Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What a Crock!

Most of my readers probably know how much I like to go to thrift stores in search of treasures of one kind or another. I keep my eyes peeled for that certain item that I have my heart set upon. It  can take months or even years to hit the right place at the just the right time to find it--that thing I have been searching for without having to give up an arm and a leg to make it my own. I post today about one such item I have been looking for.

A week or so ago, I stopped by a little shop that I sometimes forget about. It is tucked away in an inconspicuous place and I glanced down and spied something that looked very much like something my heart had been desiring. It was sitting on the very bottom shelf of one of the displays. I figured it was a flimsy reproduction of some kind. I reached down, expecting to quickly lift it up to check it out. To my amazement, the thing was heavy--very heavy! I finally managed to get the thing on to a higher shelf, more at eye level, so I could examine it more closely.

It had a design on one side that I think is called "gaggle of geese" but when I turned it around looking for a maker's mark and a price., I saw a stamp on the reverse--a crown with an encircled number "1" and U.S.A., which I later discovered was the reason the item was so heavy. Such items made in the U.S.A. are very sturdy and heavy. The number 1 stands for one gallon. I was then wondering if there would be an equally heft price tag. When I found the price sticker I had to wonder if it was for real.

I asked myself,  "For the price they are asking, is this thing for real or is it a real crock?" It took a couple of minutes to soak in, but I decided, it is both. Seriously, it is not a "crock" as in not for real (an impostor or cheap reproduction). It is, however a real crock.  This seems to be a contradiction in terms.  It is not a crock but it is a real crock. Enough of the conundrums! A picture speaks a thousand words.


One Gallon Butter Crock 
I am one of those cooks who keeps a lot of kitchen utensils at the ready. I do not like to spend a ton of time digging through drawers as I work in the kitchen. I have utensils corralled in two different containers, one of which I was looking to replace. I had now found the perfect replacement, but was I prepared to pay the sticker price for this one? Would you pay $1.99 for it? That's right people, $1.99! Can you believe it?

You can visit some of the links below to see some similar crocks. There are vintage and antique ones out there. However, there do not seem to be many examples of the one gallon type for sale online.

Pinterest is a good place to find some good source to find ideas for using this type of crock for organization and decor.


Here is a comparable crock on Amazon.

Ebay is also a source for looking for some of these crocks and this antique one.



Well, I can tell you, I was not about to let it sit there a minute longer. I had been waiting a long time for this one and I could not get to the check out counter fast enough!

One Gallon Butter Crock to Hold Kitchen Utensils
I realized only after I was almost done with posting about the crock that the photo I had taken of the opposite side of the crock with the geese is one that I was planning to use for a future post. The other side does not particularly appeal to me and I will probably be using it with the maker's stamp side showing most of the time, anyway.

Granted, I discovered a vintage find, not an antique. It is probably not nearly as old as some old antique ones I have seen on some sites. It is not all cracked, chippy and crazed like those. It is, nonetheless, "genuine" and a true American-made product, something increasingly difficult to come by these days. For less than $2.00, I genuinely like it and am satisfied it will serve my purposes. Now, that's a real crock and what a crock!








Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hand Crafted Gifts are the Best!

Of all the gifts I have received over the years, the ones that are hand-crafted are the most significant and special to me. It's not that I do not appreciate every single thing that any friend or loved one gives me. I certainly do.

Because I am a person who has spent a lifetime  creating things myself, I understand how much thought and consideration, time, effort and materials are poured into the process of creating . There is something very unique and endearing about gifts from the heart and hands, even those made by the little children in our lives.

Bragging is not something I do much of, at least not on myself, and I am not starting now. However, I think it will be acceptable if I brag a little on my beautiful, generous and fabulously talented friend.

If you have visited my blog a few times you might remember that my friend, Harriette, and I spend a lot of time together, doing the things that we both enjoy so much. Sometimes it is going to our favorite thrift stores and having lunch. Sometimes, it is cooking or baking and other times it is working on a craft or sewing project, such as a the Memory Quilt we constructed from shirts for Harriette's husband. The shirts had been collected by her husband over the years and held significant memories from his boyhood, work sites and so on. You can see pictures and instructions on the process we used to make this special quilt  here and here. What a wonderful and fun project that was!

Last week, I went over to her house and when I walked in the door, she surprised me with an early birthday present! Well, actually it was more than one present. That's what I mean when I say she is generous. She is extremely generous! She crafted some beautiful things for me and I could not resist posting some photos of them.

I always have a dish towel or two hanging on the handle of my oven and they are constantly falling off when I am standing there prepping and cooking. Does that happen to you or am I the only one it happens to? Look what my friend sewed for me! It certainly solves the problem of the towel slipping off of the handle all the time.
Dishtowel to Hang Across the Handle of Oven Door
This pretty and practical dishtowel is made by cutting one regular terry dishtowel in half, crosswise, A lined pinafore style "bodice" is attached, front to one half of the raw edge of the dishtowel and pinafore back to the raw edge of the other half of the dishtowel. One length of grosgrain ribbon is attached to the "waist" in the front and another length of grosgrain ribbon is attached in the same manner to the back side of the towel. It looks like a little girl's pinafore or dress with the sides left open. It is made to slip over the oven handle. Then the ribbon ends are tied together on each side in bows.  It hangs by the "shoulders" and, after being tied, it stays securely on the handle. Isn't that just the perfect solution?

Here is a picture of the back.
Back of Dishtowel  for Hanging on Oven Handle
Since we are a family of predominantly University of South Carolina fans my friend used fabric with a team theme for the front of the towel's "bodice."  I made a  close up picture, so readers can see how cute it is. The Gamecock mascot, Cocky, is one of the features on the fabric, as well as football helmets and the "Carolina C and Gamecock" logo!
Close Up of  the University of South Carolina Themed Fabric Used to Create the Dishtowel
One more photo of the dishtowel as it hangs on my oven door:
Dress Style Apron Hanging on Oven Door
My sweet friend knows me so very well. We are like sisters and she knows I am a very practical person and that I  like the things that are useful in helping me in my struggle to stay organized. Therefore, she sewed for me this awesome bag to use when I am sewing and crafting!
Clippings and Strings Bag With Attached Pin Cushion
Seriously now, isn't this the smartest thing? See how it hangs from whatever surface you choose to hang it from. This picture was taken outside on my deck, so it is hanging from the round table there. The attached pin cushion is filled with white sand(the kind you put in a child's sandbox) and is heavy enough that it holds the bag in place. I will be using this a lot in my craft and sewing room, where it will hang from the front of my sewing machine cabinet, handily holding those straight pins and clippings as I am sewing. No more reaching for that trash can, as this will be there at my right hand! I love the fabric she chose for the bag. Notice the cute little scissors. I know I will definitely be using this practical and pretty gift every time I sew!

Now, as practical as I am and as much as I enjoy homemaking, sewing and crafting, there is a side of me that still likes feeling feminine and chic! Yes, I enjoy a good dose of the "bling"  thing and I am known to wear dangling earrings. Feminine and chic, folks, describes how I feel when I wear this sparkling crocheted necklace and earrings set, made especially for me!
Crocheted Necklace and Earring Set
Well, I adore the combination of black, grey and white! And a bit of silver in the mix sends this set over the top! My friend knows that I often wear these colors. In the above picture,  I am wearing the necklace with the multiple strands hanging round in the front, which I like a lot. But when I first saw it, I thought it would look great, also, being worn as a casual "lariat" style.  Here, the necklace is turned around so that the connecting strands with beads are hanging in the front.
Crocheted Necklace Worn "Lariat" Style
I think that, depending on what this necklace is being worn with, it will look just great this way, too. What do you think?  I can get two looks from the same necklace. There I go being practical again!

Sorry for the "deer in the headlights" look in the first picture of me wearing the necklace. You might have guessed, I took these pictures of myself.  As you can see, I am no expert at taking "selfies!"

Thanks for visiting my blog and reading about the things my dear, sweet, enormously talented and generous friend created for me!  She is the best friend anyone could hope for and I feel so very grateful and blessed that God placed her in my life!

Thank you,  Harriette,  for all the birthday goodies!