So, I've been on a bit of a break from craft stores. They haven't done anything wrong, I just spend too much time and too much money, and I have too many projects around the house already that need to get done. I generally take a month long craft store break about twice a year (the last one was in April and it culminated in a trip to our new and first Hobby Lobby store on my birthday in early May). It's a good time to work through my yarn and fabric stash, and I've been making plenty of cowls.
The only problem with taking a craft store break is that on my Daycare Freedom days, I'm never quite sure what to do. Today, I went to the library and read all kinds of magazines that I would never spend money on. It was quite relaxing. Then I made a spur of the moment decision to hit up our local antique mall.
So, here's the thing - I love antique stores. They're filled with all kinds of interesting and historical items. I love walking around thinking about what kind of people owned them, what they used them for, and where in the world they've been. I can spend hours walking through the store, but I hate, hate, hate antiques. They give me a little bit of the heebie-jeebies. I don't know who has touched it, or where it's been, and all the fur coats and fox stoles and random animal skin bags (today - eel, and baby alligator - with the head and limbs being part of the design) really creep me out.
Today, the antique mall more than creeped me out - I about lost my non-existent breakfast. But before I get to that story, let me tell you about some of the strange things I saw today.
1. A large glass jar filled with plastic doll heads (and only the heads)
2. What looked like a book of landscape photographs with the title Photographs for Men. I didn't want to see what made the photographs specifically for men.
3. A very large painting of two very naked ladies (which surprised me as I walked around a corner)
4. The aforementioned eel and baby alligator bags
Now, as to the display that caused my stomach to turn...apparently one of the contributors to this particular antique mall has a fascination with taxidermy. Normally, I find this a little weird, but it's not a big deal. This collection, however, had taxidermy baby animals posed in strange ways - there was a ninja hedgehog complete with mini ninja stars and two ducklings driving toy race cars.
My attention was caught and I looked a little closer at the collection. One of the displays had a bunch of glass jars (not uncommon in an antique store), but as I examined them further, I realized that it was a wet specimen collection - you know, animals/animal parts hanging out in formaldehyde. Now, I've taken plenty of science classes, I've dissected a frog, and I'm not too terribly squeamish about stuff these kinds of things, but this was different. What got me was the little signs attached to each of the jars telling potential buyers about the animal/animal part inside the jar:
This is Mary. She's a baby possum. Who doesn't love a marsupial that can hang from her tail? Mary came to us after she was born by C-section to a mother who had been hit by a truck. Baby possums can not live without their mother, so she was preserved. She would make a great addition to anyone's collection.
Have you ever wanted to own your own three blind mice? Well now you can! These three mice...
This is where I stopped reading and got a little sick and decided it was time to go. There was just something too cheeky about the notes talking about these dead preserved animals that rubbed me the wrong way.
Now, I'm back home with a pile of new books from the library and a slightly queasy stomach. Hopefully a nice cup of tea and zoning out in the pages of a book will help.
On a side note, this was possibly my last truly free daycare freedom day for a while (depending on which class I get assigned this coming quarter). I will be spending part of my last two daycare freedom days getting professionally developed at work next week (and by that I mean attending two staff meeting - one all faculty, and one department), and then class begins the week after that. Summer break sure goes fast!
Stay tuned though, I've still got my hooded infinity scarf pattern coming up!