It's fun to discover new (to me) bloggers, and come away with bits of beauty and inspiration.
Rue at An Old-Fashioned World, a new blogging friend, has inspired me in vintage living. She really does live an old-fashioned life, down to her darling retro kitchen and vintage clothing. Rue uses old things, most made before 1960. I already use my vintage linens and dishes on a daily basis, but she got me thinking about other useful and beautiful vintage items, including appliances . . .
You and I both know that appliances nowadays have a built-in obsolescence. We're lucky if a vacuum cleaner or coffee pot or washing machine lasts more than five years. And when it does break down, it's cheaper to just replace the thing than to get it repaired.
(We did just pay a couple hundred dollars to repair our 31-year-old Maytag washer. It was worth it. They just don't make them like that anymore. A friend, with a fancy, few-years-old stackable washer/dryer combo, is already looking at having to purchase a new one.)
And what happened to Made in the USA? Do you see anything made here anymore? It seems everything comes from China.
But, not too long ago, many things were made right here. And they were quality.
A vintage Westclox Baby Ben wind-up alarm clock for my bedside. Better than having my cell phone alarm close to my head at night. Who knows what the potential damage of that could be? And this little clock is perfect if the power goes out.
Isn't it cute? I found it on eBay for under $10. It works perfectly. (I just need to remember to wind it up every night!)
So imagine me, shutting off my cheery little alarm, slipping into my slippers and housecoat, and padding downstairs to start up the percolator and make myself some toast a la Lucy?
(Of course, I would also need to scramble eggs for
Ricky Mr. Beautiful while he reads the paper, but that's not going to happen. Mr. B lives in the 21st century. He has a green smoothie and then checks his emails. I have to say, though, he does enjoy percolated coffee, if he's not in a hurry. Then he grabs a cup from the Keurig.)
I often have a rice protein powder waffle in the mornings, but my other go-to is a slice of Ezekiel bread, toasted, and spread with real butter. It provides lots of good protein to keep me going all morning, but also satisfies my carb cravings.
So look at this gorgeous, shiny Toastmaster toaster from the 50s. One dial on it, to adjust light to dark. No lever to push the toast down; the toast just drops down into the toaster by gravity. It works perfectly. (The cord and plug look perfect, but I do unplug it after use, just in case!)
I'm thinking more and more of our large antique mall here when I need something. New dishcloths? I just got four lovely soft linen ones there. So much nicer than the made in China ones at Target. I need a glass pitcher for iced tea. Instead of heading over to Target or Bed Bath and Beyond, why not recycle and reuse, and enjoy made in the USA, vintage quality by buying one from one of the vintage dealers?
I have a stove-top percolator, but I'm thinking of getting an electric one as well. The guy who had the toaster has some equally shiny and nice-looking vintage percolators, too.
Looking around my kitchen, I realize that many of the things I use every day are old, from casserole dishes from my grandfather, to strainers and pie servers from my mother in law. I love them. Besides being useful, they are beautiful, and evoke memories of loved family members and a bygone era.
Thanks, Rue, for the inspiration.
Do any of you use vintage things at home? What about appliances?