Collections: Thoughts and Things Celebrate, Create, Contemplate. Repeat.

Wow, I Could’ve Had A V-8 in 1958

Last week I helped a friend Christmas shop. The mission was to locate a vintage frog item for an upcoming gift exchange. Chatting and catching up, we shopped merrily away. We saw pigs, dogs, dolls, pigs with wings, but no frogs.  However, I spotted this out of the corner of my eye. I had to take a quick second peek.  Seeing “The Cunninghams” caught my attention initially, as I was also shopping for a Cunningham gift. Vintage graphics are a favorite for them, and I thought this poster might just be ideal.

V-8 Holiday Calendar Inching my way to the wall of the packed booth for a closer look, it said “With Saturday Evening Post Covers”.  Covers, as in plural. Hmmm. Thrifting happy dance–there are additional pages.  While not complete, it IS an enormous holiday countdown calendar. I love advent calendars, even one with a retail vibe. The more, the merrier. Each 3’x2′ page could be a holiday decoration. The minty green border could fit into many Christmas decorating schemes today.

I mulled, and we continued to meander through other booths and stores. Where are the frogs? Could have easily started a scary plastic Santa collection.  Lots of vintage games, ornaments and red rolling pins featured. I lingered over an Ohio Art globe for a moment, or two.  Then I saw the second sign, 25% off today.  After some seasonal deliberations, ho ho ho the calendar was mine.

 Friday, December 19

December 19 V8 calendar

Surprise! The days are the same as 2014. The Post covers are from the early 50’s, the years aligned in 1958, so I’m guessing this is a 1958 store promotional display.

The Saturday Evening Post illustrations each provide a little snapshot in to Christmas past. Filled ashtrays at a party would be now be rare, but the wonder of Santa, and the bustle of Christmas is everlasting. Artwork by Amos Sewell, Benjamin Prins, Norman Rockwell, and more.  I cannot find anything similar in V-8 vegetable juice advertising or through the parent company, Campbell’s Soups. Which makes the find that much more fun.

Each page has a reminders of what a holiday shopping list should include, turkey, ham, fruit cake and cookie ingredients, and wait for it  . . V-8.

Not sure how I’d feel about hot V-8, but a Bloody Mary might be in order to toast this find. December 19 detailA red cardboard holder remains at the top, so it could be displayed on an easel.  As we are easel-free, framing pages and hanging singularly or in a grid would be an option. Big binder clips are the answer for this year.

This is the last page remaining.  Hoping the duck is a present, not dinner!December 20, 1958

Cunningham page has been gifted to the Cunningham’s. And I’m on a quest to give and/or display the rest.  Which reminds me, 4 shopping days until Christmas, I had better make a list for the market because we’re cookie baking tomorrow. Some things never change.  Thanks V-8 for this terrific collection. Merry Merry!


Would You Like A Box With That?

This time of year? Why yes I would, thank you very much. Especially if it’s a vintage box.  The graphics on the outside can be as decorative and enchanting as what’s on the inside.

Shaggy Pine Candle Box 1

Shaggy Pine Candle Box 2A

Shaggy Pine Candles. I’m guessing made shaggy by the fact that they’re not dripless?

German Glass Ornaments

German Glass Ornaments

Variety of merriment in vintage boxes

Antique Cuddle Kids BoxThis pea=green box with sweet graphics contains antique Christmas tree candle holders.  Each metal holder has a tint of color, a tiny detail and soot from use. (!)  I do not think this is the original box. (Don’t search Cuddle Kids, unless a fan of scary dolls).

Antique Christmas Tree Metal Candle Holders 1An early Santa riding a reindeer on this old blue & white box, and perhaps an one of the angels who spoke to the shepherds prancing with a star?

Antique Christmas Ornament BoxAlas, the following box is empty, but Paine’s Balsam Fir Incense is still available. The descriptions of the aroma make me very curious. A family owned business since 1931, and the website describes their 89 year old star employee and two company dogs. I think I’m in.

Balsam Fir Insense BoxThis box from Knott’s Berry Farm contains a holiday treasure, a set of tapers pristine and at least 50 years old.

The address is Candle Kitchen, Box 15, Ghost Town.

Candle Kitchen at Knotts Berry Farm

At long last, the candles are headed for the Christmas mantel

Two tiny vintage boxes of mini-flocked trees.

Flocked baby bottle brush treedNow time it’s to get the contents, and the boxes, on display.

This is as close the antique candle holders will get to a tree.Antique Christmas Tree Metal Candle Holders 1

Merry December!

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Pyrex Lab Glass

Do you have something non-traditional that you collect? I practically squeal with delight when I find a piece of lab glass.

Truth be told, lab glass does not exactly inspire a wave of fond memories.  In high school, I took biology, survived chemistry, and proceeded to human physiology thinking pre-med might be my track.  Dissecting frogs, worms, hearts and eyeballs were all fine, but one meeting with a fetal pig and that was that; social sciences here I come.  Required science distributions in college were filled with ‘lab-free’ geology and speech & hearing sciences. Yet I love lab glass.

I appreciate Pyrex, especially sunny yellow pieces, but utilitarian beakers are my favorite.

Welcome to my laboratory. PyrexDESICCATOR 2The most recent addition is this Pyrex Desiccator**.

(Yes, I had to look that up. Just a lovely piece in a new-to-me shape and size.)  The jar with lid is about 10″ by 8″. Pyrex GLASS DESICCATOR 1

The heavy glass and industrial design is hardworking and pleasing. I like to think of it as now enjoying retirement.

The tiniest of beakers at 100 milliliters. 100 ml pyrex beakerIt’s perfect for keeping washi tapes handy.

100 ml beaker Washi

A trio of 800 ml beakers are useful for corralling other collections,

800 ml in case of party beaker

Vintage party supplies

800 ml flower frog holder

Partial collection of flower frogs

Rainbow of straws in beaker. (Thanks to J for sorting)

Rainbow of IKEA straws.

Displaying pieces creates a mad scientist vibe at Halloween, and fun to fill with treats for the kids during finals.

If I stuck with chemistry, I could perhaps tell you what this was used for.  The beautiful (to me) stopper was found separately and just happens to fit.

Mystery Beaker and stopper

1000 ml made by Pyrex.

The duo following are ideal for holding a single small bloom.

125 ml beaker

Tiny 125 ml long neck beakers.

 To give an idea of the scale of the pieces. Lab Glass collection

Lab glass can also be an addition to other holiday decorating.  Beakers can be filled with a multitude of things. During autumn, I might fill one or more with acorns. A stacked variety of Jelly Bellies look, and are, irresistible. Or employ one in everyday use as a container for soaps in the guest bath. A poinsettia we ordered from a munchkin’s fundraiser fits perfectly inside the new desiccator. Once we unpack our Christmas decorations, I’m going to fill around the plant with bells.

Merry Lab Glass

Merry Lab Glass!

For over 95 years, Corning has developed special glass for use in both chemical and life science laboratories. PYREX glassware is made from Type 1, Class A low expansion borosilicate glass that has become the accepted standard in chemistry labs across the globe.  from

Can’t wait to find the next piece.

**A desiccator is a sealable enclosure used to protect chemicals which are hygroscopic or which react with water from humidity.

November 24

Just for fun, let’s see what today might have been like more than seventy years ago.

Here are pages from two perpetual resource books, both published in 1942.

1942 Picture Almanac 1

The almanac is filled with a page a day of interesting facts, and a place for boys & girls to record the daily weather report.

November 24th is the birth date of  “Old Rough and Ready”, the 12th US President Zachary Taylor.  An adventurous tidbit is that his father fought along side George Washington.

And the tip of the day,

1942 American Bomber guide 1 It’s difficult to imagine a number of children learning to identify bombers overhead. ***

 American Bomber guide 2This guide would be helpful anytime if reading a novel set in WWII. (Need a suggestion? Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein) The Boeing B-17, the Flying Fortress, is huge. I wonder if this is to scale?

None of the pages in the almanac have been completed, but the cover is well-worn and many pages smudged. I know as a child I would have read it cover to cover.1942 Picture Almanac 2All of this learning makes for a ravenous student.

So, what’s for dinner?

 Let’s check the menu for in the Modern Meal Maker.Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 1Perpetual recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 November 1

Fried Apples & Bacon as potential as a tasty November dish, Spinach Balls, not so much.

Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 2The cookbook also has timely tips for the month and season.

Modern Meal Maker Menus 1942 3

Would be fun to recreate a day of menus.

Modern Meal Makers 1942 3

Happy November 24th

***Note:  After some additional pondering, I realize I was wrong. (Some may now want to bookmark this post.) On November 24, 1942, children mostly likely were acutely aware of aircraft overhead.  So then I Googled. The Aircraft Warning Service was a civilian service of instated in 1941 to keep watch for enemy planes entering American airspace.  Many citizens learned to identify aircraft for both American and foreign airplanes. (One system is WEFT: Wing, Engine, Fuselage, Tail)

Vintage Navy CufflinkLink to the experience of one Ground Observer.

The Other Side of the Flea Market

For the first time, my thrifting buddy and I moved from vendees to vendors at a vintage market. (Must admit, we’ve completed significant amounts of  ‘research’  attending as shoppers.) The right sale? Not too big, not too small, not too chic, not too straight from a very old cardboard box in the garage.    We found a once a month sale with a little corner snack bar, gift bags for shoppers, with no entry fee. Just our cup of tea coffee. Now it was time to select and release some treasures back to the  universe.

To quote Frozen, “Let It Go”.

Time to part

Time to part.

From Flea to Shining Flea

From Flea to Shining Flea. Wash & tag time.

We bandied about the idea for over a year. This decision gave us a new understanding of the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’.   Between us, we have seven kids.  Finding a weekend that didn’t conflict with any sporting, school, vacation or holiday plans was quite a challenge.  How does the White House ever schedule state dinners? A date mercifully fell when the weather was both clear & mild.  With the help, and then subsequent ever-so-quick disappearance of said children and hubbies, we were able to set-up the space the night before.  A final fluffing in the early am, then we spent the rest of Saturday ‘on the floor’.  (Yikes, an old retail term just returned.)

Crazy busy.  The pictures are from set-up wonky in color and bit blurry. But here they are. The first two pictures are from my flea buddy’s side of the booth. Once the doors were opened, we were off.

Half of the booth. EP

Eggplant’s side during set-up

Half of the booth. EP

What an incredible amount of things can fit on, near and under three tables. My half is in the photos below. Taken during set up. Not much space left for anything short of offering to sell my earrings.  And yes, editing  is on the list for next time.

Vintage Market 1

Vintage Market 2

My side during set-up

You might spot a “Downton Abbey” moment below, with an empty water bottle near the tea tray. One of my favorite displays was a number of vintage travel pins hanging on a window screen. (Leaning on the shelf.)  Cute, cute pins at 2 for $1. Many compliments on the display. Yet not one sold. Phooey.

Vintage Market 3The pins were offset by the black & white US Navy 8×10’s I used to identify the ‘man stuff’ area. They sold. The vintage games sold. And the blue metal toy phone, loved but never displayed. A basket with antique postcards and pamphlets was almost emptied. Even sold some vintage records. (Yippee, just a ninety-seven more to go . . .)

I’d have bought these atomic mod candlesticks.

Nickel? Stainless? Aluminum?

Nickel? Stainless? Aluminum?

Well, I guess I did originally. But they came back home. The gentleman who purchased an unused embossed dragon teapot was thrilled with his purchase. He was born in the year of the dragon. (Then he read my palm–a first for me–but that’s a story for another post.) Definitely a win-win transaction.

My kids whipped up a fine faux frappuccino® as a pre-sale test for this 50+ year old turquoise beehive blender. Delicious. It was sold to another vendor with a retro blue kitchen.  I barely got it out of the box. So glad to have found a new home for it.

50+ years old, and made a fine  faux Frappuccino®Sales had a nice pace for most of the day. Entertaining to talk with people as a vendor. I love to find out what & why other people collect.  However, very difficult when asked, “Are you sure you want to sell this?”  Yes.    No.    Maybe?

It was a terrific starter sale. Immensely enjoyable when customers are enjoy quirky, quality items too.  We sold enough to downsize to one van load when we packed up for the day. We headed to St. Vinnie’s to donate on the way home.  Then time to un-wine-d, I mean celebrate the adventure. Whew.

A huge nod to all who collect, create & display the vintage magic we so adore on a regular basis.

Can’t wait to stop by soon.  Ahem, as research of course . . .

Working with a theme may be a goal for a second foray to the other side of the flea market.  Then who knows? Perhaps The Farm Chicks 2018?

Last Best Place?

Grammar rules and test prep teach us to be wary when using a superlative.

So.  Is Montana the Last Best Place?

Avalanche Creek Trail 1My first visit coincided with my first steps, and the most recent trip to Montana was last month.  It’s definitely in the running.   If a setting can be gifted, the Flathead Valley nestled in the Rocky Mountains, would be at the head of the class. It’s where my grandparents lived and my parents retired, but it’s also enjoyed year-round by skiers, hikers, bikers, honeymooners, golfers, nature lovers, glacier fans and more.

Classic Montana

What’s on the radio?

Hank FM

Anyone surprised?

Let’s see what else Montana is.

Glacier Park Red Bus

This Glacier Park Red Bus is ready for a tour

Sometimes it’s entertaining to pick out a little something to take back home as a memento or a gift. Many wonderful shops provide a plethora of options.

Montana is a Sassy Place

Montana is a Bear-y Interesting Place

Bear near Avalanche Creek 1942

Glacier Park 1942. Just stay in the car. . .


With four kids, my family excels at making noise. Even when we’re not in the woods, we’ve nailed bear tip #1. My husband as seen a few bears over the years. I have only spotted a  bear twice. Ever. Admittedly, I’m more likely to be cruising antique shops than deep forested trails.

However, while driving just outside of town at dusk, we spied some awkward unattractive horses eating fallen apples in a yard. Upon second look, I saw that they were moose! Moose tracks (not the ice cream) are ginormous.

Montana is a Yummy Place

 Huckleberries in any form (pie, jelly, soda, taffy, chapstick, and beer. Or just in a bowl) all receive a purple thumbs up from us.

Tasty too.

Hmmm, is everything tasty in Montana?

Montana is a Very Dear Deer Place.

Photo from late 1930's-mid 40's

Photo from late 1930’s-mid 40’s

Most days, we see at least one. Sometimes a number if out at dusk. In the distance, or right in the yard.

A different pace,

Horses first please

A special place.

Glacier Pano

Four Seasons. A variety of sports, arts, music, and theater are available. Custom yarn shops or Piggley Wiggley. Bookstores to browse. Nordstrom and Amazon are just a click away. Traffic means waiting through an entire light. Maybe, once. The true test of traffic is if a deer dashes out in front of your car. Or maybe running into a flock of wild turkeys. (No, not the kind you’d meet at a bar.)  People are genuine, and the scope of the beauty of the land approaches spiritual.

My Dad proposed to my mother in Glacier Park, and my husband proposed to me in Glacier Park. Sigh.

For us, Montana IS one of the Last Best Places.

Always full of surprises

You Light Up My Life

If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”
– William Morris, “The Beauty of Life,” Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design (1880)

Classic statement. Perpetual goal. If Mr. Morris were to pop by right now and peek into our office, he might not think me familiar with this concept. . .

But we found a fabulous item which fulfills the Morris golden rule.

This PS 2014 Pendant Light is from IKEA. No surprise, it came flat. My daughter assembled the many (many) pieces into a mod orb for her room.

IKEA Moving Light 1With a pull of the string, look at the transformation. Voilà! 

IKEA Moving Light 1Beautiful. Useful. Kinetic. Fun. Yup, nailed the golden rule. Literally. (OK fine, used screws.)

I love IKEA. Frozen meatballs and Swedish pancakes often make their way into our cart along with items expressing Swedish ingenuity each visit.Ikea BugHowever, I almost (almost) fell for an item not on my list when I was alone picking up the light. There were delightful furry greeters from the Seattle Humane Society in front of the store.

The big yellow adoption bus brings adoptable pets to IKEA Seattle twice a month. Cats, kittens and dogs are available for on-the-spot adoptions. All pets are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and come with a certificate for a free health exam.

Oh my, I did not come home with a new pet, but ever-so close.

IKEA PS 2014 pendant lightt

The fabulous light was later installed at home, and tested by each family member.  Then retested. What can I say, it’s fun. One more surprise?You Light Up My Life Light

At night the light creates a star on the ceiling. Perfect for my little star. Love it.

PS. While checking the IKEA website to confirm the name of this snazzy fixture, I now admire them even more after reading this,

At IKEA Seattle, we are proud to be a member of the greater Puget Sound community and we are dedicated to giving back to the local communities where our co-workers live and work. Most recently, we have donated to the following organizations:

● Community in Schools of Renton  ● Renton River Days Festival ●Bridge of Promise
● Renton Area Youth and Family Services  ● Boyer Children’s Clinic ● Seattle Children’s Theatre
● NW Furniture Bank  ● Washington Spanish School●Academy Schools ● Nordic Heritage Museum
● Northwest Harvest  ● Vision House  ● Save Habitat and Diversity of Wetlands
● Save Habitat and Diversity of Wetlands  ● Camp Korey at Carnation Farm
● New Phoebe House Association  ● Woodin Elementary School
● Darcy Read Memorial Preschool  ● Compass Housing Alliance ●Kenmore Elementary
● Stillwaters Environmental Education Center  ● Seattle Architectural Foundation
● Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center – Oblitride  ● A Step Above
● Network Tacoma  ● Academy Schools ●HopeLink  ● Mary’s Place ●  Earth Corps

Beautiful, useful, and from a company with a caring presence in the community. Mr. Morris would be smiling now.

PPS: link to the light

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A Spooktacular Vintage Hallow’een

If you are lucky to have lived in a (very) small town, this might ring a trick-or-treat bell.

In addition to births and graduations, awards and engagement announcements, newspapers often carried a report of an illness, a promotion or a bumper blueberry crop.  At eleven,  I remember being impressed to see my name in print after visiting my grandparents in rural Idaho. “A lovely visit was had by all. Iced tea and apple bread were served.” How did they know? In hindsight, perhaps my grandmother submitted the details. However, an out-of-state car parked on a three-block Main Street was noticeable.

Here is a precious example of an event featured in 1926. Social Column 1926The sixteen children attending included two Ruth’s, two Betty’s, one Myrtle and two boys.  This notice, and the following items, were found together in my trove of “an only daughter of an only daughter” treasures.

This event started with an invitation to kindergarten friends and neighbors. 1926 Hallow'een InvitationPumpkin invitation This jack o’lantern garland is one of the decorations that “carried out the Hallow’een motive so dear to the hearts of youngsters.”  Each of the dual-sided faces express such personality.

Vintage Paper Pumpkin 1920's 6

This pumpkin has an earnest appeal, reminding me of Buster Baxter in “Arthur” episodes.

 I have not found a makers mark, but believe the garland was made by Beistle.

 See how the eyes have changed direction? This little pumpkin below maybe distressed because the price was marked on his face.

Vintage Paper Pumpkin 1920's 1 with price15¢!

Cute in 1926, and hanging out todayNot so spooky mantel

 Treats were served on crepe paper placematsVintage Crepe Paper Halloween Placemats

I am less enthusiastic about these graphics, so they stay in the box. Something is frightening as all the characters are running or flying away. The image on the right may be a manifestation of a Halloween “turducken”. A flying pumpkin in a witches hat?

A few bright orange and black crepe paper nut cups remain.

Vintage Halloween Crepe Paper Nut CupPlus some irresistible placecards Vintage Halloween Placecard Bridge? The gold-edged vintage placecards were found in the same keepsake box. Maybe a memento of this party, or a later Halloween bridge night.

What might a hostess wear to play “appropriate Hallow’een games”?

CAM12344A fairy costume, of course.

This party sounds like such fun! Did this gang celebrate Halloween again?Handmade Vintage Childrens Halloween InvitationWhy yes they did.

Halloween in the News, Party #2

Happy Halloween!

Vintage Halloween Sticker

Time For A Cup Of Tea?

Do you have time for a cup of tea?

Often seen in bowls, tucked on shelves or displayed at antiques stores, are a variety of sweet palm sized pottery figures.  Wolves, whales, squirrels and sea turtles. You may be familiar with these mini treasures. Or perhaps even more than familiar (*cough* Eggplant) and may have completed a set, or two, or three.  In 1967, Red Rose Tea began to include these Wade figurines in their Canadian tea boxes.  The American series premiered in 1983.  Nautical pieces are included in the current group, be on the lookout for the Conch Shell, Lighthouse, Seahorse, Starfish, and  Treasure Chest.

I’ve always thought Chester here was a Wade figurine, however, I do not see him listed. Corgi 1

But there was an earlier set of collections that began in 1959. Remarkable tea cards.  Let’s peek at some the treasures tucked into and on tea boxes .

Red Rose collectible tea cards were issued in annual series of 48 cards each, from 1959 through 1975.  The best place to be whilst sipping a Red Rose tea, might be perusing the cards collected in your book throughout the year. When complete, the pages will contain high quality images, plus facts about the animals, plants &/or habitats.

I have a mini collection of four of the earlier books.  And, I l-o-v-e paying the original prices, and these were even better–two for 25¢. (Four books with cards for .50¢. In English and French.  Suppressing squeal of thrifting happiness. . .)

Series 3 – 1961

Red Rose  Brooke Bond Blue Ribbon 1Wild Flowers Red Rose backMany interesting facts are complied in these slim books.

Flower of Manitoba

Series 6 – 1964

Red Rose Brooke Bond Blue Ribbon 2Tropical Birds Red Rose Back

Quite a remarkable bird, check out actual photos. Amazing.

Quite a remarkable bird, check out actual photos. Amazing.

Series 8 – 1966

Red Rose Brooke Bond Blue Ribbon 4Butterflies of North America Red Rose BackBrooke Bond is the parent company to Red Rose.

Filled with lots of interesting information

How to tell Moth from ButterflyFantastic graphics

Olive Hairstreak ButterflySpicebush Swallowtail and Prequel

Series 9 – 1967

Red Rose Brooke Bond Blue Ribbon 3Canadian American Songbirds Back - Red RoseHummingbirds Fairy TernI had no idea about the eggs of the elegant Fairy Tern. Not every egg is in a classic nest. Hmmm.

What a delightful way to add a touch of pizzazz, and create curiosity all while sipping a daily cup or two.

Green KingfisherFor Tea by the Cup: Place 1 Red Rose tea bag in cup and pour in boiling water. Brew 3 to 5 minutes or until desired strength. For Tea by the Pot: Rinse teapot with hot water. Place Red Rose tea bags in teapot, using one bag per cup. Pour boiling water into teapot and brew for 3 to 5 minutes, or until desired strength. Add sugar, milk or lemon to taste. From Red Rose Teas

The application for the certificate, and an example, for completing your book

Just might want to consider a Red Rose premiums item next time you’re out and about sipping a cup of tea.

In A To-Go Cup Please

Another inadvertent collection. It appears that “Sally the squirrel” has been collecting coffee cups versus nuts this fall.  I keep finding cups that matched collections, and found it hard to resist as most averaged .25¢.

I like to keep a few mugs on hand to use as when preparing a small gift. Ideal as containers for a coffee gift card, or filled with candy, colored pencils or stacked tea-lights. Or just to give for a laugh.

I won’t say we’re klutzes, well actually yes we are, so a spare cup or two for future rotation is also prudent.

The newest addition is a glorious blue and made in Italy.  Italian Cafe cup

Italian Cafe Cup Detail

Bella. Caffè Misto?

A peek into the past with this reproduction mug.

White Star 3rd Class Mug Reproduction

I have a HUGE Titanic fan at home (all things historical, and the movie). The size and weight of this mug is ever-so pleasing.

White Star 3rd Class Mug Repro 2

White Star Third Class Mug. Jack!

This college mug (fine, stein) was bought for less than primarily $1 because I felt sorry for it. (Must stop doing that, but it is a piece of someones history.) 1958. No chips or cracks.  (Truth be told, probably would not have rescued a PAC-12 rival mug . . . )

1958 WMU 11958 WMU 2Perfect really as a sturdy to-go mug, this could easily hold a Trenta with room. On a quest to find it a new home.

The sassy gallery:

We use festive cups around our house to corral pens, toothbrushes and ponytail holders.

Paris cup 1This unmarked restaurant weight Paris mug holds one munchkins collection of friendship bracelets.Paris Cup - in useAnd we use them to actually drink coffee, tea or cocoa too.

Time for a refill?