Monthly Archives: March 2014

Collecting-Lu Ray Pastels

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Oh my goodness! It has been much too long since I’ve posted, but I do have a good reason. Somehow, I managed to sprain my ankle. I have no idea what triggered it, but one afternoon a bit over a week ago, it swelled to the size of a cantaloupe. Unfortunately for me, I am unable to hobble down the stairs to my craft room. Which, is making me a little stir crazy to say the least! My family is willing to fetch whatever I need from that room, but as we crafters know, you just need to be surrounded by your crafty “things.” 🙂 I’m hoping to be back to “normal” in a few days-I hope so, as I have MANY Easter ideas I would love to share!

LuRay-pastels-2In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you my collection of vintage LuRay Pastel dishes. My mom started collecting these when I was in high school. But, as most collections go, they get abandoned and you move onto another one. I think LuRay got abandoned for Fiesta Ware. But, lucky me, as I was the recipient of all of her LuRay dishes!!! And, I love to pull them out around Easter time.

LuRay-pastels-3The colors are so soft and certainly look aged. A couple pieces have chips, but to me that just adds character. Isn’t the detailing of this bowl so pretty? Just love it!

You can actually learn more about LuRay Pastels at this website:

A bit of the history I was able to obtain from that website follows:

“LuRay Pastels dinnerware was produced from 1938 to 1961 by the Taylor, Smith, and Taylor Company of West Virginia. This line of dinnerware was named for the beautiful Luray Caverns in Virginia.

It was initially available in four pastel colours: Persian Cream, Windsor Blue, Sharon Pink, and Surf Green. A fifth colour (Chatham Gray) was added in 1947 but was discontinued in 1952 due to a lack of popularity. This has made Chatham Gray pieces a challenge for collectors to locate.

Pieces are marked with the backstamp “TS&T LuRay Pastels”. Very few pieces are unmarked.”

LuRay-pastels-4I certainly don’t have a complete set, but they do look pretty scattered among my white stoneware at Easter time. Even one bowl makes a great candy dish! So, be on the lookout for LuRay dishes for your Spring table!

Happy Collecting!

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Vintage St. Patrick’s Day Banner

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spbannerHappy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Whether you’re Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is certainly fun to celebrate! We attended a St. Patty’s party over the weekend, and as  a hostess gift, I put together this banner, constructed from ephemera, vintage reflectors, a few vintage doodads, and vintage imagery.

vintage-stpatricks-banner6Vintage flashcards make for the base of the banner. But, the plain manila color just wasn’t quite what I was looking for. As mentioned before, in an earlier post, watercolor paint quickly remedies that! Now, I have a bright green peeking out of the edges. A vintage page of sheet music, stitched to the flashcard, adds a bit more interest and texture and makes for a great backdrop to the images.

vintage-stAgain, don’t use those vintage Christmas tree reflectors just for Christmas. They are wonderful accents for any time of the year! This one, with some vintage tinsel, frames a sweet bonnie lass.


Another vintage reflector, some vintage bells (edged in glitter) and a vintage mini ornament create the focal point for this pennant. And, peeking out from behind…a vintage Bingo card, also sprayed with watercolor paint! This Bingo card was then cut into strips and fringed.


vintage-stpatricks-banner4So, there it is…a cheery little something to hang from the kitchen cabinets and offer a bit of luck.

I hope you have a very fun Saint Patrick’s Day, and wear green so you don’t get pinched!

Happy Creating,


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Spruced Up Vintage Ducklings

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Look at my little vintage duckling friends…aren’t they cute? These began as simple and unadorned little figures. Their expressions are so sweet and adorable, but the porcelain just needed a bit more texture…

retro chick 3So, after a bit of glitter…


And, a hint of shine….


And, a few party hats, these ducklings are spruced up and ready for SPRING!


As these are authentic vintage, they are totally unique, and quite unlike anything found in a fancy gift shop…don’t you agree? If you would like one of these little darlings to dress up your office desk, or add some whimsy to your home for the Spring season, they are now available in the Etsy shop. You can find them HERE.


I don’t think I’ll ever look at vintage porcelain figures the same-its too fun dressing them up! Look around and see if there are any vintage figures you can add a new look to. 🙂

Happy Creating!

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Altered School Pocketbook-more details

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altered-book-coverHi there!

I hope you have been enjoying the week. Its been nice to see the sun come out and bringing with it some warmer days. I’m already seeing some of the grass green up a bit. Yay Spring!

altered-book-page1I’ve been busy filling up the Altered Pocketbook I shared the other day, and have some new pics to share with you.  Firstly, I wanted to explain better how I created the envelopes.

1) find an envelope that is the approximate size of your book. This book is made up of 9 envelopes so far, but I may decide to add more. There are no pages in the book, just envelopes.

2) open up the envelope to its unfolded shape, and trace around it onto a sheet of ephemera. Cut out, and score the fold lines using a ruler and a bone folder. See pic below.

ephemera-envelope-13)fold up the bottom portion and fold in the sides. Adhere together. At this point, use Tinted Tape, Washi tape, or an adhesive runner. See pic below.

ephemera-envelope-24) Instant envelope, ready to fill!  I would recommend a studier paper with a bit less pattern if you were to mail it. Or, at least a uniform pattern and a mailing label. The ephemera though can be delicate for the mail service on its own. Unless, you added a layer of Mod Podge first? That might stiffen it up more.



You will soon discover that no envelope or small bag is safe! All have the potential of being used as templates. A vintage school workbook page can also become a library card pocket for example…

ephemera-librarycardReady to be filled with vintage game cards, or Family Fun paper dolls. These two are ready for school, and represent my children, Meghan and Matthew, as once this book is done, it will be stuffed full of school memories!  An image cut from a vintage children’s book adds a bit of charm to the pocket.

ephemera-librarycard3 ephemera-librarycard2altered-pocketbook-inside-coverTo add another type of envelope, I altered an office envelope-the ones used for internal couriering.  I cut down the original envelope (which was about 11″x14″),  to the book size. I then cut off the original envelope flap with the closing string, and stitched that to the top of my new envelope. Then, stitched the sides closed. This little school girl is adorable on the front, but I wanted to add another pop of red.


Here’s another quick tip to alter ephemera pieces to work with your project. Ephemera is great, but typically its all beige or tan in color. A spray of a watercolor glimmer spray, such as Glimmer Mist, quickly changes that! The watercolor sprays are so sheer in color that you really don’t lose any details of the ephemera.


And, now this red ticket, cut in half, is just the bit of color I need on this envelope. 🙂

office-envelope-2That’s it for now, but I will be back soon to share more details of this project.

Have a great day, and … Read the rest

Altered School Pocketbook

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I’ve been inspired lately by the “Junk Journals” I’ve seen popping up here and there. Not that its a new concept. Gluing images, cards and other memorabilia to paper has been around for quite a while! Remember the big books with the  black paper? 🙂

Some of the books I’ve been seeing are so amazing, its hard to refer to them as “junk.” Maybe these are more like Texture & Technique journals. Just that special place to use that scrap of pretty ribbon, a piece of wrapping paper or a vintage bauble. Or a reference book of techniques. Either way, these Texture & Technique books are ones that will certainly be treasured.

school-album-2As its been a while since I’ve made one, I was inspired to try a “pocketbook”-essentially, a re-converted vintage book filled with pockets. But, pockets made from vintage children’s book paper. The school theme took hold as I was, once again, sorting through all of the papers and art that the kiddos bring home from school. As they have gotten older, that has decreased a bit, but I still have a giant clear bucket for each of them…FILLED.

I’m sure a few of you are also familiar with this situation. What to do with all of it? So hard to toss their hard work away, but then again, I’m sure the kids don’t want to inherit big buckets of paper either!

school-album-4A while ago, I saw a great idea…take photos of most of the artwork, make them “mini” and store the photos. Brilliant! And, maybe save a few of the more extra special ones. This will be an ongoing job, but I’m determined to get the project started. And, thinking that this book of pockets will be the perfect place to store those photos. Much more compact than 2 extra large tubs!


To begin this project, I removed the pages from this vintage book, then cut out the binding. As I’m expecting this book to get “chubby,” I added the spiral binding instead. Using Mod Podge as the “glue”, I decorated the cover with book images, a title plate and a vintage tape measure. Now, for the pockets…


Digging through my stash of envelopes, I was able to find an envelope that was just about the right size of the book. I carefully pulled the envelope apart, and used this as my stencil. I then traced this stencil onto several pieces of cardstock, a few pieces of paper from a children’s dictionary and a few sheets from a children’s vintage story book.


After I cut each envelope out, I scored the folding lines and glued together. I added some tape to the “flap” end for decoration and security. I punched holes in the other end and inserted onto the spiral.


I love how colorful this is! This will be the “project of the week,” so I will keep you posted on all the fun goodies/embellishments I add to it.

school-album-12Have you ever made a “junk journal” from … Read the rest