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Betty Jean Shearin 's Entries

53 blogs
  • 23 Sep 2018
       When you see a vintage camper headed down the road, have you ever thought about how much fun it would be to have one. No doubt that they are just cute as can be. They’re in great demand and, of course, with anything vintage, there is a limited supply. They were produced from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. My next door neighbor bought a 1956 Shasta (white camper with turquoise wings). She decorated her camper with vintage everything – from making vintage curtains to pillows to cooking utensils. Seems like the popular colors are red/white, turquoise and pink, You can find these colors in fans, lights, dishes, towels, to outdoor metal chairs. You know the one’s your grandparents had in the yard! Whether you like camping or not, you can always find these vintage treasures at any of The Brass Armadillo stores.  
    1 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  •    When you see a vintage camper headed down the road, have you ever thought about how much fun it would be to have one. No doubt that they are just cute as can be. They’re in great demand and, of course, with anything vintage, there is a limited supply. They were produced from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. My next door neighbor bought a 1956 Shasta (white camper with turquoise wings). She decorated her camper with vintage everything – from making vintage curtains to pillows to cooking utensils. Seems like the popular colors are red/white, turquoise and pink, You can find these colors in fans, lights, dishes, towels, to outdoor metal chairs. You know the one’s your grandparents had in the yard! Whether you like camping or not, you can always find these vintage treasures at any of The Brass Armadillo stores.  
    Sep 23, 2018 1
  • 25 Aug 2018
    Vintage wire ware has been collected for decades. Now it seems there is a resurgence of interest as collectors of wire ware appears to be increasing. Wire tells the story of America and how it shaped the lives of people from cities to across the plains. At the end of the 19th Century, open-range cattle ranching came to an end with the invention of the railroad and the demand for barbed wire fencing was of great importance to farmers in safeguarding farm animals as well as marking the division of land. Just as fencing was important to the rancher, kitchen utensils were important to the way people carried out their daily lives. Collectors are looking for primitive wire baskets, wire egg carriers, milk bottle carriers with wire coil handles, and on and on. A not often seen item is a primitive pie cooling rack holder . Now that would be an awesome find.  A good starting point for your collection could be vintage “Ball” fruit jars with wire bail handles which are less expensive and easier to find.  Primitive wire baskets and lots of kitchen utensils would look great displayed in your kitchen. These collectibles are great reminders that back in the day life was a great deal harder than it is today. They’re great reminders too of how our ancestors lived. Americana at its finest!    
    54 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • Vintage wire ware has been collected for decades. Now it seems there is a resurgence of interest as collectors of wire ware appears to be increasing. Wire tells the story of America and how it shaped the lives of people from cities to across the plains. At the end of the 19th Century, open-range cattle ranching came to an end with the invention of the railroad and the demand for barbed wire fencing was of great importance to farmers in safeguarding farm animals as well as marking the division of land. Just as fencing was important to the rancher, kitchen utensils were important to the way people carried out their daily lives. Collectors are looking for primitive wire baskets, wire egg carriers, milk bottle carriers with wire coil handles, and on and on. A not often seen item is a primitive pie cooling rack holder . Now that would be an awesome find.  A good starting point for your collection could be vintage “Ball” fruit jars with wire bail handles which are less expensive and easier to find.  Primitive wire baskets and lots of kitchen utensils would look great displayed in your kitchen. These collectibles are great reminders that back in the day life was a great deal harder than it is today. They’re great reminders too of how our ancestors lived. Americana at its finest!    
    Aug 25, 2018 54
  • 01 Aug 2018
    THE FANTASY OF ELVES   Way, way back before “Elf on a Shelf” became a sensation, elves existed in fairy tales, plays, stories and mythology.  In the 1500's, it was typical for elves to be embraced into “elf folk tales”. By the mid 1700’s, elves had progressed into Christmas decorations. These adorable characters were thought of as pranksters and sometimes would take revenge on people who offended them – so the story goes. In the 1920’s they were made in German and in the 1930’s, made in Japan. Now a days, they’re mostly seen at Halloween and Christmas (Santa’s little helpers) and highly collectible. I remember seeing them in Woolworth’s – that’s age telling isn’t it!     These days these collectible wee marvels range in cost from $50 and up. Be sure to check for the “Germany” or “Japan” marks on the underside of their feet. These are quite collectible. Be sure to check out The Brass Armadillo for these little wonders! You will find quite a collection especially October thru December.  
    66 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • THE FANTASY OF ELVES   Way, way back before “Elf on a Shelf” became a sensation, elves existed in fairy tales, plays, stories and mythology.  In the 1500's, it was typical for elves to be embraced into “elf folk tales”. By the mid 1700’s, elves had progressed into Christmas decorations. These adorable characters were thought of as pranksters and sometimes would take revenge on people who offended them – so the story goes. In the 1920’s they were made in German and in the 1930’s, made in Japan. Now a days, they’re mostly seen at Halloween and Christmas (Santa’s little helpers) and highly collectible. I remember seeing them in Woolworth’s – that’s age telling isn’t it!     These days these collectible wee marvels range in cost from $50 and up. Be sure to check for the “Germany” or “Japan” marks on the underside of their feet. These are quite collectible. Be sure to check out The Brass Armadillo for these little wonders! You will find quite a collection especially October thru December.  
    Aug 01, 2018 66
  • 16 Jun 2018
    Gambling Memorabilia - Gambling has been around since ancient times and continues to be popular today. Gambling artifacts, from playing cards to dice to chips to actual gaming tables, are collected by thousands of people throughout the US and the world. Gambling items can range in price from under a dollar to thousands of dollars. Playing cards are extremely collectible even by persons who do not gamble.   Casino memorabilia has become very popular as legalized gambling has spread throughout the US. Many people collect poker chips from casinos and sometimes collect various denomination chips from the same casino. Today, one of the more popular gaming items to collect are monogrammed ashtrays from casinos, even though smoking has declined rapidly over the past few years. The next time you are in the Brass Armadillo, be sure to look for gambling items, you may find something that peaks your interests.
    149 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • Gambling Memorabilia - Gambling has been around since ancient times and continues to be popular today. Gambling artifacts, from playing cards to dice to chips to actual gaming tables, are collected by thousands of people throughout the US and the world. Gambling items can range in price from under a dollar to thousands of dollars. Playing cards are extremely collectible even by persons who do not gamble.   Casino memorabilia has become very popular as legalized gambling has spread throughout the US. Many people collect poker chips from casinos and sometimes collect various denomination chips from the same casino. Today, one of the more popular gaming items to collect are monogrammed ashtrays from casinos, even though smoking has declined rapidly over the past few years. The next time you are in the Brass Armadillo, be sure to look for gambling items, you may find something that peaks your interests.
    Jun 16, 2018 149
  • 07 May 2018
    When I think of vintage jewelry boxes, the first thing that comes to mind are the ballerina jewelry boxes of the 1960’s. They were every little girls dream at the time. But there’s a lot more to them than you might think Porcelain trinket boxes were very popular during the Victorian days and were decorated with flowers, animals, and sculptures of children. Jewelry boxes have also displayed various events, such as the World’s Fair in 1904. Metal jewelry boxes became quite the thing in early 1900’s when Art Nouveau was extremely fashionable in France. These were made of metal and decorated with ivory, silver or gold.   The designs included birds, animals and women with long hair. American-made jewelry boxes were focused on historic themes, such as the Civil War and colonial days. The history of jewelry boxes with their unique histories can lead you on a fascinating journey through many countries. It's truly worth your time.  They are a varied lot and there are affordable pieces. There is definitely something out there for everyone. Oh and don’t forget the celluloids!
    175 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • When I think of vintage jewelry boxes, the first thing that comes to mind are the ballerina jewelry boxes of the 1960’s. They were every little girls dream at the time. But there’s a lot more to them than you might think Porcelain trinket boxes were very popular during the Victorian days and were decorated with flowers, animals, and sculptures of children. Jewelry boxes have also displayed various events, such as the World’s Fair in 1904. Metal jewelry boxes became quite the thing in early 1900’s when Art Nouveau was extremely fashionable in France. These were made of metal and decorated with ivory, silver or gold.   The designs included birds, animals and women with long hair. American-made jewelry boxes were focused on historic themes, such as the Civil War and colonial days. The history of jewelry boxes with their unique histories can lead you on a fascinating journey through many countries. It's truly worth your time.  They are a varied lot and there are affordable pieces. There is definitely something out there for everyone. Oh and don’t forget the celluloids!
    May 07, 2018 175
  • 23 Mar 2018
    Cranberry Glass is not just for Thanksgiving. Although red “cranberry glass” has been known to exist since early Roman times, it is believed that what we know today as Cranberry Glass was first made by Antonio Neri in 1612 A.D.   That is when he first added a bit of gold to molten glass to produce the red cranberry color. By the mid 1800’s, glass blowers frequently added gold chloride to the molten glass to produce the brilliant red colors in glass. The art of glass blowing soon was able to produce all types of cranberry glass objects including pitchers, vases, decanters and matching glass ware, and even lamps and lamp shades.   During the 1800’s in the United States, several well-known glass companies began mass-producing cranberry glass items. Among these were Pilgrim Glass and Fenton Glass, each of which sold their cranberry glass items in department and gift stores up until discontinuing operations in the early 2000’s. Today cranberry glass items are mostly produced only by individual glass blowers. Items of cranberry glass are becoming more and more scarce and the older items keep increasing in value.   The next time you are in The Brass Armadillo, be sure to keep your eye out for items made of cranberry glass. Remember when you see a piece of sparkling red cranberry glass, there is an extraordinary history, craftsmanship, and a “touch of gold” in that beautiful color.    
    254 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • Cranberry Glass is not just for Thanksgiving. Although red “cranberry glass” has been known to exist since early Roman times, it is believed that what we know today as Cranberry Glass was first made by Antonio Neri in 1612 A.D.   That is when he first added a bit of gold to molten glass to produce the red cranberry color. By the mid 1800’s, glass blowers frequently added gold chloride to the molten glass to produce the brilliant red colors in glass. The art of glass blowing soon was able to produce all types of cranberry glass objects including pitchers, vases, decanters and matching glass ware, and even lamps and lamp shades.   During the 1800’s in the United States, several well-known glass companies began mass-producing cranberry glass items. Among these were Pilgrim Glass and Fenton Glass, each of which sold their cranberry glass items in department and gift stores up until discontinuing operations in the early 2000’s. Today cranberry glass items are mostly produced only by individual glass blowers. Items of cranberry glass are becoming more and more scarce and the older items keep increasing in value.   The next time you are in The Brass Armadillo, be sure to keep your eye out for items made of cranberry glass. Remember when you see a piece of sparkling red cranberry glass, there is an extraordinary history, craftsmanship, and a “touch of gold” in that beautiful color.    
    Mar 23, 2018 254
  • 29 Jan 2018
    Fountain Pens - “What you write with reflects who you are” so the saying goes, and fountain pens were a reflection of a person’s education and status in days gone by. Up until the mid-Twentieth Century, fountain pens, or ink pens as some people call them, were the primary way for people to communicate the written word. The smooth even flow of ink from a vintage fountain pen adds delicacy, beauty, and flair to what is written on paper. Even today, writing with a vintage fountain pen is to write with a quality instrument having a rich history and legacy. While there were many manufacturers of fountain pens, there are four recognized as the most prominent leaders in the industry, those being Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, and Conklin. Each of these companies made significant contributions to fountain pens. Waterman’s #52 Pen was the first level-filled pen to become popular. Sheaffer’s “Balance Pen” was the first to use a torpedo-shape which fit the hand very nicely. Parker’s #51 Pen had clean lines and sleek style and had sales of around 20 million. Conklin’s “Crescent Filler System” allowed the pen to be filled using only one hand. Regardless of the manufacturer, fountain pens were marvelous works of engineering and art. Collecting vintage fountain pens has become quite popular in recent years as fountain pens represent a great way to own a piece of history at reasonable costs. Be sure to look for vintage fountain pens the next time you visit the Brass Armadillo Antique Store.
    194 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • Fountain Pens - “What you write with reflects who you are” so the saying goes, and fountain pens were a reflection of a person’s education and status in days gone by. Up until the mid-Twentieth Century, fountain pens, or ink pens as some people call them, were the primary way for people to communicate the written word. The smooth even flow of ink from a vintage fountain pen adds delicacy, beauty, and flair to what is written on paper. Even today, writing with a vintage fountain pen is to write with a quality instrument having a rich history and legacy. While there were many manufacturers of fountain pens, there are four recognized as the most prominent leaders in the industry, those being Parker, Waterman, Sheaffer, and Conklin. Each of these companies made significant contributions to fountain pens. Waterman’s #52 Pen was the first level-filled pen to become popular. Sheaffer’s “Balance Pen” was the first to use a torpedo-shape which fit the hand very nicely. Parker’s #51 Pen had clean lines and sleek style and had sales of around 20 million. Conklin’s “Crescent Filler System” allowed the pen to be filled using only one hand. Regardless of the manufacturer, fountain pens were marvelous works of engineering and art. Collecting vintage fountain pens has become quite popular in recent years as fountain pens represent a great way to own a piece of history at reasonable costs. Be sure to look for vintage fountain pens the next time you visit the Brass Armadillo Antique Store.
    Jan 29, 2018 194
  • 06 Jan 2018
    2018 American Indian Arts Exposition If you plan to be in Tucson, AZ during the 2018 Tucson Gem, Mineral, Fossil, Bead and Jewelry Show (January 19 through February 14), don’t miss the American Indian Arts Exposition (held January 28 through February 11). It’s one of the roughly 45 individual shows held each year as part of the Tucson Gem Show. What makes it so special is the opportunity to see the authentic arts and crafts practiced by Native Americans representing a time span of 10,000 years representing many nations in one spot! The Indian Arts Expo features 40 individual Native American artists selling baskets, blankets, pottery and Hopi kachinas and, of course, all kinds of jewelry. The featured artists will be demonstrating T/O basket making, the art of making custom jewelry, Hopi crafts, and beadwork. It’s being held at the Quality Inn Hotel, 1300 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ. Their artists and demonstrations change every 3 days so definitely plan to go more than once. Prices range from $5 and go up to several thousand so there is something for everyone.
    123 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • 2018 American Indian Arts Exposition If you plan to be in Tucson, AZ during the 2018 Tucson Gem, Mineral, Fossil, Bead and Jewelry Show (January 19 through February 14), don’t miss the American Indian Arts Exposition (held January 28 through February 11). It’s one of the roughly 45 individual shows held each year as part of the Tucson Gem Show. What makes it so special is the opportunity to see the authentic arts and crafts practiced by Native Americans representing a time span of 10,000 years representing many nations in one spot! The Indian Arts Expo features 40 individual Native American artists selling baskets, blankets, pottery and Hopi kachinas and, of course, all kinds of jewelry. The featured artists will be demonstrating T/O basket making, the art of making custom jewelry, Hopi crafts, and beadwork. It’s being held at the Quality Inn Hotel, 1300 N. Stone Avenue, Tucson, AZ. Their artists and demonstrations change every 3 days so definitely plan to go more than once. Prices range from $5 and go up to several thousand so there is something for everyone.
    Jan 06, 2018 123
  • 10 Nov 2017
    Depending on your personal preference, and perhaps your age, you either love or hate aluminum Christmas trees!  They were hugely popular in the early 1960's, considered quite modern, and were a drastic change from the live trees of the past.  The branches were individually wrapped in paper bags and quite easy to assemble without the worries of dried out needles falling everywhere, and it took very little space to store them!  What more could you ask for, plus they could be used time and time again.  Trees were available in various sizes from 2 feet to 8 feet, and could be found in multiple colors ranging from silver, gold, teal, pink and flocked versions.  Complementing the brightness of the aluminum tree, the color wheel became hugely popular as well.  Unfamiliar with a color wheel?  It was a rotating electric device that uses different optics filters within a light beam.  It was positioned on the floor next to the tree, as the light wheel turned in front of a light bulb.  It then spun very slowly from one translucent color to the next providing the tree a color hue on the tree ranging from red, blue, green and yellow. There has been a surge in the aluminum trees' popularity in the past few years and they've become a serious collectible. If you happen to be in or near the State of North Carolina, take you kids and family to the Aluminum Tree & Ornament Museum in Brevard, N.C.  It's the worlds only museum dedicated to vintage aluminum Christmas trees and will definitely "brighten" your day.  If not, stop by The Brass Armadillo stores.  They typically have several styles of aluminum trees at this time of year as well as color wheels.  Check them out! In my next blog, I'll be talking about vintage Christmas bulbs.  Be sure to stop by!    
    438 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • Depending on your personal preference, and perhaps your age, you either love or hate aluminum Christmas trees!  They were hugely popular in the early 1960's, considered quite modern, and were a drastic change from the live trees of the past.  The branches were individually wrapped in paper bags and quite easy to assemble without the worries of dried out needles falling everywhere, and it took very little space to store them!  What more could you ask for, plus they could be used time and time again.  Trees were available in various sizes from 2 feet to 8 feet, and could be found in multiple colors ranging from silver, gold, teal, pink and flocked versions.  Complementing the brightness of the aluminum tree, the color wheel became hugely popular as well.  Unfamiliar with a color wheel?  It was a rotating electric device that uses different optics filters within a light beam.  It was positioned on the floor next to the tree, as the light wheel turned in front of a light bulb.  It then spun very slowly from one translucent color to the next providing the tree a color hue on the tree ranging from red, blue, green and yellow. There has been a surge in the aluminum trees' popularity in the past few years and they've become a serious collectible. If you happen to be in or near the State of North Carolina, take you kids and family to the Aluminum Tree & Ornament Museum in Brevard, N.C.  It's the worlds only museum dedicated to vintage aluminum Christmas trees and will definitely "brighten" your day.  If not, stop by The Brass Armadillo stores.  They typically have several styles of aluminum trees at this time of year as well as color wheels.  Check them out! In my next blog, I'll be talking about vintage Christmas bulbs.  Be sure to stop by!    
    Nov 10, 2017 438
  • 21 Oct 2017
    VINTAGE GLOVES – 1940’s-1960’s 1940’s - Believe it or not, during WWII, ladies’ elegant gloves were considered an unnecessary item and limited ration coupons were issued in order to purchase them. The fancy trim and embellishments of the past were gone and the colors were extremely practical, mostly neutrals and darker colors, and styles were quite simple.  It was common to see ladies push their gloves down into a ruched effect to dress them up 1950’s - Once the war was over, gloves were readily available and very popular again. The 1950’s brought a more refined and dressier look for ladies. Jackie Kennedy was a style icon during those years and she set the standard for how ladies should look for daytime and evening attire. Ladies began wearing matching gloves, purses and hats and the pulled together fashions were quite smart. The styles of gloves embodied all of the design from prior decades and came in lots of colors, trims and lengths. Evening attire required elbow-length or long gloves and were widely available in fabrics of lace, sheer, satin and nylon. Of course, their accessories were color coordinated to complement their dress or formal gown. I remember going downtown shopping in department stores and ladies were always dressed in their nicest clothes. Their selection of gloves, hats and purses were made to coordinate with their clothing. You simply did not see jeans! 1960’s - In the early‘60s, women were still dedicated to the coordinated look of attire of the 50’s. Around the mid-60’s trends changed and ladies were not wearing gloves as much except for formal attire. The gloves that were being worn were simpler in style, color and lacking decorations. As seasons changed so did the fabrics and tones of gloves - pastels in summer and darker tones in winter.        
    208 Posted by Betty Jean Shearin
  • VINTAGE GLOVES – 1940’s-1960’s 1940’s - Believe it or not, during WWII, ladies’ elegant gloves were considered an unnecessary item and limited ration coupons were issued in order to purchase them. The fancy trim and embellishments of the past were gone and the colors were extremely practical, mostly neutrals and darker colors, and styles were quite simple.  It was common to see ladies push their gloves down into a ruched effect to dress them up 1950’s - Once the war was over, gloves were readily available and very popular again. The 1950’s brought a more refined and dressier look for ladies. Jackie Kennedy was a style icon during those years and she set the standard for how ladies should look for daytime and evening attire. Ladies began wearing matching gloves, purses and hats and the pulled together fashions were quite smart. The styles of gloves embodied all of the design from prior decades and came in lots of colors, trims and lengths. Evening attire required elbow-length or long gloves and were widely available in fabrics of lace, sheer, satin and nylon. Of course, their accessories were color coordinated to complement their dress or formal gown. I remember going downtown shopping in department stores and ladies were always dressed in their nicest clothes. Their selection of gloves, hats and purses were made to coordinate with their clothing. You simply did not see jeans! 1960’s - In the early‘60s, women were still dedicated to the coordinated look of attire of the 50’s. Around the mid-60’s trends changed and ladies were not wearing gloves as much except for formal attire. The gloves that were being worn were simpler in style, color and lacking decorations. As seasons changed so did the fabrics and tones of gloves - pastels in summer and darker tones in winter.        
    Oct 21, 2017 208