Random on Sunday

4-19 lilacbuds

•  Oh boy. Those lilac buds give me hope. Yesterday was unseasonably warm and everything outside took off like a shot. (Dare I say it was too  warm? Would that make me ungrateful?) I picked up more rocks on the grass that were thrown there courtesy of the snowblower. I put the cushions on the glider. I watched baseball. We lost. I took more photos of McCoy. I read my book. I took a bath.

Exciting stuff, right?

•  May I be honest? Blog posts that consist of lists do not interest me. At all. This is the current trend and the fact that it’s the thing of the moment is because someone, somewhere said that readers love lists. And they probably do. I’m sure everyone’s stats say that those are pretty popular posts. Maybe something to do with shorter attention spans? Or is the idea of a list just inherently attractive?

I am not a fan. I’ve never been, even when the lists were in the form of magazine articles. When I scan my daily reading list, if the words “10 Things You Can…” or “15 Ways to…” come up, I move on. No visit that day.

The posts usually consist of ideas pulled from other sources on the internet, stuff I’ve already read or am aware of anyway, so there’s really nothing new there. I also feel a certain pressure, in a strange sort of way, when I see a list. Does that mean I have to read every item? Do I have to give everything equal time?

I know. I’m probably the exception here. But I wish this current trend would quietly take a hike.

Oh, and the word “trending” as in “Currently Trending on Twitter”…? Every time Don and I hear it, we groan. Stop with the trending.

4-19 buds

•  I know several of you have seen this series on Netflix, but if you haven’t – think about watching Derek. Don’s been trying to get me to watch it for a while now and this week I caved in. Oh my goodness. I am so, so glad I did. Conceived, written, and directed by the brilliant Ricky Gervais (who also plays Derek) it is the most wonderful, life-affirming, funny and deeply moving show I’ve seen in ages and ages. Ricky plays Derek, a man who is challenged – whether he has learning disabilities, is developmentally disabled, or autistic, we don’t know, nor does Gervais ever give it a name. Derek works in a nursing home and sees the good in everyone. My favorite thing he says is that it’s more important to be kind than clever or good looking.

Amen to that. That’s what we’re here for; to love and be kind.

Gervais is amazingly talented. This series is a blessing, my friends. If you get Netflix, I urge you give it a try.

All that, and Gervais speaks out for animal rights – vociferously – online via Twitter and Facebook. Bravo. I’ve got a major crush on this guy.

4-19 mccoy books

•  I have six different McCoy reference books. You see four of them here.

What happened to the one on top, you ask? Well, many years ago when we were living in our rental cottage in Westchester County, we adopted our Riley. Riley had not been socialized, had  been kept outside on a chain for most of his life, and was eventually found living on the streets of a city in New Jersey. He was very much like a wild dog. On his first night in our house, he ate some of my yarn. A few nights later, he found this book. Riley apparently liked McCoy Pottery.

Oh that boy. I miss him so much that it hurts. I’ve never replaced the book because I love seeing this talisman of our first days together. It’s a tangible memory of my boy. And it makes me smile.

Years later, in this cottage, a much gentler and happier and socialized Riley surprised us one day by chewing on a book about birds.

I still have that, too.

Happy Sunday.



Collecting McCoy Pottery, Part Three


Hello, everyone! More McCoy today. I’m trying to get the colors of the glazes exactly right as I edit these photos. Light, as you know, or lack of it, can truly change the way a color looks and the subtle differences are tricky. Hopefully, Lightroom (my favorite photo editing tool) has managed to show you the actual colors. But that’s why the wall in the background will look different from photo to photo. The color of the pottery is more important.

Back to the living room today.

4-18 group 1

As an example: I had to really work on editing these two pieces – a vase and a jardiniere – for the glaze is a very specific shade of aqua. I have these two pieces on top of the white cabinet in the living room, along with a duplicate of the birds and berries vase I showed you in the first part of the series and another green vase with a matte finish that is not McCoy.

4-18 blue-green vase

I love this vase. It’s 9 inches high and was made around 1948. I believe I got in on eBay. It’s very elegant.

4-18 quilted jardiniere

Oh, baby. This is my largest piece – a quilted jardiniere with a leaf and berry design. The opening at the top is 12 inches in diameter. From 1955. These jardinieres often came with matching pedestals. The pedestals are hard to find – if I had one for this jardiniere, the value would soar. But a pedestal in my house? With a dog? And a husband who bumps into things? No.

4-18 quilted jardiniere detail

A bit of detail. By the way, this piece is very heavy.

4-18 group 2

Two more large pieces – a vase and a jardiniere. They live on the shelf under the dollhouse. I like them there because the table the dollhouse rests upon is a cream color, the dollhouse is white, and the pottery just seems to go there.

4-18 strap vase 2

This vase is often called the Strap Vase. It is very tall – 12 inches high – and very heavy. From 1947. I’ve also seen it in aqua. You can see the crazing along the top. It’s simply gorgeous.

4-18 basketweave jardiniere

This jardiniere is in the basket weave pattern, a pattern found in a lot of early McCoy pottery. This is from the 1930’s. Sometimes these pieces are marked with the Nelson McCoy (NM) mark. Mine is unmarked. 8½ inches in diameter. Very heavy. Matte glaze, with leaves and berries at the top of the jardiniere.

This holds (and hides) the glue bottles I use when working on the dollhouse.

4-18 group 3

Also in the living room, these two vases hold dried hydrangeas from my gardens.

4-18 aqua vase

I’ve seen this piece called the Baluster Vase. It is one of my absolute favorites and it was on my Want List for a long time before I finally brought one home to the cottage. Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s from 1950 and it lives on the piano – right next to the singing birds. 12 inches high.

4-18 aqua vase detail

One of my favorite things about McCoy pottery is the kind of thing that happens with the glaze on this handle – it intensifies when it goes into the deeper etched lines on the handle and lightens on the raised portions. I swoon when I see this.

4-18 vase from SD

I bought this vase when I was working in San Diego for a six-month stint. That would be almost six years ago. Then, as now, it lived on my coffee table. I can’t find a date for this one, but I imagine it would be from the 1950s. It’s 8½ inches high.

More on Monday.

Happy Saturday.


The First Blooms

4-17 daffs 3

There is a little spot, right on the edge of our woods, where some daffodils were planted long, long ago. Every year they are the first of the flowers to bloom here at the cottage. There are other daffodils further into the woods and in the main garden bed. But these are the first.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen more than two flowers emerge. No matter, they are gorgeous.

When I look around and see trees that are still leafless, though I know there are tiny buds up there, and only the beginnings of my perennials, these sweet yellow flowers tell me everything is in order.

And so it begins. I’ve taken my first photos of flowers from our gardens for 2015. Sigh. That makes me very happy indeed.

Spring may be late in coming, but when it finally arrives, it is spectacular here in the Northeast. The garden beds have been cleaned up, plants are emerging from the ground, and just this morning I noticed leaves emerging on all the wild roses. On days when their thorns prick my fingers, I call them brambles. Right now, they’re wild roses. Time enough for the brambles.

4-17 daffs 2

Yesterday was warm and sunny. Today is rainy. Such is the rhythm of Spring.

I love taking photos of the gardens; the leaves, the blossoms, the various stages of growth. I’m so excited that I will be able to capture all of that beauty once again.

3-17 duck2

This guy? I thought he was McCoy, but further research tells me he was made by Shawnee. He fits right in here at the cottage where Shawnee miniatures live a few feet away in the den and where pottery by many makers is celebrated.

More McCoy tomorrow.

New post up on Just Let Me Finish This Page.

Happy Friday.


The Score: The Auction Story

I dropped a hint about this last week but had to wait for the package to arrive in my mailbox before I could tell you the whole story.

It still gives me a thrill.

A few weeks back I wrote a series of posts about my egg cup collection. And in one of the posts, I mentioned that my Doc egg cup, part of a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs series of egg cups that were made in 1937, has the most monetary value of any of the egg cups. Several years ago, the entire set (a rare find) could go for anywhere from $1000 – $2000. Nowadays, the individual egg cups routinely go for about $80 – $100, with $80 being closer to the norm.

4-16 doc egg cup

Doc, the one I own, was an eBay win several years ago. I got him from someone in Australia. I’m not sure what I paid, but it was a flukey win. Maybe because the cup lived in Australia, maybe because of the timing, but I think I got him for around $40, which was a steal.

In the years since, I check out the Disney listings on eBay about once or twice a year. Very rarely is  a dwarf egg cup available. Even more rarely (I can think of only once) is Snow White available. This year I took a gander when I was doing all the egg cup posts and there was a listing for the entire set – $699.

No can do.

There was also a listing for a Dopey egg cup. It was listed as Buy Now and the price was $95.00. I briefly fantasized about having enough cash to buy it, but I don’t. I also thought it was priced a bit high. There was an option to make an offer, and again, I thought about…maybe $80? But something made me hold off, most likely the reality of our budget, and I clicked on Watch Item instead. Eventually, the auction/buy now closed.

A few days later I received an email saying that the item had been re-listed. I clicked on over and the owner had decided to go the auction route and the starting bid was $19.50, which seemed surprisingly low.


What the heck, I said to myself, why not place a bid? So I did. My bid was for somewhere in the $30 range. For a couple of days I was the only bidder, which in and of itself I found shocking. Then one day I checked in and found another bidder had entered the auction. The initial bid of $19.50 had been changed to $24.50. I was still the winning bidder. I clicked over to the other bidder’s history and saw that he dealt in a lot of memorabilia, so I was immediately concerned that he would eventually outbid me.

A couple of more days went by. No more bids.

Now, I haven’t bid on anything on eBay in a long time, but in the days when I routinely bid there, there was a practice called Sniping, a paid-for, automated form of bidding that would put in a very, very last minute bid. If you were bidding by hand on your computer, watching for the auction to end, it was almost impossible to get another bid in after a sniping bid had been entered.  It was just too close to the end of the auction. I lost out on many items that way and it always infuriated me because it seemed like cheating. It also took a lot of the fun out of it for me. Sniping still happens. So I was wary of a last minute sniping bid on the egg cup.

The final day of the auction came – last Friday. It was to close at 6:10 pm. I had a work commitment in the middle of the day which kept me busy. What I was hoping for was this scenario: I could quietly sit with my laptop around 6:00 – undisturbed by dog or man – and be ready to up my bid if necessary. However, I set a limit which was not much more than my original bid.

Don had no idea any of this was going on, of course. What he didn’t know couldn’t hurt him, right?

6:00. I click over to the auction. The clock is live, counting down the minutes. No new bid. At this point, I am sure that the other bidder is going to come through with a last minute bid. He’s just biding his time.

6:05. The clock continues to tick. No new bids.

Surely he’s going to snipe at the last minute.

My body starts to tense. I open up new tabs on my browser and look at other sites/blogs to keep me from completely obsessing. I click back to the site about every 30 seconds.

6:07. I up my bid – just to give me an edge if someone comes in at the last minute.

6:09. I consider raising the bid even more but I stop myself. It’s all too easy to go crazy in an auction and I’m not going to do it.

The seconds tick down. The muscles in my body are tense. Adrenalin is shooting through my body. Don is in the kitchen starting dinner and has no idea what’s going on. I’m praying he doesn’t want to start some sort of conversation because I’m afraid I’ll have to cut him off with a terse “I can’t talk right now.” Five words eat up seconds on the clock.

10 seconds left. No bid.

5 seconds left. No bid.

I just know I’m going to see a new bid in the last 5 seconds.

The clock stops.

No other bid.

Am I seeing things? I refresh the page.

I got it for $24.50. That’s $70 less than the original asking price.

Oh my heavens.

As I try to control the out-of-control adrenalin surge, I refresh the page and see the magic words, “You won.”

I still don’t trust it and wait for an email. It comes a few seconds later.

Then I tell Don.

Oh man, that was fun! And rare. And I know how lucky I was.

4-16 dopey egg cup  1

Meet Dopey. He’s pretty adorable, isn’t he?

You know my dream is to collect them all. That may be impossible as I see them all too rarely and often they are sold as a set which is way too much money for me to spend.

But you never know.

4-16 dopey and doc

This makes me smile.

Welcome, little Dopey. You are so stinking cute.

Happy Thursday.



Collecting McCoy Pottery, Part Two

Okay, I know I said I would do this series every other day, but apparently I lied. I have another post planned (fingers crossed) for tomorrow and Friday is consistently the day of the week with the least visitors and page views, so today it is. We’ll have Part Three on Saturday.

Speaking of page views and visits, Spring is here….and you’re all busy outside, as you should be! But let me remind you that I posted a book review on Monday for a great book and I’m giving away a copy. Do you really want to miss out? I usually have twice the number of comments/entries for a giveaway, so I can only assume you’re outside, trowel in hand, planting and having a great time. Take a minute, though, and read the review and throw your name in the pot.


Just a few more pieces from the den and then we move on to the living room.

4-15 MC Group One

Two pots, and a centerpiece bowl.

4-15 floraline

This pot is from a line McCoy produced called Floraline – which was strictly for the florist industry and was highly successful. Simple designs were the theme. This pot is probably the ‘newest’ piece of McCoy that I own – from the 60s. It sits on a table in the den and holds the remotes.

4-15 floraline mark

And there’s the Floraline mark, as well as a number which identified the design. If you see anything marked ‘Floraline’ as you’re out and about, you’ll know it’s McCoy.

4-15 centerpiecebowl

A centerpiece bowl, from around 1948, with a lovely leaf design at the base. Such a pretty color. This was a gift from my friend Heidi.

4-15 rustic

This adorable pot is from the Rustic Line of McCoy. The most common glaze for Rustic was ivory with a turquoise and brown spray. But some of it was also produced in solid colors, like this one. I have another Rustic piece in turquoise that you’ll see on another day. This was a gift from the lovely Linda. It’s from around 1945.

4-15 MC Group Two

We move on to the living room. A jardiniere, two planting dishes, and a hanging pot. The yellow pieces live on the shelves in the sideboard. The cream piece lives on the coffee table.

4-15 yellow pot

From the late forties, a yellow jardiniere. It has a lily motif. Lots of crazing, which I love. I can’t remember where I got this one. (I know you think I remember where I got everything I collect, but it’s becoming quite clear that I don’t!) This one holds our sunglasses.

4-15 hanging pot 1

Another one of my favorites and one of the first pieces I bought – on eBay. This is a hanging basket with a gorgeous ivy design.

4-15 hanging pot 2

It originally came with a chain that fit into three grooves on the basket. You can see one in this photo.

And, perhaps the most creative way to show the McCoy mark:

4-15 hanging pot 3

Isn’t that cool? From around 1950.

4-15 yellow planter

This yellow planter is from the 1940s. I’m pretty sure Don gave it to me. It holds our keys.

4-15 cream planting bowl

And this cream colored planting bowl is just like the aqua version I showed you yesterday. I bought this in San Diego when I was working there for six month a few years back. It made my apartment there seem like home. It sits on the coffee table and holds vintage bakelite Mah-jongg tiles – also found in San Diego.

More on Saturday – there’s lots of McCoy to show you!

And you might find this video interesting. I remember seeing this when it first aired (I loved the first Martha Stewart series that aired on television, I think it was the best.) Anyway, this is a glimpse of her McCoy collection – and believe me, she has much, much more.

Here’s the link to the video.

Happy Wednesday.




Collecting McCoy Pottery, Part One


A brief bit of McCoy Pottery history 

McCoy was a family business, started by J.W. McCoy in Roseville, Ohio in 1899. In 1911, it merged with other companies and became the Brush-McCoy Pottery Co. In 1925, the McCoys sold their interest in the business and Brush-McCoy became Brush Pottery. However, during this time – in 1910 – Nelson McCoy started his Nelson McCoy Stoneware Company. In 1933 the company was renamed the Nelson McCoy Pottery Company.

in 1967, the company was sold to David Chase of the Mount Clemens Pottery Company, which was sold in 1974 to Lancaster Colony Corporation – Nelson McCoy, Jr. was President of the company during this time and all the pottery continued to carry the McCoy name.

In 1985, the company was again sold but eventually closed in 1990.

All of this history is reflected in the various marks on the pieces. I will try to point them out as we go.

My history with McCoy

I’ve always been aware of McCoy, especially in the form of the ubiquitous flower pots I used to see when I was growing up. But in about 2002, I started to noticing it in a different way. We were renting a little cottage in Westchester County, after having moved East. One of our neighbors, a young couple, asked us to feed their dogs while they were away. Because I had to go in their house, I noticed all these gorgeous pieces of pottery, some of them rather large, on the cabinets and furniture in the living room. It was McCoy.

Around the same time, there were several articles published about Martha Stewart’s extensive collection of McCoy. I became entranced with the designs and the glazes and the colors. And I ventured into the world of collecting McCoy Pottery.

In the beginning, I got a lot of my pieces on eBay. It was simply easier to find them there and I started to gather together a nice collection. I found I was drawn to the sherbet-like colors, rather than the darker pieces. In fact, those colors inspired a lot of the decorating choices in the cottage.

By the way, McCoy made lots of pottery, lots of cookie jars (there are some people who collect only the cookie jar; the most famous collector was Andy Warhol) and lots of utilitarian pieces made in the seventies that were…how do I say it?….less than attractive. I concentrate on what I consider to be the prettier pieces.

So. I decided to start with the McCoy pieces that are in the china cabinet in the den. Here we go.

4-13 MC first group

Two vases, a planting dish, and a bulb bowl.

4-13 MC birdplantingdish

The McCoy reference book calls this one Novelty Dish with Bird. Made around 1950, it also comes in a yellow-green combination, but you know I had to go with this one. I have two of these dishes – one is on my dresser upstairs. McCoy’s use of birds in designs is one of my favorite things about the line. This one was a gift from my friend Heidi.

4-13 greenvase

One of the very first pieces I purchased on eBay. Love this soft shade of green and the shape of the vase. The handles have a leaf and berry design. From around 1950.

4-13 coralvase

Coral double-handled vase. From 1948. A very graceful vase, I think – quite lovely. I can’t remember where or how I got it! Sorry.

4-13 turquoiseplanting dish

Another early acquisition – I was taken by the design of this bulb bowl; the diagonal lines and the circle and vine-like design running along the bottom. From 1947. Purchased on eBay.

4-13 turquoiseplanting dish mark

The mark on the bottom of this bulb bowl is the most common McCoy mark; sometimes it is accompanied by Made in the USA, or USA.

4-13 secondgroup

Three vases and a planting dish.

4-13 birdsberries2

The design of this vase is not unlike the previous green vase I showed you. This one has birds and berries on it – a frequent theme of McCoy Pottery. This is one side of the vase.

4-13 birdsberries3

And on the other side: cherries. This vase dates from the 1940s. I have two of them. One lives in the china cabinet and one lives on top of the white cabinet in the living room. Another early acquisition via eBay.

4-13 greenbirdsberriesvasemark

A variation on the mark, this time with Made in USA.

4-13 aquaplantingbowl

I love this planting bowl. I have two of them, one is in cream. You’ll see that later. Very Art Deco in style. I’m searching for more information, but I can’t seem to find it in my reference books. I’ll update this when I learn more. Found on eBay.

4-13 arcaturevasefront

One of my very favorite pieces, found on eBay. These are called Arcature vases. The two sides are open at the top, ready for water and a flower. Although, looking at this one, I think the design is enough and no flowers are needed! More of the McCoy three-dimensional birds. Let’s look more closely:

4-13 arcaturevasefrontupclose


4-13 arcaturevasefrontupcloseback

And from the back. These vases came in three different sizes – this one is the largest. From 1951.

4-13 aquabirdsberriesfanvase

I found this leaves and berries fan vase in a local shop a year or so ago. It is in great shape – such great shape that I worried it was a knock-off. It isn’t. It has one of my favorite marks on the bottom:

4-13 aquabirdsberriesfanvasemark

From the 1940s.

There’s the beginning of our tour, my friends. I’ll probably post this series every other day or so. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments.

I also have a post you might be interested in Collecting McCoy Pottery: Some Tips From a McCoy Lover. Maybe I can entice you to start your own collection!

Happy Tuesday.



Book Review: Threshold by G. M. Ford


Hello everyone. Today I am reviewing Threshold by G.M. Ford for TLC Book Tours. As always, I am provided with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

About the book (from the publisher): Acclaimed for his best-selling books featuring P.I. Leo Waterman, Ford introduces readers to a new, yet equally unorthodox hero in Threshold ; embattled Detective Sergeant Mickey Dolan. Still smarting from the very public breakup of his marriage and facing conduct complaints for the use of excessive force, Dolan is at the end of his rope – and possibly at the end of his career – when he catches a case that just might turn things around: the disappearance of the wife and daughters of a powerful city councilman.

While investigating, Dolan meets Eve Pressman and her remarkable daughter, Grace. Gifted with the ability to bring people out of comas, Grace is reluctant to be thrust into the public eye but determined to help those in need. Eve and Grace may know where Councilman Royster’s family is and the terrible truth that sent the three of them into hiding in the first place. Now Dolan faces the toughest choice of his career: Is he still a good cop if he has to do the wrong thing?

My review: G.M. Ford is the author of a series of books featuring Leo Waterman, as well as a series featuring Frank Corso. I went into this particular book not having read any of Ford’s previous books and I plan to remedy that very soon. Threshold  is excellent; a skillfully paced story that will keep you engaged to the very end.

Ford has a gift for characterization; everyone, from Mickey Dolan on down to the most minor of characters, is richly detailed. He also has a gift for writing place/setting. I could see the streets of this unnamed city; I could visualize the buildings, the alleyways, the dangerous parts of town. His words create a vivid and fully realized world.

The story itself is extremely compelling: a cop needing a case to sink his teeth into, along with more than a little redemption, a young woman who is ‘different’ and endowed with gifts most people aren’t willing to accept or acknowledge, the battle between those with power and money and connections and those who are caught in the crosshairs. And in the end, Dolan must face his demons and make a difficult choice – one which will propel the plot to its conclusion.

Ford knows how to tell a story. He knows how to grab the reader. And you will be grabbed. I promise.

I really liked this book. I know this phrase is overused, but I truly ‘couldn’t put it down.’ As soon as I reached the final page, I found myself thinking how wonderful it was that Ford has written so many other books….I’m thinking the Leo Waterman series will be my next choice for reading matter.

I loved Mickey Dolan and I hope this stand-alone novel is the start of another series for Ford.

About the author: G.M. Ford broke onto the mystery scene with Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca?, a gin-soaked tome featuring Seattle private investigator Leo Waterman. The six-book Leo Waterman series was nominated for several awards, including the Shamus, the Anthony, and the Lefty. In 2001, Ford launched a new series featuring disgraced reporter Frank Corso and his goth assistant, Meg Dougherty. In 2011, after a twelve-year hiatus, he decided to write a new Leo Waterman novel, Thicker Than Water, which Thomas & Mercer promptly bought. His eighth Leo Waterman book, Chump Change, followed in 2014. Ford lives and works in Seattle, and is married to the beautiful and talented mystery author, Skye Kathleen Moody.

Good news! One of you will win a copy of Threshold. Just leave a comment on this post before Thursday evening.

There’s a new post up on Just Let Me Finish This Page.

Happy Monday.


Sunday: Performance High Still in Effect

Whoa, Nellie. I have to settle down after last night’s performance!

We’re both still on a high; Don even more than me because he was the one performing, of course.

It was simply great.

4-12 three d's 2

Don usually performs solo but occasionally he performs with Dan – who is the guy on the right. Dan plays Dobro, Mandolin, and Lap Steel Guitar (all of which he played last night) and ‘Vintage Suitcase with Brushes’ which he introduced last night. May I say it was the coolest thing ever?

Dewitt, on Upright Fretless Bass, was a new addition, and let me tell you, these three guys together were an amazing trio. They have to do this more often. They play together as if they have always done this sort of thing.

The 3-D’s? What do you think?

4-12 three d's

4-12 three d's 3

Do you like Don’s shirt? I have the same shirt. No…we will never  wear them at the same time.

As you know, I rarely get to hear Don perform live nowadays. Gigs around here usually involve a commute of at least 45 minutes one way – often longer – and when you add in the time to set up, play, and return home again, Don’s usually gone for several hours. I can’t leave my little girl for that long. So last night’s gig, which was just down the road from our home, gave me the opportunity to sit, listen, and be enormously proud of my husband – in public.

The addition of Dan and Dewitt was the icing on the cake.

I shot a video, but it ended up being too short because my iPhone ran out of storage space. Sorry!

Don is a talented man. I know that. But when I hear him live, with an audience reacting to his words and music, I am in awe.

And bursting with pride.

I wish I could have taken you all there with me.

4-12 three d's 4

He dedicated a song to me.

And he sang one about Scout.

How’s that for a great guy?

All that, and the Red Sox beat the Yankees.

Happy Sunday.



I see sun.

I also hear a lot of wind, but I’m not going to be too picky.

Sunshine is good.

I’ve said it before and you know I’m going to say it again. And again. I am blessed with the loveliest readers; scratch readers…friends. One of those friends is Barb, who lives in Canada. She sent me a package and it just arrived yesterday.

4-11 egg cups wooden

I unwrapped these beautiful wooden egg cups.

I really love them. Let’s get a closeup of that wood grain:

4-11 egg cups wooden closeup


Also included in this lovely package was this guy:

4-11 egg cups man

A little spooky in the most wonderful way. Something about the style of this one struck of chord in the recesses of my memory. I’d seen egg cups that were done in this same style.

4-11 egg cups man 2

When I flipped him over, the stamped maker’s mark was so faint that I could only make out two words:

4-11 egg cups man mark

“Royal” and “Made.”

Don joined in and eventually we found we could barely make out “…ong” and C in the center.

Okay, I thought. There’s a challenge. And you know I love mysteries and crossword puzzles and solving things.

So, I started searching egg cups online. Using the words ‘egg cup’ and ‘royal’ narrowed it down a bit. However, there are lots of pottery makers that use the word ‘royal’ in their trademark. Finally, I saw a blue egg cup in the shape of a dog that was very much like this one. Then I saw another. And finally, after looking at even more egg cups, I was able to see a listing that also showed the stamped mark on the bottom.


Royal Art Pottery
Made in England


Don was great, by the way, looking at the mark, examining it closely, suggesting what search words to use. We were like the Hardy Boys, except we were the Hardy Boy and Girl.

Barb, thank you, thank you! My collection has grown quite a bit in the last week or so. I have two more finds I’ll share with you soon and even better, the story of an amazing score on eBay. The kind of score that happens very rarely and which sent my adrenaline levels through the roof as I watched the clock count down on the auction yesterday.

It took me a while to recover.

But that will have to wait until it arrives in my mailbox.  I can’t wait.

Happy Saturday.


Pottery Plotting

3-17 duck1

I’m so glad you want to see a series about McCoy Pottery! Thank you so much for all the positive responses!

I’m already thinking about how to present it. By color? By the room the pottery is in? By theme? The mind boggles.

I have several pieces way up on top of my cupboards in the kitchen. Doing the series means I have to get them down from there and give them a good wash – always a good thing. It also means I will pull out my McCoy reference books to check my facts about each piece. And maybe I’ll see a photo of that duck up there on the piano which will confirm my suspicion that, though unmarked, it is indeed McCoy.

I’m more than a little in love with that duck, by the way.

Thinking about all things McCoy sent me to eBay yesterday, where I cruised through pages and pages of listings. I wasn’t there to bid on anything, just to see what’s available nowadays. The most recent pieces I’ve acquired have been via local antique shops where I just happened on a piece that I didn’t have, but in the beginning almost everything I purchased was through eBay.

I could talk about pottery and china for hours. I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Fantasy: We build an addition onto the house that has a family room, master bedroom and a laundry room with lots of storage. It also has lots of shelves for books. And pottery.

Oh my goodness, my heart just races at the thought of it all.

This morning is still rainy and dreary and I could swear the weather report was for a nicer, warmer, sunnier day today. What the ??? The last three days have been damp, cold, and interminably rainy. We desperately need to see the sun here at Mockingbird Hill Cottage.

Happy Friday.