Monday, October 20, 2014

To the Antique Mall!

Oh the Antique Mall in Edmonton... it is becoming one of my happy places.  Aisles and aisles to slowly walk up and down looking for vintage treasure.  There are over 300 venders and each has it's own little spot filled with lovelies.  It is a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.  It used to be that when I went,  I was on the lookout for hobnail milk glass.  I have officially declared that collection as complete. One day I'll take some photos and share it on the blog.  These days I am looking for Pyrex!  Just a more functional kind of milk glass.  ha ha

As I have said before, there are pros and cons to shopping at the Antique Mall.  It's the perfect place to go if you are looking for that hard to find piece for your collection.  With so many venders there is a better chance that you just might find it.  But this convenience comes with a price... a  much higher price than if you found it yourself while thrifting.  One great thing about the Antique Mall is that the items are often in better condition than what you might find thrifting.  So it is a give and take kind of thing.  I find that I leave the Antique Mall with the thrill of that automatic gratification of scoring some great finds for the collections but I also leave with a bit of a let down feeling that it was just too easy and I paid more.

Here's what I paid too much for this time!  ;)

I found the middle sized bowl for my Pyrex "Woodland Brown" set.  It is pristine and shiny with not a scratch and for this I paid $9.

Oh they look so great together!

Next I came upon this medium sized casserole dish in the "Butterfly Gold 2" pattern.  This second release of the pattern has a different design and the colour is more yellow than the gold of the original pattern.  It is in excellent condition and cost $18.  Its size is the perfect addition to my vintage casserole dishes.  I guess I better start making casseroles.  LOL

My last find lead me to a personal realization about Pyrex.  It's a scary one.  I have discovered that there is no Pyrex pattern that I don't eventually fall in love with.  A pattern that I can originally look at and say "it's okay" will eventually turn into a feeling of, "I love it!", if I look at said pattern long enough.  This is what happened with "Forest Fancies".  This pattern was released in 1981.  The more I looked at it, the more I loved those adorable mushrooms and that surface splatter.  It took awhile though.  I was originally able to pass up casserole dishes at The Goodwill.  Then yesterday happened.  Rob spotted this complete set of 4 bowls,  never used with some of the original packaging in place.  They just seemed so perfect and yes, for $35 they are now living in my kitchen cupboard with the other bowl families.  I think I need an intervention and quick!

It was a successful antiquing day and that feeling of missing out on the thrift store hunt seems to fade more and more as I become distracted with the shininess of these new bowls.


*Diane's bowl collection was not forgotten on this trip.  I was able to put a lovely set of four together for her.  Unfortunately,  I went to her house right from the mall to give them to her and forgot to take a photo of the set.  Maybe one day I can do a photo shoot when I'm over.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading Challenge Update

Last month I decided to give myself a reading challenge.  I chose 5 books that were on the Giller Prize long list of 12 books, to read.  You can read about it here.

 So far I have read three of the five books.  Here's a quick review.

"Watch How We Walk" was a great book.  My favourite of the three so far.  It had me wanting to read more to find out what happened.  I loved how the narration changed back and forth between the main character as a child and then as the main character as a young adult.

"All My Puny Sorrows" was not greatly enjoyed by me.  I found that I really didn't like many of the characters in the book.  I found it dragged in the middle.  It was also full of poetry.  I think this book would be great for someone who reads a book looking for themes and deeper meanings along the way.  I'm sure it could be studied line by line for it's depth but I just like to read a book on a more surface level to find out what happens and be entertained.  I'm not interested in writing an essay on it. I had enough of that in my college days.  LOL

"Tell" was enjoyable.  It takes place after the First World War.  I always gravitate to books of this time period.  I like hearing what life was like then.  It did have lots of the everyday ordinary life stuff but also had a really strong ending.  I loved that it was set in the winter and described our Canadian winter so perfectly.

As for the Giller Prize of 2014, the short list of 6 books has been announced.  I am thrilled that 3 of the 5 books that I originally chose are still in the running for the award,  "All My Puny Sorrows", "Tell" and "The Girl Who Was Saturday Night".

I still have 2 books to read before the winner is announced on November 10.

But for now I am taking a bit of a literature breather and reading this!

I rarely read mysteries but got caught up in the movie hype and some good book reviews from friends.  So far I am really enjoying it.

I'll be back later with my final book reviews as well as the Giller Prize winner.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

That 70's Tangent ~ Mushrooms

Susan and I got together today for some crafty time.  We got a bit of knitting done, met Rob for lunch at a sandwich shop and got some thrifting in.  We love looking for treasure.  You just never know what you might find.  Today was a jackpot day for me in my quest for finding a few signature 70's pieces for the kitchen.

Some of you may remember that the 70's kitchen decor was all about ... mushrooms!  Mushrooms decorated everything from tea towels to salt and pepper shakers.  What really screamed 1970's was a set of mushroom canisters.  You can imagine my delight when I can upon this!

I am assuming that it was one of many back in the day.  Looks like the size that may have held tea bags many years ago.  It appears to have been made in a ceramics class by "Shirley".  Ceramic making was a very popular hobby back then.

I paid a whopping $1.50 for it.  Heck I would have paid $10!

Susan suggested using it to hold dog treats.  What a great idea to make this little beauty functional too.  Maybe with the dog treats up on the counter I will be more inclined to offer them to the pups more often.  Since Gus passed, dog treat time is minimal.  You see, it was Gussy's job to stand at (or in) the pantry to remind me that a doggie cookie would be greatly appreciated.  haha

It wouldn't seem like a 70's post without the mention of Pyrex.  LOL  I am happy to report that Diane has expressed an interest in owning a good set of glass bowls.  I was quick to suggest that I look for a thrifted set.  She loves the idea of a mismatched eclectic set and so I have a new reason to hunt for Pyrex.  Yay!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.  We celebrated yesterday!

The table was set... (with some vintage thrifted stuff.)

The candles were lit.

Family gathered.

It was a lovely evening.

Wishing all of my Canadian readers a Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, October 10, 2014

That 70's Tangent ~ A Slippery Slope

Well it's another Pyrex kind of post.  I know, Pyrex seems to be taking over my life as of late.  It's all part of being a tangent kind of person.  So in my last Pyrex post I had said that I was looking for that last bowl to complete the eclectic bowl set.  I did find the perfect bowl.  I found this Crazy Daisy bowl at my favourite Goodwill in Edmonton for $4.

The set is complete!

But now the bowls seem to be multiplying.  They're morphing into new combinations of new bowl sets.  I couldn't pass up the large Woodland Brown bowl to match the small Woodland Brown bowl.  It was only $4 and in really great condition.

But you see where this is leading.  There could be a full set of Woodland Brown bowls and then I'd have to look for another small bowl to replace the small bowl in the eclectic set which would now be part of the Woodland Brown set.  I'm on a slippery slope.  I have been shuffling around kitchen cupboard space to accommodate these bowl families.  How many Pyrex bowls does one household of two people need?  I don't want to be one of those Pyrex hoarders who has bowl displays in their living room and 12 high bowl towers at each doorway acting as a doorstop.  ;)  Maybe this helps to rationalize the bowls as actually having a function.  It's not normal to run from thrift shop to thrift shop looking for bowls to buy.  It's not normal to set up Pyrex displays and photograph them.   Is there a support group out there for this?

I do realize what I am doing here.  I am collecting Pyrex of beautiful colours and patterns the way I used to collect scrapbooking paper.  But bowls are heavy and bulky and take up lots of space.  On the upside, thrifting bowls is actually cheaper than buying scrapbooking supplies.  LOL  I was coming to grips with facing my addiction.  Recognition is the first step, right?

I came home with this casserole dish complete with lid.

I just couldn't pass it up for $4. It is beautiful with it's shiny gold pattern of acorns and leaves!  But really, I already have one Pyrex casserole dish in the same size. (Which by the way it turns out,  the lid does not match. Daisies are different from olives.  How did I not see this?  Susan pointed it out.  Good thing I love eclectic.) So now I have two Pyrex casserole dishes as well as my regular modern day set of three and you know what,  I don't make casseroles!  Rob hates foods touching,  so we are pretty much a meat and potatoes kind of family.  I told myself that this insanity has to stop.  Why do I seem to have this magnetic force pulling me to the thrift shop because there might be some Pyrex there that is amazing.  Then Rob asked me, "Jen, what are you trying to replace in your life with Pyrex?"  That was a pretty deep question.  I'm not sure!  I was coming to grips with the fact that I just need to stop.  Walk away from the thrift stores.  So what if Sherwood Park is opening up a Goodwill store next week.  I don't need to go.  I mean really, if I never completed my Corelle dish sets, I would still have enough dish ware for life.  I was feeling strong.  I had a cup of tea.  Still strong.  Then I decided to just peek on the internet to see if I could identify  the pattern in my LAST ever purchased Pyrex casserole dish.

What!?  Turns out it is unofficially called " Golden Acorn",  produced in 1960 and retired by 1963-64.  Wow that's old, older than me!  Maybe it's rare!  I really scored!  Yay me!  I love thrifting and I love Pyrex and I think I might need help!  LOL

Here's an advertisement from March 1960 featuring my dish.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

That 70's Tangent ~ Pyrex Love

In my quest of bringing "all things 70's" in my home I have discovered a love of Pyrex.  Not just any Pyrex, not the Pyrex of today.  No, it has to be the vintage stuff.  The pieces that were produced from the 1940's through to the mid 1980's.  This Pyrex is the good stuff.  These pieces have that milk glass inside and the beautiful colours and patterns that would have any pattern addicted scrapbooker wanting to collect them just for their beauty alone.

I have been on the lookout while thrifting for some beautiful and functional pieces.  I was thrilled to find this large casserole at The Antique Mall in Edmonton for $19.  It is in the Crazy Daisy pattern and I love the busy patterned lid.  Christmas potatoes will now be heated up and served in this!

I have decided to put together an eclectic set of mixing bowls.  I don't mind that they don't match.  The different pieces will go with some of the Corelle dishes that I have collected.  The smaller bowls will make great serving dishes.

The large bowl is the "Town and Country" pattern ($8 at Value Village), the blue bowl is the "Snowflake Blue" pattern ($3 at Goodwill) and the small bowl is the "Woodland Brown" pattern ($6 at The Antique Mall).  Now I am on the lookout for one more bowl to complete the set.  It has to be in good condition and for a good price.  It's what makes the hunt fun.

I was thrilled to find this divided dish with lid at Value Village for $7.  It was released in the 1950's and was never given an official name for it's pattern.  It is often described as "Gold Starburst".  It was advertised as a great dish for heating two different foods.  Back in the day it was sold with a wire base and carrying handle which made it perfect for bringing food to parties.  I plan on using it to marinate meat in or to store leftovers.  It is the perfect size.

I can see how people collect these vintage pieces.  They are beautiful.  When I look in my cupboard I am happy to see this.  Mrs. Brady and Kitty Foreman would understand.  ;)

These pieces will last forever and are classics.  When I bring them home I clean the inside only with a little Barkeeper's Friend and then put them in the dishwasher,  just once,  to sanitize them.  After that they are washed by hand in hopes of keeping the colours and patterns on the outside of the pieces vivid.

I'll leave you with a little Ryan Gosling love.   These make me laugh.  A good Canadian boy, he is.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014


In the past couple of years, fall has become my favourite season of all.  I love the crisp days, the low sun, the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze and the crunching of leaves under my feet.  I love how it gets dark earlier.  Chilly nights mean getting into PJ pants earlier and relaxing at home.  I even enjoy the rainy fall days.  Rainy days mean low expectation for productivity.  They are days meant for making some headway on a knitting project or relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea.

Fall means leaving peanuts out for the Bluejays.

Fall means going to the greenhouse to pick a yellow mum,

and a Japanese lantern plant for the front step.

Fall really is the best season of all.


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