Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Here is one of those random blog entries, that I am unsure what my point will be...but the attractive man who I saw in a black turtleneck, now months ago...still stays with me. And no, not for the reason some of you may think...it was more than a interesting image. Let me start from the beginning. It was a cold , dark evening...I decided I wanted a little restaurant 's Greek chicken and Greek yummy potatoes and salad for dinner. I don't go to this neighborhood restaurant more than maybe once a month or so, if that...as each dinner costs almost 11.00, and I'm fairly thrifty about take-out . I could make a chicken and potato dinner for less than 22.00...BUT...I am in love with these little , chubby roasted potatoes they make. Plus , they also make the most delectable, mouth-watering hand-size chocolate-chip-pecan-oatmeal cookies every night. They look sort of like these...but bigger.
 Super Yummy.

Anyway, I drove down in the dark, parked my car....got out and crossed over the small parking area in the front. I had on my workout clothes again ( track suit ). I am going to make another disclaimer here, in so many of my posts , I am wearing a tracksuit/workout clothes. I am fortunate , since I work out of my home, to be able to wear these...but I do wear dresses to church and jeans to go antique shopping. Just so you know I am capable of wearing something else. Stay with me, there is a reason  for that info. I cross in front of a medium sized sport car or luxury car or some type of pricey car , pass through the headlights...and notice an attractive man and his date pulling up to eat.
Both are dressed nice, unlike me...and I scoot in and go to the small front counter to pick up my food...plus my cookie.

Bear in mind, this restaurant is very small,  the little kitchen is the size of a small room 8 x 10 ft. at most. The owner is one of the cooks, he is always back there, usually fussing at the other cook he has hired. I walk up to the little front counter, and see my dinners ready to go, ask her to make sure she has my cookie ( 3rd disclaimer now, I refuse to buy my husband these cookies anymore as he does not appreciate them...they cost 1.75 each, he swallows them in two bites, and does not even taste them. He also ate mine and his cookie that I brought back, even before his dinner one time...so I have banned him from receiving these at all. Don't think I'm mean, I make him a batch of cookies for himself and our son on those nights I get my one cookie.)
That was way too long ,sorry. I know you are waiting for the entrance of the handsome man and his date. Well here they come...both come through the door, directly to my right, I turn and mildly smile...at them both. The woman, I do not know if it was his date, his wife or what. She is petite and blond, in her 50's, attractive. She looks me up and down, and tries to decide if I am any competition. Every woman knows that look, almost all women have given that look. I smile vaguely inside, as I am zippo competition , the way I am dressed. I glance away, and turn back to the squabbling cooks and waitresses. I hear another waitress seat them in a room out of my sight.

Then  out of the blue, the man reappears in front of me again, really to the side of me, and let me describe him to you. This guy is big, broad shoulders , probably 6'3 or so. Dark hair, almost black, he has a black turtleneck on and expensive slacks...he is very well groomed , belt perfect, shoes shined. He appears well-off financially. I would say he was in his 50's...and so full of himself he almost busted down the walls of the small restaurant with his bravado.
 No, he did not look like Paul Newman, just had to throw this picture in.

   The  handsome  man walks up, gets the waitresses attention, points to the giant chocolate-chip- pecan-oatmeal cookies...waves his arm at them and says,
" They're ALL sold. ", with a smile.
The waitress looks at him, looks at the bakery case, sees about 10 or 15 GIANT cookies in there, and says, " All of them ? You want all of them ?"
He puffs up, loudly proclaims, " Every single one. " Smiles to himself, and walks back to his date. 
I am sure he thought he impressed both of us standing there, she looks at me, I look at her...and I say, " He better be glad I already got mine in my to-go bag...because I would have taken him down ,( American slang for fought him ) for one of those if I just walked in and he said that. "
She looked at me and laughed , and I gathered my two dinners and one lone cookie...walked out ...I did not glance at the man in the black turtleneck sweater that I passed. 
He thought we all thought he was cool, or funny or something. I'll tell you what I did think. I thought this man was greedy , greed personified. He took all  those homemade , giant , luscious cookies for himself...and the other patrons that come in later that evening won't have a chance to get one.
I was thinking how our society has people like this, arrogant and greedy. People unconcerned  about only taking their fair share of whatever. 
Of course I'm greedy with my one cookie, he is with his fifteen.
Is there a sliding scale for greed ? Me on one end, him on the other end...wayyy on the other  end. Or maybe we are closer than I think.

Enjoy your day , go eat a cookie somewhere,

Monday, January 10, 2011

SNOW Hats in my GARDEN in South Carolina

We have had the absolute oddest weather in South Carolina this winter. This is our second snow fall in 3 weeks. You have to understand that most of South Carolina doesn't get snow for 10 years or more. I am not a big snow fan , but my little boy goes crazy with happiness and tried to get outside at 8 AM this morning. I held him off a short bit, but later we dressed and went outside to get some pictures. 

 It is sort of cloudy, and the only light is reflected off the snow. I looked around my garden, and noticed all the ' hats ' my statues had put on. Let me show you...
Here is my lady face on my tree, with her fluffy frou-frou hat on...

She looks very Celtic Northern to me here.

My little reading angel has a snow shawl on with her hat.

 My two cherubs, my favorite statue , has the cutest hats on.

 My chairs covered with snow upholstery.

I do not own snow boots, only rain boots, and my feet are already getting too cold after about 5 mins. out here. I have my husband's gigantic coat on that the hood keeps falling over my face and covering my eyes. Hard to take pictures , but I prevailed with a few.
 That black large spot in the snow is Maxine ready for a walk.

 My car with a new snow car cover.
 Our sweet spaz Maxine has developed a torn ACL. Cost to fix, over 3000.00. The vet thinks she developed it from either her intense baseball antics ( she likes to play short-stop ), or spinning. We found out it is very prevalent with labs. My main goal with her right now is to not let her spin, very short walks, and no jumping in the truck .
She is my biggest baby.
 There she goes. I keep telling her to stop, somebody get the leash form this cowgirl dog.
She's too happy most times. 
 My little boy and me . I can tell you that it is still difficult to smile for me. It will be 6 months since my daughter's death in a few days. I still expect to hear my phone buzz with a text from her, I still look for her in a car that looks like hers, I still look outside, hoping she will drive up. I still hope she will come to my front door. I do not feel that 6 months has passed, it feels like only a month has passed since the accident. I know that grief can be like this.
I ache to see her and hold her.
 Little snow hat on my garden of good and evil girl statue.
 My snow globe has a nice hat.
 My two twin pups out front have snow hats, and are carrying snow in their baskets.

 All those footprints are from our little boy going back and forth across the street to play and have snowball fights with his friend .

 Mis-behaving and rowdy above.

Let me show you my beautiful oldest daughter and her husband who came by to see us. They moved about a block and a half from us , and we love to see them, though they are a busy young couple.
Look how happy they are, eyes shining.
Full of young love.
 Okay, last picture, we finally got Maxine back inside, and settled her down with a rawhide dog bone.

Warm and cozy and calmer. True love here too , a dog and her bone.
Stay warm , sleep well,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Antique MALL Shopping with ME

Here is the last of my installment from Sleepy Poet Antique mall in Charlotte, North Carolina , from my last outing there. In this one, I will show you some artwork I saw, some problems with them and some other random silly-fun-sights I saw . Hopefully it will help you decide what to buy or not buy ( my opinion--your choice ), concerning condition , etc. with antiques and art.
Here we go...
Above is a handmade yarn/textile piece of art , that when you pick it  up and flip it over...see this,
A handwritten description ( I can't read Spanish, but assuming that is what this is ), with the artists signature. As I have said before, signed pieces have more value , handmade items are always a smart buy. This is not the type of art I sell or collect, but I do appreciate the work and creativity the artist used.
 This is a beautiful landscape , that I showed in a previous post...that the dealer had marked down. The frame is also beautiful, which increases the value of the piece. I went up front later, asked for an additional discount if the dealer could do so...and got one.
Scored .

 Watch out, because Ms. Pitch-a-fit-about -frames has returned. I know that frames, like the antique one above, are being used for the shabby-chic look in homes. Seriously...do you know what your children are going to do with this when you are gone...chuck it to the curb.
To repair all the broken gesso would cost more than buying an antique picture frame in very good condition.
Beat-up, chipped to bits, damaged -beyond repair decorative frames are a fairly goofy-looking design idea.
To me.
Always remember, I know that everyone's tastes are different. 
à chacun son goût ( French-to each his own taste )
Here is another picture about antique dealers  who can be their own worst enemy, with  sales. This booth is one of my favorites...but it is almost impossible to reach anything, see anything , as stuff is all over  the floor, stacked high, jumbled up. Dealers need to at least make a area for a shopper to be able to walk in to see their merchandise without tripping over things.
 Beautiful pastel portrait, late 1800's of young girl. Too expensive, frame has too much damage, and would be a bear to ship . Passed.
Basic advice...unless you are a restorer, or learning to restore paintings, skip any paintings with this much damage. They are not chic, they have almost no value...unless they were painted by a famous artist. Most art dealers and knowledgeable collectors wouldn't touch this with a ten foot pole.
I wouldn't touch it with a one foot pole. 
But, someone looking to learn how to restore...would need a painting like this to practice on.
Gigantic stained glass doors for sale. Smart dealer putting a light behind them to show the colors of the glass.
 Looks like a seamstress used an old horse buggy blanket to make these pillows, or maybe one of those thin carpets from the 1920-30's time frame.
 I have bought a few paintings here, let me show you the back of one,
Definitely looked 1960-70's to me from the age of the canvas.  Always remember to try to look at the BACK of a painting to help determine age. The darker and more crackled the canvas is...the older the art. An exception is if the art has been relined with a new canvas. I say this , because there are so many dealers in antique malls and shops, and they to the best of their ability, gauge the age of something. The more you see of the really old antique art, the more you will be able to determine what you will pay for it.

Needlework art 1940-50's time frame.
 What is shown above is an antique oil painting that someone had either left in an attic, basement..somewhere that had water that leaked down on it and damaged it...to the far right side of it.
That is what water can do to a painting, and you can pay some restorer big bucks to restore it for you. Showing this to reiterate an old post about not keeping ANY artwork in attics or basements or garages. Slide them under your beds to store, better yet..hang them on the wall or give them to someone else to hang on their walls.
Humidity, temperature changes and of course water can start to destroy a piece of art or a piece of furniture.

 Super cool original Art Deco mirrored vanity. 1920-30's time frame.
I don't know if you can see this well enough, but wanted to show you just because a paintings IS old...and this one is...and the frame is old...does not mean it is a good piece of art or valuable. The painting above is not very well done, the frame has numerous areas of missing gesso...all in all...not worth too much. Remember age in a painting does not always equal a valuable piece of art. Now in a person...I think age can increase your value ( to others )...if you have used your time wisely with love and caring.
Not to God , of course, we are all equally valuable to Him .
 Wanted to show our younger audience ( under age 40 ), what a vintage paint by numbers painting is. Back in the 1950-60's, manufacturers made art sets that people would buy and take home, and whip out their little papers out of the box and accompanying paints and paint the number on the container , to match a outlined area on the paper. Without much thought, anyone could paint a paint by number painting.
They are easily recognized by the ' chunks' of color painted on. These are not worth very much, maybe 10.00-15.00 or so. Only the nudes bring a little more. I have seen some dealers believe these are worth 25.00- 45.00 or so, not realizing they have not much value on the market.  Young people decorating in the retro style like to use these.
 Always a wonderful decorating idea, take that old quilt that Grandma made, or mom or someone...and hang it with special hooks to display as a piece of art.

 A dealer who has her items laid out perfectly. All have price tags, all accessible.
Just love this antique mall...on and on. You will get lost the first 2-4 times you come in. One of their helpful staff is usually walking around , they will help you get your bearings or carry some items you are holding up to the front to wait for you.
For the vintage clothes, assessory collector...they will love this ladies booth. I really like her old jackets, the mens..and my favorite thing she sells is here...
Cowboy boots !
 Since I was born in Austin, Texas...and all my relatives are from Texas...I have a soft spot for cowboy boots. If I could I would have like to have tried on about 4 or 5 of these. I did not have time..but will show you one of my favorite pairs. Look at these...
 Boots with serious dandy-attitude. Conchos , metal tips. Way too much fun. I can tell you if I saw a man walking around in these , I would stare a hole into his boots.
Probably the Texan in me still.
Truth be told I would want his boots for myself.
A wonderful original art deco pastel portrait of a sailor in a blue frame , that has ORIGINAL blue paint on it from that time period. I'm sure this young man meant something to someone.
Now this is an old Victorian celluloid dresser box. These were very popular from the late 1800's to 1920's time period. The problem when buying these, is that the celluloid becomes very brittle with age and cracks...like below.
This cannot be repaired. Too many cracks and breaks decrease the value of these a bunch.
It used to have perfumes or bottles to put perfumes and tonics in for personal grooming.
There is a big crack through the cover piece here.
On top, they used to hold combs and brushes. They are usually lined with silk.

Here is the back, in good condition, morning glories abounding. Again, these are made of cardboard, covered in celluloid..which by the way became illegal to sell in the 1930-40's because consumers found it to be very flammable.
Celluloid was a hard plastic used in the 1920-40's time period. They used it to cover boxes, cover photo albums,and made purse handles and some jewelry. One this large, in very good condition, maybe 85.00-145.00. In fair condition 48.00-55.00, poor condition 20.00 or so. I would say this one was in fair condition.
Look what I found below !

Vintage cowboy chaps , circa 1940-50's , hanging from the sky...or rather a loop a dealer used. Too fun, the guy who buys these has to buy the boots with the conchos as well.
Vintage butterfly tray, 1920-40's time frame. More valuable if the butterflys and the inside decoration, under the glass,  is in good condition.
A tip for collectors and re-sellers, handsome men sell better than unattractive men. Same goes for beautiful women paintings sell much better than less attractive women in art. 
Please note, I am well aware beauty is only skin deep in real life.
I see that more, with time .

There you go, my disclaimer here is I am only expressing my opinion on many of these items...you go out and shop for yourself, enjoy,