Antique Shows. Go for one thing leave with another.

I’ve been going to the Christie Antique Show for years now and normally everyone there is met with either rain, mud, wind or cold. Usually it’s all 4 of those things. So it came as a bit of a shock when Fish Pedicure, Betty, myself and Pink Tool belt got out of the truck the day of the sale to find dry soil to walk on, a cloudless sky and hair that stayed where it was when you left the bathroom in the morning.

Which isn’t to say your hair was left in the bathroom, it was in it’s proper place on your head.

We almost got back in the truck figuring we’d accidentally driven an extra 23 hours and landed in Texas. Since we’re all extremely stupid on Christie sale day it wouldn’t have been impossible. It’s hard not to get giddy with stupidity when you’re anticipating finding the exact perfect thing that you’re looking for.

Decades into going to this show I still feel like I’m going to leave with whatever it is I’m on the hunt for. In this case it was Ironstone. Mended platters, bowls, … that sort of thing.

So you know I was on the hunt for Ironstone. Which looks like this by the way …


platter 4


But that’s the thing about a big antique show.   quote

Ever. It’s kind of a thing.



This is what I did bring home.


A vintage General Electric chrome floor buffer.  Ironic that a tool for cleaning is so filthy.  I’ll get around to cleaning it some time.

The chrome is in great shape though. It gleams like a drip of bosom sweat.

Other than the grime on the handle, base and cord it’s in perfect condition.   Which is a good thing since I plan on actually using it on my floor.

How do I know it runs?  Well I was going to plug it into the office at the show but I wasn’t allowed to.  Something about worrying about knocking out the entire grid blah, blah.  Whatever.

So I brought it home, plugged it in, then spent the next hour chasing after it.  This little sucker spun it’s way right around my kitchen taking out 2 cats, a stool and my left leg in the process.

The only thing bad thing about this buffer?  You can’t serve a turkey on it.

That’s not true.  You totally could.  You’d just have to place your guests strategically around the machine with oven mitts and face guards on.  Then turn ‘er on and watch the guests jump, block and dive for their dinner as it comes spinning at them.

Now that I think about it, this is kind of way better than an Ironstone platter.

Have a good weekend everyone, I’ll see you on Monday with an easy tutorial on how to make a Lazy Susan.





  1. Olga says:

    You should of made a video while it was spinning, it’s something you don’t get to see everyday…

  2. Niki Dee says:

    Next year look for a chrome floor cleaner… you’re sure to find an Ironstone platter.

  3. wisconsingal says:

    After your first Christie post a few days ago, I went online to see when the next show would be. It’s September 6. And it’s more than 650 miles from where I live. So I’m now researching antique shows and flea markets a little closer to home. But I am jealous. And I am going to try to come up with a slightly more in-control version of the motorized turkey server – I let you know when I have it.

  4. Barbie says:

    Lazy Susan???? really??? Can’t wait! I love me a lazy susan!

  5. Amber says:

    but what does &nbsp mean?? It’s there, next to the pic of the intimidating chrome polished turkey-thrower…
    This is another clue to how other women/people/gods actually make their homes and cars and shoes become magically clean isn’t it? Another tantalizing and torturing view into how grown-ups make clean and pretty homes, isn’t it? I kneel before thee…
    &nbsp: a new mantra, of sorts…

    • Kathryn says:

        gives you a non-breaking space in HTML code (so it should show up as nothing).

      • Karen says:

        (I accidentally typed it on the “visual” part of the page, not the coding part) That’s why it’s showing up. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hah! ..&nbsp is computer code. (it accidentally made its way into the part of the post you can see. I’ve removed it now) ~ karen!

  6. Linda G says:

    But can you find replacement buffer pads for it? That’s always the kind of question that runs through my head when I see older appliances. Love that chrome, though.

    You have Fish Pedicure, Pink Tool Belt and Betty on your team. What do you think their moniker is for you?

    • Gina says:

      I think Bosom Sweat would be good….you’re kind of shiny!

    • Karen says:

      Oh it’s probably stupidhead, or that annoying one. My sister has a similar machine and found buffer pads for hers in town. But when she went there to get me some for my new machine she found out they’d been on back order for months! So i ordered some from Amazon. They seem kindda cheap so I’m hoping the good ones come in. ~ karen!

      • gabrielle says:

        You might be able to find them through “The Vac Man” in Guelph. Don’t know if he has a websites, but he does have a listed phone #!!!

  7. Grammy says:

    That is a thing of beauty. Ironstone is easier to find than an electric turkey server, so it’s cool that you found what you did. Do show us a video of your floor buffer in action sometime!

  8. Kati says:

    I hate to be THAT person, but you used it’s instead of its a couple of times 🙁

    • Karen says:

      Well apparently you don’t hate it that much, lol. No need for the sad face. Yeah … I work 12 hours a day and type at 130 wpm. Sometimes my fingers work faster than my brain that’s all.

  9. Danica says:

    Just curious have you ever been to an Antique show in the states? I know there are a couple really large one closer to New York City. I always wonder how different they are and neat stuff you would find. We need an old gas station pump!!

  10. Debbie Campbell says:

    The “Millionaires Daughter” Hamilton has a set of ironstone….

  11. jainegayer says:

    That looks so cool in your kitchen! So sleek and shiny.
    It was meant to be yours.

  12. Dagmar says:

    Karen help! Bring that buffer over here, on second thought, bring the buffer, and every cleaning apparatus you own. My non-husband bought cat grass for our kitty a few days ago and every morning, I wake up to kitty puke everywhere. Could she be allergic to cat grass? What a mess. And she won’t stop eating the stuff either. Now what?

    • Deb J. says:

      I grew cat grass for my cat and it led to a lifelong need to eat ANYTHING that even vaguely resembled grass – she even destroyed a plastic plant I bought for our bathroom. And ALWAYS puked it all up. Not sure what cat grass is for but definitely won’t get it again if we ever get another cat:)

  13. Jody says:

    Yah, I’m so glad you bought the buffer. Did it comes with the lambs wool buffing pads too? Whenever I see an old floor buffer I immediately remember the smell of floor wax and my mom spring cleaning the house including the hardwood floors. I have a buffer too but I can’t seem to translate the memory into action at my own home.

  14. Linda J Howes says:

    Mine’s green.

    • Cussot says:

      Oh crap – I remember that green from childhood! Ours had big fluffy sheeps wool pads as well as the regular ones – I loved running my hands over them.

  15. Jebber Jay says:

    Will you be combining the lazy suzan with the floor buffer? Now that would be something. “it gleams like a drip of bosom sweat”, never a dull analogy from the Art of Doing Stuff. ;o) Have a great hot, summery weekend!

  16. Susan S says:

    My mother and all her friends used a buffer on their floors in the mid-50’s. We kids hated the thing because when it came out we had to remove our shoes, walk carefully on the shiny kitchen floor, couldn’t scrape a chair back at the kitchen table, you get the drift. If I recall correctly she had two kinds of buffers, one to take off the wax, then she’d wax the floor on her hands and knees, and then she’d put the soft buffers on to shine the floor. Today my 86 year old mother has had three knee replacements (don’t ask), and has a hard time walking and I wonder if it was from trying to keep up with all her friends to see who had the shiniest kitchen floor.

  17. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    I remember my mom using hers. Is this the only item you purchased??? Enjoy your weekend.

  18. Rondina says:

    Love the machine. It looks like something a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser would clean up quickly.

  19. debbie bashford says:

    I have one of these, not in chrome and pretty like yours, and love it! Nothing scrubs a floor like these baby’s can.

  20. says:

    “gleams like a drip of bosom sweat”?????????????
    I’m totally stealing that

  21. Laura Bee says:

    Such a beauty, nice find! If I ever want to buff my floors, I’ll put fuzzy jammies on my daughter & play “Spin Me!!!”
    I am on the lookout for a vintage vacuum with a ton of chrome.

  22. Tigersmom says:

    I love all the chrome. And so compact for a retro machine.

    I have no memory of a floor buffer in my childhood home. When I was around 5 my mother had carpet put in the kitchen. Carpet. No lie. They even called it “kitchen carpet.” A few years later, when we replaced the carpet in the bedrooms, she took the bigger carpet scraps and used them on top of the tile in the bathroom. I shit you not. Can you just imagine? She even pieced little pieces together so that it completely covered the floor all the way to the hall where the actual professionally laid carpet began. I don’t know if this is because the professionals refused to put carpet in the bathroom for her or if she actually had some inkling that what she was doing might be viewed as completely nuts (not to mention, seriously unhygienic) to others should we ever sell the house.

    Needless to say, the only carpet in my home today is in the upstairs addition over the garage (not built by us) and on the stairs leading to it. Yuk.

    Now that I’ve provided a morning shudder for you, any info on that awesome platter stand made of old spoons in the shape of an X? I love it.

    • gabrielle says:

      I’m not sure of your age, but I can report that it was ‘a thing’ to carpet your bathroom in the earliest 70’s. My mother bought a rectangle of appropriate dimensions, a sort of semi-shag in Marimeko orange with a rubbery reverse to keep it from slipping. The package came with a DIY floorplan – basically a same-sized rectangle of kraft paper that she struggled with to mark out the bathroom layout and to make sure she had a reliable template to cut the shag.

      That carpet was in there for a long time, topped with a mini mat where a wet body was thought most likely to step (by the shower). Since I was a full foot taller and the bathroom was built for her, I could not avoid getting water everywhere when I scrubbed my face at the sink. Gluck. She always went ballistic if you didn’t refold and hang your soggy towel back on the rail. Maybe she didn’t believe in residual moisture? I don’t know. Now that I own my own home, I throw wet towels over an indoor line to dry, where we have a wood fireplace going in winter.

  23. What an awesome score!

  24. maria - TO says:

    OMG — does that bring back memories! In today’s modern world we forget some of the items we used when growing up. Many Saturdays were spent using that little devil to polish the floors to a beautiful shine. If memory serves me, the was polish came out of a round can and looked like butter. I know that if you weren’t paying attention that little sucker could escape from you and do a merry jig around the kitchen all by itself — maybe it was a model for the future iRobot Roomba! Will look for a future post on how your antique purchase performs.

    • Carswell says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers those floor buffers in action. I recall my mother waxing the hardwood floors with it. If I recall correctly you applied the wax with the brushes and then you swapped them out for sheepskin pads to buff the floor. What a blast from the past!

  25. Leslie says:

    So gorgeous! What a find!

  26. Marilyn says:

    We used to ride on the buffer when we were little. And when I was about 9 or 10 it was my job to wash and wax and buff the floor in the kitchen

  27. janet james says:

    my mom had one of those –hers was pink?!

  28. janet james says:

    hey when is your kitchen going to be in the magazine? what’s the name of that magazine and can I get it in the US? thanks!

  29. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Come’re holding out on had to buy more than that and french fries….Have fun buffing..

  30. Ellen says:

    The Vac Man totally has a website:

    We had a floor buffer at home very similar to that except it was green. Totally power scrubbed and buffed everything, including polishing paste wax on hardwood floors.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Ellen! And that’s funny. Everyone says they had a green one. 🙂 I’m not sure if the chrome is older or newer. I suspect older. ~ karen!

  31. jeannie B says:

    Your floor polisher is a beauty. I have an old one and it’s stored under the basement stairs. I also have the lambswool buffers with the little sprocket in the middle that snaps on. I bet my old polisher still works too. I couldn’t bear to get rid of it. It’s vintage and I didn’t want it discarded and tossed into the landfill. So, under the stairs, it sits. I just use a swiffer sweeper, sometimes a dampened microfibre mop on the hardwood floors or, a vacuum. Gone are the days of waxing and polishing floors for me. Made them too slippery. and, I love platters too!

  32. Lesley Williamson says:

    I LOVE those floor polishers! We had one when I was a kid & my brother and I fought over getting to use it. Then we’d let go of the handle and let it zoom around all on its own, like those mops in Fantasia.

    A warning: don’t ride it when its running. You’ll burn the motor out and your mother will go absolutely bat crap berserk. Or so I’ve been told.

  33. Irene says:

    Heh. I just gave one away yesterday.
    It belonged to an old man whose house my husband and I renovated for rent, and I developed a deep hatred of that thing, as well as the maid who’d used it over the years; ALL the skirting boards had deep gouges from where she would diligently and VICIOUSLY try to buff the floor right up to the wall, even though the buffers stopped a good 10 centimeters or more from the edge of the machine.
    I spent DAYS sanding and filling those skirting boards! Grrr.

  34. Debbie says:

    I’m still a bit behind on email and should be getting ready for my youngest son’s high school graduation. However, reading The Art of Doing Stuff and having a good laugh is much better than taking a shower and getting dressed for graduation. Maybe I could go in my cleaning clothes!

    Love the floor buffer!

  35. Pamela Richardson says:

    I recently baught a vintage floorbuffer myself at my favorite thriftstore. Its not even close to being the standout chrome beauty you discovered but it cost me all of $3. 00 so I can live with this ugly duckling. Mine also works but like yours mine came with excess baggage and I have yet to remove the grime from its previous life. I have been looking into paste wax and My….what a price range…thinking that paste wax is like anything else…,just because it cost allot of $$$ does not mean it is better than one that cost $.
    Any suggestions on which paste wax will do a great job without setting me back the price of 2 nice steak and a bottle of chilean merlot. -grilled at my house of course?


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