Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Playsuits, Jarts, and Badminton... Oh My!

Playsuits, or "onesies for adults" as CollectoratorOne calls them  (ha!!) are a very utilitarian clothing staple that has unfortunately gone by the way side. Yes, we still have shorts and tops, but do they often include a matching overskirt or wrap that you can don so you can go just about anywhere comfortably? Nothing against shorts, I have my fair share of cute shorts, but you are stuck being casual without the overskirt or wrap. See, with a playsuit with an overdress/wrap, I could take a walk around the lake in the morning, brunch with a friend on her veranda, go by the grocery store to pick up some food for the early evening lawn party, prepare and serve the food, and then off comes the wrap, and I am ready for a game of Jarts or Badminton just like that! Tell me another outfit you could do all that in?

CollectoratorOne officially endorses playsuits as the most comfortable thing to cook in as well so we should all give that a try! Of course, some playsuitss, like the ones pictured here from CollectoratorOne's collection, are more akin to one piece bathing suits so probably not the best thing to go grocery shopping in, BUT I think they'd still get the husband stamp of approval for cooking in! CollectoratorOne and I have vowed that as soon as we have grass again to play lawn games in that we'll play Jarts and Badminton often in our playsuits. Unfortunately, I don't own any playsuits (amazingly enough if you've seen my closet) so I an going have to make my own so i can join in the lawn game fun!

I have been collecting vintage playsuit patterns for awhile like my favorite one pictured here, and I found this nautical fabric that I think is just a big enough piece to make it. It's been a long while since I sewed anything, mostly due to lack of time, and excuse, after excuse, after excuse. I should probably concentrate on packing up things in my free time instead of creating more things to pack, but if I start working on the pattern now maybe I'll actually finish it by the time the grass grows back! I don't have any coordinating fabric to make the wrap though which means I'll have to buy more fabric! yay! I told myself if I made something I could buy more fabric so that should be extra motivation to get started! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cowboys and Indians at the Flea Market

It is a very rare day that my husband braves the collectorating road with me, but last Sunday was one of those rare days. We had been having a leisurely breakfast at one of Austin's  oldest diners (Nighthawk), which is near by one of Austin's most underused market areas. It would be a perfect place for daily farmer's market. I don't know why we have to wait until one day a week to go to a nearby farmer's market when my mom in the Dallas Fort Worth suburb area has two daily markets nearby! Anyway I digress... once a month they use the parking lot of the venue for a collectible flea market. It's a mixture of typical flea markety type stuff with some good mid century collectibles mixed in. On top of that it's small. I thought it might be a perfect no-stress, low attention span collectorating event we could enjoy together. He likes shopping, but just in bursts, not all day affairs like CollectoratorOne and I are prone to. In any case, I casually mentioned it getting no response and went on with breakfast. To my surprise after breakfast he pulled into the parking area! Score one for me! Well my winning went by the wayside fast because we walked away mostly with stuff for him. Mostly tie bars and cuff links. We found the mother lode for cheap which was exactly what he needed. I almost bought a couple of things but thought to myself do I really want to pack this.... so I resisted. What we couldn't walk away from tho was this awesome 1950 set of wall art for a little boy's room. Now I'll preface this with we do not have kids, unless you count the pets whom do not have their own room other than they seem to take over our room... But it was such an awesome set the little boy inside my adult husband had to have it for his man cave. Plus it was $5 for the set! Neat, huh? Admittedly, it's a little funny up there surrounded by pictures of Joe Strummer, Buddy Holly and David Johansen but it works somehow...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Turn Out the Lights - The Party-Ware is Over

Oh thank goodness... I was getting a little tired of packing party-ware. Mostly because it was reminding me I need to throw more parties! There's one more little set of bowls that technically could be party-ware, but I am going to throw it in the kitchen-ware category instead or leave it for staging! whew!

The last box of party-ware I packed was the miscellaneous party-ware box. This box contains the rest of the bowls I inherited from my grandmother and my Auntie. Because I got so little from them, I am hard pressed to get rid of any of them even though they are a totally random mismatched set of bowls that I forget to use. The fun pieces in this box though are the wacky Karoff plastic leaf nut sever that is really more of a conversational piece than functional party-ware. Basically, you push the top and voila the leaves open to share their nutty goodness! The other interesting pieces that remained were the monkey pod wood pineapple bowls and pineapple toothpick/napkin server. I know I have too much stuff because I totally forgot to get these out for CollectoratorOne's Hawaiian themed birthday party last year. That's what you get when you don't have enough space and things are stuffed in every available and sometimes illogical storage space. oh well. next time.

I also packed up my cheese ball server. Yes,  have a separate dish for a cheese ball. I suppose you could also put a butter mold in there or some other round food stuff like a small wheel of brie cheese with chutney (mmmm!)  but I like to think of it as a cheese ball server. I like making cheese balls as it's great leftover party food to snack on later. My absolute favorite snacks are leftover party food. I could eat for days on that.  I haven't quite entered into the realm of making party food just to have it around, but I am not putting it past me. I use my aunt's cheese ball recipe kicked up a notch for my husband's Louisiana spicy food taste. Thought I'd share it with you since all of this talk about party-ware makes me want to serve some up. Course that'll have to wait as I've packed it all away...

CollectoratorToo's Cheese Ball
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I used Louisiana hot sauce)
4 ounces shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese  
Measure out 1/3 cup pecan halves (then chop them up)
1 teaspoon dried parsley

In an electric food processor or blender, combine cream cheese, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Pulse until well blended. Add Cheddar cheese and pulse until the Cheddar is fine, but still visible. Shape the mixture into balls or logs (I find it easier to put the sticky glob into plastic wrap first then shape it).  Whether you put it in plastic before or after you shape it into a ball make sure it’s eventually wrapped in plastic and then place in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. During this time, chop up the pecans and mix in the parsley. Put pecan mixture into a shallow bowl or plate. Remove cheese ball from freezer and roll in the pecan mixture, pressing the pecans a little into the ball. Rewrap in plastic and store for an hour or so before serving. You can freeze it as well at this point if you needed to.

I'm ready to move on now to the top of my hutch now which contains my most of my bar-ware glasses and a variety of other nifty star/snowflake-laden pieces that are non-bar related. Basically if it is black, gold or both, has stars or star like objects on it, it lives in the top of the hutch.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's All Relative's Stuff

I don't have much from my dad's side of the family unfortunately. I have a few stray pictures, none of my grandmother or great aunt unfortunately, and just a few pieces of furniture and collectibles. In the collectibles department, I obtained one serving bowl of my grandmother's and pieces of party-ware and fruit bowls from my great aunt. The party-ware pieces are Fire King/Anchor Hocking milk glass. I have a deviled egg dish, two relish trays and a footed bowl. Now what is missing?? Plates! CollectoratorOne will probably roll her eyes at me, but I haven't used this set yet mainly because I keep thinking I need to supplement this collection with a milk glass snack set in the gold trim pattern. I mean what good is it to serve deviled eggs and crudites when you have no plate to put them on! Let's be logical here... Oh and a milk glass cake plate, preferably that one that has the slices already defined, because every party needs CAKE. Now with that you'd have a proper party. I sense a milk glass skip-bo party extravaganza party coming on here...

I wish everyone could have met my great aunt, Auntie as we called her. She totally rocked. Her husband had died from a sudden medical issue very early in their marriage and she never remarried because she said what’s the point, she had already been married to her true love, no one else would compare. That was inspiring for me to wait until I found the right one before getting married.  She lived to be 92 so she was a widow for about 70 years of her life! She was also the first one to embarrass you in front of everyone you knew with racy gifts or by proposing questionable reasons why you might not be married yet in front the whole family at Thanksgiving! Darn, I really miss that lady, except at holidays…haha! In any case, I think I need to get the milk glass snack set (AFTER I MOVE) so I can honor her memory with a party with her party ware! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Tale of Pal and Other Four Sided (Legged?) Purses

I've found that the hardest thing to collect is box purses. Hats are a close second but you can, if need be, squeeze several hats in one hat box. Box purses on the other hand don't squish. Trust me I've tried. I have a lot of purses, which is no surprise given any good collectorating fashionista knows that you have to have the right purse to go with the right pair of shoes. Alas, the purses keep multiplying. The expansion was manageable until that fateful day I bought my first box purse. It was innocently enough. It was almost an after thought. CollectoratorOne and I were at our old favorite sellers' house in Dallas, where we had been graciously invited to view the best stuff they had. I had several piles of clothes stacked up ready to purchase when I spied the little white purse with the pink roses. How much for that, I asked? oh, really that's it? Ok, throw it in... that started it all.

Since that day, I realized I cannot really afford the cost of admission to proudly carry the creme de la creme of the vintage box purses. Running $100 plus even $200 a pop make it next to impossible. Over the years,  I've found my share of lower priced, beat up, slightly damaged, and reglued ones to keep my desire fulfilled, thankfully. However, now with more of a disposable income I've ventured out into the slightly more expensive, "but I've never seen this shape/color purse" purchases (pure Collectorating justification there). Case in point this navy, Myles Original purse. Yes it's navy not black (how cool is that?)

Although I am most proud of my Myles Original purse, my sentimental favorite is my Enid Collins "Pal" purse. It's a later model after she had already sold the company to the Tandy Corporation, but that's ok by me as the twin Tandy buildings in Fort Worth were always among my  favorite downtown Fort Worth buildings.  There's no special story here, it's  just a City Wide Garage Sale purchase, but I love that little purse. See, one thing you should know about me, like it or not, I actually use the stuff I buy. It's not art alone, it's functional art. If I am going to take the time to recycle someone's wares to give them life again I am going to make sure people see it, eat off of it, or drink out of it.  I've put together some fabulous outfits around that Pal purse. Thank you Enid!

Of course as with everything, I have too many box purses already, but at least I found a use for that pesky shelf I couldn't figure out what to do with. See, this is why I keep more often than I rid.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Be Green With Party-Ware Envy!

My green glass party-ware was the first set of party-ware I collected so by the default of time it is the largest set I own. You'd think that I could just be happy with this set but of course you'd be wrong! Different parties call for different serving-ware as they have different atmospheres so any good party hostess knows you need to be prepared with the right serving tools for any inevitable party type!  Not to mention I long to have so many parties that I wouldn't want my guests to be bored seeing the same old party-ware time after time. haha. Of course with its green color this set lends it services most often in the holiday season, but it's made appearances at other times as well given the variety of types of pieces I have with this set.

I originally started collecting green glass party-ware because I thought I might inherit my grandma's green green drinking glass set with the raised cube pattern. Not because I had specifically asked for it, but I figured it was so mundane no one else would want it. Her set is probably the Indiana Whitehall pattern instead of the Fostoria American pattern as the Whitehall pattern was more widely available, but I did not know the difference until later in life (I call it the ice cube glass set regardless of the maker as they look like they ice cubes on the outside).

I collected this set of party-ware over time in preparation for inheriting my grandma's green glasses envisioning parties that would involve serving drinks in the glasses surrounded by mounds of retro appetizers on and in the serving-ware and bowls I was collecting. In the end, I did NOT inherit the glasses which I am ok with, but regardless I ended up with a small mountain of super functional green glass party-ware! I've come to realize that I probably would not use the glasses at a party anyway as people cannot always be trusted with glass after adult-beverages are imbibed throughout the evening. So it's probably just as well. I think I still win. After all, isn't it the say that the girl with the most party-ware in the end wins?? =) It has to be a super amazing piece for me to continue adding to this set so it's pretty much reached its limit. You'll notice that none of it really matches maker wise but that's not important in this set, the idea was just to have a fiesta of green glass.