Here is a peek at more of my Martha's Vineyard discoveries. Chock full of vintage goodness, these finds are destined for my Etsy shop.
I think these items are wonderful, and I will admit that a few are a bit unusual, as well. For instance, you may be wondering why I bought the military services bars. I did so because I thought someone could use them to make funky jewelry with a military vibe. Or you may ask: what was I thinking when I purchased two pairs of 1940s platform sandals with palm trees and tiki huts carved into the heels? Pretty wacky, I know. But I find them kitschy and sculptural, and I envision them perched on a stack of travel books on someone's coffee table.
Above are new acquisitions from an estate sale I went to in CT last week. I love the little dress clothes pin bag. The vintage pottery and textiles are pretty great, too. I haven't even started getting these things ready for their Etsy debut yet. So I'll be busy, busy, busy!
Every year on our Martha's Vineyard vacation, we head up-island late in the day to Aquinnahand enjoy a beautiful sunset over Vineyard Sound. But on this trip, we ventured there mid-day, and for the first time in our many years of visiting MV, we were able to tour the Gay Head Lighthouse.
This lighthouse, a red brick tower that sits 170 feet above sea level atop the majestic Gay Head cliffs, is one of the most recognizable structures on the Island. For 155 years it provided a guiding light to mariners in what was once one of the busiest shipping lanes on the eastern coast of the United States.
This 51-foot brick concentric tower is threatened by the forces of nature. Experts say it is not in any imminent danger of crumbling down or falling into the sea. But they also agree it is only a matter of time because the cliffs lose several feet of land annually.
It will probably be decades before the lighthouse is in any real danger — but officials do not want to wait for a crisis. So they are stepping up efforts to raise enough money to move the structure back several hundred feet from where it now stands.
Topped with a DCB-224 lens that flashes alternating red and white lights every 7.5 seconds, we were treated to a glorious view from inside. And we were more than happy to contribute to their fund-raising efforts.
The money raised will be used to shore up the tower structure and stabilize the bank on which it sits. Experts agree the lighthouse must be repaired and stabilized before it can be moved back from the cliff to a safer location.
On November 7, 1799, Gay Head Light was turned on for the first time. It wasn't until 1990 that it became open to the public for tours. On this trip, I'm so glad our timing was right. What a treat to step inside this historic beacon!
A couple of years ago, I met Claire, the nicest antique dealer from New Hampshire. I purchased a terrific array of textiles and paper ephemera from her that sold quickly in my Etsy shop. I was so happy to see Claire at this year's flea market. I once again bought some great things from her. Here's a peek at some of my paper purchases.
Some of the topics covered in these vintage relics include sewing dresses, shooting color movies, making illuminated pictures, vacationing in New York State, vintage Massachusetts postcards, railroads from the 1940 New York World's Fair, Shakespeare's sonnets, cooking Italian, desserts of the world, a poem by Lord Tennyson, and everything you ever wanted to know about bananas. I'll share more fun and unusual MV finds with you later this week.
With the extreme heat we've had here lately, I've spent my days in my cool and comfortable studio getting these newest discoveries ready for their debut on Etsy. If nothing else, this ghastly weather has made me more productive!
The kids try out some giant handmade hula hoops at a flea market. Jacob gets in the row boat when he spots fish jumping in the water outside our rental house. By the time he rows out with his fishing pole, they are gone. My family braves the strong waves and very cold waters of South Beach.
Mini-golf is a must on every MV vacation.
Another MV tradition is making pizza on the grill. So delish. We grill corn, too. Hannah relaxes at Ocean Park. She gives me a "what the heck are you doing look" when I snap her photo in Edgartown.
I round a corner in the Bunch of Grapes bookstore to find Hannah reading Jacob a story. Too cute.
The only bit of bad weather occurs one evening. With the sun shining, we head out after dinner to browse the shops in Oak Bluffs. Suddenly, the sky opens up and it rains buckets. We patiently wait in a t-shirt store for 45 minutes. When it doesn't let up, John puts a plastic bag on his head, runs to a store across the flooded street, buys two umbrellas, and then jogs three blocks to bring the car around so we won't get soaked. Our hero!
The next day is sunny, dry and super windy. On our way up-island, we stop at Lobsterville Beach, wrap ourselves up and brace the crazy winds to enjoy some fresh air. On the way back to the car, the strong wind gusts fill up Hannah's blanket. She hangs on tight and takes the opportunity to dance with the wind in the middle of the street. What can I say. Wackiness runs in the family.
We're back from Martha's Vineyard. What fun we had! I am looking forward to sharing my trip with you, but first I need to get back in the swing of things here at home. So in the meantime, please enjoy this little taste of MV . . .
My kind of street. :)
An Oz inspired cottage, felted bags at a craft fair, the best farm stand ever, and fresh fish in Menemsha.
I never knew carrots could be so pretty.
Gay Head Lighthouse, gingerbread trim, a Morning Glory Farm bouquet, and a seagull tags along on the ferry.
The view from our new rental house.
In addition to all of the inspiring sights, I did some shopping and found an array of fun and unusual items to sell in my Etsy shop. I'll share them and much more with you very soon.
We are in the midst of our week away on Martha's Vineyard. The weather has been picture perfect and looks like it will continue that way for the rest of our stay on the island. At the moment, John and Jacob are off doing some night fishing on Chappaquiddick. Hannah and I are at our rental house relaxing after a fun-filled day.
The pleasantly warm and sunny days have enabled us to spend lots of time at the Atlantic Ocean. I have been taking my morning walks on the sand and have also enjoyed one of my favorite vacation activities -- beach combing. At home, I have a collection of gifts from the sea consisting of beach glass and sea shells.
For example, in our upstairs hall bath, you'll find some of the shells that have found their way into our pockets from vacations past. I like to store them in old blue glass mason jars.
I found this whimsical sea glass mermaid many years ago at a store right here on Martha's Vineyard. At that time, I had been making a variety of wired beach glass creations myself. I knew how difficult these pieces were to make and was particularly impressed with this charming mermaid.
More of my sea shell collection can be found gathered together in an old green pottery bowl in our screened porch.
As you can see, I have several hundred pieces of sea glass. Most were found locally over a number of years at the beach in Rowayton down the street from our house. For a while, I enjoyed making things with these finds, such as wired sea glass fish and stars. I wish I had a photo of one of the fish to show you, but I either sold them or gave them to friends as gifts. But I do have one last star I made which hangs in the window of my studio.
I also still have one of my more ambitious projects -- a sea glass lamp shade.
Hand made from chicken wire, copper wire and authentic beach glass in shades of green, white and brown, I crafted this piece using over 40 pieces of glass found on the shores of Long Island Sound in Connecticut.
Perfect for cottage or cabin decor, you can now find this rustic shade for sale in my Etsy shop HERE.
It's getting late -- time to turn in for the day. We'll be up bright and early tomorrow to head "up-island" to the MV farmer's market. Then we will be off to spend the day in Menemsha, a lovely little fishing village with a few shops, eateries and a pretty beach. Perhaps we'll find more gifts from the sea on the sands of Menemsha Beach.
I will share much more from our week away with you once we are back home. Until then . . .
We wait all year for this — our annual trip to Martha's Vineyard. How I love the sweet anticipation, counting down the days until we return to our beloved island. We'll be leaving soon, and to get me in the MV mood, I put together this array of some favorite views from vacations past.
I adore this song by Carly Simon about returning to the island.
I look forward to the week ahead in our most favorite place. I will do my best to savor our time there, because it always seems to fly by. And then the longing to return begins . . .
Time to reveal the lucky winner of this stylish Shabby Apple Trevi Fountain dress!
Each entry in my giveaway was assigned a number. This morning, an online random number generator chose the winner for me. Congratulations, Jana! You've won! Please email me with your full name, phone number, shipping address and dress size.
For those of you who have a hankering for your very own Shabby Apple dress, they are having an awesome summer sale.
Throughout the entire month of July, you can receive 20% off every dress, skirt and accessory (excluding Swim Wear). Click HERE to be redirected to Shabby Apple.com and be sure to type in the coupon code SUMMER20 at check-out.
Feel like getting crafty with your kids this holiday weekend? If so, here is a page from The Home Educator, a 1924 book that sold a while back in my Etsy shop. Along with good advice about raising happy and healthy children, it offered instruction for handmade toys and holiday-related art projects.
Does anyone still fashion hats out of newspaper? I remember making them as a kid. Can't say that I ever made my own epaulets however, or any of these other "patriotic devices."
Once upon a time, when children wanted a costume for a special event, parents had to be industrious. After all, they couldn't just hop in the car and head to the nearest Party City store. Instead, they rounded up the kids, and together they made what was needed out of paper or other household items. Simple, good, clean, crafty fun. No touch screens, remote controllers, or batteries required.
Wishing you a terrifically low-tech holiday weekend!