I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lavender 'n' Lemon Bunnies

Oh man! Today was cold and grey and drizzly...tomorow it may snow?! Is March going out like a sad little old man? I decided to stay in and begin my spring cleaning---demented, I know, but the endless drifts of fine sand get to me after awhile.
And since it is supposedly spring, today I have lots of bunny hearts to share!

These cuties are filled with lavender and lemon verbena. They make your spring-cleaned closets smell so nice....

And of course they look so sweet in a prim bowl...


or basket....

They make a fun gift for  your BFF who swears she is too old for chocolate (is that even possible?)...

And I used my very favorite vintage bunny buttons...

Treasures from the Cape Cod button lady's stash at the thrift shop by Luke's Fine Liquors on the marsh....Our Lady of the Cape Church shop?

Yes, it is a perfect set up there...you end your thrifting day at the shop (by 4.30!), pick up a bottle of wine at Luke's, and head to Paine's Creek Beach to relax in the late afternoon.

(Just a few sips or mix with seltzer! Please drive safely!)

So...do you guys spring clean? This is probably non-pc but:  I wash every surface with Clorox! What about you?



~~~~gone to the beach~~~~~~~

PS Most of these hearts will be in my etsy shop or on eBay by the weekend, come visit? And if you love the hearts but aren't a bunny person, I can have antique MOP or vintage-y plastics instead......

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First Flea Market!

Sunday was Opening Day...
Nope, not baseball---we have to wait a bit for that. But even better! The first flea market of the spring. I was surprised, usually the market begins on the first or second Sunday of April.

Gorgeous day! But chilly and very windy. I estimate maybe 20-25 dealers instead of the usual 200. Too bad, because there were a lot of customers and people were definitely buying. Everyone seemed to be in a cheery, spring-like frame of mind.

A drawback was that the dealers who appeared took the organizers' word a bit too much to heart: many tables of cast-off junk from granny's breakfront or grandpa's garage.

But some treasures to be found. All these adorable doll dishes were tossed into a crummy old Rubbermaid mini wash basket!

cheld's tea set items with full size white ironstone pitcher
And the tag said $3.oo for all!
I got a good grip the instant I saw the first little handpainted cup.

I smilingly elbowed aside a woman who wanted to rummage in my basket!
And I quickly gave the dealer my crumpled three dollars, not a bit of haggling.

Look what was there! Tiniest Japanese lusterware items ever...

I've never seen a covered tureen, maybe 41/2" long?

And all these tiny plates! Twenty five!

Some may be butter pats, I am not sure, but all measure 2-4" diameter. The yellow lustreware sunflower in the center is German, The blue and gold possible "butter pats" are unmarked, maybe English?

The little plate with the pink sky and girl canoeing is one of my favs!

And the best!

This partial set is handpainted with pink pussywillows sprigs, and on each branch one of the buds is a tiny pink kitty....to die for!

I'd have paid 3 dollars for the creamer alone.

Pussy willows with kitten buds was a popluar motif in the 1940s. I once passed up a crib quilt with pink pussywillow - kitten flowers [little play on words, lol. Get it? Yeeesh.]; also saw it both blue and later yellow. Below is a not-good photo of aqua barkcloth with grey "catkins"---kitties.

Later I decided to buy this ironstone platter or tray at $5.00. Nice prop for shell pix? Bigger than it looks, maybe 18" x 8". And stained a bit and crazed, just like I like them.

I'm not crazy about ivy and almost didn't get it, but looking closely, I realized the design embossed at each end is a line of Tinkerbell-esque fairies, each less than an inch high! How adorable is that!

What I passed up: at the only "real" antiques booth, a man who sells wonderful primitives had lovely flow blue china and a shorebird decoy that was rubbed a soft blue-grey-green! His eyes were neat numbered old nail heads too. Great price, but he was packed up by the time I paid for the doll tea sets, so...maybe another day. Otherwise, not much---some crochet lace?

I can't wait til next time! Did you get to the flea market yet this spring? What did you buy? Tell me....

As for my dolls' teas sets, I plan to keep a few pieces and sell the rest in my etsy shop, so let me know if you have a fav....and want me to share.



gone to the beach

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Footprints in the Sand

Hi! Be advised, this is one of my very Nature Girl-Nerd posts, lol.

foggy footprints

Remember last week when I was upset because the sand-smoother bulldozers covered the entrance to Ratty's den? Usually, what is the smooth white inner sand in the picture below, is a wild wetland area or vernal pond called a "swale", filled with scrubby grass and weeds, home to birds and amphibians...and Ratty. Far beyoned in the distance is the open ocean, to the south-south-west. Many miles away, just to the right a few degrees is, for example, Sandy Hook Light, in New Jeresy.

 Well, it seems Ratty has moved!

Ratty is a marsh muskrat or possibly a nutria. I'm a little ambivalent about his presence in my dunes...Ratty is kind of like if your kid is the fat obnoxious bully on the middle school playground---It's your ugly pimply kid so you love him anyway. (Just for the record, my kids are always gorgeous and well-behaved! Really!) Point is, muskrats are indigenous herbivores: they are hardworking and shy;  they do not carry germs or bite people; their diet is vegetarian, grassy roots mostly, including the invasive water hyacinth. BUT they look like huge fat subway rats, Norway rats I think? Bigger than a tomcat, eeew.

But Ratty is unique and interesting and I enjoy his presence since he washed ashore last year.
Imagine my pleasure when I found his new burrow and many footprints in the outer swale closest to the beach!

The tracks ran round and round, out to the swale entrance, back to the phragmites (beach grass reeds), over and over. Frantic. I worry but try to think it was the full moon---he was dancing under the stars? hoping a girl Ratty would find him?

Then there is that first little piping plover who arrived early. I often locate the shorebirds' nests by following their tiny footprints over the sand. They seem to prefer to scurry along, rarely do they actually fly.

Here are his nest tryouts! See the hollows he has formed in the sand?

This spot is within a foot or two of the spot where a piping plover pair nested last year and the year before. Can we assume it is the same one[s]? A sandy hollow is the only nest they build, the soft sand is warm and cradles their small spotted eggs.

And these tiny bird footprints, below,--so very many!---are from the sanderlings, our ubiquitous little Arctic nesting sandpiper.

They gather here in flocks numbering in the thousands, fattening up for their final trip to the tundra north in May. This week's very high tides must have forced them up onto the higher sand here to sleep. Usually they remain as close to the water as psssible. The photo shows the large flock in flight, also my first pix shows more.

If a beachcomber is patient, observing footprints in the sand can tell them a lot! I've discovered tiny newborn turtles, spade-foot toads, rabbits and raccoons....If you don't have sand, watch the muddy spots in your yard. Or next winter, keep your eye out for tracks in the snow. If you have a science-minded child around, they can have fun identifying animal tracks using a simple nature guide, like those from Acorn Naturalists.

enjoy your world!


  ~~~~~~~gone to the beach