Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vintage Party Ware!

The other day, I decided to tackle organizing my two drawers of baking supplies. When we moved in last summer, the last thing I wanted to do was carefully sort out the sprinkles from the vintage cake toppers from the cupcake wrappers. So all of this stuff got packed into two large drawers along with cookie cutters, rolling pins, and icing bags. Needless to say, it was a big mess.

My spur of the moment organizing was inspired by this find:

A couple of boxes, one unopened, of vintage birthday candle holders. I pick these candle holders up whenever I see them, and I'd say I now have enough to celebrate my 100th birthday, if I am blessed to have one. But I had never found any still in the cute little retro boxes!

Since I have parties on the mind due to all the planning I've been doing for my daughter's upcoming pioneer party, I thought it might be fun to share some of my other vintage birthday finds.

Among the vintage cake toppers in my collection are these football players, which I found at a rummage sale last weekend:

And then there are these All Stars, ready to take the field for my son's July baseball birthday festivities.

And these carousel ponies:

And these dwarves, which are actually from the Snow White cake I had for my own 5th birthday. I still have most of the dwarves but sadly, the Snow White was stepped on many moons ago and didn't survive. She remains on my "Most Wanted" thrift wish list. You can frequently find Snow Whites on ebay (yes, I am embarrassed to say that I've looked!), but I have never seen the exact model that I had on my cake.

And these pretty pink ladies, who I think are meant to be bridesmaids:

I also have some vintage birthday candles; isn't the packaging cute as a button?  I'm really tempted to open up the box of Capri candles to peek at the vintage party game ideas.

To go with my cake toppers and candles, I also collect vintage paper party supplies. I have a slew of invitations, a couple of paper tablecloths, plastic cups, napkins, and some groovy divided paper plates from the 1960s. That collection could also use a little organizing, but I'll save it for another day. Right now, for some reason, I feel the need to go and bake a cake.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vintage Christmas in May

For Mother's Day, I was truly spoiled. My favorite breakfast in bed, coffee in my favorite new cup (a Buffalo China coffee cup from my last big vintage haul), handmade cards, kisses galore, and one of the best gifts ever.

A couple of weekends ago, my church had its semi-annual rummage sale. Church rummage sales are the best for a number of reasons. Usually, the stuff is priced to sell and you can almost always get a heap of stuff for very little money. And now think about your average church-goer...leans a little on the more mature side, right? And most mature folks are looking to clean out their old stuff, which means vintage heaven for people like me.

So anyway, I loaded up on vintage goodness at my church's sale. It was so good, I even had to walk back to my car once and unload a number of overstuffed bags before going back in for more. But after arriving home, while unpacking my treasures, I realized to my great dismay that I had forgotten to get one thing that I had spotted--a vintage white Christmas tree! I was so sad because the sale had closed for the evening and I knew that I would not be able to make it back the next day. I gave my husband my very best puppy dog eyes and asked him to please go get it for me in the morning but he was not swayed. At least not until I reminded him that the following Sunday was Mother's Day and he probably hadn't helped the kids procure a gift yet. I laid it out like this: a $5 tree, or a far more expensive robin's egg blue box with something shiny inside. Then I left him to his decision.

Thankfully, he made the right decision and on Mother's Day morning, I was presented with the tree. It needs a little scrubbing, as the white is probably not as white as it once was, but otherwise it is in perfect condition. It is a small tree, maybe 4 feet high, with screw in branches. I can't wait to decorate it with some of my beloved vintage Christmas ornaments next Christmas!

And here are a few ornaments that I also found at the sale that may very well make it onto the tree come December:

All of these will work very nicely with my hoped-for Scandinavian Christmas theme! And these below are also very sweet:

I'm still actively collecting angels for my planned angel tree.

I love them because they remind me of my cone angel collection, pictured below:

And then, finally, here is another find that will work nicely with my Scandinavian theme--a crewel wall hanging of little imps cavorting in nature.

Although there are tulips pictured, the imps are dressed warmly and carrying a chopped down fir tree...I think I can make it work!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Vintage Kitchen Finds

My kitchen has a vintage look if not authentically vintage fixtures and finishes, but what is inside my kitchen is vintage without a doubt. I have vintage glassware, china, linens, and silver filling much of my cabinet space. Even my bookshelf has vintage cookbooks tucked in among my more recent favorites. My collection of vintage kitchenware is so large that it spills out of my kitchen, into my living room, sitting room, and dining room, and yet still I can't help myself. As any good collector knows, more is always better.

I recently picked up a set of classic white Buffalo China. I have always loved the diner style; I especially enjoy the feel of drinking out of the thick coffee cups. My set of four dinner plates, salad plates, and coffee cups with saucers were hidden underneath piles of junk in a jam-packed thrift store, and I almost overlooked them. Thankfully, I've learned to always open boxes, especially boxes buried under loads of junk! The plates and saucers all date from the early 1970s, while the cups seem to be the same 1940s style but more recently manufactured. I believe I paid only three or four dollars for the whole box--a near identical set now sells at Williams Sonoma for around $175!

And I must really love a good white dinner plate, because last weekend I also purchased a set of seven of these plates by Homer Laughlin. The simple design will look great with both other vintage pieces and my more contemporary ones.

Among my other finds were a number of vessels: pitchers, pots, and vases. This pitcher is a bit fancier than what I'm usually drawn to, but it is so pretty.

So far, my research indicates that it is probably a cut glass water pitcher with a silverplate lid, made in West Germany in the 1960s. Sometimes this type of pitcher was used as a trophy, with the silver being engraved with an event name and date.

I was thrilled to find these serving pieces, especially the pierced pie server. It is very similar to one my mother always used to serve up her famously delicious old fashioned fruit pies. My sister, who bakes wonderful pies, now has that pie server, but I've secretly always wanted it. Being more of a cake baker myself, I could never justify asking for it. But now I have my own and a good excuse to practice the art of pie baking all summer long!

Among my other kitchenware finds was this old china saucer. This just may be the final piece I needed to complete my plate wall in my sitting room.

I also picked up some really lovely silver trays, which will find a home in the built-ins in my sitting room. Now, I just need to find the coffee table of my dreams and that room, my favorite in the whole house, will be complete. I've narrowed it down to two contenders, both brand new from nice furniture stores, but of course I have a little dream that I will find a vintage table. I know if I am just patient, the perfect vintage table will appear when I'm least expecting it. In the meantime, I guess that's my excuse to continue to haunt the local antique and flea markets!