Around the World in Fifteen Minutes

We’re participating in an online promotion called “Grow Your Blog” on January 25th.  Since you all read the blog, that post isn’t really meant for you.  However, you might want to take a gander at it, if you’ve never read our very first blog post, Howdy, No Doody.  We talk about why we started this blog, which is still a mystery to most of our friends and family members.  BUT, what we really wanted to tell you about is the giveaway that’s going on, along with all the hullabaloo–it’s open to everyone.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on any blog post between now and midnight Valentine’s Day, or email us at  We’ll announce the winners on February 15th.

So what are we giving away?  You’re wise to ask.  We bought some feed bags at a garage sale for 25¢ each:

Vintage Feed Sack We’re going to make two tea towels and four napkins from this material and they will be two of the prizes.  What’s the third prize?  Hopefully your Spidey senses are tingling, and warning you of danger:

Isn't it a prize?  Isn't it a prize backside?
We don’t know what this thing is.  All we can tell you is that it is cloth, about six inches tall, vintage, the tag says “Japan”, and my dog Koko wants to chew on it with every fiber of his being.  Seeing it on the shelf was like being poleaxed: our mouths were agape, we couldn’t speak, and I’m sure our eyes were bugging out of our heads.  Once we regained control of our bodies, we started laughing and agreed that we had NEVER seen anything like this!  We both knew then that this had to come home with us and be part of a blog giveaway.

The other thing you need to know is that we aren’t going to tell you which prize you won; you’ll know all too soon if it’s the bad one.

Now, onto our regularly scheduled post.

People in northern Colorado must be cleaning out their cupboards and attics in record numbers.  We have been swamped with much, much badness, and some goodness.  The problem is that it’s all being purchased as fast as it comes in.  Here is an entry in one of our favorite games–What The Heck Is In That Person’s Cart?

Shopping Cart FunI’m afraid that lamp would be a tricky upcycle no matter how creative you are.  How big of a lamp shade would you need to keep everything in proportion?  The little topper on there now is just plain silly looking.

While we were maneuvering to take a sneaky picture of this poor lady’s cart, we noticed that she had picked up this beauty:

Shopping Cart RejectI soooo wanted to take a picture of that confused flowering bush with the ginormous lamp, but she set the bush back down.  We saw her again at another thrift store; she had a pickup truck loaded with home decor very similar to what was in her cart at Goodwill.  It’s a mystery what she was going to do with it all.

After seeing about 50 bells, we realized that it was someone’s bell collection.  Our favorite was this one: 

Wedgewood BellYou have to really, really like Wedgwood to want old Josiah Wedgwood’s mug “decorating” your bell.  Well, I think it’s Josiah, but really it could be almost any olde timey dude.  The bell collection might have been a souvenir bell collection–there were some that looked like travel tchotchkes.  It’s sad to split them up, because they’re sort of odd out of context.

When we saw these silverware boxes closed, we opened them without many expectations–closed silverware boxes are usually empty:

Thai Silverware?  close up of serving pieces2

Just goes to show what we know!  This is why we go out every week–you just never know what you’re going to find.  This impressive set of Thai silverware (I don’t think it’s really silver, but flatware is so stuffy) also comes with lots of serving pieces.  We’re calling it Thai because it resembles the decoration on Thai silver jewelry.  If you know what it really is, please let us know so we can publish a correction.  [We’ve been reliably informed that this flatware service is indeed Thai.  A reader’s husband brought just such a set back to the states when he was stationed in Viet Nam during the war.  Thank you Terri!]  Something else that had us scratching our heads is how did it get here in the first place?  Maybe we’re just too curious and should stop thinking about this stuff before we give ourselves headaches!

Inside the glass case was this odd plate:

3D windmill plate

First off, what made it so valuable that it needed to be in the glass case?  Just to make it a little more “¿Que?” the picture is 3-D with spinny blades.  Is that the best you can do for a souvenir from the Netherlands?  Our recommendation is stick with tulip bulbs, pretty delftware, cheese, or klompen.   (Kathy note:  I just spotted this same plate on Sheldon’s Mom’s house wall in the Big Bang Theory.  So think big hair and Texas when you see it!)

Speaking of souvenirs, here is one from Russia:

Plastic Russian DollHe is pretty cute, but very inexpensively made.  The plastic is lightweight, and he doesn’t even have pants, just white painted-on leggings and brown painted-on boots.  At the risk of sounding like an awfully bossy know-it-all, if you wanted a doll, and you were in Russia, what about those fascinating wooden matroyoshka (nesting) dolls?  If you travel a lot, but have really limited ideas about shopping, take us along!  We guarantee that we will find you the most awesome souvenirs that have ever been stuffed into a bulging suitcase.

Since this post has degenerated into a travelogue, here is something that is at least labeled a souvenir:

Leather GoodsThe little leather thingy on the right is a souvenir of Madison, Wis.  Now, what is it for?  The wallet is from Canada, so it might or might not be a souvenir.  What fascinated us about the wallet is that it is made from antique calf (it says so in golden script on the bottom right).  Isn’t an antique calf just an old cow?  You tell us!

We have just two more pictures to post, but they aren’t ours:

MBorn lucky piece  MBorn lucky piece2

We were contacted by David, who had come across this lucky piece.  Of course he did an internet search for M. Born & Co.  As we well know from previous searches, such references are thin on the ground.  There is a museum in Ireland, several archives of pictures, and us.  Sadly we don’t know any more than we did when Beth contacted us a year and a half ago.  If anyone knows about this lucky piece, or M. Born & Co in general and feels like sharing, please contact us through the blog or at:

Well, that’s all for this post.  Keep your eyes peeled for the Valentine’s Day post coming up, and of course tune in on February 15th–you might be a winner!

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6 Responses to Around the World in Fifteen Minutes

  1. Terri Gold says:

    The silverware set is from Thailand. My husband brought one home around the time of the Viet Nam war. I’m guessing many servicemen bought these unusual sets back to the US. I sold mine on eBay years ago.

    • kathy & deb says:

      Thanks Terri–it looked Thai to us, but we didn’t get the pieces out to examine them closely, It also makes sense that it came home with a serviceman–there’s a base at Fort Carson which is near Colorado Springs.

  2. I always enjoy reading your Blog. The picture of the “sock doll” looks like a craft I did when I was in Girl Scouts eons ago 🙂

    • kathy & deb says:

      Thank you so much! I can just imagine a whole troop of Girl Scouts making those sock dolls! It was a different time then and Girl Scouts didn’t have to worry about anything but selling cookies, earning badges, and having fun!

  3. “Olde timey dude” – he, he – this made me read the rest of the post through squinty, slightly-teary eyes from too much giggling! The flowery topiary also contributed greatly to those giggles. I love that you are having a give away – and what a fabulous twist on the blog giveaway theme – you won’t know which prize you are getting! Intriguing! I love that vintage material you got from a garage sale – and I seriously think I would dissolve into a pool of belly laughs if your amazing “made in Japan” number turned up on my doorstep!!!

    • kathy & deb says:

      Watch out Dani–you are now entered and she may very well be yours! So glad that we made you laugh–and that you told us so! ((hugs))

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