Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vintage Tupperware and Other Kitchen Goodies

I bought some kitchen knick knacks a few weeks back at one of my favourite thrift shops, thinking nothing of it, and patting myself on the back for scoring some good deals.

Then I learned today that this charity thrift shop had closed its doors recently. The charity used the store as a retail training centre for single moms and other disadvantaged women, doing great work for the community and individuals whose lives they were changing. It turns out their lease was up, and they decided to find a larger location with a warehouse, so I'm hopeful something comes up soon.

An example of the goodies I discovered recently is shown above. There was a jadeite green Tupperware Citrus peeler for 15¢, a pair of Tupperware (orange!) ice tongs for 20¢, and a Starfrit JarKey for 10¢. Oh yeah, and they were having a 30% off sale on top of that.

The JarKey reminds me of a great story, because that is the first item Mr. SixBalloons bought for me when we started dating. I told him once that I hated opening up jars due to my wimpy-ness. A couple days later he showed up with this little gadget that swiftly pops the vacuum seal and makes it easy to open. Practical and thoughtful, isn't he? When we married and set up our house, I purchased a new one at a cookware shop for $7. Who knew that I'd find an identical one later for 7¢...

I also purchased a teak long handled server spoon. I have seen these Japanese-made MCM styled items on other blogs, and I searched in vain for the matching fork. For 35¢ after the discount, I had to have it. I also bought a couple of aluminum spoons to use as spice scoopers.

I'm quite wistful that I won't be able to pop into my local store and look around for these great little items. I have scored some wonderful things at this shop, including the $1 Pyrex Leaf Twin Server, my 25¢ Aluminum Measuring Cups, and the Teacup made in Occupied Japan! I sure hope they open up a new store soon and continue lending a hand to those that need it most.

Linking up to ATG's Thrift Share Monday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

DIY Mesclun Salad

I harvested my first "crops" of the season and made myself a salad! This is my first year growing mescluns so I am pretty excited.

The cute little leaves are so tender, and it does taste better than the greens prewashed and boxed at the supermarket. It is shown above in a cereal bowl with my Pyrex Delphite side dish as a plate charger!

I have been growing them in a shady spot in my front yard in a planter, surrouding some little Carrot seedlings. This is what it looked like a week before harvest:

I'm really encouraged by this bit of growth, because we have had an unusual Spring in Vancouver. It has been too cold to put tomatoes and peppers out, but we had a couple days of heat last week that caused my lettuces and mustards to bolt. Can't win 'em all I guess.

My favourite way to eat salads is with some good olive oil, red wine vinegar or balsamic, plus salt and pepper. Is anyone out there having success in their veggie gardens yet?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower with Pyrex Mixing Bowls!

I love using my vintage Pyrex pieces in the kitchen. The other night I was prepping some roasted cauliflower, from a recipe courtesy of Everybody Likes Sandwiches.

My Pyrex Blue Scroll bowl is a workhorse in the kitchen since it's the perfect size. I mixed up the lemon juice and olive oil goodness and added the spices in the bowl for mixing.

The cauliflower is then laid on a baking sheet for roasting, bringing out a crispyness with salty lemony bite.

Of course when it came time for me to grab my bowl of veggies, out came my favourite Pyrex piece of all time, the 401 Spring Blossom mixing bowl gifted to me by Mr. SixBalloons.

I hope you're all putting your Pyrex pieces to work too!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter

One of my favourite church basements had been slim pickings lately, so I got up bright and early this weekend to jump on the place when it opened its doors. I was rewarded by the sight of a beautiful vintage Royal Quiet DeLuxe typewriter priced at $15.

Royal produced this typewriter in the 1940s and it is said to be a workhorse. The typewriter came in its original case and still functions properly! I loved tapping away on the glassy keys.

I get a real kick out of the nice old fonts, and how the shift key reads "Shift Freedom".

There are so many eye catching things about this typewriter. Peering over the top, you see the fan of where the keys reach the ribbons like a piano. Instrument or work of art?

I know I am getting a bit nutty with the photos here, but I wanted to show you the keyboarding lesson paper that was still in the machine.

Someone had been typing the familiar "A quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" a few times.

Big picture, one of the things I appreciate about vintage goodies, is how durable they are. Look at this great little tab that reads "Magic Margin". It just looks so simply made but has endured all this time. The typewriter is basically in perfect condition, from what I see. There are no scratches nor dents. The case has seen better days, but this must have been really well kept, or not often used.

Last shot here - I love how they had to mix up the letters to the QWERTY format to prevent fast typesetters from jamming the keys. It's funny that this standard has endured up to today, when it's not really even necessary to slow typists down...

Linking up to ATG's Thrift Share Monday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vintage Apsco Pencil Sharpener

I've got another flashback from the 80s here! The local Ukranian church had a rummage sale recently, and I found a pencil sharpener that is pretty similar to the ones I had in my elementary school classrooms. This double barrelled Apsco Star sharpener was $2.

There were a lot of bargains at the bazaar but I restrained myself. Sometimes I excitedly tell people about an item I left behind and get a lukewarm response! This makes me go hmm, perhaps that vintage Gillette silver shaving kit wasn't that great... Or maybe you had to see that purple velvet interior for yourself to be a believer.

The item is marked as being made in Rockford, Illinois. I wonder if Rockford manufactures anything like this today...

I also scooped up a new package of colourful pencil crayons for 25¢ which goes really well with my new office tool.

If you remember my little Danish teak bird, it had a slot in the back for holding pencils or manicure tools. I put him to good use, as you can see.

I just wanted to say hello and thanks to all my followers, new and not-so-new! I hope you will keep reading and commenting!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vancouver Thrift Store Goodies

In Thrift Core's post on SixBalloons last week, we showed off some of the thrift stores in Vancouver that I go to every now and then.  I just wanted to elaborate on some of the awesome items that I saw in the thrift stores.

I thought that this foot stool was so vibrant and cool. Very mid-century modern style legs, but for $10, I could see why it was still sitting there.

This thrift store has a basement chock full of furniture, most of it in fairly poor condition. However, this little selection of headboards made me think of possibilities. Using my imagination, I could see that white wood one looking very crisp and nice somewhere. I'm almost tempted to go back and get the dimensions.

I can't believe how much glassware makes it into your typical thrift store. Glasses are everywhere, all the time...

Also in the basement furniture area was this vintage chair tucked away. It looked a bit ugly in person, but when I look back at the photo now I can appreciate the style of the chair, especially the wood armrest and leg details.

These vintage felt pennants were piled up together in a basket. When I came a few weeks ago, they had several landmarks for tourist attractions closer to Vancouver, but by the time I visited recently, the Lake Louise, Banff, and Toronto ones were left. These were being sold for $2 a piece, and many still had their original tags. I am curious about the previous owner, who must have loved this collection dearly.

There is so much potential in many of the items I see while out thrifting. I can't necessarily take them all home, so even when I come up empty-handed, it's often still a worthwhile trip!

Linking up to ATG's Thrift Share Monday!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

SixBalloons Featured on Thrift Core!

I'm very excited to share with you that Thrift Core has posted a Feature on SixBalloons!

If you are interested in learning a bit more about me and where I thrift, check it out and let me know what you think. If you've come over to my blog from the Thrift Core site, the photos in the blog post are for some of my favourite finds:

Aqua Thrift Haul: That little cookie monster castanet from the 80s is oh so cute. I wonder if they made them in all the characters!

Victorian Velvet Chair: I actually left this beauty at the thrift store while I debated about it... I was so happy that it was still there when I went back the next morning. I noticed that whenever people come over, they tend to gravitate to this chair! =)

Vintage Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights: I finally read Wuthering Heights for the first time over Christmastime and it gave Jane Eyre a run for its money for my favourite book! The wood engraving print images in this book are the best. If you have seen the movie Definitely, Maybe with Isla Fisher and Ryan Reynolds, you have probably seen some of the amazing illustrations within the book.

Le Creuset Cocotte in Flame: Purchased this classic piece at an estate sale, after missing out on similar pieces over and over again!

Kathie Winkle Corinth and Viscount: It's fascinating that such different patterns can look so great together.

Le Parfait Super Vintage Mason Jars: Love the bulbous shape of these mason jars with their beautiful script writing.

Owl Night Light: A reader emailed me to tell me that she had one of these night lights when she was a child!

Pyrex Bue Scroll: One of my favourite Pyrex patterns that I didn't even know about till I saw it! A $5 score at the Value Village which usually prices much higher these days.

Remember, if you enjoy reading please feel free to become a follower and keep on reading! Many thanks to Van at for her great feature on Thrifters Around the World!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dansk Kobenstyle Pot and more Pyrex Delphite!!

I had a ridiculous morning of thrifting at the annual St. George's Mayfair. I talked about it last year in a previous post, but it's basically an event put on by a posh private boys school in a quiet, wealthy Vancouver neighbourhood.

The school grounds are laid out with tents on the outside, and makeshift marketplaces in the school classrooms. I arrived early this year and stood in line in the pouring rain for about 20 minutes, paid my $2 admission, and rushed in.

I was scouring the housewares section and saw a young fellow talking to the volunteer sales lady about a Dansk Kobenstyle chocolate brown enamelled piece! I almost yelped, as it looked like I had just missed out. Overhearing the conversation, I was almost getting sick to my stomach - the guy was saying he wanted to use it as a compost container in his kitchen, as it would be easy to carry outside to dump into his compost bin. Ugh.

Luckily for me, his wife or girlfriend whizzed by and quickly dismissed his idea. Ouch for him, Yay for me. As I was still hovering, he shrugged and said, she's the boss! I quickly said, "if you're not taking that, I'm interested!"  I purchased this piece for 50¢.  FIFTY CENTS! No wonder he was thinking it could only be a garbage bin!

I had been pining after a Dansk Kobenstyle piece for quiet some time. The Danish design by Jens Quistgaard is from the 1960s and is sought after by Mid Century Modern lovers. The lid is intended to act as a trivet, although I'm not sure I would want to risk scratches to the enamel. Even the handles on these pieces are simplistic and beautiful. Dansk Kobenstyle pans and pots have thinner walls than Le Creuset, and these old pieces are therefore usually seen with chips to the enamel. This particular piece unfortunately has some interior damage, but I still think it was a great score for 50¢.

I was also able to pick up yet another Pyrex Delphite piece. I can't believe this little Fridgie was waiting for me. You see, after I purchased my Kobenstyle, I left the Marketplace for housewares, and headed to the Treasure Trove area. Treasure Trove is the hand picked goodies section for expensive items like antique teacups and saucers. I walked in thinking that I would just look around, since it is typically very overpriced. For example, I saw my Pyrex Dandelion divided dish for $30. I understand the original two-candle warmer and lid were included and it was a complete set, but Mr. SixBalloons bought me mine for a tenth of the price!

When I was in the Treasure Trove last year, I saw the same Pyrex Delphite piece, and at $5, I had to leave it behind. It was not in perfect condition, with two scratches on the rim. If you can believe it, they had the same piece there this morning, marked at $2. I guess nobody else bought it last year! In reality they should have placed it in Marketplace at that price, but I happily paid the cost and went on my merry way.

I had a great morning thrifting away at Mayfair. I avoided most of the crowds by going early and skipping the books, toys, and clothing area, which traditionally have large lineups and nutty crowds. The only wistful thing I can recall about today is that I left behind a lamp that may have been a Lotte Bostlund, another Mid Century Modern darling. It was $5, came with a hideously mismatching lamp shade, and it was one of the first things I saw when I entered Marketplace. After I picked up my Quistgaard piece, I made my way back and it was gone. Well, that's part of the thrill of thrifting, isn't it? If you snooze, you lose, but I still feel great about my little thrift haul.

Linking up to ATG's Thrift Share Monday!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Vegetable Garden Update - Growing Peas, Carrots, Onions, Mescluns and Mustards

It was a beautiful evening yesterday so I whipped out my camera and took some progress photos of my little veggie garden. My tiny bit of success last summer whetted my appetite for more. I can say that the most delicous carrot I've ever tasted came from my little urban garden patch.

The first seeds planted this year were for the heirloom Little Marvel peas. This cute little plant produces sweet pea pods on a small bush-like plant that works well for containers, and directly seeded in the garden. I love when its foliage starts to uncurl.

Growing next to them are my Mokum and Imperial carrots, as companion gardening rules say that peas love carrots! From what I understand, the biggest risk to carrot crops are the carrot rust fly. I hope that planting these within my rows of peas will confuse the bugs and keep them away from my tasty carrots. Carrots sure take a lot of patience and careful weeding. When they first poke out from the soil, they resemble blades of grass, but soon the familiar fern-like leaves will follow.

I would be really pleased if I can successfully grow baby salad greens instead of purchasing them in the wasteful plastic packages. I try to reuse them before recycling, but it bugs me that this is how some veggies are sold today. Hopefully these little baby lettuce blend mescluns will grow nice and strong.

Another first-time vegetable I'm attempting are these Tah Tsai mustard greens with beautiful green leaves. The little plot I'm growing the mustards in only gets morning sun, so I'm hoping the leafy greens can produce in this area. I'm saving the hot and toasty afternoon sun areas for my tomato and pepper plants!

I rounded out this plot with some onion sets I saw at the grocery store. I didn't realize till recently that you can plop these small bulbs into the ground in the Spring and wait for July to roll around. I purchased about 20 onion sets for about 80¢ so even if only a few onion bulbs fatten up, it'll be well worth it. Apparently you can even use some of them solely to harvest for scallions (green onions). I thought this was such a great deal that I went back and purchased 20 more last week, photographed here with my new Pyrex Delphite side plates, and I hope to get these in the ground soon.

I'm really optimistic about my garden this year, and hoping that the bugs don't get to the produce before I do. Simple tasks like weeding, mulching, and watering are so rewarding - I get to relax, and observe progress every time I get out there!

Stay tuned as I'll get back to our regularly scheduled programming within the next few days! I've got some great thrifty finds that I have to clean up and photograph. Thank goodness the days are getting longer!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pyrex Delphite Blue Plates

Hello Readers! I am a little late with my regular Monday post as I had a very busy weekend, enjoying the sun, doing some vegetable gardening, going to a plant sale, watching playoff hockey, and of course a little thrifting.

I am feeling quite lucky with Pyrex finds lately at the thrift stores. These beautiful Pyrex Delphite side plates were sitting amongst a stack on the shelf, but the telltale pie crust trim around the edges caught my attention.

I paid more than I wanted to at $3 per plate, as I was expecting to be able to use a 25% coupon. When I got to the till, I discovered that the discount would only apply to my next purchase. Grumble. I caved and purchased them anyway, because I love my Delphite Casserole and it gets so much practical usage in my kitchen and garden!

I even used them this weekend to hold my onion sets. We prepared a big plot in the garden that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. It'll be the perfect new home for my hydrangeas, and root and leafy veggies like carrots, onions, and lettuce!

Linking up to ATG's Thrift Share Monday!
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