Friday, August 24, 2012

Vintage typewriters - Monarch Pioneer

I remember my dad's typewriter back in those days, the familiar sounds of its keys and the carbon paper  placed below to get the extra copy. I also remember learning how to type on it after my Secondary Four. It was very soon after that the computer or what was called the word processor took over.

Saw some beautiful vintage typewriters on ebay and it brought back memories of the typewriter, especially the mistakes and the correction fluid I had to use. I especially love the ones with the golden alphabet keys which are more from the 1930s and 40s. So when an old collector offered to sell me a Monarch Pioneer just the other day, I thought why not. Though it was meant to be one of the earliest version of the portable typewriter, it sure was heavy. Made in USA during the Depression Years of late 1930s,  it was a no frills typewriter aimed at being affordable to the masses but as it was made from solid cast iron, it was strong and sturdy.

I always bring home strange, vintage things much to the curiosity of my children and I had to explain to them what a typewriter was.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A four sided moon cake mould

Flea marketing does unearth some unique treasures such as this four sided moon cake mould . The one sided ones are common but I've never seen one with four sides and there's something about wood moulds that are traditional and charming compared to plastic ones. I love the side that shows the mould of a little pig and they are traditionally sold in little baskets for the Mid Autumn festival. One day, when the moon and the stars align, I will attempt to make my own moon cakes.  

A mould for "pig in a basket" commonly sold during the Moon cake festival 

One side of the mould for mini moon cakes

A four sided moon cake mould 

The Duck and the Turtle

The first time I saw this old man selling his wares on the pavement of Chinatown was perhaps a year back and last Sunday, I saw him again. He used to own a shop selling Chinese porcelain ware, enamel mugs, stainless steel tiffin carriers, all of which had that unique Made in China branding. This is gradually being lost as China becomes the world's biggest factory and Chinese consumers begin to acquire a more Western taste in products.

I bought a quaint looking blue and white duck and turtle ware which uncle said could be used for steamed dishes or even for keeping salt in the kitchen. Serendipity makes me buy the strangest things.