Sunday, February 28, 2010

Count Down to the Michigan Antique & Collectible Festival...

There are only 97 days until the first Michigan Antique and Collectible Festival in Midland, Michigan!

2010 Dates
June 5-6
July 24-25
September 25-26

This will be their 42nd year. It is held only 3 times a year at the Midland County Fairgrounds.

Saturdays 8am-6pm
Sundays 8am-4pm

It's about an hour and a half drive from where we live but well worth it! When we went last fall, they said there were 1,000 vendors. It's a lot of fun to be able to visit so many different vendors all in one spot!

Photos borrowed from Michigan Antique & Collectibles website.
The last time we went, we walked for about 4 hours, and still didn't even see it all! We skipped the buildings, and stayed outside. If we had gone into all the buildings, we would have probably added another hour or two.
Admission is $5 per person. It is pretty cheap entertainment if you ask me! Even if you don't buy anything, it is still a fun day.

What did I get last year? A couple of pieces of chartreuse Fiesta, joint custody of a square angel food cake pan, 2 giant bags of kettle corn (that barely survived the ride home with 4 hungry people), and lots of fun memories!
This year, I plan to take my camera, so I can show you how much fun it is!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Check These Books Out!

I recently stumbled on a very fun blog (C. Dianne Zweig-Kitsch 'n Stuff), and through reading this blog, I've found a couple of really fun books - written by the blog's author!

I checked these out at the library and have spent a lot of time pouring over the pages of them both. I've even taken them in to work and shared them with my co-workers!

If you love antiques and kitchen collectibles, you have to check them out yourself! They are very informative, and have tons of great pictures! While you are at it, check out the author's blog too!

Photo borrowed from C. Dianne Zweig-Kitsch 'n Stuff blog

Another book I have really enjoyed is:
It has a great section on my favorite...the 127 Sale!

Heading off to the library...more books are in that I've requested.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Wordle Fun...

My Wishlist...

I've been reading a bunch of books from the library about vintage collectibles, depression glass, antiques and garage sales. One book recommended that you make a wishlist and carry it with you when you are out seeking your treasures because sometimes you get so caught up, you forget what you were looking for!

So I decided to make a small wishlist for myself. Hopefully, some day, I will find all of these things-at great prices, of course!

Chartreuse Fiesta Bulb Candleholders

Chartreuse Fiesta Wall Clock

Chartreuse Fiesta Millennium II vase

Chartreuse Fiesta Millennium III Vase

 Fiesta Vintage Mixing Bowl Set

Fiesta Vintage Relish Tray

Kitchen Kraft Fiesta Go-Along Refrigerator Set

Polka Dot Mixing Bowl Set

Vintage Pyrex Turquoise Mixing Bowl Set

Vintage Poinsettia Tablecloth

Plum Fiesta Fluted Vase in Medium and Small

Plum Fiesta Millennium III Vase

Fostoria American Mayo Set

Fostoria American Punch Bowl

Fostoria American Round Cake Plate (Newer)

Fostoria American Round Cake Plate (older)

Fostoria American Square Cake Plate (older)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Is it Boopie or Candlewick?

Yesterday, while Chicken’s Auntie and I were out and about on our road trip to Holly, I remembered she had asked about a photo I had taken earlier of some of my “stuff” when I was digging through some cabinets. She had asked “What is Boopie glass?” So when I saw a cordial glass, I pointed it out to her. She then asked “How come it’s called Boopie?” I had to admit that I didn’t know. I didn’t even know if Boopie was Candlewick, or another brand. I had just always assumed it was Candlewick, by the Imperial Glass Company, and it referred to the water goblets, cordial glasses, and other glasses made with the ball feet.

Of course, Auntie suggested that I research it! It is kind of a standing joke with us…dating way back when we first started working together. I would ask for help with a computer problem and she would say, “Did you check the helps?” LOL! I love it! Now, thanks to Auntie, I try to dig in and do the research and check the helps to get the scoop. But sometimes, I still ask her first because she is such a wealth of knowledge on so many subjects!

So here is what I found out to try to answer her question, “What is Boopie?”

Imperial Glass Company was started in 1901 by a former riverboat captain named Edward Muhleman, who also had many years experience in the glass industry. He decided to build his new glass factory in Bellaire, Ohio (also known as “Glass City”) close to the river. It took three years of planning and building before they were ready to start production, and just a few months into 1904, they were shaping up to be a major force in the glass industry. They started with all of the usual pressed glass household items and ventured into carnival glass in 1909. The first series of Candlewick were put into production in 1920, and was formally introduced at the Wheeling Centennial Celebration in 1936.

The Candlewick design (which started with around 40 items jumped to around 200 items by the 1950’s) quickly became one of their strongest selling glassware patterns.Production of Candlewick ran until the mid 50's.

Anchor Hocking was started in 1937 when Anchor Cap, the Closure Corporation and Hocking Glass Company all merged together. They are still in operation today and are primarily located in Lancaster, Ohio with one plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania. The first glassware produced under the new Anchor Hocking name was Royal Ruby in 1939. I really had a hard time finding information on Anchor Hocking’s history and their Boopie pattern in particular. From the many articles I’ve read, it seems the original name was Berwick and was created around 1950, but most people are only familiar with the name Boopie (which was coined by Hazel Marie Weatherman, who in the 1970’s published several books on depression era glassware).

The best way to tell the difference between Candlewick and Boopie (Berwick) is to take a good look at the balls of glass. The Candlewick pattern has balls that do not run together or even touch each other. They are full circle balls that have a little space in between them. They tend to look more fragile that way. The Boopie or Berwick design has the balls touching each other without any space in between. They almost look welded together. The ever so subtle differences in the two designs have confused novice collectors (including myself) and sellers all over the world. If you look on Ebay right now, you will see several listings where the seller has listed their item and included the names Candlewick and Boopie in their descriptions. I am choosing to believe that their reason for doing so is because they themselves are not sure, rather than believing they are trying to pass off Boopie as Candlewick.

It has been interesting to research this. I have had a chance to go through a few of the pieces in my collection and now realize that I have purchased Boopie thinking I was purchasing Candlewick. It doesn’t make me like them any less though-I love the design! I also purchased (a few years ago) a purple divided candy dish, with balls around the edges thinking it was Candlewick, and have now learned that it is actually Czechoslovakian glass.

I hope you too have found this research interesting! Click on this link to get more information on the differences between Candlewick and Boopie.

According to my research, this divided candy dish is not Candlewick, but Czechoslovakian glass.

This is Candlewick because the balls are separated with a wafer-like piece of glass.

This is Candlewick.

This is not Candlewick but Orchard Crystal by Hazel Atlas. Did you notice the little ash tray in the front right corner?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Really Ugly, Creepy Frog Day...

Well…today was the highly anticipated antiquing trip to Holly. What we were hoping would be a prince of a day…turned into a very creepy frog day!

It turned out to be a sleepy little town that on first glance, seemed to have lots interesting older homes and buildings downtown. We got a great parking spot, right across an alley from an historic hotel (which isn’t an operating hotel anymore, but a high scale restaurant). It had such a great exterior and was on a really cool little alley with a bunch of little shops, I couldn’t wait to explore!

As we got about 20 feet from the entrance to Arcade Antiques, Chicken’s Auntie, casually pops out with, “You know this place is haunted don’t you?” What? No, I hadn’t heard that…are you joking? She wasn’t joking! She went on to say that some people have even said they have felt what feels like the skirt of the woman that haunts the place to brush up against them when they are in the back rooms looking at the antiques. GREAT…now I really want to go in - - - not so much!
When we went in, it was a little different, but we kept going. The farther back we went, the darker and creepier it got. The lighting was really sparse, and the facades that they built for the outsides of the rooms that was I’m sure, meant to be charming, seemed to me, to be just plain creepy! The guy working there was very friendly, and fun to chat with, but I couldn’t get over the creepy feeling. I’m pretty sure, that even if Auntie hadn’t dropped that bombshell on me, I would have still felt it was creepy!

We walked to the end of the alley and out on to S. Saginaw and saw this really neat building across the street-I just had to take a quick snap of it! I didn’t even realize that I got the Holly Hills Primitives sign in the shot.
Our next stop was Holly Hills Primitives. It was a quick walk through for us. Neither of us are very big fans of primitives. I’m glad we stopped though, because you never want to wonder, if you missed your prince because you didn’t stop.
We walked across the street to Holly’s Main Street Antiques. It was quite a bit less creepy- brighter lighting, and more open spaces.  When we went upstairs, a little boy (I am assuming he was either the son or grandson of the owner), came upstairs after we did, and hopped on an antique tricycle that was for sale, and was riding it around up there while we were shopping. It was kind of weird-in a creepy sort of way. We both thought the prices seemed very high, and neither of us ended up buying anything.

 We asked the owner for advice on a good place to get lunch and he recommended the place next door called Bittersweet Café. It was a small little place with only about 10 or so tables, and what seemed to be a walk up counter with the menu on the wall behind the counter. We walked up to the counter, not sure if we should seat ourselves or order at the counter and take it to our seats ourselves. We stood there for a few minutes, with the workers buzzing around just to our left in the kitchen area. I know they all saw us, but no one made an immediate attempt to say hi, or try to help us. That should have been a clue as to what to expect…
When finally a waitress, (the only one in the building apparently) asked if we needed help, (after I’m assuming she overheard us asking each other if we just seat ourselves or if we order at the counter). She told us to seat ourselves and asked what we wanted to drink. After she brought our iced tea, she left and went to another table and stood and talked with them for quite a long while before she came back to take our order. Auntie got split pea soup and half a ham sandwich. I got a chicken quesadilla. We waited so long for the food to arrive, that we were wondering if they had forgotten us! When it came, it was pretty good but, I think we were both so hungry at that point, that it could have tasted like sawdust, and we would have still scarffed it down. Looking around, the café was a really neat older building with a tin ceiling, and exposed brick wall. The inside was pretty charming-and not creepy at all…too bad the service wasn’t that great.

When we left the café, we walked across the street, and for some reason, I forgot to take a snap of the outside of the next shop on our list (and now I can't even remember the name of it). It was a mixture of mostly new stuff with a handful of antique furniture thrown in. I took a snap of a patio set that I really liked. It had purple toile!!! I really loved the chaise, but it wasn’t for sale…bummer!



The next stop was the Holly Water Tower Antiques Mall. I had seen this place on line and was pretty excited to stop. Their parking lot was so tiny! I think it only had 6 or 7 spaces! When you first walk in, there are a lot of locked display cases. I was kind of bummed, because it has been my experience that the stuff in locked cases is usually priced way more than I want to spend. Plus, when I am shopping, I like to be able to pick the items up, look them over really good, hold them up the light, and just feel the weight and quality. If I go to a shop and see a lot of locked cases, I usually skip right by them. 

There were a couple of things that caught our eyes…a Harlequin creamer, a chartreuse pitcher and a couple other small things, but in the end, we walked out without buying anything.

Our next stop was Balcony Row Antiques. It looked interesting from the outside. When we went in though, it was really creepy. It was very dimly lit, and was a very old building with lots of little rooms just filled with really old creepy stuff. They were playing really creepy classical music and I was glad I wasn’t in there alone! By the time we got about half way through, I was ready to go! The creepy-ness was getting to be too much for me. One little room we looked in even had a skull on the counter! I couldn’t wait to get out of there!

Off to Spinning Jenny’s Antiques in Clarkston. I wish I would have read the online review before we went! It was a small place, with stuff that looked like it had been there for a long time and prices that were really high - another frog in our search for our prince today.
We ended up being only about 5 miles from Dixieland Flea Market, and since Auntie had never been, and I knew the Fiesta lady was there... I kind of talked her into going. I figured what’s one more creepy stop on the creepy train!?! It fit it with the rest of the day’s stops quite well.

We saw some neat stuff, lots of people and actually liked the Betty Boop ladies room. I got a purple Pyrex mixing bowl set (that I think is actually called cranberry, but looks more purple than red to me) and a chartreuse Fiesta charger, and then it was time to head for home. We made a quick stop at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in White Lake, but didn’t find anything there either.

So…overall, I’d say it was a really ugly, creepy frog day! I think we need to find a prince and soon! If for nothing else than to chase the creepies away!

In keeping with our rating system (frog for not so great, and prince for great), today was an ugly, creepy frog day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Frog of a Day...

Since it was such a lovely, sunny day and my husband and I both had the day off, we decided to drive around to a few flea markets and antique stores in the Ann Arbor, Ypsi area. What a bummer! The first two places didn't exist any more, but we did see an antique store specializing in windows, hardware, doors, etc. We went in and walked in a quick circle and went back out. The prices were really, really high-the cheapest thing I saw was around $800. That must be why none of the sales people actually got up from their desks to help us when we came in, they all (4 of them) just looked at us and went back to work...although one girl did say hello-probably because I looked right at her at the same time she looked at me-lol.

Then we tried to find an other shop in Ypsi and two in Ann Arbor. No luck there either! They no longer exist! So we went to an old, tried and true shop...Treasure Mart on Detroit Street. Usually, if you go during the week, you can find a parking spot and can actually manuever around in the shop. Today must have been some sort of sale, because it was PACKED! Parking was really hard to find and there were tons of people inside. I looked all around for signs indicating a sale, but never saw one. Didn't end up buying anything-too hard to look very closely with so many people bumping in to you.

The one bright spot was a stop at Green's Consignment on my way back home. I found a clear glass fall platter on sale for 75% off. My cost? $2.12! Not bad! I am hoping that tomorrow's trip with Chicken's Auntie to Holly will be a prince of a day!!

Hoping tomorrow will be a better treasure hunting day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pyrex...Learning Something New

I have to admit, that in about the past year or so, a lot of new things have been catching my eye when I visit antique stores... What I am finding is that they are mostly vintage, mid-century items. I am really developing a taste/eye for 1950's and 1960's stuff. While I know it is only considered "vintage" and not "antique", I am still enjoying looking, hunting, and hopefully purchasing some (at a great price, of course).

My friend (Chicken's Auntie), recently bought a book called Pyrex by Corning, a Collectors Guide. She was kind enough to bring it to work to share with me-so I want to share with you what was in it.

The best place to start is at the beginning. In 1851, Amory Houghton bought shares of Corning Incorporated. It later (in 1854 ) became Union Glass Company and then Corning Glassworks in 1859. In 1864, Houghton and his two sons purchased Flint Glassworks in Brooklyn and moved the company there. In 1868, for financial reasons, he moved the company to Corning, New York and changed the name to Corning Flint Glassworks.

In 1875, they turned their focus toward specialty products. One such product was hand-blown glass light bulbs for the newly invented incandescent lamp by Thomas Edison. They expanded into pharmaceutical glass products as well as railway lanterns and signal lenses as well as tubing for thermometers.

It was because of problems with the railway glass, that Pyrex was actually invented. The bulbs would heat up the lantern glass, and when it would rain or snow, the cold shock on the hot glass would cause the glass to shatter and the flame to be extinguished. They needed to create a glass product that could tolerate the temperature extremes with out breaking.

They began their research in 1908, and by 1912 they had found chemical properties that were promising. They were even able to reduce breakage by 60% with their new product. They named their new glass “Nonex” for non-expansion glass.

The rest of the story gets a little fuzzy here. It isn’t clear if it is fact, or folklore, but it is said that a physics instructor from University of Michigan (Dr. Jessie T. Littleton) joined Corning (this part is fact) about the time the nonex glass went into production. At that time, his wife supposedly was complaining about the pans she was using for cooking and baking, because it was hard to get the food the release out of the pan, and the pans absorbed the food odors. So, he cut the bottoms off of some jars, brought them home, and his wife made a cake in one.

She was delighted by the results. The cake cooked in less time, came cleanly out of the pan, the pan didn’t absorb the food odors and since the glass was clear, she was able to watch it cook and tell by looking at it when it was done. Dr. Littleton remained in his position until he retired in 1958.

The trademark for Pyrex was registered in the United States on March 13, 1917.

The book, Pyrex by Corning-a Collector’s Guide is not only a wealth of knowledge on the history of Pyrex, it also has lots copies of the original advertising. It was interesting to see that in an ad from Ladie’s Home Journal from 1956, the primary colored mixing bowl set that I just recently, finally got all the pieces to, sold for a mere $2.95 for the whole set of 4 bowls! I’ve seen them for the past year or so in antique shops and on Ebay for between $50 and $85. The original 4 bowl set in turquoise was the same. Now it sells for between $70 and $110. A four piece refrigerator set (including lids) originally went for $3.45. I am sure at the time though, those prices (which seem meager now) were probably considered to be a lot of money to spend on dishes and bakeware.

Because of the durability and quality of Pyrex, it has become a household staple. I bet anyone who is 25 or older can remember their parents or grandparents using Pyrex-what today we call vintage - is highly collectible.

I will be working on getting a full set of the turquoise mixing bowls. I’m hoping to pick them up one at a time to try to save some money-besides…that’s half the fun anyway-the hunt! Of course, I want to find them at a great price too…is that too much to ask for?

If you love Pyrex or are just curious, check this book out at your local library. I’ve put a request in for one to look at even though I borrowed Auntie’s. This way she can have hers back and I can have a little more time to drool through the pages!

This is my vintage set of Pyrex mixing bowls in the primary colors.

This is the set I got for a wedding present 22  years ago. We use this set all the time and it still looks great!

This is a great little refrigerator dish I won on Ebay for 24 cents!! And...the seller was in my hometown, so I was able to pick it up and save the shipping charges! Now, to find the lid and the rest of the set...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Gift...

My dear hubby got me a reading lamp for Valentines Day, and a Huge Michigan map that I can get laminated and keep track of all of the antique stores I visit! Too cool!! I can't wait to get started marking all of the towns I've visited (and have yet to visit)!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Staying Home This Weekend…

Since I’ve been out and about for the past several weekends, I am staying in this weekend (except for volleyball Saturday night, and church Sunday morning). I had so much fun digging through my buffet cabinet the other day when we had a snow day, I decided to take a look around at what else I could find…

I headed downstairs to our family room, which has been taken over by teenage boys. I very rarely go down there any more, which is a shame, because it is a nice room that has a walk-out and a large window. You don’t really feel like you are in a basement when you are down there. I have a china cabinet, my Grandpa’s childhood school desk, Kevin’s grandparents old crank phone (that at some point they decided to turn it into a radio-I’m guessing in the 60’s or 70’s), and a curio cabinet that was a gift many years ago from my parents for Christmas. 

The best things down there (besides the boys & treasures), are the oak pub height game table with 8 Mission Style bar stools, the Mission style oak table, and the oak corner 3 piece desk that Kevin made (some of it from oak that was once trees on my grandparents property in Luzerne, that was milled into lumber).

This belonged to Kevin's grandparents. I'm sure the value has been reduced by the modifications they made to turn it into a radio several years ago.

This was my Grandpa's desk when he was a school boy. He will be 88 in May. 

This is one of many platters. When I ran a catering business, I was always on the look-out for clear glass platters and trays to use for serving. I don't even want to know how many I've accumulated over the years! The best part is that I got most of them at garage sales, for between a quarter and a few dollars!

This is a collection of Fostoria American or Cubist...I can never tell them apart! Just when I think I know the differences, I read something new and then I am more confused than before! Does anyone have a fool-proof way to tell the difference?

This isn't old, it looks to be 1970's. It was my first attempt at being crafty and re-purposing a piece of furniture. It used to be an end table with a second level that took up half of the length. I got it really cheap at an estate sale about 8 years ago. It didn't match anything in our house, and I tried to sell it in a garage sale-but no one wanted it. So, Kevin cut the top off for me (he is a very talented woodworker-some day I might show you all of the beautiful furniture he's made for our house), and I turned it into a stool.

This is the china cabinet that matches the buffet that I showed in an earlier post. It has been kind of neglected being in the basement and not being seen very often. Everything is just kind of tossed in-I'll have to fix that!
The bowl and pitcher on top are pretty old, we got them at a garage sale for $4. 

This is some more of my Fiesta collection. The white place settings I got on clearance for $8 and thought about reselling them, but my oldest son likes the white Fiesta, and wants them when he moves out. Isn't that pumpkin platter cute!?!?

The large stack of plates came in a box lot at an auction a few years ago. I got the whole box for $5 and there were lots of treasures in it!

A few platters...believe me, this doesn't even scratch the surface of the platters that I have.

This giant platter was only $4. I put a plastic pear in the middle so you could see how big it is! The Ironstone platter belonged to Kevin's grandma. She always had it up on her cabinets in her kitchen. She had the family convinced that it came over on the Mayflower! She called it her Mayflower platter. I think they all still think it is from the Mayflower.

Some pink! Most of this belonged to my Grandma on my Dad's side, with the exception of the middle bowl, which I think is Old Colony. That belonged to my Grandma on my Mom's side.

For a while, I really loved the blue Carnival glass. The oval dish came home with me from a Florida flea market-in my carry on bag on the plane! The candlesticks were my very first auction purchase-I got them for $10 for the pair.

I know it's kind of hard to see what the pattern is on these pieces.  They are Anchor Hocking Savannah. They aren't antiques, although the pattern has been discontinued for several years now. I love the whimsical little flowers in this pattern! I have punch bowls, large salad bowls, punch cups, cake pedestals, chip and dip sets, and serving platters (all from my catering days).

This cute little basket used to hold my business cards at the client's home when I was catering, in case any of their guests might want to have my number. There used to be two of them, but one broke right away. It is only about 4" tall and very thin glass.

Here is my curio cabinet. The top and bottom are cut off in this picture.

This is a soup tureen that belonged to my Great, Great Grandmother and was passed down to my Great Grandmother, then to my Grandmother, then to me. It isn't really  my taste, but with the family history-I really can't get rid of it!

The platter and cups and saucers are all garage sale finds. The bowl, plate and pitcher are handed down. My Grandpa on my mom's side says he got his cereal in the bowl with the plate and his milk was in the little pitcher every day when he was growing up.

Oh, gee...look! Another platter! The teacup set on the top right was a gift to Kevin (there are actually 2 of them). When he was in the Navy in California, we we at our apartment one evening when there was a lot of screaming and yelling and someone was banging frantically on our door. It turns out a little girl who had a really high fever was choking and convulsing. Kevin cleared her airway and saved her life! The teacup sets were a thank you gift from her parents.

There are actually 3 creamers in the lower left corner-all from my Grandma on my mom's side. The tea cup sets were one of (if not the first) things I collected. They were really cheap at garage sales, and I just loved them.

Nope! Not a platter! A relish tray!
It's fun to look at all of these things again!! I am reminded of some fun times with Kevin hitting the garage sales! He actually found the large pitcher and bowl set before I did, and came over to me quickly at that garage sale and said, "Come here! Come here! You are going to like this!" The same with a lot of the tea cup sets. It was neat to see how excited he got when he saw something I might like! He still does that when we are out garage sale shopping now. I'll have to take a trip out to the barn soon to take pictures of our inadvertent trunk collection from last summer. He was so cute when he found them! 

I wonder what other treasures I can find....