Thursday, 8 December 2011

Golden Pine Holiday Promo 1961

It came up fast but the holiday season is definitely in full swing in my home town!

I would like to share a beautiful carafe from my vintage shop that was introduced as a holiday promo in 1961 by Pyrex. It was collected by my mother, who would have been a 21 year old farm wife with 2 small toddlers underfoot and a holiday season to prepare for. Nice job, Mom!

I love the tall, lean lines and the delicate gold painting of pine cones and fir tree branches. The pattern looks like starbursts and fireworks. The carafe itself is heat proof for serving coffee, tea or hot apple cider. I think it would also be very festive for serving egg nog or fruit juice.

In 1961, Pyrex also released the pattern on a milk glass casserole dish with a clear glass lid and milk glass mixing/serving bowls with the gold pattern painted on a bright red background. If you know of other items with the pattern, please let me know.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Perfect Pair

If you're like me, coffee gets you up and keeps you going through the day. During the cold winter months, it's nice to switch it up a bit and have something different once in awhile. I recently tried this homemade Swiss Mocha Coffee mix and give it two thumbs up! It tastes just like the store bought version and it costs a lot less to make! 

Swiss Mocha Coffee Mix
1/2 cup instant coffee 
1 cup sugar 
1 cup instant dry milk powder 
1/4 cup powdered coffee creamer 
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 
1/4 cup vanilla flavored instant pudding mix (optional, but very good) 

Measure all of the ingredients into a clean, dry bowl. Use a fork to combine everything evenly. Powder everything in a blender. 

To Prepare: Measure 3 or 4 tablespoons into a coffee cup. Fill it up with hot water (about 3/4 cup) and stir to dissolve.

This is a very sweet and chocolaty coffee. I like to have a cup after lunch as my "dessert". Decaffeinated instant coffee, instead of regular, could also be used. 

And when you store it in a fancy container like the vintage canister featured below, it would be a beautiful gift for someone this holiday season or as a special way to pamper yourself. 

Such a perfect pair!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Crafty Good Time!

My son's Deadmau5 costume created for Halloween.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Fall Sale 2011

It's the annual Fall Sale! What a great time to do a little shopping! 

Starting today until October 21, 2011 participating members of the Alberta Street Team are offering discounts from 10% to 40% off many items in their shops. This is truly a wonderful time to get started on your holiday shopping, or if you're like me, to pick up that item you may have been ogling for the past few weeks!

Just to bring you up to snuff, my online shop Retro Junction, is hosted on a website called Etsy. Etsy is a vibrant community of shop owners selling vintage goods, handmade items and supplies for those handmade items. Many of these shop owners choose to join "teams" for support and companionship. The Alberta Street Team is for members that either reside in the province of Alberta, Canada or have a link to this province. It's a very active, vibrant team of which I'm proud to be a member!

The first treasury list to the right of this blog post is a fine example of a few of the treasures being discounted!

To help you out, here's the list of shops and the discounts being offered. Please check all Shop Announcements for specific sale details and don't forget to use the coupons mentioned to get the discounts!

ALBERTA TEAM FALL SALE, from October 14-21st - check us out! 

Accessories, Clothing, Bags and Purses 10% off (code teamsale) 10% off (code FALLS) 10% off (code FALLSALE) 15% off (code FallSale) 15% off (code FALLSALE2011) 15% off (code 2011FALLSALE) 10% off (code FALLSALE) 10% off (prices will reflect discount)

Art, Fine Art, Photography, Home Decor and Housewares 20% off (code FALLSALE2011) 10% off (code FALLSALE11) 20% off (code ALBERTA20) 40% off (code pumpkin) 10% off 10% off excludes shipping (code ALBERTASALE10) 30% off all prints (code FALLSALE2011) 10% off all items (code FALLSALE2011)

Bath, Beauty and Edibles 35% off (code FALLSALE) 15% off (code FALLSALE2011)

Ceramics, Pottery , Glass, Crochet, Knitting, Needlecraft and Quilts 15% off (code WACKY15) 15% off (code FallSale) 10% off (code FALL2011) 10% off (code FALLSALE2011) 15% off all items (code ALBERTA) 15% off (code FALLSALE) 15% off (code WICKEDSALE) 15% off (code fallsale2011)

Children and Toys 20% off (code TWENTY) 10% off (code SALE10) 10% off excludes shipping (code ALBERTASALE10) 15% off (code FallSale) 15% off (code FallSale)

Jewelry 10% off (prices will reflect discount) 15% off (code SALE15) 10% off (code teamsale) 15% off (code FALLSALE) 15% off (code FALLSALE) 10% off (code FALLSALE) 10% off (code FALLS) 10% off 20% off refund through paypal 20% off refund through paypal 10% off (code FALLSALE2011) 10% off all items (code FALLSALE2011) 10% off all items (code fallsale10off) 20% off (code TEAMALBERTA2011) 15% off (code FALLSALE) 20% off (code WICKEDMOVINGSALE)

Paper Goods 20% off excludes custom (code FALLSALE20) 10% off excludes shipping (code FALLSALE) 10% off (code FALLSALE2011) 10% off (code FALLSALE2011) 10% off (code FALLSALE) 10% off (code KIWITINI10) 20% off (code WICKEDMOVINGSALE) 15% off (code fallsale2011)

Supplies, Vintage, Bridal, Wedding and Celebrations 15% off (code WACKY15) 20% off refund through paypal 20% off refund through paypal 10% off all items (code fallsale10off) 20% off excludes custom (code FALLSALE20) 15% off (code SALE15) 10% off (code KIWITINI10)

And others... 20% off all items excluding shipping (code fallsale) 20% off all items 10% off all items refund via paypal 10%off, code Fallsale 10%off, code Fallsale 10% off 15% off 10% off all items (code FALLSALE2011) 10% off excludes marked down items (code FALLSALE2011) 20% off (code HALLOWEEN) 20% off (code HALLOWEEN) 20% off (code ABSale20) 10% off excluding shipping (code FALLSALE10) 15% off (code FALLSALE2011)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

1940s Celluloid Cookie Jar

Isn't this vintage blue porky pig cookie jar adorable? 

This is a fine example of celluloid plastic, which is a very lightweight plastic that was invented in the late 1800's. It was widely used to make toys and many household items because of its ability to be moulded. It was even used in photograph film.

Its popularity waned during the mid-century era when bakelite plastic grew in popularity. Although celluloid is no longer widely in use, it is still being used to manufacture items such as guitar picks and table tennis balls.

I've seen these cookie jars in a few different colors, but I'm partial to this yellow/blue color combination. Mr. Pig cookie jar stands 9.5" tall and is 6.5" wide at his base. He has a removable yellow and blue ball cap/lid, a yellow bow tie and the cutest red tongue smacking his smiling lips!

What a walk down memory lane and a must for any retro kitchen!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Say Cheese!

For the next few weekends my project will be Photography 101 circa 1972. I have to test a few vintage cameras to check their working condition before I list them for sale in the Retro Junction vintage shop. 

I've bought the 35 mm film and I hope I didn't gasp out loud when the cashier told me the cost. Then I remembered that photography was considered kind of an expensive hobby, at least for me back in the day. Especially if there were dark rooms and supplies involved. This is definitely one area where technology has really benefitted the masses by not only bringing down the cost but by simplifying the picture taking process (I won't say 'dummying down'!)

I suppose the very earliest photographs (those old black and white ones of people looking stone faced at the camera) were grossly expensive at the time but involved tons of talent and equipment outlay.

So, wish me luck! I hope I can remember how to use cameras with F stops and light meters! I picked a great time of year to do this as there's lots of autumn scenery to shoot. The cat and dog will also serve as reluctant models if need be.  

Then I'll have to drop the film off at the store for developing, go back later and pick it all up. I guess I'll get the photo CD and forego the prints. Who needs another album taking up shelf space? Oh yes, and pay again. 

Photography aside, these old cameras do have a certain cachet about them. In all their bulkiness and heaviness, they have a vintage aura that's hard to resist. Even if they don't pass the test for photography, they still capture a time in history and will do a great job sitting on a shelf as vintage room decor!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Pins and Brooches

There's something about vintage brooches that I just love. Fashion wise, nothing offsets a great outfit more than a stunning pin. Wear it on a lapel, hat or wooly scarf.

My love of brooches goes beyond the beauty of the settings or gems. I like to hold the brooch in my hands and will it to speak - to tell me about where it has been and under what circumstances. But of course it can't, so it's up to my imagination. I like to think it's been worn by a queen and has brought good luck and happiness to all who have worn it. 

I'm not a jewelry maker, but I admire those that are. To create a little work of wearable art or statement piece that lasts through the ages is truly remarkable. And they come in all styles from funky to traditional. Family heirloom ones are the best! I know one person who used vintage flower brooches to make a bridal bouquet. 

There are endless number of vintage brooches and pins on Etsy and some of the ones pictured here are available at the Retro Junction shop if you want to take a closer look.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Whimsical Jam Pot

My aunt is so full of surprises! During a recent visit, she pulled this from the top cupboard above her refrigerator. So adorable!

It's what they call a pixie, because it's styled after the Holt Howard "pixieware" items of the 1950s.

It features a pot for jam with a combination lid / spoon featuring an apple fruit head that is colored predominately red with a green patch of color on the right side of her head. The pot has 13 vertical red stripes and altogether she stands 5.5" tall. It was made in Japan circa early 1960's for the George Lefton company by ESD and distributed in Canada by An Enterprise Exclusive.

These whimsical pots were made for items such as honey, mustard, ketchup, cherries, relish, pickles, olives, plus many others. They are highly sought after by collectors mainly because not many survived intact over the years due to the delicacy of the porcelain.

They are all so adorable!

If you're interested in adding to your collection or perhaps starting one and want to learn more, this website has lots of information to help you out:

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Coffee's On!

I have a new coffee maker! It's a Universal Coffeematic from the 1950s and it makes the best coffee ever! Hands down. It beats my Tassimo. It beats my Tim Horton's Coffee Brewing Station. And I think it looks better than them too! 

I love the classy stainless steel with black trim, and the etched graphic on the front. This percolator makes 6 cups of coffee in about 5 minutes and has a strength slide controller to adjust for personal taste. It automatically shuts off when brewed (it's got a loud, steamy, bubbling sound when brewing)  and keeps the coffee hot for more than an hour without the coffee getting that "burnt" over brewed taste. Because of its great appearance, no fancy decanters are required. Just unplug and serve right from the machine.

It was manufactured by Landers, Frary & Clark, makers of many products during the 20th century. They began making their coffee percolators in 1912, introducing a new method that brewed the coffee just under the boiling point for improved clarity and taste. They were bought out by GE in 1965.

Coffee has always been one of my favorite beverages, starting I suppose at a pre-school age when my grandmother would give me half coffee / half milk with lots of sugar in a water glass. I called it "cacky" and I remember thinking it was divine.

Now I drink it sugar free with just a splash of skim and I still think it's divine. If you're ever in the's on!