Category Archives: Glass

Tiny Bottles Make Me Happy – Teeny Tiny Tuesdays

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Rainbow Stripes Miniature Vase

You know that song, “Tiny Bubbles”, written by Leon Pober and preformed by everyone from Don Ho and Connie Francis, to Paul McCartney. Well,  thanks to a recent TV spot, it has been stuck in my head again. 

Tiny bubbles (tiny bubbles)
In the wine (in the wine)
Make me happy (make me happy)
Make me feel fine (make me feel fine)

I had this silly book once that referred to the affliction of having a song stuck in your head all day that you can’t get out, one that is largely annoying, as ‘Songnambulism’. OK, it may have been written by Wayne and Garth of Wayne’s World, well actually it was written my Mike Myers, my Canadian home-boy, but it still makes me laugh. To make the situation even more pitiable, my father had me thinking the line was actually “Tiny bubbles in the loo” for most of my childhood. Loo as in toilet. Yes, my father is a master of the lyrical parody. Weird Al might do it better, but my father did it first. But I am getting off topic.

Miniature Bottle in Orange and White, Hand Blown Glass by Kiva Ford.
Miniature Pitcher in Blue Stripes, Hand Blown Glass by Kiva Ford.
Hand Blown Glass, Miniature Vase in Red by Kiva Ford.

Today’s Teeny Tiny Tuesdays post makes me think of that song, Tiny Bubbles, because it is all about very tiny blown glass bottles, vases, and pitchers made with the most delicate of hands and likely the most carefully controlled ‘bubbles’ of air.  Kiva Ford, of New York, Virgina is the creator of some of the most precious tiny glass treasures I have ever set my eyes upon.

Miniature Bottle in Cobalt Blue and Purple by Kiva Ford.
Miniature Flower Bottle in Teal, Hand Blown Glass by Kiva Ford.
Miniature Bottle in Black and White Stripes, Hand Blown Glass by Kiva Ford.

Glass blowing is truly one of the oldest and most magical of artisan crafts.  I remember going downtown to the Toronto Harborfront as a kid and visiting the Glass Works studio that was set up close to the docks and attractions. It was my favorite place to visit, and the most memorable by far. Women and men in heavy leather aprons, head scarves, and big gloves yielding long metal tubes and giant metal snips would work in front of a giant oven, taking molten glowing orange blobs and working them into phenomenal pieces of art with a twists, a puff of air, and a degree of skill I can’t even imagine possessing.

Image Provided by Kiva Ford on Etsy.
Image Provided by Kiva Ford on Etsy.
Image Provided by Kiva Ford on Etsy.

I had never really thought much about where glass came from or how it was crafted before then. But once I saw that it could be made into art in the hands of a skilled crafts-person, I was enchanted.  The pieces featured in this post are merely the tiniest of samples of the work available at the Kiva Ford Etsy shop. I urge you to take a look at Kiva’s creations and fall under the same spell that makes me want to start collecting these stunning miniature glass marvels. They would make a lovely gift for a Valentine or for Mother’s Day. They are so detailed and so lovely that they would be a wonderful addition to any curio cabinet, china closet, or window sill.

Miniature Bottle with Amber Stripes, Hand Blown Glass by Kiva Ford.
Miniature Glass Bottle by Kiva Ford.

Have you ever been walking in the park on a spring or summer’s day and come upon one tiny perfect clover or a tiny flower and wondered how you could take it home and make the memory last? Have you had a child present you with a treasured single dandelion or the “longest blade of grass ever”? Kiva Ford‘s tiny vessels may be the perfect way to make those little gesture look like the precious gifts they are.  Have a lovely Tuesday, and I hope you found a tiny bit of joy while looking at these amazing glass creations.

Chemistry Set, Miniature Hand Blown Glass by Kiva Ford.
Chemistry Set, Miniature Hand Blown Glass by Kiva Ford.

Note: All Images and Designs Featured In This Post Are Copyright and Property of Kiva Ford & kivaford Etsy Shop. No Infringement is intended.

A Lovely Collection of Kiva‘s Amazing Glass Vases and Bottles.
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A Trip Down Grocery Lane – Time Travel Thursdays

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Groceries ART BLOCKS – Set of 21 Ephemera Art BLOCKS 1950’s Magazine Advertisements by Suzanna Scott, Sushipot Parts on Etsy. $145.00 USD.

I was born in the early seventies, that means the big 4-O is coming soon, but even I remember a time before grocery stores became giant tributes to mass consumption of over produced and over packaged goods. Most people dread the “weekly” trip to the grocery store, some people go out less than weekly. Our food has become so laden with preservatives that shopping carts are now immense, ready to hold all those giant boxes and bags that can shelf sit for decades.  Many of my friends and family have turned to shopping on-line, with a standard order delivered right to their doors at great expense, but it is a busy family’s savior in a time pressured world.  We now have so much waste, so much to recycle, that taking out the garbage can be more labor intensive than cooking up dinner.

Vintage 1946 Grocery Shopping Advertisement – Mother Daughter at French Frou Frou Antiques on Etsy. 10″x13″. $12.95 USD.
Vintage 1950 Mother Daughter Grocery Advertisement at French Frou Frou Antiques on Etsy. 10″x13″. $12.95 USD.

So when did it all go so horribly wrong? I am by no means the best at being ‘green’, I am not a vegetarian, and I am not someone who is the most socially aware, but I would have to be blind not to see that we have gone in a direction that is going to be very hard to change.  The old Corner Grocery Store is almost extinct, and that is a shame.

Corner Drug Store Vintage Photo of A Woman Standing In Front of a Drug Store at Romance Writer on Etsy. 3 3/8″x3 3/8″. $2.50 USD.
Girl Buys French Bread & Spaghetti from Retail Market Shop in Snow – Antique Photograph at Snaposaurus on Etsy. 3.5″x2.5″. $4.25 USD.

 In Canada [where I hail from] and the United States, the mega-sized grocery and drug store combo is a dominant feature on the landscape of most suburban shopping centers.  We don’t really even question it when yet another Big-Box shop opens around the corner. However, there was a time when small corner grocers were essential to a neighborhood, and many shopped for fresh goods on a daily basis.

Large Vintage Wire Shopping Basket with Handles – Old Country Store at Antique Beans on Etsy. SOLD.
Vintage Light Blue Grocery Store Shopping Basket at Planet Alissa on Etsy. Estimated 1970-1980. 16″x10 1/2″x9″. $20.00 USD.
Old Vintage Metal Store Display Tag for Fruit Flavor Certs Candy Breath Mints at Leora’s Magic Carpetbag on Etsy. 2 1/4″ Across. $9.99 USD.
Old Vintage Metal Store Display Tag for Dentyne Spearmint Gum at Leora’s Magic Carpetbag on Etsy. 5 3/4″ Across. $12.99 USD.

We drank out of glass bottles, which we returned. Dry goods were sold in paper boxes lined with wax paper, or tins that would be re-used.  Ice cream came in a paper box. Bread, produce, and meats were wrapped in paper and tied with a string. Your home ice-box didn’t hold as much, and things did ‘spoil’ as you would expect fresh food to do.

Vintage Sky Flakes Cracker Tin – Add To A Collection or Use To Store Special Items at Artsy Gemini on Etsy. 7″x4 3/4″. $4.50 USD.
Vintage Spice Tins & Extract Bottle – Lot 2 at UnAbashed DeStash on Etsy. 5 Spice Tins/Boxes, 1 Bottle. 1940s. 50s. 60s. $30.00 USD.
Vintage Spice Tins – Lot 1 at UnAbashed DeStash on Etsy. 7 Spice Tins/Boxes. 1940s. 50s. 60s. $35.00 USD.

So what, you may ask, is my point? Well, sometimes we need to take a look back in time to remember that most families had all their needs met by their corner store, and that the more we package and preserve, the more wasteful we have become.  For many, a look at vintage grocery ads, items, and containers in a wonderful way to remember the days of their childhood. For others, a reminder that for all our “progress”, we have taken a huge backwards leap in taking care of Mother Nature.

Set of 10 Sample Size Grocery Products Rare Collectibles at Antigua on Etsy. Boxes and Talcum Powder Tin Contain Product. Circa 1960s. $100.00 USD.
6 Vintage Jack And Jill Strawberry Gelatin Dessert Boxes at Antionettes Vanilla & Vintage Finds on Etsy. 3.5″x3″x1″. New Old Stock, Never Used. $8.95 USD.
Vintage Chocolate and Food Extracts for Vintage Snacks at Violet’s Steamer Trunk on Etsy. Original Price Tags On Some Items. Range in Size. $11.00 USD.

My family is rather unique in that I come from a ‘Grocery Ancestry’ of sorts. On my father’s side, his parents owned a corner grocery store on St. Clair Avenue in part of Toronto’s most well known early residential areas. He grew up working the store, and as he tells it, bribing the delivery drivers to let him drive their trucks long before he was of age.  On my mother’s side, her father and his partner had a ‘pop’ bottling plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario where they bottled such favorites as Nu-Grape and Sun Crest.  My maternal grandmother also had her time working in a butcher shop as a young woman before she married my grandfather.  You could say my love of the corner grocery store is almost a genetic trait.

Vintage Coca-Cola Bottles, Set of Coke Bottles in Original Carry Carton at Kona Boutique on Etsy. Holiday Style Cardboard Holder Included. $19.99 USD.
Vintage 7up Green Glass Soda Bottle at Antoinette’s Vanilla & Vintage Finds on Etsy. Circa 1950s. 7 oz. Bottle. 8″ Tall. $6.95 USD.
TWO VINTAGE Sun Crest Soda Bottles at Dee’s Attic Treasures on Etsy. 10 oz. & 7 oz. Bottles. Bottles From Atlanta, GA. $18.00 USD.

 Most people, I imagine, have had some connection to a corner store at some point in their family tree, there were just that many small shops serving the community.  Today I want you to remember those days, before the mega-ginormous food outlets, and remember all the families that relied on the small corner stores for their livelihoods and as a main food source for nourishing their families.  The stunning art blocks at the top of the post are the perfect way to honor that heritage in a new and eye-catching way. If you collect old photographs or glass bottles, you can find some of the best on Etsy. Vintage packaging and ephemera remind us of a simpler time and are great photo props or serve as inspirations for decor and artwork projects.  An old soda crate can become a great way to organize your craft room or studio.  This Time Travel Thursday, I ask you to think outside the “Big Box” grocery stores.

Vintage Wood Divided Soda Crate A-Treat Supplies Storage Primitive Industrial Box at Vintage Jane on Etsy. 17 3/4″ Long, 12 1/2″ Wide, 5 1/4″ Tall. $36.00 USD.
Coca-Cola Crate at Cottage On Cactus Lane on Etsy. Vintage Original. 18″ Long, 12″ Wide, 4.5″ Deep. Perfect for Storage, Decor, or Shelf. $25.00 USD.
Vintage Land O’Lakes Wooden Cheese Box at Uknow Uneed Another on Etsy. 11 3/4″ Length, 3 3/4″ Height, 4 1/4″ Wide. Bottom Opening Hinged. $25.00 USD.