Sunday, April 25, 2010

Learning about Shawnee pottery...

I have been seeing a lot of signs lately in antique booths with big letters that say “SHAWNEE” and that piqued my interest enough to go online and do some research to find out what “SHAWNEE” is.

Here is what I found out:
It has been said that Shawnee Pottery was named to commemorate an arrowhead found on the grounds of the plant in Zanesville Ohio. (They were the manufacturer of various types of household pottery from 1937 through 1961). The Shawnee tribe lived there before the area was settled and were known to make pottery out of the rich red clay found in the area. Shards and pieces of Native American pots, as well as arrowheads and other tools were once easy to find in the area.
The company created various types of kitchenware intended to be for daily use and therefore pretty inexpensive. They were capable of producing 100,000 ceramic items every day. The Pottery line was available in department stores like Woolworth's, Sears, and McCrory's. It was a popular choice among homemakers of the day and they really bought it up at 10 to 50 cents per item. Those same items now sell for $50 or more!

During the depression, the American Encaustic Company went out of business (it had been the largest tile works business in the world from the late 1880’s until they closed their doors in the 1930’s), leaving lots of empty buildings as well as all of their machinery and many employees looking for jobs.
Shawnee took over all of the old American Encaustic buildings and hired many of the company’s former employees. The one big change that they made, was to remove all of the old kilns and replace them with the newes,t state of the art kilns.
Many well-known men from the pottery industry were associated with Shawnee as well as designers who had worked for Hull, Roseville, Weller and Frankoma. Their designs became more and more popular and didn’t last long on store shelves.
Unfortunately, after the end of World War II foreign imports began flooding the market and Shawnee wasn’t able to compete and had to cease production in 1961.
Shawnee can be, and often has been mistaken for McCoy because they are very similar. Some distinguishing features in the Shawnee line include glaze that completely covers the item, both inside and out, their raised foot on the bottom which follows the contour of the base and markings that often times are just the letters USA (this mark predates WWII) inscribed on the bottom.
The first “Smiley Pig” cookie jars were made with either a blue or red scarf and sold wholesale at $12 per dozen. The “Smiley” salt and pepper shakers wholesale price was $3.60 per dozen. In their 1945 catalog, Sears and Roebuck offered the salt and pepper shakers (along with their watering can, and winking owls) for 45 cents each. Their teapots sold for $1.29 and $1.59 each. Although their cookie jars are the most collected items (especially the gold trimmed ones-which interestingly enough got the gold trim and decals to hide imperfections! One recently sold for $6750!! All that for a “second”.) many people feel that a true collection isn’t complete without at least one “smiley”.
Shawnee also produced a wide range of products for the kitchen, from baking dishes to whipping jars, decorative art pottery, aquarium ornaments and wall pockets and everything else you can think of in-between.
During the last 60’s and 70’s some unscrupulous manufacturers duplicated many of Shawnee’s molds with the intentions of fooling unsuspecting collectors.
Terrace Ceramics bought the Shawnee molds when the company went out of business in 1961. Some of their jars might look like Shawnee, but they were made and clearly marked by Terrace Ceramics. The quality of the Terrace jars are definitely different and probably won’t be easily confused with the real thing.

In the mid 1990s a new Shawnee Pottery Company opened and for a few years was selling cookie jars, which should also not be confused with the products produced by the original Shawnee company. This newer company was advertised as "The New Shawnee Pottery Company". They have sold and produced several different cookie jars (and they are all very different from the designs of the original Shawnee company), Although the markings on the bottom of their jars look nothing like the markings of the original company, one of their cookie jars is marked with both USA and Shawnee on the bottom, and unfortunately this could confuse new collectors.

The best advice to learn how to spot the fakes, is to educate yourself by reading all the books available on Shawnee products and studying the pictures to familiarize yourself with their designs and patterns.

(My information was compiled from information I found on,, hub, and

What a fun gift!

I've really been enjoying the Valentines gift my husband got me!

A giant laminated Michigan map! I've been marking it up with my visits to antique shops and my "wanna visit" places. The red indicates places I've been, and the green is for the places I hope to visit (I'll have to remember to mark Allen, Michigan red now instead of green). The two green lines (along the south and along the thumb area) are reminders of yard sales that run those entire areas the second week in August every year. My dilema is- which one to I go to? I can't possibly do both! Maybe I'll do one this year and the other one next year!

More adventures in the U.P.! I can't wait to check all of these shops out!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Antiquing in Allen, Michigan...

Whew! What a whirlwind day today was! Three of my friends from work (Debbie, Pam and Chicken's Auntie) and I set out on an antiquing adventure to Allen, Michigan. With road construction, it took us about 2 hours to get there, and once we were there, boy did the time go by fast!!

Allen is known to be the "Antiques Capital" of Michigan. I read in an article posted on the wall of one of the shops that 20% of the town's revenue comes from antique sales!

We started at the Allen Antique Barn-2 floors and 300 dealers! Wow! What fun! It was HUGE! They had really decent prices on their items too-what a pleasant surprise!

Our next stop (barely needed to drive it was that close!) was Capital Antiques-another great shop that was wayyy bigger than it looked!

When we finished at Capital, lunch was long overdue-so we walked next door to Outpost Grill & Restaurant.

 I got chicken strips and fries-the cole slaw was homemade and very good!

Pam got the Grizzly looked great!

Debbie and Chicken's Auntie got soup and salad and we all split an order of onion rings.

Neat little displays in the restaurant.

Then we just walked from shop to shop. There were 5 shops in all-the smallest one was probably about 1500 square feet the rest were four to five times that size. We passed another 6 or so shops on the way in and the way back home, but we ran out of time and had to just drive past and hope for another adventure to check them out.

 We shopped til we dropped today-what fun! It was kind of bittersweet, because Debbie is moving to Atlanta in a couple of weeks to be closer to her daughters and sons in law and precious grand daughter. While I'm really happy for her and her husband to be hear their family, I will really miss her!! She is such a sweet, caring friend who is always encouraging and supportive. Her job now, is to find some good shops in Atlanta and plan out a trip for us down there!

We all got some neat treasures today. We had lots of laughs and good times! I'll add some pictures tomorrow of what I got-I'm too tired to take them and post them right now because after a full day of driving and antiquing, I ended up playing a double header volleyball match tonight (2 1/2 hours) and I am T I R E D!!

This was definitely a prince of a day - I would highly recommend that if you have the time, take the trip to Allen-you won't be disappointed!

This is what I bought...

 2 small yellow Pyrex refrigerator dishes with lids in mint condition, a large yellow Pyrex refrigerator dish with lid in excellent condition, a green Pyrex bowl, a clear glass Pyrex cake pan and a clear glass refrigerator dish with a lid in mint condition (I've already washed and used it!)

Using the new cake pan-lemon cake-YUM!

Isn't that awesome to be able to see the cake through the sides??

Friday, April 23, 2010

Checking out a Smart Car...

Only got to stop at one garage sale today, and it was wayyy over priced! I took a small road trip with my oldest son to check out Smart Cars. We had great sunny weather for our drive and lots of great conversation - something that doesn't always come very easy between a soon to be 19 year old guy and his mom.

I was actually pretty impressed with the car. It is very roomy! At 6'3" Adam had no problem fitting, and he was quite comfortable at that!

The car seems like a pretty good bargain too! There are 3 models and right now you can lease them for ($999 down) $169, $189, and $249 a month on a 3 year lease. The most expensive is a convertible! Since its outer panels are plastic, you can buy one color car and then order a different color panel set for about $300 and totally change your car color on a whim-and you can change it out yourself in about 8 hours!

It looked kinda sporty and fun-but no storage and no spare tire. Not practical for a mom with kids still at home-no where to put the groceries!  I did fill out an entry form to win a one month free test drive though!

 That is a very little car!

 This picture was shot from the driver's side of my car. He parked the Smart car so that the front tires lined up with my front tires-see the back end of the Smart car even with the back of the passenger seat in my car?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Baby Turns 16 Today...

Just a quick post to wish my baby (my youngest) a very Happy Birthday!

  3 month picture

 9 years

Almost 16...and 6'4" tall!

He is 16 today! He's had quite a birthday cream at Screams (in Hell, Michigan), a family dinner out at Red Robin on Sunday (using the free burger coupon he got from joining the birthday club on line), and dinner out with just mom (since dad and older brother are both working-at El Patron). We stopped at Meijer, to get a cake on the way home and found this cute little guy!

Then he picked out a Boston Cream Torte for his cake. Usually we do the big Costco cakes for birthdays, but we just had a huge cake on Monday, (a gift to me from the ladies in my volleyball league, as a thank you for volunteering to run the league)- I had previously decided that I was going to bake a cake for him. Unfortunately, we didn't have any canned frosting or ingredients in the house to make homemade. Since it was getting late, I just decided to let him pick out a cake at the store.I did ask first and he was totally fine with it!

Happy Birthday Eric-I love you!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Opening Weekend for Ann Arbor Antiques Market...

Today I went to the Washtenaw County Fair Grounds for the Ann Arbor Antiques Market with Chicken's Auntie and another friend (Pam) from work. It was FREEZING cold! The wind was whipping like crazy! I really felt bad for the twenty-something guy in the shorts and his girlfriend with the flip flops and the bright red feet!

There were a lot of vendors, but not a lot of good prices this time around. It has been 2 years since I've visited, and I think that after today it can be another 2 years (or more) before I go back, and I won't miss it at all! There used to be a lot more vendors with a lot better prices...

 The best part of the day came as we were walking in the gate as Chicken's Auntie was walking behind me. She started giggling then out right laughing and how I was walking (since my back still was quite sore, I was walking a little differently)-she said it looked like I was walking as if I had a load in my pants! Pam and I both started laughing so hard, I couldn't tell if my eyes were watering from the wind, from laughing or both!

We stopped at a few estate sales and garage sales which were all frogs, and then went to Feather Your Nest Antiques only to be totally disappointed that their store is no longer in business! Bummer! We both really like her booth at Livingston Antiques and were excited to visit her shop.

Fun times, lots of laughs and another adventure that turned out to be a frog and not a prince. I'm looking forward to our next adventure!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mitzi's having a giveaway...

One of my favorite blogs (and antique dealer) Mitzi's Collectibles is having a giveaway! Click here to check it out and read her blog! She is very creative, and has some really neat and informative blogs! I'm trying to get up enough nerve to try the mirror project!

A couple garage sales, and estate sale and a trip to Hell...

Since my back was still complaining this morning, and my younger son had a day off from school...and there were some really great sounding sales in our area...I talked him into being my chauffer today. He turns 16 next Wednesday and needs all the practice he can get, so he was glad to drive me around. We only had one good sale out of about a dozen. I got a couple more brightly colored vintage tablecloths...I know...I know, I said I was done for a while with linens.... but they were really bright, and really pretty, and really cheap, and really calling out my name---and I just couldn't walk away!

 I already need a 12 step program for my Fiesta addiction-might as well add in one for my bright vintage linen addiction too!

We ended up in Pinckney, and when he saw the sign that said Hell with an arrow, he suggested we go to Hell---Michigan-that is. We joked around a little bit about it and he told me about a show on Food Network where they showcased the Screams Ice Cream Parlor from Hell. He remembered their "Grave-Digger" ice cream special and wanted to try it.

They cover the bottom of a foam carryout container with crushed Oreo crumbs (supposed to represent dirt) then they cut a banana to look like a head, torso, arms and legs. Then they add colored coconut for the hair, blue colored chocolate sauce for the two eyes with chocolate pupils, a big pink mouth and then they top it all off with 3 huge scoops of ice cream and whip topping and a cherry if you want it. After you eat it, you go back in and get your "death certificate".

We went outside and they have a mini golf area with a lot of cut outs that you can put your face in...considering he wears a size 15 shoe-we got a good chuckle out of the big foot one!

While we were stopped in downtown Pinckney getting gas, Eric spotted a live bait vending machine across the street and wandered over and took a snap of it-he was pretty impressed! They even had a button for nightcrawlers!

It was a fun day of joking and talking with Eric-I just wish my back didn't hurt so much!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Weekend Thrifting May Have to Wait...

I was planning for a great weekend of thrifting this weekend...and last night at my volleyball game, my back decided to go "sproing"! Ugh! As long as I don't move much and stay half way sitting, half way laying, it is fine, but once I try to walk it really starts to object! So...I have a feeling my plans are going to have to be put aside for this weekend-I am sooo bummed!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Another dollar day, but much nicer weather!

Since my hubby and youngest son are still up north, and my oldest was working today, I decided to try some more treasure hunting this morning. I packed my winter coat with the gloves in the pockets again, but was very pleasantly surprised when the weather perked right up! Right now it is about 65 degrees and sunny with blue skies! See what I mean about Michigan weather!?! Blink twice and it will change!

I mapped out 5 garage sales, and a rummage sale and headed out! One sale was at a former antiques dealer's home. She still had her tags on her items from the shop. She was selling her stuff for half of the tag price-which I thought was still really high for a garage sale. It was neat looking at all of her stuff though!

The rummage sale was at a local church to benefit Mission's in Asia. Unfortunately, they really didn't have much-maybe they sold it all before I got there since they opened an hour before I arrived.

At one sale, I got 6 Christmas linen napkins for $1. One sale had the signs out all over the place and when I finally arrived (it was kind of a maze to get there), the garage door was shut and it looked like no one was home, but they left the sign out at the end of the driveway...hmmm-hope everything is ok there.

The rest of them weren't much and I didn't find anything I couldn't live without until I stopped at one in Milford. It was in an older home on Main Street, that used to be a Tea Room! They were going out of business and selling their china and linens! Woo Hoo! I got 6 tablecloths for $1 each! They had a really neat trunk (but it was 100 $1's), and some neat leaded glass windows that had already sold, and lots of china!

I stopped at a couple more sales that I just happened to drive by. The last one was so outrageously priced that I had to look a couple of times at the tags, because I couldn't believe what I was seeing! They had some interesting antique pieces of furniture, but the prices were really high-even for an antique store let alone a garage sale on the side of the road!

I think I am done (for now) with linen tablecloths, unless I come across one that is just super spectacular and I find I can't live another minute without it! I'm searching now for a blown glass rolling pin with closed ends, not the kind that has a cap on one end. I'd like one in clear and one in amethyst. I found one in amethyst on Ebay the other day, but someone had painted all over it in gold paint...oh well, the hunt is where the fun is!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dollar Day...

Today I took a little road trip to my sister-in-law's neighborhood to check out their sub sale and spend some time visiting and have lunch together. She was helping a neighbor with a garage sale a couple of streets over. Her friend was very nice, and I enjoyed meeting her and talking with her.

We left and visited the rest of the sales in the sub (there were only 5 all together). It was sooo cold today! I even saw some snowflakes!!! Just last week it was close to 80 degrees-but that is Michigan for you!

We went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant just down the street. It was only $3.75 for Sesame chicken, fried rice and and egg roll-what a bargain!

On the way home, I stopped at several garage sales, the Salvation Army in White Lake and a Grace Center of Hope Thrift Store.  

Didn't find anything I couldn't live without until one of the last sales. I got a Christmas tablecloth for $1. I don't think it has ever been used!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bittersweet Estate Sale...

When I left work today, there was a sign on the corner for an Estate Sale. Since I recognized the sub the street was in, and it was really close, I decided to drive by and check it out. There were two ladies running the sale, neither of them seemed familiar to me, although they were both very friendly. While I was shopping an older couple came to the sale. They started talking with the ladies and during their conversation, they realized that the younger of the two ladies knew the daughter of the couple. She said the sale was for their parent's things. Their dad had passed recently. She then said her maiden name was Harvey.

My ears perked up, my mind clicked, my heart sighed and my mouth curled into a little smile! This was Dave Harvey's house! Dave was a sweet older man from my church, who lost his beloved wife Blanche several years ago, and was so lonely for her right up until his passing a few months ago. I have missed hearing his voice and seeing him at church! He used to call the front desk every Sunday to see if the bus had left yet, because he was ready to go, and the bus wasn't there yet. The funny part is, the bus always left at 9:30am and Dave ALWAYS called at 8:30am!

I purchased 2 linen tablecloths, a set of  6 sage green linen napkins and a glass cruet with glass stopper-all for $3.50-but to me they will be cherished, priceless treasures that will remind me every time I see them of memories of Dave.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Goodwill shopping online...

In one of the blogs I follow, I was reminded about shopping Goodwill online. I had come across this information a few months ago, but since I didn't see anything at the time that I was interested in, I left the site, not thinking to bookmark it, and I forgot all about it. The website is It is owned and operated by Goodwill of Orange County California, located in Santa Ana. Participating Goodwills across the country list things on from their inventory of donated items and use the proceeds to help people in need. I think of it as a way of checking out lots of Goodwill shops in one trip!

My first purchase was a good one! I got all 5 of these cute little egg cups for just $5-and I'm helping Goodwill help people all over the United States! This purchase was made from Goodwill in Traverse City, Michigan-so it was kind of neat to help right here in my own home state.

 The black one almost seems like it is from another set, it isn't as shiny as the rest, but it is the same shape. They are ceramic and have a white interior. They are in perfect condition with no chips or scratches-what a bargain!  I just wish they had some sort of markings, so I could figure out who made them and how old they might be!

Easter Breakfast for 1200...

Well, it looks like we ended up with about 1125-1135 people for Easter breakfast yesterday at church. We got so busy once we got the buffet lines set, I totally forgot to snap some pictures! We had 50 round tables set up in the gym with half of the tables with white tablecloths and half lilac. The buffet line was lilac tablecloths with white skirting-same for the beverage table and coffee cake table. I did get a few early shots of the food in the fridge though- I love our church's walk in refrigerator and freezer!! They both hold an amazing amount of food! Too bad I'm not doing the church picnic (for 1500) this year-I'd LOVE to show you just how much we can pack in!

 This is called breakfast casserole. It is a recipe from Taste of Home. It has hashbrowns, eggs, ham, green pepper, cheese and onions. We made 15 of these full size pans. We had a little extra ham at the end, so we went back and sprinkled some extra on them.You can find these recipes on the Taste of Home website or scroll back a few posts and I have them here on my blog.

This is Blueberry French Toast casserole. It is also from Taste of Home. It has white bread, eggs, syrup, vanilla, cream cheese and blueberries in it. When it baked, it was taller than the pan! We made 15 of these as well.

This is called Festive Fruit Salad, it is also a recipe from Taste of Home. What can I say, they have AWESOME recipes! The topping for this fruit salad is so good, people were asking for it a couple weeks before the breakfast! The topping has cream cheese, cool whip, lemon juice and powdered sugar-yum!

The bags on the shelves are scrambled egg product from GFS. One of my volunteers who was manning the beverage station, brought one to me during the breakfast rush and asked how much water he adds to it to fill the 5 gallon jug with orange juice! I was soo thankful that he asked me BEFORE he dumped it in the jug! LOL! We went through about 48 bags. What is great about the eggs like this, is you don't have to crack all those eggs, and they boil in the bag! I was skeptical at first, but it is a quick and less messy way to make scrambled eggs-especially for a crowd!

Ten pound bags of pancake mix. We went through 60 pounds. One of the ladies helping with the breakfast panicked and sent someone to the store, and had them buy another 50 pounds-we never ended up using it... We also served oatmeal with pecans, raisins, brown sugar and milk (that they could add themselves), yogurt, bananas and coffee cakes and mini donuts-and of course, sausage and bacon!

 We had 33 gallons of orange juice all made up and ready to go. We used all of it plus another 18 gallons. We also had coffee-regular and decaf.

These are some pretty Easter flowers my hubby got for me! I LOVE the purple!!