Thursday, September 26, 2013

thrift store spoils, ch. 5: Christmas stuff and the coolest ashtray ever

I’m way late in updating my recent finds, because I’ve been crazy-busy with volunteer commitments.  But here I am. 
And I’ll start with my favorite.

Yes, it’s an ashtray. Does "nearly obsolete" pop into anyone's head? And, no, I don’t smoke. In fact, I was raised by a mother who badmouthed smoking every chance she got. As a result, I’ve never even taken a single puff of a cigarette. Ever.

My husband does imbibe in one or two cigars per weekend. But he’s another story.

Still, how could I pass up an ashtray with navy blue horse silhouettes and the words “Nydrie Stud” printed on it? Gotta love a household item advertising a stud farm, particularly one with accents in gold and grass green.

(Question here: Does this piece look vintage 1950ish? I'm thinking it does.)

I’m originally from Kentucky, you see, and I have a few equestrian accents in my home’s décor. In fact, the houses of most of my childhood friends contained  horse-themed items to one degree or another. That’s just Kentucky.

Anyway, there’s a story to this ashtray.

So after buying this at SA, I came home and looked up “Nydrie Stud” online. And, lo and behold, it’s a thoroughbred farm, rich in history and  located in Virginia’s Albemarle County. From the reporting I read, it looks like the place was put up for sale in 2005 and sold in 2008. The listing includes some nice pictures of this beautiful property. Check out the buildings' red trim and red brick.

I located Nydrie Stud on a satellite map, and (lo and behold, again!) the farm sits only about a mile and a half, as the crow flies, from property owned by my husband's brother and his wife. They live in a 200-something-year-old home that sits on a good deal of acreage near Scottsville. It’s a comfy and welcoming home that we visit as often as we can.

Okay. So you may be asking, “What’s the big deal? Who cares?”

Well, this story illustrates why I like to thrift shop. You see, I bought a pretty random item for 75 cents, because I thought it was oh-so-cool and because I like horses. Upon later research, I learn that I have a connection to the piece—albeit very, very indirect—through family and family get-togethers. But I also learned something new about an area in Virginia that I’m already quite familiar with. (We're gonna have to drive by the ol' stud farm the next time we visit Scottsville . . . .) And while looking at the property via satellite map, it was just plain fun when the light bulb went off in my head, and I thought, “Wait a danged minute. I know that other place. I’ve slept in that place, the house sitting just a short ways away from Nydrie Stud!”

And this mini-adventure began on a humble trip to a thrift store.

I really like melmac, and I have quite a bit of it. But this is the first time I’ve found it in this sleek charcoal color, and I love the shapes of the platters. These pieces are by Branchell.

Both of these Pyrex mixing bowls are in mint condition. They might be called Red Cherry and Blue Ribbon, but I'm just not sure. They're vintage early 1990s, and they cost me a buck apiece.

I love these sunflower yellow mugs with the sweet heart-shaped handles by Homer Laughlin. I wish I knew more about them. But as of this post, I haven’t been able to find these exact ones in a photo online. On the bottoms are stamped “HLC” and “USA,” with the Homer Laughlin logo in between.

I found another soup mug—this one with a little veggie whimsy.

 Okay. I have no clue why I bought this.

This is one-twelfth of a set of Louisville Stoneware 12 Days of Christmas punch cups. When I see Louisville Stoneware at thrift stores, I usually buy it. I have pieces that were given to me new in the 1980s that I still use regularly—proof that it’s good stuff. It’s also something that Kentuckians tend to collect.

Okay. I've written before that I don't necessarily like to buy Christmas stuff, that I prefer to mix and match solid colors for the seasons. The above item was an exception, because of the maker. The three finds below are exceptions, as well.

I had to buy this set of winking Santas by Holt Howard and dated 1959. The price was too right, and it was an entire set, after all. I was thinking it would be good to put in an Etsy shop if I ever get off my backside and open one. The paint on the faces is chipped here and there, but these guys are still adorable.  

The price was super-duper good on these two peppers and a salt, made in Japan like the winking Santas. I’m thinking one set would be good on Etsy because of ease of shipping for a newbie like me. I’ll use the other pepper as a kitschy Christmas decoration accent?

I saw these plates on the shelf and liked them from the get-go. Then I turned them over to find that they were produced by Blue Ridge Pottery. So I had to get them. I’m not a big fan of most of the company’s hand-painted patterns, but I really like this one. (By the way, the little design in the upper right corner of the plate is mistletoe.) I brought them home and looked them up online. Turns out they’re quite collectable (read: valuable). Score.

I found this vintage 2000s Tupperware canister in mint condition for 75 cents. I’ll use this every day. And I got the old, weathered duck to place in a planter. I do that lots—tuck sweet animal figurines in with my houseplants. Why not?

By the way, thanks, Sir Thrift A Lot and a living space, for the opportunity to link up. 

And much appreciation goes to We Call It Junkin for allowing me to join their link-up party We Call It Olde.

That, folks, is it for now. Happy thrifting.