Christmas creeps quietly into Hillcrest Cottage. "Return of the Santa mugs" is the first sign of the holiday approaching. My collection is 63, give or take a few. I have a friend who has amassed over 200... so I am not as cool (or crazy) as her.
Here's the criteria for my collection:
1.) Made in Japan... means it is circa 1960's. Many times the date may be stamped on the bottom.
2.) No mug may cost over $5. The ideal price is $1. I walk away from greedy sellers who try to get more for them. The mugs are fragile and cheap. That's why I began collecting them in the first place... cheapness.
3.) Mugs who do not meet the original specifications are allowed "in" but I am the only one who can really decide if that particular mug is worthy.
For example: Pottery Barn has begun to manufacture very cool 1960's replicas. I buy these replicas every year because these are the mugs out of which I allow people to drink. A couple of years ago I became saddened about the way the actual use makes the little mugs peel.
See what I mean? Fragile and cheap.
Okay... here's the tour.
I scored the following candle holder the other day at an estate sale.
Best estate sale ever.
It was the kind of sale about which I dream! The weather was getting bad. Everyone in town was preparing for the snow: buying up all the bread and beer and rotel. Meanwhile, I was at the estate sale of the century... a sale where every interest of my family was represented.
I bought like a hoarder.
No one was at this sale! It was a house stacked with very cool stuff from floor- to- ceiling. I was told the owners had moved to Oregon with 9000 pounds, and this sale was what they had left behind.
"I promise I am not one of those weird people who buys stuff all the time," I told the check-out lady. Embarrassing. Next, I went home and made my husband and son come back with me.
They bought like hoarders, too.
We bought cowboys boots, two Christmas gifts, a pair of real ice skates (which I will share later), awesome black bear bookends, a pipe rack, tools, a $1 video game that my son spied as valuable and will re-sell, Christmas lights, calligraphy pen nibs... and this candle holder mug (1960, Made in Japan, $1).
The mug tour continues.
Now, true collectors will spy these next posers. However, I love them because they are of the drinkable variety
More drinkable mugs. I spy a Snowman!
I bought this $1 Fitz & Floyd mug at the aforementioned estate sale. He will be filled with candy for our annual Christmas "mugging" exchange coming up soon. For now, he decorates Hillcrest Cottage's very frozen front veranda.
Hot chocolate station. Decorated with vintage Christmas stickers. Going to Williams and Sonoma today for the gourmet marshmallows... yum.
And, lastly, Atticus Finch and Tabasco Spice are feeling merry, too.