Wednesday, June 30, 2010

White Shell Wednesday

One of my favorite white shells (but then they all seem like favorites to me) is the Distaff spindles or Fusinus colus.  The Neogastropoda is an order of Gastropoda comprising comprising of 15,000 living species.  Amazing.

(All photos enlarge when clicked.)

This species of sea snails are mostly found in salt waters.  Many of the species are deep-water forms that live on sandy bottoms. The common name of Distaff spindles comes from its shape of a drop spindle or spindle from a spindle wheel.  Another reason I tend to romance this shell is I am a spinner; the idea that mermaids and seawitch's everywhere are spinning fiber using a Distaff Shell enchants me.  There delicate shape belies their strength and they are quite a sturdy shell averaging 5-7 inches in length but can be found much longer.

Drop spindle with spun and unspun fiber.

This lovely spindle-shaped shell has a tall spire and long siphonal canal.  This order of gastropods contains the most highly developed snails where respiration is by means of a comb-like respiratory structure which serves as the gill of this mollusk.  This respiratory organ breathes oxygen dissolved in water.  Their nervous system is concentrated, an operculum or "trapdoor" is attached to the gastropod's foot that closes the aperture of the shell when the soft parts of the gastropod are retracted. This is for protection against predators and physical and chemical stresses. The popular "Cat's Eye" shell is really not a shell but this trapdoor or operculum.

"Cat's Eye Trapdoor in living shell. 
Cat's eye operculum were commonly seen in Victorian jewelry  worn to ward off the "evil eye."    They are a carnivorous species having a radula containing two or three large teeth in each row. Some possess a poison gland. All are marine inhabitants.

Such a lovely shell.

Slugs and snails are hermaphrodites with both male and female sexual organs, however the sexes are different in this species of marine snails. The snails live on sandy bottoms in usually deep waters and they travel in pairs, which is a unique feature of this species.   Have a wonderful white Wednesday.  Sea Witch

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Project Genesis

All are welcome - come, be a part of
Project Genesis

It begins with a small path.  An email from a fellow blogger at The Raspberry Rabbits, about a comment left and then a question..."are you participating in Project Genesis?" 

You follow the link and then see the invitation.  Project Genesis. 

Genesis - to come into being

I have taken the below post in its entirety from Old Gray Mare's blog. 
I did not want to change or paraphrase a word she wrote.   It was perfect as written.  In this quiet way and through this wonderful blog venue, we can effect change to heal our mother, our planet.  I'm a believer in personal change...quiet change...little things that have a marvelous ripple effect when many hands begin to follow.  Come join us or stop by and see what others are doing to live in a more gentle manner on this earth.  All are welcome. 

Thanks to Raspberry Rabbits for asking if I would become a part of Project Genesis and especially to Old Gray Mare for this beginning.  Look for my first Project Genesis post on Thursday.  It will not be an earth shattering epiphany, but something I began doing about a week before the Deepwater oil leak.  It is something we all can do easily and effectively.
The Invitation:

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. Albert Einstein

Project Genesis
July 1, 2010

The birth of this idea was fostered by several events.  Frustration over recent ecological disasters and continuous reports of the devastation of our planet.

A realization that blogging possesses power far beyond decorative design, recipes and give backs that we all love and enjoy.

Convincing ourselves that someone else of higher power, authority, or more commitment is taking care of this for us, it is far too easy to let it slide, this "being green."   We have all experienced that moment of not wishing to take the time to rinse out the mayo jar so that it can be recycled, and instead we toss it into the trash. When faced with the extra 30 cents charge for recycled paper products or organic foods, how often we all opt out.  Time, finances, lack of understanding.  
We all make excuses.

Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find - unknown

It is with these perceived stumbling blocks in our path, that we falter, making small attempts, while always pondering if we are able to do more, and if so, what?

The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun.  Ralph Nader

Beginning July 1st and on the first day of each subsequent month, I hope to meet you here.

On blogs we share every topic under the sun, including recycling ideas. We will organize these ideas, and expand upon them in an inspiring and easily referenced site, once a month.

Friends leading friends, showing us the way, no more excuses.
Once a month, that's easy.

There are some ground rules I wish to get out of the way right up front.
Project Genesis will link visitors back to your blog; however, this is not the forum to exploit for give-away promotions, to garner Followers or to link to your commercial enterprises.
 The link should be directly to your post contributing to Project Genesis.  There are numerous blogs and TV programs that show how to recycle furniture, so we'll leave that to them.

Not your original idea or photos? Provide credit where credit is due.  I reserve the right to edit any participants. In other words play nice, please.

Still wondering what we'll be sharing?  A few ideas without "leading" you into any one direction.
Perhaps you can explain how you've made recycling easier, more convenient.

Are you reducing your own or your family's dependence on fossil fuels?

How do you reduce the amount of garbage you contribute to the landfill?

What should we be aware of in regards to product packaging?

How do you teach the children in your life to respect their environment?

How do you influence those around you in your neighborhood and community to make changes for the planet?

Can you link others to responsible environmental programs in your area? In other words, link us
to cool people with great ideas.

Big ideas - Small ideas - Your ideas.

Awareness to affect change.

If you have any questions please email me.  We'll figure this out together.

July 1st, the good stuff happens.

Create Change - The World Will Thank You

Blessings to you and all you love.  Sea Witch

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's the little things

Yea, it really is the little things in life that make my life good.  A few months ago, one of the trees in my front yard came crashing down on my roof from a bad thunder and lightning storm.  Heartbroken to see this magnificent tree in pieces and was sorry to see that it had to be entirely removed.  So when the insurance adjuster came to look at the damage, it was discovered that the roof had hail damage and so we were covered for a new roof.  Talk about lemons into lemonade.

So on Friday, we had a new roof put on the house to replace the original and damaged roof from hail storms and the tree.  Great roof company who did a fantastic job and cleaned the entire yard as well.  So for the cost of a $500.00 deductible, we came ahead of the game and have a new roof on the house.  Picked out the shingle color and wouldn't you know the color this Sea Witch chose was "sandrift".

A pretty sand and blue grey shingle...yea you can say it.  Perfect for a sea witch.

Of course my "wily coyote" went just a little bit nutty with all of the noise on the roof and with the dozen men who were running all over the yard as well.  Finally had to shoo him into our bedroom closet to calm down. It's his favorite coyote den in the house.  Oh, but after the workmen left, he had all kinds of neat smells to check out.  Yup...the little things. 

Had a few nails pop out in the living room ceiling of which I will have to repair this week, but my broom is still hanging nicely and safely.

Neat story about this broom.  It was meant for me.  When I moved here from Flagstaff, AZ, I immediately found Vintage Village and began renting a booth there.  The booth in front of the check out counter had marvelous primitives of which I had often found myself purchasing.  One day, while working the floor, I walked past the booth and this broom literally jumped out and fell in front of my feet.  I picked it up and saw it was a wonderful 1930s handmade broom for a local mercantile. I put it back in its spot and walked away.  Later in the day, as I was bringing items for a customer to the counter, the broom jumped in front of me and fell at my feet for a second time.  Now the women at the counter were spooked and thought the broom must be haunted as this has never happened before.  They told me that broom has been in that booth for over 6 months and in the same spot.   I laughed and picked it up and put it back in the same place.  I said if this broom jumps out at me one more time, I will take it home.  I'm never one to refuse a guest.  By Adam's house cat, later that afternoon, the broom did just that.  I walked by the booth and the broom jumped in front of my feet again.  So, I picked it up, paid for it and took it to the car.  When I got home, I was going to put it in my kitchen but I had no empty corner for it.  I looked around and then realized that this broom really was meant to fly, so I hung it from my cathedral ceiling in my main room.  It has never been happier and when the heat or AC kicks on, it begins to move like it is waiting for a rider.  When my raviolis come to visit, they just love the fact that grandma-ma has a broom hanging from her ceiling.  Little things, it truly is the little things that make life wonderful. I wish wonderful things for you and all you love. Blessings to you.  Sea Witch

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Home by the Sea

One of my great dreams is to live by the sea. To see the sky and weather change with the sound of waves crashing against sand or rock.  Feeling the winds breath through my hair as it makes every attempt to pull my handspun sweater or shawl from my shoulders.  I don't care where the coordinates are of the location of the home is...I just want to be near the sea.  This need is only magnified each and every time I return from the water so I indulge my need with photos of homes by the sea.

Love this wraparound porch of this lazy looking beach house.
The ice cream colors of these beach houses make them look like doll houses.

These are rental homes in Tahiti...Love the idea of sleeping over the water and then being able to jump in and go diving at any given whim.

This home may need some TLC, but I love it, especially the iron widows walk at the top of the roof.  I can imagine the women who stood there looking out for when their sea captain returns.  I know, you can say it...I romance homes of this sort, but I so believe they carry a marvelous spirit within. 

Oh yes.  I could live in a lighthouse like this

Or like this one.  Lighthouses also entice with a mys'teec about them.  I've always been drawn to the lightkeepers home, it must be the commitment to ensure a safe passage into the harbor that I admire.

However, my favorite home by the sea, hands down is the Owens Sisters home in Practical Magic.  Everything about this home calls me.  I am "at home" when I look at these pictures or watch the movie.  I will watch Practical Magic just to enter that home over and over again.

This home with its fabulous gables and widows walk at the top.  A lightkeepers attic that looks out to the sea below.  Heaven to me.  Absolute heaven.

The view from the street and the ocean in the background. sigh.

Side porch is perfect for tea and reading or just day dreaming.

The Conservatory looks out over the sea. Love the way nature has grown into in and around it.
So many of the angles of this house provides an entrance to the sea.

A view of that magnficent kitchen with the marvelous pantry of cupboards all around.

One of my favorite rooms in this magnificent house...the dining room. The room evolved into a work room and when I first saw the loom and spinning wheel turning, my heart leapt.  I have two spinning wheels, one a great walking wheel like in the picture and then a Scottish Castle Wheel of which I spin on. 

The wheels, the looms, the wools, the silks, the cottons, the fibers...if I cannot be in the water, I want to be immersed in fiber.
So there you have it.  My dream home is the Practical Magic house by the sea.   Do you have a favorite house, please share in a future post and let me know to link to it.
Sea Witch

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Treasure

Vacations are wonderful and the time away from the daily grind is always rejuvenating...but, and this is a big butt...getting back in the groove always seems to take as much time as spent away.  Finally got the laundry done,the suitcase emptied, the snorkel equipment cleaned, a trip to the grocery store and then three days at work and my chores are "mostly" done so I decided to reward myself with a quick trip to one of my favorite shops to see what I could find.  They always have rows of tables just outside their door but with the hotlanta sun beating down on the tables it was difficult to pick up  items without burning your hands.  Still, in spite of the oppressive heat, I still managed to find a few great pieces.  

This magnificent Eda Doench, employee of Bessie Pease Gutmann, Eyes of Youth print.  Original, pressed print, old bubble glass and original frame.  A rare print and I am just delighted by this find.

Closeup of this wonderful print.  Lovely girl with fox stole. Glorious face as she looks over her shoulder with a rich, red fox stole.  Wonderful.  The colors are amazing and one of the prettiest prints I have come across in a long time.
All photos enlarge when you click on them.

Everybody seems to love Jewel T or Autumn Leaf pattern pieces.  This popular Aladdin lamp teapot is always a collectors favorite, even with its missing lid and diffuser.  It will find a nice home for a collector out there.

Wonderful set of four, soft paste, transfer ware plates in excellent condition.   Like that these are a pretty green with a little gold lustre trim around the edge and as a medallion i the center.  Most of the soft-paste wares were made in the early nineteenth century and I love the feel of them.  They have a marvelous "sound" and "tooth" to them, they feel so different from hard paste or bone chinas which have more strength and shine to them.  Plates like this are usually pock marked with chips and cracks.  These have seen many dinners and family conversations.  Will be looking up the dates tonight.

Sweet piece of elegant depression glass.  Nice little bowl with lovely etchings.

I adore Early American Pressed Glass (EAPG) for its weight, its shapes and its unique patterns.  This footed compote also sports a hand etched pattern all around it.  Hard to see in this photo, the sun was going down an I had lost all my light.  Anyway, I may keep this for my personal collection.

Wonderful early Carnival Glass bowl in perfect condition.  Sweet, hand painted violet creamer and a one edged razor that has seen better days.

Some nifty little items.  Crazy about the hand forged compass.  I like these types of items.  Empty tin photo album, WW2 circa Christmas Carols booklet and a pair of bank books for mortgage payments from 1929.  Lovely Spencerian script and numbers.  Mortgage is $56.00 a month.  I hope she did not lose the home during the Great Depression..

And finally, a head vase from the 1950s.  

Cold paint lips, heart cameo and ribbon in her hair are still intact.  Not a common head vase so it will make a nice addition to some one's collection.

I had a wonderful treasure hunt and will price these tonight to take into the shop this weekend.  Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and great Father's Day as well. Sea Witch

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New header - Summer swap

Yes, it was time for a new header.  Unfortunately, I was unable to take any photos under the sea this time around.  I'll share about my recent trip to Man of War Cay in future posts. It was a trip that had highs and lows and a major decision to be made.  So I went back to our trip to Cancun last December and pulled out this shot of a brilliant blue trunk fish.  This particular fish was about 24 inches in length and brilliant blue with yellow and white leopard type spotting.  He moved lazily through the water so I was able to get a few good shots of him. 

All photos enlarge if you click on them.

I like trunk fish. They are one of my favorite reef species for their odd shaped little bodies and their slow moving confidence as they swim about the reefs. 

I finally got my summer swap sent off this week.  I always seem to be a few days behind these days so I hope the wait will be worth it for my partner.  She created such a lovely sea swap journal for me.  This was the first time I have ever produced a journal from scratch.  My partner had chosen the 1940's as her beach theme.  I tried to utilize as many vintage photos and other elements to give it a variety of 1940's beach looks.

The front cover.

Pockets full of beach treasure.

Closeup of vintage photos.

Pretty batik fabric and other elements.

A Weekee Watchie mermaid look.

Trips to Jones Beach brought memories of cars in traffic, postcards, picnic lunches and souvenirs.  This was a fun swap and I got the opportunity to work with handmade paper, creating my own binding system and filling various pockets with treasure.  I learned a lot about what you can and can't do with handmade paper along the way as well. Part of the fun of creating is having to take a new tack from what originally envisioned.  I hope my partner enjoys her sea swap journal as much as I had making it.  Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday. Sea Witch

Thursday, June 10, 2010

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),

It's always our self we find in the sea.
~e.e. cummings

It is what sustains me. Blessings to all all who stop by and those you love. Sea Witch

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Sea Witch is on the move

Yes, the Sea Witch is on the move again. 

I'm a gypsy at heart and the need for my "pretty tail" to be in water is calling again.  So my handsome honey has shanghaied me and we are on our way to the Bahamas for a week on the water. I am blessed with such a good man and we will spend the next 5 days on a tiny sailboat exploring the reefs in the outer island chain.  No diving this trip, but lots of snorkeling.  When I can snag a signal, I will post a little about our trip.

Now, one of my dear friends at Vintage Village, (Carla) who has several fantastic booths there brought this wonderful vintage Mohawk carpet ad from her cousin's shop in the Carolina's.  She saw it and thought of me and brought it back so I could have it.  Is this not just perfect for a sea witch.  I love this ad and will frame it and put it in my bedroom.

The colors are so rich and wonderful.  You can click on the photo to enlarge it and see it in its detail.

Of course, I can NEVER EVER leave this shop without finding more goodies.

How sweet is this tiny little bisque baby in original gown. Only 4 inches in length. Of course, I couldn't resist the flash cards. Don't know what I am going to do with them yet.  Ideas?

Wonderful school promotion certificate from 1914 in original frame. Crazy about this piece.

So many talented folks out in the world and these lovely cards are made from vintage fabrics and antique laces.  I will give a few away and keep one for me.

Closeup of the detail on the card.  All are different.

And finally, this lovely red transfer ware pitcher.  You can always find wonderful things at Vintage Village.

Now, I was part of the Great Sea Journal Swap sponsored by Frippery.  One of my favorite blogs to follow.  The theme was the sea and we had to select a period of time 1920s, 30sw, 40s, and 50s, 60s.  That was difficult for me as I love all periods for their dress, their social mores and history.   In my response to Sandy, my partner in sea swap crime, i stated the following:

That’s tough, I like all period anything, but if I had to select, let’s do the 20’s…a time when women were just beginning to shed their inhibitions, they cast off the corset and bobbed their hair, smoked and drank openly in public and rolled down their stockings to expose their knees. And in between all of this, you had the rebirth of revival evangelism with outdoor tent meetings and people being baptized in the nearest community rivers and lakes. A wonderful mix of saints and sinners. Yea. Let’s go with the 20’s.

Sandy captured the spirit of that time beautifully with her sea swap journal.

Lovely fabric photos of the 1920's ladies at the beach.  Neat little envelopes filled with treasure, pretty laces and soft blues and whites throughout.

How did she know so much about what I liked and what makes me laugh?

Old photos and postcards and words of wisdom.

Funky copper rings and pretty velvet ribbons.

Pockets of lace filled with music, library card history (love this) and Austrian crystal beads in sea blue for my beadwork.  Treasure...all treasure.

What a lovely journal Sandy has created for me.  A thousand thank you's for this wonderful journal.  Have a wonderful day everyone and I look for a post or two while I'm in the water.  Sea Witch