May 30, 2013

How I Clean My Vintage Treasues

After returning home from a thrift store, rummage sale or an estate sale with all of my vintage treasures, they are usually cleaned immediately if I don't have the time they are stored in my garage until I can clean them up.

Because I don't want to bring in any unwanted pests, or their eggs into my home, I never have my fragile purchases wrapped in paper or let the cashier put my treasures in a bag.  I opt to stack the items and carefully carry them out to my car and place them inside a basket and wrap them with some old towels that I leave in the basket. I usually don't purchase that many items, but on that rare occasion I push the cart to my car to unload my treasures. I always return the cart either to the cart corral or back inside the store.

After I purchase ephemera these are the steps I take;

When I purchase books, I will clean the covers and the inside cover pages with rubbing alcohol. Pour rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball, squeeze out excess moisture and wipe the spine, front cover, and back cover. Using a dry cotton ball wipe off any moisture that remains on the book cover. I will assess the inside cover pages of the book to see if they are sturdy enough for a gentle wiping with a cotton ball that has been wrung out of most of its moisture. You will be amazed at how dirty the cotton balls are after the cleaning process.

I then put the books inside a gallon size Ziploc bag and place it inside the freezer for 48 hours. After I remove the books from the freezer, I gently shake the book to remove and dust and small particles that are hiding in between the pages.

I use this method to remove musty orders from the books and to kill any dust mites that may be lurking inside.

Anything glass or china is placed into hot soapy water for a soak and rinsed in hot water and bleach. Magic Erasers and Bar Keepers Friend help me to remove tough stains without scratching any of my treasures.

I will run a small load of my treasures through my dishwasher, but I will NEVER put my Pyrex in the dishwasher, it can dull the shine on the bowl.

For my pounded aluminium tray, I use SOS pads along, with an old toothbrush and Bar Keepers Friend. I just stand back and smile when I see the shine on the tray after it's cleaned.

When no other cleaning method worked, on my cast iron skillet, I used oven cleaner.  After days of using the oven cleaner to remove the black grease build up, I was able to clean and season the iron skillet. I will never buy another cast iron skillet, cleaning that one was hard work, and one skillet is all I need.

I recently bought two packages of vintage plastic spoons. Each bag contained twelve spoons, they were heavy plastic spoons that have a Santa face on the tip of the handle and Season's Greetings down the handle. I thought they were cute and that the grand children would enjoy using them while drinking hot chocolate or desserts during the holiday season.

The spoons were inside a plastic bag but had a film of grime and dirt on them. So into a sink of hot soapy water the went. I washed each spoon from the tip of the handle down to the bowl. They were placed in a hot water rinse with bleach, but I still felt like the spoons needed a trip through the dishwasher.

WAH -WAH, not such a great idea.

I forgot to push the energy saver button that turns the heating element off during the drying process.
I will now add plastic Santa spoons to the list of what shouldn't go into the dishwasher.

Do you have any tried and true cleaning methods that you use for your vintage treasures?  I would love to hear your tips and tricks on this subject.


May 29, 2013

Estate Sale Treasures

When I attend an estate sale, I always look for the items on my most wanted list, but most of the time the items speak to me. Often times from the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of something and more often than not I purchase that item. Do items seem to call your name, or perhaps I'm losing it?

Here are the items that called to me . . .

When I shop estate sales, I always open cabinet doors and check in back dark corners for any unnoticed treasures. That is where I found this yellow and black, 4 quart, number 444 gooseberry Pyrex bowl for only $3.00.

Sitting right next to the Pyrex was this fabulous enamel pot with red trim in near perfect condition. Sadly these two treasures didn't have their matching lids, but I love them anyway. Sitting on the kitchen table was half a bag of Keen Eye plastic clothes pins, I like using plastic clothes pins so of course I grabbed them.

New in the original box this owl bank called to me to take her/him home and I did.

Also, unused and it the original box, tear drop candles, and twelve, one inch star candle holders that were made in Denmark.

Two needlecraft kits, and I don't sew!

I thought the turtle and owl pendants were fun and might complement some of my summer outfits.

Vinyl coated paper place mats from Hallmark will give my summer table a retro vibe.

Vintage wire hanging lamp cages, L O V E.

I did find a few other items at this amazing sale that I will share later, so ends my saga of the estate sale.

I will be linking up with;
 Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday
Sir Thrift A lot for Thriftasaurs
A Living Space for The Nifty Thrifty
Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrify Tuesday


May 28, 2013

Estate Sale Part Two

On Saturday, I did my first blog post from my iPhone titled, Estate Sale Wait Time, and I was amazed how easy the Blogger app was to use.

Here is the continuing story from that sale. . .

Saturday mornings temperatures were in the low 50's and windy, the attire of the estate sale shoppers ranged from carpi pants and tee shirts (these people were cold) to spring jackets and sweatshirts. The crowd was so big that to gain entry you had to sign up by writing your name on a yellow legal pad that was numbered. When I signed in, I was number 194, and they had just called number 134 to enter the house to start shopping.

While standing in the front yard waiting for our names to be called, the treasurer seekers around me began to talk and/or brag/boost on several different topics within my ear shot which made the wait time a little more bearable.

After five people had left the sale, five more were called, from the list to enter. Because of the long wait and the chilly weather, remember those people in carpi pants and tee shirts, several people left before their names were called from the list.

One overly zealous person who arrived just before I did, asked a person who was leaving the sale before their name was called if she could enter using her name. A deal was struck between the two, the person left, and the zealous estate shopper returned to her waiting spot.

About fifteen minutes later names were called, and the zealous lady entered the house to start shopping. Several people in the crowd yelled that she arrived after they did and that she used someone name. The zealous shopper was brought back outside to wait for HER name to be called. She didn't appear to be embarrassed as she rejoined the waiting crowd. I was not one of the people who yelled about her dishonest act.

After a wait time of just under an hour, the zealous lady and I were admitted to the sale. After entering the house, I understood why the wait time was so long. This was a two bedroom, one bath, living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry room, and a sun room, filled with vintage items. This home did not have a basement and was very small.

Here are a few photos from inside the house.

Right after I took this picture with my iPhone a lady grabbed that complete set of Pyrex bowls!

This pink and gray Royal manual typewriter with several extra ribbons, was tucked in a corner of the laundry room, two hours into the sale and no one purchased it. I bet because it was priced at $85.00!

This house was so filled with items that a tent on the side of the yard was erected and became the home of boxes of items that were for sale. Check out was in the front yard of the house and the line wait time was a good twenty minutes.

Sunday morning new items would be available, it appears that the attic was full of vintage clothes. There wasn't enough room to display everything on Saturday.

I did purchase several items, and will show them to you as soon as I photograph them. It was a huge sale with many, many wonderful items. I am glad that I waited that hour for my name to be called.

May 25, 2013

Estate Sale Wait Time

Today an estate sale, was advertised, and it just so happens to be in my neighborhood, of course, I am attending. 

The crowd is large so everyone signs up on a yellow legal pad. They are on number 134, and I have signed on and am 194, yikes!

How long do you wait to shop an estate sale?

This is the first time I am using the Blogger app on my cell phone.

May 24, 2013

Test Your Memorial Day IQ

Memorial Day is more than the realization that summer is around the corner, with graduations and backyard barbecues soon to start, Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died and continue to fight for our country and freedom. 
Here is a little quiz from the American Legion Women's Auxiliary Unit 544 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin.

1) Memorial Day was originally called 
  • A. Veterans' Day
  • B. Decoration Day
  • C. Poppy Day
2) Memorial Day is a day of
  • A. Remembrance of anyone who has died
  • B. Remembrance of Americans who have died in our nation's service
  • C. remembrance of Civil War soldiers only
3) Memorial Day was first observed on
  • A. May 30, 1868
  • B. Dec.25, 1868
  • C. July 4, 1776
4) Poppy flowers are associated with Memorial Day because
  • A. They are the official flower of graveyards
  • B. They were the favorite flower of President Lincoln
  • C. They were the inspiration from the poem about WWI, "In Flanders Fields"
5) Who makes the paper poppies that are sold on or before Memorial Day?
  • A. U.S. Veterans
  • B. "Made in China"
  • Women in the Armed Forces
6) Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday in May since
  • A. 1912
  • B. 1937
  • C. 1971
7) How is Memorial Day observed?
  • A. Visiting cemeteries and placing flowers on soldiers' graves
  • B. Flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff
  • C. Playing of Taps
  • D. All of the above
8) The American Legion is the nation's custodian of remembrance and collects donations for the paper poppies.
  • True or False
9) The money donated for the poppies is used to help
  • A. Veterans in need
  • B. Send cadets to West Point
  • C. Purchase fireworks for 4th of July celebrations
10) In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation to rename "Declaration Day" to "Memorial Day".
  • True or False

  1. B
  2. B
  3. A
  4. C
  5. A
  6. C
  7. D
  8. True
  9. A
  10. True


May 23, 2013

Thrift Find

Like so many of my fellow bloggers I have been trying to cut back on my thrift purchases, I continue to stop at my favorite thrift stores, but most of the time I walk out empty handed. The prices are ridiculous, and I truly don't need any more stuff.

However, I have built in an exception rule that allows me to purchase something that I think is fabulous and I will use. If the thrift item meets those two requirements is priced within my budget, more times than not, it comes home with me.

When I saw these bowls sitting on the cart, I was immediately attracted to them. I liked the simple lines, the tilt of the bowl, and the glass feet.

The Bodum bowls, from the Garoo series will look stunning when I am serving buffet style or at Christmas time filled with my vintage ornaments, and even flowers floating would be delightful.

The large bowl was $3.99, medium bowl $2.99 and the small bowl $1.99. For nine dollars plus tax, I have a very attractive trio of serving bowls. 

I have plenty of serving bowls from Polish Pottery to Pyrex, but I thought I could use a little modern elegance. Would you have purchased these bowls? All three or just one certain size? I'd love to hear your thoughts. 


May 22, 2013

My heart aches as I know does everyone else, for all affected by the horrific tragedies in Oklahoma.

Before I retired, I worked in a public school for twenty two years, today, I pray for every educator I am blessed to know and count as a friend. Whether they have blessed my grandchildren with their love and special passions or I have crossed your path professionally, I believe you did not choose this profession, it chose you.

Hearing of teachers laying down their lives for students is a super power beyond anyone's scope. Every day, teacher's enter a room of beating hears and offer themselves up to them.

Bless you all.

May 21, 2013

Cute, Cute, and Cute

During our rummage sale last week I had the opportunity to meet many people who were seeking out a thrifty treasure in my garage.

As the gentleman rode up and parked his motorcycle, I was surprised to see this small chihuahua securely nestled inside a front facing dog carrier, goggles and all.

Of course, I had to take a picture, I asked permission first. After a quick chat with the gentleman, I found out that he went to an animal rescue shelter after his cat had passed away to get another cat. When he entered the shelter, he immediately saw the chihuahua and asked to hold her. She licked his hand and nestled in the crook of his arm and fell asleep. I call that love at first sight.

When he rescued her from the shelter he, of course, took her to the vet and found out she was about three years old and weighed eight pounds. He has had her for two years, and they are constant companions. 

I thought the goggles on the dog was a fashion statement, but I was wrong. When he is riding his motorcycle with the dog, the googles prevent bugs, dust and foreign object from getting in her eyes.

As the saying goes - man's best friend, but in this case, I believe it can be said that it's the dog's best friend also.

May 20, 2013

Beauty in the Spine of a Book

I have an affection for ephemera, in particular books, children's books without exception catch my fancy, but I also am attracted to a book by its spine.

Tossed in a box with piles of romance novels stacked upon it, I spotted the small leather bound spine of the book titled, Prayer. The spine and corners are worn, the inside page shows it was published by Auburn: Alden, Beardsley and Co. in 1852.

Old books are very popular in home decorating and crafting, and indeed they add beauty to any decor. 

Not only do my books add visual beauty to my rooms, but often times I find myself in reverie making up stories of where the book has been and who has been holding and reading it.

How many hands have held this book and prayed, and how many prayers have been answered? For me, this book is a treasure. 


May 17, 2013

Enjoying Life

I've been absent for almost two weeks because my life got in the way of blogging!

My oldest daughters family is in the process of building a home. I have lived in the same house since 1974 when I purchased it from the original owners. So I have no point of reference what goes into the building of a new house, but I am learning very quickly.

I have learned that builders build the house, but do not clean up after themselves. The floors have nails, wood shavings, dried mud, and even cigarette butts scattered all over the place. 

The electricians dropped the conduit and electrical boxes and left wood shavings in between the studs. The insulation was next, for two evenings we swept between the studs, to remove the wood shavings. 

Do other people clean up after the builders or do they leave the shavings in between the studs? All I know is that we thought it best to clean up the mess, or it would drive us crazy knowing what lurked behind the walls.

Sweeping is hard work I had blisters on both of my hands! I can't wait until they pull the electrical wire and hook everything thing up and we can use a shop vac.

As the school year comes to an end, my grandchildren's school hosted a special event, each child could invite special people in their lives to visit them at school and even have lunch with them.

Preschool lunches are eaten in the classroom, family style. Hands are washed, grace is said before the meal, and the rules of good manners are repeated by all. Don't use your hands to get the food off of the plate, use the fork or spoon. This is what I learned at preschool. Never ever sit on the end of the lunch table and be the last person that gets the food!

The Catholic school started grandparents day with a mass. Before mass started I asked my sister to snap a picture of us.  

May 5th was my oldest daughters wedding anniversary, and they were attending a Kentucky Derby party. Of course, she needed to make a hat for the contest that was being held during the party. I have mentioned that I do not have a DIY gene, but I still helped her decorate her hat.

We, and by that I mean, my daughter decided that we should have a rummage sale at my house. So I had to clean the garage, find things I wanted to sell, borrow tables, set up everything, and wake yesterday morning at the crack of dawn.

We set up our, out grown, don't want them anymore items for the treasure seekers to  see.

Our items didn't compare to the wonderful treasures my neighbor across the street had for sale.

I have missed you all, but I hope to be back blogging and reading, all of your blogs sometime next week.