Friday, August 3, 2012

Vintage Enamelware


 Do you collect vintage items because they are popular or pretty?  Or do you collect them because they evoke a memory or a feeling?  More and more, my eyes are drawn to enamelware pieces when I'm out and about.  My mom started a collection of enamelware years ago, mostly because the pieces brought back memories of her life at home and her mom who always had a colorful enamelware bowl by the back door to pick veggies in (and still does).  When I see enamelware, I think of the families who would have used it... it would have been an everyday household item.  It came in many different colors and patterns, but I find that I'm most drawn to the simple white with a colorful trim.


This beautiful enamelware pitcher and basin was a recent gift from my sweet sister-in-law who purchased it for me all the way from Colorado.  It wouldn't fit in her suitcase when it was time for her to return home, so she left it behind and didn't mention anything about it.  But then her gracious sister-in-law shipped it to her and she surprised me with it recently.  Such a thoughtful gift. 


Items that show their wear only appeal to me more.  To think of the places this pitcher has been... and all that it has survived. 


 For now the pitcher and basin has a place on top of a cabinet in my laundry room and I think it will stay there.


A couple months ago I bought this old enamelware pail.  I loved that it still had its matching lid and it seemed a bargain under $20.


 I'm not exactly sure how old these pieces are, but I imagine this pail is pretty old since it has a wooden handle. 

More tomatoes to can?  What was I thinking!  (smile)
  The other day my mom left some tomatoes on my porch for me.  When I went outside to get them they were in this gorgeous enamelware bowl.  Which prompted me to get out the camera because they looked so pretty out there. Whenever I see this pattern, I think of my mom and it displayed in the home I grew up in. 


I was hoping she wouldn't remember she left it here, but it was picked up this morning.  (smile)

I've always been fascinated by times of the past... I never get tired of looking at old photos or hearing stories.  I love touring old homes, walking through old stores, looking at old items.  I guess that's why I love our old house so much. 

And I can't help but wish that when I went to the store, instead of seeing rows of plastic, I saw rows of enamelware.

What about you... do you have something vintage that brings back memories every time you see it?

24 comments:

  1. Hmm, I just started keeping a big stainless steel bowl by the side door for trips out to the garden. I wonder if Kennedy will have fond memories of bowls like it when she gets older. Lovely pieces and lovely thoughts in your post today!

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  2. I love enamelware as well! I would also much rather see that in stores:) The pieces you have are very lovely!

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  3. I love your enamelware pieces and I think you should always buy what touches your heart. That's why I collect Tea Leaf Ironstone china. My mother collected it and everytime I use it I think of her and what a great lady she was.

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  4. Seeing your enamelware really does bring back memories. I pulled an old blue and white fleck enamel coffee pot out of a shed on the old family ranch. I remember that fun day with my mom every time I use it.

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  5. I really love enamelware also. My family often surprises me with pieces. I have a pail just like yours above. Have you done any research on it? Funny thing is after I got mine everyone told me it was used for unmentionable reasons. Lol so now the joke is that I'm going to cook them soup in it! Haha but I actually use it as our compost bucket that we keep in the kitchen. It works nicely because it's pretty and has a lid! Love your pitcher, hoping to be able to come across one!

    P.S. I just love your simple beautiful farmhouse decor'!

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    1. Thank you, Holly! Yes, I once read the description "diaper pail" and I liked that. :-) The really funny part that I didn't include in my post is that I actually use my pail in the bathroom to store my daughter's panties. How appropriate! It would work great as a compost bucket!

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  6. I have a couple of pieces. Love them!! and they sure dont' make stuff like they used to - do they?

    I have the same red and white bucket with red handle you have. Looks nearly identical... you didn't find that in my bathroom, did you? (lol)... I use ours as a trash can in the bathroom, the lid keeps it looking "tidy" in there.

    Haha- I just read Holly's comment above... she has the same one too... yeah, what she said. It is really, truly an old porta-potty. What "they" truly used to use back-in-the-day for, you know...when mother-nature called at night rather then running out to the outhouses.

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  7. I do like enamelware. I have seen it in the antique malls quite a bit. Your pitcher is a great size and I love the red handled pail. Your mom's bowl is different with that design.

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  8. Oh I just adore your chippy enamelware - it is so totally "farmhouse" perfect!

    Have a wonderful weekend!~

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  9. I love your bowl and pitcher. What a great gift. I have several enamel pieces as well and do enjoy them.

    Your pictures are so pretty, Andrea.

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  10. This does bring back memories. You have some pretty pieces. Your pictures are so pretty. Love the tomatoes in your mom's bowl. Have a great weekend!

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  11. I love this post today. I actually cried because I miss Nana so much! But, yes, I did start my collection because of her and she actually gave me my first enamelware bowl (which is the one with the tomatoes in it above!). One day, about 20 years ago, when I was looking at her bowls I just said in passing, "This is my favorite" and she gave it to me when we left a few days later. That one will proably always be my favoite. And I LOVE the bowl and pitcher Cee gave you! You lucky thing you!!! xoxo ~ Mom ~

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  12. I just bought a vintage egg carton today because it's the kind we had when I was little. The simple things, from times past, are like a stroll down memory lane! ~ Maureen

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  13. Awww! I love this post. I just adore old items too. Your Mom's bowl is gorgeous! I love all the history that comes with old items like you're talking about. I have four sisters and it amazes me what each of us are drawn to when we go antiquing or thrifting and I can see which grandmother or great grandmother's home/style that the item or idea came from. As always your photos are just lovely! ~ Jamie

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  14. Ok, cute pitcher & bowl, but I am curious also about the cabinet in which it is on. So cute too. Might have to do a post to reveal that little cabinet. Looks cute, homemade? I agree on the simple farmhouse decor. Your place is so charming. In my early 20's I collected blue enamelware. Sometimes I think about parting with a few of my pieces, but I still have it all. My kids think I could open my own antique shop I probably could with all I have collected in the last 35 yrs. Some are tucked away and a few are on display atop the cabinets in my laundry room. My favorite is a little berry bucket with a handle. I just love it. I keep my clothes pins in it. I carry it out to the laundry line and hang it on the post. I recently bought a white piece in oblong shape. It was a baking pan, but I will use it to hold ice and bottles of soda in the near future once I refinish a potters bench and drop it into the table top portion. Enjoyed your post. By the way, the picture of the bowl with the tomatoes looks delicious. So envious of your bountiful summer.

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  15. oh, enamelware, just the word makes me happy:)--my blue cabinet was painted with paint called enamelware! i collect it cuz i LOVE it! -great post, andrea:)

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  16. HA I am at the time in my life when everytime I look in the mirrow I see Vintage :)
    I have some things from my grandmother...one is an old vase that I love that is on my to-do list to photograph for my blog...and I've posted some of her things such as a quilt etc. Your enamalware post reminds me of her cake pan, though. I have one of her cake pans...the kind for a long, single layer cake, and every cake baked in it comes out perfectly :)

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  17. I sat here for a while at the computer trying to think of an item that brought back memories and then it hit me, my house of course! You see, my mom was born in this house 96 years ago and obviously it was my dear grandma's house. Almost any room in my house brings back memories of my childhood and grandma Clara.

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  18. I adore enamelware. I have a blue pitcher and a little blue butter melter. Your pail for under $20 was quite the bargain. I look all the time for enamelware I can afford...but it's rare! Your pitcher and bowl are absolutely perfect. What a thoughtful gift you can hand down someday to your children. Hope you are well and enjoying these last few weeks of summer!

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  19. I love all your beautiful pieces. What a wonderful blog and your photos are amazing. Thanks for stopping by with your lovely comments. New Follower.

    Jody

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  20. I was soooo glad to see the wonderful tomatoes were not in the thunder mug/pail. Great pieces!

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  21. Oh, I am an enamalelware lover too! That pail makes me swoon! I love to think who used them and how! The pail would make a great compost pail!
    A dreamy white visit!

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  22. Loved your post. I have a few enamel ware pieces, one a big "wash-basin" type that I love making a BIG batch of homemade bread in. A couple large coffee pots, one that I use as a planter, the other I use for cold drinks. I also have a nice large pail I like to use for a "punch bowl" for a crowd. The "chamber pot" is a nice looking piece! I love the ideas for it mentioned here. I've seen them used for holding TP in the bathroom too.

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  23. Hello! I found your blog in Country Living magazine & I can't stop reading! I love your house & your style is so much like mine! I wish we lived near each other, because I don't know anyone that likes the same things I do. I'm obsessed with old things, old photography, & I'm always antiquing for old kitchen things! Anyways, I better get back to reading your whole blog. Lol! :)

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