Shipping Vintage – How to Safely Pack Glass

I sell a lot of vintage glass on eBay and frequently hear horror stories from people who receive broken glass items in the mail that were improperly packed. So I thought I’d share my tips on packing glass for shipping.

Preparation is the key when packing glass. You will need the following items:

A strong, sturdy box suitable for shipping across the country – the Post Office will provide Priority Mail packing boxes free of charge. You can pick up some sizes at the post office or go on their website to order the sizes you need. They come in groups of 10 or 25 when you get them online.

Strong packing tape – don’t buy the cheap stuff – you’ll hate it when it gets tangled and stuck together and it doesn’t hold up well on long distance travel.

Good quality bubble wrap – use clean, unpopped wrap. I’m using the large bubble size for this heavy bowl.

Styrofoam peanuts.

Tape the box together making sure to tape the center and both sides to keep the box strong. Remember that it may have to travel across the country – this box is going to Virginia – and it’s going to be tossed onto at least one mail truck.

Fill the bottom fourth of the box with styrofoam peanuts. This will provide a cushion for the glass.

Make sure the box you’re using is large enough for what you’re packing but not too large that the glass can shift during mailing. This 12×12 priority mail box is perfect for most pieces – the Post Office makes a smaller size for cups or salt/pepper shakers.

Cover all sides of the glass with bubble wrap – tape completely to keep the glass protected. Again, you can’t use enough tape especially when you’re shipping vintage glass. If it breaks, there’s one less vintage piece left in the world – they’re not making any more.

Place the bubble wrapped glass in the box and fill with styrofoam peanuts on all sides and the top.

Make sure the peanuts fill the box completely – when you tape it shut it should feel full and the top of the box should not sag at all.

Tape the center and both sides of the top of the box as well. Attach your shipping labels and insure the package, if possible.

Think how happy your buyer will be when their beautiful vintage piece arrives safely and can be enjoyed for years to come!

Decorating for Fall


Now that it’s early September and fall is just around the corner,  I can’t wait to bring out my boxes of fall decorations and get started turning my home into a cozy fall retreat. (Of course, the temperatures outside are still in the 90’s – ah, California falls!).

I usually start with the front door where I hang fall leaves around the door and place a fall style wreath on the door itself. I keep the white lights on around the edge until October where I’ll change them to orange for Halloween.


Next up is the fireplace mantle. I’m so lucky to have a huge mantle that wraps around the side and towards the staircase which gives me tons of display space.


I start by clearing everything but the white lights off the mantle. It’s a good time to clean and dust everything that’s been up all summer and get ready for a fresh start.


I usually start with silk fall leaves that I purchase from Michaels. I layer these so different strands mix together to create a nice color palette. I turn on the white lights so I can make sure that everything looks even before adding other items. (Note that I’m keeping my white ironstone butter pat display up since I love it so much!).


I then begin adding other fall-themed items including candles, brown ironstone transferware pieces, pumpkins, and gourds. I love this new brown wooden candlestick I purchased at Michaels (50% off!!).


I’ve added a leaf and twig piece to my archway to add more color and height to this display.


I’ll also decorate around mirrors and flat surfaces – bookshelves, tables and cupboards. I like to fill my cast iron urns with colorful fall leaves and greenery as well.


I’d love to hear how you’re decorating your home for fall.

Why I Collect?


This is a hard question to answer. I think I’ve always been a collector of sorts. As a kid, I had my share of Barbies and Liddle Kiddles. When I was a teenager, I collected Archie comic books. My favorite was Betty but I read them all.

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In high school I collected vinyl records, but I guess most everyone did back then. After college, I moved a few times so collecting wasn’t really in the cards. But once I married and settled down, that’s when the collecting bug really kicked in. It helped, that my husband is also a collector (sci-fi).


Starting with Fire King jadeite and a new collection of Liddle Kiddles, the collections really grew and grew quickly. Jadeite was incredibly affordable and easy to find back then – even the harder to find pieces. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was fortunate to meet an incredible group of Fire King collectors who I still consider my friends almost 25 years later.

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I think when you find something you love to collect, it really just takes over. If you’re smart, you do your research. Buy a couple of collecting books and get to know what to look for in markings and condition. Don’t hurry out and buy chipped or damaged pieces just to have them in your collection. When you go to sell, you won’t be able to get rid of these pieces as easily and you may actually lose money.

I never really collected to sell for profit but it did happen with my Liddle Kiddle and Fire King collections. Because we moved five times in eight years., my large collection (over 500 pieces), packed numerous times, had become a burden more than an enjoyment. I also think I was ready to downsize my collections – I’d outgrown them. Happily, the value of Fire King jadeite has grown incredibly over the last 10 years or so – actually to ridiculous prices now.  I made an amazing profit – money which we needed at the time. Now, when I see jadeite at flea and vintage markets, I usually just shake my head and walk on because I know I would never pay the prices in today’s market.


Even though I’ve sold a majority of my Fire King jadeite collection, I still love to collect. My tastes have changed over time and now I’m enjoying collecting vintage English ironstone pieces. I’ve learned over time to only collect what you really love and not just grab everything that you see because you’ll end up with pieces that have been overvalued and don’t fit in with your tastes.


Who knows what will happen in the future but I know collecting will always be a big part of my life.

What do you collect and why?



Hand Sewing – Vintage Sugar Bag


I found this wonderful vintage sugar bag at the Long Beach Antique Market a few months back and knew I wanted to make it into a pillow. It’s pretty big but I knew it would display beautifully.


Since I don’t own a sewing machine, I’ve started hand-sewing projects I see and like. So far, it hasn’t been too hard. I recently completed this linen and flannel ruffled throw that I saw on the Farmhouse on Boone blog.


For this sugar bag pillow, I turned the fabric inside out and trimmed along the edges where it wasn’t level. Then I turned the top edge over 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch and sewed a finished edge here.


After that was complete, I sewed together the bottom and one side of the bag (the other side was already attached to the back as it came in one big piece).


After sewing the bottom and side together, I was ready to add some ties to the top of the bag. I have no experience hand-sewing ties but knew I would be putting a pillow and pillowcase on the inside of the bag since the top would remain open. When I went to Target and bought the pillow and pillowcase, a lightbulb went off. The pillowcases were sold inside a little drawstring bag. I decided to use the drawstring and cut it into four pieces and use those as ties on the sugar bag. The best part is that they already matched the pillowcase I would be using inside the bag so it was a win-win!


I purchased a standard/queen pillow from Target for only $4.00. The pillowcase came in a set of two and was $4.99. I should mention that the sugar bag cost me $5.00.


Here is the finished product – all for under $20.00! Let me know what you think.

The Coast Vintage Market – A Review



How would you like it if there was a vintage market five miles from your house and it was held every month, had free admission, free parking and over 100 vendors selling amazing vintage merchandise? Well, that’s my life and The Coast Vintage Market

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is just that market. The Coast is located on the campus of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California and is held on the second Sunday of each month.



This is one of my favorite vintage markets which I’ve been attending for many years. It’s so wonderful to get to know the dealers and see so many familiar faces each month. I usually arrive around 7:30am and most of the dealers are set up and ready to sell (which I like since I’m an early bird).


The show is held in one of the parking lots at Saddleback College and there is ample parking for shoppers. In addition to the vendors booths, the market also has food trucks for breakfast or lunch and usually has a live band playing. Vintage car collectors also come to the market to park and display their vintage cars. It’s a very relaxed vibe.


If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend this vintage market. I’ve found so many wonderful treasures there and always look forward to finding more. There’s nothing like that feeling of parking and walking towards the market and the anticipation of not knowing what you’ll find.


I’ve also sold at this market a couple of times and love doing it. Hopefully, I’ll be back in October to sell again and I hope to see you there!


The next show is on Sunday, September 8th.

Decorating with Vintage – Magazines

I love to read decorating magazines (also called shelter magazines). I’ve been a fan for a long time and wanted to share a few that feature vintage with you.


Country Living – one of the longest running vintage decorating magazines out there. This magazine has been published since 1978 and it’s still going strong. Country Living has evolved from the dark woods and plaids of the 70’s and 80’s to the light and more muted colors popular today.


Country Home – this magazine has come and gone and come back again. I remember the days when one of my favorite authors, Mary Emmerling, was the creative director. I used to collect this magazine and go back through each of the issues over and over again. It’s back again and is published quarterly.


Flea Market Décor – one of the newer vintage magazines that is published on a quarterly basis. I like this magazine however, it doesn’t have as much of the shabby chippy farmhouse looks that I love – many times it features homes with brighter colors (Florida beachy style – bright greens and yellows – not my favorites). I will usually look through it briefly at the bookstore before buying if the articles don’t speak to me.


Flea Market Home & Living – this magazine isn’t published on a regular basis but is a nice addition to the vintage shelter magazine market. Lovely pictures and some how-to’s on the pieces they feature.


Romantic Homes – sadly, this magazine just folded. It was a lovely magazine that always featured beautiful shabby chic style homes.


Victoria – this is another magazine that came and went and came back again. I buy this on occasion but most of the time it’s a bit too frilly for me.


Flea Market Style – Ki Nassauer has published this wonderful magazine for about 5 years now and she’s doing a great job. The magazine is consistent in its vintage content and features wonderful articles about collectors. I’ve happily read articles about Fire King jadeite and ironstone collections that are just up my alley. This magazine is published four times a year and is a must-read if you’re a vintage collector. Note to Ki – please bring back the Junk Bonanza in Del Mar!


The Cottage Journal – this is a lovely magazine with lots of beautiful pictures and not a bunch of advertisements. I don’t buy this every month but will pick up a copy when it has interesting vintage articles.


Country Sampler Farmhouse Style – This is a newer magazine that I’ve become a big fan of. Farmhouse decorating is what I love and this magazine hasn’t disappointed me yet. The Autumn 2019 issue features Danelle and Deb’s home from their Instagram and blog House on Winchester. Let me just say that I want every room in their house!


American Farmhouse Style – Another newer magazine that I really like. Lots of great farmhouse decorating ideas and inspiration. This magazine is published every other month.


Better Homes and Gardens Flea Market Style – 100 Ideas – this magazine isn’t published often but it has lovely photos. The most recent 2019 issue features Lisa from Farmhouse On Boone’s old home in gorgeous photographs.

Magazines are a lovely way to get inspiration for decorating. My only wish is that the cost of these issues would go down – they are getting to be almost as expensive as books!

Let me know what magazines you read and if there’s some that I missed here. Enjoy!



Kobey’s Vintage Market – A Review


On Saturday morning I got up (very) early and took to the road to travel to San Diego for the first ever Kobey’s Vintage Market. I live in Orange County so the drive to San Diego took me about one hour.

When I arrived in San Diego I, of course, stopped at Starbucks to fuel up for the vintage market hunt.


Kobey’s has had a swap meet in the parking lot of the old San Diego Sports Arena (now Pechanga Arena) for years. I remember going to this swap meet back in my college days. The vintage market was set off to one side of the parking lot to make it easy for those who just wanted to attend that and not the regular swap meet. The vintage market also had it’s own entrance which made for easy admission (which, by the way, was only $2.00)!


The market opened promptly at 7:00am and the weather was perfect! Overcast and cool – just right for taking your time and not worrying about the hot sun beating down.

Once inside, I immediately found some treasures in the first booth! I collect ironstone as well as vintage English marmalade crocks and was happy to find both an Alfred Meakin ironstone platter as well as a Keiller marmalade crock. Her prices were very fair – no need to bargain here.


The thing about vintage markets is that when you arrive early, a lot of what the seller has available isn’t out yet. They’re still unpacking since they’ve only been allowed in for about two hours and it takes a lot of time to set up a booth (future blog post here). This market was just the right size for being able to walk through the rows a few times to really see everything that was for sale. I’d say, there were about 60-70 sellers at this show.


There were quite a few dealers selling vintage clothing which I’m not interested in but the selection appeared to be vast.


I found one dealer who had the most marvelous collection of smalls – those items you can put together to make a charming vignette. I bought some chandelier crystal pieces, a 1947 edition of Little Women (with colored illustrations inside) and a vintage rolling pin with red painted handles.

Another dealer I found had the cutest little wooden scottie dog which I couldn’t pass up. About the third time I came around to her booth, I spotted a vintage suitcase which I purchased for $10! Some great bargains all around!


These are the treasures I came home with from the Kobey’s Vintage Market. Good news – the market was such a success that they are planning on holding future markets. The next one is on December 7th and I’m always looking for a good excuse to get back to San Diego!



August Vintage Markets

Can you believe it’s already August? The heat is on but so are the vintage markets.

Here’s where I’ll be shopping for treasures this month:


August 3: Kobeys Vintage Swap Meet – San Diego. This is a brand new extension of the existing Kobey’s Swap Meet which has been around for years and years. They promise to have over 100 vendors at the vintage market section alone so I’m excited to go check it out. I’ll keep you posted….


August 4th: Savoir Faire Vintage Market – this vintage market is located in Fullerton next to the campus of Cal State Fullerton. I hadn’t been in awhile but decided to go back and check things out and boy, am I glad I did! Last month, I found this wonderful vintage tool box in my favorite jadeite green.


Parking and admission are both free at Savoir Faire.



August 11th: The Coast Vintage Market – I love this market! It’s so close to my house and I always find treasures here. I also sell here on occasion (next time will be in October). There are over 190 vendors and the selections are vast. They also have live music and numerous food trucks that serve both breakfast and lunch. Admission and parking are free.


I found this gorgeous platter a few months back for $10!!!



August 21: Long Beach Antique Market – a huge flea market located just off the 405 Freeway in Long Beach. Get there early because this one gets crowded. I always get there for the 6:30 a.m. admission which costs $7.00. Parking is free but the lots do fill up quickly.

This show is amazing – huge and full of wonderful vintage treasures. Everything from vintage clothing to toys, furniture and glass. You’d be hard-pressed to leave empty-handed. I usually make more than one trip to my car.


Last month I came home with this gorgeous huge vintage crock (one of my newest obsessions).

Another great thing about the Long Beach Vintage Market is that they also have their “5th Sunday” shows which occur during months that have a 5th Sunday. The next 5th Sunday show is on September 29. Many different dealers then the regular show and much less crowded.


I found this huge ironstone bowl at one of the 5th Sunday shows.


August 28: Tustin Vintage Flea Market – Finally, at the end of the month, there is the Tustin Flea Market. This is a small market of about 30 vendors but you can usually get lucky and bring home a find or two. Admission is free and street parking is always available.

Enjoy the month of August and I hope you come home with a few new treasures of your own. Happy Hunting!




Platters – They’re Not Just for Thanksgiving Anymore


I love platters. I collect platters. It’s kind of an obsession.

The problem with collecting platters is that they’re horizontal – and if you collect a lot of them, they’re usually stacked one on top of another and you never see their beautiful patterns.

img_5182Ironstone platters are my favorite and they can usually be found for less than $25 at most vintage markets. Of course, there are my “wish list” platters (see pic below – photo courtesy of Etsy) which are very pricey and may not ever make it into my collection.

platterWhat I’ve found is that it’s easy to make those horizontal platters into vertical platters by displaying them on your walls. Using picture hangers I bought from Amazon, I can hang my pretty platters on virtually any wall space (and I have!).


So get those platters out of the cupboards and hang them up where you can enjoy them. You can always take one down at Thanksgiving to serve your turkey on.


Have a great day!

Transform a Closet into an Office

This photo is from an old issue of Country Living Magazine, March of 2010.
Transform a Closet into an Office

What I love about this closet/office makeover:

The color – first and foremost – it’s Benjamin Moore’s “At Sea“.

I love the pegboard attached to the door to hang office supplies at the ready

Love the wallpaper on the back wall – it’s nice to have something pretty to look at when you’re sitting in a closet/office space

Oh, and who wouldn’t love a crystal chandelier hanging above you in your closet!

Buying vintage – a vintage desk/chair/wallpaper – would really make this space your own.