Friday, December 23, 2011

Antique Printing Press & Cabinet of lead typeface ...

Chandler and Price
Craftsman Old Style

chandler & price PRINTING PRESS
ANTIQUE Printing PRESSES are all the rage with many dealers and collectors looking for these rare nostalgic industrial tools of the trade to recreate authentic printing press products.

Artists, scrap-bookers, multimedia arts, potters, are on the lookout for not only lead type face lettering  but the old press cabinet drawers - so the a twenty drawer cabinet with the typeface contents is an exciting find all on its own!

This rare old printing press find is a Chandler and Price Craftsman Old Style with the tell tale curves on the flywheel. Harrison T. Chandler, an Illinois banker, while negotiating to buy an interest in the Cleveland Type Foundry, met William H. Price, son of a builder of printing presses. They founded the Chandler & Price Co. of Cleveland to build printing equipment.
This CHANDLER & PRICE hand fed open platen jobbing press is marked:

and has a brass plate marked:


- marked PAT APRIL 2 87 (1887) No 1060.

The PRESS CABINET  has 20 drawers full of original lead typeface and is a fabulous find all on its own! A great antique cabinet full of history!
20 drawer PRESS CABINET full of letterpress TYPEFACE

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Inkwells ... love of an an era gone by

Moriset & Fount-O-Ink inkwells

Is it the romance of dipping the feathered quill’s precise sharp nib? The thought of a desperate lover penning a love-sick plea in tear stained ink by flickering candlelight? Perhaps a picture of the astute banker signing-off on a hard earned mortgage-release in the dirty thirties, with the elegance of a fine document and the professional dignity of a well flowing pen? Whatever the vision, all are good reasons for the love affair of late with inkwell collecting in this loss of an era gone by.
It seems as a culture, the more addicted to our computer and the quick stoke of the keys we become, and the more desensitized we are from the days of a pride in penmanship and the art of the written word, the more we are drawn to the romance of the inkwell and the dip of the nib pen. For practical purposes we do not sway back to the pocket pen full of staining ink, but we are definitely reverting back to graceful written notes on elegant stationery, and lovely desktops with which to sit and write them from. The draw to the inkwell seems a logical fit and the feverish passion of late for collecting them has been comforting to those who fear the loss of our written word to the sometimes too-fast paced technology consuming our pride of personal penmanship.
Collectors hunt for a variety of inkwells with some collecting all styles and others preferring an era or a theme. Popularity is over-ruled by personal preference as unique as one’s own handwriting. As with all antiques there are reproductions and fakes out there so buy from a reputable dealer and as always buy what you love and what is in your collector budget. When a more favourite find comes along one can always trade-up as your collection takes shape and you find your area of interest and knowledge. As always enjoy the alluring hunt for the harder and harder to discover inkwells.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Retro Fashion Up-Cylcing ...

Reduce reuse recycle has never been more true than when it comes to up-cycling clothing! It is an exciting time in fashion when there is truly nothing in or out but only that which speaks to individuality, comfort, nostalgia and a love of all things vintage. The beauty of vintage clothing is it has stood the test of time. The quality of many of the wares and the craftsmanship in the production is something that is hard to find in our mass produced throw-away culture.

Stepping back in time and pulling forward a piece of clothing into today’s world is not only fun to do but especially fun to wear. Whether a casual feeling groovy shirt or a flower power dress, a tartan wool winter warm boot skirt or a full on vintage elegant wedding dress, the news that everything old is new again when it comes to fashion is a welcome way to express your style. It is all good, as it saves the landfills from too much trash, reduces way too much consumerism by lessening the demand for mass produced goods and gives an old garment a second, third or even fourth life.

               Now that is fashion-fun!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Typewriter luv ...

Typewriters date back to 1860's and carry as much fascination in today's modern world as they did almost 150 years ago.

After all, what aspiring writer does not want a vintage typewriter hoisted up on the corner of their writing desk for inspiration?

When I had my antique shop, Inktiques, typewriters of every era graced the vintage desks with displays time gone by.

From the book, From Spinning Wheel to Spacecraft, The Story of the Industrial Revolution by H W Neal: "Up to this time communication in business correspondence had consisted of letters written in pen and ink, often by men employed for their handwriting clarity and skill. In 1867 Christopher L. Sholes, assisted by Carlos Glidden, Samuel W. Soule and Matthias Schwalbach, designed and produced a "writing machine" in a small shop near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The machine, which Sholes named the "Type Writer," had a series of lettered and numbered keys which, when struck with the fingers, printed letters or numbers on paper. Eventually the manufacture and sale of the device was undertaken by the firm of E. Remington and Sons, Ilion, New York, and one of the first customers to buy a typewriter was the famous author, Mark Twain. For advertising purposes he wrote a letter which the manufacturers printed and distributed. It said:
Please do not use my name in any way. Please do not even divulge the fact that I own a machine. I have entirely stopped using a Type-Writer for the reason that I never could write a letter with it to anybody without receiving a request by return mail that I would not only describe the machine, but state what progress I had made in the use of it, etc., etc. I don't like to write letters and so I don't want people to know I own this curiosity-breeding little joker.
Yours truly, Saml L. Clemens”

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Collecting FAB Modernist Ceramics ...

With a history dating back to Dorset, England in the 1870’s, Poole Pottery, established as an architectural ceramics business featuring tiling, flooring and fireplace surrounds of the day. Growing into a domestic and decorative ware company in the next century and moving from earthenware to clay, the company flourished but like most found itself struggling post war years. The movement to free form patterns and unique shapes and designs challenging the traditional took Poole to a new height with many designers and painters lending their name to this exciting line of pottery.
By the end of the 50’s and for the next two decades and beyond, Poole became all about bold designs and shapes. The exciting Delphis line rolled into production in the early 1960’s and the 1970’s Aegean ware lines were introduced, each piece hand painted with extensive use of rich flowing colors popular to the day, the browns, oranges and yellows gave weighty bold color to the unique abstract  designs.
Poole Pottery became the home of many prolific ceramic visionaries with a key role in the mid-century art and design movement. Sadly after more than a century of production by 2003 Poole Pottery was in dire straights and was sold privately after selling off many of its museum artifacts. Poole Pottery survived the bankruptcy and by 2007 operates under a new group producing giftware and unique pieces.

Monday, November 28, 2011


People have been festively decorating for holidays since the beginning of time. From bringing tree branches in to ward off the winter blues, to fresh flowers in a special vase at valentines and even summer fruits and fall harvest to display and decorate the table. During the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, decorations are always a big part of any festivity.

In these thriftier times making crafty fun and repurposing vintage finds is all about celebrating the simplistic expressions and a draw back to the nostalgia when things seemed so much simpler through the eyes of a child.

I came across a few great finds this holiday season to brighten your home and maybe even give you some inspiration to celebrate in a simpler lifestyle. These delightful vintage silky-sheen ornaments are perfect as they are but are also ideal and simplistic enough to embellish with ribbons, beads, buttons and family keepsakes.

Postcards are fun to collect no matter what the season and these sweet-faced angel ornaments are just darling. But the retro-showstoppers for me are the vintage Santa mugs in their original packaging. So retro sweet they ust make you want to believe in flying reindeers no matter what you celebrate. Enjoy my finds and remember you can always send me some of yours to share.
Happy holiday thrifting,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday fall-out ...

Some of you experienced the infamous Black Friday consumerism experience first-hand yesterday but for a lot of thrifters/pickers it was just the day after turkey and the day before Saturday morning treasure hunting. No matter where you live, the weekends are full of yard tag sales, swap meets, auctions, thrift store hunting and general poking around hoping for that one great find. Whether you are a novice junker, an avid collector or a serious career picker the weekends are not for resting but they are for fun!
Some of the hottest trends right now are household mid-century kitsch. Vintage funky finds may lack the sparkle of a pristine antique treasure but are twice the fun and much easier to live with day to day and perhaps why the popular draw to all things retro!
Collecting to enjoy your treasures is one way to go – but living with your great finds and using them daily seems to fit the current up-cycling trend for a good reason. Reusing an old home-grown find is not only recycling at its best by saving it from the landfill but also cuts down on you not buying off shore mass-produced trinkets no one really needs.
Some great ideas to slip into your kitschy kitchen and put to work are vintage canister, glassware and melmac is always a hit.

Happy Thrifting!

These great finds are all for sale in my kitschy shop

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome to Thrifty Diversions

Many of you have followed me over the years. First as customers in my antique store, Inktiques, and then onto my blogs and into my now four and counting online stores full of vintage treasures. What started out as my own collecting hobby, grew into a full on store for many years and now continues as a small empire online via my desk. My busy world of professional writing and my busy hobby of a love for antiques and vintage have always crossed over. So much so that my store Inktiques was dedicated to antiques in the ink world! Even though the store is now closed as I moved cities and lifestyles, I am always avidly collecting, writing daily and as thrifty as ever.
The growth of one online store after another started of course with my love of vintage and collector books and all things collectible in the ink world, Inktiques. Living in wide open spaces brought about my second love of collecting retro vintage from the prairies and my second store evolved, Canadian Prairie Antiques. I have always had a love of vintage clothing and when I opened my own cottage in a small town I also opened another online store of beautiful dress up clothing naming it for my LandLocked Cottage. Naturally a crafter and quilter myself I couldn’t not collect all things vintage in the crafting sewing world to share with you all and that is how my fourth store came about, Writers Craft Too.
Now it is time to rein it under one (web) roof and give the shops a friendly front door to pass through on your way into discovering all that I find and share when I step away from writing and head out for some Thrifty Diversions! I look forward to sharing my great finds, my knowledge as an avid collector and dealer and my adventures at estate clearing. The most exciting news is of course it was only a matter of time before my writing and my picking crashed together into a future book on the thrifting lifestyle now in the works.

Welcome through my front door here at Thrifty Diversions and onto discovering my mall of e-shops, my blogs, my vintage treasure hunting and my joy of writing about it all!
Happy hunting,