Monday 25 May 2015

Midwinter Stonehenge

As much as I rant about the ugly clothes designs of the 1970's, I am constantly drawn to innovative 1970's china patterns, and the Midwinter range personifies all the "good stuff" about the era and I was lucky enough to buy an 8 place set plus additional items of the "Earth" pattern recently.

Midwinter Stonehenge came in many designs, most notably creation, sun, moon earth, night and day. With similar base colour they were made to work in conjunction with each other.

Well named, the Earth pattern is well... earthy.

With the studio hand-crafted look of the organic brown stripes and rustic rough edges, it has iron specks in the oatmeal coloured body glaze and structured straight sides with chunky handles.

 Each piece looks unique.

Roy Midwinter headed up the Midwinter pottery in the 1950's and 1960's and introduced a number of innovative styles such as Stylecraft, Fashion and Fine shapes. But, by 1968 the business got into financial strife and had merged with Meakin, and by 1970 Wedgwood owned both brands.

He still managed the brand and launched Stonehenge in 1973 with the Earth design by Eve Midwinter and others by Jessie Tait.

Earth was discontinued in 1982.

This set and other Midwinter are for sale in the Vintage Treasure online shop,  patterns include Sienna, Stylecraft, Modern, Fashion and Fine Tableware.

Summer pattern

Thursday 14 May 2015

It's so de stressing to be distressing...

Yes - all these pictures are my own work.. and some are still works in progress. 
Kylie from Vintage Vagabond is sharing space in the shop beginning in June and last week in reply to my complaining how ugly an old cabinet was, simple said "paint it!"
Drawers salvaged from a dressing table
make lovely sweet treasure drawers in
distressed antique white colour.

I went to a fundraiser at the local Hospice a couple of years ago - they had an Annie Sloane disciple raving about the joys of painting and distressing furniture. She was a total addict and sounded like she had attacked everything in her home, and she was so happy! 

Grey distressed steps now useful as a mini book case
or small shelf unit.

I came away with mixed feelings.. really excited to give it a go and yet, was I going to dive into the next skip I saw for an old door I could paint and sand and put behind my bed in the name of a shabby chic headboard, how naff.. I think not!

While I ventured over the hill to Fenwick Vintages in Raumati and bought my first test pots of "Antique White" and "French Grey" a few weeks later, they sat on the shelf for 18 months unopened. I wasn't inspired and there wasn't really enough paint to transform anything bigger than a match box! Actually the wine table was completed with one pot.
French grey drinks table
works well for a lamp

Shocked at the price to get more paint, I googled recipes for alternative chalk paint recipes to find there is no shortage of sites out there, (some 5 years old... no-one said I was cutting edge) giving their favourite recipes for mixing up plaster-of-paris or calcium-carbonate concoctions. 

My favourite so far - now proudly featured in the shop

SalvagedInspirations is my favourite site and recommends calcium carbonate over plaster-of-paris. 

Now, it's not that easy to source calcium carbonate in Martinborough and so a few months ago my trusted adventurer friend Chris brought over a table and we shared a $2 bag of plaster-of-paris, Perfect for the first foray! 

Must say she hasn't been quite as prolific, but has achieved fine quality!

Yesterday, I began again in earnest...with half full pots of discarded "Spanish white" from years ago and a pot of grey tint colour at the  ready, I lined up number of tables, chairs, book cases and little drawers, ready to be given their shabby chic make over.

First off white coat on a rather
tatty chair gives it a new life

And now to consider seat cover

painting... sanding.... painting...!

...and it was brilliant, what a lovely de-stressing activity!!

My first bag of calcium carbonate arrived today from Christchurch, and while I'm no Kirsty Allsopp, I can't wait for a another "de stressing day" to refine my skills.

I had so much fun painting, sanding, distressing, waxing, painting again... I'm not touching that lovely 1950's oak, or native rewarewa, but I am totally hooked on this painting transformation lark!

Come on into the shop if you are in Martinborough and share your own stories... 

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Not just for preserving the harvest...

Think jams and chutneys are automatically you think of mason jars - strong glass jars with metal screw caps that are made to hermetically seal to protect your preserves.

Vintage preserving jars are now sought after for more than jam, they are frequently seen as candle holders, kitchen storage jars, collectables storage and even light shades and cocktail glasses!

Here are some we have in stock so checkout online shopping at

Lovely large Atlas Mason's Patent Nov 30th 1858 embossed on front

A whopping 21.5cms tall

A smaller version of the Atlas mason jar with no date

Atlas Mason with a circle in centre 16.5cms 
These little guys have a different closure - "the wire flip over" seal and glass lid. Very cute too!

 Ball mason jars make up a lot of the jars you see in the market. USA made.

This Ball mason with a light green tone has 4 and F impressed on base
16cms tall

A later version of the Ball mason jar shows  "genuine sculptured glass" made in the USA on the base and has a handy measure on the side and a lot more embellishment fruit basket.

This lovely large Mason's brand is in a square embossed pattern on front.

it is 21.5cms tall

A shorter Mason's one is 17cms and comes with a metal and "genuine porcelain lined cap".

Now, onto New Zealand made jars, the Agee jar.

This large Agee Queen is18.5cms

The smaller one is 14cms and is complete with the wired clip over glass lidded seal.

This simple Agee jam jar has the fold over lip requiring a paper or plastic seal.

At 13.5cms tall it is useful for lots of storage needs and a nice tidy size for a flower posy vase.

This is the workhorse in preserving kitchens everywhere in New Zealand the Agee Utility jar.

It is 16.5cms and sealing bands can still be purchased but this vintage box is fun to have on display!

Plenty available for your wedding tables or events, makes great hanging or table flower vases!

My favourite jars are these small chunky and solid ones with attitude...the small Agee Special

9.5cms tall

The tall ones are also extra "solid" at  17cms

It was believed that if light was excluded from preserved fruits they would last longer, hence the use of amber brown glass in this Agree Special 17cms.

I love the name of this Dominion jar the "Wide Mouth" also shows wording that is was "Made in the British Empire".

The glass is very bubbled and a lovely light blue tone.

So, is it time to make some picnic table candles, refresh your kitchen storage system and use some of these lovelies for your dry goods, time to review your sewing room and fill some with buttons and cottons to get organised or just add one to your collection of flower vases for those big fresh cottage garden posies!

Visit the Vintage Treasure online shop anytime or email me with your special requests.

Thursday 20 March 2014

This little light of mine....

I'm gonna let it shine...

Yes, I 'm surrounded by vintage light bulbs which are actually lamps, because they are not all bulb shaped and anyway the boxes say lamps not bulbs! As I unpack a box of these goodies I am so amazed at how beautiful they are...

This is an old Westinghouse projection lamp.

On the black end of this it says "projection base down - 115v 1000 (wattage I assume?) Avg life 10 hours. From I what remember of my early days working in an office, a much shorter life if you don't switch the machine on and off at the right time... remember those yells of "don't switch it off!!"

These lamps come fully protected in a corrugated card but unfortunately no box. 

Inside the card were two different cautionary notes - dangerous business this projection stuff. 
I don't know exactly what age these lamps are but each one is quite a piece of art, which got my thinking and doing some research and I found all kinds of uses for old lamps some of which I have captured on a pinterest board

The jewellery items were of special interest to me especially as some of my bulbs are smaller and in multiple numbers, and these are in their original boxes.

Found this necklace for example is so cute! Some people are so creative!

Now there will be those of you who have spotted that the box of bulbs I have in stock must be from a Mazda car.... WRONG!! the word mazda was a trademark of General Electric (GE) from 1909 through to 1945 used for their incandescent light bulbs made in the USA.
And... what is even more interesting is that the word comes from Ahura Mazda whose name means light and wisdom.

One of my projection lamps was made by a company called "Stella" and has such a cool box but I can find little about this company.

Shame really as it by far the coolest lamp in the collection.

I even found a site for people who collect light bulbs, and not a Stella in sight!

The majority of my bulbs are smaller General Electric mazda lamps that didn't seem to have a specified purpose written on the boxes, small, perfectly formed, and here they look like they are glowing on their own - trick photography, or some would say bad photography!

So I had better get busy and put them into my online shop before it gets dark and I can't see what I am doing... ha ha!
Contact me if you are interested in buying any of these lovelies described or check out my online store VintageTreasure.

I have lots in stock for your craft project, collection or even to run your projector!

Oh and yes, a word about today...

there does seem to be a trend to enjoy the "beauty of the bulb" in new designs, a very talented local designer Paul Holstrom has some gorgeous pieces online and in his studio in Greytown.
Very cool!

So, one last thing... just how many vintage treasure dealers does it take to change a light bulb!

Monday 10 February 2014

A close shave...

I feel a bit strange writing about shaving "stuff". I do buy vintage shaving items and have some in stock but I usually buy them for their quirkiness or great design and not because I love shaving stuff! As I do now have a collection I have added some to my online shop and wanted to feature them here.

For example this red mottled bakelite lidded container is lovely in itself. It has fitted compartments for the three piece razor and the blades.

A gentleman came into the store recently and asked if I had any cut throat razors in stock, I had three different ones and he wanted to buy them all. Well, I had to make a pretty fast decision at that point, as to the chance he was some kind of Jack the Ripper character or a normal bloke who wanted to buy a cut throat razor... or two! It would be so embarrassing if today's sale makes tomorrow's crime headlines!

More recently I had a couple of shaving enthusiasts and so have taken the time to sort through my stock and see what I have.
First, are the shaving sticks, I loved these before I knew they were shaving stick holders, I used to keep all kinds of goodies in them. This red bakelite container is made by Erasmic and still has the "stick" in it which at first made me think it must be 60 years old as I expect the container is from the 1940's, but then I found out that Erasmic shaving sticks are still being made. They are no longer available in gorgeous containers though. For those who don't know the shaving stick process it goes like this, thanks to Badger and Blade site a must visit for all interested in more information.

I cant leave the Colgate instructions without a sample of a Colgate stick, this one is empty but has Colgate written on the lid. Again a very cool mottled red bakelite container.

For those who chose to use soap there was always the mixing bowl to lather up the brush, and this one looks like it can be re-used as an ashtray. Before I bought this Clubman shaving bowl in the original packaging, I had a red "ashtray" and never realised it may have started life as a soap bowl. What do you think?

And of course Colgate had their lidded  soap bowls too.

All these items are available from my online shop

Some of the items no longer have contents but are great containers in themselves like these Gem and Gillette razor boxes from the 1940's or so in cool deco shaped bakelite.

I have a number of individual double sided safety razors, in various shades of brown, these samples are still in good condition today.

 Now onto razor blades... as soon as my husband knew I was writing this he recalled Gillette Blue Blade as one he remembered... but for all the wrong reasons. He remembers it went blunt as soon as it was used once or twice, meaning that hundreds of them were required over a short time. This probably lead to the introduction of what I call the razor blade safe - a little storage box for new blades, with a mailing slot at the back to safely deposit spent blades. This one still have a number of used ones as it is heavy and rattles! Also remember those metal bathroom cabinets with slots for spent blades to be safely stored?

These Smith razor blades have never been opened, lots of them for sale. Great for display or a collection and they probably still work fine!

And last but no least my favourite razor in stock, a one sided safety razor in its own fitted box. Made by Valet and seemingly over engineered based on today's throw away options but what a beauty!

So, for collectors or those with a passing curiosity, there are lots of items to bring back the memories of the good old days of shaving history.... and ooooh yes little bits of torn toilet paper and the styptic pencil!

Contact me if you are looking for something specific or visit my online shop.