Saturday, June 30, 2012

THE WEEKEND COLLECTOR: Best of the Copycat Collector

Well, this is it, folks, the last regular daily/ weekend collector feature for the Copycat Collector. I am officially pulling the plug on the blog as a daily entity. I started this blog exactly one year ago, and I was bound and determined that I could keep it up for at least a year. It's been a lot of work!  But that doesn't mean I'll be going away, just taking a breather, and posting whenever I feel like it, rather than every weekday and once a weekend.

To commemorate the end, I decided that since most of you really haven't gone through every single collection I have (Yawn),  I'm going to pick some of my favorite collections to share with you. Today I'm going to pick only five. That leaves it much more likely that I'll come back and pick five more, and so on.

These aren't necessarily the most popular of my collections. You can see those on the right side of the blog, and those entries are based on sheer numbers of views. These are things that I think are fun and interesting. I'd love it if you'd leave a comment, and perhaps tell me what you liked here on the Copycat Collector.

Five favorite collections in no particular order: (Click on the link provided, to read more).

Blue & White Plates
Toy Kaleidoscopes
Alice and Jerry Readers
Green Depression Glass
Until next time, I'll catch you later!

Friday, June 29, 2012

COLLECTION #263: Classic Children's Books

I haven't mentioned it before today, but this is going to be my last regular daily entry on my collector blog. As of tomorrow, my full year of posting all of my fun collections is coming to an end. I never announced that the blog would go for a year, because I never really knew how long I could keep it up. Although I have many more things in my vast collections, the daily uploading and posting has been fun, but very stressful. Rather than starting off complicated, and getting more simplified as the year went by, I found the reverse. When I first started, I posted a photo or two, wrote a nice little paragraph, and that was it. Now I find myself taking many more photos and working a lot harder to make my daily entries more interesting.

What I am going to do is post a special weekend feature tomorrow, June 30. That will be the last Weekend Collector feature. Then, as energy, time, and interest dictates, I will add entries as the spirit moves me. There are still many things that I have, but just haven't gotten the energy to dig them out, clean them off, organize them, and photograph them. So, although I won't be adding to my blog daily, I hope you'll stop by from time to time, to see what I have added. Also, if you subscribe to my blog, you can get notices when I update.

Now, back to the show! Today's collection are some of my children's books, specifically children's classics. Many of these books are award winners: Caldecott, Newbery, Honor Books, etc. Some are just great books that every library should have.  I have one or two from the 19th century, but most of mine date from 1900-1960. A small handful are later. This is just a small portion of my children's library, I picked these because they are especially, well, classic!

From the Biggest Bear, Caldecott Award book from 1953

Two Newbery Award books: Island of the Blue Dolphins (1961), Invincible Louisa (1934)

Other Newbery books: Rascal (Honor book,1964), Caddie Woodlawn (1936), Charlotte's Web (Honor book, 1953) 

Exquisite illustrations: Snow White, illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, and Kimo, illustrated by Lucille Holling

Late 19th century edition of Swiss Family Robinson

Snow White won a Caldecott Honor Book Award in 1973.

Caldecott Award winning book, Song of the Swallows (1950) and children's classic, James and the Giant Peach.

Captivating illustrations by Robert McClosky, in Homer Price

Adorable illustration from Caldecott Honor Book award winner Wee Gillis, illustrated by Robert Lawson (1939)

These books were all originally published before 1930. (Although most of these are much later editions) You can't get any more 'classic' than many of these books!

Classic book, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, charming illustrations by Tasha Tudor. Rascal won a Newbery Honor Book Award in 1964.

The Biggest Bear, and classic, Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder won many Newbery Awards for her books, but not for this, her first in the Little House series. I have most of them, including at least one first edition from the 1940s. (The Long Winter, which won a Newbery Honor Book award for 1941) 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

COLLECTION #262: Vintage Crates

I've been using crates to decorate and display my stuff since my college days, and I still have a few hanging around, that I use regularly. Of course, crates aren't something I really look for today, but they are so fun and useful, I'm glad I still have some old ones left.

The advantages of crates are obvious: they are sturdy and practical, they often have fun graphics of popular beverages or other products, they have holes or handles for easy carrying, and they hold up a lot better than cardboard boxes for long-term storage. They add a lot of character to a display of vintage items, and they add a bit of nostalgia and atmosphere to any decor. In essence, they are practically perfect in every way!

Fun 'shorties'.... crates from Coca Cola and Squirt

A California produce crate, and one from Sparkeeta Beverages, probably from the 1940s.

I've had the Seven-Up crate since about 1971.

This isn't exactly a crate, but is a small wooden box, lined with metal. Probably used for milk bottles or other perishables.

The box above, with the lid closed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

COLLECTION #261: Little Brown Koko

When I was a very little girl, before I learned to read, our family owned this book. I remember it from our years in Oregon, but I don't ever remember it after we moved to South Pasadena when I was five.  But somehow, I could never get it out of my mind. For years, in my memory, there was a book I loved about a little black boy, that had a title that looked like it was made from old wood pieces nailed together. As I grew up and started paying attention to reliving those childhood memories, I wanted to find that book again. But, I couldn't remember the title. Since I couldn't read when I had last seen it, I couldn't picture anything in my mind other than those title letters looking like wood. Of course, I knew it was a book about a little black boy, but none of the more famous titles were right. This was before the internet, and so my searching was limited. At one time, in the late '80s, early '90s, I remember being particularly obsessed with finding the book. Every time I went to an antique store, flea market or thrift shop, I would pore through all the bookshelves, looking for this elusive book.

In about 1994, we were living in East Aurora, New York. I went to an outdoor antique fair held at the Fireman's Field, and lo and behold, sitting right on the first table I saw, was a familiar blue and red book, with the title Little Brown Koko.  I couldn't believe my eyes!  I stared and stared! All of those memories came flooding back as I thumbed through the beloved volume. The price seemed steep to me- $55, but I gladly paid it, because I didn't know if I would ever see it again. It seems kind of funny now, because with internet auctions and the easy availability of information about antiques, I have run across the book dozens of times. But at that moment, it seemed like time stopped, and I was able to relive some happy memories of my young childhood, sharing some fun (if politically incorrect) moments with my friend, Little Brown Koko.

Today this book sits proudly in my antique cabinet, a near-mint edition of Black Americana, and a happy reminder of the power of perseverance and a pretty good memory.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

COLLECTION #260: Vintage Fisher-Price Toys

I've shared some of my F-P toys in past posts, but I haven't posted all of my vintage ones. Ok, there aren't that many, but they are definitely fun and colorful, and worth looking at! (You can see my other F-P toys here and here.)

My oldest toy is from the 1930s, the Dizzy Donkey Pop-up toy. Simple premise: pull the string ring, donkey moves around on the little paddle.

The rest of my collection are from the 1950s and 1960s.  None of these were my own toys as a child, they are playthings that I've acquired through the years. They are all in well-worn, and well-loved condition, and are by no means valuable or rare. Just fun!  Enjoy!

Jalopy Clown from the mid-1960s

F-P Clacking Hen, started production in 1958

Snoopy Sniffer & Cookie Pig, with the Music Box Teaching Clock in the background. 1960s. 

Fisher-Price Circus, 1962

Dizzy Donkey Pop-up, 1939-1942

Monday, June 25, 2012

COLLECTION #259: Vintage LPs from the 1960s

I unearthed my collection of LPs (long-playing vinyl records for you young folks!) and discovered some long-forgotten titles. I have many records from the 1960s and '70s, many of them classics that still sound good today. Some of them haven't stood the test of time, and others have faded into oblivion. A few were never popular, but suited my quirky taste in music when I was in high school and college.

I decided not to photograph them all, but I will list the titles and artists from the '60s for you.  I have others not listed, some of my records have disappeared- I don't know if they are gone for good, or if there's simply another box hiding in the garage somewhere.

The Beatles: Revolver, Introducing the Beatles, Rubber Soul, the Beatle's Second Album, Beatles '65
Mamas & Papas: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, The Mamas and the Papas, Farewell to the First Golden Era, 16 of Their Greatest Hits
Lovin' Spoonful: Best of the Lovin' Spoonful Volumes I & II
John Sebastian: John B. Sebastian, Real Live John Sebastian
Jefferson Airplane: The Worst of Jefferson Airplane
Simon and Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water and Wednesday Morning, 3AM
Linda Ronstadt: Silk Purse (I have other albums from the '70s)
Moody Blues: In Search of the Lost Chord
Sonny and Cher: Sonny and Cher's Greatest Hits
Joni Mitchell: Song to a Seagull (I have other albums from the '70s)
Donovan: Like it Is
Peter Paul and Mary: In the Wind
Judy Collins: Recollections, Who Knows Where the Time Goes (I have other albums from the '70s)
Ian & Sylvia: Early Morning Rain
Phil Ochs: Pleasures of the Harbor
The Limelighters: Tonight: In Person, the Slightly Fabulous Limelighters
Crosby, Stills & Nash (I have other albums from the '70s)
Jim Kweskin & the Jug Band: Jug Band Music, Garden of Joy
Arlo Guthrie: Alice's Restaurant
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band: Rare Junk
The Dillards: Live! The Banjo Album (Doug Dillard)
The Byrds: The Byrds Greatest Hits, Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Buffalo Springfield: Last Time Around, Retrospective
Neil Young: Neil Young, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere  (I have other albums from the '70s.)

There was a time that I owned almost all of the Beatles albums, and all the Simon & Garfunkel albums. Sadly, most of these are MIA.  But as any collector knows, your collection is only as valuable as the ones you have, not the ones that got away!

Perhaps I'll get myself a record player someday, I'd love to hear these songs again!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


There's hardly a kitchen in America, and probably the whole world, that doesn't contain at least one piece of Pyrex. For those of you who have been living under a culinary rock, Pyrex is the super durable glass cooking and bakeware developed  by the Corning Company in America, in the early 20th century.  From measuring cups to casserole dishes to mixing bowls to custard cups, Pyrex has simple, classic designs that never go out of style. Many of Pyrex's pieces haven't changed in nearly a century. But other pieces, particularly bowls and casserole dishes, reflected the fashion colors and patterns of the day. 

I have many pieces of Pyrex in my kitchen, including some bowls that we received as a wedding present nearly 34 years ago, and some other older bowls that belonged to my Grandmother. You can see them here. 

When I was Googling Pyrex bowls in preparation for that particular post (I'm good, aren't I?) I came across this wonderful collective blog called, appropriately, Pyrex Collective.  Many Pyrex collectors contribute to the blog, in fact it's so popular that it's spun off two more blogs, Pyrex Collective II and Pyrex Collective III.

Here are some fun entries from the Pyrex Collective, I hope you stop by one or all of the sites to check out the colorful and fun glassware that keeps the world cooking!

Adorable poster designed by Beth Kyle- 100 pieces of Pyrex

Another Kitchen with Pyrex decor

Posters, recipe cards, note cards are some of the fun items you can find on the Pyrex Collective

Original colored Pyrex bowls from the 1940s

Friday, June 22, 2012

COLLECTION #258: Vintage Billy Books

This is a fun little trio of books I didn't know I had! I try to keep all my vintage school books together by series and/ or publisher. Since I have nearly 500 of them, it's really hard to keep them all straight in my mind. I had the book called Billy Goes to School on display in a special area in my house, and I really wanted to share it, but I didn't have any other books in the series. But then I realized that I did! I just happened to look at one row of books, when I spotted two more Billy books!

What makes these books special, is that each of the three books in this series of Follet Social Studies books is from a different decade: one from the 1940s, one from the 1950s, and one from the 1960s.  They are early elementary books, probably 2nd semester first grade, and second grade.

Billy Goes to School was published in 1949. I love the sweet, typical 1940s style illustrations and stories.  This book looks to me to be a second grade level book.

Billy's Neighbors, is from 1957. The illustrations are much more stylized and modern, with very traditional stories and characters. Just look at Miss Dale's pearls! I really love the fun colors and design in this book.  I believe this book is 2nd semester second grade, or perhaps third grade.

Billy's Friends is from 1965. The book is more ethnically diverse, and the illustrations are also stylized an colorful. This book looks to be a second semester first grade level book.