Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Ok, it's not actually my birthday today, it was over a month ago, but given I was sick on my birthday and then bombarded by the holidays I am just now getting around to showing off my 40th birthday present haul. CollectoratorOne is the best gift giver and this year's birthday gifts were so fun! First is this lovely red quilted robe that is just my size, small and petite, and would definitely fall under a "do" in the Fashion Do's and Don'ts for the Short Girl booklet that CollectoratorOne gave me a couple birthdays ago. That booklet is so funny by the way, all the badly dressed short girls are also depicted as "bad" girls, as if "bad" fashion leads to "bad" behavior. You never know, maybe it does!!!! I scanned in a few pages of the booklet on my flickr site if you want a laugh check it out.

Second, are these awesome shoe protector boots for rainy weather called Drizzle Boots!!!! Instead of having to commit a fashion "don't" and wear ugly rain galoshes, you can slip these on over your regular shoes and still be styling! They even have a space for the heel of your shoe! I can't wait to try these out. I think these will do a way better job of rain protecting than my disposable footguards, although they are a quite humorous I must say. I am not sure if the art work, or the fact that they come on a roll like foil makes me giggle the most. They haven't ever been opened but I am dying to know what they are like. They look they wouldn't help keep the rain out at all! Too funny.

Of course I had to buy a present for myself which was this neato sewing basket. I just love the star on it. I outgrew my other sewing basket, and given my sister wants to learn how to sew, I filled it up with all the basic sewing essentials and sent it to her for Christmas. She doesn't know, but that's exactly how it came to me from my mom. She bought a new one and gave me hers filled with new gear, so it's been passed down again in the same way. That ought to fill you with warm fuzzies!

Lastly but bestly, my husband gave me four vintage pins, one for each season, he said, but I think he was being cute and really meant one for each decade. There is a Christmas tree with pearls as ornaments, a plastic one that is a spray of spring green flowers, a gold filigree style butterfly, and a rhinestone leaf. He knows how much I love pins!!!!  I am so thankful for my loved ones and that they know me so well! Thanks you guys for turning a lousy birthday into a happy time and thanks for all the years of friendship and love!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Knit One, Purl One

I am determined to learn how to knit. I can sew, crochet, and even tat a little but knitting has always alluded me. I have no idea why really as there's only a few stitches to learn and I can sew just fine which can be intimidating when you think about making a full outfit. I recently got out my knitting needles, my how to book, and you tube videos and started up again. I am doing ok so far and have gotten further along than ever before, but I still have miles to go before I am ready to make anything real like this:

My good friend made this amazing leaf scarf for me for my birthday to help keep me warm while we wait for me to learn. She wanted to try out a vintage pattern that had been reproduced in a book, and I couldn't resist requesting this scarf. It's absolutely beautiful and looks perfect with my vintage coats. She's brilliantly good at this, and she is serving as my inspiration to learn to do this craft once and for all! I am having her make me this shrug below next. I figured that by the time I finally figure out how to knit this well I will be too old to wear anything this cute! I am going to have her make it grey with cream edging. Can't wait! Maybe I shouldn't worry about learning and just commission her to make me a new winter wardrobe! =p

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fire and Ice - Christmas Tablescape!

I apologize for my absence, I wish I had a good story to explain my whereabouts but truth be told, I've just been sick and then catching up from being sick. Being sick really but a damper on the start of the holiday festivities for me. I  missed my birthday and Thanksgiving.  I was bound to not let it take me out of Christmas too, my absolutely favorite holiday. Thankfully, I am well again and Christmas festivities can begin in earnest! Merry Christmas Everyone!

We decided to scale back Christmas this year  though due to the pending move in the spring. It didn't sound like a lot fun to have to wrap back up all the ornaments etc when I am also wrapping up everything in the house. However, that did not stop me from creating a festive tablescape! I like to think of this one as fire and ice. Almost hate to burn the candles tho since finding gold candles was a bit of a chore so it might just be called would be fire and ice....

This tablescape features my Manhattan vase and collection of vintage glass candelabras. On the ends are my newest additions, Cambridge Caprice trindle holders followed inward by an unknown maker deco pair, and then my favorites, the Cambridge Arms and bases which are a super fun set. They are modular and all sorts of accessories were available. See the advertisement photo I copied in below for some examples of their versatility. The arms can stack on one another for a huge centerpiece, or they can stand on their own for a wider centerpiece. You can buy different bases for the arms or even have the arms set in a big bowl. They made peg vases to fit inside the candle holders so flowers could be included in the arrangement. There are also bobeches, prisms, peg figurines, and nappy bowls that could be added. I like the nappy bowls the best.  I saw one advertisement where they used the nappy bowls as a lazy susan. Clever! Course I have none of the accessories yet but that's just something else to collect! Darn!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Super Cute!

I still haven't gotten back into the swing of things packing wise, but the contractor is coming tomorrow to do a run through on the current house of all the things we need to fix. That'll be a fun list I am sure... Once we have that list we'll sketch out the overall timeline for getting everything done including the overall plan for packing/staging. I am dying in anticipation of getting thing moving forward  (literally), and I am trying hard not to get ahead of myself thinking about what the new house could be like. It'd be nice if I could just twinkle my nose like Samantha and everything was done, course then I'd have less to blog about so I guess I'll just stick it out and entertain the masses... =)

In the meantime, I've been super good about shopping, and I haven't bought hardly a thing! I did allow myself to buy this super cute hair comb this past weekend while my sister was here (does this count as a fascinator or does it have to have feathers to be one??). We made the rounds including going up to Georgetown to visit a friend of mine and eat lunch up there and while we were there she took us to a consignment store that apparently used to have a whole backroom of vintage clothing. Unfortunately all they had vintage now is some aprons and a slew of hats. I couldn't resist this little number as it was super cute, super cheap and from Gimbels! How fun is that. I think I'll wear it on my up coming birthday.

Gimbels got me thinking about Christmas, my absolute favorite holiday other than Flag Day when I certain sister of mine arrived. Although I love Christmas, it's not in that every-day-is-like-Christmas-decorating way, I just love the smell and sparkle of it more than any other holiday. The food and decorations are a close second though to the excuse to sing Christmas carols at any moment. My husband and I have an agreement that between Thanksgiving and New Years I can sing as many carols as I want, but I am not allowed a single peep after New Years Day. Sigh... I do love to decorate, but this year I have a conundrum. I've put all my packed boxes thus far in the spot where my tree goes... So I guess I have to make some changes to get a real staging area for my boxes. Christmas is also the perfect excuse for creating tablescapes and no boxes are in the way for that endeavor! Here's the past couple of Christmas tablescapes. I have this year's all planned out already so I better get it started before I pack it all away! Stay tuned.

Snowglobe/Snowman Christmas - 2010
Love the excuse to buy net Christmas Tablecloths!
Poinsetta/Gold Glitter Tree Christmas - 2009

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Collectorator Game Night 101

Well, I think I've officially entered into a new exciting era of life! Maybe it's because I am about to have one of those milestone birthdays (do not want to talk about that!), or maybe it's because I am on the brink of moving and it's becoming real as we are starting to plan out the early stages. Ultimately, though,  I think it's because we had an official game night the other night for the first time in a really long time and there are more such nights in our future! CollectoratorOne and I used to have infamously fun game nights but after boyfriends and friends came and went we were down to just two of us who love to play games. Not that playing games with just us two is no fun (trying to beat CollectoratorOne at any game is fun enough to make it last a lifetime), but games turn into a party when you have three or even four at the table. We recently lucked into finding our new third, a recent transplant to our fair city who I think may love games just as much as us (not to mention shoes.... you know you want to give me those shoes!!!!), and my sister visiting for said milestone birthday gave us a lucky fourth!  So of course I couldn't resist planning out a game night this week!

So what do you need to throw a Collectorator Game Night of your own? Funny you ask... Snacks (always good, and I forgot about that one!), party ware (would have been nice if I had remembered the snacks AND if it hadn't all been packed way!) Champagne (it is requisite and I remembered that), but really you just need one lovely hyphenated word... Skip-Bo!

Oh Skip-Bo, how do I love thee? Is it your velvety red box with the divided built in tray? Is it your sailboat-backed cards that seem to make no sense of why the sailboats are there? Or is it 30 plus year old memories of playing it with your grandmother... probably the latter although the sailboats on the back of the cards are pretty nifty. I don't know officially when I learned to play, but I remember playing it all the time when I was a kid with my great grandmother (whom we called mom), my grandmother and my auntie.  Later in life, when I met CollectoratorOne we discovered that we had the same Skip-Bo upbringing. How weird is that especially given we grew up on opposite poles of the united states (me in Texas and her in Illinois), and it was a game made in Texas! So you can only guess what ensued next. At the time though, I only had the new version of the game. And I tell you right now if you have that version from Uno, throw it out now and buy yourself the official 1967 version. You might pay a little more, but it's worth it as the new version does not have the right number of cards!

Because of our obsession we researched all we could about the game and found out it was produced by Skip and Hazel Bowman in Brownfield, TX in 1967, so you see where the Skip and Bo come from now! I don't know the reason for the sailboats other than maybe he liked to sail?  It's a super fun game modeled after Spite and Malice consisting of blocking, getting on a roll, and revenge. Of course CollectoratorOne beat us all at it the other night!  We also played another favorite game that we hadn't played in a really long time because you have to have three players at least. It's a German card game of bean bartering (yes beans) called Bohnanza. I won that one some how... =) Game night 1 of the new era is in the books! Let's schedule Game night 2!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Will You Believe More Sharkskin?

CollectoratorOne and I were out this past weekend for Phase I for the search for her wedding dress, and we went by a few places we hadn't been by in awhile to check their stock. There are still a few places in our fair city where you are guaranteed a good find, but you'll have to pay some $$ for it. One of our old favorites didn't fail to deliver and amazingly it wasn't expensive as we remember. Either they've come down in prices or having adult-jobs has made us realize that the prices weren't that bad after all. We didn't find the dress at the first stop, but we found a maybe dress, and I finally found a navy sweater.  I've been looking for a navy sweater small enough for me for so many years I can't even remember how many years it's been!

Then I came across this fab Dijon mustard yellow and blue sharkskin dress that was something so nifty I couldn't pass it up. We learned from the owner that it was brought in with a few other items by a lady who had some clothes made in Thailand while she was stationed with her husband during the war (Korean/Viet Nam??). He said all of the dresses she brought in were made with Thai silk. I always feel better about Collectoratoring when I know the backstory. 

Our second stop actually led to the DRESS for CollectoraorOne, but I am going to remain mute about it until it's been cleaned/altered for her as to not let it out there until it's time... BUT suffice to say it's a really stunningly beautiful dress, and she looked amazingly beautiful in it already and it hasn't even been altered! What made it better is we got it for a really good deal. Can't beat that.  I am so excited!!! I already had my dress for the wedding, which also I am not going to post for awhile, not because it's secret, but because it really needs to be pressed as it was wadded up in a barrel for a long while.... 

I also tried to get my hands on a really super cute plaid playsuit, but I was priced out of it pretty quickly. I should always be leery of things I want that don't have price tags on it! But given that it was just as much as the wedding dress (how is that even possible??) I knew it wasn't coming home with me...Later I learned the owner wanted to sell it on etsy so look out for a super cute red plaid playsuit on there soon!!! I could have shown you how cute the playsuit was, but I have to admit that I failed on my first chance for using my new phone on a Collectorating adventure. Sigh... Oh well, I'll get used to having that technology for the taking sooner than later. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sharkskin and Velvet

Hey y’all sorry I disappeared! It’s been super busy at the CollectoratorToo camp. First and foremost I broke my phone which caused all sorts of problems in and of itself, but I entered into the modern age and got a super smart phone. This phone has a PhD whereas my other phone had probably dropped out of elementary school! What I love about it most is I can blog from anywhere, post fun pics on the road because  I have a real camera on the phone now, and do just about anything I want to do when I want to do it. I am left wondering why I did not do this sooner.
I also got sucked up into the baseball playoff/World Series vortex. I am not a big sports fan at all, but I am a loyal fan to the Texas Longhorns and Texas Rangers.  See the Rangers were in the World Series this year and last year, which is a huge miracle if you grew up with them like I did (literally down the street). Because it was something I may only see once or twice (now) in my lifetime, like a chance to see a comet, I had to tune in. Never mind the fact that we lost, it was worth the pain of loss to see the experience. Baseball is one of those sports though I really do like in general. Something about it is still so old school and vintage America. I love that they have not modernized it too much other than the crazy ballparks. If only people would still dress up to go to games. You look at baseball crowd pictures back in the 1940s and they have suits and day dresses on. Heck yeah. Most people just seem to have lost the desire to look put together at all in public anymore…
Anyway, I digress. We also have had some our friends from overseas visit so we had a party. It was challenging in a fun way to figure out how to have a party with all my party-ware packed away, but I managed  through it although it wasn’t up to my usual par. We even played Skip-Bo as the party wound down (here’s my Skip-Bo card case by the way in all it's red velvet glory, I’ll write a whole blog on Skip-Bo soon because it totally deserves its own blog). Playing Skip-Bo made it close to my favorite kind of party. As I said before I always long to have the Dick Van Dyke style party where it breaks into a mini variety show or games ensue so this was pretty close!
Even with all this going on, I did manage to make it back to the flea market in town and once again my husband had better luck than me. No wonder he keeps agreeing to go with me to this flea market! We got this awesome sharkskin coat for his stage outfits for $3.  Course the lady also had this lambs wool wrap and muff I wanted, but it was $60. Hello. Not fair. In any case, we bought the jacket and the next day I found the tie to go along with it. He’s lucky he has me to design his outfits for his shows!! 
I’m back though now and I'll back to packing… more soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Playsuits, Jarts, and Badminton... Oh My!

Playsuits, or "onesies for adults" as CollectoratorOne calls them  (ha!!) are a very utilitarian clothing staple that has unfortunately gone by the way side. Yes, we still have shorts and tops, but do they often include a matching overskirt or wrap that you can don so you can go just about anywhere comfortably? Nothing against shorts, I have my fair share of cute shorts, but you are stuck being casual without the overskirt or wrap. See, with a playsuit with an overdress/wrap, I could take a walk around the lake in the morning, brunch with a friend on her veranda, go by the grocery store to pick up some food for the early evening lawn party, prepare and serve the food, and then off comes the wrap, and I am ready for a game of Jarts or Badminton just like that! Tell me another outfit you could do all that in?

CollectoratorOne officially endorses playsuits as the most comfortable thing to cook in as well so we should all give that a try! Of course, some playsuitss, like the ones pictured here from CollectoratorOne's collection, are more akin to one piece bathing suits so probably not the best thing to go grocery shopping in, BUT I think they'd still get the husband stamp of approval for cooking in! CollectoratorOne and I have vowed that as soon as we have grass again to play lawn games in that we'll play Jarts and Badminton often in our playsuits. Unfortunately, I don't own any playsuits (amazingly enough if you've seen my closet) so I an going have to make my own so i can join in the lawn game fun!

I have been collecting vintage playsuit patterns for awhile like my favorite one pictured here, and I found this nautical fabric that I think is just a big enough piece to make it. It's been a long while since I sewed anything, mostly due to lack of time, and excuse, after excuse, after excuse. I should probably concentrate on packing up things in my free time instead of creating more things to pack, but if I start working on the pattern now maybe I'll actually finish it by the time the grass grows back! I don't have any coordinating fabric to make the wrap though which means I'll have to buy more fabric! yay! I told myself if I made something I could buy more fabric so that should be extra motivation to get started! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cowboys and Indians at the Flea Market

It is a very rare day that my husband braves the collectorating road with me, but last Sunday was one of those rare days. We had been having a leisurely breakfast at one of Austin's  oldest diners (Nighthawk), which is near by one of Austin's most underused market areas. It would be a perfect place for daily farmer's market. I don't know why we have to wait until one day a week to go to a nearby farmer's market when my mom in the Dallas Fort Worth suburb area has two daily markets nearby! Anyway I digress... once a month they use the parking lot of the venue for a collectible flea market. It's a mixture of typical flea markety type stuff with some good mid century collectibles mixed in. On top of that it's small. I thought it might be a perfect no-stress, low attention span collectorating event we could enjoy together. He likes shopping, but just in bursts, not all day affairs like CollectoratorOne and I are prone to. In any case, I casually mentioned it getting no response and went on with breakfast. To my surprise after breakfast he pulled into the parking area! Score one for me! Well my winning went by the wayside fast because we walked away mostly with stuff for him. Mostly tie bars and cuff links. We found the mother lode for cheap which was exactly what he needed. I almost bought a couple of things but thought to myself do I really want to pack this.... so I resisted. What we couldn't walk away from tho was this awesome 1950 set of wall art for a little boy's room. Now I'll preface this with we do not have kids, unless you count the pets whom do not have their own room other than they seem to take over our room... But it was such an awesome set the little boy inside my adult husband had to have it for his man cave. Plus it was $5 for the set! Neat, huh? Admittedly, it's a little funny up there surrounded by pictures of Joe Strummer, Buddy Holly and David Johansen but it works somehow...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Turn Out the Lights - The Party-Ware is Over

Oh thank goodness... I was getting a little tired of packing party-ware. Mostly because it was reminding me I need to throw more parties! There's one more little set of bowls that technically could be party-ware, but I am going to throw it in the kitchen-ware category instead or leave it for staging! whew!

The last box of party-ware I packed was the miscellaneous party-ware box. This box contains the rest of the bowls I inherited from my grandmother and my Auntie. Because I got so little from them, I am hard pressed to get rid of any of them even though they are a totally random mismatched set of bowls that I forget to use. The fun pieces in this box though are the wacky Karoff plastic leaf nut sever that is really more of a conversational piece than functional party-ware. Basically, you push the top and voila the leaves open to share their nutty goodness! The other interesting pieces that remained were the monkey pod wood pineapple bowls and pineapple toothpick/napkin server. I know I have too much stuff because I totally forgot to get these out for CollectoratorOne's Hawaiian themed birthday party last year. That's what you get when you don't have enough space and things are stuffed in every available and sometimes illogical storage space. oh well. next time.

I also packed up my cheese ball server. Yes,  have a separate dish for a cheese ball. I suppose you could also put a butter mold in there or some other round food stuff like a small wheel of brie cheese with chutney (mmmm!)  but I like to think of it as a cheese ball server. I like making cheese balls as it's great leftover party food to snack on later. My absolute favorite snacks are leftover party food. I could eat for days on that.  I haven't quite entered into the realm of making party food just to have it around, but I am not putting it past me. I use my aunt's cheese ball recipe kicked up a notch for my husband's Louisiana spicy food taste. Thought I'd share it with you since all of this talk about party-ware makes me want to serve some up. Course that'll have to wait as I've packed it all away...

CollectoratorToo's Cheese Ball
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Louisiana hot sauce)
4 ounces shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese  
Measure out 1/3 cup pecan halves (then chop them up)
1 teaspoon dried parsley

In an electric food processor or blender, combine cream cheese, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Pulse until well blended. Add Cheddar cheese and pulse until the Cheddar is fine, but still visible. Shape the mixture into balls or logs (I find it easier to put the sticky glob into plastic wrap first then shape it).  Whether you put it in plastic before or after you shape it into a ball make sure it’s eventually wrapped in plastic and then place in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. During this time, chop up the pecans and mix in the parsley. Put pecan mixture into a shallow bowl or plate. Remove cheese ball from freezer and roll in the pecan mixture, pressing the pecans a little into the ball. Rewrap in plastic and store for an hour or so before serving. You can freeze it as well at this point if you needed to.

I'm ready to move on now to the top of my hutch now which contains my most of my bar-ware glasses and a variety of other nifty star/snowflake-laden pieces that are non-bar related. Basically if it is black, gold or both, has stars or star like objects on it, it lives in the top of the hutch.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's All Relative's Stuff

I don't have much from my dad's side of the family unfortunately. I have a few stray pictures, none of my grandmother or great aunt unfortunately, and just a few pieces of furniture and collectibles. In the collectibles department, I obtained one serving bowl of my grandmother's and pieces of party-ware and fruit bowls from my great aunt. The party-ware pieces are Fire King/Anchor Hocking milk glass. I have a deviled egg dish, two relish trays and a footed bowl. Now what is missing?? Plates! CollectoratorOne will probably roll her eyes at me, but I haven't used this set yet mainly because I keep thinking I need to supplement this collection with a milk glass snack set in the gold trim pattern. I mean what good is it to serve deviled eggs and crudites when you have no plate to put them on! Let's be logical here... Oh and a milk glass cake plate, preferably that one that has the slices already defined, because every party needs CAKE. Now with that you'd have a proper party. I sense a milk glass skip-bo party extravaganza party coming on here...

I wish everyone could have met my great aunt, Auntie as we called her. She totally rocked. Her husband had died from a sudden medical issue very early in their marriage and she never remarried because she said what’s the point, she had already been married to her true love, no one else would compare. That was inspiring for me to wait until I found the right one before getting married.  She lived to be 92 so she was a widow for about 70 years of her life! She was also the first one to embarrass you in front of everyone you knew with racy gifts or by proposing questionable reasons why you might not be married yet in front the whole family at Thanksgiving! Darn, I really miss that lady, except at holidays…haha! In any case, I think I need to get the milk glass snack set (AFTER I MOVE) so I can honor her memory with a party with her party ware! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Tale of Pal and Other Four Sided (Legged?) Purses

I've found that the hardest thing to collect is box purses. Hats are a close second but you can, if need be, squeeze several hats in one hat box. Box purses on the other hand don't squish. Trust me I've tried. I have a lot of purses, which is no surprise given any good collectorating fashionista knows that you have to have the right purse to go with the right pair of shoes. Alas, the purses keep multiplying. The expansion was manageable until that fateful day I bought my first box purse. It was innocently enough. It was almost an after thought. CollectoratorOne and I were at our old favorite sellers' house in Dallas, where we had been graciously invited to view the best stuff they had. I had several piles of clothes stacked up ready to purchase when I spied the little white purse with the pink roses. How much for that, I asked? oh, really that's it? Ok, throw it in... that started it all.

Since that day, I realized I cannot really afford the cost of admission to proudly carry the creme de la creme of the vintage box purses. Running $100 plus even $200 a pop make it next to impossible. Over the years,  I've found my share of lower priced, beat up, slightly damaged, and reglued ones to keep my desire fulfilled, thankfully. However, now with more of a disposable income I've ventured out into the slightly more expensive, "but I've never seen this shape/color purse" purchases (pure Collectorating justification there). Case in point this navy, Myles Original purse. Yes it's navy not black (how cool is that?)

Although I am most proud of my Myles Original purse, my sentimental favorite is my Enid Collins "Pal" purse. It's a later model after she had already sold the company to the Tandy Corporation, but that's ok by me as the twin Tandy buildings in Fort Worth were always among my  favorite downtown Fort Worth buildings.  There's no special story here, it's  just a City Wide Garage Sale purchase, but I love that little purse. See, one thing you should know about me, like it or not, I actually use the stuff I buy. It's not art alone, it's functional art. If I am going to take the time to recycle someone's wares to give them life again I am going to make sure people see it, eat off of it, or drink out of it.  I've put together some fabulous outfits around that Pal purse. Thank you Enid!

Of course as with everything, I have too many box purses already, but at least I found a use for that pesky shelf I couldn't figure out what to do with. See, this is why I keep more often than I rid.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Be Green With Party-Ware Envy!

My green glass party-ware was the first set of party-ware I collected so by the default of time it is the largest set I own. You'd think that I could just be happy with this set but of course you'd be wrong! Different parties call for different serving-ware as they have different atmospheres so any good party hostess knows you need to be prepared with the right serving tools for any inevitable party type!  Not to mention I long to have so many parties that I wouldn't want my guests to be bored seeing the same old party-ware time after time. haha. Of course with its green color this set lends it services most often in the holiday season, but it's made appearances at other times as well given the variety of types of pieces I have with this set.

I originally started collecting green glass party-ware because I thought I might inherit my grandma's green green drinking glass set with the raised cube pattern. Not because I had specifically asked for it, but I figured it was so mundane no one else would want it. Her set is probably the Indiana Whitehall pattern instead of the Fostoria American pattern as the Whitehall pattern was more widely available, but I did not know the difference until later in life (I call it the ice cube glass set regardless of the maker as they look like they ice cubes on the outside).

I collected this set of party-ware over time in preparation for inheriting my grandma's green glasses envisioning parties that would involve serving drinks in the glasses surrounded by mounds of retro appetizers on and in the serving-ware and bowls I was collecting. In the end, I did NOT inherit the glasses which I am ok with, but regardless I ended up with a small mountain of super functional green glass party-ware! I've come to realize that I probably would not use the glasses at a party anyway as people cannot always be trusted with glass after adult-beverages are imbibed throughout the evening. So it's probably just as well. I think I still win. After all, isn't it the say that the girl with the most party-ware in the end wins?? =) It has to be a super amazing piece for me to continue adding to this set so it's pretty much reached its limit. You'll notice that none of it really matches maker wise but that's not important in this set, the idea was just to have a fiesta of green glass.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Collectorators On the Road - Warrenton Day 2, Fall 2011 or How We Survived Day 86 of 100 plus degrees

First here's some fun weather facts in my fair city (Austin TX)  as of our Warrenton Day 2 adventure: it was the 86th day of 100 degrees  or higher this year (an all time record), 26th day of 105 degrees or higher this year (all time record), 152nd day of 90 or higher degrees this year (record is 159 in 1925) and it is now Fall and we might just hit 90 days of 100 degrees or higher this week. Now doesn't that make you want to move to Austin???

Day Poo, I mean Two (hahaha, thanks CollectoratorOne for that assessment of Day 2), started off with a dust-bowl magnitude windstorm as a supposed cool front started to come into the area. We had been forewarned it would be hotter than Day 1, but the promise of a possible cool front gave me some hope. Well, that pesky cool front stalled out in the no man's land between Waco and Austin. By the time we reached the first tent, we were completely windblown and covered in dirt. We had to give up all hope of looking cute for the day. Not that it matters what you look like at Warrenton, but I am not sure we were meeting even minimal standards of being presentable by the end of the day.

Now you may have heard me talk before about the Warrenton curse in previous posts. I think it's some old Indian curse for settling on their land, but I'd say in the past 10 years or so that we've been going to Warrenton having a "nice weather day" is, well, countable on a couple of fingers. Normally, it rains on us (well it did before we entered into our latest drought period). But like clockwork, there for awhile if we were going to Warrenton you could expect rain. Now, I'd have to say the curse has evolved lately into just unpleasant weather. It's been hot in the past, but this was beyond hot especially for the fall show. It's been known to be 40 degrees when we first arrive.  Not this time. By the time it was 105 degrees, we were strategizing our moves like a chess player from one shade spot to the next debating on how we would get to the next spot and perhaps find liquids in between. It was brutal. Somehow, and I am still not really sure how, we managed it and still ended up with some quality stuff.

Overall, it was not the Warrenton we had hoped for, no furniture, no really exciting finds, but it was productive to some extent. I was VERY good this year and with the pending move I did not buy things I normally might have bought so that was good for me, but CollectoratorOne did not find the furniture pieces she had hoped for. I'd have to say this is the first Warrenton in a long time where we did not see any nice and affordable sets of mid-century furniture. There was some, but it was in bad condition and expensive. Last year we saw two very nice Heywood Wakefield bedroom sets and two really good couches but the timing was not right to buy last year.

I did make my first forays into a new hobby. Flower arranging! This is a hobby though I am not starting until we buy the new house mostly due to lack of space and a good work room. Regardless, I  had to buy this awesome love birds on driftwood planter because it was only $5!   I also bought an awesome 1940s table settings and flower arrangement magazine complete with lessons on "what's wrong with this table and how to fix it" lessons.  I've always wanted to learn vintage flower arranging techniques, but I resisted buying more flower arranging supplies than I need to have right now! My other favorite find was this Enid Collins purse.  It's called Mille Fleurs, but it always looked more like starts in the sky to me.  I had three of her purses on my list and now I have two! I have one more to go (the For the Birds purse, of course!). I was super excited to find this one in black as it is more rare than the plain wood and looks more like the night sky that way.

CollectoratorOne found a nice piece of fabric to recover her dining room chairs from the fabric lady tent. That lady has tons and tons of upholstery and curtain fabric. I can't imagine how long it takes to load it all in! The fabric she bought is cream and has that fabulous blue of her dining room walls running through it. I can't wait to see how awesome it looks on the chairs. Stay tuned!!! She also got this really neato plant green plant shelf for her Alamo pots on her patio. She doesn't even have to repaint it as it's the same green as the trim on the patio! It's metal but has really cute white plastic decorations on the sides. The whole thing snaps a part too. On the ride back we swore we would not want to go back for awhile but by the time I woke up and went to work the next morning, I already wanted to go back!  Crazy I know.

photo courtesy of CollectoratorOne

PS I totally forgot to mention that in Day 1 CollectoratorOne got this awesome chalk pin up girl wall art. We had never seen anything like it especially in the stand up pose. It was cheap too for something so cool. I still need to find chalk fish for the bathroom, but I am putting that wish on hold until I see what colors I end up with in the new house!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Collectorators On the Road - Warrenton Day 1 Fall 2011

Warrenton, day 1. The day we impatiently wait for every 6 months. This time CollectoatorOne was ready to finally buy one of those big ticket items (bedroom set, couch, club chairs, tables) we always see time and time again but never can buy because it's not the right time. She's recently bought a new house (see her Flick photos here There's No Place Like Home Too) and is ready to stock it with fabulous new furniture. The way Warrenton works though is you always find what you are NOT looking for. I kept telling her to start looking for Alamo Pottery because that's the last thing either of us needs! Unfortunately, Day 1 came and went with out the need to rent a U-haul, but we did walk away with some pretty cool stuff. CollectoratorOne found a new light copper light fixture that we hope will work in her dining room and some star backplates for door/cabinet pulls that she has a special purpose for in the new house. Not exactly what she was hoping to find but neat stuff to make an already cool house even cooler.

photo courtesy of CollectoratorOne
I was very reserved for myself which is VERY rare. I found several things I wanted that I passed up, some very good buys even. But embarking on a move in the near future has made it less desirable to by things even if I like or want them. I was joking before we went that I should just take some boxes and just pack things right then and there. hahaha. Instead I decided just to be good. For instance, I found a yellow Lustroware canister set for $12 that had lettering much brighter than mine. Now, normally I would have bought that without thinking about it to replace my current set, but who knows if yellow will even work in my future kitchen (frankly it better, as I have a TON of yellow plastic-ware), but I was trying to demonstrate some reserve and CollectoratorOne aptly said if I buy that then there will be no way that yellow will work in my future kitchen! I walked away.  I bought two things on my list, a quilted hankie box to rescue my overflow of hankies from the ziploc bad they are currently stored in, and a set of Manhattan candle holders to go with my "fire and ice" tablescape. I am getting ready to pack this up so it'll be featured sooner than later. =)

The one thing I refused to pass up was this  GIANT Gilmer pot with it's original stand. This pot is huge, and it was about half price of what we've seen this large of Alamo pots go for in the past. Not to mention its pink and totally goets with my trio Gilmer plant stand that is currently full of dead plants so it is not pictured. Probably the main reason I wanted it though is that it's the same Gilmer pots and stand (albeit it a larger one) that are outside my dream house in CollectoratorOne's new neighborhood. The universe keeps sending me signs that there's a reason I am drawn to this house and finding the same pots as the current owner has, who likely bought them back in the 1950s originally, really sends me good vibes. 

Probably the best part of the day aside from the chicken salad sandwiches at Legal Tender, was seeing our favorite dealer. I think he is as happy to see us as we are to see him which makes it all the better to see him. He had these really amazing chairs that I cannot even describe but they weren't what CollectoratorOne was looking for in the "club chair" category. Still very cool.  I bought a dress and a Neiman Marcus lambswool coat from him and the third time we went back by to say hello I bought a nice black and silver purse. We are looking forward to day 2 and hope that it will the furniture gods will shine down on CollectoratorOne! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Remember the Alamo - Remember the Spring...

Of 2010 that is.... It's safe to say that we barely had a spring this year. We had come of a long winter where we actually got a decent amount of snow one day and then basically by April we were already in summer. Oh I went through my usual diligent spring planting of annuals, but they didn't make it long in the Texas drought and 85 days of 100 degree weather this year (usually we have 12 days of 100 degree weather). I don't know why, but I failed to take any pictures of the spring flowers while they lasted. That's too bad really because I have acquired 6 more Alamo pots for begonias since the last time I took a picture of them back in spring of 2010. You can get an glimmer (or is it Gilmer,...haha inside joke) of an idea what my Alamo collection looks like from this picture, but you'll have to wait until next time to see the whole kit and caboodle. Trust me you do not want to see it right now, everything that is left  is barely hanging on.

But onto to sing the praises of Alamo. CollectoratorOne first discovered Alamo pottery several years ago, and I bought a large yellow one for the sake of having one. Well my mistake came when I bought the pink one and left them alone together. Now for some reason I have 19 pastel colored scalloped pots from both Alamo and it's step-brother Gilmer Pottery. CollectoratorOne and I mainly collect the scalloped pots they produced, but we have several other pieces from both Alamo and Gilmer as well. Such as this little tulip shaped pot and  deco-ish ashtray.  This is Texas-bred pottery, one of several companies I have been learning about and collecting over the years.  Alamo Pottery only operated from 1945-1951, but Gilmer came in tweaked the colors and molds and continued on with the scalloped goodness until 1965. You can tell the scalloped pots apart because Alamo Pottery is right, down to the right. Gilmer is down to the left. We used to despise Gilmer because we thought they were knock off pots, until we learned the full history. Now we embrace them equally which is good because they have some super cute items in their line including little scalloped pots with a scalloped base hooked on of which I have two! Can't be that. You can tell a piece of Alamo or Gilmer when you pick it up. It's super heavy for it's size as it was made out of vitreous porcelain of the ilk that is used in bathroom fixtures, not surprising given they also made bathroom fixtures! What we'd give to find a pink Alamo sink and toilet. egads.... It's safe to say that I've drank the Alamo koolaide, and I think that I need one more pot because 19 is just not a round number...

Oh before you go, Check out CollectoratorOne's Alamo/Gilmer collection here:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Corn Curlies, Wheat Whippies, Peanut Pippies, and Potato Poopies!

Ahhhh the Dick Van Dyke show. My absolute favorite show. I've seen every episode countless times, but I still crack up at the wit  and physical comedy that ensues each and every time I watch an episode.  Bewitched is a close second for me as both Samantha Stevens and Laura Petire inspired me both from a fashion sense and the powerful yet homemaking female role they each play. I've also derived a lot of collectorating inspiration from the Dick Van Dyke show. There's a list floating around the internet of the most wanted props from the show and of course the ottoman Rob trips over in the opening credits is highest on the list. (Note thought some times he doesn't actually trip but manages to skirt by!) For me, the number one item I covet is their couch! I currently own a curved couch and round coffee table a la the Petrie's living room, but my couch is new and not exactly right. I'm waiting until I move to see what space I have, and then I am going on a quest for the perfect Dick Van Dyke curved couch!

Second on my list would be the neato-frito serving ware Laura has. In fact, the first time I decided I wanted a lazy susan was when I saw an episode from Season 2 called "It's a Shame She Married Me." In this episode, the Petrie's are throwing one of their numerous parties (see where I get my love for parties from too??) and in one scene Rob is setting out the lazy susan complete with yummy 50sesque sounding snacks such as Wheat Whippies and Potato Poopies... lolololol! He quips that the snacks are getting cuter ever year. =) What I'd give to throw a party with those snacks! Now I have to say, nothing against Laura or anything, but my lazy susan beats the capri pants off of her lazy susan hands down. I don't even remember where I got it, but I know I didn't pass it up for anything when I saw it,  fully imagining taking it home and serving some fun Dick Van Dyke episode party-inspired snacks! The party will have to wait as it's now all packed up, but maybe I'll throw a Dick Van Dyke show style formal dress house warming party complete with fun snacks in the lazy susan and a song and dance show in the living room!

Monday, September 19, 2011


As promised, it's Kromex time! In my zeal of packing up extra things I think I've completely hampered my ability to have a swanky chrome-based party now! oh well, it's worth it to get a head start on packing and to show off my Kromex collection on the blog. As you can see I have a LOT of Kromex trays. My favorites are the tidbit trays especially the spacey looking two armed tray. The most amazing thing is I was able to get these ALL in on box, and probably more amazing they were all in my dining room buffet and hutch. I still don't know how I stored all of these!

My favorite memory in using these was at my wine and cheese party. My friend from Norway brought about 10 different kinds of hard cheese from Norway and Europe and we filled my kitchen island with trays of cheese, meat and fruit (turns out you can bring cheese into a foreign country as long as it's hard cheese. Who knew?!) I have to say those were some of the yummiest cheeses I've ever tasted. The best, although weirdest cheese, was a bright orange Parmesan cheese. No one wanted to try it because it was as orange as sweet potatoes which is weird because we'll eat Cheddar cheese all day long and that's orange, but this cheese was electric orange.  Everyone finally did try it after I wore them all down, and it was gone first!

Packing is going slow, and so far I haven't found anything I am ready to part with which is supposed to be part of this early packing exercise. CollectoratorOne will not be surprised to hear that! I don't think I can get rid of any of these trays, they are so handy! The best part about packing in this organized way is that for the first time in a long time like pieces are hanging out with their counterparts!  I think that's the trouble with  over-collectorating, either you have to keep reorganizing or live with things in different places. Course if I would purge as often as I collect then maybe the re-organization would not be such a chore!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hors d'Oeuvres Anyone?

One thing I really like to do is throw parties! That is fully evidenced by the amount of party-ware I own. Now the problem is I don't actually get around to throwing as many parties as I'd like to or rather would warrant the amount of party-ware I do have. Probably among the most used set of party-ware I have this variety set of aluminum trays.

These are all different makers, and I have double of the smaller ones. I love all of these so I profess no favorite here, although I found the black and gold starburst ones last time at Warrenton for $1 so that was nice deal. Actually, I think those are the only non-sliver or glass trays I have, but I couldn't pass them up because they have stars on them, (yet another love)!  I have bunch of different Kromex trays too which are also in the most used category of party-ware, but they call for their own box and blog given the amount I have of those!  I threatened CollectoratorOne that when I move I am going to make her come over often for fancy tea sandwiches and Skip-Bo so I can justify all of these trays!

The bad thing is I packed all of these trays for the eventual move, but I will probably need them if not in October by March of next year. oh well. I can always unpack them or use some other party-ware set! hee!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crazy About Chartreuse Too!

Update: Finished my first box of packing!! I felt like when I taped up that box I sent the universe in motion to begin to locate my new house! Go universe go!

I don't know if it was just closing up the box up, or if it was the act of packing some of my favorite pottery into a box CollectoratorOne had labeled Shawnee Vases (one of the first boxes she unpacked into her new house), but I felt our always parallel universe working in my favor.

I'm excited to see what I'll feature and pack up next! Oh, and just in case you didn't think the first batch of chartreuse pottery necessitated the label "crazy," here's part two! Also a nice picture of my favorite round plant stands by the way. Two for one!

Crazy about Chartreuse

Not so crazy that I am going to dye my hair chartreuse like in the Louis Jordan song BUT I have collected chartreuse pottery beyond my fair share most likely! When I was looking for my current house, I had to put a dining room set on layaway  because I hadn't found the house yet. Thank goodness for layaway because this was the perfect dining room set for me. 1960's  honey colored wood and chartreuse covered seat cushions, so I couldn't pass it up just because I didn't have silly thing like a house for it! Now normally I like dark wood which is kind of anti-mid century modern I'll admit, but I inherited a few pieces of dark furniture so I've built around it. I've done just fine in finding darker wood pieces in the era, but I drew the line at the dining room set. Regardless of the color it was coming home with me. Once I settled on the house, I realized that the existing paint color in the dining room lent itself quite perfectly with chartreuse. For those who want to know, the paint is Kelly Moore Everglades. Kind of a greenish bluish medium grey (it looks bluer than it is in the pictures).  I highly recommend it for blonde or honey colored wood, although i do rather like the color CollectoratorOne chose for her new dining room, that same medium grey but with more turquoise.

In any case, upon move in I had NOTHING that was chartreuse to decorate with. GASP! So I promptly remedied it and bought several pieces to display. I've slowly expanded my collection to the current state.  I really wish I knew who the manufacturer is of the set on the left in the picture. Can't seem to find anyone that knows. My favorite piece is in the center which is Claire Lerner California Pottery.  I'd like to find the free form shallow bowl to stand the birds in, someday. Lastly there are two Bennetts California Serpentine vases. I've seen a 4 inch tall one as on my list!

As much as I love looking at this cheerful chartreuse pottery I am packing most of it away. Yes, you read that right packing it away because I have started the tick tick tick of the moving timeline! It's time that we found a bigger house, only partially due to my Collectorating habit (is 80% really partial?) Granted, it may be six months to a year before we move, but I want to be ready to move fast when I find that perfect house. It's also the perfect opportunity to start a new blog series to highlight everything I'm packing away! I'll think I'll leave the Claire Learner birds out for staging so someone else sees how perfect this paint is with chartreuse!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Game Day 2011 - Collectorating Style

Ok it's no secret that I am a big UT Longhorn fan, not a big football fan, just a big UT Longhorn fan. Those two things are VERY different.  I earned every bit of that right to be a big fan given my 13 career as a professional student at UT. Before anyone pokes fun, I did get three degrees out of it including a Phd so by averages, three degrees in 13 years is just about right. I would have tried for 14 but I got a little tired of as an adult having to say "I am a student" to the question of "So what do you?" Not to mention I was well into my Collectorating addiction by that time and I needed a real source of funds to support said habit.
Even though I've put almost a decade between me and my last day on campus as an official student (October 1, 2002 for those who need details), I am still a UT Longhorn fan through and through. Now, for me it's not about the game, although I do care if we win but for me it's mostly all about the century old team spirit, traditions, and burnt orange fashion (of course!). I have almost enough outfits (shoes included!) to make it through the whole season of game day outings, but I can always use more.

Lately I've begun collecting accessories to make it all come together or go overboard as it may be... My favorite is this vintage basket purse adorned with a vintage cartoony Bevo. But my orange rhinestone and white bracelet is a close second . Pair that with some burnt orange gloves and hankie inside the Bevo purse and you've got yourself one touch-down-cannon-shooting-game-day outfit! Now, if we can win today, that will be even better, and I can go out and buy a new accessory item! Oooo, I see the start of a new tradition! Go Horns!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Extreme Collectorating = Tablescapes!

Well meaning friends say there is a fine line between collectorating and hoarding... To them I say you haven't found the beauty of well functioning tablescapes yet!!! So there... cough... In any case, my new favorite thing of late is creating works of art with my favorite collectibles. Only trouble is it gives me more excuses to buy more things (like I need anymore excuses). Case in point these two lovely birds. I can honestly say I bought them for the sole purpose of standing next to this McCoy Floraline vase.

A worthy purchase I think.  My favorite trio of late though is one that came together on its own over time not through a tablescape-need-justification. A nice, sunny yellow combo of Alamo and Shawnee vases and a Maddux Chinese Pheasant. It makes me happy just looking at it even though the bright yellow reminds me that it has been exhaustingly sunny for waaaaaay too many days this summer. What would make me feel better is if I could find the running pheasant in the same Maddux series which still frustratingly alludes me! Ok, I'd settle for 80 degree weather for awhile instead.

So what may seem on the outside as over-collectorating is really functional on the inside. I found that I actually make the effort get the pieces out and arrange them in new ways and funny so does "the boy." I'll come home and find his own carefully assembled scape filled with flowers. Now that's love. So not only am I enjoying all the pieces I've found, I'm actually using them too which makes me very happy even if I don't have the Maddux running pheasant! oh that fast 'scaping bird... Tune in for more tablescapes coming soon!