Friday, June 4, 2010

Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Wow, did that week blow through here or what? I can't believe it's Friday! I guess that's what happens when I launch a new class, work on a competition painting, and have a holiday all in the same week! Speaking of holidays, Memorial Day is the day of a huge outdoor antique/flea market about 60 miles north of where I live.


We've been going for years. We've honed the process of getting ready and getting out the door down to a science. You see, we get up at 4:45 AM and we're usually on the road by 5:30. A lot of people mistake that for diehard antique enthusiasts. We're not. Mostly we go to look and satisfy a curiosity about how our ancestors lived a 100 years ago.

No, we get up with the chickens because a) this is Florida and it's h.o.t. by 9 AM in the morning and b) it gets crowded. Very crowded. So imagine that it's 95ยบ in the shade (except there is no shade) and you're spending the morning with a 1000 of your closest, hot, sweaty, grumpy, grouchy, argumentative, new best friends......you'd get up at 4:45 too!!

We always look for a "treasure" when we go. A treasure is a special find and money has little to do with it. It has more to do with the value it has to the person seeking/finding the treasure. Again, imagine finding something you've been looking for for years, maybe it's a deal or a steal or maybe it's just that you've finally, after all this time, after you'd nearly given up, that you found the item—that's a treasure!

It is uncommon to find a free treasure at an antique market, but that's exactly what happened on Monday. I was standing by a table with an array of military memorabilia waiting for Chris when I glanced down and something twinkling caught my eye. At first I thought it was a play of light off from an item in the cases, but that didn't feel right, so I stepped closer to take another look.....

And found a ladybug carcass! Now, remember, I said the treasure was valuable to the person who found it.....

To say I was surprised is an understatement. I mean, here I am in a sea of 50 acres of antiques and I find a ladybug. A dead ladybug. And I'm thrilled. Of course, I had no way to safely store it so I carefully cupped it in the palm of my hand and carried it back to the truck. I nestled it down on the lid of my coffee cup where I knew it would be safe until we reached home.
"Let Me Call You Sweetheart"
Watercolor in Moleskine Sketchbook

It was not until I went to sketch it in my Moleskine that I noticed the word "sweetheart"......
 

20 comments:

  1. Okay, I'm laughing here over your 'find'. You could have come to our house when we got back from AZ...we 'found' hundreds of these little creatures!

    Love the sweetheart sketch.

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  2. I love flea markets! We do the 500 mile flea market every year. I am probably one of the few people I know that is in better shape and a few pounds lighter when I come home from vacation! You never know what you will find that will make you smile. Love the painting!

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  3. Cute story. Crowds are why I have never gone to these sales. You really captured the ladybug and the engraved feel to the lettering. Wow. Nice job! My husband would have thought I was absolutely crazy (well crazier than he already thinks I am) to save a dead bug. How did yours take it?

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  4. Teri, I would have loved to! Ladybugs are special!

    Breand, we love flea markets and antiques, but you're right, it's hard work!!

    Well, Timaree, I guess we've done a good job of accepting each other's quirks as he didn't even bat an eyelash! In fact, he has been known to bring me a dead bug carcass on occasion! He brought me a buzzard feather earlier this week!

    As to the crazy part, around here, that's a foregone conclusion!! ;•)

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  5. This is a delightful story and a cute sketch to go with it - what a combination!! I'm also quite intrigued by the recessed writing. How did you do it? was it a non-waterproof pen of some sort?

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  6. Thank you, Claire! I painted the cup lid and lettering with shadow violet in varying values. When that was completely dry, I went back with the white gel pen and put in the highlights of white based on my observations of the lid.

    After I uploaded it, I rather wish I had made the overall value of the lid darker so the white would stand out more, but 'tis done and time to turn the page!

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  7. What a great story and a wonderful sketch. Love the fan photo, too. That's just the sort of item my husband and I would be drawn to. We have an old railroad lantern, coffee grinder, and spitoon "decorating" our high shelves in our family room.

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  8. I do love treasure hunting! You never know when you will find the perfect "thing" that you've been missing forever. Love your painting.

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  9. I thought this was a real photo at first. Very good. Even if you wished you had made it darker I like it. At first I thought you were going to say the sparkly thing was a diamondor something... But this is a diamond in the rough. :) Funny what does strike our fancy. I would get excited over something like that too. I remember years ago, when rather young, going on a trip with another Family from CA to Montana. I picked up odds and ends I found along the way. Things like rocks or like your lady bug, and when I got home My folks asked me if I got any souvenirs & I showed them my weird.. important to me.. stuff. They chuckled for a long time. lol

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  10. What a terrific find. I can relate to getting out early to do something during summer. I hate the heat. We get out early to bird. I love your sketch. What a sweetheart.

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  11. What a fun story! Love the painting too.

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  12. Oh Laure, I so love the story, the adventure of it all and best of all the precious little painting. I knew we were somewhat kindred souls, because I have always, always loved ladybugs. Your little painting is just as much fun as your story is wonderful. I wish we lived closer together

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  13. I was wondering how much a ladybug carcass was going to cost...was it embedded in wax or under glass? No, just a free find! Lucky you, and such a nice model for your painting.

    What time do you leave the hot sweltering place?

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  14. Thanks, KJ!

    Katie, it's the hunt that keeps us going back!

    Cris, thank you! Definitely a diamond in the rough! My mother used to collect rocks from the places we went so I understand completely.

    Thanks, Lisa!

    Thank you, Cheryl!

    Martha, I wish we were closer as well!

    Lynn, we usually leave between 10:45 and 11:15. This past Monday we left around noon, and we were more than ready to go!!

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  15. Wat a lovely story, and a beautiful
    painting!

    have a nice weekend,
    Suzane

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  16. Really cool Laure! That's a true artist eye...you can find just about anything where most would probably not! Beautiful sketch and glad we weren't with you at 5:30 am on Memorial Day!! :)

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  17. Sounds like you had a wonderful day! Lovely sketch.

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  18. How funny - and really quite touching too.

    I'm enjoying your blog - thank you for visiting mine. x

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  19. Glad I'm not the only one with a penchant for collecting "treasures". One of my nephews recently survey the "decor" in couple of my rooms (a bird nest that fell out of a tree, shells, rocks, pine cones, seed pods, driftwood, etc) and pronounced my home a "nature house"! I thought it was nice compliment. Macy's can keep their "elegant" home decor items.... I find my "treasures" much more appealing :-)

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  20. Went to one flea market on 9-11! Left feeling very sad. But I think it is time to go again - what a treasure you found and I love the painting you did of it!

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