Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Gifts for Father's Day

Vintage Father's Day Gifts

In the U.S., the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19th in 1910 but only by the state of Washington.  It did not become a national holiday until 1972 when Richard Nixon signed a proclamation declaring Father's Day a federal holiday during his re-election campaign.  Father's Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June.

Some European and Latin American countries celebrate Father's Day  on St. Joseph's Day, a traditional Catholic holiday celebrated March 19th.

I wonder how many neckties have been purchased over the years as Father's Day gifts......  If you are looking for something a little unusual, check out CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles on eBay - items are being added daily - Father's Day is less than 2 weeks away.

Some of the gifts available

Thursday, February 9, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

March 17th is the day that we all become Irish here in the United States and celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the beginning of spring.  The color green, bagpipes, parades, shamrocks, Leprechauns, Irish music, Irish food and green beer are all symbols of one of the most fun holidays celebrated.  How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?  Here are some suggestions for a St. Patrick's Day celebration at home.

Of course, you have to dine on traditional Irish foods.  I think of 'corned beef and cabbage' but did you know that back in Ireland, it was 'Irish bacon and cabbage'.   Also Irish cuisine includes Irish stew (use lamb), spotted dog, colcannon, champ, leek and potato soup and Irish soda bread.

Play some Irish music while dining - just make sure you include some Irish pipe music.  Some suggestions - Finnegans Wake by The Irish Rovers or The Dubliners singing The Rising Of The Moon
How about watching an Irish movie?  Some suggestions include "Waking Ned Devine", "Once", "In The Name Of The Father", "The Field", "The Commitments", "Da", "Dancing At Lughnasa", "The Quiet Man", "Darby O'Gill and the Little People", "The Informer", and "Into The West"  You will need some appetizers to munch on like Devils On Horseback, Fresh or Smoked Salmon Pate, Irish Egg Roles, Beer Cheese dips, Dubliner Cheese Dip and St Patrick's Day Deviled Eggs

Whether you are celebrating with the family or entertaining your friends, don't forget the decor - green serving bowls, relish trays and plates.  Green vases, covered candy dishes and dessert dishes.  Green beverage pitchers and glasses. You can find these beautiful green serving dishes  and decor at

      CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles 

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Monday, November 14, 2016

Panda Bear Memories

As a young child in the early 1950s, I received a panda bear for Christmas.  It was a big black and white stuffed Panda bear just about as big as I was.  My brother also received a stuffed Panda bear.  His was brown and white.  We loved our Panda bears and played with them a lot.  Panda bears just have the sweetest faces

Pandas are native to central China and have been on the endangered list for many years now.  While they will eat rodents, fish, insects, birds and some vegetation, their most favorite food is bamboo. I have read that they can eat bamboo for up to 12 hours a day - that's about as much as 28 pounds of bamboo.

Pandas are also loners and do not like to be around other pandas except during mating season in the spring. Females are pregnant with their one or two cubs for about 95 to 160 days before birth and the cubs are blind and only weigh about three to five ounces. And, even though females aren't full grown until they are four or five and males aren't full grown until six or seven years old, the cubs are weaned and sent on their own when they are around two to three years old.
After reading facts about the life and habitat of Panda bears on the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's website, I find the story of the Panda bear even more interesting and fascinating.

Christmas is coming up soon.  Bring a Panda bear into the lives of your children or grandchildren (nieces and nephews count, too).  Here are some Panda bears available at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles that are in need of a child's love and care.

Also visit the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute website with your child to learn much more about the life of the Panda bear.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Swiss Chalet or Swiss Alpine – Dinnerware From The Past

Home Sweet Home, that’s what the Swiss Alpine or Swiss Chalet pattern reminds of.  It is one of those patterns that just make you feel at home - just says ‘family’ and makes you feel all comfy and warm inside.  The blue, olive green and turquoise blend so well together.  My mother’s favorite color combination was blue and green – maybe that is why she kept these dishes for all those years.  This dinnerware was made in the late 1950s or early 1960s and marketed through gas stations and grocery stores as premiums. 
Bread & Butter Plate
Besides the china dinnerware, there was the milk glass baking dishes and kitchenware and also, glass tumblers. And, I just discovered today that there is also kitchen tinware with this pattern called Decoware (Continental Can Co.?)

Set of 3 Tumblers
Some pieces are marked and some are not.  The dinnerware was made by the Stetson Pottery Co aka Stetson China Co (closed in 1966) for Marshall Burns, a distributor and division of Technicolor and marketed as Mar-crest.  You will find that some people advertise the milk glass baking ware as Pyrex, but most agree now that milk glass baking and kitchenware was made by Anchor Hocking Fire-King and these items are mostly called Swiss Alpine instead of Swiss Chalet.  Not only bakeware, but there are also mugs and bowls.  Then we have the glass tumblers.  I have no idea who made them as there is no mark and I could not find anything in books or the internet with any definitive answers.  If Anchor Hocking made the ovenware, would they have made the glassware, too?  I don't know.  But maybe.  I understand that Stetson also made glassware to match patterns of dinnerware that they produced, so maybe Stetson made the glassware.  Who knows?  I’ve seen standard tumbler size and old-fashioned size glasses in this pattern.  

Dinner Plate
My mother loved collecting dinnerware and grocery stores sure made it easy for her.  I have to admit that I love dinnerware, too and have several different patterns that I use depending on my mood.  I think the first set of dinnerware I bought was through a grocery store.  Imagine that!  For me dinnerware is fun and why settle on just one pattern?  I love mix-matching dinnerware - blending patterns with solid colors, using pastels for the spring and summer and bold colors for fall and winter.  With the Swiss Chalet / Alpine, you could use blue, turquoise or olive green solid colors or a mix of those colors.  I also find it interesting how the pattern varies a little depending on the piece.
Cup & Saucer
 It would really be interesting to know the real story behind this pattern.  I found a blog that goes into so much more detail than I have and also sharing a lot of information on the many pieces associated with this pattern.  You might want to check her blog article out – really interesting:  CULVER CITY P.O.

I had written a blog back in 2010 but after reading hers, thought I’d better update my blog on the Swiss Chalet pattern.  However, there are still so many unanswered questions about the Swiss Chalet or Swiss Alpine pattern. 

I do have some Swiss Chalet or Swiss Alpine pieces for sale at: 

Round Chop Platter

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Beanies Buddies Puffkins Oh My

Bears, bears and more bears - who doesn't love teddy bears?  Most of us have all had at least one teddy bear as a child. For some children, their teddy bear is their constant companion - teddy bears listen to every word you say, they collect your tears when you are sad, they cuddle with you when you are tired and most of all, they will protect you against the boogie man when you go to bed........... 

The name 'Teddy Bear' is really not all that old - just about 114 years.  Oh, there were stuffed bears but not 'teddy bears.'  The name originated around 1902 and had to do with Theodore Roosevelt, Jr after he became our 26th president when William McKinley was assassinated.  The story goes that Theodore Roosevelt went on a hunting trip in Mississippi by invitation of the governor there.  Some in the party had already killed a bear and after catching another one, suggested to Roosevelt that he shoot it.  Roosevelt refused because he felt it was unsportsmanlike.  But because the bear had been beaten severely by the other hunters and dogs, Roosevelt ordered that the bear be put down to end his suffering.  Word got out - cartoons and stories were published in newspapers across the country. 

Upon seeing one of the cartoons, Morris Michtom from Brooklyn, NY, who owned a candy store, asked permission from Roosevelt to call a couple of toy bears that his wife had made 'Teddy's bears' and put them in his shop window. The rest is history............

There are some 'teddy' bears at CAROLINABLUELADY Vintage Collectibles that need good homes - Ty Beanie Babies, Ty Beanie Buddies and Swibco Puffkins.  Check out some of the bears in the video and enjoy an old song by Elvis Presley - "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear."   

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Kaleidoscope of The Carnival Glass Makers

Oh, those beautiful hues we see as the light plays with the golden iridescence on the colored glass - pinks, purples, teals, blues and greens changing with each turn of the glass against the light.  I love the old carnival glass.  There are patterns that I love from all the great carnival glass manufacturers, but I think I love Millersburg the most.  You can get lost in a piece of glass looking at the kaleidoscope of colors - pinks, purples, greens and teals and oh, that radium finish.

Millersburg Blackberry Wreath 

There were five main carnival glass makers - Fenton, Northwood, Dugan, Millersburg and Imperial. Fenton introduced carnival glass to the world in 1907 and for the next 25 years, the stories of the men and relationships between these great glass companies are like a kaleidoscope as much as the carnival glass itself.  First in a series of five articles.

Fenton Art Glass - Of the five major old carnival glass companies, Fenton Art Glass has been in operation the longest.  Brothers, Frank L. and John W. Fenton opened Fenton Art Glass Company in July 1905 in Martins Ferry, Ohio as a decorating company using glassware made by other companies.  In a few years, land was purchased in Williamstown, W.Va and their first glass was produced on January 2, 1907.  It is said that their first piece of glass produced was a crystal cream pitcher in the Water Lily and Cattails pattern. The company officers were John W. as president, Frank L. as secretary/treasurer and general manager and Charles Fenton as vice-president.   A turn of the kaleidoscope and you see the hiring of their first plant manager, Jacob Rosenthal.  Jacob Rosenthal had worked at the Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Company in Greentown, IN from the fall of 1900 to June 13, 1903 when the Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Company burned to the ground and was never rebuilt.  While at Greentown, Indiana, Jacob Rosenthal invented the famous chocolate colored glass, Golden Agate aka Holly Amber and Rose Agate.
Fenton introduced carnival glass to the world later in 1907.  They produced this beautiful iridescent glass in many colors - green, marigold (clear glass), amethyst, blue, red and all the colors in between.   Numerous patterns with many different shapes and edgings.  I consider the Vintage or Grape Delight pattern their most recognized pattern.  Some of my favorite patterns include Acorn, Dragon and Lotus, Persian Medallion, Little Flowers, Orange Tree, several Peacock patterns and my most favorite, the Panther pattern and the Sailboats pattern.

Some Fenton pieces of my carnival glass collection including Acorn and Panther in marigold (golden) and Orange Tree, Persian Medallion and Sailboats in Cobalt Blue.  A lot of times, Fenton would use one pattern for the interior and a different pattern for the exterior.  Fenton used Orange Tree as the exterior pattern for a lot of pieces.  The Sailboats dish shown below has the Orange Tree pattern on the exterior.  The kaleidoscope is always turning..........

Frank L. Fenton, born in 1880 in Indiana, Pa, graduated from high school in 1897 and began his glass-making career that same year by becoming an apprentice at Northwood Glass Company when it was located in the old Indiana Glass Company glass plant in Indiana, Pa. and Harry Northwood was running the factory.  Frank became a foreman in 1898.   Frank L. left Northwood in 1900.  Harry Northwood had sold to the National Glass Company in 1899.  Frank L. went to work for a new glass company, Jefferson Glass Co in Steubenville, Oh.  Harry Bastow was the president and general manager of this new company.  When Harry Bastow opened his own business, Bastow Glass Company in Coudersport, Pa, Frank L. Fenton followed.  This was in late 1903.  John W. Fenton also worked there.  The Bastow Glass Company was destroyed by fire in mid 1904 and Frank L. Fenton moved to Wheeling, Pa to work for the new H. Northwood & Company in Wheeling, Pa.  The Fenton - Northwood connection and another turn of the kaleidoscope.

According to everything I have read about the Fentons, John W. was a character with a peacock personality.   He enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle and was a very generous man.  Financial prudence was not in his DNA.  I want to share the following story that I read in the book by William Heacock called Fenton Glass The First Twenty-five Years about how Frank and John Fenton made the decision to form their own company
"On May 4, 1905, Frank L. Fenton deposited in the Dollar Bank in Wheeling $284.86, which has given rise to a romantic legend about the company's humble origins.  As it was handed down in the family circles, John once told Frank that if the latter ever wanted to go into business for himself he should call on John for financial help.  Frank called on John and was asked, "How much money do you have?"
$284." was the reply
"Good," remarked John.  "Between the two of us we now have $284.86.  Let's get started."  
In July, 1905, Frank and John opened their own glass decorating shop, the Fenton Art Glass Company in Martins Ferry, Ohio.  Another brother, Charles H. soon joined them.  Charles had worked for the Northwood glass plant.  Charles became head of the decorating department.

Fenton Art Glass celebrated their 100th anniversary of glass production in 2007.  While they are still active and still under the family ownership, they closed their traditional glass making in 2011.

Next article - Millersburg  

Sources Used
William Heacock, James Measell, Berry Wiggins, Harry Northwood The Early Years 1881-1900  
Margaret & Kenn Whitmyer, Fenton Art Glass 1907 - 1939
William Heacock, Fenton Glass The First Twenty-five Years
Debbie and Randy Coe, Fenton Art Glass A Centennial of Glass Making 1907-2007
Bill Edwards, Millersburg The Queen of Carnival Glass
James Measell, Greentown Glass the Indiana Tumbler & Goblet Company