Jun 26, 2014

My Favorite Things Part 3

Updated 26 June
please note that I just discovered many comments that never made it to my email! Please see comments section for my response, and I apologize to all who took time to comment, but never made it to me. Cyber "connections" can be so frustrating! 


I hope this week is going well for you. I went out of town for a bit, and when I returned, I brought with me a nasty cold (or flu?) and as I make my way through my second box of kleenex, I thought I would finish up my mini series on a few of my favorite things that happen to be vintage, that I use routinely. I have enjoyed the emails I have received, learning about what you like to use as well.

Before I show you a few of my favorite things, I would like to announce the:




Click HERE to see the site!

In case you have no idea what I am talking about - the last two posts were in honor of NOVICA, an artisan website that is affiliated with National Geographic. I purchased a leather messenger bag - that I just love and - see my last post. NOVICA asked that I review their site, offered me a gift certificate to order something to review (my messenger bag) and offered a gift certificate to a lucky reader. In case you wonder how the winner wins...I write down numbers on little scraps of paper, and put them in a bowl, close my eyes and whichever number I choose, it correlates with a commenter in order that the comments were received. I happened to pick #1, and Sandi was the first one to comment. I numbered all the way through the second post. Congrats Sandi, and I will be emailing you with the details.

Now to a favorite silver cup of mine. This belonged to my father, and after he died, my mother gave it to me. It sits in my bathroom all the time (holding Q-tips, or eye drops...whatever). But I found a new use for it recently. After my first knee surgery (and my second), I couldn't stand to shower, so I took lots of baths. I grabbed this one day, and I used it to pour water over my head so I could wash and rinse my hair. During some pretty painful soaks, I did find it comforting to use my dad's cup - sort of like him "petting" my hair/head like he so often did as I grew up. If you were lucky enough to have a loving dad (uncle, grandfather), you know what I am talking about - that heavy, big, warm, gentle hand that finds its way to your head and strokes the top and down to the nape of the neck and then up again to the top of the head with a little finishing pat. I don't remember him leaning down and kissing me on top of my head...I think that must be a mom's job...but dads seem to like to "pet" heads, I think.  :-)

Another favorite vintage item have is somewhat "new" to me. I found this wonderful old (and heavy!) handmade pin cushion at an antique fair. I began sewing after 30 years of not touching a machine, and I discovered that having several pin cushions, is way easier than just having one. Seems like no matter where I am at my work table, the pin cushion was always out of reach - now I have two - one at each end! I love how the end of the cushion is hand sewn with what most would call "crude" but I think of it as more "folk-artsy" stitches. I wish I knew what was stuffed inside to make it so hard and heavy, but still can be pierced!   

Another tool, that I absolutely love and use a LOT, is my vintage chinois. I just love this and I got it for about $10. A brand new chinois can run up to $140 (but there are many that are less expensive than that)! 

My vintage chinois works just as well as a new one - mainly because I do most of the work! That is the key - the chinois doesn't have to be fancy-schmancy, as long as you know how to use it (just patient stirring the pestle).  I use it to smash all my homegrown tomatoes and I get more juice this way without the seeds. I always put my chinois in a large flat pan, such as short stock pot (usually the one I am going to use for the soup). Mainly, I use a large pan, because I tend to be messy, and I like room to work. These are used to make things super smooth such as soups, broths, puddings, or sauces. My tomato-basil soup is very creamy and very rich.

My little stand with its little legs have great patina (or some may call it scratched up!), but the mesh part is still in tact and the wooden pestle fits perfectly inside the mesh. In case you are wondering, I can all my garden tomatoes, so the tomatoes I am smashing already have the skins off of them. You don't have to remove the skins, just cut the tomatoes in chunks, and stir the pestle round and round till you get juice. The left over pulp is perfect for the compost pile!

And finally, another little vintage favorite is my vintage aluminum water thermos. I found this at an antique mall, and knew it would be perfect for those hot days while working in the garden. 

I just fill it with ice and carry it around the garden with me. It insulates wonderfully, and I like feeling the cold metal. I replaced the top with a clean milk glass lined canning lid. No metal taste with the glass, and yet, very sturdy. I tend to knock it over, or kick it out of the way as I weed the garden. I also like the fact that I am "recycling" meaning, instead of going out and getting something brand new, I just use what has been around for some time now. As long as an old item is safe to use, does its job, and is practical, I am all over it.

I hope you enjoyed this little mini tour of my found (and usable!) objects. For those who haven't gone to NOVICA site to view all the artisans around the world, I invite you to see what fellow artists are creating and selling. By the way, here are some links that NOVICA tells me they are highlighting at the moment and I thought you might like as well:

Again, thank you for stopping by to visit, but more importantly, for supporting fellow artisans. I feel very grateful to be considered as a colleague in the creative world. 

from my house to your house,



hilary said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I've been using vintage since I started keeping house in my 1st apt. I garage saled my entire worldly goods. It was my version of antiques. My 1st big purchase was a Duncan Fife(?) dining set. I treasured that for so long.
That's been the precedent I started and stayed with.
I have to own up to being a copycat. When I saw the purse you ordered, I got online and immediately ordered one. I'm excited as I just received the notice it will be here tomorrow. Well worn leather, hand tanned leathers, etc. have always been a weakness for me. I'm so looking forward to wearing it out! I'll use it to death. I had a Coach bag like that for years back in the 80's and my dear sweet daughter pleaded to have it for college. So off it went, and she still uses it 20 yrs. later. We value quality.

Sandi said...

My heart skipped a beat when I saw SANDI , but then realized it was not me. haha!! Sand of The Cottage Muse is very deserving and I say CONGRATULATIONS to her. :)

chateau chic said...

Love, love, love all your vintage treasures! The silver cup is wonderful as are the wonderful memories that come with it.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm happy to be a new follower.
Mary Alice

primjillie said...

I love the fact that you reuse your vintage treasures. My kids usually look at me like I'm crazy when I pull out something vintage to use. They swear I'm going to give them lead poisoning or tetnus! I especially love your thermos.


Elizabeth Maxson said...

To My Dear Readers:

A quick note to all until I can respond individually:

I JUST discovered quite a few comments that never made to my email! Have no idea what happened, but at least that explains why so few comments...I was beginning to think that my readers didn't find free gifts or a certificate very interesting! Ha-ha. And I was pretty sure I knew my readers and gifts pretty well. :-)

Thank you so much for visiting me!
Big Hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Hilary,

It makes me so happy that you loved the purse so much that you got one too! Yea! I bet the artist that makes it will be so happy. Like you, I value quality - I get the best I can afford. Many times, I can't afford much, but I still get the best I can. Your daughter sounds very cool - she has great taste! :-)

thanks for visiting
big hug

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Oh Sandi...I didn't even think about that - I bet your heart skipped a beat! You are so cute! When I read your comment, I thought, "Oh darn...wish I had another certificate to hand out" ! :-)

always so nice to see your smiling face
big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Mary Alice,

That is so nice of you to stop by and to follow. I do love "stories" behind vintage/old items. Especially if they are personal. Thanks for visiting me!

big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Melissa!

No, I didn't go, I have been out of town. What kind of goodies did you get? I wanted to go - but bad timing.

Thanks for visiting with me for a bit,
big hugs

Elizabeth Maxson said...


You crack me up!!! I love the lead poisoning comment. I can get away with so much because I don't have kids - but then again, I think I would use them as "experiments" as in sewing vintage clothes for them, and having them use vintage lunch boxes with crustless sandwiches wrapped in wax paper....and probably having them hate me....hahahaha.

Big hugs

Curtains in My Tree said...

The silver baby cup is so sweet, I have collected several over the years.
Just sold my vintage long pin cushion and mine was heavy, I think it's sand and straw maybe inside of them.
I have collected vintage since 1971 and have my first blue crock bowl I bought at a yard sale for 10 cents !!LOL
love all your posts
maybe my last comment didn't make it through the grape vine of the internet but that's OK LOL

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