Friday, December 31, 2010

Sesame Street Cookie Monster Castanet

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great 2010 and that an even better 2011 is coming up. I have loved starting up this blog (it's almost been a year!) and am so thrilled that I've got readers out there. Thanks to all of you who are reading, following, commenting, and of course, blogging and giving us inspiration.

One of my favourite finds from all of 2010 is one of the simplest and cheapest that I've purchased at a thrift store. It is this great Cookie Monster castanet I purchased for 25¢! It was stowed away in a miscellaneous toy drawer that I rummaged around in.

I love this little noisemaker with its bright colour and of course, Cookie Monster! Cookie Monster is one of my favourite Sesame Street characters, and making noises while his mouth chomps away seems fitting. His googly eyes are just hilarious. This little treasure just goes to show that thrifting is fun because you never know what you can expect to find!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pyrex Promotional Dandelion Divided Dish

There were some great presents waiting for me under the Christmas tree this year. Mr. SixBalloons surprised me with a great find he made at a thrift store just five blocks from our house... A Pyrex Promotional Dandelion Divided Dish!

The dish is in great shape, especially considering that the design is in the fragile goldleaf print. Not to mention it is from 1959! As a gardener, I am always on the hunt for dandelions before they go to seed in my yard, but I can still enjoy this print, especially if I call it Pyrex Thistles instead.  =)  I was able to pry out of my hubby that the dish cost him three dollars - almost as good of a bargain as the Rooster Promotional Space Saver that I scored a couple months ago.

There was no lid with this piece, but I do have one from my Acorn Gold divided dish, so I will use that one when needed.

We also received a great KitchenAid professional series mixer in the beautiful pewter colour:

KitchenAid New Professional 5.5 QT Commercial Style Wide Steel Bowl Stand Mixer 550 HD 575 Watt Motor - Silver

I admit that my heart started racing at the prospect that perhaps, perhaps, inside the box would be the vintage Hobart avocado green mixer that's sitting sadly in the kitchen in Greece. One day we'll meet again. For the time being, we are really excited about the new mixer and are thinking up great recipes and new things we can do with this powerhouse!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Leftover Turkey Salad Sandwiches

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! The turkey was delicious as usual, but there's always leftover turkey to deal with. When I was a kid, we loved Mom's turkey salad sandwiches - even after eating them for a full week's worth of lunches. I made use of my kitchen's vintage goodies to whip up a batch this afternoon.

I pulled out the large Corningware pot and my vintage Copco 109E cast iron enamelled skillet (I love the red colour and should probably share more pics of this beauty in the future). I've tried tearing the turkey meat using a couple of forks in the past, but with a large amount, you can't beat the dexterity of using your own bare hands.

After adding olive oil and salt to the skillet, I threw in three stalks of green onions, chopped, into the pan. Once they are wilted and coated with olive oil and salt, they are ready to be added to the big batch of shredded turkey meat along with a couple tablespoons of Miracle Whip.

Some liberal mixing ensues, and Voila! That was our delicious lunch today! It seems that we have enough for the rest of the week too. Some things never change.  =)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Le Creuset History: Cousances

In my search for vintage Le Creuset, I occasionally come across either unmarked pieces or those that bear the markings "Cousances Made in France".  In the 1950s, Le Creuset purchased their competitor Cousances' brand and factory, inheriting the classic flame colour scheme and molds for their cast iron cookware.

I was really excited one day when I found a local craigslist ad for Cousances cookware - I believe it was a #18 and #16 saucepot plus a skillet. You can see by the seller's photos that the small pot is "brand new" and never used despite being over 60 years old! The high resolution version of this photo shows that the sticker says "Cousances fonte émailée" (enamelled cast iron) and reads "Anno 1553" above a shield logo.

The knobs on the lids also read Cousances, which would probably help to date it and differentiate it from this piece I happily found in the past, which I suspect may be a bit older.

Alas, I hesitated and it went to another home. I really didn't need the skillet, and the list price was $85 for the set of three, which led me to pause and think. Since I love Le Creuset cookware so much, it would have been nice to have a cute little set in this timeless colour, with all the history I seem to enjoy learning about!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vintage Raaco Tool Craft Box Made in Denmark

I made a great find at a thrift store recently - a beautiful green coloured metal box for storing hardware and small tools! Raaco is a Danish company that makes tool boxes and storage units. The particular vintage piece that I found was in great shape, with its metal nameplate still attached.

One of the most whimsical things about this find were the little treasures stowed within its four rows of drawers. I enjoyed opening up each one and discovering the assortment of magnets, chess pieces, keys, and other small pieces of hardware. I imagine that a woodworker or handyman owned this old kit. One mystery I have not been able to solve is why he had so many magnets... it appears that his craft required him to hold thin items together temporarily. There were a couple of nice vintage keys in there too.

I think this box has many functions - it would be great for stowing crafts, packets of seeds, or small tools. It's sturdy and well built, and has eyelets in the back for hanging in a shop or display shelf. I find myself curious about the person who carefully sorted these little items.

I originally planned on using this nice box for gardening knick-knacks like packets of seeds, ties to hold branches to stakes, and say, scissors in the large bottom tray. I ended up deciding that it was too nice to be sitting in my muddy garden and that it was a bit too heavy for toting around.  Someone is now using it for holding sewing supplies, and I'm really glad that it'll be well used and well loved again!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Wish List!

I know it's getting a bit late in the year to be thinking of Christmas wish list items, but here's a few things I'm dreaming of.

I'm sure Le Creuset lovers will agree that bringing back the classic vintage versions was a great move. The beautiful Le Creuset Heritage Collection Cocotte looks so great in the timeless flame colour, plus the updated new shades. So shiny...
I definitely don't make pate nor terrines, but I could certainly see myself cooking up a delicious lasagna for two in this Le Creuset Heritage Collection Terrine.
Then there's the Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights Classic Set which has eluded me, despite being in my hands at a thrift store. Darn you, second thoughts! Look at that haunting image of Heathcliff on the cover of Wuthering Heights, hating himself and the world around him.

The not-so-vintage Fisher Bullet Space Pen for us geeks out there. This handy tool is great for those who travel a lot, or like to do crossword puzzles or sudoku anywhere, anytime!
Then for the kiddies in my life, this Super Cute Gardening Tool Set for Kids!

And finally for the Little Chef in training, this Cute Desserts Apron with Chef's Hat!

I try not to buy too many things at Christmastime, but the most important rule for gifts in my opinion, is that the gifts should go on to create great experiences for the person who receives them. For instance, I love the idea of gardening or baking with my nieces when they receive new "tools" at this time of year! I can't believe Christmas Eve is just one week away!   =)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Russian Nutcracker Doll

It's possible that I have my Christmas thinking cap on, but when I spotted this cute wooden nodder at the thrift store, I thought he looked like a nutcracker!

I think the mustache is one of my favourite parts, but his nose, pose, and blue cap also make me smile. On the bottom of the piece, there is a handwritten sticker that reads "Made in USSR". Since the USSR was named so between 1922-1991, the range makes it difficult to date this piece. I guess I can say that it's at least 20 years old.

This piece is really well done, and is handmade and handpainted. The spring attached from his body to his askew head gives him a real casual demeanor. Haha! Definitely worth the 75 cents I spent.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vintage Owl Night Light

I saw this cute amber coloured vintage owl nightlight at the church thrift store last weekend. It called out to me, "Hoo Hoo!" with its lucite body and glitter accents.  =)  I actually picked it up, put it down, then tested it out to made sure it worked, and finally scooped it up for $1.50. The whole piece is in great shape.

I thought I better write a post about this since I talked about Burrowing Owls in my previous post. Isn't it curious that owls seemed to be all the rage in the 80s, and now they are back in demand?

It also gives off a really nice glow when plugged in. I don't know if I'm one for night lights, but this one is really growing on me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Burrowing Owl Vineyard Wine Crate

 Burrowing Owl Estate Winery consistently produces some of the best wines in Canada.  Their vineyard is located in British Columbia, Canada and Mr. SixBalloons took me up there this summer for my big 3-0 birthday celebration! We spent a couple days at their beautiful guest house and just relaxed. Because their wine is in heavy demand, it often sells out in Vancouver very quickly. Hardcore fans make the trip to their winery to purchase their favourite bottles.

At the winery gift shop, which doubles as a tasting room, we saw wooden crates and wine caddy's for sale. Since we had splurged with the weekend trip, we thought better of these purchases and focussed our hard-earned spending money on the wine. Luckily for us, we randomly stopped in at a Value Village one day in November and spotted a Burrowing Owl wine caddy for $2! This sells for $17 direct from the winery, so we were quite happy with it.

Mr. SixBalloons enjoys working with wood projects, so he sanded down the box to buff out any imperfections, and then applied a few clear coats to give it a nice honey hue and prevent fading. I think the final result looks great - it was a fun project for us and refreshed memories of our summer getaway!

My sister Nancy works in the wine business and reviewed the 2007 Chardonnay and 2007 Meritage at her blog for those of you who are interested!

We're looking forward to tinkering around a bit more with our thrifty finds than we have in the past. It's great to have a handy fellow in the house who enjoys these projects!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Hanson Scale

I've been discovering some really great items at the thrift lately, and I am very excited to share it with you! Thanks to all my followers, your blogs are great and I'm so glad to have been introduced to them. Those without blogs, feel free to comment away and tell me what you think too!

This nice red retro Hanson kitchen scale caught my eye at the Value Village recently. I pulled it out of the closet last night to weigh a Christmas gift package on its way down to California for my sister and her husband. It was handy for estimating the cost before taking it down to the post office.

This little guy seems too nice to tuck away in a closet, doesn't it?

I noticed that the bottom right corner reads "Rep. of Ireland" which I thought was interesting. I can't say I've ever seen that tag on anything before. There's also a round sticker on the bottom in great condition that reads "Approved by Master Tester 22.A.85". I have no idea if this means the piece is from 1985 or not. The only thing I could seem to find is that there are old vintage scales made by Hanson, and that the company still seems to be in the business of making scales.

Don't you love when something so practical looks so good?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thrifted Christmas Decorations!

I love shopping at thrift stores over the holidays. Shops seem to hoard all the Christmas themed items throughout the year and bring them out after Halloween (at least in Canada since our Thanksgiving is in October) so November is a great time to find holiday goodies.

I've always liked the warm glow of the older, non-LED Christmas lights and was tempted to purchase them new but found them instead at the hospital thrift store for $2! I tried out the plug and it lit up beautifully. I believe this set is either new or was barely used.

I couldn't resist these two packs of unopened tinsel strands. Such cute boxes and perfectly brand new for 25 cents each!

Same price for this card of 12 jingle bells. They made such a great sound when I picked them up. I think I'll either string them onto an ornament (one bell to an ornament with a ribbon) or attach them to Christmas gifts!

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