Monday, June 27, 2016

Ranier Cherry Season

Enough your house and buy some before they disappear....

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cabinet of Curiosities

On our travels over the years--particularly in central Europe--we have come across the most interesting of things--the Cabinet of Curiosities.

Wealthy aristocrats--many starting in the 16th century, would compile articles of interest from the natural and scientific and medical world--and display them in dedicated rooms of their homes.  Cabinets started out as a room, but it morphed in later years as a actual piece of furniture or cabinet or two in a home library or study.  There were no public museums--so the cabinets of curiosities actually sometimes became the starts to later developed  museum collections.

We have seen some of these rooms and cabinets in some private homes in the Czech Republic--cabinets of the most unusual things--and collections--pressed flowers, nuts, fossils, bones, eggs, medical instruments, samples of bark, bits of taxidermy--you name it.  All the pieces are catalogued--and available for owner and guest to pour over them and learn about the natural world.

Dear One and I have started our own collection--fossils.  Mostly purchased decades ago--all legally purchased I might add--of aquatic life that once occupied what we now know as South Dakota.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sometimes You Win, and Sometimes......

The Great American Search for vintage inventory can be mighty frustrating.

I usually follow my gut when it comes to selecting auctions or shops or shows to visit looking for items to sell on.  Because Dear One and I sell the offbeat and hopefully quirky items--they don't hop into car as often as I would like.  Many times we have to make several stops before we find good inventory at a price that we can make some money.

This is the time of year--when every weekend has a million buying opportunities.  Knowing which to pick is getting harder.

The one day, pop up events are all over facebook.  Some events only advertise by posting on facebook--so I have been "forced" to have a lurking account to follow the news.  We get a couple of newspapers and I check online to find yet more events.  Dear One is out of town--so this past weekend I had three days stretching in front of me to follow my gut--and shop till I literally dropped.  I selected three events, grabbed my checkbook and water thermos and GPS and I was ready for bear.

Event Number One:  I had circled this buying event on my calendar weeks ago.  The people involved were good dealers and sell quality--so I anticipated this one.  The day was HOT and since it was almost two hours away--my gut said "forget it."  But what if I miss something GOOD?  So I went.  I should have followed my gut.  I came home, had an aspirin and kicked myself.  I did buy fresh Illinois strawberries though.

Event Number Two:  The day dawned cool and sunny.  The drive was very manageable. The event would have a mix of styles and dealers.  I was familiar with the route and the venue.  The truck was gassed up.  I stopped for coffee.  My gut said "GO".  I went.  Shame on you, gut.  Two small purchases that will realize about a $100 profit.  BLECK.  If brown furniture and galvanized buckets and candles and a cage of live rabbits are your thing--I know the place.

Event Number Three- Back to that social media thing.  This event is all over facebook and I think I saw a print ad.  The setting was lovely.  Parking was a cinch.  Two buck admission.  Friendly promoter.  EUREKA!  WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!   What did I notice-- the dealers were young.  They brought merchandise that was not brown and  it had a quirky vibe.  I took my wheeled cart and made two trips to the car.  The customers were young.  Antiquing is one place where I look for the stroller crowd--not shun it.

So--what did I learn from the weekend?  Look for new events.  Stop cursing social media and pay attention to what shows are getting a buzz.  There are plenty around--I don't have to drive to oblivion.  Following my gut runs about 90% effective--good odds.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Little Bohemia Antiques Booth at Odana Antiques

We made a speedy trip to our selling space at Odana Antiques in Madison Wisconsin following some strong furniture sales that left the booth forlorn and looking messy.
It was time to rearrange some of the old and bring a truckload of the new in time for a weekend sale at the shop.  This very large booth can swallow a great deal of inventory.

Already the pictures are out of date with the sale of a mid century credenza and a large oil painting.  This is a fast moving selling train!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Teddy We Thought We Knew Ya

Theodore Roosevelt was certainly a man of his time--bold and brash and a man's man--which included being a big game hunter.  Author Darrin Lunde takes on a controversial topic when he writes The Naturalist.  This book does not discuss the Roosevelt who championed our national parks--but dissects the Roosevelt who traveled to Africa to kill and collect big game. 

This book's topic, written in 2015, is controversial to say the least.  In his lifetime--Teddy and his son killed more than 500 mammals for the stated purpose of scientific research.  Roosevelt wanted to collect a speciman of every species on earth as it was before humankind left an indelible mark on the earth.  He believed in protecting the wilderness, but also believed in killing and collecting specimans and writing their life histories.  Author Lunde states that Roosevelt knew that species would disappear and he better get out there and kill and record them before they did.  Say WHAT??

I wonder if it occurred to Teddy that his large parties of big game hunters could make hunting appear glamorous and encourage others to take African safaris and hunt for the thrill kill?   Roosevelt wrote several books about his adventures and there are archives full of hunting expedition photographs.  I would almost follow Lunde's train of thought about the scientific research being foremost in Roosevelt's mind--if Teddy and Co. hunted and collected mammals other than the big, majestic and showy african mammals.  Roosevelt bagged tigers and giraffes and white rhinos--not voles and possum.

Lunde has done exhaustive research on Roosevelt--and his writing style makes for an easy and compelling read.  Just make sure you like the subject matter before you purchase this book.  The cover of the book does not show any wild game photo--alive or dead--but Teddy in a natural majestic setting alone.  Remember-- in this case--this book ain't about the parks.

Thanks to Blogging for Books who provided me with a copy of this book to review.

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...