Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tie-ing Eggs

Nope, not a typo and I didn't fat finger the keyboard...this year instead of dying Easter eggs I was tie-ing them.  Facebook can be a marvelous source for new takes on old ways of doing things and I stumbled across a post on dyeing Easter eggs using silk ties.  

Everything about this process "floats my boat".  The idea of using 100% silk ties that are no longer being worn to color eggs is a process I had to try.  What you will need:  
  • assortment of 100 percent silk ties
  • packet of rubber bands
  • paper towels or an old white bedsheet cut into 10 inch squares
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
I brought home a bag full of silk ties from my local Goodwill (spent $7.00).  The ties MUST BE 100% silk.  You then open them up, remove the lining and interfacing (so easy) and then depending on how wide the tie is, you can get two to three eggs per tie.  

Unlike the normal process for dying eggs, you do NOT HAVE TO BOIL your eggs to the hard boil stage to dye using silk ties.

Using a raw egg, place on the colorful, outside of the silk.   Ignore my photo, (I didn't realize I did it backwards until I uploaded the image.)     After you wrap the tie fabric around the egg, use a rubber band to wrap the fabric end tight.  

Examples of eggs wrapped and and bound with rubber bands.  Notice the light side of the tie silk shows on the outside of the egg.

All eggs are wrapped and ready for the next step.  I tried different patterns and colors to see what gives the best designs and color hues.

Now wrap each egg using a paper towel and bind with a rubber band.  You can cut up an old white bed sheet to do this but I find the paper towel works just as well. This will absorb the dyes from getting on other eggs as they boil.

Now, put all of the eggs in a large pot, fill with COLD water (at least two inches above the eggs) and add a 1/2 cup of vinegar.   Set on the stove to begin boiling the eggs.  Put flame/heat on medium-high and once the water comes to a boil, cook for 20 minutes to ensure they are fully hardboiled through.  Now remove from stove, dump out water and fill with cold water to shock the eggs.  

Following ten minutes in the cold water bath, you can put eggs in a colander to completely cool (about 20 minutes).  This is the most difficult part of the process...the wait for the eggs to cool so you can upwrap them and see how the silk ties have dyed the eggs.

 The tie used above and the finished design.

 Tie used above and the finished design.

 Tie used above and the finished design.

 My basket of silk tie dyed eggs.  What I learned is that the smaller the pattern the nicer the design on the egg.    The eggs are edible and safe to eat as the dye is on the outside shell and not the interior of the egg.  Although, I have not done that here, you can rub them with a little cooking oil to make then shine.  This was a fun process and not as messy as traditional dying methods.  I like that I did not have to preboil the eggs so it was a one step process.

I enjoyed this way of dyeing eggs so much that I will begin looking at ties in thrift stores from a whole new perspective.

Once I finished finding silk ties I wanted to use, I headed to the "bric a brac" shelves and found this gorgeous, aqua blue, Empoli snifter.  Mid century, this Italian decorative glass is hot hot hot these days.

 Gorgeous, hand hammered, silverplated water pitcher. This one is in marvelous condition with lots of silver that is shiny and bright.

Love these golden salt and pepper shakers with corks in the bottom.  

My trip to Goodwill to find silk ties was a success as I really loved seeing the patterns that we left on the eggs and finding a "little extree" as they say in the south is always a good day. Wishing all who read my post a Blessed Easter and wishing blessings to you and those you love. Sea Witch

Monday, April 8, 2019

Buying back my youth

Nope, not a post about a new anti-aging creme, not about botox or cosmetic surgery...but I did buy a bit of my youth back this weekend.  

I was taking pictures at the Lyon's Head Antique Mall to add to our facebook pages when one of the dealers brought in this marvelous, 1935, mechanical toy of the Lincoln Tunnel by the Unique Art Manufacturing Company, Newark, NJ.   As a child, I spent many a weekend in the family station wagon with my sisters and mom and dad.  We would travel from our home in Lincoln Park, New Jersey and  head into Manhattan which took us through the Lincoln Tunnel.  As we entered the tunnel, dad would tell us girls to lift our feet up and not let them touch the floor of the station wagon until we left the tunnel and entered the city...we would then do the same on the way out of the NY tunnel entrance back into NJ.  So many memories of this trip, we took often as a family, came flooding back and I had to come home with this vintage toy and I purchased back a piece of my youth.

The weekend found other treasure that will find its way into my spaces.

Nifty 1970s bird cage as an Aladdin look about it.   I love to fill these with groups of pillar candles or small, white lights and hang in outdoor living spaces.

Found this lovely, antique trumpet shaped brass vase.  Most likely an altar piece.  It is a tall vase with original patina from the early 1900s.

Pretty little antique, brown transferware creamer.  

Simply charming, vintage personal teapot is hand decorated with painted oranges and blossoms.  this is a pretty little thing.

Don't you just love children's shoes?  This is a sweet pair of black, leather  shoes from the early 1900s.

Darling miniature oil lamp is a depression era lamp.  I may be keeping this one myself.

My local Goodwill had a bag of Christmas and these pre-skew ornaments from Italy were in the bag along with other items.

Four, mid century, plastic Santas.

Four plastic reindeer...these will be added to my personal collection.

 A group of those impish elves.

It was a lovely weekend with Florida spring temps making it perfect to spend time in the pool.  Nothing better than a book and a dog but sweet girl fell asleep on my book in the sun and I didn't have the heart to move her.  So I did as she did and took a snooze on a raft floating the afternoon away.  Life is good and with that let me wish blessings to you and those you love.  Sea Witch.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Picking, carding and treasure hunting.

It's been a busy two weeks with lots of nifty finds and a box filled with raw fleece.  Raw fleece you ask?  Many of you know that I have spinning wheels and spin fiber for my personal use;  my son and his wife took a detour from sending my grandson off to South Korea as part of his Army tour to historical Williamsburg.  (One of my favorite places to visit)  My son chatted up the manager/curator of the rare breeds sheep ranch and ended up purchasing and shipping to me, five pounds of Leicester Longwool fleece.   The Leicester Longwool is one of the "luster longwool" breeds, so designed for the sheen and brilliance of their wool.  Here is a link to the Livestock Conservancy Foundation if you would like to read up on this marvelous group.

Five pounds of freshly sheered fleece "in the grease".  This is what it looks like in all of its dirty, crusty, doodie-dirt-dried grass and lanolin filled raw self.  (heaven I tell ya, heaven)

The first of several baths to remove the dirt and lanolin from the fleece after I picked out the grass and dirt/doodie clumps.  Not the most pleasant of tasks but it must be done.   It took 6 baths and rinses before the water was clean and no longer the color of mud.

Heavy, wet but clean fleece still looks golden as it dried in the sunshine on a huge, beach towel.  It reminds me of my favorite mythology story, "Jason and the Argonaut's and the Quest for the Golden Fleece."

Once completely dry it takes on a lovely white lustre and now I'm ready to begin the hand carding to prepare it for spinning.

A  basket filled with hand carded fleece looks like the wings of an angel.  It is so light and airy and feels like silk.  I have a lot more to card before I can begin spinning so I will be a busy gal over the next few weeks.

In between my fleece prep I did a little antiquing and found marvelous treasure.

Bicentennial wall plate commemorating the 13 original colonies by Carson Pewter.

I don't come across genuine antique copper often and this smaller bundt pan is a beaut.  It is in my personal collection hanging on the wall in my kitchen.

My gal pals know my weakness for antique American basketry and this was a find at one of my favorite shops in Port Richey, "Junk Co."

Another find that went right into my display cabinet.  A nearly perfect, Early American Pressed Glass (EAPG) sugar shaker with original pewter top.  This will get used when my grandchildren come to visit and they need to sprinkle powdered sugar on their french toast or pancakes.


The last time I found an advertising mixing bowl in the wild was nearly 30 years ago.  It was fun to see this one fall into my lap

Lovely 19th century transferware low bowl.  Soft blue transfer with hand painted details.

This was a great find at my local Goodwill.  A huge bag filled with antique and vintage silverplate and a few sterling spoons as well. 

A yard sale find, five sherbets marked Hawkes.  Beautiful cut and engraved pieces from the Hawkes Crystal Company.

This lovely quadruple late basket polished up just lovely and has joined my other pieces.

Vintage pyrex is the hottest collectible going right now and I lucked into this piece called Terra.  The only matt finish produced it was too labor intensive to produce the pattern so it only was made for one year in 1964.   

Lovely pair of cut to clear crystal wine goblets with pretty shamrocks around the cup.

Just call me Eve and pass me an apple.  This real looking snake is a marvelous folk art piece that the artist saw in the natural root.  The root was carved and painted to look like a real snake and despite of the various repairs along the tail, it look like the real thing.  I had to bring it home and "Luse" now resides among my antiques in the foyer. 

Without a doubt, this has been a fun two weeks with my sister visiting last weekend, my prepping that pile of golden fleece for spinning on my production wheel and finding such a variety of marvelous treasure.  Loving the longer days now that the clocks are back where they should be and even the palm pollen can't slow down our delightful spring weather.  I hope everyone is also feeling the spring and wishing blessings to you and those you love.  Sea Witch

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

March Madness

Yeah, we are all a little made here.  Collectors, antique lovers...we are always on the hunt for "as my late husband often said, " what floats our boat.   The Florida "winter/spring" season brings yard and estate sales and since so many are held by retirees there are usually no tables filled with baby and kids things. LOL  

I swung by a yard sale that was a few streets from me and got a bag full of "granny jewelry" as it was marked.  Lucky me, there were some great pieces inside.

A huge metal with gold tone wash car coat brooch from the 1930-40s.

 A gorgeous 1950s, three strand necklace of brilliant emerald greens with austrian crystals.

Fantastic 1940s art Deco racing greyhounds pin, Marked sterling with finish for anti tarnish.

Marvelous set of heavily carved butterscotch bakelite dress clips. Circa 1930s  These are gorgeous and I had to fight myself not to keep them.

Pretty, 1970s porcelain horse locket on goldtone metal. This was in my display case 48 hours before it sold.

This sweet little bird family by Norleans of Japan was another yard sale find. 

Cleaned out a few boxes left over from my move here and discovered treasure that I had packed away.

Nifty Bull-Dog vintage lock.

Delightful figural Christmas tree bulb street lamp.  
Milk glass with over paint,. Japan, circa 1930s

Salesman’s sample/child’s toy flour sifter.  Patent number dates this at 1906 but these were produced through the early 1930s. 

Lovely late Victorian Tallit Bag.  Burgundy velvet with gold bullion embroidery.  
Circa 1890s-1900s

My local Goodwill had several antique books hiding among the usual stacks.

Book of Jewish Prayer opens left to right.

English and Hebrew.

I adore pre-WW2 cookbooks and this one is a gem.

Beautiful Mother Goose cover with stories inside.

The paper is fragile but the pen and ink illustrations are marvelous.

Inside are many rarely read rhymes as well.

Not familiar with this title or author but it is an interesting read.

The first leaf has lots of age spotting but it is the script that I love best.

And finally, this is a big oval mirror that was a mess of pink and yellow paint.  I gave it a new look with my favorite color, french aqua, and then sealed it with kona stain and wax.  Now I am busy talking with myself about not keeping it as I love the way it turned out.  I really don't have space for it but my other voice keeps saying I will find one.  I hate when this happens.  You will have to visit my next blog post to see if I hang it or put a price tag on it.

Have a safe and merry St. Patricks Day weekend and as always, blessings to you and those you love. Sea Witch