Why do I collect? That's easy... because it's so much fun! Ever since I can remember I have been going to flea markets, antique shops, yard sales, you name it. Wherever I could find some sort of interesting treasure or cool piece of junk! I love driving around in search of new places or revisiting my favorite spots. I come from a family of collectors and have lived amongst antiques and collectibles my whole life. I have a passion for decorating especially with things that I find in my travels or even things found in the trash... which by the way can be some of the best stuff! But for those who share the same passion, I don't have to tell you... you all know what fun it is and how addicting it can be! Here I will share my collections, interesting finds, decorating tips, photos, projects, friends collections and thoughts and whatever else I may find along the way.



So here are some more kitchen collectibles I find hard to resist. My first set of these vintage tin kitchen canisters came from my Grandmother. She gave me a full set in mint condition which I love. Here and there I have picked up many other sets, sold a few, kept a few. These were used in kitchens during the 30s, 40s and 50s. Also included with these sets were a big square bread tin, a holder/dispenser for aluminum foil/wax paper, etc..., a garbage pail and dust pan. I do have a few of the bread tins but don't really have room for the other stuff! I did come across a dust pan which matched one of the patterns that I have and for some reason didn't buy it. I should have as I don't come across those to often!



I love anything that adds color to the kitchen and these vintage syrup pitchers are just one of the MANY kitchen collections that fill my vintage kitchen! These clear glass syrups are from the 1930s - 1950s. Red lids seem to be the most popular. After the 1950s you started to see ones with chrome lids instead of the colorful plastic or bakelite lids.


I credit my sister for this collection. She had started collecting globes first and I always loved the way her collection looked. So there you have it!



This collection started many years ago when I picked up 2 very large, panoramic class photos from the 1930s at a Ralph Lauren prop sale. I paid $3.oo for each and dragged them home on the subway in the pouring rain. Although they are not shown in this picture, they are 2 of my favorites and hang in another large grouping. It's always fun to come across these great photos while out antiquing or flea marketing. I have found several at thrift stores as well where I have paid only a few dollars. Yeah!



This is one of my favorite collections and seen here is only a sampling of the many colorful cocktail shakers I have. I find most at yard sales and thrift stores. Seems like when people are getting rid of stuff there is always a cocktail shaker in mix. Great for me!!


I love anything with advertising on it. Came across this cool cigar ash tray at a local yard sale. I originally was going to use it for a soap dish for the bathroom but ended up using it for little paper cups instead.



I have a very eclectic style when it comes to decorating and I try to surround myself with things that I love! There's nothing like a fun lamp to add some vintage style to a room. The large green one and pink one were garage sale finds and the small green one was found at Weil Antique Center in Allentown, PA. By the way, the green painted night stand and table... both found in the trash!


I love vintage diners so I guess it makes sense that I love the china. Mostly I go for cups and saucers and smaller plates like for salad and bread. Butter pats are great too but it's harder to find ones with a logo or name on them. I see many with nice patterns or stripes which are more popular but I tend to try and find the ones that are more unusual. I came across a plate with blue decorating and the name THOMPSON, which is actually my name, written in script across the top. So, of course I had to find as many as I could of this pattern! I learned that these came from a chain of restaurants that started out in Danboro, Illinois in the 40's. Aside from the blue, more ornate pattern there are also ones that simply say THOMPSON in brown in the same script lettering. I've been able to find many cups, mugs, bowls and plates with the THOMPSON name and these are what makes up most of my collection. While out antiquing one day, I came across a spoon that said THOMPSON and then was able to find more of the flatware on Ebay.



What can I say, I LOVE creamers! Shown here is just a sampling of my collection. This group is displayed in an old Pepsi Cola crate. A great way to showcase small collectibles. Many are marked Shenango China, New Castle, PA; Carr China, W. VA; Scammell's, Trenton; Jackson China, Falls Creek, PA and others. These were popular makers of restaurant china, which by the way is something else I collect and will feature soon!


While driving around one Saturday, we came a cross a yard sale that looked pretty good from the road. As we pulled into the driveway I could see that this was going to be something good. All of the merchandise was displayed on tarps and blankets on the grass with signs on each that said EVERYTHING HERE 50 cents, 25 cents, etc... after getting a better look I realized that most of what was there was pottery. I quietly said to my husband, start gathering as much as you can and move it all to one spot without making a big deal. Long story short... we left there with over 35 pieces of pottery... McCoy, Haeger, Shawnee, etc... all for $15! I like to call it The Pottery Score of 2005! Shown above are a few highlights from that day.



McCoy, Shawnee, Hull, Haeger, Upco, Coronet and more... vases, planters and flower pots are what makes up my collection of American pottery. I started out collecting only white pottery and always displayed the pieces in one spot as a big grouping (kind of a rule I have for displaying collections... keep everything together)... Anyway, at one point it was all displayed on an old bench, then shelves, then the fireplace mantel. The collection has since expanded to include all the colors that this pottery comes in and I do try and keep it all in one room although some pieces have been scattered throughout the house where I feel a blast of color would be fun. I would say that most of my pieces have been purchased at thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales and occasionally an antique show if the price is right. So many antique shows will feature beautiful pieces of McCoy but you will pay top dollar... I can't tell you how many pieces I've seen at shows and then actually picked up at other places for a fraction of the price. I'm always on the hunt! I have added some links to my list that deal with McCoy pottery.



Antique bill spikes or receipt holders... used on desks in general stores or offices to hold receipts or important papers. I don't know what got me started on these... there's something about them that I love. Someone had given me one and then I was hooked. Once I have 10 of something then the collection has officially begun! I find the cast iron or metal bases of these interesting pieces really beautiful. I love the way they look in a group and the fact that not everyone knows what they are when they see my collection. Makes for an interesting conversation I guess!


One of my favorite collections is my wedding cake topper collection. I started collecting them while I was searching for a top for my own wedding cake. At the time, I thought it would be cool to use a vintage topper. After months of flea marketing I wound up using one that a friend (you know who you are!) had given me even though it wasn't vintage. My favorites are old bisque and and chalkware toppers. My collection consists of toppers from the 1920's - 1960's. I've found that the most challenging to find are the military ones with the groom in uniform. I only have 2 in my collection as they sometimes can be quite pricey. While out garage sale shopping I came across one on a table filled with junk where the groom was in a Navy uniform. I asked the dealer how much it was and she said "just take it!" Can't get much better than that! Too bad these little treasures aren't used on many cakes these days. Maybe they will make a comeback!
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