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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Flea Market Finds

Hi! Did you all have a great weekend? Sunday I got a very late start and almost didn't bother going to the flea. But it was such a pretty day! Cool and breezy and sunny, so off I went. I got there about 1.30 PM. Late, right? In a way I was glad I went because the market was bustling and happy, though very crowded again. But then,...same old garage sale junk. I'm wandering around, not taking pictures, thinking, What am I gonna tell the guys on my blog? What a downer I am. ''nothing...nothing...nothing...''


But then, way across the market, someone waved. A dealer friend. I waved back and indicated I'd work my way over to his booth. When I got there he was busy with customers so I began sorting through this week's array of incredible fabrics. He doesn't always have fabrics, but when he brings them---oh my. Gorgeous. Mostly French, or vintage NYC designer samples. [For those with good memories, this is the man who sold me the tiny autograph book last fall? And the silver pansy handle, and silver thimbles...]

 This week he had a melange of vintage Indonesian cotton batiks, and toiles [maybe], retro silk scarves [no], and hand beaded couturier samples, silk, linen and wool.

I was making my little stack of treasures and PLOP, this landed on my fabric pile. He said,"I was saving this for you. I had it in the truck."

oooh. Just wonderful. Black and white and very old.

He showed me the reverse marks and labels but in my usual hurry I didn't really take the info in, just said ''Oh YES! I want it, thank you!'' 

I thought the central motif was a Chinese scene, a common theme in English Staffordshire china [think Blue Willow] But no. The tiny scene commemorates the opening of the Erie Canal at Buffalo NY in 1825. The Canal was begun in 1817. Who knew?

 Plates like this were popular, an early 19th century fad. Maybe similar to buying a World Series champions mug? The designs were made soon after the events depicted occurred. EBay had a similar plate and its seller dated it 1830.

 The edge design is called "Lace". My favorite part of the piece, plus the scalloped edges and allover grunge but not chips, no cracks aspect.

The price is long ago, not my friend's price.

It's odd now to think of the Erie Canal being so important, but in the days before railroads, it opened up commerce and travel between The East Coast / NYC and the Great Lakes/ Midwest--Ohio, Indiana, Illinois. Almost 200 years ago. My how life has changed.

Back to the \fabrics, I chose this gorgeous square of celery green velvet. It needs to be washed and steamed, of course.


It's heavily hand beaded. I will make a couple Sailors' Valentine pin cushions with the corners, maybe? Victorian Sweetheart pincushions HERE

WWI Scotts Guards Sweetheart Pin Cushion with Glass Beads and pompom trim around the edge:

A few beaded sewing emery strawberries, and I may even use some to add a few leaves to Pokeberry [being quilted even as I write this! so excited.]

Blues...one for pillows, maybe.

This beauty is silk georgette, hand embroidered with sequins and beads. It may be a scarf for me! [in that sari kantha style?], or a pillow or maybe part of a dressy linen tee shirt?

This small piece is just a fragment, old and fragile. Wool or wool and linen---a challis, with an ikat inspired print design.  Mid-1800s?

And this fun toile. I do love toile and this just spoke to me of Cape Cod in its early rural days. The church is there on the old Kings Highway, the farms, the lighthouse on Nauset Bay. [in a Nag's Head NC  or Sandy Hook NJ sort of way? CC Lighthouses are red and white not black.]

It's cotton, seems to be a curtain panel.
As I stood there waiting for my dealer friend to add up my bill, I picked up this button card and asked its price. The guy shrugged, "Just toss it in, no charge." Music to my ears.

The buttons are tarnished but some cuties...Well worth the price,lol $0.oo.

I did not buy, but wish I had, this odd silk boudoir stocking. Maybe NOT a Christmas stocking, but a dressing table decoration? With what I think of as French silk ribbon flowers. I know I'd buy it to use the flowers and kind of did not want to cut it up. Pretty.

Then from antique to beach kitsch: Look what I found at the Stop n Shop. Tiki lights, torches! Big! If they burn citronella oil, they'll be so cool in my friends' tropical garden? Hmmm?

Have a great week.



gone to the beach.....

PS: Remember the big black THING far away on my beach? Rocks, trash bags, a beached whale, a shipwreck, a wrecked truck...? This morning early a big black pickup truck came and took the black things away! So we'll never know. [I was sure it was boulders for a jetty, but the guys lifted and slung the black objects too easily for that.]

black jetty rocks

a beach mystery.


  1. What a great market shop you had. I love the scrap of fabric with the Prussian blue strip. Lovely.

  2. Oh my! I'm so glad you went. That plate is a treasure!!
    The textiles you chose are so interesting too!! I look forward to seeing how you use them in your crafts.

  3. LOL! Yes, you never have anything interesting to share with us ;) What fun finds. I find it very interesting that the back of the plate still has all those labels on it given the wear that the front shows. Very interesting history. Enlarging the photos makes such a difference in being able to really see the detail and bead work on the fabrics. I didn't think I was that taken with the celery colored piece till I looked at it close up. I think the darker blue with the sequins is my favorite though. And buttons for free too! They're really great. I can already imagine them added to hearts :)

    I ended up at the local thrift store...the first time I was dropping off and saw some 'like new' cat accessories that were just being dropped off. Went back the next day to see if they were on the floor yet. Sat on an ottoman to ponder the necessity of said cat items...came home with the Ottoman! It seems pretty old and is in great condition. The fabric is nothing to write home about, but it's crazy comfy and it makes me laugh. Hope to either have it re-upholstered, or have a slip covered made for it.

    Hmmm, yes the mystery of the black beach blob.

    The very last beach/ocean pic is beautiful.

    Fun post! Thanks!


    1. Thanks for the reminder to supersize the pix, it makes a big difference. As for the celery velvet..it looks lovely in person, velvet is so hard to photograph.

      Ooooh.an ottoman! Mel and I were discussing making tuffet ottomans...she was sure I d find one to redo, even tho I never see good furniture here. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/ASTfQrTwFP2p9sxAF9h6wEG2KPW3v-XNiuKn_EOhSotJPKZMRNMIndM/

      More tuffets in my Pinterest crafts folder. I'd slipcover a thrifted one probably. Send me a picture!

      The plate's wear and grunge probably predates the stickers, which are probably old 20th century antique shop or auction or museum labels. The guy picks things up at the good auctions in the city.

      The beautiful beach is the surfing beach again.



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  5. I'm glad you went to the flea! I love the lighter of the two blue fabrics (royal?) but they are both beautiful. I'll send you an idea for a super-easy top...

    Love the plate, that is so cool! And the details on the buttons!! Modern buttons are just so boring by comparison.

    The tiki torch statues were a blast, I hope your friends get some! They'd go great in their tropical garden.

    Hmm, maybe the black blobs were trash bags from a volunteer clean-up, waiting to be hauled away? Seems likely, if the guys were flinging them around they couldn't be rocks.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. You do have some of the best finds! Love the plate and the stories it tells!

    The fabric? I don't know how anyone would ever be able to cut into it! GORGEOUS!


  7. Oh Lizzy, I got excited to see the plate. It is so pretty and as I think you know, I live right at the junction of the Erie Canal at the opposite end being where it meets the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers. I will have to poto copy the plate. Also, my Grandfather used to walk the Oxen and mules that pulled the barges along the canal. I am jealous of you that you found it, but I will now be open eyed when out. Perhaps I can find one in one of our local shops...Love your fabrics as well. Especially the beaded velvet. You sure do get good finds.

  8. You find such great things! And you have your own people who look for things for you! (How fantastic is that?)

    I love the ideas you have for your projects and that you find such great fabric to use to make them ... here 'vintage' fabric is double knit polyester from the 1970s (did I mention Santa just bought some - no idea why but I now have 3 yards of it!)

  9. You find such great things! And you have your own people who look for things for you! (How fantastic is that?)

    I love the ideas you have for your projects and that you find such great fabric to use to make them ... here 'vintage' fabric is double knit polyester from the 1970s (did I mention Santa just bought some - no idea why but I now have 3 yards of it!)


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