because I actually do preserve herbs at the end of the summer. And I like Tupperware.

The clear Pyrex fridgie is for Mama.

And last, I found this pair of the coolest bar glasses at my favorite GW. They are unmarked, so I know nothing about their history. But they're a vintage-1960s avocado green; the bottoms are super-heavy; and they were priced at 56 cents each. I love them.

By the way, this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago when I made Mint Juleps for the hubby and me, in anticipation of yesterday's Kentucky Derby. (We're both originally from Kentucky, you see.) Fret not, thoughyesterday's drinks were mixed and served in authentic pewter julep cups. We know what we're doing around here.

That's all for now. 

And thanks to Sir-Thrift-a-Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, We Call It Junkin, and a living space for the opportunity to link up.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

thrift store spoils, ch. 23: Pyrex faux bois, Canonsburg Temporama, and more mugs

I have no fun stories to pass on this week, so I'll just jump right in with some finds. I'll start with a beautiful authentic wooden piece and a beautiful fake wooden piece.

I'm calling this a candy dish. After I brought it home from my favorite GW, I treated it with my handy-dandy IKEA wood oil. The original sticker is still adhered to the backside, and the sticker itself is pretty cool.

That's a map/globe behind the Action name. Love it.

This is the second faux bois (false wood) tray by Pyrex I've found. The other, a larger one, has been listed in my Etsy shop for a while. But, alas, there have been no takers. I love them both, thoughso mid-century sleek. And who doesn't appreciate glossy, fake wood?

But on to more mid-century goodness.

When I saw this Pyrex Space-Saver priced at $10 at one of my regular stops (a thrift store that benefits the local hospital), I texted Mama to see whether she wanted it. Of course, she did. It's a promotional pattern from 1958, unofficially known as Black Rooster. The lid is chipped some on the underside, and it's apparently sitting in the wrong cradle. (According to my copy of PYREX Passion, it originally came with "a cradle with cork handles," while those in the photo above are plastic.) But Mama will love it anyway.

A few weeks ago, I also found this tureen for Mama. (Forgot to mention it on my blog before!) The bottom reads "Glo-White Ironside/Alfred Meakin/England." It's in perfect condition. And Mama likes yellow things.

Note, please, that I called it a "tureen" here, yet I'll admit that when I texted Mama about it from the SA, I called it a casserole. A tureen is for soup; a casserole is for . . . casseroles. I'm an American: a pot is for soup, and every other dish is for casseroles. Forgive me. 

This mid-century goodness is mine, found at two separate stores in the same week. This classic atomic pattern was manufactured by Canonsburg Pottery. It's called Temporama. 

Love, love, love the individual designs. I may use them for inspiration on the next patch I embroider to cover the holes in my jeans! Seriously. I do that.

I also found this 13x9-inch pan in Butterfly Gold (the first Butterfly Gold design that was issued between 1972 and 1978)for Mama. Remember, she loves yellows? 

Don't look closely at the photo, please, because I didn't clean it well. I got some of the  gunk off of it with Bar Keepers Friend, but got tired. Mama will have to get the rest!

And now to the obligatory mugs. (God help me.)

Between the two mugs is a sour cream glass. I cannot pass those up.

I bought the "got milk?" mug to list on Ebay. The slogan/ad campaign was just retired, and the mug is dated 1999. So I'm hoping it'll sell.

The Epcot mug is from 1982the year the ultimate mid-century atomic park opened. I'm pretty sure I was there that year, too. Epcot is my favorite of the Disney parks. And my family (both the one I grew up in and the one we're now raising) loves Disney. We've visited umpteen times. 

Not that you asked, but my favorite restaurant in Epcot?

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe

From a couple of sections of the dining area, visitors enjoy a nice view of Cinderella's Castle. And if you time your meals right, you can eat while listening to a set from a fun band. 

But besttheir large and reasonably priced menu (and by "reasonably priced," I mean "reasonably priced by Disney standards") includes a veggie burger and a super condiment bar. (I care, because I'm a vegetarian.) And at the super condiment bar, I can basically build a salad on my plate! Budget yummola!

One more thingthe decor in Tomorrowland (where the restaurant is located) is retro space-age. Perfect for us vintage lovers.

And, I promise, just one more thingtry to avoid this place during traditional mealtimes. It gets busy, busy, busy. And too many people looking for a table makes us crazy, crazy, crazy. And at Disney, we need to stay happy, happy, happy. 

These Starbucks mugs are for Ebay. The one on the right is a Berlin City Mug Series mug, by the way.

I was in the Manassas SA when I saw them in an employee's cart. She was stocking shelves. I waited by the cart until she returned from setting something on a shelf, and I asked whether I could take them. 

"Yes," she said.

"Thank you," I said.

And "Goodie!" I thought.

We'll see whether any Ebay shoppers might want one of them.

That's all for now. Happy thrifting, y'all!

Linking up with Sir Thrift-a-Lot and We Call It Junkin

Saturday, April 5, 2014

thrift store spoils, ch. 22: Ben Seibel's Country-Time, a Ges Line Ashtray, and humble requests for I.D. help

How about we begin with a thrift-store-find mystery that I hope someone out there can help me solve?

I found these three small bowls on a half-day-seven-thrift-store shopping craze. I have an efficient route that takes me east through four traffic-heavy Northern Virginia cities, yet allows me to complete the run in four hours. (Caveat: I no longer have small children.)

I picked up these bowls because I thought they might be Russel Wright. However, there are no markings on the bottoms indicating suchonly three stilt marks on each bowl. Also, after getting home and researching, the color of these looks a little darker than the iconic Russel Wright Coral. So maybe I got knockoffs? I do like them, regardless. But does anyone out there know whether the smaller Russel Wright pieces were ever manufactured without markings?

By the way, the melmac tray in the photo with the bowls is one I picked up at a SA last week. It's also unmarked. I got it because it matches the unmarked melmac bowls that both my Florida Mamaw and my Kentucky Mamaw used to serve us ice cream and cereal in.

This is definitely my best find of the past couple of weeks. Despite promises to myself to never ever venture into the Manassas SA on a Wednesday (when, ahem, the entire store is 25% off, and when everybody and his or her brother seems to know it), I did. I walked in three minutes after the store opened, and I picked up the last shopping basket available. There were two carts left, but I don't like carts. 

I have to say that, despite everyone else's carts getting in my way, I made out okay. And among the items I found were these three Ben Seibel designed salad plates by Pfaltzgraff. The pattern is Country-Time, and the minimalist fruit images are so stinkin' mid-century mod, as are the colorssaffron and gray. Am I wrong?

I probably won't keep them, though; I'm collecting, like, three patterns already, so I can't. But I'm not sure whether I'll list them in my Etsy shop, or whether I'll try an Ebay auction. I'm leaning Etsy, because Ebay intimidates me. (Too much down-to-the-wire pressure.) 

Right now I'm just trying to price them. I haven't found any of these exact plates for sale online right now, so I'm clueless about the current market value. (Thus, the nerve-wracking Ebay auction idealet the free market decide!)


On the shopping spree day, I  found these two bread and butter platesalso designed by Ben Seibel, but manufactured by Iroquois. I believe the pattern's name is Pyramids, but I'm not sure. I'll admit I don't love the pattern. In fact, I bought the plates for the far out logo and fonts on the plates' backs. I know. That's just sad.

I got this unnumbered blue Pyrex mixing bowl to help Mama complete her Primary set. And I happened across a Taylorstone Cathay dinner plate to add to my recently acquired humongous set, discovered and bought on Taylorstone Cathay Day. This one has a little chip, but I just don't care.

Also for Mama, I picked up this Pyrex 023 Opal. (She likes the Opals.) The bread and butter plate is mine. It's Copper Filigree, one of the Pyrex dinnerware patterns.

I don't normally buy ashtrays, because I simply have no justification. (The hubbie lets his cigar ashes fall wherever they may, don't you know.) But this ashtray is uber-cool. The bottom indicates that it's a Ges Line and that it was "Made in the U.S.A." See? Uber-cool. (Note, please, that I don't know whether the Ges Line does or does not need a dashlike Ges-Line? The name on the ashtray doesn't make it clear, so I'm going with the usage I found online as most common. No dash, it is.)

What'll I do with an ashtray? I'll either use it as a ridiculous candy dish, or list it on Etsy. Not sure which.

Okay. More I.D. help needed, please.

This lovely, frolicking-wild-horse bar glass is dated 1993, but I can't identify the maker. 

Anyone out there recognize this logo? I'd like to learn more about the glass, but I can't find that logo on any of my logo-I.D. go-to sites. 

And still more help, please?

This cradle thingie was priced at 96 cents, and, of course, it has such a fun wooden handle. So there was no way I could leave it sitting on the GW shelf amongst all the common stuff. Too bad I have no idea what it was originally intended to hold and/or display. (At first, I was thinking that it might be part of a Pyrex set, but I can't find a photo of it in any of my regular Pyrex info sources.) 

Clue: It is collapsible.

The two tiny serving pieces were made in Japan. They were a little grungy at the store, but after cleaning the stainless steel and treating the wooden handles at home, they look quite good, if I do say so myself.

So those are the only items I'll write about this week. And, please, if you have any idea what the unknowns up there are, I'd love for you to share.

And I'll leave you with a Remington Steele update (because I wrote about the show last week). This week I watched the first episode of the second season. 

It's the episode in which Laura and Mr. Steele travel to exotic Acapulco, in part to save Laura's housekeeper's son from some bad south-of-the-border dudes. But it's also the episode that explains away the sudden absence of two of the first season's secondary characters, while also cleverly introducing replacement Doris Roberts (a.k.a. Mildred Krebs) as the IRS agent/stickler who, turns out, is a closet adventure seeker. (Spoiler alert: Mildred becomes Remington Steele's receptionist/private-eye extraordinaire and adds immensely to the show's charm.) 

Well, also in this episode, Laura Holt sports some rad vintage 1980s parachute pants. Oh, yes. Check it out.

I lived through the parachute pants days, by the way. And I'm here to tell you that it wasn't always pretty. (Laura carries it off well, though. Look at that itsy-bitsy waist!)

Please note the bar stool behind/next to Laura. Doesn't that look Eames-ish? Could that be an authentic wire bar stool designed by the man himself? Or only a reproduction. Fun, nevertheless.

Thanks to Sir Thrift-a-Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, We Call It Junkin, and a living space for the opportunity to link up.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

thrift store spoils, ch. 21: Marimekko Oy, Dansk, and Remington Steele meets Strawberry Shortcake

I have become a Me-TV junkie. For those of you unfamiliar with the channel, "Me" is short for "memorable entertainment." That is, classics. (Don't you like the retro logo above?) 

These are shows that are quite often potically incorrect, without apology. (Oh, the freedom!) 

They are unafraid to feature cigarette smokers, sunbathers, and seatbeltless passengers. (You won't find twerking here, though. Thank the good Lord.) 

And they are as vintage as vintage gets. 

And I'm glad that I've been able to introduce some of these classic shows to the kidsshows such as Gilligan's Island, Columbo, and Wonder Woman. And for the first time in my memory, I, myself, can watch Remington Steele in syndication.

I spent the 1980's as a high school and college student, and (not that you asked, but) my must-see shows of the decade were Magnum, P.I. (duh!), The Dukes of Hazzard, Cheers, Hart to Hart, and Remington Steele

Yep. I liked Doris Roberts before she became Raymond's mom. And I liked Pierce Brosnan before he became 007and even before he gained the extra muscle that made him even more attractive. And, I must say, the only accent more appealing than a British accent is a Southern one. (Thus, the inclusion of the Dukes in my list!)

Me-TV broadcasts Remington Steele on Sunday afternoons, and I use my handy-dandy DVR function so that I can watch it alone later in the week. So this week's episode ("Steele Knuckles and Glass Jaws"with a plot obviously piggybacking on the Rocky movies' boxing theme popularity during the decade) has, in one part, our debonaire Mr. Steele going undercover as a wheeler-dealer (a role not unfamiliar to him, given his mysterious and suspect past), during which time he meets briefly with a shady character in a diner. Vintage dishware alert!

Check out what's sitting on the counter in front of them: an Anchor Hocking milk glass mug featuring Strawberry Shortcake. (I think this is the exact one.)

Why is such a precious mug sitting in such a seedy scene, you may be thinking? I have no clue. Irony, perhaps?

I was never a Strawberry Shortcake fan; instead, I was of the older Holly Hobbie generation. But my little sister was the prime age when Strawberry Shortcake became uber-popular in the 1980's. And I think I remember that she had a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox?

Anyhow, just thought I'd share the vintage sighting surprise that occurred while I watched vintage TV.  

Now on to the week's finds.

I picked up this simple, white veggie bowl by Merimekko Oy (Pfaltzgraff). It's in great condition, with some crazing only. Marimekko has sold well for me in my Etsy shop, so I'll list it there.

I also found this classic metal trivet, made in Japan. Truly kitschy-cool. Hey, who doesn't like a practical kitchen item that also demeans (good naturedly, of course) the authority of the man of the house? And check out the weapon bread roller at the bottom. 

This Mrs. Clause salt shaker is also made in Japan. Isn't the detail on her face sweet? Alas, the pepper shaker was nowhere to be found. A day in the life of a thrifter.

And this mug is by Dansk. I know very little about it right now, only that it reads "Dansk Designs Denmark" on the bottom. I'll learn more and then list it on Etsy, I suppose.

This pair of owl mugs is unmarkedno "made in Japan" or anything. (I assume they're vintage 1970's, though.) I got them because pairs are good to list. They also remind me of the several houses (rented and owned) we had growing up. Owls were always represented, and the decor always included a healthy amount of brown.

These are items I found and bought for Mama. As I've mentioned before, she's a fan of yellow. The Opal loaf pan is Pyrex, of course. And the platter pattern is "Fresh as Spring" by Mikasa Light 'n Lively, made in Japan. I think I've loved every Light 'n Lively pattern I've come across.

This Tupperware Servalier canister set was marked at $4 for all eight pieces. I texted a photo to Mama, told her they were a pale yellow, and asked whether she wanted them. "Yes!" she responded. (I believe they're officially listed as Harvest Gold, by the way.)

And that's it. 

If you're so inclined, check out some Me-TV. Thrifters who are vintage nuts should be watching some vintage TV!

And thanks extended to Sir Thrift-a-Lot, We Call It Junkin, and Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm for the opportunity to link up.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

thrift store spoils, ch. 20: Taylorstone Cathay Day

Allow me to share with you the inspiring thrifting adventure behind what I now refer to as Taylorstone Cathay Day. 

Of course, if you're not interested in reading a story, feel free to scroll down to more photos.

I don't normally venture into thrift stores on weekends. They're crowded and just not worth the aggravation. But a week ago I did stop in at my favorite GW on my way home from an ESL class I teach. It was just a little past noon, and I had to cruise the parking lot for a couple of minutes before I finally found a parking spot on the opposite end of the strip mall, over by the Dunkin Donuts. And even before I entered, I could tell that the place was indeed full of folks. Again, I don't like weekend thrifting. 

So why did I do it on March 15, 2014, a.k.a. Taylorstone Cathay Day? I'm crediting a supernatural vintage-stuff-whispers-to-vintage-nut-in-a-language-only-vintage-lovers-understand phenomenon. 

I felt a pull.

Enough. Let's skip to the near end. Check out the photo of my buggy that I texted to Mama in North Carolina as I headed to the register.

And after sending this image, I still found a couple more pieces to load in there. (Yay!)

Like many of you, I love the perfectly atomic Taylorstone Cathay pattern. And I do know that it's not uncommon in thrift stores, because I see lots of finds on others' blogs. I also consider myself a collector, in fact. (And by "collect," I mean that I've bought, maybe, six or eight pieces.) In fact, my first post on this blog included a modest Taylorstone Cathay find. So you can imagine the double-take I did when I happened upon the many precariously stacked Taylorstone Cathay pieces sitting on the shelves of a housewares endcap. 

Immediately and without regard to price, I knelt and began putting the pieces in my handheld shopping basket. (I never choose the buggy optiontoo cumbersome.) Of course, there was no way I would fit all that was there in that little basket. And, unfortunately, you can't holler "saved!" in a thrift store. Well, you can, I suppose, but there's no guarantee that it'll be effective.

So I stood there, trying to figure out how to go grab a buggy while still protecting my great find from other shoppers (none of whom seemed the slightest bit interested in whatever the heck I'd discovered). But then a GW employee who recognized me as a regular (heck, most of the employees there know me as a regular!) happened by and told me that there was more of the set on the opposite endcap. I think I said in reply something like, "Holy moly." He asked whether I wanted it. Heck, yeah!

So the nice man began putting all of those pieces from the other end-cap in another basket for me. And now I had an ally protecting my "saved!" pieces. I commandeered a buggy at the front of the store. Then back at the housewares aisle, I thanked the nice man and put everything he had gathered into my not-really-so-cumbersome buggy. I also told him that the hubby was going to freak, because I wouldn't be coming home with one little Russel Wright plate today, but with pretty much a whole stinkin' set of 50-year-old dishes. The nice man asked me to then please refrain from mentioning to the hubby his involvement in my adventure. 

Thinking like a seasoned thrifter, I then roamed the rest of the housewares aisles looking for stray pieces from the set. That's when I found two oval platters. Holy moly, again.

My buggy held the following:

  • 13 dinner plates 
  • 10 salad plates
  • 10 bread & butter plates
  • 10 soup bowls
  • 16 cups with 16 saucers 
  • 9 additional cups without saucers
  • 2 oval platters
  • 2 veggie bowls
  • 1 creamer
  • 1 sugar bowl with lid
  • 1 gravy boat with its saucer

It took quite a while to ring up my purchase and then to loosely wrap the entire set. (Duh.) The GW folks kindly found three boxes in the backroom to help me carry everything. During the process, the nice man told me that he had just priced and put the dishes out that morning and that he was glad they were heading out the door so soon. I think the staff believed that this was one of those sets that would sit around taking up space foreveras if it were manufactured by Gibson 10 years ago or something. Each piece was priced between 96 cents and $3.96. In the end, everything I got cost me just under $130, and that's including sales tax. Yay!

In the parking lot, the hubby called wondering where I'd gotten to. (As I mentioned before, I usually head straight home after teaching on Saturdays.) I told him that I had detoured to GW, but that I'd be home soon. Then I said, "Um, dear. This will be a day that will test the strength of our relationship."

He met me at the door when I got home. He shook his head and laughed. He knows me. I explained to him how incredible my find was. And for the umpteenth time, I reminded him that when we married over 25 years ago, we didn't register for china. (I've used that one to justify buying vintage dishes forever. And it works!) He went out back to smoke a cigar, while I unpacked and washed and dried everything. It took me almost two hours. 

The set looks to have never been used. There is no crazing, and there are no stains. Four or five pieces do have small chips. No biggie.

I love that the set includes the gravy boat with its handy-dandy plate.

I also got a creamer and a sugar bowl. Check out the oh-so-mid-century-mod wood lid!

The cups' insides are such a rich green.

A few days after Taylorstone Cathay Day, I returned to the GWon the off chance I'd left a piece sitting there by its lonesome, or the staff had just put out more discovered hiding in the back. And there was a piece: another sugar bowl, sans cool lid, but priced at 96 cents. I grabbed it. I'll probably never find the lid, but I don't care.

Also, a couple of days after Taylorstone Cathay Day, Mama happened across a salt shaker from the set, marked at $4, in a North Carolina thrift store. Did I want it, she asked. Heck, yeah! And in honor of March Madness, I'll declare, "Serendipity, baby!"

I think this will be our go-to nice set when we finally move to our North Carolina home in a few years. I'm planning on decorating with a mid-century modern/mountain theme. It'll work. I'm sure of it.

Thank you for humoring me as I shared my story. You thrifters understand. I know you do. 

As always, thanks to Sir Thrift-a-Lot, a living space, We Call It Junkin, and Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm for the opportunity to link up.