Saturday, November 3, 2012

Milk Glass and Tea

This is a beautiful hostess stand made by HighTeaForAlice from two of my milk glass plates.Check out her other items at

Monday, May 14, 2012

Big Etsy Contest

One day a month or so ago, one of the Vintage Jewelry Sellers on Etsy e-mailed me to say I was in the Big Etsy Contest. I had no idea what that was so headed on over to see what it was all about. Now, I’m a leader of the big Etsy Contest Team and just have to tell you all about this Big Etsy contest idea and the person behind the curtain….

Since 2008, Spacefem has been shopping on Etsy and in 2011 she decided to open her own shop.  She is a “30-something electrical engineer, pilot, php programmer, Kansan, sewing nerd, and mom” and the brains behind the Big Etsy Contest. And, she’s got one hell of a sense of humor!

Now, I have no idea how bots work or how to even start setting up a site like the Big Etsy Contest.  Evidently, Spacefem does because this one is cool.

The Big Etsy Contest pulls a few hundred items from the Etsy marketplace and puts them head-to-head, two at a time, so you can pick your favorite. Items are pulled by price, with the day of the month corresponding to the item prices.

Up to 25% of the items are from people who've submitted their stores and want to be in the contest, the rest are from random new listings from the marketplace.

The contest contains handmade and vintage items, but not supplies.

If you have an Etsy shop, you can sign up for free, pick a day to compete, and join in the fun. Thousands of votes are submitted every day so you're guaranteed a few views, and publicity from winning, or even just placing, doesn't hurt either.

If you're a shopper looking for deals you can search for the best items by price, or browse coupon codes that signed up shops are offering contest voters.

To mix things up, there are often theme days: 

Hue Tuesday -  items tagged with a specific primary color are grabbed.

Welcome Wednesday – items are pulled from Etsy's newest shops.

Theme Thursday – “Themes can be anything from animals (unicorns!) to materials (yarn!) and aren't published anywhere in advance, because I can never make up my mind what the darn theme should be until the last minute.”

Swanky Sunday – “We vote on items that cost more than $31, based on where we're at in the month. So on the first Sunday it's things I probably can't afford, and by the last Sunday it's stuff that I definitely can't afford."


For more info check out the contest blog at
or at twitter @EtsyContest
or the Etsy team

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oreo Cupcakes

Just a quick post today since I was thinking about chocolate...

Package of Oreo cookies
Packaged cake mix or your own recipe
Frosting of your choice

--Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
--Eat a cookie.
--Mix packaged cake mix according to directions.
--Line cupcake tins with liner, place a regular size Oreo cookie in the bottom of each liner.
--Eat a cookie.
--Take 1/2 of remaining cookies in package and chop coarsely and add to cake mix.
--Fill the cupcake tins.
--Bake for 15 minutes (or according to box directions).
--Eat a cookie.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Setting up a Booth at a Fair

WOW!… That’s the sort of reaction most of us would like to hear as someone spots our stall. If you have spent time and effort collecting items for sale, allow enough time to plan your display and do justice to your hard work. A display should compliment and highlight each item.

There’s no big secret here – it’s all about the display, and how that display creates an experience that makes people want to buy. With a proper display, and a little effort, your shop can be the most popular stall in the market.

There are two things to know when it comes to setting up your display: First, you need some props, and second, you must give yourself enough time to set it all up.

When you first get started you will have to purchase the right equipment and this can be a bit of an investment, but if you think you will continue doing shows then you'll need the following:
o Canopy or tent - The proper canopy or tent will protect your items, your customers, and you from rain and sun.
o Tables - Buy the lightest, easiest thing to carry around. You can find many aluminum models that fold up easily and can be tucked away in almost any vehicle. Don't forget a small chair for yourself (when there is nobody in the stall).
o Weights - Make sure you carry weights, large water bottles that can be filled, or small sand bags. You will need to tether these to your tables or tent with bungee cords in case of a windy day.
Attention Grabber
This is the area where a potential customer enters your booth and needs to slow down and examine your jewelry. Since booth space is limited, the attention grabber needs to work immediately. Something dramatic has to make browsers, rubber-neckers and the "gotta-see-the-whole-show-right-now" folks STOP RIGHT HERE.

Booth Layout
Most booths are designed in a large inverted "U" shape: one table on each side and a table against the back wall. Therefore, after a while, all booths start to look the same. Draw attention with a different layout. You can maximize customer's sight lines by placing tables at an angle instead of the traditional up-against-the-wall layout. This means that more of each table's contents is exposed to the passersby. This is ideal for larger spaces, as customers have more room to maneuver around the displays.

One of the downsides of this layout is that you can lose about 20% of your stock space. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you will sell more by displaying less?

Back Wall
The back wall should be the magnet that pulls someone into your booth. It should be the brightest and most dramatic area. This is where your business name should be, at the highest point you can see from outside your booth. If you have an outdoor space, and it has a roof, make sure the edges of the roof do not block your name from the outside.

Overall Look
Cover your tables in bright fabric. Take your time to come up with a great color scheme. Work your tent color, table covers, and products into a harmonious display. Neutral colors, both light and dark, provide the best backdrops for jewelry pieces. Avoid textured materials on table covers. Bright primary colors (such as traffic light red, yellow and green) should be used to accent the space, as large swaths of them can overwhelm both the space and the customer.

You want people to remember your stall, but also your company name. It’s important to display a banner or sign on your display. 

Think about eye levels. You want people’s eyes to roam all around the space you have, so don’t lay your items flat. Use furniture, props, boxes and shelving to create height.

Whether you’re selling necklaces, bracelets, earrings, or rings, careful use of props can present them in such a way that will remove indecisiveness from your buyers. Remember to make it easy for your customers to try on each item. But, also keep in mind that very large, cluttered displays are almost as bad as no display at all.

Necklaces should be displayed on proper necklace stands that allow people to picture them around their own necks.

Bracelet displays should show each piece from many different angles, giving buyers the opportunity to see how they hang from a wrist, as well as how they compare to other styles.

Price Labels
For some people, it is intimidating to ask the cost, and most will simply look and leave. If you do not give your customers price starting points, you are missing a valuable signage technique.

The price tags need to be in scale with the work and not distract from the object. Your jewelry should be priced with small tags. There are many different types and sizes of tags available at any office supply, including a bunch that will work with most types of jewelry.

Beautiful labels will add to your overall presentation; shabby labels will detract from it. The most important factor is legibility. If you have terrible hand writing, print out you labels. Ensure your spelling and grammar is correct!

You Are Part of the Booth
You are part of the booth – a very important part! You should not be sitting in a chair looking bored while customers are in the booth; instead, you should be friendly and engage them in conversation. Compliment the jewelry they are wearing if you like it, or find other ways to make them feel comfortable. Remember to “decorate” yourself so you fit in with your booth, too.

Be sure to smile and do your best to make eye contact with everyone who enters your booth. Let them see how happy you are to see them. A friendly salesperson who loves the product and is excited by the customer sells more than one who is not. Be your own best asset.

Packaging Up the Sale
Careful use of props and elegant displays can have a major impact on sales, but it doesn’t stop there. Once the sale is made, you have a final opportunity to impress your customer and make them want to come back for more. This opportunity lies in how you pack your goods.

Do you normally drop those aurora borealis earrings into a paper bag and move on to the next customer? Why not box the beauties instead? There is a whole range of packaging options available to you, with different boxes and bags designed specifically for rings, necklaces, and bracelets, in many different styles and colors. Check some Etsy shops for packing supplies.

The question you should ask yourself, is how do you want your customers to look at you and your business? Do you want them to see you as a box store – cheap, drab, and crowded – somewhere they really don’t want to go? Or do you want them to picture you as a Boutique – elegant, tasteful, and a pleasure to visit?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Adding a Review to Stumble!

Open the page you would like to Stumble.

Click on the “thumbs up” icon in your toolbar.
(If the thumb turns green, it means someone else has stumbled the item already. You will now need to click on the Info bubble in your toolbar and add your review from there.)

If the item is "safe for work" click "yes"

 Now it's time to add your Topic. DO NOT select e-commerce. If your topic does not appear in the list, select one from the drop down menu. 
I've selected "jewelry" as an example.

Now, to add Tags. You'll see that your Topic has also been added to Tags. That's usually fine. Make sure to separate all tags with commas. StumbleUpon allows you to add as many tags as you like, but actually uses the first five you provide.

Next, add your review. You can be as short or as long as you wish. When I'm reviewing my own items, I often use my first few sentences in the description because I write short and concise first sentences. When I am reviewing others, I often use just cut and paste the title, adding a few words at the beginning. "These are beautiful Black and Milk White Rhinestone Goldtone Earrings Weiss Vintage."

Finally, hit "Add review" and you are done.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Altered from the great Mrs. Fields Choc Chip Cookie recipe
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs (I often leave out the eggs!)
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups best quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer blend together the butter and sugars until it they form a grainy paste. Add eggs, one at a time until just blended (or not). Add peanut butter and vanilla and mix on medium speed until the batter is light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture and blend at low speed until just mixed. Do not over-mix.

Slowly blend in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. If you find the batter is too soft to handle you can put the bowl into the fridge for 15-20 minutes first so that the dough hardens a bit. It will make forming the cookies a bit easier.

These cookies SPREAD so leave lots of room between them.

Bake for 18-22 minutes until they are slightly brown around the edges. Do not over-bake or they will be crunchy, rather than chewy. Transfer immediately to wax paper to cool.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nemadji "Indian" Pottery

The myth and magic of Nemadji "Indian" Pottery

Nemadji pottery comes from the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. It has never actually been made by native Americans, but is said to be reminiscent of the style and coloring used by them. It has come to be thought of by many as 'Indian pottery' although it has no connection with the Ojibway tribe. It was originally made using the rich clays dug from the banks of the Nemadji River. Nemadji roughly translates as "Lefthand."

The special painting technique used to give the pottery its unique look was developed in 1929 by Eric Hellman. Production of Nemadji pottery ended in the winter of 2001-2002.

A scrap of paper is often found in each piece bearing the following legend ...
Twenty-five thousand years ago the ice sheet of the glacial age covered the land. It is now known that the primitive ancestors of our present Indians lived here when the great ice sheet started to melt and retreat. Clays of various shades and composition were made by the glacial ice sheets; the great weight of the ice ground rocks and ores into dust, which became clays, afterwards washed and refined by the lakes and streams from the melting glaciers. From these clays Nemadji Pottery is made
The Indians used this clay left by the ice sheet to make cooking pots and vases, and in the ancient warrior's grave are found fragments of his favorite cooking pot. Nemadji Art Pottery is made largely from designs of this ancient Indian pottery and many of their traditional shapes are preserved in our designs.
The coloring of Nemadji Art Pottery is accomplished in a manner that allows no two pieces to be exactly alike. The pottery is burned in a kiln and glazed on the inside. The warm rich colors of this pottery recall the colorful costumes of the redman, who, though long since gone to the happy hunting ground, still haunts in spirit the plains, streams, woods, and lakes of this our Empire.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mom's Banana Pumpkin Coffee Bread

Banana Pumpkin Coffee Bread

1/2 cup shortening (We always had a tub of Crisco in the closet **)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup mashed banana
1 1/4 cup mashed pumpkin (I am 100% sure Mom did not use fresh pumpkin LOL)
1 1/4 cup sifted flour (We had a sifter, quite rusted, but Mom used it anyway - maybe that added flavor)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
nuts (I bet she added this to the original recipe so I am not sure how much. She liked walnuts.)

Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in banana and pumpkin. Sift together dry ingredients, add to banana  mixture, mix well. Pour into greased 9x9x2 loaf pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour.

** According to the Crisco website, Crisco shortening in the can will stay, once opened, on the pantry shelf for about a year. Scary!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pop's Honey Mustard Dressing

My dad never cooked until he had a stroke, spent time in rehab, and came home and showed off his new salad making skills. He had re-learned many skills by chopping. He also had a new salad dressing he wanted to make. No more bottled dressing for him.

This one is for you Pop. I know you're still making salad dressing for Mom, be it in heaven or where ever you both landed!

2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup olive oil

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mom's Zucchini Bread

My mom was not a good every day cook (she'd agree!), but she did have some great recipes in recipe box and boy, when she made these, we all were happy!

Here's one of my favorites: Zucchini Bread. Copied directly from the old, stained, index card from her at least 50 year old recipe file.

2 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon

Grease and flour pans.
Beat eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini, vanilla, together until creamy. Sift dry ingredients, add to creamed mixture. Bake at 325 1 hour.
Makes 2 loaves.

(Now, since I saw her make these many, many times, and I now have her pans, I know she used glass loaf pans. I also know that she never sifted the dry ingredients!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Apple and Pumpkin Butters

In a previous life, long before online selling, I made jams and jellies and sold them to speciality food stores. My all time favorites that I still make are apple butter and apple pie jam. Apple butter takes hours of prep time and cooking. Apple pie jam is a breeze because you don’t have to peel, cut, simmer, rice, and simmer again. All you do is peel the apples, cut them up into small pieces, throw them in a pot with water, and simmer until they are soft but still have bits of pieces of apple left. Add sugar and simmer until it’s jelly-like. At this point, you have the option of safely canning or just throwing it in the fridge and eating it soon. My family eats it within a week, so there is never an issue with nasty growing things.

This week, I wanted to try something different – pumpkin butter. Seemed easy to me, and  since 15 oz cans of pureed pumpkin were on sale this week, I picked up a few.

First, a big, scary hitch while doing some recipe scanning– Home canning is not recommended for pumpkin butter or any mashed or pureed pumpkin or winter squash because the pumpkin is too thick and low in acid and nasty stuff may grow. Damn! There goes my plans to show off my new jam to the family. Then, I read further: “These pumpkin products must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.”  Well, that solves that problem since I just won’t make enough to store, just to eat now.

As usual, when cooking for myself and not to sell, I don’t follow a recipe. I found a few recipes for pumpkin butter and then adjusted to my tastes. I never use pectin so I knew I had to add natural pectin – apples. Just happened to have one sitting on the counter ready to go. I peeled it and boiled the peel and core in a little water, strained it and added it (and the cut up pieces of apple) to the pumpkin. Just a little more water, start with a cup of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon, and let the simmering begin.

Now, I have to admit right now that I like my butters sweet. I said I started with a cup of sugar, but I added more as the 30 or so minutes of simmering went along. The butters won’t appear think enough as they cook; it’s only after they cool down will they have that velvety, thick, spreadable consistency that makes a luscious butter.

Never happy to make something simple, I took out some of the pumpkin butter and mixed it in another pan with some frozen blueberries and apricot jam and let that simmer a bit. Wow!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


What is orienteering? Since becoming involved with the sport in 1992, I've heard this hundreds of times. And, as the publisher of the national magazine and Secretary of the Board of Directors of Orienteering USA, the governing body of the sport, I'm forever explaining what this crazy thing I do on weekends actually is.

Orienteering is the sport of navigation with map and compass. It's easy to learn, but always challenging. The object is to run, walk, ski, or mountain bike to a series of points shown on the map, choosing routes—both on and off trail—that will help you find all the points and get back to the finish in the shortest amount of time. The points on the course are marked with orange and white flags and punches, so you can prove you've been there. Each “control” marker is located on a distinct feature, such as a stream junction or the top of a knoll.

Orienteering is often called the “thinking sport” because it involves map reading and decision-making in addition to a great workout. Any kind of map may be used for orienteering (even a street map), but the best ones are detailed five-color topographic maps developed especially for the sport. O' maps show boulders, cliffs, ditches, and fences, in addition to elevation, vegetation, and trails.

Orienteering is a sport for everyone, regardless of age or experience. The competitive athlete can experience the exhilaration of moving through the woods at top speed, while the non-competitive orienteer can enjoy the forest at a more leisurely pace. Most events provide courses for all levels—from beginner to advanced—and the sport has been adapted for small children and people in wheelchairs.

Here's a map:

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Millefiori is a glasswork technique which produces distinctive decorative patterns on glassware.
The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words "mille" (thousand) and "fiori" (flowers). Apsley Pellatt (in his book "Curiosities of Glass Making") was the first to use the term "millefiori", which appeared in the Oxford Dictionary in 1849. The beads were called mosaic beads before then. While the use of this technique long precedes the term millefiori, it is now frequently associated with Venetian glassware.

Monday, January 23, 2012


So, I'm thinking of adding a destash line to my shop. I've read recently that "if you have a specific craft project that your stash was meant for, pair that information with your stock. People are more likely to buy a bundle of supplies if they can imagine the finished craft. Consider calling it a kit if you have everything they'll need to complete a project, including directions."

So, I have been a crafter of sorts for years and probably have enough in the storage closet to get started. I know I have enough needlework supplies to fill a shop.

I'm also thinking that all the vintage jewelry odds and ends and the damaged pieces I've bought without knowing it, will make a good lot.

More on this later . . 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are pearls which grow in non-saline environment in freshwater mussels. Hence the name...

China has harvested freshwater pearls since the 13th century, and is the leader in freshwater pearl production. The first record mentioning pearls in China was from 2206 BC. The United States was also a major source of natural freshwater pearls, from the discovery of the New World, through the 19th century, until over-harvesting and increasing pollution significantly reduced the number of available pearl-forming mussels in the US.

Freshwater pearls differ from other cultured pearls, in that the great majority of them are not bead-nucleated. Freshwater mollusks are nucleated by creating a small incision in the fleshy mantle tissue of a 6 to 12 month old mussel, then inserting a 3mm square piece of mantle tissue from a donor mussel. Upon insertion, the donor, (graft) tissue is twisted slightly, rounding out the edges. What happens after this point is really just speculation. Some believe that this tissue acts as a catalyst in producing a pearl sac thus making the 'nucleation' actual 'activation'. Others believe the tissue molds with the host to create a pearl sac, while still others maintain the tissue is the actual nucleus. Although it is said that a freshwater mollusk can withstand up to 25 insertions per valve, it is common industry practice to perform only 12-16 insertions in either valve, for a total production of 24-32 pearls. The mollusks are then returned to their freshwater environment where they are tended for 2-6 years. The resulting pearls are of solid nacre, but without a bead nucleus to guide the growth process the pearls are rarely perfectly round.

From George Frederick Kunz's, 1908 masterpiece, 'The Book of the Pearl'
The Chinese freshwater pearls come in a wide color range that includes white, champagne, cream, orange, pink, purple, lilac, mauve, blue and brown.
Bleaching, dying, and polishing do occur. Except for the old Arabic practice of sun-bleaching in the Persian Gulf, naturals were practically never processed. Chinese pearls that are nearly white or mottled are usually bleached to make them whiter and more uniform. With the same methods perfected by the Japanese, the Chinese use a mild bleach, bright fluorescent lights, and heat. They polish surfaces by tumbling pearls in pumice or similar substances. The idea, as always, is to facilitate matching pearls for strands.

Fire Mountain Gems has many shapes of Cultured Freshwater Pearls. I did not know there were so many!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pearl Basics

The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritate­s the mantle. It's kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster's natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The man­tle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl.

Most pearls are nicely rounded objects, which are the most valuable ones. Not all pearls turn out so well. Some pearls form in an uneven shape -- these are called baroque pearls. 

Cultured pearls are created by the same process as natural pearls, but are given a slight nudge by pearl harvesters. To create a cultured pearl, the harvester opens the oyster shell and cuts a small slit in the mantle tissue. Small irritants are then inserted under the mantle.

The natural color of a pearl results from a combination of several factors. The pearl's body color is its main color. This can be white, silver, cream-colored, gold, green, blue, or even black. The body color is determined by the type of oyster or mollusk that produces the pearl, as well as the conditions of the water, and sometimes the type of nucleus implanted to stimulate the pearl's creation.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


la·mé  (l-m)
A brocaded fabric woven with metallic threads, often of gold or silver.
I'm always looking for mew wording for my items and here's a great one from a fabric store:
This shiny metallic Silver Lame is sure to add a touch of elegance wherever you use it. For a memorable look, try Silver Lame for evening gowns, prom dresses, and bridal party fashions. Lame can also be used effectively for costumes, decorations, and flags. This sparkly Silver Lame fabric coordinates beautifully with all shades of blue, including royal, turquoise, and aqua. It looks equally lovely with satin or velvet in dark hues such as purple and maroon. The shimmer of this Silver Lame is also stunning when paired with white or ivory satin. For drop-dead glamour, combine Silver and Black Lame.

Silk vs. Satin

Silk vs Satin
Silk and satin are both smooth and soft. Though these two come with somewhat similar features and have a similar look, they are quite different in every sense.

Silk is natural; satin is artificial.
Silk is made from cocoons of silk worms. The fibre is removed from the cocoons and made into threads, which is then woven into clothes.
Satin can be produced from many types of materials like silk, nylon and polyester.

Satin is more delicate than silk and so when handling it, more care is needed. 

Silk, which is a natural protein fiber, has a shimmering appearance. The shimmering appearance is because of the prism like structure of its fabric, which refracts the light producing various colors.

Satin has a glossy surface and a dull back. Satin is made of a number of floats (interlacing). It is these floats that give Satin a glossy look and also a smooth surface.

Silk threads are hard to produce, as a single strand of thread requires silk from thousands of silk worms. This makes silk fabrics more expensive than satin.

Silk fabrics can be hand washed using cold water and it is better to avoid too much wringing as it can damage it. Satin fabrics should be dry-cleaned.


ruche  (rsh)
A ruffle or pleat of lace, muslin, or other fine fabric used for trimming women's garments.
Ruching is the gathering of fabric. Fabrics can include lace, muslin or similar fine fabric


A slightly ribbed, woven fabric of silk, cotton, or rayon.
Silk faille fabric features a distinctive ribbed texture, a subdued yet elegant sheen and a heavy weight. The characteristic corded effect in silk faille is produced by including, at regular intervals in the weave, a thicker yarn, leaving soft, wide, strongly defined ribs. Faille is a plain weave textile and is finer than grosgrain, a well-regarded sturdy woven corded fabric.

Silk faille has a smooth, lustrous feel and easy drape. These, combined with a readiness to take a crease, make silk faille popular for elegant apparel that's pleated or tailored. Silk faille fabric is widely used in dresses, skirts and slacks, as well as in tasteful home décor applications, and, in heavier weights, the material works well in coats and suits.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Learning New Words - Basse-taille

basse-taille (bas TIE yuh) An enameling technique that applies translucent enameling over an engraved, or decorated metal base.

Occupied Japan

History of Made in Japan Ceramics


1860s-1891 JAPONISME ERA
Before 1891 ,goods exporated to America did not have to be stamped with their country of origin in English. Japanese ceramics usually had no backstamps, or they had artists or their patrons names in Japanese characters.

The McKinley Tariff, which took effect March 1,1891, required that all imported goods be stamped in English with their country of origin. At the time, "NIPPON" was considered to be an acceptable name for Japan, so most Japanese ceramics of this period were backstamped "NIPPON" or "HAND PAINTED NIPPON." often with a company logo as well. However, not all were stamped that way. There were still unmarked pieces, and pieces stamped "JAPAN" as well.

Noritake Art Deco are the high end of Made in Japan ceramics. They were of better quality and most beautifully decorated. Noritake Art Deco pieces generally are priced higher than similar Made in Japan pieces.

The U.S. Customs Bureau ruled that "Nippon" was no longer an acceptable synonym for Japan. As of August 1, 1921 all goods were supposed to be backstamped "Japan"  Technically, the Made in Japan Era began when the Nippon era ended in 1921, but it really was not that precise. At some point the US Customs Bureau may have required that the words," MADE IN" be added to the backstamps, but this was not always done. Unmarked pieces sometimes slipped through Customs, but most of the ceramics from 1921 to 1941 are marked either "JAPAN" or "MADE IN JAPAN" . Sometimes all pieces in a set are not backstamped. The profit margin on ceramics was slim, and a factory could save a little labor cost by not marking every piece in a set. If pieces in a set have different backstamps, it is because there often was not room for “MADE IN JAPAN" or a company logo, so they just used "Japan" on some of the smaller pieces.

The US occupied Japan from Sept. 2,1945, until April 28, 1952. The Occupied Japan backstamp Era truly began August 15, 1947 when the first shipment of Occupied Japan ceramics arrived in America. The US Customs Bureau decreed in 1949 that Japanese goods could be marked "OCCUPIED JAPAN". "MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN","JAPAN" or "MADE IN JAPAN". Again, some were not marked at all.

When the Occupation ended in 1952, marks no longer contained the work "Occupied" so pieces were again marked only with "Japan" or "Made in Japan". This is when the paper label era really began. Prior to WWII, paper labels were flimsy and the glue was often not strong, so the Customs Bureau usually made importers replace the labels with indelible ink backstamps. In the 1950s, technology improved and paper labels were allowed. The two most common types of labels seem to be small oval or rectangular blue or black paper with white letters or two -color metallic, such as black or red with gold or silver lettering.


Pulled Pork Crockpot

4 to 5 pound pork shoulder (butt) roast
2 large onions, sliced
4 to 6 whole cloves
2 cups water
1 bottle (16 oz) barbecue sauce, your choice
1 large onion, chopped, about 1 cup

Place half the sliced onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add pork roast, cloves, and water. Add the remaining sliced onion. Cover and cook 8 to 12 hours on LOW.

Remove bone and fat from meat. Discard onions, cloves and water.

Shred the meat and put it back in the pot. Add chopped onion and the barbecue sauce. Cook another 2 1/2 to 4 hours on LOW, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.