Nat and I don't exchange a ton of Christmas gifts during the gifting season. But, we *do* exchange some gifts. I typically will give her a vintage book, a Wash U shirt and starting last year...a Tiki Bar item. When we finished our basement, we talked about putting in a Tiki Bar down there. We did all the rough-in's for a bar - light openings in the ceiling, water and plumbing in the wall, counter-height outlets for a bar and under-counter fridges. But, we didn't put in said Tiki Bar. Just left the space open for the kids to use as part of the rumpus room. But, that doesn't mean that she isn't still dreaming of that - in the future - Tiki Bar. I even went ahead and gave this dreamed-up Tiki Bar a name: Natalie's Hideaway. Last year, I commissioned Tiki Tony the artist to create a sign for the place, too. So, when I came across 1 a big tiki bar-themed bowl with ladies in bikinis, palm trees, hula dancers and a big rum barrel on it, I thought it would
Showing posts with the label vintage finds
Over the years, I've written a few times about the Chicago Athletic Association . It is NOW (or...I suppose when I say "now", I really mean pre-COVID because I haven't been anywhere near the CAA for a couple of years) a hip, boutique hotel with a great rooftop bar (Cindy's) and a cool lobby-adjacent bar and gameroom . But, that's the place's second life. The first life was as the real-deal Chicago Athletic Association. A membership-based club like the Union League or University Club. Old-school. It also was the place where my oldest sister was married. All the way back when I was in high school. I also was invited to have a few lunches there from Tom Roeser back in the aughts. Was always a lot of fun to hear Tom tell stories. Years after that, the club failed. I think the membership aged out, the value of the real estate was too high and they couldn't make it work. But, it was always a place that was on my radar. And, because it was around
There are a few more vintage felt pennants from my childhood that my folks saved and gave to me when they moved out of our longtime home in Frankfort. I've posted about a few so far: First was the University of Illinois Fighting Illini Football Rose Bowl '84 pennant . Then just a few days ago, I posted this awesome vintage Epcot Center 1982 pennant with Spaceship Earth and Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy in their rainbow spacesuits . Today's post is about a pair of pennants that I remember very well. Both of these were on my bedroom wall. First - at the top of the post - is a Chicago Sting pennant that is primarily black and yellow with the words 'Chicago' and "Sting' in white. So, is the bee - he's black and white. Turns out, his name was "Stanley Sting ". This has the MISL logo on the tip. Here's the confirmation of Stanley Sting's name via a Google Search: Thanks , Google. The second item for this post -
At the Elkhorn Flea Market up in Wisconsin, I came across this American Bricks Building Set of red and brown bricks. They're Lego-like, but they made their appearance twenty years prior to Legos making an appearance in America. This Google Arts & Culture page is really awesome . It is from "The Strong National Museum of Play" in Rochester, New York. Details from there : The Halsam toy company of Chicago offered the first sets of American Bricks construction sets made of wood in the 1940s. The interlocking stud and socket system that held the bricks together was similar to the blocks in LEGO sets that arrived in the United States in the 1960s. The American Brick pieces were grooved on the outer face to resemble the texture of bricks. I think that the vendor wanted $30 for a few bags of them, so they weren't cheap. And because of the price, it was easy to invoke my collecting mantra and pass on them. Say it with me: It is enough to enjoy the existen
Look at these two beauties that I came across at a garage sale down the block. They have a little bit of dust/lint on the red background and have a little bit of dirt on them, but they're pretty great, right? If I was one of the people who run an instagram handle that is vintage finds and wrote some cutesy story about how these would be so 'darling' for your little boy's room and would look 'so good' next to that vintage felt banner you hung this Spring.... I could flip these from 50 cents a piece to $25 for the pair, right? A guy can dream.
Back in September, Nat and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary. 10 years. Holy cow. I find it so hard to believe how lucky I've been. Although I failed at *some* of years in terms of delivering to her the 'traditional' anniversary gifts, I've tried to stick to the plan. For instance...nine years is pottery. So, I got her both a flower pot and a glazed tile. Ten years? The traditional anniversary gift is tin or aluminum . That one had me scratching my head. I try to buy something vintage for these gifts and all my searches turned up housewares (platters or toasters or serving utensils) and I knew those wouldn't work. But then I found this Merry Christmas banner. It is tin. Or maybe aluminum. Not sure. But it *is* metal and super thin and foldable/bendable/creaseable. It was broken at the time - cut into four segments. But the price was right - $5 - and I figured I could use some brads and a hole puncher to reassemble it back together
Right at the end of November, I posted a photo of a Walt Disney Comic book featuring Donald Duck on the cover that I had bought for a buck at an antique mall in Wisconsin. Inside the back cover of that book was this rad Disneyland View-Master ad that featured the discs from the five realms of Disneyland. Today is the third post all from that same Disney Comic book - this time another advertisement. Inside the front cover - in glossy stock - is this Kool-Aid ad. Featuring that crazy-looking clown and the "Tell Mom You Want Kool-Aid" call-to-action. It also features the value line of "5 Cents makes two quarts". A quick Google search reveals that this clown ad was commonly run over the years. I'm guessing that this clown was also probably in their tv ads? I grew up in the 80's with the Kool-Aid man running through the wall , so by then, they had retired this (frankly...scary) clown. Also...Root Beer Kool-Aid?
At some point earlier this year, I picked up this copy of #188 Walt Disney's Comics and stories book at an antique mall up in Wisconsin. This one is from May of 1956 and is in good condition, but we're not retiring on this thing! I paid just $1 for the book and it will go into the archives here at the homestead. This is the third 'vintage Disney' item that we own with a few others that I've posted about here on the blog that 'got away'. The first are these Matchbox cars from the 70's/80's that were mine when I was a kid . Then there was this vintage Pooh Bear Golden book from a garage sale . A prized possession: this election-themed Pooh Bear glass from Sears . Then this Summer, I shared this Mickey the Mouse back scratcher . And finally, I found this vintage Disneyland pennant at an estate sale .
On a Sunday morning recently, Nat packed us all up into the Swagger Wagon and took us out to Homer Glen for a trip to one of her friend's/acquaintance's barn where she was liquidating her inventory of vintage furniture and props and what-have-yous from a cool vintage rentals business . There was plenty of stuff that Nat was drawn to (glasses, furniture, etc), but the barn and the workshop was what I was mostly drawn to. Just look at that wood storage above. Heavy duty racks. And lots of different lumber types and sizes. Cool, right? Well, the shop just got better. First, it was immaculate. Not a speck of dust around. And things were organized. How organized? Just peep at this clamp rack. What a show! Big clamps, little clamps. A whole bin of clamps! And then there's the *other* lumber storage system. This one in the bottom floor of the barn. What kind of man keeps this kind of inventory laying around? I'll tell you: a real man. Look at th
I came across this vintage Chicago Bears helmet bank from All American Bank of Chicago up in Wisconsin at an Antique Mall. There were a pair of them - this one and another one with a weird bird logo on the helmet. Nat and I were puzzled by that one, so I only bought this one. This is intended as a gift for one of my brother-in-laws. Those of you who have kept up with the blog over the years might recall this sweet vintage White Sox bank that I posted back in 2014. I gifted that bank to the same brother-in-law that this one is destined to be gifted to at some point. Christmas is the likely time when I will give this, but maybe birthday season? This is from the All American Bank of Chicago, which appears to be a "failed bank" per the FDIC . As for the bank, you'll note that it has the all-white "C" on the sides. According to this page, that logo was in use from 1962 to 1973 . So this helmet was a give-away from the bank somewhere in the 1960'
Unlike the 1986 Marshall Field's Christmas Mug and the vintage Disneyland tray , this Big Mac McDonald's glass from the 1980's ended up coming home with us. After a quick run through the dishwasher, this Big Mac glass took it's rightful place next to the other vintage glasses in my everyday use collection including these Muppets McDonald's glasses , this Snoopy one , this Chipettes one , and this White Sox 'Winning Ugly' glass . They're all things that I remember in from my childhood and are all bought for less than a buck a piece. If you're about my age, you totally remember these, right? This Big Mac one is from a set of five featuring : Mayor McCheese, Hamburgler, Ronald, Big Mac himself, Captain Crook (who's he??) and Grimace. Of course, I'll be trying to complete the set.
One last item from our recent Antique Mall visit and this one, too, is Disney-related. Unlike both the Disco record and the Disneyland tray , this WDW Mickey Mouse backscratcher was something that I couldn't live without. I never knew how much I had to scratch my back until this thing came into my life. They're a dime a dozen (or more like $10 to $12) on Ebay, but this one was just a couple of bucks. Thus, it came home with us. But, the other part of this that I was drawn to was what you see below: The Globe Mickey. If you turn the backscratcher sideways, you'll see that there's a "Walt Disney Productions" printed on the backscratcher, which helps date it 1 . There's a hole on one end of the scratcher which is just screaming out for a nail to be used to hang this thing. Maybe down in my shop? Or maybe next to the pinboards in the garage? Also, it is clear that the Disney bug has struck me when it comes to vintage find hunting, rig
Up in Wisconsin, I came across this totally adorable 1 Disneyland "California" tray. It is about one foot in diameter and super thin with a shallow lip. Not the kind of lip you normally see on the beer trays like this Schlitzerland one . You can see the price tag on this one: $18. And I thought about this thing for a bit, but then I leaned hard on my collecting mantra . I said it out loud to myself: "It is enough to enjoy the existence of things without possessing all of them." And after snapping this photo, I put it back for some other collector to pick it up, love it and (hopefully) use it. I'm guessing it is from the 70's, right? Like the late 70's? It is in really great condition and *feels* vintage, but isn't *old*. You can click here to see the same photo on Google Photos where you can really zoom in to see all the details. Go ahead... go over there . Ah, you're back. Still have that Google Photos tab open? Gre
Over the years, I've shared my family's experiences at the Walnut Room at Marshall Field's Macy's on State Street in Chicago . We go every year and have gone since I was just a little guy. It is something that my Mom organizes and I come to look forward to each season. I've also chronicled the unfortunate fate of Uncle Mistletoe and Marshall Field's itself . I've also begun to build a document of the annual mugs that are released by the Walnut Room each year at Christmastime. This post has the full reference list that I've built so far. But, the photo above includes a new one: 1986 featuring Santabear in red outline form 1 . Or at least that I thought it was Santabear. But, look at the band on his hat: Mistletoe. And if you look closely at the scrawl on the far right you'll see: "Greetings from Mistletoe Bear." What the what?!? Let's go back and look at the history so far on the blog as documented through the glass
Last week, I posted about our trip to the MAGA Antique Mall up in Lake Geneva and how we came across those vintage "Made in Japan" Poinsettia candle holders that we passed on . Before we were asked to leave by the MAGA guy who runs the place (because...gasp! the boy was playing with some vintage toys!), I spotted this Schlitz glass mug. They were asking $6 and this thing was H - E - A - V - Y! I've posted a lot over the years about vintage Schlitz stuff , but this mug is a dead ringer for the big Schlitz pitcher that we bought at a flea market last summer . Seriously... click here for just a second. And look at the bottom of that pitcher and the bottom of this glass. Then look at the logo with the thin maroon line around the box. And the white "The Beer that made Milwaukee Famous" font/mark. This was totally released at the same time as that pitcher, right? Had to be part of a set? Like a tavern would place that pitcher on your table and four of
I didn't want to get too far away - calendar-wise - from Halloween before I got around to posting the pics of this pretty awesome vintage McCoy Pottery pumpkin Halloween mug. Or...at least that's what I thought it was when I came across it the first time. I saw it, picked it up and immediately turned it over to reveal this mark: McCoy LTD USA. Hmmm....McCoy? But...McCoy LTD? I went to my phone to find out if it was, indeed, the McCoy that we have some pieces of (and my oldest sister Linda collects). A quick turn to the McCoy Collectors Society page, reveals this subpage all about McCoy Limited . And if you scroll down, you'll see a pumpkin. Not this one, but a pumpkin. And a close read of the copy tells us that this, is, indeed the real deal : Halloween is a favorite holiday of many and is well represented by various sizes of Jack-O-Lantern items. Among these are cups, napkin holder, salt and pepper set, and different shapes, such as different size gh
Over the weekend, I stopped at a few Estate Sales in Elmhurst and while I ended up picking up a few small items, there was one thing that I regret not buying: this blue McCoy pot. I snapped a few photos of it and texted them to my oldest sister - who collects McCoy pots. I set it down and moved on. I ended up leaving the sale without hearing from her. About 30 minutes later, she texts me back and says she's in love and the price they're asking is 'a steal'. So, back I go to the sale. And guess what? Someone else had snatched up this treasure. Too bad. I had never come across this size and color of McCoy, so I knew that I should have grabbed it. Would have been a heckuva gift, right? Oh, well. As Joe Rhode says : It is enough to enjoy the existence of things without possessing all of them. I'll post some pics of the items that I *did* end up buying later this week.
I gawked at this kitchen table and chair set at an estate sale a few weeks back in Elmhurst. Such a neat set, right? Look at those chairs and the legs on them? I think if you were a serious buyer and had a home for this, it was going to be yours for a great price. The chairs needed to be refreshed, but the tabletop was just fine. I thought about buying it for like 10 seconds and then realized that: 1. we don't have a place to live that is our own right now. 2. we don't need a set like this. 3. I'm not the guy who makes home furnishing decisions in our house. So...say it with me folks: It is enough to enjoy the existence of things without possessing all of them.
I spotted this big, brass Elephant up in Wisconsin at the Flea market in Richmond back in February. This wasn't at the Lake Geneva Antique Mall, which I've posted about previously, but it was at this weird Flea about 2 blocks off of the main drag in Richmond. We had the kids in the van and I think we were running somewhere, so I didn't have a lot of time in here as I just ran in there myself to check it out and see if it was worth coming back. Turns out, there are dozens of booths filled with lots of junk (think: tube socks), but some gems if you could look past all the other stuff. One of them was this big elephant. If you look closely, you can see the price tag on him: $35. So, I passed, but snapped this photo to show Nat when I got back in the car. I posted a companion 'little' brass elephant on the blog back in the summer of 2016 . Don't they look like a mother/child pair??? Also, there's a whole host of [Flea Market] posts here on the t
Our middle child picked out this little early wooden horsecart at the Lake Geneva Antique Mall on a trip up there. I'm not sure exactly how it went down, but I think Nat told the girls that they could pick out something small - a 'treasure' - to reward their patience while we wandered around the place. Now that they're not in strollers, it is a lot harder to wrangle them at places like antique malls where they don't go crazy. The Bird picked this little wooden horse and cart. The tag says "Early Japan" and the bottom is stamped directly on the piece, no sticker: Kind of a sweet little treasure, isn't it? It is super brittle, so I know it won't last long. But, one of the horse legs was busted off already, so it wasn't perfect in the first place. Just like my Dad did to me, we're (I think) doing to our girls: encouraging them to love old things. The trick, however, is something that I'm not quite *there* with that