Flower Frogs ~ Not Just for Florists Anymore ~ Part Two

As we saw in Part One of this brief collectible exploration, the styles of flower frogs are numerous and varied.
But what if you’re not into floral arranging? What if you want to showcase the flower frog, and not hide it inside a vase? What else can you do with them?
Here are a few ideas:

1. Business card holder. (see top image)
2. Related to #1, a photo or greeting card holder. Any kind of ephemera holder, actually. I used one to display a flashcard in an Etsy listing. Use them to hold table numbers at a wedding. A sweet botanical print would look lovely on display.

 Photo from HWIT BLOGG

3. Crafts holder. I’ve seen this for pencils, paintbrushes, scissors, crochet hooks…. Go even further past crafts. Think makeup brushes for your vanity.

4. Decorative / altered art use. If you’re more creative than I am, look what you can do! I love the vignette in a cloche look! I’ve also seen just stacks of flower frogs in a cloche. Like a mini sculpture.
5. Display your collection. Stack ’em on a mantle. Display in a wall hanging soda crate. Intersperse them on your bookshelves. 
Not enough room in this blog to go through all the options so check out my Flower Frog board on Pinterest for more ideas! 
Anything else you’ve used flower frogs for? Unique display ideas? Feel free to share!

Flower Frogs ~ Not Just for Florists Anymore

If you’ve visited an antique mall anytime in recent years, you’ve probably seen them. They may have been made out of graceful glass, industrial metal or pretty pottery. They could have been spiky or figural or full of holes.
We’re talking about a bit of an under the radar collectible…the flower frog.

 Photo by Shannon P (that’s me!)

Flower frogs come in all different styles and materials, which is very appealing to the collector! You could collect just the figural ceramic ones, the various metal industrial ones or all the different colored glass frogs.
Doing research on this topic, let me tell you, the latent hoarder collector in me is very tempted. Look at some of these beauties!

(me again)

First off, a somewhat classic design is the spiky frog, which is popular in Japanese ikebana flower arranging. It’s called a Kenzan. This one is best for slender, flimsy stems.
Another fairly common style of flower frog is the clear glass variety.

These are great for tulips and other flowers with thick stems. These flower frogs can fit nicely into milk glass bowls and other containers. 
But it gets better!

They come in colored glass as well! The big glass makers all made them…Fostoria, Fenton, Viking. And it seems the color options are endless. Amber, carnival, peach luster, black, violet…

Or you could go mod…
There is quite the variety in metal as well, if your tastes run more toward the functional and industrial.
The cage design shown in the top picture of this post is somewhat easily found, sometimes they are painted green to help them blend in with the foliage.
Other options: 
This unusual wire style flower frog is great for thick stems or thin branches and would add a bit of texture to a garden industrial vignette.
Holy smokes! See what I mean? And I haven’t even touched on the figural ceramics! Here’s a taste, but try Googling that yourself too. You’ll see some amazing examples.
The list seems endless. 
But what if you’re not a florist? Can’t arrange a flower to save your life? 
Don’t worry! You could just collect flower frogs and display them or…
there are many other uses for flower frogs.
Which style is your favorite? Leave a comment below!
See “Flower Frogs ~ Not Just for Florists Anymore ~ Part Two” for display and repurposing ideas.

Also, Follow my board “Flower Frogs” on Pinterest for even more inspiration!

A Vintage Education ~ Dating Old Canning Jars

┬áVintage canning jars are one of those things that have kind of been in the background for me. I see canning jars fairly often at thrifts and yard sales and I normally pass right over them. Most are newer and clear glass. I’ve picked up a few in the past, just for my personal storage…I like those kinds with the glass lid and wire bail.
I found the one in the picture above at an estate sale and I knew the zinc lid was a good sign for age and I loved the aqua color.
I also recently came across this reference: HERE is the website I found it on. Lots of great information there!

So let’s take a look at my jar again using the above information.
Hmm…no underline…yes! My jar dates from 1923-1933!!
Wow! I love this!

The number on the bottom of mine is 2. I was all set to research that when I read this on the Minnetrista blog:
“These are called mold numbers. They identify the position that the mold in which the jar was made held on the glassmaking machine. Most machines would have from eight to ten molds, all making the same type of jar. The quality control people used the number on the bottom of the jar to identify which mold was producing bad jars. The number has nothing to do with when the jar was made.”
Well that sorts that out.
I found the next jar at that same estate sale. It’s by Kerr and it’s clear.

Not a whole lot of information to be found about Kerr, just some history. But my jar has seams…which indicates post 1915 when the jars were machine made. Also there’s a Patent Date of August 31st, 1915 on the bottom of the jar…so obviously after that. Some more research to be done! But that’s the fun part!!

Vintage canning jars are popular with collectors and DIY-ers. There is quite the selection on Etsy as well.

Retro Atomic Flatware – A Grocery Store Giveaway

I may have blogged about this before, (haven’t searched for it yet) but I thought I’d share again anyway. I just got through listing some of this flatware in The Retro Shop. I’ve sold similar pieces before so I was happy to come across some again.

The flatware is stainless and is simply marked “Stainless Japan”. The black part is synthetic. Some versions have 2 or 3 stars on them.

It was a bit hard to research it initially, most people just listed it with that information. Which is fine, because it worked. I was able to find other similar pieces even without knowing a manufacturer.

Then I delved a bit deeper and found a person who had posted on a forum that he was looking for more pieces. He had his mother’s set and wanted to add to it. She had gotten as a giveaway from a grocery store (Ralph’s, I think) in the 1960s in California.
Ah, interesting!

Then as I listed and sold those initial pieces I found, I discovered how popular they were. I had people So I’m sure there were several grocery store chains that participated. Lots of people wanted to add to their parent’s sets or re-create the set they remembered as a child.

Which is why selling retro flatware is so cool! I love these stories!
Anybody else remember flatware like this? Which grocery store gave it away?

A Thrifting Adventure With…Curtis Jere

This is just one of those thrifting stories I’m going to love telling over and over again.

Curtis Jere pieces have been on my radar for awhile. I knew owl pieces were good. In fact, this little owl that I found a couple years ago that I blogged about here, has at times been attributed to Jere, but it wasn’t signed. I scan the metal section of thrift stores regularly since it seemed that the pieces could get overlooked. They’re metal wall or table art/sculptures and harder to find than I expected. Most pieces I’ve seen end up being by Homco or Made in Taiwan.

So yesterday, when I had an appointment to buy a Lane mid century end table for my living room and was all ready to head to it (it was about 45 minutes away) I got a text from the seller telling me about some damage she had forgotten to disclose. After a few exchanges and pictures sent to the carpenter hubby..it was a no-go. But I had just picked up a friend to go with me and the kiddos were loaded so we said…”let’s go thrifting anyway!” We decided to drive up to the Goodwill we were planning on going to anyway.

Just about the first thing I see when I walk in was this big metal sculpture and it was love at first sight. I didn’t even imagine it was a Jere piece, I just thought it was cool and that it would sell. Vintage metal art sells. And if it didn’t…I’d find a spot to keep it. Plus the price was right! (very surprising in that overpriced Goodwill!)
I gave a quick scan on the back to see if the C. Jere signature jumped out at me (it looks like it’s written in Sharpie) but wasn’t surprised not to see it.

I loaded it into my woefully too small cart and spent the next 45 minutes trying not to impale my 6 year old who, with the uncanny-ness of a 6 year old…gravitated toward the front of my cart every 30 seconds. I was also trying not to rip any clothing or give any other shoppers their Christmas goose early!

Finally wrangled it into the car and listened to it rattle the whole way home. I remember remarking to my friend that we didn’t find anything amazing (stopped at another Goodwill on our way home where I bought a hole punch, hot rollers and a couple spoons…whoohoo) but that it was still fun.

This morning I pulled it out again, just to see if I could find that Jere signature hiding on the back of one of the trees or hidden somewhere. No dice.

So then I decided to hang it up on a hook in our stair landing just to see what it looked like on a wall and maybe take a few snaps for you blog readers. And what jumps out at me?

What’s that? No kidding…I discovered what a “sharp intake of breath” really sounds like. See it?

Aaahhhh! The signature was on the FRONT!! Hilarious. There I was tooling around Goodwill, not even realizing what was in my cart. ­čÖé
I’m still researching it and I’ll have to figure out how much shipping will be before I list it. But for now it looks pretty good on my wall.