A Tale of Earthly Delights. Literally. (Not like that, you pervs.)
Found Treasures & a History Lesson: Part I
While its true that I'm happier when it rains than when its sunny, today I have an exciting reason to be lovin' on rainy days. Thanks to the past few weeks of nothing but downpours, a few things emerged from under the ground, hidden from plain sight and awoken from many year's worth of sleep. When its a lovely weekend, I'm usually found outside digging in the dirt, doing some gardening. One of the only times I enjoy being outdoors with the bugs and sun and stupid lousy nature. So while digging, I found some majortreasure in the woods next to my house. I'm not talking monetary value, I didn't find a stash of jewels or anything of real value, but the historic and just plain ol' cute vintage value alone are worth a million bucks to me... But don't get me wrong, I'd still rather find cash & gems, but since that ain't ever gonna happen, this will have to do. I'll get to the fun stuff in a sec, but first, the back story:
My house was built in 1950, a little mint green ranch, nothing fancy but certainly cool and exactly what I love. To the left of the house is a tire & muffler auto mechanic place, behind the house is an acre of an empty, grassy lot that turns into woods and on the right side of the house is a wooded lot. The front is a basic small yard and then the street. The back and side yards are pretty utopian, completely private with no houses around, just greenery and peaceful. Back in the 1950's there used to be a car dealership & junkyard where most of the acreage were I live now stands. And what did people do "back in the day" before modern garbage service? They buried it or tossed it in the woods. I'm sure the hardcore "greenies" of today would shriek in horror with the "un-green" practices of not recycling or proper refuse disposal, but we're talking about when this was a hick town, in a remote area surrounded by mountains. It's just what people did, so deal.
Over the past 4 years I've found mostly glass bottles that get uprooted from their dirt nap every once in a while, and since Pennsylvania hasn't bottled drinks in glass in ages (except for, like, Yoohoo and the retro novelty sodas found at Target), these are much older. Besides that, nothing fun ever gets uncovered. Until today. *enter Count Dracula organ music*
The found treasures:
Ok, not groundbreaking stuff here, but still. I find these bits charming!
A cute little vintage plastic clothespin. And it cleaned up well! I imagine it probably belonged to a little girl's toy set at some point. 50's? 60's? 70's? I wonder if any of you guys recognise it? I'm gonna do a little upcycling action and do something with it eventually.
And a sweet little vintage button that I know didn't come off anything I was wearing. Plus, it was about 6" down in the dirt. It didn't clean up as well. That jerk. It has a circle of green around it, but it seems pretty solidly like it was always black. Or maybe it was always green but didn't age well as far as color goes. But still cute.
And last but not least is the mysterious vintage Batchelder tile! Batchelder was a big wig in the teens, creating these magnificent stylistic, Art Nouveau decorative tiles for fireplaces etc., heavy-handed in the Arts & Crafts movement. One of Batchelder's last and largest projects was the Hershey Hotel right here in my 'hood (more or less) in Hershey, Pennsylvania, built in 1930. His own business went belly- up in 1932 due to the Depression, but he puttered around with pottery in a small shop in his home in Pasadena until he died. Batchelder tiles can fetch a pretty penny but sadly mine is neither fancy nor in good shape. It cracked in 2 as I was rooting around in the dirt with a shovel, but Superglue, believe it or not, put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I want to do something with this rare find as well. So what in the hell could a pre-30's tile from a California-based company be doing in the woods next to my house? I'll be going back out there to dig for more treasure, that's for damn sure. Oh man. I love a good mystery.
"Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage.