Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gray is the New White

Nobody ever said that December in the Midwest US is a particularly pretty time weatherwise.

In 2013 by this time we were covered in snow--and did not know that we were in for a long, almost to never end winter.  This year is different.

Gray.  No sun.  Grey too.  And more gray.  But gray in the garden is not all a bad thing.  No snow lets you see the bones of a garden and they can be beautiful.

Especially with vintage garden art and statuary.

Enjoy the antique gray that matches the sky.  It will be white soon enough.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

All In All Done

"All in, all done" is a funny little throw away phrase that some auctioneers use when they are ready to end the bidding on an item.

It is particularly apt to describe my antique adventures last week.  Two of my pick around antiques venues have  already or are just about ready to close.

The no surprise closing was On the Square Antiques in Walworth Wisconsin.  The shop was in two different Walworth locations and was in business over 25 years.  A state road project is changing the traffic patterns in and around Walworth and the building was condemned and sold.  The dealers were all scattered to the winds--and now it is just a big old eye sore in downtown Walworth.  It was always a good locale to poke around and catch up on the latest scuttlebutt.  All in, all done.

The bigger surprise was the news last week that Josie's Antiques in Maple Park was going out of business by December 24.

Josie was in business about 25 years--and her collection of mid 19th century buildings were full of wares from several dealers and things she herself sold.  Josie's was more of a destination than the average shop.  Her long flag lot driveway lead to another worldly, sort of Narnia kind of place, complete with peacocks, and magic crystals and herbs, vintage everything you could think of and homemade chocolate cookies.  I think her closing came as a surprise to most of her dealers--and certainly to her customers.  But if truth be told, I had a glimmer that her heart has not been in the antiques side for awhile.  She is expanding her retreats and spiritual classes, Essence Healing Home.  All in all done.

Many people dislike and resist change of any kind.  I strangely embrace it.  Change jolts us out of our negative inertia.   The most interesting and surprising times of my life have come about when the status quo is tossed out and new people, ventures and experiences come into view.

I sure will miss Josie's and On the Square.  But good things are in store for the  new chapters in the lives of the former owners,  and my antiques adventures are far from all in and all done.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Five Things Learned Over the Thanksgiving Weekend

The internet and magazines are filled with lists and rankings this time of the year.

Who is polled for these lists of the best of the best of the best stuff?  Do I care what anonymous people rank as the best of anything?

While I am not listing the best of anything here--permit me to make a small list of things I learned over the Thanksgiving weekend.

1.  Yup--the braised turkey was a winner.  Moist dark meat, moist white meat--a recipe to repeat next year.

2.  Blatant plug--Odana Antiques in Madison is a total winner mall, especially at the holidays.  We freshened our space on Friday--the place was JAMMED with shoppers.  Best mall around that stays fresh.

3. Christmas shopping on the internet is great for introverts like me.  No crowds, no darting around in indecision and one can control the amount of spending.  Except when buying a Christmas tree.  Go to a tree farm.  You are supporting a family owned business and getting a tree that was not cut down in July.

4.  If internet bidding is available for an art auction, use it.  There is no use sitting at an auction waiting for a few items.  An antique dealer's time is money--and for the few additional dollars you spend in commission for buying from the internet--it allows you to spend your time in worthwhile pursuits.

5.  Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the whole wide world.

No More Concrete or Cast Iron Please

Dear One  and I spend many good hours wandering around looking for quirky things to sell.  There is nothing that makes a dealer smile more t...