Friday, March 27, 2015

Staying the Course

I put myself in time-out on junking until I have the top of my workbench cleared off and a few things caught up as far as Etsy listing and Spring clean-up around the house.  I only allowed myself one junk stop last weekend and that was has only to drop off an armful of reference books I thought Nina could use.  I couldn't resist this one little card of scottie buttons while I was there.  The one in the upper right has a bail on the back so you can make a matching necklace.  How adorable!
Last weekend I made war on the dust bunnies in my bedroom, organized the imaginary booth stock in the attic and hauled off a donate load.  The load is feeling lighter already!  I usually do what I call the "great purge" in January but got a late start this year due to illness.  I plan to stay the course this weekend and hopefully get back to the regularly scheduled programming very soon.  No junking makes Kathy a dull girl.




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Happy Mail

I received a sweet surprise in my mailbox this week.  This is from Wendy who joined in on the Pay It Forward swap.  A handmade card and a delightful altered Altoids tin. Burlap is all the rage but I haven't worked with it myself so that makes this tin even more fun.
She filled it with, what else, BUTTONS!  You know I was tickled and love the lace inside the lid, too.
The bottom of the tin is decorated just as beautifully as the top.  Thank you, Wendy, for such a treasure!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Finds and Buttons

Well now, this week certainly went by in a flash and here it is, Saturday again.  There wasn't a lot of time for junking this week and that is a GOOD thing since, if I don't see it, I can't be tempted to drag it home.  Today's mission is to organize the booth stash and chase dust bunnies out of the house!
This birdie planter was a gift to myself for having to work last weekend.  It was found and Nina and Joe's and you know it didn't take me even one second to know I had to have it to add to my collection.
This beautiful book was published in 1939 and it is filled with art prints.  I plan to list it on Etsy even though it weighs about a million pounds to ship. I am always reluctant to list the heavy stuff because of the shipping cost but I have to remind myself that not everyone is the cheapskate that I am.
Pretty pillow ticking and lace yardage that I can use in my inspiration kits. The book with missing covers is a history of Minnesota.  There are some great pictures inside so it is a good "cutter".
A sweet angel hair angel tree topper and a few jello molds.  I grabbed that rattan trivet because I saw a clever idea on Pinterest where someone hooked a bunch of them together and made a small rug.  I see the trivets pretty often and always pass them by but thought I might like to try making one of those.
A delightful tea pot tin and a quilted yellow vinyl sewing box.
A little pile of lace ruffles and an embroidered table topper.
These are my favorite buttons from the latest mother lode button score.
Mother of pearl, glass and china.
I have not found the china stencil with this black design before.
After I took this picture I noticed I should have given this one a little scrub first.  I used to find Girl Scout buttons all the time but they seem to be getting few and far between now but still more frequent than other scouting buttons.
Hope you all have a junky weekend!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lunch at The Bins

No, I did not eat lunch at The Bins, although I have seen people do it!  Since I work so close I heeded the encouragement of several blog enablers friends to see what would turn up if I stopped every day.  This represents about 40 minutes of digging each day this week, although I did have to "speed pick" the place in 20 minutes on one day.
This vintage girl was already missing her arms and she is destined to lose the rest of her body as soon as I can figure out how to get it off.  There is a metal rod running from her neck to a speaker in her tummy.  Head bone connected to the belly bone, dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones...
 All in all, the loot was similar to an estate sale only spread over 5 days.
 By going every day I was able to realize that everything left in a bin that goes to the back room is not immediately headed to the dumpster.  There were several times when I saw things I had seen the day before and realized they had piled new junk on top and brought the bin back out.  It would interesting to know what their criteria is for deciding it is time to empty it and start over.
I dug and dug and another picker even helped me but I could not find the lid for that tin in the upper right with the vintage silver leaves in it.  Sometimes people toss things from one bin to another as they are digging so you have to pick the nearby bins when you are looking for something.  In the end I took it anyway because I think it would be great with a glass inside so it could be used as a vase.
 These little spun head sweeties were inside an old Hickory Farms box.  I have learned to ALWAYS pick up boxes and give them a shake to see if there is something inside.  Since I have been picking there I have found a 14K gold ring and a stunning vintage angel tree topper that way.  The best thing is the box has protected them from the dead vacuum cleaners and bowling balls that get tossed on top.
 I adore the little green bowl.  The condition is beyond selling but I think it will be perfect as a saucer under a flower pot.  I learned it is Gladding McBean which was part of the Franciscan line.  My father-in -law worked for the Interpace factory that made Franciscan dishes for years so that was interesting for me to learn about.  When I got married he offered us any set of Franciscan dishes we wanted and we chose some trendy brown ones that I have regretted for 40 years because I could have gotten Franciscan Cherry Blossom FOR THE ASKING.  Yes, I was a teenage bride and that young and stoooopid.  Every time I see a piece I say "there are my dishes I didn't get".  We all have a few life regrets....
 This is a copy of the complete works of William Shakespeare in a lovely tooled leather jacket.
 I gathered up these three Tom Swift books from two different bins.  I adore the titles and they are perfect for display.
  I was delighted when I found the blue INARCO sugar bowl that goes with the set I found at the VOA in this post. Three vintage crochet pattern books and a sweet circus themed baby clothes hanger.  Sorry I didn't take a better picture of that!
 Two boxes of Shiny Brites and a few that will be added to my personal collection for my tree.  The head popped right off this old one-legged doll and I love the wonky, winky eyes.
The picture in the back is not embroidery and not paint-by-number.  It is painted with those embroidery paint pens that were popular back in the day and already framed.
Will I be going back, well maybe not every single day but, boy howdy, YES, I will be be back for more.  I think I'm addicted to The Bins.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Walking the Talk

My last post was about "blooming where you are planted".  Well, it's time for me to walk the talk.  I recently announced that the elusive antique mall space was finally on the horizon but it has fallen through and I am back on the waiting list.  The other dealer decided not to vacate after all but at least I know that I am in the running!  I had just finished up these little signs I thought I would add to the booth but now I might just list them on my Etsy..  blooming where I am planted and shouldering on.
Later the same day I stopped at the VOA and another motherlode of buttons took some sting out of the disappointment.  I am still sorting and promise I won't put you through so many button posts this time!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Even if it is smack in the middle of a path.  Well, I didn't really plant these.  They just popped up there so I let them stay because they seems to be exactly where they want to be.  Maybe because they get noticed - LOL!
It is a beautiful day in the PNW with blue sky and temps near 70.  Everything is "springing" to life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chinese New Year Happy Mail

Cathy at ma vie trouvee is enjoying all the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore and included me in the celebration with this surprise package in the mail.  This is the year of the Goat and I learned that I am a goat because I was born in 1955.  There I said it.  I am old enough to know better and I am a goat.  It is also called the year of the Ram, which is sort of a goat that is old enough to know better.  8+)
Most of the papers are envelopes which are used for New Year's gifts.  She also included this neat charm in the shape of a ram.
This is just the sweetest face!  Visit her blog (link above) to learn more about the Chinese New Year.  Cathy has a unique way of embracing every culture she encounters and shares so much fascinating information on her blog.
Thank you, Cathy, for thinking of me.  Wishing you and D a very Happy New Year!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Metal Buttons and a Rocket Man

A few fun finds from the past week.  The metal trash can will be staying with me for storage, at least for a while. I am switching it out with one that has a retro wine theme.  I prefer the floral, imagine that.  I have been working on a little reorganizing in the art room to fit in the vintage toy box I showed you in this post and you know how one thing leads to another once you start moving things around.
This train case is more square than the typical rectangle.  The inside is going to be a challenge but I think I can rescue it to live another day.
This quilt was my favorite find.  The roses and colors are perfect in my world and it will be staying with me.
I don't know enough about quilting to tell the difference between the real deal and one made off-shore to look old.  If you click this one bigger you can see the hand stitching, which looks sort of clumsy.  Either way, it washed up beautifully and is a perfect accent in my guest bedroom so it's a keeper.
I also found two hand-made flannel baby shirts.   As if these giraffe weren't cute enough....
A rocket man!!  This has to be the most unique design I have ever seen for a baby shirt.  I would love to find the embroidery transfers that this design came from!
The wood and metal keepers are the last of the button reveal from the big haul last month.  The two painted wooden buttons are pretty worn out but interesting enough to be keepers.
These three are my favorites from the metal buttons.  I don't know the material in the background of the one in the upper left but I suspect horn.  The other two have fabric backgrounds.
****UPDATE****
A reader named Carlene (no blog that I know of) educated me that those little animal charms in this post are celluloid and were attached to string bread ties as a premium. That explains what I described as tassels on two of them.  That is just what remains of the string they were tied on with.  Once I knew what to look for I was able to find out there are all kinds, including some that are hand painted. So much more fun than the plastic and wire ties we get today! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Some Exciting News!

This little pile of treasures is brought to you by the VOA and Monticello.  The blue birdie, dresser box and the cabinet card are from Monticello Antique Marketplace.  I was so glad I decided to stop in because...
wait for it...
The manager saw me shopping and told me she may have a small wall space for me in April or May!!!  WooHoo!!  I was losing hope and backing off on buying the things that I consider too big or too heavy to offer on Etsy.  It is really hard to leave things behind but there is only so much I can cart up to my attic before my house sinks.  It is a very small space and still can't hold anything very big but it is a foot in the door.  I am excited and NERVOUS, too.  I'm on the hunt now for a furniture piece I can use to display things.
The rest of the treasures are from the old, reliable, VOA.  This adorable donkey planter is marked Japan on the bottom.
The mid-century coffee mugs and bowl are Inarco and still have their original foil labels on the bottom.  Sadly, I could not get the Forest Green tray clean.  I even tried Barkeepers Friend, but no luck.  Since I have a collection of Forest Green, this will be a keeper and put to use in my kitchen.
I was delighted to find two of these pieces with china roses.  They are ALWAYS chipped when I find them and these two are perfect.  I guess I forgot to take a close-up of the other one - oopsie.
The sweet blue birdie has the original label, as well, and is Goebel.
These are the "keeper" plastic buttons from the huge VOA score.  You can click the picture bigger for a closer look.
A couple of updates...
Several readers reminded me that the crockery cloche in the last post is a chicken feeder or waterer.  Soon as I heard it I remembered and I thank you for the memory jog.
There have been several guesses about the "What's-it" in this post, including something to check the temperature inside wine barrels and something to check the temperature of maple syrup.  Both seem totally plausible but it is still a mystery. I did find out you can still buy new ones that are very similar.  They are sold by scientific instrument companies but none of them tell the purpose.  I found both plastic and wood and the wood seemed to be so it wouldn't spark.  Just another piece of the puzzle...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Some Creepy Junk and Some Pretty Buttons

My name is Kathy and I am powerless against the siren song of The Bins.  I knew resistance was futile when they built it so darn handy to the big girl job, but I tried, I really did.  In my defense, I did set a goal to leave my desk more at lunchtime this year.  This is my lunch stop on Friday.
I read once what these crockery cloches are used for but it escapes me now.  It looks like a mouse hole, doesn't it!
Love, love this very vintage key hole.  One of the things that makes digging The Bins so much fun is that it really is true that one man's junk is another man's treasure.
A couple of Putz houses that need some fixing to join my décor for next Christmas.  The spun head angel is in the Ethel box so Laurie can lavish some Magpie love on her. 
The lovely lady on the postcard is Bessie.  Why are there no more Bessies?  Surely that name will come back in fashion one of these days.
If you follow me on Instagram then you have already seen creepy wind-up baby.  Trust me, it gets even worse when you turn the crank and it's arms and legs flail.
Vintage white birdies, seam binding rolls and an unusual cupcake pan.  I am guessing it is WWII when metal was going to the war effort so they eliminated what they could from the pan and just hooked the cups together down the center.
Does anyone know what these tiny little animals are?  The stand about 1/2" high.  I already had a donkey and then found these two in a bin.  I thought they might be Cracker Jack toys but that didn't seem to pan out when I Googled.  My donkey has a tassel like the camel does and they are made of plastic.
Dismembered china dolls and some very vintage leather baby shoes.  To clean or not to clean??
I have no idea why this picture decided to turn sideways.  Maybe you can tilt your head.  Yes, I bought a box of air, but those old graphics are just so darn cute!
A few more of the buttons from the VOA haul.  The ones on the left are vegetable ivory and the center are MOP.  The ones on the right are among my very favorites I have found.  They are wood on one half and a transparent plastic on the other.  This is the first time I have found ones like this.
Plastic rhinestones.  I prefer the ones set in glass or metal but it's hard to not love sparkly stuff!