Thursday, November 4, 2010

Welcome to My Frogpatch

Thanks for visiting! I am really lucky to have you as a guest. You have arrived at a place that is designed to be a gathering place for eclectic minds. I believe that buying and using vintage items is a good way to contribute to a healthy environment by saving resources and reducing landfills. I will try to make friends by telling you who I am and why I am here. My name is Gary and I live in Florida. I enjoy writing, fishing, cooking, growing things and scouring yard sales, flea markets, rummage sales and thrift stores with my wife and best friend Laura. We do not live in Frogpatch. That is a place that exists in the mind of this writer and comes to life in between the real world right here on these pages. Frogpatch has a mayor named Goggles who by coincidence is a frog. There are many other characters who we will meet along the way. In Frogpatch there are no threatened or endangered species. There is no pollution or humans except for myself who visits occasionally. I believe that using vintage items is a good way to help the environment by lessening the potential waste in landfills and preserving natural resources both here and in places like China. Vintage things also have beauty and character. In the section below called Look What We Found, I will show unique items that were discovered on our search. A couple days ago it was a driftwood board that will become a coat rack or a holder for something else. We came to Florida from New Jersey and as I said in my first post that I accidentally deleted. I had visions of palm trees, blue water, tiki bars and a low cost of living. Reality became increasingly evident a a couple months and 4 hurricanes later. Everything costs more here than the suburbs of NY except housing which is a little less. Home prices soared the second I stepped on Floridian soil. Insurance made homes out of reach due to the hurricanes. We did however find a nice apartment right on upper Tampa Bay in Clearwater. The photo of the sunrise and the Bayside Bridge was taken from there as were the two photos below. Wildlife from eagles to egrets and spoonbills to dolphins are common sights from our Lanai. I can wade in the bay and fish for snook and redfish and even catch one once in a while. I will post the photo when I find it. It is on a CD somewhere.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Wife was Tickled Pink

I was king for a day when I found this pair of vintage, pink, hobnail, milk glass candlesticks at a recent rummage sale to add to her growing collection of pink glass. A reward for being one of the first in the door, I snatched these up for 5.00. It was the only thing I bought that day but it got me a fresh baked key lime pie that night!
When hit by sunlight the collars glow with a firery opalescence!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We are back! Here is our latest find!

After months of heat and humidity we are finally catching a little break and the yard sales are popping up again! If you remember a while back I posted a little note about collecting mid 20th century toleware! Well here is a piece that I could build a whole collection around. This pierced edge tray measures a whopping 25 x 17 inches and is in mint condition. It was spotted in the back room of my favorite thrift store as I was dropping off a donation! I though that $3.98 was a fair price! I over heard the former owner say he was bringing a truck load from an estate on Thursday! I will keep you posted!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekend Asian Textile Find

Well here I go again! I was in my favorite Hospice Thrift Store and while flipping through the pictures that were half price I noticed this textile sandwiched between two pieces of plastic! There was a plastic thing the size of a bar of soap glued to the back. I think someone was going to make a clock out of it but when it slid out of position they gave up. I paid the $3.00 asking price and brought it home and of course my wife thought I was ready for hospice care myself.
I removed it from the plastic frame and examined it carefully with a loop. It is a hand stitched crewel picture with two applied, intricately woven, mattes, all made of silk. The little diamond motifs on the inner border contain around 200 stitches each. The picture was painstakingly done with different color silk threads entirely by hand. That is all I know. I think it is Chinese but this is far from my realm of knowledge! It appears to be very old.
I am hoping someone reads this and can help me learn the origin. It is approximately 10 x 11 inches. The colors look a little faded in the pic do to poor lighting and a cell phone camera.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Collecting Menus

Here is a very interesting and diverse area of collecting! People collect menus from restauarants where they have dined, from landmarks, from fast food places and many other areas! There are vintage menus widely available on Ebay! Menus from the golden age of the American Passenger Ship can bring hundreds of dollars! My wife has a large collection that is in storage right now! Mostly from places we have been! This is the only one that did not get into the storage for some reason! Most restaurants will give or sell you their menus! Some will press charges if you are caught stealing one so ask the waitress!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Piece of New Jersey Folk Art

We were at a demolition sale at a very old house in Brielle NJ mainly after old lighting fixtures! We got a couple wall brackets at my risk of electrocution! As we were leaving my wife spotted this driftwood board with a painting of Barnegat Light on it! She asked the price and the person said "just take it." Right now it sits next to the TV here in Florida to remind me how much we want to go home to the Jersey Shore

Vintage Picnic Baskets Create Decorative Storage Space

Very easy to come by at affordable prices. I did not pay more than 7.00 for any of these! Don't they look better than piles of bills and periodicals? That is what is inside them!
The woven splint style like these are the most common! Redman made some beautiful geometrically patterned examples in varied colors! They usually carry the company's label on the inside! I sold a few a couple years ago on Ebay for 20-30.00 before the price of shipping killed the market!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thanks to Faithful5252 for becoming my newest follower!

Pre Princess Grace Kelly

She was one of the most exquiste women of the century! I hope you enjoy this rare picture of Princess Grace when she was simply Grace Kelly and simply beautiful! p Thephoto is from American Beauty Magazine Issue #1 1955. Photo credit goes to Phillipe Halsman! Please do not copy for commercial puposes as the copyright is probably still valid! This is strictly for your enjoyment!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Slim Picking this Weekend

Someone I know once came to Florida in the smmer and described it as a lizard tank! It is so humid, especially in Pinellas Couonty because we are surrounded by 90 degree water. No matter which way the wind blows it is coming off of hot water! That make for very few yard sales because nobody wants to sit outside!
We did pick up this sweet little 1920s wicker basket! It looks good on the farmer made table from the 30s!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Happy and Safe 4th of July

This 4th think of how lucky we are to enjoy the freedom we have! Also be thankful for those who fought for it and those who gave their lives! Remember our troops overseas!
Waiting for the parade!
Monkey has grabbed his spot early so that he has a good view of the parade!

Weather Finally Clearing Out!

The thunderstorms over the last few days wreaked havoc on the Tampa Bay area! But it appears that they have dwindled down to just a few showers like the one off in the distance!
You may not believe me but that little black speck in the water is a manatee! One of several that have been hanging around my aprtment compex this week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Vintage Cocktail Recipes

My wife and I have a small collection of vintage stemware which we use frequently. One day my wife was watching The Barefoot Contessa on TV making a pitcher of Sidecars and serving them in sugar rimmed glasses. It sounded so good and a refreshing change in a world of Cosmos, Mojitos and Mudslides and it was just that. Then one day I found a copy of a mixology book from 1939. That was the dawn of the golden age of cocktails. Then another from the 1950s called "a Guide to Pink Elephants" that my parents always had lying around. I started to read and I was amazed at the drinks that I never had heard of. Dixie Whiskey, Bronx, Kentucky Colonel, Button Hook, Five Fifteen and on and on. So I decided that along with my vintage finds and articles I would post a forgotten recipe every few days or so.1Here is the next of the series! Maidens Blush (from a 1939 mixology book)

1 jigger Dry Gin

4 dashes Grenadine

4 dashes Curacao

1 dash Lemon Juice

Strain into a stemmed glass

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Special for the Western Collector! Buffalo Bill!

I found this book that was printed in England that contains 100 posters of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show! It is in near mint condition with only a small outward curl to the top corner of the front cover! I am offering it for sale for only $49.95 plus shipping by media mail which is more than 50 percent less than the current retail price! A great buy! If you are interested email me at for my paypal address! Thanks!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Benefit of a Second Pair of Eyes

We were out on our usual weekend treaure hunt and my wife uncovered this blue and white pottery pitcher. It really shows a lot of age and I love the polka dot and double stripe design! Turning it over I saw it was marked but even with my loop I could not make it out! It was apparently a utilitarian piece. Just prior to taking these pictures I asked my wife what she thought. "Germany" she said without hesitation, "It says Germany." So much for my mystery. I still can't make out the rest! But just knowing it says Germany narrows it down to the first part of the 20th century. If anyone recognizes the maker could you please let me know! It is, by the way, one of her all time favorite pieces unlike my little rolltop desk below!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Why Does My Wife Hate This?

When I was living in New Jersey we stopped at a yard sale at an old house. I think it was in Neptune but I am not sure! I spied this little childs rolltop in the backyard. It was faded and covered with stickers and crayon marks. I head a dealer guy ask the woman running the sale how much? She said ten dollars and he said, "I'll give you five!" There is a difference between haggling and insulting! I walked over and handed the woman ten bucks, picked up the desk and headed for the car with my wife following and asking, "Why did you buy that?" "Because I like it," I replied.

It came with me to Florida and I found the matching chair at the local Salvation Army store for 5.00. I use the desk to store fishing tackle in a room that is storage space because my wife, even after my painstaking restoration, still asks me why I bought it! I dragged it out for the picture and she made sure that it would not remain there. It is so unlike her not to appreciate old things! I don't care. She has this big stuffed monkey that she has had since she was a kid in the 50s. Guess where he will be sitting from now on!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Thought that Plate Looked Familiar

There is nothing that gets my adrenaline up faster than seeing an Estate Sale sign that was stuck out on a pole without being advertised! That is just what happened when we found this pink cherry blossom plate laying on the couch unseen by the other shoppers. It was $3.00 which provoked no haggling from me. I suggested to my wife, as we got back in the car, that I thought we had a blue one just like it. Sure enough, it was stashed in a drawer as a service piece by her because it coordinated with some blue and yellow plates. I did some quick online research and learned that it also came in green and was produced by the Jeanette Glass Co. right through the thirties. A little FYI, a child's tea set in blue (actually called delphite) was made and is very rare! I sold one in the 1970s for over $100.00

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mid 20th Century Toleware

We were out this weekend as usual and it is the slim picking time of year down here, south of the south! We did however find this sweet little piece of 1940s toleware! This type of hand painted metalware is a revival of the extremely valuable handpainted wares from the 19th century executed by the German and Dutch immigrants in the U.S. This nice example was made by Hamilton Tole in the 1940s! I have had several pieces of 20th century tole and actually sold a red pierced edge tray on eBay for close to one hundred dollars. This handpainted ware is still readily available on the market and is a great investment as late folk art! Good Hunting!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saw this Thing Sticking Up

I was walking around at a small, once a year, flea market in town a little later in the day than I prefer. I was not really expecting much because it had been picked over for a couple hours. I spotted this thing sticking up in the middle of some kitchenware. I could tell from a distance that it was old by the color of the metal. I walked over and saw it had an old blue Ball jar attached to it. I realized that it was used to pick the jar from the hot water bath. A little metal piece slides up and down to tighten the clamp securely. Being a fact that my wife has a collection of blue canning jars, I paid the $2.00 and brought it home where it joined this other accessory, a 1904 lid remover.

Home canning is gaining in popularity recently, apparently due to the economy. It can be an enjoyable project for the entire family that is fortunate enough to have their own garden or live near a place where fruits and vegetables can be purchased in bulk.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UPDATE: Back on May 18th I showed you all the save a plant that I rescued from Loews! I had put this incompetent gnome is charge of it with the instructions to make it grow or become a Travelocity understudy!(scroll down to the May 18th post!) Well the plant died! I showed mercy to the gnome and gave him the Cuban Oregano to care for instead. If he can kill that he will be headed for the thrift store!

Meanwhile Back in Frogpatch Gwendolyn Gagglesquack, advice columnist for the Frogpatch Dispatch, is planning a "Real Housewives of New Jersey Season Finale" party next Thursday! You are all invited.

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