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Cocktail Season Preparedness 101

It’s here! Cocktail season, otherwise known as Fall/ Winter (and sometimes Spring and Summer, let’s be honest). Cozy times are about to happen and bar carts must be stocked.

What’s needed? Start with an area, any area. It doesn’t have to be a bar cart! Use a bookshelf, credenza, side table, the empty corner of your counter that’s looking lonely- whatever you have will do the trick!

It’s nice to add some character with your choice of barware. I’ve been stocking the shop with Mid Century decanter sets, vintage wine glasses, coupes, cocktail pitchers and shot glasses! Here are a few samples to whet your appetite:

Don’t forget the ice bucket! In a world of automatic ice makers in fridges, it’s still so much more fun to snag a cube from a retro bucket šŸ™‚

Last thing to add to your blossoming home bar are all the fun extras: trays, bar tools, shakers and more!

Next post: recipes! Stay tuned šŸ™‚

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Fondue- any time of year!

I usually think of fondue as a winter event- curled up by the fireplace with a glass of red wine, your closest friends and a coffee table loaded with delicious things for dipping! But fondue is so tasty and social, why limit it to the coldest months of the year? Try taking it camping or enjoying it on your deck on a summer night šŸ™‚

beer and cheddar fondue

Beer and cheddar is one of our favourites, and so, so easy to make!

Enjoy!

Seattle World’s Fair, 1962

I love Seattle and I love the 1960s, so to combine the two into one bright and atomic celebration would have been dazzling!

I was born too late, but there are still ways to enjoy this piece of Seattle history.

– Go to the Space Needle! Everything about this monument screams Mid-Century, from it’s futuristic message to it’s sleek and narrow profile.

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I did.

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Only I sat backwards in the revolving restaurant and was sick for two hours afterwards. Pre-motion sickness was romantic, delicious and a little taste of history! Worth it.

– You can also own a piece of vintage Seattle!

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I picked these beauties up at an estate sale, nuzzling and petting them all the way home. Love the retro colours, tall narrow profile and striking etchings of Seattle landmarks.

I found some other pieces of 1962 Seattle on Etsy as well, but I will add- it wasn’t easy! Where is it all? I thought these three items were fun and would give you a taste of Seattle in Don Draper’s day. Yes, I dropped the D word, and it’s been done too much, but I swear he’s in that vintage poster- wining and dining some poor woman in the revolving restaurant! And of course she’s ravishing and not sick at all.

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1) Seattle World’s Fair Poster

2) Seattle World’s Fair Button

3) Seattle World’s Fair Decanter

Retro Kiln Craft

The first piece of Kiln Craft I came across was a lovely chocolate brown side plate in a pattern called Hermes. It was fun and retro, giving any of the bland dishes today a kick in the pants! Would you believe I walked away? I did, but this was before my growing appreciation of the orange- brown combination. You can’t deny that it does make a statement! I found these plates on Etsy and I don’t think they could represent the 1970s more perfectly.

I learned my lesson and I learned it quick, so when I stumbled upon these Kiln Craft bowls I snatched them up! These bowls are in the Bacchus pattern, and I love the soft buttery hue contrasted with the bold and sunny pattern.

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Kiln Craft was a line of dinnerware introduced in 1972 in several different patterns- all modern, stylish and durable. And how can you not love that logo!

Manufactured in Staffordshire, England, an area known for it’s potteries, these dishes are easier to find in the UK, but can also be found online (yay internet!) and occasionally at garage sales and thrift stores.

A quick google search will turn up a lot of Bacchus, which was a big seller in the 1970s, but there were other patterns that have the same fresh and fun appeal:

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1) Kiln Craft Bramble Mugs

2) Kiln Craft Milk Jug

3) Kiln Craft ‘Hermes’ Mugs

4) Kiln Craft Retro Floral Mugs

5) Kiln Craft ‘Bracchus’ Coffee Pot

6) Kiln Craft Canister Set

7) Kiln Craft Floral Side Plates

8) Kiln Craft Bird Mugs

9) Kiln Craft Copper Mug

So if you’re looking to punch up your dining or coffee time, Kiln Craft might be a fun solution!

Further information:

http://www.retropottery.net/2010/12/kiln-craft-bacchus-staffordshire.html

Canadian Art Pottery: Bringing Back the 70s, Baby!

I grew up in the 70s.

Angie 1970s

See?

Yes I’m nursing my doll, Rosebud, and no that’s not a glam rock wig.

As a 70s kid, I had my fair share of exposure to Canadian art pottery, namely the long necked swans in green, red drip-glaze urns full of plastic white carnations (oh yes, yes it’s true) and the terrifying black panthers with jewelled eyes and collars- all of which belonged in Elvis’ sunken living room more than my parents little rancher.

Ellis Wedding 1970s

MyĀ parents wedding:

  • Flowered polyester shirt: check.
  • Orange and brown curtains: check.
  • Cousin in mustard-yellow jumpsuit, wood panelling on all walls, stranger lady with bare legs and loafers: check, check, check.

But was it all really that bad?

I’ve come to appreciate some these retro pieces in my adult years, especially when I strip away the sometimes hideous backdrop (see ya laterĀ pom-poms on lampshades!) For example, this handcrafted serving dish, made in Ontario by Royal Canadian Art Pottery. With its swirling blue-green glaze, sleek lines and quality construction, it’s actually quite stunning and would compliment any modern room beautifully!

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Evangeline_Crocks2New Cropped

Another Canadian name I’veĀ come to love (and just might be my all time favourite!) is Evangeline, a line of dinnerware from Canuck Pottery. Check out this French onion soup crock! What do you think of that vibrant red glaze now?

Evangeline Cream Sugar CroppedTheir adorably earthy creamĀ and sugar set have a classic Mid-Century profile and complimentary glazing in greys- a soft detour from the often dark colours of the 70s.

Canuck Pottery was established in New Brunswick in 1938, with the Evangeline line soon to follow. And for any poetry lovers out there, Evangeline was named after Longfellow’s famous poem of the same name- aw!

Blue Moutnain Jug New

There were many potteries throughout Canada in the 50s- 70s, but I’m going to end with a true Canadian classic- Blue Mountain Pottery! Also from Ontario, these were the guys that started the green glaze madness! Through their trademark ‘reflowing design’ process, in which two colours blend together in the firing stage, BMP pieces have a lovely streaked, highly polished and iridescent finish.Ā 

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Blue Mountain Pottery is widely collected, harder to find and, yes of course, more pricey. Plus there’s a club. You heard me- a club. The link is below and it will enlighten you in all kinds of vintage, Canadian pottery ways!

So before you send those vintage Canadian vases to the thrift store, give them a second thought and a modern setting- you might just see something fresh and beautiful!

For some really fantastic information on Blue Mountain Pottery, visitĀ http://www.bmpcc.com/

I Heart Blenko

I’ve beenĀ a lover of hand blown glass for some time, but vintage Blenko holds a special place in my heart! It all started with this amber bud vase, with it’s crooked little top, warm honey tone and bulbous shape- I immediately fell in love!

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It’s not often you find vintage glass with the sticker still attached, so you have to watch out for other telltale signs of Blenko craftsmanship. One is an uneven rim, as seen in the above photo. This is the result of being ‘fireĀ polished’, when the item isĀ returned quickly to the fire to remove any tool marks or rough edges. Another is a rough pontil mark, the spot where the punt was broken from the glass during the blowing process- basically the belly button!

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Blenko glass is generally thickĀ walled and almost always transparent. An exception to that rule is this handsome guy: a rare, blackest-of-blacks, cased glass vase! And with the sticker still attached, I almost felt like I was cheating- too easy! Ā šŸ˜‰Image

There’s so much more to know about Blenko, and many resources online to help you along! The Blenko Museum is a great place to get started:

http://www.blenkomuseum.org/index.htm

Enjoy!