Saturday, March 24, 2012

Antique Auction, Art Glass and Other Misc. News

                           A friend and I went to a large antique auction this week on Wednesday. I took a few pictures just to show you were the market is at these days. Lots of industrial, signs, some architectural and alot less furniture that there was 10 to 15 years ago. Love the E in this picture would love to have brought it back for Patrice at Elements but it was a little out of my price range.
 I did manage to snag this great header trim that must have come off an old house. I always love architectural when I can get it. It just seems like it is getting harder and harder to find.
 There is just about a little bit of everything represented in the picture. Everything vintage from farm, factory and house is represented here.
 I had to take this picture just because of the dress form in the picture with iron work on the bottom.

We spent about four hours at this auction and managed to find a few treasures. My friend and I have been doing auctions for about ten years or more. It is always a good time and lots of great conversation on the trip there and back.
On Thurday the day after the auction we made another road trip to the east side of the state were my friend purchased a large lot of art glass windows from an individual that salvages architectural items out of Detroit. This was a connection I made years ago when I had my own store. We managed to bring back a very large collection of windows and some doors. All of the wonderful windows in the above photos and more can now be seen at Bluedoor here in Grand Rapids.

This past week I also finished restoration of the above drawer cabinet and put it in our space at Bluedoor. I love these drawer cabinets. There seems to be a real demand for these among artists and other creative people these days. Everytime I can find one I can't wait to get it into one of our spaces.

The rest of the week was spent trying to get work done in the shop. I always have plenty to do in my shop so it is always hard to balance the time I need to work on projects in the shop and time spent finding great product. I do go to bed every night with my mind whirling with ideas and tomorrow projects.
Cj spent the week working on lots of design work and teaching classes. However, tonight we took off and went for a walk in our neighborhood. The temperature has been so warm that we are completely enjoying the flowering and budding of spring at least a month earlier than normal. Life is good!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pintrest, Abandon Houses, Gardening, Spring and Other Thoughts

 Ok, I must admit to you that CJ has me hooked on Pintrest. If you are visual like I am it is an amazing place to find beautiful images. As many of you know from reading our blog I  love old buildings/houses and vintage architecture. Searching thru Pintrest has allowed me to find some amazing photos.
Looking thru some of these pictures has reminded me that 25 plus years ago I purchased a fire damaged house in the neighborhood we are currently living in and was fortunate to have an empty lot next to this this house  that I was also able to purchase. The empty lot inspired thoughts of flower filled gardens.
I had Grandmas when I was young that had the most amazing gardens and a Dad that love to spend what little time he had outside of work, making our world beautiful with flowers. So I was determined to learn.

 At about the same time the city of Grand Rapids(were we live) was tearing down about eight city blocks of houses in an old Italian neighborhood. The goal was to turn the neighborhood into an industrial park.  However, once the houses had been torn down the city couldn't sell the property. So for about three years I would go walk this neighborhood about this time of year and into early summer and I learned that abandoned houses/ farms and neighborhoods sometime have beautiful remnants of what was originally beautiful gardens and flowers.
I would walk with a shovel and buckets and find my little treasures. One of my early finds was a clump of Rose Campion. Back then it was considered an old perennial that was no longer available at nurseries. It took some research to find out what it was. Over the years many people benefited from cuttings off that original clump.
Beside flowers I also developed a love of old multi floral roses that are often found on old farm sites.

My largest transplants involved moving Lilacs and Bridal Veil Spirea bushes both common around the foundations of old houses.  One plant I moved must have been about six feet tall and had and equal spread. I barely got  it in the car. It was a small hatch back car and the branchs dragged on the street when I hauled it home. It actually must have been a very amusing sight. But it lived. I became a master at moving things.
So the next time you see an old house that is abandoned look at more than just the house. You may find some treasures growing at your feet. 

We are so very busy right now. Have made some great finds in the last couple of weeks. I will post pictures later this week about some of these projects. So stay tuned.

Made a second trip up to Petoskey last week with more product. The season seems to have gotten any early start up there. Don't you just love this early warm weather!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Time Change, Vintage Style, Flea Market Decor, Trip to Petoskey

 OK so have you all adjusted to the time change yet? We are still struggling with getting up in the morning. Turning my clock ahead one hour doesn't go on my list of favorite things to do. I just thought it was getting so nice and light in the morning. Somehow this feels like going backward.
 In the last couple of weeks we have found some new and interesting magazines we would like to recommend. I managed to find both at our local grocery store. The first one is Vintage Style and the second one is Flea Market Decor. Both are filled with fun ideas, lots of pictures and for those interested in the vintage flea market style they are a must to check out.
 We have both been very busy lately. CJ has some design work that is keeping her busy and I am busy trying to keep product in are various locations. This past weekend we made a trip up to Petoskey to restock our booth at Then and Now. Our booth was looking rather sad because of the wonderful job Tracy and her staff do in selling our product. However, we no sooner got our trailer unloaded than we were descened upon by people called in by Tracy that were waiting for our arrival and we prompt sold much of our load(good problem to have).
 So we left our booth in not much better shape than when we had arrived.  So all week long I have been working on finishing product and loading the trailer up for another load to Then and Now this week. I think it will be a quick one day run without CJ maybe on Thursday or Friday.
 Before we got out of town we made a stop for lunch at one of our favorite lunch place in Petoskey, Julienne Tomatoes. This get deli style restaurant has a great menu and is located in a fabulous old building in downtown Petoskey. We first got to know this place because they do the food booth at the Petoskey Antique show that we do every summer. They got our vote for being the best show food we have ever had at an antique show.
 CJ's tomato painted chair that she had to take a picture of.  As you can imagine the interior decor is all about tomatoes.
 The other thing that we like about this restaurant is that they make a chocolate chip cookie that is rated by The New York Times as being the best chocolate chip cookie in town. So now you know what we have for dessert.