Thursday, September 14, 2017

Halloween and Costume Fun

I've been packing up summer items from my booth and getting ready for the festive season of Halloween.  I love costumes, plain and simple. I loved them as a kid and I still love them as an adult. It's just so much fun to play dress up no matter your age. Yes,  I know it's only September; however those of you who love costumes understand that sometimes it takes a bit of time to pull together the right look and it never huts to get an early start.

Now, being a costume lover myself, I'm constantly on the lookout for articles of clothing that can create an amazing costume. Here is an example of 3 items that would be great at Halloween or other dress up events.  The little girls Medieval dress would be great at a Renaissance Faire, the dance dress and vintage hat in the center screams Tango Time and the Robe from Japan is yummy enough to be a great dressing gown when not in use for costume wear.  I started placing costumes in my booth last week and though many have already sold, these three beauties are still available.

Dresses, tutus and accessories - Oh my.  I've already had 10 costumes to sell in just one week, so it seems there are other costume lovers like myself out there who snap it up when they see what they want.  There are several Comic-Con events coming up in our part of state over the next few months, so I would not be surprised if some of the costumes being purchased are for one of those events.

The kids Top Gun Flight Jumper already sold but the great Hook Pirate outfit is currently available.  I can see that jacket and hat being used for Colonial reenactments as well as pirate ware and who wouldn't like to play pirate?

Last month my husband and I attended the Pirate Festival in Beaufort NC and had a blast.  Being a lover of costumes we joined in the fun by dressing up and were amazed at the number of folks who did likewise.

Normally when we attend dress-up events we gravitate to Steampunk costumes but we had a blast playing Pirate and can't wait to do it again.  I think we might try a Ren-Faire in the near future since I have a desire to be a medieval wench for the fun of it. 

From kitchen glassware and gadgets to Star Wars Collectibles, there is lots to see.   I think it's amazing how a hat or a special accessory item can make a costume "work". For instance these glass skulls are really nice on their own but add a hat and some funky eye-ware and they really showcase great.

Here is a look at my collection of glass skulls.  I use them to display hats and accessories; however, they can be purchased if you find you can't live without one in your collection too.  Right now I have the clear one in my booth with the goggles and a pirate hat and the orange and blue skull are at my showcase with my military hat items.

 Here is a photo of the showcase with the orange skull wearing a vintage 1950s Pith Helmet and the blue skull is sporting the blue Federal soldier cap.  I've re-worked my showcase and it's now full of vintage items and jewelry pieces.

Most of the showcase has vintage jewelry, including some great Victorian Sterling items. There is also some Sterling tableware and some unique collectibles scattered within.  There are also some vintage paper products like old advertisements and a 1950s Military training poster.

Vintage paper collectibles are one of my favorite things to collect and I'm starting to add some of these items to my booth and showcase for sale.  Here is a mid-Century ad for Bufferin and if you look over to the left a bit you'll see a vintage Bufferin Bottle.  I think it's so cool when you have a vintage ad to go along with the actual vintage item.  In my showcase I have a vintage Schick ad and Schick razor and blades.  Back over in my booth I have a variety of 1940 - 1960s magazine ads from Beer to Coca-Cola Santa's.  There are also a few early 1900 paper dolls in there too.

But hands down my favorite new add to the booth is the vintage baby doll buggy.  I just think this one is a total charmer and though I purchased it as a display item, I have a feeling someone will buy it before the New Year rolls round.

Hope you guys drop by Booth 48 and Showcase 21 at the Countryside Collectibles and Antique Mall in Siler City, NC if you happen to be in the area and are looking for a fun place to browse.

-The Rusty Squirrel

Friday, July 21, 2017

Going Strong at the Antique Mall

Hey All -  I've been a busy girl getting my booth set up, keeping it stocked and traveling to find more cool things for my space at the Antique Mall in Siler City, NC.

So a brief run down of what I've been doing - Back in May I moved into showcase #21 at Countryside Collectibles & Antique Mall in Siler City, NC and then in June I started moving items into booth #48. Week by week I've been adding and moving items around as things have sold and with it being summertime I've been traveling quite a bit to find more whimsical items to bring to the booth for sale.

I like to keep a mix of Vintage, Collectible and Whimsical to keep my space interesting to shoppers of all ages.  Earlier this month I came across this amazing laundry wringer from the early 1900's and  had to have it for my booth.  I already had the vintage galvanized wash tub and knew the wringer would make an amazing display prop in my booth.  I had to pay a whack for it, but I really want to keep this item a while so it would take the right buyer to come along for it.

This Universal Horseshoe Brand Folding Bench Wringer is Model B381E and folds out much larger than my booth can currently handle and still give buyers walk around room to browse; so I only have one side pulled out. However, fully opened up there would be room to place a large wash tub on either side of the wringer and when not in use both sides fold up so the wringer takes up little footprint for storage. One care bear and the pink mermaid flippers also sold this month. I'm sure the funky 2008 Beijing Olympic plush figures will soon find a home, they are just waiting for the right browser to spot them. (Update - all 5 Beijing Dolls have sold)

I wish this awesome pair of Red, White and Blue boots had been my size.  They just screamed Wonder Woman costume to me and I knew someone would snap them up.  They sold within a week of being added to my booth. 


I'm starting to get my bearings on getting things organized in my booth and it can be a daunting trial to keep it well stocked but not too cluttered.  I figure it will take a bit longer for me to master this but I'll get there eventually.  I've been making one trip a week up to Siler City to add and re-arrange items in my booth and showcase. It's an all day affair when I go up and I've been limited to one load of product each time I go.  I currently have both booth and showcase fully stocked but the first few weeks involved taking up larger display items so I felt the booth looked a bit bare to the bones as seen in this earlier photo from the beginning of June 2017. As you can see I was gearing up for the Fourth of July with Red, White and Blue as well as Patriotic and Bicentennial Items.

My Favorite items in this image were the two 1976 cast metal soldier wall plaques made by Sexton. One represents the Colonial Continental Army and the other is a Colonial Minute Man. Both sold before the 4th of July as did the great Mid-Century yellow folding picnic table by the Handy Milwaukee Stamping Co.  I bought it as a display piece since it would give me a lot of surface display area and then it folded into a self contained carrying case for storage. My hubby thought I'd have it a long time; but my display piece sold in less than 2 weeks.


 It's interesting to see what sells quickly and what sits around a bit longer. Those two jumbo vintage paintbrushes went super quick, they sold in a few days. The fish tin match wall safe, Sewing basket, high chair and infant hot water bottle that's on the high chair all sold in under a month of being in the booth.

 The circa 1920's rubber baby hot water bottle was also a very unusual item and went home with another buyer.  I have to admit I'm surprised the blue bird cage and twig bird houses still have not been snapped up.


This primitive handmade rifle rack sits in place of my first display shelving unit which was purchased at the end of June. It was a fancy little number with shelves and drawers but I honestly like the rustic feel of this little guy a whole lot and will be using it to help display some vintage tools and bits I have for sale.

The yellow toy theater is one of my favorite display items so I hope to have it a while longer; however the 1960s Pelham marionette doll "Gretel" is still looking for a new home.  The red cowgirl boots, vintage tools, Brownie box camera and several of the wall plaques have found new homes over the past month.


A few weeks ago I rearranged when I took up some more treasures.  I've found that quality little girl dresses are a big hit and many of the little girl hats have found favor with buyers as well. The Juicy Purse that the stuffed animal is holding has also been sold, as have several vintage kitchen tools and accessories.

The Effanbee baby doll (sitting in the baby doll crib) is from the 1920's and is a rare "Mama" doll. You can feel the Mama sound box still in her but the box no longer works when you move the doll. Sadly she had some damage to the top of her composite head and her original silk booties were falling apart due to age; however a collector realized what a treasure and good deal she was and she now has a new home.


I also did a major update to my showcase display.  You would think a small space would be easy to arrange but I've found setting up the showcase to be more difficult than the larger 10' x 10' booth.  I've just not found the magic mix of items to display here.  The retro Harley Davidson is a favorite of mine so I moved it from my booth to the showcase to help it stand out a bit more. This striped shirt looks like a vintage mechanics shirt and is just waiting for the right guy or gal to appreciate it's appeal. It's a men's "skinny" XL  and a good deal at $12.  My hubby will be adding to his wardrobe if it does not find a home soon - grins.
(Update - The Harley shirt sold at the end of July)

The 1962 Christmas Texaco fire chief helmet was a recent find I could not resist adding to the showcase. Age has taken it's toll on the attached microphone; however this heavy duty children's helmet makes a great statement and is a beauty to display.

I also have some interesting vintage military hats in the showcase, including this post WWII pith helmet which is taking first honors on top of the case.  I think I'll move the wine butler (the guy on the left holding the evening bag) to the booth next week when I go up to re-stock.  I'll also add a few more medicine bottles to my bottle display unit and replace some items that sold out of the case.


I have an extensive personal collection of vintage items which I can sell; however I was a bit concerned if I could continue to keep a booth supplied with interesting and unusual items at a good price.  I've been blessed with finding some really lovely items on my travels to add to my personal treasures for sale.

These are a few of my recent finds that will traveling up to my booth in the next week or so. An eclectic mix of the Odd, Strange and Beautiful.

Top Shelf: Vintage bait bucket, vintage child's western leather belt holster and gun, vintage adult gun holster.
2nd Shelf: Antique cuff, collar and ruffle iron, Ruby Slippers, Sterling Silver salt, pepper and individual nut dishes, small silverplate tray.
3rd Shelf: Antique wire live mouse trap/cage - it's one of those cool but creepy contraptions from the turn of the last century.
Bottom Shelf: Mid-century hot water bottle in original box (ya, another weird item but vintage items in box still are quite collectible) , 1960s mod yellow purse, mid-century filigree metal and glass jewelry box with gold velvet lining.

I thought this was a fun mix of pretty and pretty unusual.

Speaking of unusual, while traveling this week my hubby and I stumbled upon the most unusual museum we've come across in a long time. The Belhaven Memorial Museum in Belhaven, NC is a must see if you are ever in the Coastal part of NC around Bath, NC -  This place has the strangest collection of old stuff you will see in one location. It's shabby and many of the items are withering away as time takes it's toll but it's fascinating to see. There is no entrance fee but donations are welcome. Keep in mind hours are 1-5 pm and they are closed on Wednesdays. I advise checking in advance to make sure they are open before you drive out there.

Well it's been an interesting summer so far and I'm staying busy and working with lots of interesting items that will be added to my booth over the next few months.  I'll do my best to try and blog from time to time to show what's new or super unusual at the booth.  I hope you get the chance to swing by and check out the antique mall the next time your passing through Siler City, NC

Best Wishes to you all,
 Evelyn - The Rusty Squirrel

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New Adventure at the Antique Mall

Well it's been a busy few weeks and I'm thrilled to say The Rusty Squirrel is starting a new antique mall adventure.

I have a showcase and will soon have a booth at Countryside Collectibles & Antiques Mall in Siler City NC.  I set up my Showcase this week - Showcase #21, and will be moving into my booth in June.

I love decorating a display with a theme in mind and using clothing to add interest and help tell the story of vintage items.   Sometimes its a bit difficult to find or have available multiple related antiques at a given time so I find clothing items a great way to pull a look together for what I do have.

I recently attended my Sister-in-Laws wedding so I had weddings on the brain as well as a pink thing happening so part of my display was a "Think Pink" theme, which I think played well with the "wedding" inspired items I've displayed. 

The 1930s Mary Dunbar Mixer as well as the 1930's Berstead Model #68 Toaster are two of my favorite items in this case. Toasters and mixers have been traditional wedding gifts for eons and I love the charm of these rusty relics to the past.

I had a lot of "girly" happening so I wanted to give the male audience a bit to look at as well.  I have this amazing Eagle 400 railroad trail oiler. This oiling can is amazing ans so tall so I paired it with a whimsical wooden train and the blue and white, kids overalls by KEY.  I think the use of the additional children's clothes and accessories add whimsy to the display.  I would have loved to have had that pink princess hat when I was a kiddo.

I have this great mid-century youth football shoulder pads by Hutch and a set of vintage Camel darts to round out what might catch a male viewers eye.  The shoulder pads have been well loved and the left shoulders leather has worn through due to age and use, however it still displays well on a shelf and I could not resist the whimsy of adding in this vintage Italian carved cat statue to show them off.

I'm real happy with how my first display turned out and I hope all the items here find a happy new home in the near future.  I look forward to setting up my booth in the next few weeks as well.

Countryside Collectibles & Antique Mall is in Siler City, NC, located at the intersection of Hwy 421 & Hwy 64 and has 30,000 square feet of Antiques and Collectibles from a variety of vendors.  If you are ever in this part of North Carolina and you get the chance to drop by Countryside Collectibles & Antique Mall. I hope you'll stop by Showcase 21 and have a peek.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Dental Collectibles - Dr. Myerson's "True-Blend" Color Scale

People can collect the strangest things and what one person finds odd another finds fascinating. 

As a long time collector of vintage curiosities, I usually find myself gravitating to items of beauty or things that tell a historical story. Over the years I've accumulated a growing quantity of "oddities" and today I'd like to share one that is related to Dentistry and has an interesting story to tell.

Dr. Myerson's "True-Blend" Color Scale

This is a vintage Dr. Myerson's "True-Blend" Color Scale kit by Ideal Tooth Incorporated and Made in the U.S.A.  What's really so special about this set is that it appears complete with tooth colors from A-J.  This box set also has the original instructions for use and the Dental Supply Co label is still in the lid of the case.  

There are a total of 10 slightly different colored teeth in the "True-Blend" system.  Each tooth has a gold identifying letter on the back. There are labeled slots for A-H and then I & J are in the "Ideal" holders.

The directions for using the system are printed on paper that has an interesting orange/coral color. The color of the paper appears much lighter in the photo than how it is in person. The paper is in very good shape and an unusual find, so a great addition to this set.

Here is a photo showing the N.Y.C. Supply Co Label. Love the old phone number Wisconsin 7-7314, it makes me want to watch an old classic movie.

A bit of History behind Dr. Myerson and "True-Blend"

In the early 1900s Dr. Simon Myerson was a practicing Dentist in Boston.  He taught at the Harvard Dental School of Medicine and in his spare time worked on developing artificial teeth that had the appearance of natural. He founded the Myerson Tooth Corporation in 1917 and continued to make advancements of artificial teeth over his lifetime.

Dr. Myerson was struck by an idea in 1935 that he and his eldest son Martin, who was a ceramist, worked on till the "True-Blend" artificial teeth were perfected.  Dr. Myerson displayed his latest breakthrough to a room full of top-flight U.S. dentists at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in June 1940. Time Magazine wrote an article about Dr. Myerson and his latest advancement a week later, in the June 10, 1940 issue, titled Medicine: Unspottable Teeth.  What made "True-Blend" so remarkable for it's day was that it had a porcelain core, made of one of ten different shades that was matched to the patients original teeth or that best worked with their complexion.  A layer of transparent enamel was set over the core, allowing the artificial teeth to have the closest comparison to natural teeth for it's day.

Ideal Tooth Incorporated trademarked the name True-Blend in 1940 citing they had been using the name on  products since 1936. Trade-Mark 377,867 was Registered May 14,1940  for True-Blend.  Dr. Simon Myerson registered on Sept 27,1941 for a patent on an artificial tooth that describes the "True-Blend" tooth and  Patent 2,300,305  was issued on Oct 27,1942 for same artificial tooth.

The "True-Belend" set would have been used by a Dentist to best mach a patient for the correct coloring, when creating a set of "True-Blend" artificial teeth.  I do not know an exact date on this set; however I believe it's from the 1940s.  It's fascinating to find bit of Dental history that looks great and tells an interesting story and I believe this little box does just that.

Another dental related item that's not as glamorous, is this vintage set of wax carving blocks and a few carved wax teeth. While doing my research on Dr Myerson, I read where he originally created each set of dentures for his patients by hand, so this little carving set seems a fitting side note and tie in to the above story.

 Vintage box of wax carving blocks and 4 carved wax teeth

As odd as this little set must seem to most of us, dental students have been carving similar examples in their dental anatomy classes for years.  Carving each and every tooth in detail helps aspiring dentists learn about the anatomy of each tooth.  Some students take to this task easily and others find it frustrating but the carver of these teeth seemed to do a remarkably good job and I'm sure they passed this portion of their class with flying colors.  

This little box originally held 12 little wax blocks and now it houses 7 uncut blocks and 4 carved wax teeth.  Three of the teeth seem to be of the same color and texture of the uncut blocks, the larger molar that is standing up is also of wax, but it's color is different so it was not carved from the same wax blocks in the set.    

Thanks for joining me and I hope you enjoyed the post

Monday, March 27, 2017

Welcome to The Rusty Squirrel

Welcome to the first blog post of  
~ The Rusty Squirrel ~

I love vintage items of all kinds and if it's vintage and rusty that's even better.  My hubby's nickname for me is Squirrel, since I constantly collect as many interesting things as I possibly can. So with my ever growing collection, that's tuck away here and there, I've now become The Rusty Squirrel.

The Rusty Squirrel is where I will showcase a variety of vintage collectibles and curiosities; some I've had in my collection for many years and others which I've recently acquired.  I enjoy displaying my treasures; but there are times a collection can get out of hand, and in order to bring in the new, you need to re-home the older items, which you're finally able to part with.  The Rusty Squirrel blog will spotlight a variety of vintage items: some new, some unknown curiosities I've yet to identify, and the majority, will be items that are leaving my collection in hopes of finding a new home.

I hope you enjoy the journey along with me.

A variety of vintage items in The Rusty Squirrel Collection

The above photo shows a selection of fun vintage finds in my collection. Victorian undergarments, a primitive spinning box, early 1900s magazines, antique photos and an assortment of vintage collectibles from the late 1800's to the mid 1900's.  One of my favorites is the Mary Dunbar mixer from the 1930s.

FYI- The white boots on the bottom right are more contemporary reproductions. I'm a big fan of Steampunk and find that antique shoes, boots and many clothing items just won't survive being worn and should be kept for display only.  I own antique boots but not currently in white so I used my modern lace-ups in this antiques display.  I like costuming and will blog from time to time showing fun clothing options for those who like cosplay.  I'm all about corsets, hats, goggles and more!  I even create steampunk inspired jewelry to wear.

Vintage ladies pocket watch I Steampunked into an upcycled fashion accessory
I like the challenge of taking something that's old but broken and turning it into an upcycled whimsy.  A broken ladies pocket watch, some spare parts and a bit of patience = a unique wearable piece.

I hope this blog will prove interesting and entertaining as well as informative and insightful; for you as well as myself.  I never get board with learning about old things and even with diligent research there are times I come across "oddities" which end up in my "who knows" pile; so I thought it would be fun to include such and item in this first post.

This is a recent addition to my collection and a mystery at the moment.
Unknown item 3" x 7/8" might be bone or ivory 

This little gem measures 3" long by 7/8" wide and is smooth on one side yet on the other, half of it has a pattern to it. It is probably bone or ivory based on the smoothness and feel of the piece. I'm not striving so much to identify the material as I am it's purpose.

It has the shape of an old-fashion ice cream wooden paddle you would get with those individual sized cups - remember those treats when you were a young kiddo - yummm.
Well, I'm fairly certain that's not what this is.

I thought it might be part of a manicure or dresser set; but the ridges in the piece are not sufficient for filing ones nails, and I've not seen an item of this shape in dresser sets before.

The item was inside a vintage 1930's cigar box, which I purchased just so I could get this curious find; however, I don't think it's tobacco related. Most tobacco related tools have sharp points, are longer and narrower as well.

Such a fun little mystery and should I find the answer I'll update the post to let you know as well.

Thanks for joining me and I hope you liked the post.