Friday, September 17, 2010

I have the Q if you have the A

So many questions.

I'm hoping you can shed some light on a few things around here and with that in mind ... 

I've prepared a little list.   :-)

Number 1. 
These mystery objects arrived mixed in with some vintage sewing notions -- they're metal and about 4" long. One is marked '2' and the other is marked '3.' I imagine they're something anyone who sews a lot might be familiar with. Anyone but me, that is. Do you know what these are?

Number 2.
I'm wondering if these Halloween noisemakers are vintage or reproduction? Two of them have wooden handles, one has a plastic handle and there aren't any manufacturer's marks. It would really make my day if we could turn this into an Antiques Roadshow moment where you tell me how rare and unique and valuable these are and then I tell you how I found them for a dollar at a thrift store. 

Number 3.
Lately I find myself buying old canning jars. I don't can anything so why are these coming home with me? (that's not my question about these but if you have a theory, I'm all ears)  What I'd like to know is this: Are these jars unusual or are they pretty standard in the vintage canning world? For all I know, I brought home a box of empty peanut butter jars. I thought I might fill them with vintage Christmas ornaments.

Number 4. (last one!)
These grow in my yard and I would love to know what they are. I snipped a few for this photo and about 20 minutes later the room was filled with a bologna-like smell. I think that's nature's way of telling me that some flowers prefer to be left outside.

Thank you for your help. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.


  1. First -- love your blog.

    Answer to question #4: Buddleia -- commonly known as Butterfly Bush.

  2. Thank you Leslie! I hope the butterflies enjoy the aroma of bologna more than I do. -amy

  3. 1 and 2 dunno1 3..the jars I am pretty sure are not canning jars..but they are jars from the 40's-60's era. I love them..I too collect them. Mollases, honey, syrup, were your typical stuff in them..or so I have been 4 yes is a butterfly plant..and the butterflies love them!! Oh yeah Pine Sol use to come in glass jars also.

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

    Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

  4. #1..not a clue unless those are big holes for really big thread??
    #2 They look like the old ones..I have a collection of New Years noise makers..didn't know they were making repos..ugh
    #3 I agree not canning jars. Also, the zinc tops have probably been added lately..I know Barn House does this to regular jars....looks more interesting.
    I'll check back to see if you have an answer to #1,

  5. Yep, definitely a Butterfly bush. Just don't try to plant any new starts off of it. Oregon has labeled it an invasive species, so no new plantings allowed. :(

    The zinc lids make those jars a very stylish accent currently. Don't know either way if the jars themselves are collectible, but the raised designs on them look cool anyway.

    The noisemakers look remarkably pristine to be vintage, so I would be inclined to guess repro on those. I could be totally wrong, but I think a lot of the old litho tin toys usually have a maker's name on them somewhere.

    No clue on the needles. Do they have holes near the point? Sorry for the novella, but you asked. :) Ciao, Maria

  6. I have collected vintage canning jars for years and I agree that these are not canning jars, although they certainly look like they are vintage and the zinc tops that have been added to them are as well. Still very pretty for storing things!
    I hope someone answers about the pointy things - I'm curious!

  7. I got nothing, no answers. But I love reading what everyone else had to say. Bologna smelling flowers. Yuck! Kinda like lillies -- they smell so good when you first get them, but as they start to die, they smell like a cat peed all over the place. :/ Have a great weekend. :) Tammy

  8. 1. idea about the sewing implements.
    2. These noisemakers look way to new to be original vintage. I'm 99% sure they're repro. Tin toys have been hot repro item for at least 20 years or more. The colors aren't faded, the color on the black wooden handle looks too "fresh"...for lack of a better term, and there don't seem to be any signs of rust, dirt, or other patina.
    3. These are gorgeous old jars but not intended for home canning. They would've held commercial products like syrup, honey, etc.
    4. Looks like a butterfly bush.

    Good luck with the sewing goodies search! I'll check back to see if you find the answer 'cause now I'm curious too!

  9. Your needles are so interesting. They are obviously machine needles -- for a really big machine that was designed to sew through something with a weirdly blunt needle. It's really bugging me that I can't figure this out.

  10. Women love to be asked their opinion! ;)

    The only answer I had for you was # 4 a Butterfly Bush. I never had enough blooms on mine to pick. Glad I didn't now!

    I like your jars and I'd use them too but boy do I hate canning! Ug!

  11. I cannot get Butterfly Bush to stay alive, and it's considered an invasive species over there, grrr.

    Everything used to come in bags, jars, and boxes. They had to get creative with the glass to lure people into purchasing their brand.

    Your "needles" could be for machines that did burlap bags.

    Your jars are fabulous! I wish we could get jars like that nowadays with our groceries.

  12. I don't know what those needles are, but I know if you Google, "heavy metal needles" you get LOTS of interesting stuff that really has nothing what-so-ever to do with sewing. If you get my drift. I also found this: Epicuticular wax of subarctic Scots pine needles. Not helpful. It's driving me crazy because I've SEEN something like this before. I'm thinking some type of a weight, that you hang from...I don't know... It'll sure be interesting to find out though.

    The Halloween stuff looks new.
    The flowering plant makes me sing: "My bologna flower has a first name. It's O-S-C-A-R..."

    hahahaha! Have a great day. - Kathy

  13. The plant is a butterfly bush - buddelia (sp?).

    That much I know. I'm afraid I don't have the answers to your other questions, but I love those jars!


  14. Love all these things!! The needles look like something for pulling drawstrings or elastic through a casting.?! The jars are gorgeous...who cares what they are...use them for whatever! Vintage or not I would have bought the noisemakers too!

  15. I got a zero on this quiz. Can you offer a make-up assignment later this week? Something easy? I would hate to get an F on my Into Vintage report card.

  16. Thank you for the info about the non-canning jars! I also didn't realize those lids were added although I did notice they didn't fit quite right. There was also a big pile of those lids for sale at the yard sale where I bought the jars. It's all making sense now... :-)

  17. Hello, that is called buddleia, or a butterfly tree - oh! I see your earlier commenters have filled you in.

    I have an urge for some of those jars - I'm wanting to can some passata.

    Wooden handles? I say vintage.

  18. Not full of smart answers today on this quiz
    1. The mystery object is a mystery to me too.
    2. Not sure about noisemakers - those repos they make are so close to the old. i will check mine out when I get out my Halloween stash.
    3. I am no help.
    4. I did know it was a butterfly bush. I did NOT KNOW they smell like bologna.
    i think I failed this quiz....hanging head in shame.

  19. Well, obviously by now you know that is a butterfly bush flower in your last picture!! and you can't even get them in nurseries anymore (which you've already read from other comments here) they are considered an "illegal" plant in OR & WA!! So stupid in my opinion- they bring in lovely butterflies, grow quickly and make a beautiful screen in your yard. I just spotted one growing wild on the side of the road and I plan to go dig it up and plant it in my yard! :) You can cut them back and they grow back the next year. I can think of a half dozen more species that should be labeled invasive! (there's my soapbox for the afternoon...)
    Mine have always smelled like bubblegum.
    Also on the canning jars- I drilled a hole in the lid and put in a soap dispenser and it looks cute. I think the galvanized lids are harder to find than the jars.

    I would agree with Cora, those needles looks like something to thread yarn or elastic with...

  20. I, too, thought what Kathy and Cora suggested about the "needles". Since they have different numbers, I thought perhaps they were little counterweights for a vintage scale or something, like the big ones used for old windows. I also thought they could be for weaving or rug-making, so the burlap suggestion sounds reasonable too......ah, the mysteries of life. :)

    P.S. Who needs a give-away to draw in readers. Just ask our opinion about something...:)

  21. After reading these comments, I confess to spending more than a few minutes googling things like 'industrial sewing machine leather' and 'vintage cast iron needles.' Nothing.

    However, the Nancy Drew in me won't let me give up until this mystery is solved!

  22. OK, so I'm going to give it a shot: old tatting needles used for making lace?
    You've got all the other answers, so no need for me to add my 2 cents' worth.
    The butterfly bush is beautiful! Guess they're better enjoyed OUTdoors, eh? :)

  23. Regarding the noise makers, I would say they are vintage. I wouldn't gage it on how new they look. I have some that we found in the attic of our house that I know for a fact are vintage but look brand new as they were put away and forgotten about for years and never used. I'm pretty sure they are vintage.

  24. I have a feeling those hooks were used to make rag rugs. Too bad my Meme is gone...she would know!!

  25. Hello...happy to have found you. I love your blog and am now a contented follower. I love Butterfly bushes...they attract the loveliest butterflies and humming birds.
    I'll be back!

    Janet xox

  26. Boy, I can't help you at all....I think everything is very interesting...but whether they are old and clue...which is about the story of all my stuff!!

  27. Ooh, Ooh, I know number 1. They are for making holes for setting grommets or snaps. I am an upholsterer and I use those (new shiny ones) all the time. Do they have a little hole at the small ends and look like the other end has been hit with a hammer? If they do, that's what you have. I don't know the formal name. Handy little devices, perfect holes as long as they are good and sharp still.

  28. Hi Amy!
    Isn't it great to have a place to send out these questions that plague us?
    I have a butterfly bush myself, but it does not look anywhere near as pretty as yours!

  29. I'm not an expert, but I don't think they reproduced the tin noisemakers. I would guess they are real. Superb hit! Minimum of $25 each.

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  31. What fun treasures to find ... and such clever people you have to help identify them. I was going to add that I have 2 colored jars with a similar type of lid that my grandmother had as a young adult, so that would've been in the late 30's.

  32. No answers for you, sorry. But I'm eagerly awaiting the next Q&A session. I love the jars and imagine there are a million uses for them. Thank you to all the commenters - your thoughts are inspiring.

  33. You probably already know by now, but #1 is a pair of punches. You can use them in leather or in any kind of tough material that you couldn't use a regular hole-puncher on (ie, anything but paper!). You whack the solid end with a hammer. The holes in the sides are where the little punched pieces would come out eventually.

    I have a set that I use for paper crafting so that I can make holes in the middle of paper (since a regular hole punch wouldn't reach that far).

  34. Amy ~ Hi, this is Carol from Michigan. Just read this post and I recognized one of the Halloween noisemakers as looking like one I have. We had a a few of these from when I was a kid and my parents kept them and gave me one when my kids were little. I'm guessing it is from the early to mid 60's, as I was born in '56. Mine is like the one with the plastic handle, only my handle is black. The graphics are identical to yours. Mine has more wear and tear - the paint has been slightly worn away underneath on the ridges and a little on the top (around the circle where it gets flat). So yours could very well be old if it was never used. Mine looks pretty good for being over 40 years old. I had forgotten all about my noisemaker and was happy to find it among my kids old Halloween costumes that I just can't seem to part with! I can't believe I've never put this out with my Halloween decorations, but I'm going to this year!

  35. Amy, When I walk the waterfront trail, I stop and SNORT two or three butterfly bush flowers every time [have to always double check that I don't accidently snort a bee up my nose for the flowers are very popular with flying, pollinating thingies]. Each time I stop and snort, I am amazed at how much my brain LUVS that smell! I suppose I could be addicted to much worse things. To have one's 'perfume' turn to bologna after being cut -- that's a pretty smart defense measure!

  36. Just came over via (oh cant remember where) but I live in the northwest about your canning jars. I have one just like the one on the left. Was my mothers.Now I grew up with her canning something special..not the normal pears and peaches..cant remember..but I hate to tell you my age. But she was born in 1917..could they be from the 30s? they were special jars/decorative..I have a few others also. Love all your holiday decorations.I am into anything old.

  37. The purple flowers are from a Butterfly Bush or Buddlea. Beautiful, but must be pruned constantly or it will get out of hand and not do so well. heavy rain or snow can damage it.


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