Sunday, October 8

A little thing I've been wondering

I am no where near the accomplished thrifter that many in blogland are. And I'm going to admit one of my hang-ups.

Yes, I've just been browsing blogs and I'm so impressed with the wonderful treasures others find. :)

But here's the thing. I would really love to collect dishes and serving pieces. But I'm scared.

You see, I'd want to actually use what I buy rather than keep it as something to look pretty on a shelf. I have that overly practical side, you know.

Back to the scared... I'm scared of lead paint.

Not all that long ago I saw this story on our local news. I've always been a bit leery of dishes and such after finding out things labelled "for decorative use only" say this because they are likely decorated with lead paint. I see this often in seasonal pieces.

In fact I recently saw several (new) boxed "dessert service sets" at goodwill. They were obviously donated by Target stores. They were cute...winter but not specifically Christmas. And they caught my eye because they would have been perfect for the tea parties my children and I like to have. The sets contained 4 cups, 4 saucers, and 4 dessert sized plates. As I'm looking the box over I see that it says, in very fine print, that it is for decorative use only due to lead paint. A full-out admission right on the box. Who on earth would buy cups and plates and not use them for eating and drinking? How many people buy stuff like this and have no idea they are exposing their family to lead?

When it comes to thrifting goodies... Well, there are no labels or small print. I would love to collect fancy old tea cups for out tea parties. But goodness knows what sort of paint they've been decorated with. People didn't have the slightest clue that lead was dangerous way back when.

I tell ya, every single time I find something I like, and would want to use for serving food/drink, I put it down. I imagine that there are books or websites or some way to find out what is safe and what isn't. I just haven't looked into it. I just sit in fear. With sad, plain, white dishware.


tender arts said...

Well, I never thought of this before! I can tell you that glassware is safe. There's lots of wonderful old glassware for the pickin' at thrift stores. I collect Anchor Hocking and they made the cutest little snack sets- the plates with the the matching little tea/punch cups? Also, if you go to your local library, they probably have lots of books on collecting dinnerware. Then you can find a pattern (or patterns) that you love and make it a fun hunt to find that pattern when you go thrifting. Good luck!

Wendy WaterBirde said...

I have the same worry. Ive used things like thin clear glass plates on top of antique plates so you can see the design through them, but I know thats not quite the same. I dont know, but I wonder if the finish put on plates nowadays could be glazed onto them somehow though a kiln at a community college or something? But I dont know or not if that would work, or if it even seals in the lead.

I guess I was alot of help, lol. I'll be curious to what solutions you find, and will share any that I find too : )

LisaC said...

I am the EXACT same way as you are. I am always cringing when I see people using "old" plates, I mean how do you really know if there is lead or not? I would love to have old dishes too but I won't (unless it was strictly to display, but like you I am really practical.

Lyndyn said...

Hi there! I came across your blog while I was on the web searching for info on dollmaking and got caught up reading it. I love your versions of the little bendy dolls! I've been making them since I got the Wee Felt Folk book - so fun!

I've been working on getting my Etsy shop set up to sell some dolls and greetings cards that I hand paint...I loved seeing the pictures of your crafting space, btw - I'm working today on getting mine set up - right now, I have craft stuff scattered around and that is not inducive to productivity, I can tell ya! I'm def. going to steal that idea about using the spool holder for your embroidery floss! So clever!

Anyway...the reason that I'm writing is to mention that I read your blog post on lead in dishes that you get at good will and wanted to let you know about a special lead testing crayon that you can get. I haven't used it myself, but I have seen it in catalogs. I think what you do is scribble a it of it on the piece to be tested and if the wax turns a certain color that tells you that it has too much lead in it.

Just thought I would mention it!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

BrightBlessings at Etsy (eventually) :)