Guys, I know I haven't been posting much, but can we talk for a minute about what's going on in my living room right now?
My milk glass (milkglass?) collection is getting out of control. Remember when I first posted
about it, back in 2010? I had only a few pieces!
It was a reasonable little cluster. Manageable. Possibly even useful.
At the time, people told me that milk glass was a "gateway" collectable. And I sort of laughed it off, but I swear to you, collecting milk glass is addictive. I was a fool to ignore the warnings. I have no idea how I've managed to amass so many pieces in two short years, going from what you see above to THIS:
Sigh. I leave this with you as a warning: beware the milk glass. It multiplies!
Maybe that's why I haven't been blogging much... too much dusting to do.*
*Ha! Not. I don't dust. I let the dust/hair tumbleweeds roll the halls, unmolested, thankyouverymuch.
Friends! Collectors! Lovers of all things chic!
Can y'all just take a moment to admire my awesome new salt and pepper shakers?
Awesomesauce, right? They were a wedding gift from my friend Daniella. (She's one of my college roommates, or as we say in Canada one of my "undergrad housemates".)
They came from an Etsy store in the States
and I'm in LOVE with them. They're a perfect combination of my favourite things: birds, vintage, gold-tone and useful to boot!
Want something similar? There are plenty of vintage ones of the same ilk available online. And I've heard tell of some in Toronto shops like Angus and Co
If you just like the look, but don't care about the usability, you could go for these babies from Dwell Studio
, which I believe are currently available at The Bay:
I love love love these pheasants. (LOVE.)
Not that I have the space or anything, but I've started a new collection: vintage copper cookware. I'm obsessed. It all started with a few skillets I found at my local Goodwill. The pans were cheap and unmarked, but pretty. I hung them on the wall. But lately, copper has been popping up at my regular thrifting haunts on a regular basis. And I can't resist! I'm buying it like crazy! I now have the three little pans I started with. Small, medium and large sauce pots/pans, and a big, heavy
sauté pan (all with lids, natch). I heard tell of people finding copper awesomeness at thrift stores in the past, but I never thought I would get so lucky.
The stuff I've been finding has been tarnished, but it turns out, cleaning copper is super duper easy. Lemon juice and salt, plus a little patience, gets it shining in no time. Of course, it doesn't look "like new" but a little patina is right up my alley anyway.
So my point? No point! I just want to urge you to consider hunting down some vintage copper cookware. Mine comes from all over the world and most of it is marked. I have a piece of "Paul Revere-ware" from the States, a pot from Portugal, another from Chile and one from France. It's all slightly different, but you would never know it wasn't a real set. Plus, it's beautiful and fun, and great for cooking
Copper is super conductive and I find it very easy to use. Cooks meat perfectly, for example. Responds very quickly to temperature changes on the stove dial.
Yes, the tinning on the insides will wear out over time, but even though my new/old pans have been around for awhile, the tinning in them seems fine. And besides, copper cookware is WILDLY expensive new. (The Mauviel line, carried at Williams Sonoma
, costs $2,800 for a 12 piece set. I already have many more pieces in my collection, in practically new condition, and I paid less than $10 per piece.) Think about that. You could buy a single pan from Williams Sonoma (or register for one as a wedding gift, putting the burden of purchasing an idiotic $300 piece of metal on your poor friends), or you could keep your eyes peeled at your local Goodwill and get something that will work wonderfully, look amazing, and cost less than $10.
No one will know the difference!
Hey all. Sorry things have been a bit slow on the blog lately. Getting married very shortly. Lots of to do. Been busy.But not too busy to thrift! In fact, I had a very successful thrifting day about a week ago. In addition to a couple of dresses and some bits and bobs for Will & Bequeath, I came across a great find I just had to share with you: an Erkers enamelware bowl!
My bowl is yellow, with a black rim, like the yellow one shown above. And I looooove it.My obsession with vintage enamelware started fairly recently, with a piece of Catherineholm that I blogged about here. Since then, it's grown, and now I have several different pieces scattered around my apartment. But this is my first Erkers. And it was only $2.02! According to a profile on Design Arkivet,
"Arne Erkers was born in Leksand and at the age of 24, decided to move to Stockholm as he for a long time had been interested in drawing." He worked as a gold and silversmith and a freelance designer, and founded the Erkers Design Studio around 1955. He designed my bowl (and the Raff pitcher, which obviously influenced similar designs currently at IKEA) for Kockums Jernverks AB in Kallinge. (My piece, like all similar pieces, is marked "Kockum Sweden".)"
Function is an important aspect of Arne Erkers design. His view of his profession was that the task of the designer was to design objects as simple and practical as possible. With this as a starting point he created articles as diverse as ball bearing joints and stackable saucepans but also had bold ideas about more practical cars and lawnmowers, sadly never put into production."
Erkers lives into his 90s and passed away recently, in 2010.
If you're looking for vintage enamelware, search online for Cathrineholm and Finel, and add words like "Scandinavian" and "enamelware" and you should come up with a lot of options. But don't discount Erkers. While less well-know, his work is just as nice.
I like my bowl because of it's unusual rounded-triangular shape and low profile. I also love the tone of the yellow. It has one flaw -- a hole in the enamel -- but I just keep that bit turned away and never think about it. (Remember, it was only $2!)
Super find! Yay!
At my house, the accessories are breakable. Highly breakable. I collect vintage milk glass, slag glass, and depression glass. I have living orchids curving delicately over my nightstand. My pet fish lives on a low coffee table, in a vintage glass bowl.
It's not a kid-friendly space.
My sister, however, has two small children who are (for lack of a better word) a bit willful (read: wild). And as such, her house has almost no accessories. Her few breakables are hidden away or gathered messily on high shelves, and her surfaces are either bare or strewn with papers. Her house is about practicality, and about foiling her children's innate need to break anything and everything of value she might get her hands on.
So I resolved to help her out. Why CAN'T she have a few glam accessories? Things that look pretty and posh? Sure, teaching the kids to be less destructive would be a good step to take, but I didn't want to set my sights too high. So instead, I set about looking for some posh-looking accessories that could stand up to the chaos.
Here's my first effort: a totally kid-friendly, totally-unbreakable, totally budget table orchid.
Let me tell you what this orchid display is made of:
It's 100% Dollarama.
1. A large plastic salad bowl (any solid colour you like).
2. A foam craft ball.
3. A bread knife and tape (you probably have these items already).
4. 2 or 3 fake orchid stems.
5. 2 packages of decorative moss.
The whole deal should cost approximately $7.
Step 1: Using the knife, cut the foam ball in half or 3/4. (You're just looking to give it a flat side.)
Step 2: Place the flat side of the foam ball down on the bottom/middle of the plastic bowl. Using tape, secure it to the bottom of the bowl. Don't worry if the tape looks ugly. You won't see it once the moss is in.
Step 3: Drive the orchid stems into the foam ball. If the stems are too long, but them down with scissors or wire-cutters. (OR, just bend the wire stems back and forth a bit at the spot where you want to cut - they'll break eventually.)
Step 4: Fill the bowl with moss, covering the foam and the bottom of the stems.
Step 5: Bend the orchid leaves down so they are horizontal across the surface of the moss. And bit and bend the stems of the fake flowers in a way that looks good to you.
Done. You have a pretty, glam-looking accessory that your kids can knock to the ground with abandon. Sure, the moss will go flying, but that's an easy clean up. This is an unbreakable, creation, in my opinion.
Next, I wanted to draw your attention to the pressed glass bowl that you see on the arm of the chair in the first photo. Pretty right? Let's take a closer look:
On the left is a little depression glass dish, on the right is the bowl I was talking about. Glam! Sparkly! Posh, pretty and ... plastic.
That's right, plastic. I bought it for 99 cents at Goodwill.
If that's not a kid-friendly accessory, I don't know what is. Can't wait to take these items over to my sister's house to test them out.
I came across an adorable elephant tea pot recently that I felt I just had to buy, even though I already have a perfectly good teapot in my cupboard already. Here it is:
For several weeks, the little dude's been sitting on my counter, waiting to be used.
Finally, a few days ago, because I was sick, I got around to making some tea. And you know what I found?
This tea pot sucks.
I mean... it's awful. Truly.
Worst. Design. Ever.
You have to turn it practically upside to get any tea out, which makes liquid seep out from under the lid, likely burning your hands. And the holes on the inside of the pot are so small, you can only pour a slow-moving, measly dribble.
This is seriously annoying.
So, since functionality is nil, I'm going back to my old pot. But what to do with this elephant? I don't want to give him to Goodwill where he may be bought by some unsuspecting individual who will soon find him/herself with scalded hands. And besides, the thing's cute. It doesn't work in the way it's intended, but it's still cute.
So, I thought: planter.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this planter idea isn't really working, is it? What can I do differently to make this elephant useful in some way? Do you think it would be better with a different kind of plant inside? Help!
As some of you may know, I'm getting married soon. And with a marriage (whether you give in to having a "real" wedding or not -- and we're not) comes gifts. Gifts come no matter how much you discourage people.
And I have to say... it's not all bad. While I feel a little awkward about people spending money on me, there are a few things I want, and it's lovely to get them.
Case in point: my soon-to-be aunt Elaine and her partner Archie wanted to get Nate and I flatware, and they asked us what sort we might like. This gave me the opportunity to get something I've wanted for ages: a set of vintage, "Thai Bronze" flatware, via an independent Etsy seller in Iowa.
The set is so beautiful and unique. I've been shopping for flatware for a long time and I've never come across a set as unusual as this one. The whole shebang comes in its original box, and includes more than 140 pieces. Considering that my current flatware is from Canadian Tire ($9.99) and sports cracking plastic handles and flaking metal that is probably giving me cancer, this gift is even more awesome.We ordered it more than a week ago, and it hasn't arrived yet. The photos shown are from the original Etsy seller: Debby Does Vintage. I have to be patient, because when items like this cross the border, they're often held up at customs... but I'm super excited. Thanks to Elaine & Archie, and to Debby too. I can't wait.
Know what I've really been into lately?
All sorts of pheasants. Regular pheasants, wild pheasants, golden pheasants. Pheasant salt and pepper shakers, pheasant earrings, pheasants on plates and glassware.
It's kitschy, but I'm obsessed. Not sure why. I've just got pheasants on the brain.
Creative commons Image of golden pheasant feathers by Paul Tonner, SXC.
My sis got one of these plates from my grandparents and every time I'm at her house, I wanna steal it.
This embroidered pheasant pillow is currently for sale from LittleMsTips on Etsy. This emerald pheasant figurine is for sale from PatinaVie on Etsy.
I have no idea what's wrong with me. The whole "put a bird on it" thing hasn't seemed to dampen my enthusiasm at all. And objectively speaking, pheasants are kind of ugly... aren't they?
Besides that, I already HAVE several. A couple of yellow ones are sitting on my coffee table right now.
Not sure what to do about this, or even why I'm sharing with you. Any members of pheasants anonymous out there? Wanna commiserate?
Yep. I'm still being a bad blogger, but I do have some news. I'm getting REALLY CLOSE to the proper launch of my web store: Will & Bequeath! I even put together this little collage of some of the stuff that I'll be listing.
What do you think, world? Are these little vintage dealies interesting enough? I think the store will end up having a lot of glassware. And I've realized I seem to have a penchant for animal object -- hipster squirrels, horse book ends, that sort of thing. Feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Yesterday, I went to Goodwill to buy books for our upcoming beach vacation and while I did find some good reads, I also found some great stuff for my kitchen that I absolutely. didn't. need.And once I got it all home, I realized there was a bit of a theme at work. A French theme.Tell me if I'm wrong. Here's what I bought:1. A set of four
Midwinter Stonehenge dishes, Spring pattern. (See potteryhistories.com
for lots of background on this and other Stonehenge lines.)
Image from replacement.com. (I usually wouldn't filch pics, but my camera's on the fritz. Apologies!)
Sure, these dishes are English, but along with the other stuff I bought, they feel French. Maybe it's the blue and white thing. From the aforementioned "Pottery Histories" website: "[The] range had a glossy ‘oatmeal’ glaze where reactive particles added to the glaze cause an irregular speckling over the surface of the ware. The wares were finished with hand-applied iron oxide banding to the edges that contributed to the ‘studio pottery’ look..."
And it's that studio pottery look I love. So... success. Thanks Mr. Midwinter.
Next, I bought a set of three shallow copper pans like this one:
Image from Ebay.
And if copper cookware isn't French, I dunno what is.
Finally, I nabbed two adorable little Herbs de Provence spice jars. Empty, but too cute to pass up. My spice jars are for pizza and poisson (fish).
Am I wrong about this French thing? i feel like there's a trend here, but maybe I'm crazy. I watched Julie and Julia over the weekend. It's quite possible I'm crazy.