Treasure Box Wednesday: The Other Half o' Fun

When last we left Treasure Box Wednesday, my thrifty bud Scoobie and I had had an exciting adventure down Route 30 here in Pennsylvania. And like one of those excellent shopping dreams you just don't want to wake up from, so many things ended up being 30%-50% off!

Well, I'd shown you a number of items from that trip last week. And I have just a few more to share with you now.

One of my absolute favorites is this delightful hand-tinted bubble-glass photo of a brother and sister reading together...

Sorry about the glare! Because of the bubble-glass, it's a little hard to film without getting a reflection.

I'm guessing because of the style of the frame, the kids' clothes, and the big bow in the sister's hair, the photo is from around 1910-1920-something.

You can see my new li'l chillins here...

Don't they remind you a little of Darla and Porky from The Little Rascals?

One other thing discovered on this trip was... okay... brace yourself for the not-surprise...

A second lamp.

Yes, yes, I know. My friend "Da Old Man" of "Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars" has already informed me I need a 12-step program for lamp addiction.

And he said that last week before he even saw this one, I'm almost embarrassed to admit...

But I do make room for them. And I give some to other family and friends. So, it's not solely pure lamp greed...

Please don't stage a lamp intervention for me. I need them! :)

In much smaller finds, I uncovered this nice vintage Valentine's hankie at the Salvation Army Thrift Store...

And last, for a whopping $1, I got this pastoral scene tin plate at the Good Samaritan Thrift Store...

Now, before we go today, I thought you all would enjoy seeing the mantle shelf I'd gotten a while ago at Denise's Antique Mall, all cleaned up and polished...

It was going to go on the mantle you currently see it sitting on. But I'm afraid the way the lip of the mantle comes up, the logistics are wrong. I need to rethink where this will go.

It wasn't a pretty scene, but I guarantee you'll get a chuckle. (My absurdity might as well at least entertain others.)

Anyway, that's it for today. Wishing you, er, shelf-shatishfaction in all your decorating projects this week! See you Sunday!

Miss Dine-About-Town, the Tapioca Gourmet

What looks like fish-eggs in aged mayo, yet is apparently the single most perfect ingredient for all your five-star, restaurant-quality cuisine? Well, according to this 1938 cookbook and its guide to the finer things-- "Miss Dine-About-Town"-- nothing says true class like Minute Tapioca!

Miss Dine-About-Town is quick to tell us she hasn't made any of these dishes herself-- no, she's just eaten them.

Yep, ol' D-A-T's been mooching off family, friends and hopeful restauranteurs, trying to make it sound like it's her high society job... And not, y'know, that she's just a lonely, aging spinster happy to share a meal with anyone who doesn't have FancyFeast breath or shed.

Of course, given the looks of some of these dishes, I can see where Miss Dine-About-Town would want to disavow any involvement in the culinary side of things. I mean, who could blame her?

I'll show you what I mean.

Here, we see the ladies of the bridge club enjoying a quiet, civilized luncheon. Judging by all the black, I'm guessing this was right after they lost their fifth member, Gladys, in an unfortunate card shuffling accident...

Grand Soups I've Met
If you like cream soup with a new texture, a wonderfully creamy "body," try Minute Tapioca in it.

Yes, of all the soups I ever met, the most memorable were the ones with little nubbins of tapioca floating in 'em. I noticed the soup here is called Duchess Soup, and I had to find out just what sort of tapioca-based soup Royalty was enjoying during the 30s.

Well, apparently, our crowned counterparts like their soup made of milk, butter, minced onion, tapioca and grated American cheese.

I say-- terribly regal, what? Undoubtedly what the Queen herself enjoys along with a nice Spam roll or two.

Then Miss Dine-About-Town busts out some main course ideas...

Croquettes and Patties I can personally recommend
Instead of sad croquettes that have lost their shape, or taste all bready and dry, these are shapely, moist creations-- with no hint of what holds them together!

What holds them together, if not Minute Tapioca, might be a few surgical nips and tucks and a pair of perky silicone implants... what do you think?

Similarly, I find myself concerned about the decoratively-arranged veg surrounding this "Veal Loaf Roast"...

I mean, the alternating slices of tomato and onion on top are slightly odd, but what exactly is going on with these potatoes and carrots on the side?...

What statement are we trying to make here exactly? That the cook's love life is not all she'd hoped?

And why do those carrots seem to be trying to do some sort of Rockette scissor-kick move?

Well, moving on to other, less anatomically-correct vegetables...

Now thanks to Minute Tapioca, you'll never have to endure the tiresome process of making a white sauce to drown your veggies in...

Nope, now you can drown 'em lickety-split with versatile tapioca!

Or perhaps your guests are more into sandwiches... Well, Minute Tapioca holds moisture, but won't make bread soggy. So let's just take a look and see what kind of sandwiches they suggest.

"Nippy Cheese Sandwich Filling," eh? And what puts the nip into it? Let's see here... canned tomatoes with juice and pulp... Minute Tapioca... dry mustard... grated American cheese (perhaps it was nippier back in the 30s)... ground dried beef... and Worcestershire sauce.

Mm-mm!, yep, dried beef, American cheese, mustard and tapioca-- doesn't that sound... um... very... er.... elegant and, um, moist?

Well, before we go today, I thought you all would want to see the booklet's full-color centerfold. And no, it's not Miss Dine-About-Town posing for a cheesecake photo...

In fact, cheesecake doesn't enter into it.

The more I look at this, the more I find myself thinking how this is the dessert equivalent of those fat, mustachioed, scary-hairy actors you find out work as the leading men in adult movies.

I mean, I suspect this two-page spread is supposed to be tantalizing, to make us drool a bit-- but somehow with all the lumps and bumps and fruit sprigged like questionable rashes, it just spoils the appetite.

It's the Carl Hungus of dessert buffets.

Well, that's the end of today's dish!

Otherwise, I hope the week ahead treats you sweetly. With no lumps!

Treasure Box Wednesday: Half Off, Fully Fun

Oh, it was a great day to be a cheapskate antique-lover this weekend, my friends! I don't know if it's the economy... the close of the summer season... or just a big ol' coincidence... but it seems everywhere I looked along my favorite Route 30 haunts, there was a sale!

Sure, antique-fiends know that a nice 10-20% off is likely to happen, sometimes just for the asking. But this weekend marked 25%, 30% and even 50% off whole booths at antique malls.

I need a vintage hankie just to be dainty about all the drool! :)

It was a weekend of big finds, too. So I think this Treasure Box Wednesday might expand into next week, just to accommodate it all.

We'll start with these delicate Victorian chocolate cups I found at the Goodwill Thrift Store in Greensburg...

They were undoubtedly part of a chocolate set with a pot at one time, but two pretty cups remain. The nice thing about this kind of transferware is that is looks good with other non-matching pieces of the type. So I already have a few pieces they should work with.

At the L&L Fleatique in Adamsburg/Jeannette, I got this pair of McCoy bird vases, and at 30% off!...

Perfect along a table or on either side of a mantle!

And yep, I don't want to forget this next item. This was from the Greensburg Goodwill, too. A very kitschy 1940s Asian figural lamp in terrific condition...

I'd seen these in high-end antique stores which have a lot of mid-century modern furnishings... But I'd never expected to see one at the Goodwill. Anyway, it's made of plaster, and handpainted. And it came with the original shade you see there.

My regular readers know that I am powerless against the grip of a good vintage thrifted lamp.

And do you want to know how much it cost? Do ya? G'wan, ask me!...

Okay, since you asked so nicely, I'll tell you. But hold on to your Kimonos... It was $6!

I know it's a really strange piece, and not everyone's taste. But a great example of 40s kitsch. As you can see, right now it's on my bedside table, cheering me immensely with the warm glow that reflects through its angled lampshade...

Also that $6 price tag. :)

In one of the other best deals of the day was this ornate basket-weave Carnival glass bowl, at 50% off...

It's not marked, but judging from the pattern, my collector's book seems to lean toward it being either made by Northwood or Fenton. They both did basketweave patterns, though I couldn't find a bowl precisely like this.

And just for a bit of variety, my thrifting bud Scoobie let me take photos of a few of her items. She's got quite a lot of blue enamel kitchenware already, and based on this weekend's adventuring, I'd say her set's about complete...

There's a roasting pan, a couple of bowls, and even a pasta strainer! These were all thrifted at different places.

And last, we have another half-off beauty-- her etched-mirror cowboy shelf. Scoobie's favorite dude at her imaginary Home on the Range will be able to hang his hat, lassooo and, er, other cowboy accoutrements there. (You can tell I'm not the Western officiando... better ask Scoobie for that sort of thing!)

Anyway, she's got the pots for the vittles and some purty decor, too! Yeeeeee-haw!

But, friends, this wasn't all we found-- can you believe it? So next week, I'll include those items in a very special Part Two Treasure Box Wednesday.

It's good to pace ourselves. Being this excited about cool, old weird stuff can get kinda exhausting; it's important to take breaks. Breathe deep. Stretch.

And if not? Maybe I'll see you Sunday!

Gently Needling 60s Fashion with Spinnerin Knits

Fear... Friendship... Pain... Adoration and stalking... Knitwear-based chafing... You'll find them all here between the pages of Spinnerin: More Fun Time with Giant Jiffy Needles.

At a mere $0.45 cents at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Greensburg, I felt I'd uncovered the entire range of human emotions wrapped up into an eight-page knitting and crochet instruction book.

Also, I kinda laughed out-loud in the book aisle. That was probably forty-five-cents-worth right there.

For its time, Spinnerin seemed to have had a pretty good handle on the trends in 60s/early 70s fashion... Like harvest yellows and oranges, aqua blues and short hemlines. But leafing through its pages, it stikes the viewer instantly that Spinnerin's inter-model posing was a bit on the... um... eccentric style...

I can hear the shoot director now.

"Okay, you, brunette: look at the camera. Now you, blondie: look adoringly at the other gal like a puppy who'll follow her anywhere. That's right! Very good!... Groovy, baby!..."

"Okay, you can stop now.... Blonde girl? You can stop now... Um, I got the shot... You can stop now... Please stop..."

"Okay, you're kinda creeping your colleages out now. You do know that, don't you? And I don't have a lot of film to waste here... We're on a budget."

I like how the brunette appears to be trying to project herself out of the scene entirely, by having gone to her happy place.

"She's still staring. I know she's staring. But I will use my one Method Acting class to imagine myself in a warm summer meadow... alone... with the sun beating down upon my face like this yellow knit dress I am wearing... It's filled with sunflowers, gently swaying... I can hear birds chirp and...

"Is she still there?...

"She's still there, isn't she?

"I knew it."

Finally, it looks like they had to send the blonde stalker for a little break. Only one of the other models seems concerned about what she's getting up to off-stage...

"What's she's doing now? Oh my gosh, Cheryl, it looks like she's dyed her hair brown and she's wearing all your clothes!..."

"Oh, that's definitely your favorite sweater, micro-mini and go-go boots, Cheryl!...

"And what's that she's carrying in that boiling pot? Oh, surely that's not...(gasp) Your pet rabbit, Mr. Thumper?!"

"Nevermind that, Lacy: look how I can turn my arm around the entire wrong direction! I'm double-jointed you know. Isn't that far out?"

Finally, though, after the blonde's breakdown, they've gotten her properly medicated and subdued. She looks almost like a new person! One way of controlling her seems to be through full-body knitwear...

The discomfort distracts her from anything else. In this shot she realizes she probably shouldn't have had the full glass of water with her 12:30 anti-anxiety pill.

Well, that about ties off and blocks this particular post of The Thrift Shop Romantic.

And this coming Wednesday's post promises an astounding array of goodies to share with you. When vendors at fleas are offering an additional 30%-50% off antique items, well, you just know it's going to be a good day!

Hope you have a terrific week ahead of you-- and knit-jumpsuit free. :)

Treasure Box Wednesday: A Little of This and That

Ah, the treasures simply never cease! I took my lunch break at the Salvation Army thrift store yesterday. One of those nice strolls around the shelves that helps give renewed perspective to tasks back at the desk-- and which also fetched me some fun finds!

Like these Avon Cape Cod tumblers for my bud, Scoobie!..

Scoobie, you might remember, collects Avon Cape Cod ruby glass, and while she has quite a bit of it, she doesn't have many of these tumblers. So I was pretty excited about this little discovery!

For me, I came away with this cute Raggedy Ann themed teapot...

Whether I use it, or display it with my old Raggedy Ann and Andy books, I don't know yet. I'm lucky enough to even have a couple that were my dad's when he was a kid. So I still have a certain fondness for our little ragdoll friends.

In perusing the book section, I even came away with something for you folks...

In leafing through its pages, it looks like it might be a case of the good, the bad and the ugly... Some great ideas-- and some humorously scary ones, too. Should make a great future post! Aren't you just breathless with excitement? (If you are, please elevate your feet and have a nice lemonade. I hear that's good for decorating over-enthusiasm.)

Lastly for today, I'd wanted to show you where some of my previously thrifted vases went to...

I'm really happy with the varied colors and shapes of these little vases in this corner shelf. Having each of them different, but each of the same type of glazing and general size, makes them seem to go together. I bought two of them at the St. Vincent de Paul in Castle Shannon and the other at... er... (mumble mumble mumble) (I don't actually remember which thrift it was anymore!).

Anyway, that's me closing the lid on this week's Treasure Box.

Otherwise, pop by Sunday and I'll pour you a virtual tea in my new teapot... Oh, and there'll be a post then, too!

Health, Growth and Happiness with 1920s Ralston Porridge

Health, Growth and Happiness for Boys and Girls... That's what this beautifully-illustrated 1926 "Mother's Manual" from Ralston Purina promises. Today, we may think of Ralston Purina predominantly as the makers of Puppy Chows. But back in the 20s, "Ralston" was synonymous with a hot wheat porridge, along the lines of oatmeal or cream of wheat.

And with this booklet, health, growth and happiness for the kiddies takes an unsurprisingly wheatly-based turn!

A third parent... That's what Ralston Purina says it's seting out to be with this booklet...

...If, of course, that third wheel in the relationship didn't view most child-rearing concerns as having a critical, somewhat single-minded wheat cereal solution to them.

Here we learn about the importance of a regular eating schedule... how candy should only be given after meals and not between then... how food should be chewed slowly and not "washed down" by beverages... And how food is "better digested if smiles, prattle and happy laughter are a part of every meal."

Erm... and also Ralston cereal.

Dinner at noon with a light supper at night is best for restful sleep. Remember that Ralston with milk makes a delightful digestible, nourishing supper for boys and girls-- winter and summer.

Oh yes, I bet the kiddies won't say a word about getting a bowl of creamy wheat each evening for supper. Right? (Insert small child whine like Randy's in A Christmas Story.)

But dig these cute illustrations!

Ralston Purina did manage to care for the common cold without adding a wheat porridge poultice or anything. (I'm so proud of them!) Though they managed to get in a "keep bowels open" as an important element in treating the cold. I guess when one end is stopped up, the other should be open. (Naturally, a heaping bowl of Ralston will help with that.)

And I thought you all would find it interesting to see what "common Children's Diseases" they were dealing with during this time frame...

Mumps... Whooping Cough... Measles... And Scarlet Fever... We've come a long way in many respects...

Then, after another poetic tribute to whole wheat porridge, the book shares some cheerful tips for occupying the little people in the household on a rainy day...

"It's so natural for high-spirited little folks to fret a bit when the mean old clouds take the sun away, and the weather's wet and dreary. It's hard for them to understand that now and then a rainy day is just as good for boys and girls as for wheat and corn and oats..."

I bet you can see where we're going with this, right?

Indoor afternoon tea! And what better to have at an afternoon tea than "crisp, brown King Cole Cookies and milk," those cookies made from Ralston porridge!

So what if your kids are having some issues with the concept of eating wheat porridge all the time? Well, Ralston Purina suggests some helpful ways to "Keep Kiddies Smiling"...

Disguise the Ralston porridge by making it into any number of baked goods kids would otherwise enjoy. And then give them storybook character names so the kids won't question why it all tastes like wheat porridge with some raisins in it. Serve 'em King Cole Cookies... Red Riding Hood cup cakes... Or Tommy Tucker bread!

Also Cheese Ralston... Which sounds to me more like what happens to you after you've had too much wheat for supper. Or maybe that's just because I read the recipe for it.

1/4 cup Ralston
2 eggs
1/4 cup grated cheese
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 teaspoon mustard
Cayenne pepper to taste

So, perhaps that's why little Suzie here in the illustration seems to be looking anywhere but actually at the foods on the table...

Could be why she's clutching her throat, too. That Fried Ralston would do it to me!

Ralston Purina goes on to share some helpful tips for better health. Like bathing twice a week... Getting exercise... Flinging wide the windows... And, of course, staying regular.

"Open windows, open pores, open bowels and open minds open the Road to Health."

Naturally, the Road To Health is paved with bowls of the nourishment found in Ralston porridge.

And lastly-- what about those first aid emergencies? Again, we can be proud that our booklet sponsors didn't suggest liberally applying Ralston to wounds. But what they did suggest is a little startling to modern eyes...

Boric acid was the tool of choice for washing foreign objects out of eyes or applying to burns. Interestingly, this can also be mildly toxic if inhaled or ingested, and has been used as pesticides.

For potential poisonings, they recommended inducing vomiting using mustard and warm water.

Funny how the one ingredient added to the Cheese Ralston is the one thing used to make little Timmy purge poison. I'd say there might be a correlation here, but maybe it's best we don't think about that too much.

Well-- that about wraps up the whole grain goodness for today, folks!

And thanks for bearing with me last week where my posting schedule was all out of whack. I hope you all had a super holiday weekend.