Thursday, April 17, 2014

Some of my vintage Easter decorations


I decided to put out a nice big selection of my Easter decorations this year. We don't have a lot of space for displaying everything so usually it is just the mantle that gets decorated. Babies and toddlers definitely limit where things can be displayed. This year my wife is in Toronto for an extended visit with our daughter and her family helping with their brand new baby boy... I wish that I was there!

All of the images are fairly large so that you can see the items quite easily, just click on them for a better look.

As you can see all of the fun items are at the level that a child would love to get their little fingers into and rightly so these are childhood toys. This picture shows the left side of the display, the Easter baskets on the hearth, cardboard eggs in baskets, toys, decorations, and vases... I love it!

Here is a closer look at the items on the two trees. The trees were made from some branches that I built out of wire and painted cotton batting. I have used them over the years in window displays as well as at home. The narrow necked vases were filled with marble sand and then the branches stuck in the neck opening and then topped off with more sand. Vintage cellophane Easter grass hides the messiness of the neck opening. The sand is important, it gives a heavy base to stop the tree from toppling over.

Here is a close-up of the items at the base of the trees. The rabbit that is hanging from the tree is a box or little girl's purse from Japan.

This side view of the trees gives you a better look at the hanging cardboard eggs.

This is the view as you sit in the stuffed chair looking at the mantle.

The side table beside the stuffed chair has two metal baskets filled with cardboard eggs. A clear glass rabbit jelly mould rests on the table in front of them. Flip the top of the plastic eggs and the chick's head pops up making a tiny squeak as it emerges.

Of all of the cardboard eggs this is my favourite one. It is double sided and tells a humorous story. I have never come across another example like this.

Here is the mantle display, the close-up images are below. I didn't get fancy around the mirror, I kind of wish that I had, but time was short.

The bird standing by its nest is made of glue and sawdust I believe; I had to repair the section of the body where one of the legs enters the body and saw what it was made of. The nest is made of rattan woven with strips of loofa. It is standing on a base of cork tree bark. I bought this in the 1990's just after Christmas for around $1.75. The price may be wrong but it was not much more. The ribbon is still attached to it that held the chocolate egg in the nest. There is a foil tag that says, "Fry" on it, most likely Fry's chocolate but I could be wrong.

I have a few of my egg cups on display in amongst the rabbit candy containers.

The tall goofy looking buck toothed rabbit is English made of wired foam rubber. I wouldn't move the arms now to reposition it as I would possibly break off an arm or leg!

Two antique chocolate moulds stand in front of a white plastic rabbit, an advertising bank for Wamsutta Mills.

The centre of the mantle is a little less congested! The purple and yellow textile with hand-painted wisteria blossoms is a tea cosy. It is flanked on either side by two 1960's chocolate boxes. Standing in front of the tea cosy are two ceramic figurines marked Japan on the bottom that remind me of 1950's Italian fashion photography.

Centred between the figurines is one of my favourite items, this salt and pepper shaker set. The hand-painted detail is delightful. The heads are the salt and pepper shakers, lift one out, use it, place it back, and the head nods back and forth. Like I said this is one of my favourite items.

The plaque that is hanging under the mantle was in a bag of Christmas items that I purchased several years ago. It is made in Israel and depicts the moment that God tells Abraham not to sacrifice his son but that He would supply a lamb. Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket. I forgot to mention that God had asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son as a test to see if he trusted God and would obey Him.

Genesis 22 verse 15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares theLord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”

Jesus was the lamb that God provided mankind. Just like Christmas Jesus is the reason for the season! HAHAHA!!!! and I love all of the silly bunnies, chicks, and other decorations that have nothing to do with Easter but are such a delight to see.

I picked up these two jadite rabbits this year. Tucked in between them is the head of a rabbit covered in multi-coloured chenille. It was my mum's I think and all that is left is the head, I wish that I had the body to go with it, it would have been a wonderful piece.

The brown chenille rabbit with the red coat is another one of my favourite pieces. Who am I kidding I have more than "quite a few" favourite pieces! The blue rabbit pulling the pink cart was mine as a child. The celluloid friction toy "Easter on Parade" I bought in the early 1980's for $7.50, that was a lot of money back then, especially for a young family on a tight budget.

This shows the right side of the hearth and the raised display areas. The cardboard box in the shape of a train that is filled with the original plastic Easter eggs is from Australia, it was produced in the early 1960s I believe. The very realistic baby chick eggcup beside it looks contemporary but is marked Japan on the bottom, I think that it may be from the 1960s as well but I am not certain about that.

The metal Easter half egg is early I believe but again I have never seen one before and do not have a date for it. The rabbit jumping over the red mushrooms is a florist vase or planter. The chicks standing between the egg shells are a salt and pepper set. The little ceramic rabbit beside the basket would have held a chocolate egg or a group of eggs but afterwards I don't know what the use would be as it is to large to be used for an eggcup.

I stuck the chenille chick floral pick in behind the little rabbit girl hand puppet so that it looks like she is holding it. I really like the florist vase with the little girl sitting on the fence as the blue bird looks at her singing merrily she reminds me of my wife.

The label on the plastic eggs on the wall says "A Lido Toy.  LOOK!  Eggs snap open and closed for easy filling. PLASTIC Easter Eggs." These are possibly some of the first plastic Easter eggs, the wording and the graphic presentation suggest this. The reverse is printed in French so it is obviously a Canadian item.

The gold foil duck and chick I purchased at a florist wholesaler in the early 1990s, I liked them and thought that they were interesting.

The three purple tulips are joined at the top of the stems just under the flower petls and form a vase with three openings.

And now down to the hearth. I have collected vintage Easter baskets over the years, I haven't seen any for at least ten years now. Most of these baskets are Japanese. The early Japanese Easter baskets are made of wood veneer, bamboo was used later and still is in use today. Bamboo is stronger and less likely to break, you can see that some of the handles on the veneer baskets have broken.

The dark baskets in the background are from the 1950s.

I have several halves of cardboard eggs. The other half may have gone missing over the years before I purchased it or possibly not. Chocolatiers would purchase the cardboard eggs and then use each half separately filling the half with chocolates and candy then possibly wrapping it in cellophane or a fancy ribbon. The cost of one egg would serve as a container for two items for sale on their counters.

The large box of chenille chicks may have been sold from the box along with the rest of the trinkets to create an Easter basket or it may have come from a candy store. I have no idea of the original store that it came from but it is fun to imagine a scenario around an almost full box of pastel chicks. Oh, I bought it from an incredible antique store that had tons of holiday items in stock. Unfortunately it is long gone, even the building has been demolished.

Lots of cardboard eggs and candy tins. I am not certain of the age of the egg shaped candy tin. The purple tin with the pansies is a British toffee tin. The pale blue tin with rabbit playing the violin is marked "Hong Kong" on the back.

In the centre of the cluster of baskets and other doodahs on the hearth I have tried to give some semblance of order with this tidy bit of a display. The rabbit wearing an Easter bonnet is a British toffee tin.In front of it are two hard plastic cake toppers. Two baskets flank it on either side filled with more chenille chicks, roosters, and rabbits. The yellow ceramic rabbit would have been filled with candies and chocolates. A pulp cardboard rabbit is on either side, they are identical except one is white and the other pink.

And that as they say is that! I have other blog posts showing Easter cards, postcards, egg dye packets, and a recipe for Hot Cross Buns. Click here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The EHAG Emporium opens tonight!

Don't forget about the EHAG Emporium, it opens tonight January 31st, at 9PM EST so that is 6 PST. I have been busy in my studio cleaning, sorting, tossing out, and passing on stuff so I will not have anything in this months sale but...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I haven't forgotten about you...

it was the soporific effects of the turkey... the brandied fruitcake... the wine... the brandied mincemeat tarts and the shopping!

This December was very busy with anticipated and unanticipated events.

This large silly tree was created for the church party that was held at "Habit Coffee"; it was an anticipated event.

I wrapped a metallic lime green garland around a boxwood pyramid topiary tree, added mirror balls with a 10" mirror ball on top, ranunculus blossoms, wide bows in a myriad of colours, two candy canes at the bottom, and then wrapped two strands of mini lights around it for good measure. The spiral pink sticks were stuck in when it was finished for height and drama.

Once the party was over it was put in our living room behind the TV.

This was an unanticipated event that threw a monkey wrench into the proceedings.

I wanted to photograph the decorations but was so busy shopping and baking that it kept getting put on the back burner. "I will photograph them just before Christmas," I thought.

The Sunday before Christmas the faucet started leaking due to a crack created when Trish... well we won't go into that story but I still chuckle about it. Several hours of work went into emptying the contents from under the sink, undoing the faucets, drying out the water that had dripped down inside to get it ready for the next day.

Monday started with early morning shopping at the plumbing store, home with our new kitchen faucet and then off to do more Christmas shopping. We arrived home in the early afternoon and I put the new faucet in place. I am not a plumber so I was slower than a professional. About a day was taken up with this little episode.

Enough with the excuses already, here are the decoration pictures that I had promised to everyone on Facebook about three weeks ago! Click on the images for a look at a larger image.

Coming into the living room from the hallway is like walking into an Aladdin's cave. There is the tree that I made for the church party, it's amazing to see that it is dwarfed by the rest of the decorations!

On December 14 our son and daughter-in-law had a party at our place. Many of their friends wanted to see the decorations, a lot of them we already knew and had been here years ago. I found out from my daughter-in-law that several of their friends refer to our house at Christmas as the Christmas cave. We had 35 to 40 people in our very small home, standing room only and it was a blast.

The 6 foot feather tree is decorated with vintage Santa's, sleighs, cardboard houses and 1940's cellophane rope.

Here is a closer look at the decorations on the tree.

On the left side of the feather tree is my computer. Tucked in the back is a 2 foot tree and a group of snowmen two of which are candy containers. The snowmen on the box are battery operated, their noses light up.

The mantle is hung with vintage Christmas stockings and decorated with Santas of various ages, from the Victorian era to the 1960's.

A look at the right hand side of the mantle.

Two of my boxed items, a candy tin and a bristle brush horseshoe with a candy cane.

The 2 foot 1920's feather tree is decorated cotton batting fruit and doll, a wooden and composition dancing couple and topped off with a plastic angel.

The buffet has a vintage cardboard house village with a bristle brush tree forest. The top has an antique chromolithograph nativity that takes centre stage, although in the explosion of colour and quantity you may not believe it! After all, if it wasn't for Him there would be no Christmas. There are antique putz animals running and resting among the trees around the nativity.

The three foot feather tree on the left is decorated with celluloid toys, decorations, and tape measures. It is draped with tinsel and cellophane roping.

The tree on the right is decorated with cotton batting bells and birds draped with tinsel roping. A large cotton batting and paper dove tops the tree.

A wall cupboard has a mini village on top.

A few of the candy and biscuit tins and packaged Christmas decorations.

A large 1950's metal serving tray, pin back buttons, a small biscuit tin, cardboard tray and in the back you can just see some 1920's bristle tree place-card holders.

The large green glass vase is packed with glass bead spikes and other decorative spikes used in flower arrangements and decorating, all dating from the 20's to the 50's.

My large snowman marotte is waiting for the food to be placed on the glass cake stands ready for the party to begin.

The ceiling as usual is covered with paper garlands and vintage paper and silk lanterns, a nod to my British roots.

I can't believe it, Christmas has come and gone and now for a lot of you so has New Year's Eve; am I ever late this year! But better late than never!

To anyone that I missed wishing a Merry Christmas... MERRY CHRISTMAS!

To everyone...


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!

It has been a very busy December and my blog posts have suffered. Oh well, as they say the best laid plans of mice and men...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in the U.S.

Thanksgiving has come and gone in Canada. I hope that all of my American friends have as wonderful a day with family and friends as we did.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Large Scale Advertising Props

The last time that we were in Switzerland visiting our son and daughter-in-law I photographed giant fibreglass display props that are used to advertise shops; here is a link to that blog post. I was on the hunt for more giant food this last August while we were visiting our son, daughter-in-law, and young grandson.

I suppose this wheel of cheese with a wedge cut out isn't exactly gigantic, the wheels of cheese are about this big. It is handmade of wood. I'd love to display it in our home; come to think of it I wouldn't mind owning any of these items.

This fibreglass ice cream cone was about 3' tall and securely attached to the outside of the building.

This fellow owned the ice cream shop, he looked quite at ease having his picture taken, or he may have been amused with me for photographing his ice cream cone prop.

 This large berry is about 24" tall. It was on the fence of a school yard in Goldach pointing in the direction of the apple orchard and berry patch.

Farther up the road was another berry urging you on to the orchard and luscious berries.

Keep going through the orchard and on to the berry patch.

Have a rest on this concrete berry stool if you need to.

Tucked in the garage, behind the car, is a gigantic berry. I don't know what it was used for; maybe it is an old homemade sales prop.

I couldn't resist this warning sign.

This may have been Rita, I don't know, it was pouring rain but I had to get a picture. It is quite a wonderful sales booth. "Erdbeeren" is the plural of strawberries but she had many other berries as well. Rita's berry stand was in a parking lot in Goldach, a couple of miles from the orchard and berry patch.

This giant cookie, I love it, was outside a bakery in Goldach.

This is the edible version that I photographed at a Migros store in St. Gallen. I never did buy one to try. I am certain that a bakery version would be much better than a prepackaged grocery store cookie.

The bakery that had the giant cookie at roadside in the parking lot had this huge loaf of bread on the shop roof.

Although these bottles are not giant props they were huge; that is a regular sized oak barrel. They were outside of a restaurant in Heiden.

A tobacconist in St. Gallen had this huge cigar in their store window.

We were heading back home to Canada and in a duty free shop in the Zurich airport was this giant camel. I had to stop and take a picture.

That is all of the items that I photographed on our last trip to Switzerland. Our next trip there I will scout out more of these giant advertising props.
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