Monday, February 23, 2015

I am the Last to the Party

I am frequently slow on the uptake.

Friends know I don't own a book reader or a smart phone.  They know Dear Husbola and I don't own a DVR, don't know how to stream a movie and could not name a current television program. We don't eat sushi unless it is the "cooked" kind.  I don't devulge this in some sort of holier than thou fashion. We just can't find any reason to add these things in our life.

We are current on business matters. In the antique business, we made an inventory change a handful of years ago.  We find our customers want useful and decorative.  We made the change and it is paying off in spades.  A show last weekend was no exception.  We sold like gangbusters and our pack out took 20 minutes. Not much to pack up.  But I continue.

One party I am no longer late to is the Aldi grocery store bandwagon.  Boy, have I been sleeping on the switch.

A recent long browse of the aisles gleaned the following that made their way into my cart:
dark roast free trade coffee, organic raised beef, milk under two bucks a gallon, mixed heirloom tomatoes, sleeves of favorite brown tomatoes (you gotta try these, juicy in winter)  made in france brioche,  balsamic vineagar,  italian olive oil, bunch of tulips, lean fabulous beef brisket, mini potatoes, cutie mandarins, italian dry pasta, french dijon mustard and the list goes on.  The place has great staples and some of the specialty items I look for elsewhere.  Price????  Consistently less than half of another store I know.

On the plus side, the stores are small and very easy to navigate.  On the negative--that quarter to get a cart thing and pack your own stuff is onerous.  The trade off is worth it.

Keep your streaming movies.  I'll take more of that four buck free trade coffee, thank you.

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's a Dog's Life

This is the time of year when many people enjoy watching the professional dog show competitions on television.  While I love dogs and had a special one all my growing up years--I am not a fan of seeing dogs put through what they go through to compete.  I know the dogs are very well treated--but--they should be enjoying themselves-- yes, having a dog's life.



These incredible pieces are English victorian dog paintings on paper mache plates.  Over the years we have bought scores of dog paintings, mostly in England,  and these are some of the most detailed and best we have seen.  They are unsigned.  These paper mache blanks were sold in all sorts of sizes, and Sunday Afternoon Painters would paint them up.  These are not your usual untrained hand and eye.  These are fabulous detailed paintings in excellent condition.

Just look at those faces.  Not a show winner in the bunch.  But certainly heartwarming and beloved family pets.  And not a grooming comb or a can of hairspray near the bunch.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

We had a fabulous late January selling period at Odana Antiques in Madison.  So much so, Dear Husbola and I had to make an unscheduled trip to restock.  The walls were bare, the floor was a jumble and this is a Very Good Thing.

February in the midwest is, well, February in the midwest.   So charming as a child, Not So Much as an adult.  At a recent lunch with A Collection of Interesting Women, we agreed cabin fever had a firm grip on us all.

Jumping in the car with a new load for the shop and a crisp sunshine filled day was just the ticket for the dead of winter.  Sometimes it is just wonderful to submerge yourself in the fluffy, superficial, escape world of selling  things that people don't need--things that just make them feel good.

And to be surrounded with nice people--who are genuinely glad to see us.  A few we have known since the 1980s.  Like Dear Brian.  I have learned so much from him over the years--in terms of display, the pulse of current buyers, and the general skuttle butt of the antiques scene.  He never fails to great me with a huge hug and take time to shoot the breeze.  Good man, good friend.  The store owners and staff were almost too busy to chat as the shop was filled with shoppers.  Thank heavens for cabin fever.
We hung this painting--an oil of a an old cafe--might be in Europe, might be in New Orleans.  The only thing missing was these.....
We did stop at a great little bakery nearby and brought home a couple of sweet little somethings and a bagette for supper.  Interesting people, putzing with antiques and a french carb.   A good day.

Sad Farewell Beautiful Lady of Paris

Adieu Belle Dame.... View from the beautiful blooming park behind the cathedral.