Thursday, October 29, 2015

China Score at Last!

Yeah, I know, it's been awhile. But truthfully, it's been awhile since I found much on the shelves to write about! But today, despite fighting a horrible cold I had to make a run to my usual treasure hunting grounds to make a return before it was too late and I lost my store credit. So, off I went, and my efforts were rewarded with my first china loot in ages!

It is well documented that china is my main weakness and fortunately (or regrettably, depending on whom you ask!) I have plenty of space to store it in my home so there is little deterrent to my stockpiling. I have, however, narrowed my collecting focus in recent years to a few patterns and makers, or else I would be bringing home every pretty plate in a five state radius and let's just say that might affect marital harmony around these parts.

So, anyway, today I brought in my returns and received a nice store credit that had to be used today or else I would lose it. I immediately got to work perusing the aisles as I had limited time...and almost instantly spotted these stoneware cups and saucers.

I have amassed a decent collection of this pattern, informally called Daisy and Dot, which was made by Mar-Crest in the 1950s and early 1960s. My mother had several of these pieces, and I'm sure that is why I love them so much.

If you look carefully at the photo above, you will notice that the cups vary. I was curious as to why, so I googled it, and found a very interesting website devoted to this pattern. If you are interested in learning more about this very popular pattern, I highly recommend you visit Oh, and the answer to the mystery of the different cup handles is that they made them in one-finger, two-finger, and three-finger styles!

Nearby on the same shelf, I found this collection of ivory dish ware. My good friend collects this pattern, so I snatched them up.

I'd never seen the cups and saucers before, but I do find the bowls and plates fairly frequently. It is a nice vintage pattern that doesn't look too precious today, very versatile. These cups and saucers need a good cleaning, but they were in good condition.

I also collect Blue Ridge Pottery, and anyone who knows anything about Blue Ridge Pottery knows that there are seemingly endless patterns, so that can get dangerous. Some are very showy, with lots of flourishes and just a lot going on in general, and some are very simple. All (that I've seen) are hand painted using beautiful colors on a very smooth ivory background. I favor the very simple ones, but once in awhile I make an exception and pick up other patterns if the price is right. Today, I picked up a lot of seven Blue Ridge pieces just to get one piece. The ironic thing is that the one piece I really wanted wasn't even Blue Ridge!

This gravy pitcher is not Blue Ridge Pottery, although it is often mistakenly labeled as such due to its similarity. It is actually Dixie Dogwood by Joni China. I have hundreds of pieces of Dixie Dogwood, but I did not have a gravy boat, so I am so happy to have found this in such great condition.

Dixie Dogwood is one of my absolute favorite patterns ever! Again, my mother had a few pieces of this and collecting it and displaying it brings back wonderful memories and just makes me feel happy.

Here are the pieces of actual Blue Ridge Pottery that I picked up in order to get the gravy pitcher.

The pattern name is "Fruit Punch." It is a little more showy than I usually care for, but the colors are gorgeous in person. Photos never do it justice!

And then, finally, I found this complete set of the amazing Anne of Green Gables series for my daughter. She enjoyed the first book but has yet to read any of the sequels. These books meant so much to me as a young girl that I can't imagine my daughters not reading them, too. In fact, I may re-read them all before I pass this set along...I'm sure I'd fall in love with Gilbert Blythe all over again!

Perhaps I will curl up in bed tonight with a cup of tea and Gilbert Blythe, not a bad way to nurse my cold, ha!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A New Adventure

Well, friends, I finally took the plunge. After much planning and work, I have officially opened my Etsy shop, Anne's Pocket Finds.

I have only a few things in the shop so far, but my goal is to add new items each day, while making sure that I don't get in over my head. I did make one sale already, which was super exciting as the shop had only been open for a few minutes when the order came through. You should have seen my head spin!

For those of you have who encouraged me by leaving comments on the blog, offering helpful advice, giving me the big thumbs up on my posts on Facebook, sending me private messages and notes, or linking my blog to theirs, I cannot thank you enough. Your support and kindness has meant so much to me!

I have a lot to learn, and a lot of hard work ahead of me to make this successful, but I do hope that you will continue to follow along with me down this new path. In the meantime, please do take a moment to visit my new shop and let me know what you think!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Goodies

Despite the deep chill in the air today, the backyard ice rink was not yet frozen solid when we ventured out this morning, so we scrapped plans to host friends for an impromptu skating party and dashed out to greet the new American Girl Doll of the Year instead. She's a cutie, of course, but if I have anything to say about it, there will be no more AG dolls joining our collection anytime soon. It's still fun to look, however, and my girls had a ball perusing all the new offerings before carefully spending their own money on the new doll's Baking Outfit and the Softball Set. We have big plans to make some of the new doll's accessories and faux baked goods ourselves, "knock-off style", which we all find to be great fun.

Even more fun was stopping at the thrift shop on the way home! It is one I rarely get to, and I almost dared not ask to stop, but since everyone seemed to be in a good mood, I did, and was rewarded with not a single groan or eye roll.

And I'm so thankful I took the leap. Moments after entering the store, I scooped up fourteen pieces of my favorite Christmas china. Four dinner plates, four dessert plates, four saucers and two cups. I am sure the other two cups were there somewhere but after searching for a while, I gave up on them. I don't really need them anyway as I already have loads of the cups. It's really the dinner and dessert plates that I want. I will have to do a count when I put these away for next year--I am certain I am close to having 20 place settings, if not more. Perfect for large holiday gatherings!

I also found two bags of vintage Christmas ornaments. Nothing fancy, mostly solid colored glass balls, but a few special ones. And all the Christmas stuff was half off, so I got a really good price. I have enough fancy vintage glass ornaments to decorate an entire tree, but these solid ones are great for tucking deeper into the branches to really bring a tree to twinkling life as they reflect all the lights so well.

I always stop at the books, and today I found some mint condition Magic Tree House books for my younger daughter, who has caught the reading bug and is tearing through the series at a fast and furious pace. I also found a well loved copy of one of my favorite vintage children's books: A Necklace of Raindrops by Joan Aiken. It will be a gift for a very special (9-year old) friend. I am sure she will be just as enchanted with it as my daughters and I are.

Finally, I picked up this glass box. I have been rather taken by the Emily & Meritt line at Pottery Barn Teen, and these reminded me of their "wishboxes." Of course, it needs a little polishing up to compete in the looks department, but I am pretty sure with a little TLC it will look just as sweet.

See what a simple cleaning can do, for starters? I do feel a date with some Antique Gold Rub n' Buff is in order here...stay tuned.

And now, my dear lovers of thrift, I am off to spend more quality time with my precious (not-so-little-anymore) little ones. It is the start of yet another year, one which I am sure will speed by as fast as the last one did, and I intend to savor every moment I can. Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thrifting Karma and Dishes, of course!

Ahem, hello there! Yes, I am still breathing! Just haven't had the time to do much thrifting, and well, what is the point of posting to a blog devoted to thrift finds when there have been no thrift finds? But, happily, this week that changed and I have a few goodies to share.

First, let's start off with my favorite thing to thrift: vintage dishes! Here are two pieces to add to my collection of Dixie Dogwood by Joni--a soup bowl and a serving platter. The soup bowls are harder to find and I love the oval shape of the platter (which was an awesome gift from a thrifting friend). I think it is almost time to haul all of my Dixie Dogwood out of the closet to do an updated inventory. I have amassed quite a huge collection and I'm curious if there are pieces I need to search harder to find in order to more evenly fill out my set.

I also found a Blue Ridge pottery gravy boat and saucer. The pattern name is Chrysanthemum, but I need to confirm that these two pieces go together. I'm not sure I have any other pieces in this pattern, but I do have quite a collection of other red and blue floral Blue Ridge patterns, and this will coordinate nicely with those.

And next up is some proof that Thrifting Karma truly exists. A few years back, I found the most adorable set of vintage china Christmas ornaments. I fell head over heels for them because they were just so, so cute! But my friend who was with me also loved them. And I love my friend. So I gave them to her for Christmas. I will admit it was hard to part with them but I knew she would appreciate the gift and I knew if I could be generous and let them go, I would find more someday. And I did! At the very same shop I might add!

Now, this is obviously not a full set but it is a start! And I always enjoy having particular things to look for, so I'm keeping my eyes out for the rest of the set and I'm pretty sure that I will eventually find it.

Another collecting focus of mine is vintage invitations and paper goods. I haven't found too many exciting finds lately but these were pretty cool. Probably from the 1960s or 1970s, I'd say. They'd be perfect for a vintage Christmas open house (yes, that is a thing! At least in my head...)

And to wrap up this quick show and tell, I offer you these two sweet vintage tins. I don't pick up a ton of tins but these two were irresistible. Turquoise is my color after all.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Few "New" Old Things

Yes, I know it's been a while, but it is summer after all and I'm trying to pack as much as possible into every single day. Here in New England, the summer season is blissful but insanely short and already I find myself teetering on the brink of an anxiety attack just thinking about the winter ahead. It truly feels like we just put away our parkas.

And I've been busy with a few big things. Mainly trying to set up an Etsy shop to share some of the many lovely treasures I dig up but probably don't need to continue hoarding. Let me confess right off the bat that I had no idea how involved such an undertaking would be! At least to do it legally, that is. So, while I am definitely a lot closer to fulfilling that goal, I am not quite there yet. And truthfully, it may not happen until the kids get settled into the new school year. And that is OKAY.

Anyway, I've thrifted a few times but not with any regularity and I've been lazy about writing full blown blog posts about what I've uncovered. If you are interested in seeing some of my finds from this summer, you can follow me on Facebook--Anne's Pocket Finds. I do try to post pictures there more regularly, so definitely take a peek, but here is just a taste of what I've found in the last couple of months:

A vintage drafting table, in excellent structural condition. I spotted this table after picking my daughter up at camp, it was sitting out on the curb nearby. Unfortunately, I had parked far away due to a road repaving project and was not able to carry the table to my car, although I certainly considered trying for a few minutes (much to my daughter and her friend's utter embarrassment!). Lucky for me, it was still sitting there the next morning, and a nice gentleman helped me load it up. I was so happy, and even happier when I got home and researched my find. These tables go for a lot of money! However, like most of my favorite finds, this is not for sale. I already know just where it will go once I'm finished sprucing it up.

Of course, I'm still collecting vintage cookie cutters whenever I see them!

This Oxford stoneware water pitcher is a nice addition to my small but growing collection of this pattern. I love the lid!

And here is another of my very favorite finds from this summer. A group of Russel Wright American Modern dish ware, in chartreuse. My mother owned a set of Russel Wright Iroquois china in blue, and also the American Modern pitcher in chartreuse. I remember hating it so much when I was a child, I thought it was soooo ugly. But, of course now I love it. My sister has the pitcher now and I am lucky enough to have been given the Iroquois dishes. I use them just as my mother did, on Christmas Eve, Easter, and Thanksgiving.

So there is a small sampling of some of the highlights from my summer hauls. But one of my most favorite acquisitions is not a "find" but rather a lovely and generous gift.

Just the other day, a friend sent me a box full of the most beautiful vintage sewing trims and threads! And not only that, she enclosed a letter with the stories behind the trimmings. In the 1920s and '30s, her great-grandmother ran a little store out of her parlor selling fine linen, fabric, lace, trims, buttons and more. The vintage notions that she shared with me were left from that time.

She also sent along pictures of some of the quilts her great-grandmother had sewn and the stories behind them. And best of all, she sent them to me to actually use with my children! Normally, I hoard treasures this beautiful and pristine, so getting encouragement to use these in projects and not just tuck them away for that mythical rainy day is so wonderful. The only problem will be getting up the courage to make the first cut--even my daughter said, "Mom, it is going to be hard to use these up. They are so pretty!"

But use them up, we will. In fact, we have a couple of projects in mind already. And while snipping and stitching, we will think of "Baba" and her wonderful sewing shop. I think she'd like knowing that a new generation of young girls will enjoy sewing with her beautiful trimmings.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Before & After: Nightstand

I've been working on my girls' bedroom updates for quite some time now, hampered by cold and then rainy weather which prohibited me from getting outside to do some painting. But with blue skies and warm temps, I have run out of excuses!

My older daughter has chosen a navy, hot pink, white, and gold color scheme for her sophisticated pre-teen bedroom. So far, we've painted the walls, changed out the curtains, purchased a contemporary style desk and pull-out loveseat for sleepovers, added a few accessories, and moved all the "baby" stuff out. That alone was a great improvement, but there were still a few essentials missing. A nightstand, for one.

So I made this for her:

I have to admit, I'm kind of proud of this transformation. You see, this piece started out looking like this:

I originally purchased this secondhand for a couple of bucks, hoping that it would become a repository for the explosion of American Girl doll clothing and accessories that continually threaten to take over our home. Nope. So rather than haul it back to a thrift store, I decided to have a go at transforming it into a nightstand for my daughter.

I painted the body of the piece hot pink (it photographs a little "hotter" than it actually is--a camera upgrade is on the priority list as I have grown tired of constantly apologizing for my poor photos!) and the top is an antique gold.

I used some more of my favorite antique gold Rub n Buff on the new drawer pulls, which were leftover from another project. A little distressing makes them look well-loved.

And finally, to add a little more pizzazz, I "chevroned" (can that please be a word?) the drawers in matching hot pink.

Not bad for a $5 investment, huh? I'm going to share this at Finding Silver Pennies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blue Ridge Pottery Finds & More

I treated myself to a whole day of treasure hunting yesterday, and it was just what the doctor ordered. I have been working so hard lately on a huge upcoming project (that I plan to reveal here next week--so excited!!) and it was nice to take a bit of a break while digging up some fun finds.

By far, my best score yesterday was this set of Blue Ridge Pottery dishes for my growing collection. This is a new pattern for me, and I had to look it up last night when I got home, but I think the pattern name is Bluebell Bouquet. One of the dinner plates has a chip and some very minor crazing, but the rest seem to be in near perfect condition. I finally pulled the trigger on a new china hutch after searching forever, and it should be arriving soon. I can't wait to tackle the overwhelming task of deciding which of my collections should be showcased in it! Luckily, I ordered a piece that has lots of glass front cabinets so that I can show off as much of my china as possible. And of course, I can always switch out patterns with the seasons, or whenever I feel like it.

I picked up this faux milk glass mirror for my daughter's room. It is similar in size and shape to the one that I picked up for my other daughter's room. That one, I removed the mirror and painted hot pink to go with her decor (I'm going to put her initial inside the opening), but this one I will keep as is. Room reveals are coming, I promise! There are still projects underway but lots of progress has been made.

I was delighted to find this set of mint condition BLUE Little House books! I had the yellow set growing up, and my daughter has the more recent plaid set, but I've always loved the blue ones.

Originally, I thought this next find was just a toy post office figurine. However, I discovered tiny drawers in the back--one for a roll of stamps and one with a miniature sponge inside to moisten the stamps. Remember lickable stamps on a roll?

I picked up this desk organizer for another before and after redo. These small projects are kind of my specialty. Maybe because I like the near instant gratification that comes when I complete them so quickly. Anyway, this one is slated to be bedazzled--stay tuned!

And the last find I will share today is this adorable red handled ice cream scoop I picked up. Perfect for summer ice cream parties, right? Linking up my mid-week treasures to Sir Thrift a Lot.