Chicken Salt & Pepper

Love these. Very stylized and 2-dimensional, like illustrations in an arty children’s book.

Drumheller dinosaurs

Some thrift store items are a mystery, others tell you their entire life story.

This cute little guy was made with lots of love and green paint by Eugenia Lippolt, a lady wrestler from Drumheller (“Dinosaur Capital of the World”), who supplemented her income by making ceramic novelties to sell to tourists. One summer, she sold an entire lot to the Waldorf Hotel who put them under their guests’ pillows instead of chocolate mints until the guests started to complain of broken teeth.

Uncle Ray, in town for the wedding of a second cousin, took his dinosaur home and gave it to his sister’s kid for her sixth birthday. Little Julie, hopped up on chiffon cake and pink lemonade, was furious that Uncle Ray would give her a present he so obviously got for free. She threw it against a cinder block wall causing the head and a few smaller pieces to break off.

Ashamed by her outburst, Julie glued the pieces back on with Elmer’s Glue-All. Little Julie grew up to be a world famous paleontologist. Coincidence? Probably.

Long story short: A bunch of years passed, I bought the dinosaur at the Salvation Army collectibles store for 99¢ and took it home to meet its new shelfmates:

Not marked, but it doesn’t take a handwriting expert to recognize Eugenia’s printing.

Not by Eugenia. You can tell by the raised lettering on the beautifully mottled base…

and by the label on the back. Elizabeth was Eugenia’s main competitor in the cutthroat multihundred dollar ceramic souvenir industry in Drumheller. They loathed each other and often lobbed overripe crab apples into each others’ yards (they were neighbours). Eventually, cheaper and more durable plastic dinosaurs from Japan put them both out of business.

Some parts of this story may not be true. I couldn’t find any info at all about Eugenia Lippolt on the internet. Odd, considering how unique that name is and how many of these figures must be out there (I’ve been coming across them long before I started my collection).

Eugenia Lippolt. Eugenia Lippolt. EUGENIA LIPPOLT. Now anyone googling Eugenia will find this page first. Maybe that’s how you got here. What do you know about Eugenia?

Elizabeth Simpson is also an enigma. A pity. These pieces have so much more character and charm than their modern equivalents. These two ladies should be documented and celebrated.

Hawaiian hula girl ashtray

Heads or tails?

One too many Mai Tais

Thrift Item of the Moment

January 31, 2010

Novelty oversize brandy snifter

So many uses. Pefect for retro desserts:

Ice cream balls with creme de menthe.

Multistripe Delight:

click to englarge

Some helpful hints for making Multistripe Delight: Use a smaller large novelty snifter than this one unless you and your friends looove jello. I’d also recommend you set it at a shallower angle. When I put the snifter upright, the jello came away from sides and shifted ever so slowly over the course of the evening, trying to level itself out (you might also reduce the amount of water in the recipe to make it firmer).

I used the six colours of the rainbow, our good friend Roy G. Biv (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet).

Gayest dessert ever.

Thrift Item of the Moment

January 25, 2010

Bobbly mugs



Thrift Item of the Moment

November 29, 2009


…being the plural of Jesus.



Lit from within


The Jesus corner.

From my friend Michael’s garage/studio sale (more later).

Thrift Item of the Moment

November 28, 2009


Vam is my new favorite word. That’s so vam! Stop vammin’ me! I think I’m gonna vam!

Stands for Vegetable (sesame), Animal (lanolin), Mineral (mineral oil) – the three components in this vintage grooming product.

From my friend Michael’s garage/studio sale (more later).

ps. VAM smells like ASS.

Thrift Item of the Moment

November 13, 2009

An Infinite Number of Coconut Monkeys


Thrift Item of the Moment

November 1, 2009





I could easily become obsessed with collecting old pressed-glass juicers. I’m afraid I’d have dozens in no time because they’re quite common and inexpensive. They really appeal to me as sculptural objects (and I also like to use them to squeeze citrus fruits). I’ve been resisting, but I had to have this one because it’s very deep and holds lots & lots of juice (unlike the one I’ve been using) – and it’s beautiful.

Thrift Item of the Moment

October 22, 2009

Collapsible Christmas Tree


It’s been years since I’ve had a Christmas tree. This one appealed to me because it folds down nothing and takes no time to set up.


And it looks a little odd and ramshackle, but in an endearing way, like it was drawn by Dr. Seuss.


15 bucks at the Sally Ann. Including the garland and some stray tinsel.


I also bought these beauties to add to my collection of vintage tree ornaments. I’ll post a picture closer to Christmas when I have the tree decked out.