Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Operation Cookie Cutter

You may know by now that I have a thing for vintage cookie cutters. A real big thing. I haven't counted lately, but I would not be surprised if I have over 200 in my collection. Possibly more. Yikes. Like I said, I have a thing.

Part of my "thing" is that I am trying to collect three sets of cutters, one for each of my kids. You see, when I was growing up, gathering with friends and family to bake and decorate a huge heap of frosted sugar cut-out cookies was a treasured Christmas tradition. I inherited all of my mother's cookie cutters, most of which date from the 1950s and 1960s. These shapes include the old standards of bell, Santa, reindeer, tree, and star, but also more obscure ones like a rooster, fish, crown, donkey, turkey, station wagon and hen. My goal is to collect as full of a set as I can for each child. And I've been fairly successful.

One day last fall, when I had nothing better to do, I laid out all my cookie cutters on the dining room table and matched them all up. I then counted how many I had of each design. The results were a little shocking! Who needs 9 stars?! Seven identical Christmas trees? Even this scientific proof of overkill did not dissuade me from collecting more, and I have continued to add to my collection, even when I know I shouldn't.

I found these cute tins on super clearance at Home Goods a few weeks ago, and now I have divided up two sets of cutters to be packed away in these tins, one for each of my girls. My son will also receive a set, but I decided to hold out for a tin that might be just a little more masculine. Not that he would mind now, but perhaps when he is in his 20s or 30s, he would appreciate something just a little less...well, pink.

I am working on creating a little booklet of family Christmas traditions--complete with some awesome vintage photographs, menus and recipes, and wonderful family stories. It is not at the top of my to-do list, but if it happens to get done anytime soon, I will be sure to share! Until then, I am just happy to have these cutters safely tucked away.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Some of my new favorite things

This seems to happen to me frequently: I am having a bad day (or in this case, a bad couple of weeks), decide on the fly to drop by one of my favorite thrifts, and lo and behold, rare and wonderful treasures magically appear on the shelves and cheer me up beyond measure. Thrift therapy is so much cheaper than the "real" kind, probably more effective (at least for me), and definitely much healthier for me than my usual stand-bys of red wine and chocolate. Not that I haven't felt the need to indulge a little in those two mood enhancers as well...but, I digress. I am supposed to be talking about my new-found treasures.

So let's get to it. You know how I love collecting glassware and china, and you may have heard me grumble lately about not finding a lot of it in the shops recently. Well, check this out:

A lovely punch bowl with graceful glass ladle. Punch bowl sets are a dime a dozen in thrift stores, but most of them are a little fussy for my taste, and I was willing to wait until this elegant, streamlined version appeared.

The set came with twelve beautiful punch glasses, and the whole thing was quite reasonable. I am very excited for this set to make it's debut at my daughter's French themed birthday celebration later this spring.

I also found a pretty trifle bowl, which I had also been wanting, especially since a friend made a beautiful and delicious trifle for our New Year's Eve dinner. I can't believe I didn't already own one!

Another sure sign that things are looking up was that on another shelf I spotted a set of Harkerware dishes! They turned out to be a nearly complete cake set, in the teal Sur Pate Sur Cameo pattern. Originally, I believe this set came with 8 plates, a cake serving plate, and a ceramic cake server, but my set seems complete enough with the cake plate and six individual plates. Best of all is this teal color perfectly matches the Harkerware Corinthian dishes that I found a few months ago!

I also found this unique strawberry hard-sided handbag. Isn't the handle wonderful? And the clasp is amazing. I just love the cheeriness of the pattern, and the velvet lining in a rich crimson.

This Skyway train case caught my attention with its cute tasseled zipper pulls (that unfortunately are not visible in this photograph) and monogrammed initials that also spell out "etc." It is in very good condition and would be a great little storage piece for doll clothes or other trinkets.

The last find I can share is this fun oversized vintage mug. I thought it would be a super cute pencil holder for a donut lover, of whom I know several!

The Easter Bunny also found a few treasures to tuck inside some deserving children's baskets, and picked up a set of egg dyeing cups, which will certainly come in handy in a couple of days when we decorate our eggs. But most importantly, I managed to get my mind off my worries and focus on happier things. A very successful trip indeed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Back in the Saddle

One of the best things about the return of spring is the return of the church rummage sale! Last week, I made it to one of the first of the season around here. I arrived about half an hour before the doors opened, and joined a growing crowd outside. It was sprinkling and there were some complainers but overall, the mood was jovial and fun. I did what I thought was a good deed by giving the lady behind me one of my reusable bags that I had brought with me; she told me she had forgotten hers. She rewarded my small kindness by butting right in front of me when the doors opened! So much for paying it forward...

Inside, it looked like a smaller sale but I did extract some wonderful finds. I headed first for the housewares, but the pickins' were slim. I found one unopened package of vintage Hallmark party placemats hidden at the back of one of the tables, but that was about all.

In the seasonal department, I dug through a small box of Christmas ornaments and found this Annalee elf on a holly leaf ornament.

Next, I beelined it over to the games and toy section. Huge score there! I found five beautiful classic Parker Brothers games--Monopoly, Clue, Trade Winds, Sorry!, and Careers. Most are in excellent condition, with the worst of the lot just having a few tears on the corner of the box.

I also uncovered a mint condition Flintstones card game dating to 1961. So cute!

And a vintage compact chess and checkers game set, and another, older version of Pit.

I snagged a large ziploc with what looked like a wooden puzzle game of some sort with miscellaneous things mixed in. When I looked a little closer, I could tell it was one of those German wooden farm yard toys. I absolutely love these and this is probably my favorite find of the day. Sorry that I don't have a picture of this, but it was challenging to photograph and I gave up!

At the book table, I scored a few vintage children's books that had gorgeous illustrations.

I was not familiar with Pookie before that night but one look inside and I was in love.

When I returned home and looked online, I discovered that these British books have quite a following and first editions (of which I found one) can bring a pretty penny.

I also fell in love with this carol songbook from the 1930s. I put it down a couple of times but kept picking it back up. I hesitated only because I thought the books were slightly overpriced at this sale and I had limited cash on me. I am so glad I kept it. It is in excellent condition and the cover is divine. Nothing captures my fancy quite like art deco design flair.

As I waited to pay, I also lucked out and found a hardback edition of the book I am supposed to be reading for book club this month--yay! Sometimes, procrastination can be your friend.

All in all, a wonderful evening full of amazing treasures. Can't wait for the next one! Meanwhile, I'm linking up to Sir Thrift a Lot.