Monday, April 7, 2014

the miracle of Oven Cleaner

If you enjoy buying vintage items from thrift stores or yard sales you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to bring back the original beauty of those less-than-perfect, well-loved treasures that you may find.

I recently learned of the usefulness of Oven Cleaner when attempting to clean up some Pyrex. Case in point - this Pyrex Amish Butterprint dish that I found at a junk store for $1.00.

If you don't know a whole lot about Pyrex you may think that this pattern is black on white. It is that grease stained. Knowing my Pyrex patterns, I knew when I saw this item that it was originally turquoise on white. Because it was only priced at $1.00 I figured I would buy it and try to restore it.

I brought the item home and thoroughly sprayed it with a heavy coating of Oven Cleaner. If you are trying this be sure to do it outside as the fumes are very strong. If you can, let the item sit for several hours or even over night. After sitting, take a rag and rub the greasy area to remove the built on grime. The Oven Cleaner should loosen the grease so that it will wipe off.  It may take a little "elbow grease" to get it completely clean. For this particular item I had to do two separate treatments of Oven Cleaner to remove all of the black. When removing grime from painted-on-designs like this, be careful as the paint may remove from the glass if rubbed too hard.

Here it is after cleaning.

Oven Cleaner works well on Pyrex and other vintage glassware that may have a greasy film. It is great on the painted designs that may have changed color because of grease. The pan on the bottom was stained with brown streaks on the inside of the pan. The oven cleaner brought it back to a nice condition.

I hope that this tip has helped all of the Pyrex (and Fire King & GlasBake & Federal, etc.) collectors out there to restore those thrift store treasures.


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

a special address label

Have you ever wondered where a vintage item that you own came from? Sometimes I do wonder. I am especially curious about vintage kitchen ware. If I find the item at a thrift store I think about who may have owned the item before me, how they used it and what their kitchen looked like. What kind of foods did they prepare in there? Was this casserole dish or bowl used at family dinners and holiday meals? I wonder...did they receive the item as a wedding present or buy it from Murphy's or Woolworth? Did they love the item so much that they ended up keeping it all of these many years until they died? Did their relatives not appreciate it and donate it to the charity store?

That is why I was thrilled to find this address label taped to the side of a piece of Glasbake that I bought from a second-hand store last month.

Mrs. Mary Wilkins owned this pan. She must have loved it enough that she decided to tape her name and address to it so that it would be sure to be returned from the neighbor whom she baked a cake for or the church pot luck, which was lucky enough to have one of her special dishes.

I'm sure Mary would be pleased to know that her pan has found a good home.

A great home to be exact.

A home where vintage kitchenware is loved - so much so that it is even put on display for all to appreciate its beauty.

A home that enjoys baking and cooking for the ones that it loves - especially when done in a piece of colorful vintage bakeware.

I love your pan Mary. I will enjoy it for years to come. It has already been put into service making a chocolate cake. I've even decided to keep your address label to remember where the pan came from. Maybe I'll even stick one of my own labels on the pan like you did to carry on your tradition of baking for others and giving of yourself - all the while expecting the pan to be returned empty, waiting be filled up again the next time.

With love,
Mrs. KayteeJane
Oakmont, Pennsylvania

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Saturday, March 22, 2014


Hello Friends,
I've been taking a little break from the blog. I've been busy with work and family and haven't made much time to post here. I have been posting a few pictures a day on Instagram. It is so quick and easy to just snap a photo on my phone and post it. If you are on Instagram please follow me! My IG name is kayteejaneshouse - easy to remember huh?

There haven't been any estate sales, church sales or yard sales around my area at all these past few months - just too cold and dreary I guess. I can't wait for spring to kick in so that sales pick up again. I'm also really looking forward to going to flea markets again. I can't wait!

This past weekend I did manage to go to a few thrift stores. Pickings at the thrift stores have been lean, but I did manage to find a few things after hitting about three different stores. Here is my haul from last Saturday.

Some of this will be for sale but I have decided to keep the milk glass basket - it already has jelly beans in it, the yellow Pyrex bowl and the drinking glasses.

I have also been playing with my Pyrex. Here is my attempt at a spring display. I added this cute metal cabinet to my dining room recently and I'm using it right now to hold some of my Pyrex.

I'm always on the look out for cool display pieces to show off my collections. I am maxed-out right now with furniture but when I see a great display piece my wheels start turning. Just this morning I saw this amazing old store display for sale as part of an estate sale ad on Craigslist.
Be still my heart. I love it! This is the picture that was posted in the ad. Of course the piece is miles away from where I live and also a tad bit pricey - so it is doubtful that this beauty will be mine. Oh well. I can dream right? I can just imagine all of the Pyrex bowls I could stack on there!

Until later - happy Spring and happy vintage!

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Vintage Hammered Aluminum

I found two vintage hammered aluminum serving dishes at the Goodwill a few weeks ago. They were only 99 cents each. They have very pretty floral designs on them. My daughter gave me an idea to use the tiered tray to hold perfume bottles on my dresser. Here it is ~

I decided to use the other tray to hold jewelry. It really is a pretty one. I love the twisted handle on this one.
So the next time you see a piece of hammered aluminum think about using it on your dresser.


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recent Finds

I have been going to my favorite thrift store every Friday night after work as a little end-of-the-week treat to myself. I haven't found much. I did luck out and get 2 Pyrex casserole dishes. I was especially pleased that one of them was Butterprint and had the lid. It is in mint condition.
The other one is "Forest Fancies". It did have the lid but there was a big chip in it so I just got rid of the lid. I have extras so it wasn't a big loss.

At an indoor flea market I bought the 401 Autumn Harvest bowl. I love the color of this one. I plan to use it in the fall. Also found a Floraline planter in matte white.

I also bought this cute apron at the flea market.
Not a huge haul but I am still pretty happy with what I did find. All very cheap also!


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Pyrex Christmas Bowl

Christmas came again for me this past weekend when to my surprise and delight I found the Pyrex Christmas Bowl at an antique store in West Virginia. I have coveted this bowl for months/years now ever since seeing pictures of it on some of my favorite collecting/vintage blogs and on Instagram. I have seen it for sale on eBay too but usually it is in the weeks prior to Christmas and I am always so broke at that time and saving to buy Christmas presents that I can't justify buying myself anything let along a collectible bowl.

Anyway...after months of searching at local antique stores and even thrift shops I had resigned myself to the fact that it was doubtful I would ever see one in my lifetime. I further confirmed that idea in my mind when I learned that this bowl was actually a Christmas present that was given to employees who worked at the Pyrex plant in Charleroi, Pennsylvania and not ever offered for sale to the public.

So you can image my surprise when I did actually see this bowl at an antique store. Here is how it went down in case you are interested in living vicariously through me...

This past Saturday my husband and I happened to be in West Virginia and we decided to stop at a lovely antique store called Sweet Memories. I am strolling through the store leisurely - looking at all of the lovely items. There happened to be some other pieces of Pyrex for sale so I was looking things over deciding if I wanted to buy anything. Well my husband is way ahead of me through the store. Suddenly I hear "KATE - GET OVER HERE!" When I meet up with him he has found the bowl. My mouth drops open in surprise. The bowl is inside a locked glass case on display like the Crown Jewels.

Here it is at the store. You can see me in the reflection using my phone to snap a picture.

After getting the sales clerk to come over and unlock the case ~ and looking the bowl over ~ I decide to go ahead and splurge on it. It is a bit spendy for my very thrifty self, but husband encourages me to get it because I have wanted one for so long {and may never see one in person again}. I buy it and then do the happy dance in the car on the way home!

It isn't until I get home that I consciously notice that the holly leaves on this bowl are orange instead of white. Not exactly very "Christmasy". The colors never even registered in my brain while at the store. I think I was just in buying mode - not thinking mode. Oh well ~ I still love it. I'm just bummed I have to put it away with my Christmas decorations until next year. Want to hear another interesting tidbit? The seller happens to have another one of these bowls in her collection. Not sure where she got 2 ~ but now she is down to 1 thanks to me!

This is why I love collecting! It is the unexpected finds that make it so fun. Finding "the one" you have been searching for when you least expect to ~Allowing your husband to spoil you with Pyrex! Treating yourself to something that you don't really need but will totally enjoy ~ Reliving the memory of our trip to WV and finding this bowl every time I pull it out of storage. It is all pure fun.


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Baby Shoe Planters

For a while now I have been in love with baby shoe planters and other vintage baby items. I have a small collection. I recently put all of my baby planters together on one shelf for display. Here it is ~
A closer look ~

Even though my babies are grown ~ i plan to keep collecting vintage baby! I love it!


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