Tonsil stabbers and Chowder: more silver plate silverware, part 2:

Published May 17, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

I know… where’d I come up with a title to my second installment of silver plate silverware? The antique store, of course. The term ‘tonsil stabbers’ is new to me. I heard this while paying for a previous set of silver plate forks a while back and it made me laugh. Then I thought, “That’ll make an awesome title for my blog.”

And how does ‘chowder’ play into all this? Do I have a hankering for clam chowder? Nope. And since I can’t tolerate the taste of sea food ūüė¶ anymore, I’m not even sure if I’d like clam chowder or be able to stomach it. Again, I was doing my usual research after I bought some big spoons and more tonsil stabbers for .29 cents each. And they stuck it to me with tax since I didn’t have a discount card. Total… drum roll, please… comes to $3.58. Ah… okay.¬† Well, its been another productive day. I didn’t get around to cleaning and polishing these until an hour ago (it’s late, by the way). I know I’m stepping out of my cut off time frame, but eh, can’t have everything be from the Teens. The end result is beautiful! If you’d like to find out more about silver plate and identify it, I’d recommend this book.

silver plate silverware

Silver plate silverware cleaned.

silver plate silverware

chowder spoons, tea spoon, forks. Silver plate.

Antique China head dolls

Published May 10, 2020 by AntiqueMystique1

Well, I quit counting and I better quit. I’ve downsized my Victorian era dishes entirely. I’ve since found antique China head dolls to be a joy to collect. But they’re the TLC antique variety. I really don’t favor near mint condition antique dolls since I love the unique characteristics all of my China head dolls have. The difficult thing is trying to identify the makers. All of them are German made. I get my Bawo & Dotters mixed in with my Hertwigs. I have a few ABG China head dolls and some Kestners. I enjoy the pet name Hertwig dolls, the best.

My second favorite are the turned head styles. Low brow, high brow, flat tops… my cat LOVES to nap on these dolls. I haven’t made sense why cats love to curl up on dolls and knead their claws into the cloth limbs, and sometimes my cat will happily flop herself down onto a large Bertha doll with porcelain legs. I keep my dolls displayed behind glass so my cat won’t figure she can ruin those beautiful dolls. I don’t find antique china head dolls to be creepy. I always thought the French bed dolls of the 1920s/ 30’s to be eerie. And the composition crier dolls are high maintenance due to their composition not withstanding sudden temperature changes.

I originally thought my collection was completed with “Peg leg”, the one-legged antique tiny China head doll in my display, but the inevitable happened, rather tragically and suddenly, and dear little Peg leg went into perpetual mourning. She never got to meet her name-giver, my late Fiance, who gave her the nickname, peg leg. My late Fiance had another favorite he had seen pictures of. She was another TLC beauty, hair- stuffed and stamped such on her pink cloth torso in faded purple ink. She’s bigger than Peg leg, her companion. I sized down a locket for this doll. I worked until the wee hours just a week after finding out about my late Fiance’s death. I was a hopeless wreck and losing your soulmate will cause a person to go through a rollercoaster of mixed emotions, unbearable exhaustion and the ever present sadness that accompanies losing one so dear and special. The China head dolls filled my spare time with projects. But they’ve been a great source of comfort, and happiness.

I’d say if anyone wants to begin their collection always try Ruby Lane, although some of their dolls might be expensive. Ebay is another great place. If we weren’t in self quarantine right now, then I’d say shop local at the thrift store, antique shops. etc. I also had a few little French pocket dolls, mignonette dolls, but they are expensive and quite fragile due to their size, and wood pulp bodies that were crude in design. But those I keep on a bookshelf in a separate room away from my cat, who would have a field day throwing them around like an astronomically expensive antique cat toy. As always thank you for following, commenting and liking. I always appreciate it. ūüôāūüėČūüėä

Dangerous Antiques: my experience.

Published March 18, 2020 by AntiqueMystique1

I’ve been busy. In fact, I’ve been getting massive overtime. Since the death of my late fianc√© in Aug. 2019, I had to find something to fill my time so I don’t grieve all the time. My escape had always been a visit to my antique store.

I had recently watched a documentary on Hidden killers in the Victorian home on YouTube. I also watched Hidden killers in the Edwardian home. I got an education in a particularly scary dark green used in wallpaper, textiles, etc. called “Paris green” and “schnells green”. If I can’t find the correct spelling, then I’m sorry. I’m typing my blog post on a tiny keypad.

So I found an old antique steamer trunk. It was $33 and extremely low for what they commonly sell for. But, what I wasn’t fully aware of is that the inside reeked of a sharp, unidentifiable, almost nauseating scent.

Oh, and by the way, the glued pretty papered interior may contain arsenic powders mixed into the old glue and pictures from eons ago. Yikes!

But, I had to quit restoring this trunk early on and removed it out of my house. Arsenic in wallpapers back then, (as it would be no different nowadays), can be lethal if constantly exposed. In fact, arsenic is poison. So it made me wonder.

I re-watched the Hidden killers documentaries on YouTube. I then made a quick observation run to my antique store, and concluded my findings that the 1880 camel back trunk I recently bought, quite possibly, might contain aresenic paper.

To strip it away entirely, or write it off as a loss? I wasn’t entirely ready to give up hope. It’s quite beautiful, but the trunk’s nauseating chemical scent, could be it’s undoing.

Therefore, always do your research. I didn’t get seriously ill from it, I just felt mildly dizzy and slightly nauseous when I tried to begin restoring it. I was trying to re-glue the images back, and the tacky glue, mixed with the vivid dyes in the paper really didn’t get along chemically- speaking.

Long before this, I had bought another trunk with similar inset pictures pasted on the inside and didn’t detect any horrible scent, nor weird chemical-like smell reeking from it. My best advice is to please do thorough research before buying any antique trunk.

Aresenic wallpaper began production in 1840, I think if I did my research correctly, and ceased production around 1900, maybe earlier/later. But another color to be leery about is Lead white. Yep, it contains lead. It produced a very bright, almost intense white. Painters in the Victorian era, even going back further than that, used lead white in their paintings. Also, those lovely French Victorian era glove boxes might fall into this same category.

Skateboarding part 4: protective gear- 1980s- present day. A Day at the Skate Park- my critiques.

Published August 15, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

I did it at the skate park. I was told to leave by some teenage d-bags that, “This is a boys only park, so get outta here.” This teenage boy’s brass balls snide remark irked me, for one. Secondly, it further goes without saying that skateboarding is still a “male” dominated past time and this will never change.

And third, it solidifies my previous feelings about this upcoming rude punk a$$ generation: they are raised by the internet, not their lousy parents. They have no respect, no morals, either.

Well, that’s just tough. I stayed and made my videos much to the irritation of those¬†morons aiming a hand-held megaphone that was equipped with police siren effects and other annoying ūüí©¬†.

I cursed under my breath as I did a few laps on an empty basketball court. The NOS Rector pads felt okay, flexibility in them¬†was amazing for being decades old. I didn’t put too much faith in my new¬†mass-produced Chinese¬†elbow pads since they do¬†shift on my elbows.

I watched those never-will-be¬†posers take their spills while attempting to grind rails, do verts on the metal half pipe portion. Ah, yes, the days of old– their skateboards went flying over the edge of the half pipes, but they never attempted to make a half-a-rat’s assets to practice, practice, practice their tricks. They just did it once, gave up and sauntered back to their picnic table.

Most of the time they¬†were glued to their phones, seldom looking (nor doing) anything else. Their skateboards scattered on the ground like spilled Legos. Never in arm’s reach, never sat upright, either.

No audible conversation at all amongst them. I found it odd that they were so pre-consumed by their cell phones and didn’t bother to provoke me anymore. One of the boys very lazily strode to the highest half pipe; put the megaphone on police siren aimed in my general direction and returned to his lazy pack. And this is¬†supposed to irritate me that I give up and leave? Ha! Such ineptness.

There was just too much immaturity running amuck that it made me wonder why I got out of bed on my day off? Oh, yeah, right. I wanted to test out my NOS gear, plus skateboard around (cruise) on my new deck to break it in more and see how it preforms on different concrete. Maybe pull a few front nose fakies. I never said I was ever going to attempt these with a devil-may-care attitude. I take my time, I take it slow since I know my limitations and don’t go beyond those unless I feel confident doing so.

My outing on this beautiful, albeit humid, sticky, gross heat of midday wasn’t all for naught. I brought my other “go-to” board “weeble wobble”. Yes, I will adjust those king pins to remedy this issue all skaters encounter. I’m still in my ‘shake down’ period right at the moment and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

The best gear¬†I know and love will always be¬†Rector. It fits very¬†true to size and won’t shift. The size smalls run very small, mind you. This is fine by me, but may not work for¬†the next¬†person. My helmet probably pre-dates 1985, and it’s light weight. ¬†My gloves are all new old stock. I ditched my long board gloves since the size small/medium were WAY too big on my hands. I never wanted anything new again.

I made myself have fun on this hot day. ¬†I slid down the metal¬†half pipe;¬†remembering my¬†old practice runs from back in the day. The metal was screaming hot and on¬†bare skin… Ouchy! Woo-hoo!!! Alrighty then…

Keep in mind that the¬†city planners were idiots when this skate park was built. The metal half pipes can be ridden, however, its sheet metal meeting a not-so-level slab of concrete.¬†¬†The metal has a lot of ¬†questionable “give” and does produce a creepy, unsettling¬†loud ‘ping’ sound as the wheels make contact with its surface. So skateboarders beware. I say take caution when attempting to ride this to all skateboarders, not just newbies. I caution the seasoned, the intermediates, etc. There are no plywood half pipes. When I first took up skateboard 30 some odd years ago, I learned on plywood, even helped my oldest brother in the final construction phase of his first half pipe. It was a real learning experience, very grueling hard work, and once completed– very scary, yet exciting and exhilarating to be the first to test it out.

Nowadays, I take my skateboarding¬†slow. I’m not¬†about to risk a bone fracture by skateboarding at break neck speed. My attempt at front nose¬†Fakies are taken with¬† cautious approaches. I’m there to¬†get the feel of both board, wheels, and terrain underneath my feet. What do I need to correct on the hardware, if any adjustments need to be made? That kind of assessment. And its all about having fun within one’s own ability.

I stood atop a massive slab of steep concrete that¬†jutted out of the pavement like¬†a pyramid with the point left unfinished. I’m not here to be grammatically correct with any skateboard terminology, by the way. I’m trying to¬†describe the skate park layout. There are tiny rails anchored into the pavement. I view it as another accident that could mangle beginner or even intermediate since they were placed too damn close to the proximity of each half pipe. I’m observing as a spectator and an old-school skater.

I watched the lazy punks take many spills. There popsicle decks¬†went skiddering, the wanna-be¬†skaters tripped head over heels every time. They skated poorly like something out of Skater 3, a video game. I wouldn’t¬†have even put them in a poser category nor even beginner. Perhaps a weekend warrior at best. ¬†There was no true form nor unique style all their own¬†that I could see. They sported tattoos and smoked¬†cigarettes. They rode¬†the half pipes with no zeal. There wasn’t even any ounce of passion. It was like bland nothing-ness. Almost giving off a ticked off message to the world that they didn’t want to skateboard, but did so anyway just out of boredom, perhaps.

It was like watching a dull skateboard follies without a laugh track nor any blooper sound effects. They just went up the half pipes without any real sense of feeling. There was none of this: “I’m awesome!” or “Look at me!” And¬†there was¬†zero¬†sense of “practice makes perfect” attitudes nor even any positive energy, either. To me, that was very odd. In my day teenagers couldn’t wait to out-best their friends or try to impress them, either. Teenagers of my generation took a tumble, jumped up, and kept trying it over and over again until they felt they got their tricks partially¬†correct to their liking. But I see none of this in today’s youth, nothing but this massive laziness boredom. And god-forbid if their Ipads or cellphones just quit working due to some cosmic solar interference, they’d have a snowflake meltdown and need to find their “safe” place.

Teenagers in my day would have thrown their non-working cell phone or Ipad¬†in the street and went on their way regardless of what caused it to quit working. They might have retrieved said device later if their parents made them, other than that, an 80’s teenager was vastly different to this generation. And I’m sure the generations of teenagers before my time might have taken similar approaches to modern technology, perhaps.

I didn’t detect angst, per se from the lazy teenage boys at the skate park. I mainly sensed it was for them just killing time between texting their friends, like something to do to pass the time before they had to head home¬†before another school day rolled around.

I wish I could have “shredded it” as one older male with long hair¬†cheered me on as I strode over to the skate park looking like a throwback of a typical early 80’s skateboarder. I gave the long-haired older dude a warm smile in return, nodding in approval,¬†and gave him a¬†‘thumbs up’. My old Rector gloves linger with the new leather scent, “fresh out of the bag” newness/ Saddle soap treatment. All is awesome applesauce on this day and I don’t let the snide remarks deter my determination to stay at the skate park. ūüôā

My old stock Rector pads lovingly shed their black lining like an affectionate cat. I remedied the sticky rub-off with non-GMO cornstarch and aluminum-free baking powder before I left the house. I figured it would also combat chaffing and sweat build-up.

I ignored the teenage village idiots seated at the picnic table. I practiced my falls, sliding on my knees, just having fun again that I hadn’t¬†got the chance to have¬†in many, many years.

I didn’t try any dismounts since I was putting the old pads through their first ever durability test runs. I felt no unpleasant jarring aftershocks striking concrete and metal. In fact, my knees were cushioned the whole time and comfortable.

Concrete though isn’t a good sliding surface, by the way with pads. The metal will scorch skin and that’s the only thing that burned. Otherwise, Rector pads get two thumbs up ūüĎć. And that’s my initial critique on the new old stock gear. I never tried out the Clawz gloves yet since these were probably first generation designed for the second generation of skateboarding in¬†1989-90. They were for¬†street skating, but do not have any full wrist support at all. The only minimal support (if one can call it¬†protection)¬†is a¬†Velcro wrist¬†wrap design. I used one Clawz glove¬†back in the day without a thought that there was really¬†no wrist protection at all. These were made of suede leather, minimal pads sewn on the palms, top leather with Clawz logo¬†sewn into the¬†glove. The Clawz logo is prone to cracking as with anything vintage and being thirty years old is to be expected.

Also, eBay is an excellent source to find a lot of vintage skateboard stuff at reasonable prices. Depending on the seller(s), they may even offer best offers and free shipping within the United States. Hope this helps. I’d also include Amazon as another online buying source for skateboard related stuff, but I find that eBay is vast and has more to chose from.

Just a word of advice buying on eBay: always try to¬†review seller’s feedback rating. If they have a ton of negatives, I’d recommend shopping with another seller since you may (or might not) get the item(s) you purchased on there. And its a let down, believe me when the item you work hard for never shows up in the mail. It happened to me recently with a couple of rock n’ roll trading cards, although the seller was very quick to issue a refund, I was searching for the cards for last couple of years. So, it just a matter of buyer beware on eBay. It’s still a good place to find anything you a person could ever possibly want/need/ add to an existing collection, etc. The selling aspect would be saved for another blog entirely.

Thanks for liking, blogging, following and sharing. And please, stay tuned for more future posts from me when I can find the time to do so. Have a great day everybody and happy skateboarding! ūüôā

By the way, have any¬†skateboard related¬†questions? Please, feel free to send me a comment on here and I will be happy to respond to the best of my knowledge.¬† Mind you that¬†I don’t know a¬†whole lot¬†about how to do skateboard tricks and¬†I’m still learning myself even after all these years.¬†I have very minimal skateboard mechanics under my belt¬†(self-taught), but I do try. I am a¬†very old-school fashioned skateboarder though. ¬†ūüôā


Skateboarding Part 3: phase II- resurgence 2017- etc. Old school, new old stock= “like, totally radical!”

Published August 13, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

Bullet Speed Wheels

Bullet speed wheels made by Santa Cruz. These were ideal for both street and half pipe back in my day. They are 66mm 92A


Vision Skateboard deck: Fat Lady

Vision mini-deck: Fat Lady 1989 Mark Gonzales. I believe the blue rails are possibly Santa Cruz. Since I don’t own said skateboard in the picture I can’t say for certain. However, this was the very first “true” mini-skateboard my brother bought me for my 12th birthday. Totally awesome! ūüôā And yes, I’m still searching for this particular skateboard deck to this very day! I never give up hope. ūüôā

What was once viewed as extremely unpopular thirty years ago has now become accepted, and darn near a “must-have” in the new skateboarding scene. I speak about protective gear.

The most precious and delicate: your head. The elbows and knees. I admit it: when I returned to skateboarding I didn’t always have the extra money set aside to purchase new skateboarding gear. I returned to skateboarding like I had first taken to it; no pads, no helmet. I skateboarded at my own risk, and maybe not within my abilities being a mere thought in my [then] young brain. I also dismissed a helmet as a potential lifesaver since I was thoroughly convinced I seldom, if ever, went head-first flying off my skateboard back in my day.

I never had an attitude of, “I’m invincible!” ¬†I likely thought since I was getting bullied daily in my public school transfers, then surely showing up at the a$$ crack of dawn in a skateboard helmet would have pegged me for a “retard” and dropped my unpopular status to a new all-time low. The only bare minimal protection I doned was my brother’s hand-me-down Clawz ¬†skateboard glove for my right hand. I never grew into that glove. My fingers barely poked through the finger holes. But I used it everyday and seldom removed it even when school had begun for the day. I really didn’t care about dress codes in school and loathed not being able to just break from conformity; from that cookie cutter mold kids are expected to abide by in school. They may preach diversity and being “you” but in reality, I found it was a contradictory in terms.

Dress codes aside, I never even strapped on a pair of pads. They were bulky on the half pipe and would have slowed my speed to a snail ūüźĆ¬†pace once on the street and I would have viewed the protection as “dumb” and a waste of money¬†since I wouldn’t have used it.

As a teenager, skateboarding to me was about going beyond my own limits. Speed-wise, my Independent trucks slowed me down more than anything. I still pushed off like a poser since I had no prior street skating experience and very little half pipe as well. I had maybe two or three months of half pipe by the time I quit hanging out with my brother in 1990. He sent me on my way with zero street skating experience. I was bummed out ūüėĒ¬†(depressed).

What began with enthusiasm turned into a lonely progression in my teenage years since I was also without my skateboard mechanic: my brother. At 13 I knew nothing of cleaning/ greasing bearings so the shields won’t wear out entirely. Speed rings… Come again? Those little tiny frustrating “rings” that just dropped out of my wheels need to be cleaned and oiled again?!

I did my best and enlisted the help from my stepdad who mixed graphite flakes and Vaseline together and helped me clean the shields, bearings, and it took us two or three hours to re-assemble. It didn’t lessen the annoying squeak my wheels produced.

New Old stock vs. New protective gear: worth it or leave it in the past?


rectorpadsblue clawz gloves

In the fall of 2017 I was a housekeeper. And every day I always pushed my cleaning cart by a skateboard kiosk, when one day, something familiar caught my eye. No, not a spill. Not a discarded candy wrapper, not even a black spot.

Jim_Phillips_screaming hand

“Screaming hand,” I murmured to myself. I snagged my spray bottle and cleaning rag and sauntered to the nearest trash can lid and began to spot clean the mirror surface. The skateboard was popsicle shape, not old school re-issued. A slight frown crossed my face. It was definitely Santa Cruz. I was very familiar they were also a surf board manufacturer as well. I always associated this company with the best skateboards money can buy. I also remembered my first Vision deck from years prior. Fat lady’s image never left my memory. I often wondered had my board survived all those years, or had the neighbor kid I traded it to, destroyed it?

Little good thinking of the regret I did would do me. Screaming hand was still there. Every day he’d get overlooked, except by me.

I turned down the radio chatter on my walkie-talkie, and taking a huge leap of ‘on-the-clock’ no-no’s, I had to inquire about the price.

Screaming hand was so iconic for me. It was like getting up close to a new vehicle and having the dealer welcome you to try it out and see if it suits you. A similar scenario unfolded for me. I wanted to go back: to re-visit a happier chapter in my life.

Without a doubt I knew the Fall of 2017 was the right time to take up an old love of mine. I never doubted I couldn’t still do it. I just had been skateboard-less for many years since me and “Big Bertha” parted company in 1993.

$185 for Screaming hand. He was pre-built. As time and money allowed, I bought a set of Spitfire wheels. Screaming hand was “my board”. I sat down on it, the kids gathered around and asked me questions about skateboarding. I was in uniform, and happily answered their curious questions. Young kids nowadays can’t comprehend what it was like back then. I did my best to explain skateboarding in simplified terms. I wasn’t budging from Screaming hand. A few of the kids all-of-the-sudden hounded their strapped-for-cash parents to buy them that particular board, the one out of several that appealed to me.

Before any of the parents could cave to the pressure their kids exerted on them, I contently shot the owner my reply; “sold” and I bought a layaway hold on Screaming hand and paid it in full in three installments. I slaved at my new housekeeping job. I also worked a second job to compensate. I was going to be Independent, just like a set of old 1980’s trucks the owner had scrounged up and I later wound up putting on one of my self-assembled decks of which I later sold.

Then came the pads: a new set. They get me by, but they shift on me. Any smaller and my circulation would be compromised. Given time though I would find what I wanted and needed all along: New Old Stock.

What was the best skateboarding gear in the 1970’s throughout the early 1990’s?

Rector. And say goodbye to swellbows.

And there was Pro-Tec. And more lesser-known skateboarding protective gear too. I recall vividly for me and my brother it was Rector. My brother had the blue set. I found both colors on the ‘bay recently along with an NOS Rector helmet.

It works…. kind of. The helmet fits great. The Rector pads are victim of time, sadly, and natural deterioration due to the age of the lining. To remedy the ‘rub off’ I cut up an old pair of shocks and pull those on over my knees before doning the old gear. The small pads, ha!! I laughed. They fit me like a dream! The new scent clings to them and the plastic cups seem to be in as good of shape as any for its age. Mind you, this is likely 30 ++ years of being in storage from some closed up skateboard shop somewhere. And there are no warranties, no returns of any kind. No nothing.

There are skateboarders who use old stock daily, if not, then whenever they can. I can’t vouch for any durability of this old gear, so if in doubt, buy new gear. I fall in that “one small size doesn’t fit all” category. But the initial test runs are still to come. I don’t skateboard for speed. I’m not about to bail on my board on a slab of concrete in a pair of old stock Rector pads just to see if they’ll hold up. And I’m not about to ruin a good pair of $1 matching tube socks. ūüėā¬†lol! But I’ll return with my verdict if Rector is a ‘go’ or a ‘leave ’em in the past’ blog post. Thanks for reading, liking, blogging, posting, etc. I always appreciate it and any comments always welcome!