Friendship is one Pyrex design I really like but cannot house easily, as it does not coordinate well with my avocado-orange-and-yellow-themed kitchen (neither does all the turquoise I’ve got in the downstairs kitchen, nor the pink 400-series mixing bowls lurking in the cupboard, but that’s another post).
A few weeks ago, while planning my great Pyrex purge, I thought of adding my Friendship pieces to the garage sale pile, but at the last minute pulled the cinderella bowls pictured above. I did end up selling two Friendship casserole dishes and two red fridgies that might have been from either the Friendship or Primary set, but the rest of my Friendship pieces remained inside.
It’s a good thing, because my friend Kerry Clare, who co-coordinates well-known online Canadian book resource the 49th Shelf, blogs at Pickle Me This, writes, reviews and does all nature of other literary things, has a beautiful red Kitchen-Aid mixer, a red toaster, and a general affection for the colour red. If anyone deserves my Friendship cinderella bowls (and friendship more generally), it is Kerry — whose kitchen is a far better home for the set than mine was.
I didn’t give Kerry all my Friendship, though: I’ve kept two 401s and a 403 from the nesting bowl set, as well as two lidded casserole dishes, a definitely-Friendship fridgie dish and a divided dish. I still like the pattern quite a lot, and would like to retain a few pieces for Valentine’s Day baking. But other than that, it’s nice to know any other Friendship pieces I find at local thrift stores will have a happy home in Kerry’s kitchen.
Pyrex seems to remain a recurring theme in my life: the other day (on my way downtown with Kerry’s Friendship bowls, in fact), I couldn’t help stopping in at Value Village, where I found the Woodland 404 bowl to complete the set shown here.
Woodland is an oddly under-appreciated Pyrex pattern, given that the stylized leaves in the design are among the company’s very best. Perhaps it’s the brown and beige that put people off — although to me they signal cocoa and brown sugar, two staples of winter baking.
The Woodland 400-series bowls are another rescue from my garage sale pile; like the Friendship cinderella bowls, they resonated strongly enough to make it back to the ‘keep’ pile. I’m really glad they did, because I love them. It’s so nice to see the whole set together.
At the same pit stop, I also picked up these two nesting bowls: one a tomato red 401 that is a perfect or near-perfect match to the Autumn Harvest dishes, and a burnt umber 402 that seems to coordinate with it. They seem to be from the same set, as both showed up together and are in the same (new or nearly new) condition. I haven’t the faintest idea what set that is, although I’d love to know. Any Pyrex folks have an idea?
Not having a set to associate these with, I’ve matched them up with my Verde 400-series bowls (of which, at present, I have only the 401 and 403). They all work together as if they were made to do so, and although I’m not much into fall decorating (apart from twine-bound ears of Indian corn that the raccoons inevitably tear off the front door), I can totally see the tomato, burnt umber and verde bowls lined up on the front steps, filled with ant-attracting gourds.
[Not shown: another Autumn Harvest 403, Autumn Harvest being the one pattern, other than Verde, of which I cannot ever get enough.]
I grew up reading Country Life magazine, which meant I had no trouble recognising the layout, artwork and writing style of Gardens Old and New: The Country House & Its Garden Environment when I saw it at the downtown Salvation Army store.
Published about 1900 before eventually spawning two further volumes in about 1908 and 1916, Gardens Old and New explores the late-Victorian gardens of several dozen British estates. It’s a beautiful period piece, and I bought it out of nostalgia when the store staff, who initially priced the book at ten dollars, told me I could have it for five.
Good thing, too, because the book is priced online at upwards of $400 — far too rich for my tastes, even out of nostalgia for the oh-so-English style of Country Life.
These Federal ‘circus’ bowls were one indulgence paid for out of my Pyrex garage sale proceeds (more such indulgences in a future post or two). I’ve liked the Circus set ever since seeing it pictured on Sir Thrift-a-Lot‘s blog, but have never seen any of the bowls ‘in the wild.’
Fortunately, living in Canada is for once an advantage when shopping online, because nearly all the Federal ‘circus’ bowls I’ve seen for sale are listed in Canada (did Federal Glass market or otherwise distribute them primarily in Canada and, if so, to what promotion or product were they attached?), which makes both price and shipping much more reasonable. I bought these bowls from three different vendors, and am just delighted to have them. My favourite is, of course, the clown riding a bicycle.
I simply could not pass up these vintage flowered suitcases at Value Village, although I have no pressing use for them. Sure, they might hold scarves, or perhaps replace my daughter’s hideous Hello Kitty rolling case, or store out-of-season clothing, or perform some yet-to-be-determined function, but in all truth I bought them because they are so pretty.
They fit perfectly atop a tall, narrow bookcase that holds jeans, shoes and bags in the bedroom and — aha: will be perfect for holding my growing collection of hats! All three cases are in new condition; two made in Korea; one in Taiwan. I don’t think they were ever used.
Also in new or nearly-new condition, they’ve probably spent the past 35 years in a closet. I’m not sure where these are going to see use, and at this point I’m developing a back-log of canisters seeking homes. They do suit my little office, which needs some vintage charm to offset the claustrophobia-inducing qualities of the Imagining Toronto library, which presently fills every square inch of bookshelf space.
Early in the summer I was fortunate to find two full sets of twelve forks, which first saw use at my daughter’s Flower Fairy-themed birthday party. And then, just today at the local Goodwill, I saw these two packages of canape knives in that instantly recognisable little box.
They had been cast unceremoniously on the shelf, and I had to scrabble on the floor for a couple of missing knives, but I was happy to rescue them and bring them home, and now they nestle snugly in a drawer beside my treasured Little Forks.
Final find of the week, also today at the local Goodwill, was this glass sixties-or-seventies green glass pitcher, almost certainly made by Anchor-Hocking. It’s my second such pitcher; the first, also Anchor-Hocking, has a different but complimentary pattern. I’ve seen glasses to match both pitchers, and suppose the next time I see any (if ever — given that vintage objects I’ve seen a hundred times have a tendency to disappear just when I start wanting them) should start picking them up.
My next-door neighbour, also a vintage hound, loves amber glass and has an impressive collection of glassware, ashtrays, serving bowls and art glass. I like amber glass too, but my real affection is for the green stuff. This pitcher cost only $2.02, which suggests someone in the pricing room was off his game. Which makes up for the six silver plate forks in the display case marked $50.05.
Oops: one forgotten addition: two stainless steel / made in Japan fondue fork sets. One is long and notable for the metal casing on the handles, imprinted with braille-like dots to distinguish them. The other is a set of teak-handled hors d’oeuvre forks. Also one contemporary fondue cookbook with some very nice recipes in it (a weakness of the old fondue cookbooks — despite their hilarious pictures of porn-mustachioed men in jump suits and peasant-striped women whose long hair is about to contaminate the hand-thrown pottery — is that the recipes / ingredients are exceedingly banal by contemporary standards).
I cannot, of course, pass up vintage fondue accessories — although I have no plans to add to the five fondue sets already holding down the cupboards on the first floor. I might trade sets if something really beautiful comes along, however. Sometime this winter, at long last, we really are going to host a fondue party.
That’s all for this week. Next week the teaching term starts, and after that point both pickings and posts will be peripatetic. I’ll still do my best to stop in at the various thrift stores arrayed along my ride downtown, however, and am looking forward to whatever the thrift gods cast up.
[Connecting with Sir Thrift-a-Lot's Thriftasaurus Link-up.]