Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Treasures Before the Storm

The day before a big winter storm, sensible people rush to the grocery store to ensure an ample supply of bread, milk, and toilet paper. And in my defense, I did make a run to Costco yesterday and replenished the larder with enough to keep us eating well for days. But I also managed to sneak in a quick stop at the thrift store in order to bring home some goodies to play with during our housebound snow day.

As it turned out, my finds are all perfect for a snowy day curled up on the couch. What more can one need than books and coffee, after all?

To begin with, I could not resist picking up this pair of sweet espresso cups and saucers. Alas, the photo simply doesn't capture the petite charm of these cups...you will have to trust me on this one!

Confession time: I have amassed quite a collection of espresso cups in the last few years, more than we could possibly ever use. But they are so adorable and hard to pass up. Especially this set, which matches the every day china that my husband and I received as wedding gifts many moons ago. We have only a few pieces left anymore--we break a lot of dishes around here--and I thought these cups would be a nice way to hold on to the pattern while giving me permission to let go of the chipped plates that remain. And we do drink espresso every day, so they aren't knick knacks on a shelf. (See how good I am at justifying purchases?)

Next up, I found this blue and white oval serving platter. 

It may look familiar to you, as I collect this pattern and share new pieces as I find them. I have no idea who made these dishes or what the pattern name is, but my mother gave a few pieces to me and I find them to be quite pretty in their simplicity. 

Here is more of my collection:

And as for those books...I simply cannot ever leave a new-to-me Ruth Chew book on the shelf! She was one of my favorite authors as a young girl, writing books about ordinary little children who encountered magical characters in their every day lives. The witches in her stories are not mean and frightening. They are approachable and share their enchanting magic with the children. Great literature they may not be, but fun reads? Yes!

Another children's book caught my eye as well. I love this book's cover and then I had to take it home when I read on the back that it takes place in nearby Concord, Massachusetts. I think my girls might enjoy it, but I hope to read it first!

And finally...I have a little thing for Episcopal prayer books and hymnals. Don't ask! I have a nice modest collection going, although I am about to pare down some duplicates and ones that I simply don't feel as attached to. But this one was new to me. It is a slender soft cover version of The Book of Common Prayer and dates from 1953. It is in excellent condition. I don't feel a strong draw to it, however, so I may end up putting it in my shop. 

Well, now I think I should put some of these new things to use. A cappuccino and book sound like the perfect antidote to the howling wind and swirling snow outside my window. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Feeling Blue

I spent a couple of hours today running around gathering items to assemble my girls' homemade Halloween costumes. But it wasn't all work and no play as I was able to sneak in a little treasure hunting for myself, too. And remember how I was on a Harkerware tear the last couple of weeks? Well, I didn't find any Harkerware today but I did uncover some more blue and white china to add to my collection.

I wouldn't say I actively collect this pattern shown below, but when it falls into my lap I usually pick it up. I don't even know the name or maker, but I do know it is classic and elegant and very pretty. My mother gave me her collection of dinner plates, some cups and saucers, and a couple of serving bowls long ago but I don't think she had any other pieces.

A few years ago, the bowls were lost in a sad accident. But I have also been able to slowly add to my remaining collection: a few bread and butter plates, and a beautiful gravy bowl. 

And today, I spied this coffee pot:

It's hard to know for absolute sure, but I think this is the same pattern. I know there are a few out there with blues that are ever so slightly different. But this seems a pretty good match.

My blue streak didn't end after this find. I also found a couple more pieces to add to my collection of turquoise and white mid-century pieces.

Here is a pair of salt and pepper shakers, aren't they cute?

And at the same shop, I spotted four matching cups.

I have a few pieces of this pattern: a small pitcher, a larger pitcher, and maybe a couple of other things that I am forgetting. My husband is not going to like it if I start getting hungry for more! For some silly reason, he feels that I have enough china already.

But how can I resist?

I just got a bad case of the blues.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Plethora of Plates

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long! I've been missing this blog an awful lot. It's one of my creative outlets and when I wasn't able to check in on it, I was definitely out of sorts. I'm rather embarrassed to confess this, but I'm not the most tech-savvy person and for reasons I'm unable to determine, I've been unable to create a new post. So glad I got a bee up my bonnet and tried again today one last time before giving up for good. And today was a good time to try because I have some fresh new finds to share.

I was able to pop into two shops today and in the first one I found a small stash of vintage grey Harkerware plates in the Chesterton Grey pattern.

I'm feeling like this is my pattern du jour because when I was briefly in Philadelphia earlier this month, I found the matching salt and pepper shakers....however, sadly, I left them in my friend's car. We shall judge just how good a friend she is by seeing how long it takes before she sends them back to me! HINT, HINT!

In addition to the salt and pepper shakers, I already had the gravy boat in this color. I also have a number of pieces of Harkerware in a very similar deep teal green pattern called Corinthian, which I absolutely love, but I'm really digging this rich dove grey right now!

Speaking of Harkerware, my friend Lynn came up my way over the summer and brought me quite literally a trunkload of Harkerware! Her generosity astounds me, what a lovely gift and I will treasure these pieces. As I believe I've mentioned on the blog before, my collection began so modestly and unexpectedly when I inherited an old Cameoware bowl from my mother, who inherited it from her mother. It used to sit on our dining room table and quite frankly, I didn't think too much of it when I was younger! I felt it had seen better days and indeed it has. Ironically, it is the bowl's "well-loved" appearance that warms my heart now, and I began to pick up a piece here and there in antique stores. This was before I cut out the middle man and began to hunt for these things in thrift stores. Over the years, I collected maybe ten pieces. And then I met Lynn! She has her own interesting story of how she ended up with a basement full of Harkerware, but suffice it to say, she is generous and thoughtful and when she found out how much I love Harkerware, she passed along the bulk of her collection to me. Here is a just a sample of what she gave me this summer--get a load of that awesome deco canister!

But back to today, when the china gods were smiling on me and I also found a couple of other pieces from patterns I collect. Here is a slightly worn plate in the Mar-Crest Daisy Dot pattern. I have many service pieces in this pattern but have never come across a plate before. The store actually had two, but the other one was even more tired looking and had a large repaired crack. This one will be fine for display behind some of my other pieces to fill out my collection.

And this platter might look somewhat familiar to my long time followers. I have bushels of this Taylor Smith Taylor pattern (beautifully named Ever Yours Boutonniere) in the turquoise color way, and actually never knew it came in the less common yellow as well until a couple of years ago when I found a couple of small bowls. The yellow pattern is called "Golden Button." I wavered on whether I should bring this home, but my son decided he really liked it and said I should so I did. I am pretty easy to convince!

And that about wraps it up for today. I will try to jump back in and get you caught up on some of the wonderful finds I've collected over the summer. Until then, happy hunting!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Nothing Beats a New Thrifting Buddy

I'd have to say most of my friends just don't get my "thing" for vintage. In fact, I'd go so far as to say most of my friends probably whisper behind my back about my thing for vintage! But then I have those precious friends who not only get it, but they share my great love for it.

I'm lucky that I have several dear friends who totally get it and love to go on treasure hunting trips with me. Unfortunately, most of these friends live back in my old neck of the woods so getting together isn't quite as easy or frequent as it once was. Which makes finding a new thrifting pal a thing to celebrate! Over lunch last month, my friend Elizabeth expressed an interest in tagging along with me sometime, and I jumped at the chance to show her the ropes. I think our day long excursion was a success--we both found some cool things--and I hope this was just the first of many outings that we can share.

But on to the finds! First up is a large oval platter in the Ever Yours Boutonniere pattern by Taylor Smith Taylor to add to my Ever-Growing collection. I love, love, love this pattern and especially adore this platter. I had this platter once upon a time but it was crushed by our movers (insert tears). I try not to shed too many tears when disaster strikes because I always have hope that I will find another, and although it took three and a half years, I did.

Here is another find that will go on immediate display:

In case you don't recognize it, it is a Marcrest Daisy Dot lidded crock. I have several of these, in varying sizes. I just love the warm brown glaze.

It must have been a good day for china finds, because I also scored a gorgeous blue and white Harkerware gravy boat in the beautiful Chesterton pattern.

Among my other finds were a cartful of vintage books, some of which are tagged for use in an exciting project that I will be working on soon, some for my kids, and even a couple for me. And this cute little storage container that I can use to organize smaller pieces of jewelry for my Etsy shop. It is always nice when I can repurpose things to use for my shop rather than buying new.

But quite possibly the best find of the day was my new thrifting buddy! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Tiny Haul

"Haul" is a little bit of an overstatement, I admit, even when prefaced by the word "tiny." But I did score a few things over the holiday weekend that I thought I'd share.

You know I'm always on the lookout for pieces from the several vintage china patterns I collect. It seems to be getting harder and harder to find any--the china shelves are usually a shadow of what they once were! But I was lucky enough to spy these coffee cups in the Dixie Dogwood pattern by Joni. They were missing their saucers, unfortunately, but I picked them up anyway.

If you remember, last fall I excitedly reported that I found a gravy boat in this same pattern. At the time I posted, I thought that it was my only Dixie Dogwood gravy boat. As it turns out, I did already have one, but one good gravy boat deserves another and well, let's just be upfront about it and admit that now I have three Dixie Dogwood gravy boats. And no, I don't know why anyone would need three, but I do know there is no way I could have left it on the shelf!

Something else I've been looking for turned up this weekend. A couple of years ago, I found a beautiful glass punch bowl. Not the usual overdone and fussy style, but a clean-lined and simple punch bowl with a gorgeous glass ladle and 12 matching cups. I've always wanted to find a few more cups to match, but had yet to spot even one. Again, patience pays off, because I found four additional cups this weekend, and of course, into the cart they went.

One more vintage treasure that caught my eye was this covered aluminum cake pan. Now, I have two vintage covered aluminum cake plates, and I use them often, but a vintage covered cake pan is something that I've been wanting to add to my collection. This one was perfect, a nice smaller size and in pretty good shape with no dings.

My favorite part was the manufacturer's mark, I just love this script!

Last but not least, I picked up this not-so-vintage puzzle--and not a moment too soon! The next day it snowed and I enjoyed a lazy afternoon with my sweet children putting this together. Well, almost together...that sky is a killer!

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 http://www.mar-crest.com. 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!