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

Monday, March 4, 2019

Ghosts of Highway 19

Florida is a state that, to me, is truly a living circus.  We have nature, sunshine, water and more colorful characters than anywhere I have ever visited or lived.  I love it. 

The weekend hunt was one of those where very little caught my eye and I came home with just a few pieces.  As I returned home, I decided to finally stop and nose around this landmark on Highway 19 (now named the Gulf Coast Highway but more affectionally known, by locals, as the "highway to hell" for the large number of strip joints and churches found along this rambling highway). Before theme parks and DisneyWorld, Florida had highways and state roads dotted with home grown museums and sideshows along with myriads of orange and grapefruit stands.  Jimbo's Sideshow Museum, in Hudson, Florida is an abandoned remnant of one of these unique offerings.  

Lady Liberty, a little worn for wear due to the elements, stands atop proudly as a beacon of what never was.  

I'm told it originally thrived back in 2002 as a small Halloween horror show and when the wind is blowing, you can see the remnants of the black and yellow Horror Show signs that hide behind the Jimbo's signs.   

You can barely see this toy elephant in the window and he made me smile.

I have yet to see any sign of activity in the two years I have driven by it.  The sign on the doors says "Open Sundays and by Appointment,"...
and my curiosity about this place has brought me here on several Sundays but alas, never anyone here to open it.

 The window glass all around is very dirty but a flash on my phone camera allowed this peak inside through the front door window.   

Dirty, side windows where you could barely see anything from the road were made visible with a camera flash.  Silent, neon Open sign and an American flag sit in the window.

Biggest surprise yet was this colorful face of tiger that was only made visible with a flash.  Love these ghosts that come to light if you look for them.  This is part of a large sign that was on its side inside the Museum.

The wind lifted the Jimbo's sign back up that originally exposed the words Horror Show underneath it.

 I jumped when I saw this figure sitting in the chair and laughed when I realized it was a prop.  I suspect many others, like myself, got a good scare when they peeked into the window as well.

Even the trees next to the building take on a haunted look.  Florida is such a weird state that I hope to see this open one day or at least the owner is around so I can beg for a little tour.

Got home early and it was a gorgeous spring day so I decided to do a little planting and weeding in my yard.  Two years ago, I planted a row of pink, ornamental hibiscus along the path to my entrance door in honor of my mom and dad as both loved these beautiful flowering shrubs. 

All seven of these beauties are in full bloom.

The flowers are the size of luncheon plates and are just gorgeous.

 My side garden has hybrid varieties of hibiscus that I adore.  This one is Voodoo Queen.

Known as Spin the Bottle or Florida Sunset depending on what the local nursery likes to call it.  It's one of my favorites for its brilliant fuchsia running through it.

 Pretty little blue Nasturtiums bloom along my metal gate.

Living in Florida, hydrangeas bloom all year long.

The sandy soil turns them all a bright pink but I feed them "bluing" to have the blues and purples as well.

 I always plant lavender "at the garden gate" for luck, but since I don't have a gate, this planter of lavender is near my entrance.  I harvested a bunch of lavender stems three weeks ago and new blooms have already appeared. 

So my finds this weekend were few.  Nice pair of early 1900s publications.

A big, EAPG comport (compote) that has just the hint of sun purple.  I know most EAPG purists would have passed this beauty up as purpled glass is considered sick glass.  I adore it for its look and this is now in my personal collection of EAPG comports.

A beautiful mid 19th century, rosewood veneer tea caddy with mother of pearl inlay at the top and the lock.  I have a bag of antique keys I'm going to look through to see if I have a small key that will lock/unlock this piece.

I'm afraid that after I clean this beauty up I will not want to part with it.  We shall see.

Last of my weekend chores was to finally hang a few outdoor pieces.  This antique, cast aluminum chandelier lamp base was just too pretty to toss. I found it in a box of items I won at an auction in Atlanta and had hoped to find parts to use it as a lamp again.  Never found the parts so I decided to hang it in place of the more typical wreath on my entrance stucco wall.  Really love the look.  So it's another month gone and we are now in March.  A time change is coming and I can't wait as I love the longer days of light.  Until my next post, wishing blessings to you and those you love.  Sea Witch