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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fun Vintage Stuff!

My Husband's Grandfather died last year, leaving several houses filled to the brim with just about every item imaginable. Grandpa Sherwood was a mechanically minded man. He loved to work with his hands and he could fix anything... so he rarely threw anything away. Which honestly made him a bit of a hoarder by today's standards... but what I think is somewhat of an admirable quality that has lost credibility in today's 'disposable' consumerist society. But I digress. My Mother in law and her siblings have spent almost a year sorting through all the many many many belongings in the house trying to figure out what could be kept, what should be sold, and what just needed to be thrown away. She told me one day they sent a trailer with seven typewriters to the dumpster-- seven! But they had kept at least that many typewriters from the house to sell in the auction. Can you imagine a person with 14 typewriters that they didn't have time to get around to fixing???  Apparently it was like that with every mechanical type item you can think of... from large farm equipment to tiny keys and padlocks.
I don't know for sure if Grandpa was a locksmith/keymaker by trade, or if it was just a hobby. But they found literally hundreds of keys and lock in the house. My MIL grabbed a few old ones for me... as she knows of my love for keys and locks. Check these out:

Aren't those lovely? The fun skeleton keys and the lovely old padlocks that we can't open. It's like they have a story or a secret! They make me happy.
Also in the house were the belongings of Grandma Sherwood (who died before I was a part of the family). She was apparently a seamstress and like her husband had a thing for collecting any little odd and end that might ever be of use. My MIL found her sewing/button box and thought I might be interested in some vintage buttons. (She thought right!) But when she brought me the box it had four layers to sort through that looked like this:
Actually, to be honest, I had already weeded through this layer--removing scrap paper, several lids from toothpaste tubes, tons of rusty safety pins, some tiny scraps of fabric trim, and a llama made of pipe cleaners (!?!?!)-- before taking this picture. I was a tad overwhelmed. But when I started digging through the layers, treasures started emerging like these lovelies:
 I added a quarter in there... some of these are amazing just because they are so tiny, or so large.
Like these tiny little glass buttons... I love the bright blue and the gold on the front. SO fun.
These giant black ones might be my favs out of the bunch.  They are heavy faceted black glass buttons. How lovely would these be on a wool coat?

 These buttons are all shells or stones. Yes, even the big ugly brown one that I thought was plastic at first too... but I picked it up and it was heavy and cool and had a rough rocky back... really cool huh?
These are so tiny and sweet I can hardly stand it-- but definitely hand carved. Can you believe that?
 Cool carved wooden button.

 And even as I was waiting for photos to upload I found I really cool yellow one... and some sweet old metal ones... and a bunch of old buckles and stuff. Really fun stuff. Thank you to my MIL for thinking of me! :)
Have you found, inherited, or been gifted any cool vintage stuff???


  1. ....about two weeks ago someone asked me if I wanted about 150 vintage patterns from the 50's and 60's. Excuse me? Is this a dream come true? Best vintage gifting ever. Except for the time my husband came home from a road trip with HUNDREDS of vintage buttons all strung in color families. That was better, actually.

  2. Oh my word, did you just DIE over the patterns? I would probably faint. :) How fun... have you used any yet?