Saturday, April 11, 2015


Discovering Artful Joy with re-purposed vintage toys. On one of my recent "seeking" ventures, a little block of wood caught my eye. You could see that it was old and it had wheels. "Old and wheels" always make me stop and take another look. As I was looking it over, I saw that the bottom of the piece had writing into the wood that says: Horse Shoe Toys Brand by American Wringer Company. I never heard of this company as it was way before my time, but I knew it was part of a vintage toy set, and it was only one part of the set, but it had character and wheels so I knew I had to buy it.

This piece had already sparked my imagination. I knew right away that it would be a fun one to re-purpose. After researching the company I found out that it was part of an antique pull toy from the 1800's made by the American Wringer Company that made wringer washing machines and salesman samples for them as well as Horse Shoe Toys, including this wooden train set.

 I took my new found treasure home, cleaned it up and sanded the rough edges. I just loved the vintage feel of this toy, the writing on the bottom, the wooden wheels and  the wonder of it's past.

 I decided to keep it a pull toy and gave it a whimsical "Zettiology" appearance using images acquired from one of Teesha Moore's Journals. I painted and created a collage on both sides, added a few vintage blocks that I also painted and applied collage work. Adding a vintage clock key embellishment and a vintage wood sewing spool topped with a ceramic doll head gave this piece just the look I was going for. Finishing it off with a red and white yarn tied with an original painted vintage key made it a new re-purposed pull toy and a fun mixed media art assemblage.

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