This week my favourite image just totally incapsulated my mood over the last few days.
It was my mum’s birthday recently, and I still find it hard that she is no longer with us. I received a kind and totally unexpected piece of happy mail from a friend, whom I met through my love of stationery. She sent me a box of tea and chocolates from her home town of Seattle. When it arrived, it quickly changed my mood and I was all smiles.
I’m going to follow Jane Morley’s advice and find a little quiet corner. Tea, definitely soothes my soul.
EMERALD GREEN… that’s what stopped me in my tracks when I was perusing my feed for my #TeacupTuesday favourite this week. This Wileman trio is gorgeous ! There are just too many details. From the stunning fluted detail on each piece to the ornate design, and what appears to be a lady driving tea on the teacup. It’s dainty, it’s cute and the perfect for month of May.
So, my favourite this week is from Yuka over at 📷: @desirable_antiques. By now you may be wondering, where can I find Wileman china. Well… You can find more Wileman beauties on Etsy here. (You’re welcome).
The Shop Feature Series is a blog segment where we get to chat with artistes and find out about their inspiration and story. My special guests today are Justine & Alexis, whose work I found while browsing Instagram. These ladies make gorgeous soy candles in interesting vintage wares.
Here’s what the creators had to say when I caught up with them. Getting to know the artiste, isn’t that what Etsy is about?
How did you get started?
Wayback Wax is two friends from Upstate NY. One vintage lover (Justine) and one crafty mom (Alexis). We started in March 2016 while we were thinking of how to do something fun and creative together, that could also bring in some cash!
We scour estate sales and thrift shops to find unique and fun vintage vessels for our hand poured candles. Every candle is handmade in Stillwater, NY in small batches by us. We use eco-friendly soy wax that is natural and safe so that once you have finished your candle you have a cool piece of vintage to add to your collection.
How would you describe your pieces?
Our handmade OOAK pieces are for those who love natural, soy wax candles and enjoy showing off their vintage collections. They are an eco-friendly product with style, and make a wonderful personalized gift or great addition to a collection.
Is there is favourite piece in your current collection?
The collection is always evolving as we find new pieces. Currently my favorite is this 70’s stoneware mug that’s filled with a Country Lemonade scent. It appeals to my love of all things hippie and the scent is just cheery and summery!
Any alternative ways for reusing your pieces ?
Once the candles burn down, the soy wax is soooo much softer than other waxes. Just some warm soapy water and the vessel is clean and safe for drinking, eating or any other use.
What can we expect from Way back Wax in the future ?
We are playing with the idea of offering collections for wedding and/or party favors. Curated collections of the perfect mix & match for the occasion. For example, vintage teacups in coordinating colors & scents for bridesmaids gifts or candles for Pyrex Parties!
Stuck on a desert island, what are your 3 must haves?
Swimsuit, suntan lotion and Spotify!
Just for fun are you are tea or coffee drinker?
Coffee drinker but my favorite drink is probably a nice cold beer!
My personal favourite in the shop is this mug which is perfect for Mother’s Day. This is sure to be one of a kind- OOAK gift. That’s thing about Etsy… you’re sure to find one off pieces that have the ability to translate the right mood, tone and sentiment. This is a great example!
I love the creativity in this shop and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your candles ladies! Check out Justine and Alexis on Etsy and be sure to follow them on social mediafor special offers.
Each week I’m filled with excitement to see what beautiful teacups will turn up on #teacuptuesday feed. New folks are always joining in and I love to find other enthusiasts to follow. As a rule, I always try to have my first morning cup of tea, in a vintage teacup.
My favourite this week is from Yvette over at 📷: @shelovesblooms . Such a gorgeous display around a pretty teacup! The premium rose and black tea sounds delicious too and I shall be giving that a try!
Do you have any tea recommendations that I should try ?
The beauty of thrifting is that you never know what you’re going to find. The danger of thrifting, is equally the same ! If you’ve been thrifting as long as I have, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you’ve just started, you’ll soon know what I mean. You are forewarned.
Today, I went to one of my favourite local consignment stores – Still Life Home in Hudson, MA. It’s a huge warehouse filled with treasure. And I do mean treasure. What I love about this place is that all the items are reasonably priced, beautifully displayed (environmental photos come to mind), and clean.
Did I mention that everything is clean ? Yes, you do have to pay a bit more than say, Savers or Goodwill, but having clean well laid out items is a huge benefit in my mind. If you like the thrill of the hunt, this type of boutique consignment store may not be for you. But, even though you may be less likely to find a piece of LaLique at the bottom of pile, there are still bargains to be had. Yes, someone once found a piece of French LaLique in the Goodwill. Don’t believe me ? Then go check out Mad Maine’s video here.
This lady knows her glassware and started my addiction to Kosta Boda snowball votives. Thanks to her I can now spot a lot of Scandanavian glass. If you’re into glass, she’s definitely someone to watch on Youtube.
They also have a uniform method for describing items. If you’re OCD, you will enjoy this, and even if you’re not, I find the consistency soothing. They list the maker if known as part of the description, number of pieces, a date for when the item first for sale, a markdown date. If there are any flaws, the little description will also include the words “AS IS”. I find this really helpful. We’ve all done it. Picked up an amazing piece, only to get home to find that it is chipped, damaged or incomplete in some way. It’s a novice mistake, that you quickly adapt to and try not repeat too often.
Still Life Home has everything. Housewares, China, Typewriters, Furniture, Flatware… you name it, they’ve probably got it. As a bargain hunter, I like to wait until an item has been in the store at least one month, as it then is further reduced. If an item is there more than 60 days, it has a further 20% off. So there are some real bargains to be had if you are both vigilant and patient.
Today, I found this wonderful blue glass luncheon set. I had my heart set on it, it was just stunning. I mean, it stopped me in tracks and I just had to bask in its wonderfulness. Ok, that was a bit flowery, but you know what I mean. The strange thing was, there was no price. So I asked one of the store staff if she could find out the price for me. She found it strange , (as did I as I think they are really meticulous about how the store is kept) and went to look up the price for me. She came back and told me that it was $39. That’s the other thing about a consignment store, you can usually find staff and they are usually quite helpful. Anyway, back to the story… It was a bargain!
So, I thought I would browse the store a bit more… no one was going to buy it but me right ? It had my name on it ? Right ? Wrong ? Five minutes later, I heard the sound that everyone who thrifts regularly dreads. The sound of something you intend to buy in the hands of another customer. Oh boy did that hurt! I said to the assistant, “I won’t be doing that again”. And she replied, “Oh – so that’s why the price was missing”. Turns out the gentleman, and he was really nice, had brought the tag up to the register and told them that he wanted to purchase it, but was still browsing. Obviously a pro move.
Dismayed, I carried on browsing. Lo and behold I found an entire set of American Limoges Triumph china for $10. In the pretty Treasure Island pattern which features floral bouquet in an urn, peach rim and 22k gold. Perfect for Spring as a Mother’s Day table or even a Bridal Shower luncheon.
Then I turned around and visited the bargain section, near the tills at the front of the store. There I found even a few more little bargain trinkets. Here’s a little preview below. I’ll be putting a video together of the rest of my finds on my YouTube channel. Do go ahead and subscribe for more behind the scenes and home decor inspiration.
So BIG lesson learned here. If you see something, put it in your cart. In this case, even if I had, the guy had nabbed it first and I would have given it to him, rightly. The other tip is, get to know the staff where you shop regularly. If you can’t fit an item in a cart, or you don’t have a cart, take the price tag to the register and let the staff know that you would like to buy it. And the final / lesson tip I leave you with.. don’t dwell on things you miss, you never know whether or not another treasure has your name on it, right around the corner.
April is the month that we begin to see Spring daffodils shoot up and gym memberships on the rise. It’s also the month of Easter, Passover, National Letter Writing Month, National Sibling day, Take our Daughters to Work day and a whole host of other things to celebrate with family, friends and loved ones.
Here are a few new items in store to inspire you and spark that Vintage Flicker !
Are there any holidays or special events you’re looking forward to this month ?
Last week I gave you some information on the history of Liberty Blue china. Today I’d like to follow up with some tips for collecting.
Here are my top 5 tips for collecting Liberty Blue China
Use the list in my previous blog post and determine the pieces you’re going to collect. Note measurements / sizes and rarity.
As with all vintage dinnerware, there may be condition issues. Always read the description of the item and zoom in on photos. Most sellers will be honest about blemishes, cracks, stains, crazing but we are all human and they may have missed something. So inspect photos carefully. Condition also determines price. So if you’re comparing pieces and you see a crazy low price, check that the item isn’t flawed or damaged. If you’re not fussy, then you may have scored yourself a bargain. If you are, then you may be sorely disappointed when you receive the item.
Check the seller return policy. If for some reason you’re not happy with the item upon receipt, you may want the option to return it. Keep in mind that shipping is costly and you are likely to be responsible for return shipping costs. I know that rise of Amazon has made customers balk at shipping costs. But bear in mind that small independent businesses may not have the scale for which to offer free return shipping. It’s a bitter pill, I know. See the point above so you don’t have to swallow this.
Check for authenticity and rarity of the piece. Most Liberty Blue pieces are backstamped with an eagle, often included information about the historical scene depicted on the item and included the words “Dishwasher and Detergent safe”. If you’re not sure about authenticity a good online resource is Robbins Nest or Replacements.com. If you have access to a local library then I highly recommend getting the book often included “Liberty Blue Dinnerware (Schiffer Book for Collectors)” by Debbie Coe and Randy Coe. And if you’re going to be totally obsessed with this pattern, this book is a must have reference.
Lastly, how much should you pay for a piece ? I think this is really dependent on your budget, conditions you’re willing to live with and your timescale. Prices are on the rise for Liberty Blue. I’d say to be patient and get a feel for the prices before making your purchase from a reputable seller.
Do you have any tips for collecting vintage china ?