I have met my match in thrift-shop sleuthing

KayteeJane's cart with wheels

Ah, the things the internet can find! This cart, now proudly owned by my fellow blogger (and lover of vintage) KayteeJane, is exactly the same as one that graced the Manse’s pantry once upon a time. (Photo courtesy of KayteeJane’s House)

You might recall that in last night’s post – in which I was wondering aloud (okay, through my fingertips as I typed) about the original layout of the Manse’s ground floor – I made mention of the small pantry off the kitchen. It wasn’t the first time I’ve mentioned the pantry, of course; there’s a post devoted to it here, for instance, and it’s showed up numerous other times.

It is a funny little room, especially considering that in the current ground-floor layout (which is the same as when I was growing up in the Manse in the 1960s and ’70s), it is the sole place for food preparation, i.e. chopping and mixing and cooking and also washing the dishes (by hand). When I think of all the meals for family and “company” that came out of that cramped little space back when my mum was doing the cooking I am thoroughly amazed. (And it makes me feel a little less grumpy about how crowded it is now, when Raymond and I are both working in it. Really, compared with what my mum had to deal with when cooking for her family and all those guests, we have nothing to complain about.)

Anyway. I’ve been meaning to tell you for a while about a fun blog I’ve found by a young woman who – I can hardly believe I’m saying this – seems to get more enjoyment out of seeking thrift-store finds and treasures than even I do. Her name is KayteeJane, she lives Stateside, and here’s what she says in introducing herself: “I have a passion for vintage! My favorite thing to do is hunt for treasures at thrift stores, estate sales and yard sales.” Sound familiar? (If not, check out my yard-sale/auction-sale/thrift-shop posts here and here and here and here and here and – well, you get the picture.) While KayteeJane’s particular weakness is vintage Pyrex and mine is vintage Fire-King, we are two women cut from the same cloth. I hate to think what might happen if she and I were let loose on the same yard sale or thrift shop.

(There is one major difference, however: KayteeJane is into crafts, and is handy that way; I get hives when I have to do so much as tie a ribbon on a gift I’m wrapping, which is close enough to arts and crafts for me.)

I discovered her blog by accident, when I was looking online for a photo of – yes, this is coming back to the pantry at the Manse – a metal stand my family used to have in said pantry as a place to put the two buckets of drinking water that were always on hand, carried from the pump up at the old village schoolhouse. (I wrote here about the lack of potable water at the Manse in all the years we lived here.) In a post here, listing her most recent finds as of July 2013, KayteeJane included what I’m sure is the very same cart, which she purchased for a mere $2 and planned to “paint … a cute color [I told you she was into arts and crafts] and then either use … as a bar cart or craft cart.”

KayteeJane very kindly gave me permission to use the photo, and now seems to be just the time to do so. Especially since her most recent post, as of this writing, is a delightful one – it’s here – about the joy of finding something she had been looking for for years, and “do[ing] the happy dance in the car on the way home.” Man, can I relate to that! And if you too love yard-sale and thrift-shop finds, I think you’ll enjoy it too.

So KayteeJane, thanks for the metal-cart photo and your unflagging enthusiasm for finding vintage treasures at bargain prices. Thanks to you, I know I am not alone!

7 thoughts on “I have met my match in thrift-shop sleuthing

  1. Oh! I am still laughing at your comment about getting hives when faced with having to tie a ribbon…crafts are not for the faint of heart! I seem to remember a metal cart like that…it’s dancing about at the edge of my memory. I think I might have to visit young Miss KayteeJane!

    • Yes, Lindi, I have to confess that crafts are not my thing – and believe you me, I have a very broad definition of “crafts.” (Like, anything that requires co-ordination and/or a decorative touch.)

  2. KayteeJane has a very interesting collection of pretty Pyrex ware (and other pieces.) When I read that you like Fire King pieces, I decided to check one of my bowls, as I assumed it is Fire King. It is a white bowl, about 3-quarts in capacity, with turquoise fruit around the bowl. The bottom of the bowl is stamped with an “F” in a shield. I could not find anything about this type of Fire King mark, and it’s no wonder when I discovered that it’s not Fire King. It’s a bowl from the Federal Glass Company, and likely from the 1950s. Still, it is a very nice piece, and here is a photo of a set of three on eBay. Now, if it had not been for this topic being posted, I likely would never have known the difference, so thanks for posting this.


    • Those bowls are very nice, Sash! I know exactly the F-in-a-shield symbol you refer to, having seen it many times on the bottom of bowls or plates or whatnot that I pick up to examine in antiques barns and at yard sales. Yes, I do go for the Fire-King, and KayteeJane goes for the Pyrex, but I would be shocked if there weren’t also collectors devoted to pieces from the Federal Glass Company. Perhaps you can find some more of it at the Belleville Value Village!

      • I was certain my bowl was Fire-King, but the mark stumped me. I was so glad to have learned the truth of it. Yes, maybe VV in Belleville just might have other pieces. Know what else I love? Earthenware mixing bowls. Gripstand bowls cost a fortune, but there are others are one sometimes chances upon at the shops. I have a lovely fluted one (sort of a Dijon mustard shade, with blue bands). And I have another interesting turquoise earthenware bowl that was my mother’s, with a relief pattern of the wind (with face) blowing the sails of a tall ship. I did see a Fire-King bowl with various coloured fruit on it, in a shop called The Singing Lady. Do you know of the bowls with that design?

      • Yes, I am pretty sure I’ve seen the ones with coloured fruit on them, Sash. There’s a ton of Fire-King out there and I’ve pretty much narrowed down what I search for (and buy, if the price is right) to two or three types. And yes, earthenware mixing bowls: love ’em!

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