Re-Wiring a vintage lamp

Have you ever gone to a vintage market and seen the perfect lamp but then you looked at the frayed or ancient cord and realized you could never plug that in? That used to happen to me until I found this perfect little alabaster lamp which I fell in love with. I knew I couldn’t use it until it was re-wired and what better time than during a pandemic, to learn how to do it myself.

I went online and ordered a table lamp wiring kit from Amazon for around $14. Then I went on YouTube and watched a tutorial on how to wire a lamp. It was so easy and not intimidating at all. The only thing you’ll need is a Phillips head screwdriver and a pair of wire strippers. Everything else comes in the kit.

So next time you see that vintage lamp that’s too good to pass up, remember this new skill you’ve learned. It’s fun to do it yourself!

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.

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.

Collecting Jadeite Fire King

img_0935It all started with a Jane Ray cereal bowl back in 1988. I was at a friend’s garage sale when I spotted the bowl sitting on a table. I recognized the color from watching old Martha Stewart videos where she talked about her extensive collection of Fire King.

So, I bought the bowl, and a new collection was born. Right away, I began buying jadeite whenever and wherever I saw it. Back then, it was inexpensive and plentiful. I quickly found a chat group on AOL and we called ourselves the “Fire King Fanatics”. We first met up in Lancaster, Ohio – the birthplace of Anchor Hocking Fire King. We poured through local antique malls and flea markets and each left with a suitcase full of glass. (Don’t forget to always pack tissue and bubble wrap when you’re traveling, right?)

img_0929One year, we found what is considered one of the Holy Grail pieces of Fire King – the jadeite Kimberly coffee mug. There were four of us – and four mugs – thank goodness! When we saw them sitting on the table, priced at around $2.00 each, we each grabbed one. We knew we had found something special. 

I remember us sitting around one of the members’ homes in late August of 1997, surrounded by our glass purchases when we heard the news that Princess Diana had died. That’s a night I will never forget.

img_0934Some of my other memories of my Fire King purchases:

  • Finding a (very) dirty large jadeite teardrop (Swedish Modern) bowl on a blanket on the ground at the Long Beach Antique Market (
  • Scoring the elusive jadeite juice-saver pie plate – also at the Long Beach Antique Market
  • A friend calling me to tell me he’d seen four jadeite custard cups and divided platters at an antique mall in Garden Grove. I quickly snatched up my young daughter and bribed her with a trip to the local arcade/miniature golf course if she’d behave while I drove to Garden Grove to find those hard to find pieces at a steal of a price.

Over the years, I’ve sold a lot of my collection (moving five times will do that to a person). I’ve kept a few of my favorites and have even had a tattoo of the jadeite restaurant ware cup and saucer added to my wrist.

d6ef9250-ebd7-41bd-9dad-0b64d922e8dfCollecting never goes out of your life. Even today, I still can spot a jadeite green piece of Fire King from a mile away at a vintage market. Unfortunately, the prices today are crazy high so I can only look and not buy. But once in a while…..