Let Me Call You Sweetheart

8:12 AM

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 95º 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"......

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20 Creative Thought(s)

  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.

  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!

  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?

  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!! ;•)

  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?

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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

  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.

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

  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

  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?

  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!!

  15. Wat a lovely story, and a beautiful

    have a nice weekend,

  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!! :)

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

  18. How funny - and really quite touching too.

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

  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 :-)

  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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