Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Heart of the Sea

Feeling the need to put up a new header for the end of the summer season.  Already see the sun lower in the sky, shorter nights, dryer ones.  It is a gentle season before the crispness of fall, even in the south.   I took this photo two years ago in the Bahamas on Port Lucaya.    My honey and I were walking back to the hotel and of course, I was dragging my feet through the clear waters looking for any excuse to not have to leave shore.  Sun was nearly down and bright white light was shining across the length of the sandy beach edge when I came across this moon jelly laying in shallow waters. 

 I love the play of light from the sun through through the water giving the moon jelly the look of a transparent heart with a flash of white living light.

Life, it is beautiful.  Sea Witch  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A little chaos and a lot of joy.

It has been a crazy last week to say the least.  Two days spent in the ER for a nasty asthma attack and this mermaid felt truly like a fish out of water.    Behind in posts, feeling like a ran a marathon but without air, and hopped up on enough steroids to power Chicago I feel like I'm bouncing off the walls.  But, I finally got some photos up of my costumes for my 5-cheese ravioli. She had requested a musketeer princess dress and fighting outfit as well as an Eloise at the Plaza dress.

Picture of princess musketeer dress.

Princess dress converted to musketeer dress with fancy hat and sword.  She takes her role as a musketeer so seriously.

The back of the outfit with her long, white plume on a golden hat as she requested.

Eloise at the plaza dress. This was a fun outfit to create.  Truly a dress that a little princess would want to wear, full of sparkles and glitz.  She wears it and twirls and twirls in it.

 Back of the dress with big, Eloise bow. 

My little Eloise princess at the plaza.

The twins, how adorable are these marvelous little faces.  I'm making them Pebbles and Bamm Bamm costumes for Halloween

Added a few more items to my Victorian booth.  Pleased that it is well received and items are selling.  Met my friend,  Becky, at the Queen and she brought me a small gift in her words.  It was nothing small at all.  She says she paints a little.  What she paints is her heart and she took the tiny photo of Kota off my blog and painted his face for me.  Such  beauty and delight in her work and when I saw this lovely gift the tears came to my eyes.  Kota is such a part of my heart and to see his wonderful eyes and sweet face captured so beautifully made this week of insanity whole again.

Thank you Becky, my dear friend for so a heart felt gift.  It means the word to me.
So everyone, go, have a wonderful week and  blessings to you and all those you love.  Sea Witch

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheap Emotions

When on the hunt for items for my booth, I have found that my best purchases are those that strike an immediate emotional response.  Usually the whimsical look of something or an item that has the proverbial "cute" factor is always a sure winner. I often grab the stuff that people walk by or ignore.  Odd or unusual items always catch my attention and it's almost always because it either makes me laugh out loud or it calls to me.  Emotions.  The antique business has always been emotional for me...hence my business name, "I Need This, Antiques."  And my emotions came "cheap" this weekend as I found a handful of items that were pennies on the dollar.  I couldn't snatch them up fast enough.

Linens are a personal favorite of mine. I can't seem to get enough of them.  Most of these items were priced at either a dollar or less.

A pair of sweet, hand crocheted baby booties.  This haul found two pairs.

Pretty oval silver plate serving or relish tray.  Great repousse work and these sea shells are a pretty accent.  I put sea shells in just about anything...what else would expect from a sea witch?

Three nifty items, a Wagner Ware child's toy kettle, a Ronson Mastercraft lighter and cig case and a really cool martini stirrer of poker chips, aluminum shaft and Bakelite dice at the top.  The Wagner tea kettle is an excellent example of "cute, emotional" purchasing.  This dusty little thing was  marked $2.00 and as soon as I saw it I nearly squealed with delight.  It was just too cute for words.  When I got it home and started to clean it, that is when I noticed the Wagner Ware logo on the bottom along with other identifying marks to its age and use. Discovered it was part of a Wagner Ware child's toy set.  Each piece is a miniature, authentic version of the real deal.  What a find, so "cute" went to "cool" and "let's lock this in the case as it is has lots more value then originally thought."

Lovely pair of Wedgwood, blue jasper ware. Both in excellent condition and priced more then right.

Pretty pair of Towle serving pieces.  Dated 1892.

Pretty little sun purple footed compote...had to fill with sea shells too. 

Delightful picture book of Pelle's New Suit, the story of a suit from sheep's wool to the spinning wheel, to the loom, to the sewing machine to the boy.

An absolutely "stunner" of a huge photo taken of a Centennial play. The costumes and wigs are fantastic and check out the school flag in the back frm 1875-1876.  Just a terrific photo of Edwardian folks celebrating America.  I may keep this for myself.

Marvelous print of a bat...perfect for framing for Halloween.

Found at a local garage sale last year for pennies.  Can this be more "Grease"?  What a faboosh color mix?  I can hear the "hop" music in the background.  Also in excellent condition and very wearable.

Closeup of Bodice.

Gorgeous vintage piano scarf, Circa 1920s.  Rich black silk with lovely hand embroidery so both sides look identical  Fringe is 20 inches long.  What a beauty.  Now this was an emotional purchase and although not "cheap" emotions it was still had for a good price.  I adore these piano scarves and have several in my personal collection. Don't have a piano but I can't resist wearing them on a night on the town.

Close up of embroidery detail.

Now, my final purchase of the weekend and it was a sure fire winner.  In as pristine condition as you will ever find, a Singer treadle sewing machine.  Sorry about the photo taken in my garage, but in my haste to get it in my booth, I forgot to take photos of it "in my booth."    All this beauty needed was a little beeswax rubbed into the wood to lift that golden oak patina.

The machine works beautifully and has all of the accessories and the original manual.  Machine serial number dates this as manufactured in December 1919.  Called the red eye because of the red eyes on the decals, this was a Singer flagship machine.  I ran a drive band through it and it treadles so sweetly and sews beautifully.  Talk about "going green" these babies still lay down stitching beautifully and no electricity is needed.

If you don't want to sew with it, this makes a lovely side table or sofa table, perfect with a vintage lamp and you have a nice piece of history as furniture.

The weekend ended with my honey and I sharing a hot pie from Mellow Mushroom. Whole wheat crusts and fresh, natural ingredients and life is good.  Have a fabulous week and blessings to you and all those you love.  Sea Witch

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Flashback - Turkish Taffy

Okay, so I'm sitting in the Philly airport waiting for my next leg to return home from visiting my raviolis and what do I see in an airport newsstand...Turkish Taffy.

I was shocked and yet mildly horrified as I thought this brand of sweet went out in the 1980s. Apparently, for some reason, this nasty stuff is back.
I remember this being the heartache of dentists everywhere in the 1960s and I had school friends who lived off the stuff.
From the manufactured joy of little Johnny and Judy and that obnoxious tune in the background, there is absolutely nothing pleasant about this nasty candy.
Maybe my disdain for this is the overly sweet flavors (thinking of the phony banana flavor makes me cringe) or perhaps it really is that "put a gun to my head and take me out of this misery" tune that was played over and over and over again on the commercials. LOL Either way, if I'm going to indulge in something sweet, I'm gonna be a snob about it and get a box of quality chocolates from Nagels Candy Barn in New Jersey. Oh, if only I could, they had the best chocolates from patio blocks, bark, lemon cremes, barley pops and their Christmas items were magical. Now that is a childhood memory. Sea Witch

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This Vid makes me laugh

Hello everyone. I was gonna post about my mini trip to see my New York raviolis this weekend and also a little more about the Whaling museum and Boston cemeteries, but I came across this YouTube video called the Evolution of Dance. It first went viral in 2006 and remembered how much I enjoyed it and made me laugh so I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy.

Frankly, we can never get enough laughter in our lives and there is a little something for everyone in this video.

So enjoy all and I'll post about my ravs and New England another day. Sea Witch

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where "IS" everybody?

Where is everyone?  Blog favorites are days, weeks and a few months from their last posting. I'm kinda sad because I so love visiting all of your marvelous blogs.

I'm so farklempt that I'm wearing pancakes on my head. (farklempt -  delightful yiddish word meaning "choked up with emotion") 

I swam out of my little fishy hole of life to visit you.  Wheeeeeeerrrrrrreeeee aaaaaaararrrrreeeeee yooooooouuuuuuu?

I even brought some friends along to say hello.  Please come out and blog with us.

Okay.  I've blogged my message, let's have tea, shall we?

I'd suggest one lump or two but then that will only set the comments wagging. Oh, wait, that is exactly what I want. LOL.  Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.  Sea Witch

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mixed up Wednesday

Like all of you, there is lots going on in this month.  Kids heading back to school, new fiscal years beginning at businesses, last minute vacation plans are played out and still playing catch up with that ever growing "let's finish it already" list.  I'm almost finished with the next set of photos from my New England trip, but won't get those posted until about Friday.  So for today, it will be a mixed up of items Wednesday.  I think that fits my lifestyle right now anyway.  Just plain mixed up. 

Was lucky enough to be the winner of the Mary Kay Andrews "The Fixer Upper" in paperback ~ Giveaway
 by "one vintage hag".  Whoo hooo. 

I so enjoy Miss Andrews books. They are all set in Savannah, Georgia and have outrageous characters and my favorite is an antiques dealer.  This will be my next plane read and it will go with me this Saturday as I wing my way to New York to visit my raviolis. Thanks so much for pulling my blog name, Miz hag.  If you are not familiar with "one vintage hag" you MUST  visit her blog and especially if you are anywhere near Snellville, Georgia, her wonderful shop...Vintage Village.  You always find treasure each and every time.

Had to do a complete redo of my main booth over the weekend and brought in a few new pieces for the Victorian booth.  Found a lovely gold lustre teapot in marvelous condition. Such a lovely way to serve tea.  Added a few vintage tea cups and it is tea time in my world.

Closeup of the gold lustre teapot.

Neat antique buggy foot warmer. Covered in lovely needlepoint.  The checkerboard quilt is from the 1900's and is stitched with the most crushably soft velvet.

Added this lovely Gibson girl that is hand painted on china.  Beautifully executed and mounted in a lovely gilt frame.

My main booth carries a general line of antiques and vintage pieces. 

Brought in some fun vintage hats and an old creel. 

Sweet vintage doll sits near a pair of vintage globes.

A few shots of what's in my glass case. 

Love the sparkly rhinestone pieces.

Finally pried this old rocker away from my sister.  I had purchased it a year ago at a sale for a great price and when she saw it she had to have it. I told her she could "have it" until she was tired of it and then I had to have it back for the store. She found something that she liked to replace it so I brought it into the main booth.  I learned today, that it sold.  It was a very comfortable porch rocker.

Closeup of some of the Americana and shabby items.

I like the openness of my main booth since I removed the Victorian pieces.   There was too much competition of pieces and I like the way the two booths look with their own themes.
...and last but not least.  This sweet little jaw of a sand shark.  Sweet you say?  Okay, maybe not sweet, but it was a gift from one of the engineers that I work with. He and his family were at the beach for a week and he thought of me when he saw this sand shark jaw and  bought it for me. It is the size of a small cup opening and full of needle sharp little teeth.  I have it leaning up against my Siamese Fighting Fish tank at work.  So you can see this was a mixed up Wednesday.  Have a wonderful rest of the week. Sea Witch

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Scrimshaw - Whaling Museum

Had a wonderful three days in Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts. My honey took me to the Whaling Museum and I could have spent days there.  Just a marvelous museum that showcases the history of whaling in early America.  So much to share that it will take more than one posting so I will post over this week the highlights of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.  (all photos enlarge when you click on them)

Today's post will feature scrimshaw, the art form that is considered by some to be the only art form that originated in America, since the art of Scrimshaw was first practiced by sailors working on whaling ships out of New England.  Scrimshaw is the art of "drawing" pictures on polished ivory, bone or horn with a sharp tool or knife. The scratched surface is rubbed with ink, and when the ink is removed, it remains in the carved areas.

The word Scrimshaw actually came from a slang expression that was used to refer to anything that was the product of a seaman's idle time, or items that were produced while engaged in the act of loafing. While out at sea there were often several weeks, or even months, that would pass between whale sightings. It was during that time that the sailors would practice their scrimshaw.  Scrimshaw was most popular in the early 1800's, when the whaling industry was at its peak. By the late 1800's, Scrimshaw as an art form, all but died away.  A whaling captain always carried a full barrel or two of raw whale teeth from the previous voyage. Outbound voyages often took 6- to 9-months to arrive at favorable Sperm whaling grounds. Normal ship maintenance and longboat drills could only fill some of this transit time, and with no gambling, card playing, or drinking allowed on most Quaker-owned whaling ships, scrimshaw was encouraged to occupy free time. From this barrel, the Captain had first choice of several teeth, then the First mate, Second Mate, Third Mate, boatsteerers, cooper, blacksmith and cook. By the time greenhands were allowed to choose, only poor teeth remained in the bottom of the barrel.

Gift to the ship's captain.  A scrimshaw and wooden watch stand to emulate a grandfather clock. About 24 inches high.

Engraved (scrimshaw) whale tooth, about  9 inches in length.

Absolutely lovely pie crimpers and kitchen tools.  These range in size from 12 inches to about 2 inches.  Highly detailed of mythical creatures, lace patterns and inlay.  Gifts for their wives, sisters, daughters and girlfriends.

Extraordinary pie crimper of a mermaid. This beauty measures about 10 inches in length.  Crimpers were tools used almost daily as "pies" were a staple at the New England table.  Meat pies filled with rich gravies and potatoes needed to be "crimped" closed before baked or fried.

Beautiful scrimshaw corset Buskers. The corset busk, perfect for flattening the stomach, was originally a flat piece of wood slipped down inside a pocket at the front of the corset.   A very personal gift for the women in the sailor's lives.  This was carved and shaped from the fringed plates of the upper jaw of the whale.

These pieces were huge...about 3 feet in length and 12 inches at the width.  Pair of extraordinary scrimshaw work on the jawpans of the whale.  

Closeup of detail of above piece, top piece of the pair shown above.

The detail carved on these teeth are incredible.  Life like portraits of a little girl and a family member.  Whalebone teeth and egg cup.

And now my favorites...sewing items for women.  Marvelous whalebone swift.  A swift is used for winding yarn.  This swift is supported on a sewing box with tiny drawers for threads and needles.  This is a large swift measuring almost 2 feet high.

Another swift with spool holders and a pin cushion on top. This swift measured no more than 12 high.  So much detail.

Lovely lace knitting basket fashioned from whale bone.  Needles are whalebone and wood.  Oh how I would love to knit with these.

Whale ivory lantern that held candles for light.

Lovely hatbox. Highly detailed and full of color.

Lovely thread tower crafted from whale ivory. About 18 inches high.

Sweet and small thread wheel.  Whalebone, carved and shaped.

Finches were often brought back from far away lands and whalebone birdcages were crafted. 

The clenched fist was a popular theme for the scrimshaw craftsman.  Often used for cane heads or bodkins.

Another favorite theme of the carver were the "bawdy" ladies legs and boots.  Three walking canes.

Scrimshaw whale tooth and lovely carved quilt clamp.

Whalebone tooth ink well and stand.

Whale jawbone with exposed teeth.  The largest of these teeth measured approximately 9 inches in lengthThere was so much beautiful scrimshaw to look at.  I could have taken hundreds of photos.  What these sailors created during their down time is nothing less then extraordinary.  What I did learn at the museum is that every portion of the whale was utilized in their quest for whale oil.  The oil that lit the world.  Have a wonderful week and blessings to you and those you love.  Sea Witch