Treasure Hunting


Learning new skills seems to be the theme in 2015. Of a more lighthearted nature but by no means easy, is learning to play the ancient and noble game of Mah Jong. I really enjoy it, even more so because the group that is teaching me/I am playing with are not of a competitive nature. Talks and Teas are equally important..such bliss!

And the game it self is so beautiful, the tiles little works of art. And then one the ladies announced, she had a vintage set made of bakelite for sale. I was of in a thundering gallop.
I love bakelite..the colors, the soft glow, the touch. I am so happy!


And than I realized, I have not shown you any of the treasures I found over the last few months. I enjoyed your listening ear so much the last time!! Forgive me for neglecting you in this way and let me correct this fault right away;0)


Such a lovely feminine breakfast set. Too flowery for the Walker Men but since I often breakfast by makes me very happy.


And oh, I am such a sucker for star and snowflakes patterns. So this little plate makes me also very happy.


The illustration on this pretty little container is by Marjolein Bastin. She is Dutch and used to come to a flower shop owned by one of my sisters…that makes she and I cousins, right?


There are four more of these lovely liqueur delightful to find a whole set ( paid $4.- for them, sigh) That pitcher might not be keeper: too big for syrup and too small for iced teas. But I fell for the hip uranium orange;0)


This pitcher is much better and I already had the glasses.  A perfect $2.- spend , I’d say!


And the best for last: these two Harrison Begay prints looked so sad and forlorn in a thrift store. I almost felt guilty when I paid the four dollars for it. Now they hang in full glory in my studio and are greeted and enjoyed every day!

Be still my heart…Garage Sale Season is only around the corner! Tally Ho!


Even wat opscheppen over de gezellige aankoopjes in kringloop en antiekwinkeltjes van de afgelopen maanden. En ik krijg les in t eeuwenoude en tamelijk ingewikkelde Mah Jong spel en deze prachtige vintage Bakelieten set, heb ik gekocht van een medespeelster. Ik hou erg van Bakeliet;0)

Love and Liefs, Johanna

50 thoughts on “Treasure Hunting

  1. Wow! This is treasure indeed! I adore the bakelite Mah Jong set. What a stroke of luck to be offered the chance to buy it. I really love your taste in vintage finds and can understand and share your joy at finding such lovely things which actually cost so little. I feel we are little caretakers for these items and we also get the pleasure of using them. It makes each day a little special.
    The prints are very special and very ‘you’.

    • Thank you Karen, I love the idea of being a caretaker;0) I am very happy indeed with those prints, it was sad to see them undervalued…but then again, indeed it is more fun to buy for a splendid deal and cherish them.

  2. I am hopeless at learning rules for games – my husband used to despair but now he knows not to ask me to play cards etc. The Bakelite Mah Jong is gorgeous and I like your other treasures very much, the breakfast set especially.

  3. What lovely finds Johanna! Is the pitcher with the orange top Pyrex? I’m a sucker for vintage Pyrex! 🙂

  4. I am tickled the prints have a great home in your studio.. I fell in love with the little appy foal! My Mom had a pitcher and glasses like that.. I don’t remember much about the pitcher but I remember having root beer floats out of the glasses.. 🙂 Love all your treasures. I think CH and I need to learn how to play Mah Jong! Good Morning!

    • I love playing Mah Jong, especially since it involves good company and teas and goodies for me;0) I am very happy with the prints, such gentle images. I had my first float , in 2003 when on a vacation in Virginia. I did not know that ten years later, I would move to the States myself;0) I love finding all these ‘real American’ treasures, when I am in the Netherlands, I usually hop in a nice thrift store just for little rummage and find something ‘real Dutch’ ;o)

  5. Johanna its a good thing we don’t live near each other or we would have to go thrift shopping together all the time. I love your treasures especially the star platter and the adorable prints. Such delightful finds. I love that you are giving them a second life! Oh and the bakelite Mah Jong set, what a beauty! I too love bakelite and agree, it feels so nice to touch, smooth and warm with a nice weight. Thank you for sharing all this goodness, it makes me a little giddy with happiness! Your images and compostion is so pretty! I love how you set up each scene!

    • Well I am very happy to share the treasures since The Walker Men, lovely as they are, do not like treasure hunting let alone hearing me going on and on about it;0) Though The Walker Boys will ask me to find something for them, for their apartment from time to time and I love that! I would certainly not say no to thrift shopping with you, my dear Cathe! And thank you for all your lovely compliments!

  6. LOVE Mah Jong….so relaxing. Your thrift shop finds are great….it’s amazing what wonderful retro things can be discovered there. I always wonder about the stories they could tell.
    I started actually buying some small antiques, which I am “Nadja-fying” at the moment…basically things with my trademark style, painted on them with enamel. Will sell them by the end of the month on Etsy. So exciting!

  7. Mah Jong is a game I would love to learn, mostly because the little tiles look so interesting..I like the case too. Sounds like good fun in store for you:)
    Marjolein Bastin is one of my favorite illustrators. Everything she does is wonderful, I really like her Vera the mouse. Another interesting and fun post Johanna!! Thank you!

  8. Mah Jong!!! I loved that game. Isn’t it funny how things move in and out of our lives? I hadn’t thought of it for years; thanks for reminding me. And a bakelite set?! There is something dependable, no nonsense and friendly about it, I think. My favourite of all your finds is your lovely breakfast set – gorgeous! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • I love sharing with kindred spirits…Mr. Walker lover that too so I can stop yodeling to him about my terrific finds;0) And isn’t it fascinating that so many people are attracted to Bakelite. You are absolutely right!

  9. What a good bargain hunter you are! You find some really cool things and your personal style is so evident when you put them all together in a post like this! The Mah Jong set really makes me salivate–it’s gorgeous. I don’t have the first clue how to play but I’d keep that set around just to gaze at!

    • There are certainly lots of items, I would love having around just for its beauty. And you as a fellow sport woman knows how delightful it is to find those lovely items discarded by others and now cherished by us!

  10. Tally ho indeed. I love a good treasure hunt. I have particular things I hunt for but most things are considered if the price is right. I especially love your breakfast set. I can see why you’re so happy to start your day together.

    I’ve never heard of this tile game. I imagine some Downton types wiling away the days with a round of it. Perhaps something brought home from a trip via the Orient Express? Very grande indeed.

    I’m a big fan of Marjolein Bastin too. I have a tea pot on my counter at all times with her artwork on it. It’s got birdies on it, all the shades of aqua I love so much. I’ve had it for probably 10 years and never tire of the design.

    I have to get to a market myself soon. My cousin and I have decided to trade a parcel. I’m getting a hat and I’d like to find something for her at the Antique mall. We went together when she was in Edmonton and she got a few really cute things.

    Have a wonderful week Johanna and Charley (I missed your sweet face xo)

    • Of course Kelly, you are so right! Treasure hunting is not only fun because you can find something special…but you find it special for that right price!! I also never buy something from ebay..I just have to ‘stumble upon it’. I bet you are always on the look out for vintage aqua.
      Well and no…no Downtown Abby types..though I had a good chuckle imagining my friends in the Downtown rigs;0)
      There is something so sweet and pure about Marjolein Bastin’s art and my sister tells me, she is really a genuine kind person too.
      And an extra hug from your furry friend here!

      • Hi Johanna! After seeing your fine treasures, I hit the Antique mall today with hopes of finding props for a photo area at a Bridal Shower. I did find some pretty vintage gloves and cute hat but thought people were so over priced.

        Well now, your sister actually is an acquaintance of Marjolein Bastin? That’s so cool. I hope I can travel to the Netherlands some day, it looks so beautiful. I especially like that many of her works include birds. I seem to have a thing for birds and when I look around my home, they’re everywhere 😀 x

      • oh wow, hunting for props for a bridal shower!! I would have loved to tag along;0)
        Acquaintance is a too big a word. My sister used to have a flower shop/garden centre and marjolein Bastin lived closed by and came to store regurarly. Thats how my sister met her a couple of time. She thought MB was a very kindhearted and quiet lady. She was already very famous by then but she behaved so normal;0) And absolutely…what is not to like about birds?

      • I would love for you to tag along too 😀 Hey! My Sister (inlaw) has a flower shop too! She’s adorable and does beautiful stuff. She’s on FB at Corinthia Flowers – Leduc Alberta if you want to snoop. Do you get to see your sister often? You must miss each other a ton. x

      • I go to The Netherlands once or twice a year, and my entire family lives in one tiny village…very convenient ;0) And tht with all the fast social media, it is so easy to stay informed. No, live is very good here in Cincinnati! xoxo

  11. You are a great collector dear Johanna!Loved all the brilliant glassware and the classic plates;I would easily go for that elegant treasure,the platter with the golden stars! Have a brilliant day my friend! Hugs 🙂 ,Doda ❤

  12. So many fabulous finds! I love Marjolein Bastin’s art, too, beautiful style. That glass pitcher you picked up for two dollars (two dollars?!) is absolutely gorgeous and matches perfectly with the glasses.

  13. Lovely treasure finds ! Would love to learn how to play Mah Jong properly … have memories of earlier attempts many years ago … rather too many glasses of vino quaffed for it to make any sense Lol

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