Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Kiss the Hog

Well kids it was -20* when I left home for a trip to St. James this morning. It had warmed to -4* by the time that I returned home. I need some global warming!

Christmas is here and everything is good, even for the hogs.

Merry Christmas to all and to all kiss a hog.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Sale on the Tundra

We had our December sale at Gypsy Lea's last weekend. The shop looked great. Gypsy wanted to recognize Christmas, but not overdo Christmas. I think a great balance was achieved. Sales on the first Thursday of the sale were fantastic. We had our best single day ever, with people lining up before the opening. I think our customers are starting to "get" the idea of an occasional sale. We are selling one of a kind items and once they are sold we are not going to pull another dozen identical pieces from the warehouse, like they do at Macy's. It was become important for many of our customers to get there early.

This is my favorite hog.

We opened our new Boutique
last month.

Mr. Flannery

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It has been an exciting month here on the tundra. The state of the stock market and other financial issues have force me back into much more of my real job and therefore less in the shabby world. Surprisingly the November sale at Gypsy Lea's was excellent. Good news - I sold almost everything that I had there. Bad news - I didn't have very much stuff there.

I now have an even greater appreciation for the set up that Kris and Gypsy do each month. Kris was very ill for the November set up time. I decided that I was going to help Gypsy do it. I spent parts of 5 days there moving smalls, moving them again and then moving them some more. That was a prelude to dancing with the furniture. And this month everyone brought in tables. I tried to arrange tables on tables and tables next to tables and table set sideways on top of one table and under the next. I shuffled and shuffled and it still didn't meet the high standards of the earlier sales. I was worn out and depressed by my failure. Then miraculously Kris appeared on the day before the sale started. She and Gypsy tore down, reshuffled and foo foo'd the place to perfection. The hog pens became a florist shop and the sale was saved.

I was there 5 days in a row and didn't take a single picture of the shop. It doesn't make any sense, I had the camera in the truck and never brought it into the shop. I also had a couple of boxes of smalls that never made it in the door. I spent more time than ever on this sale and had no merchandise there to sell. Oh well, maybe I'll get something done for the December sale.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Life on the Tundra

Boy am I happy that I buttoned everything up last night. It has rained and rained and rained some more. The winds were high enough to shred the tarp cover on Babe's kennel. The storage at the top of the hill stayed in place and dry inside, so all is right with my strange and small world. The best part is that this was all rain. This time of the year it could just as well been 20" of snow with high drifts. Damn I hate the weather here. Such is life on the tundra.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And the Dance Goes On

One more day without rain (or snow). It threatened, but didn't start until after 4:00 PM. I spent most of the day listening to oldies on the radio and dancing with furniture. There is a 50+ foot hill behind my house. The house and main garage are on the bottom and the storage is at the top. I pulled my tiny trailer up the hill dozens of times loaded with furniture, doors and other debris. My good buddy, Babe, had to run full speed in front of each load up and back down the hill. He is now sleeping next to my chair doing an occasional jowl rattle as he sighs after his big day.

My burn pile (beyond the top of the hill) is nearly the size of a semi tractor trailer. It is loaded with my debris, a summer's worth of my neighbor and I playing lumberjack, the burnables from Kris and Mike and other sundry wooden objects. My fellow lumberjack wants to make sure that I don't burn the pile until he is available to watch. I will not ignite the pile until there is a coating of snow on the ground.

I am now 98% finished with my project, a couple of more clear hours later this week and I will be ready for the winter. I also located a number of interesting and hopefully valuable items amongst the debris that was in the storage. And now I have the weekend to get prepared for the next sale at Gypsy Lea's. Oh my!

Mr. Flannery

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Shuffling the Inventory

Its almost past "that time of year" here on the tundra. The time to get everything ready for the Winter. I have been lax on my preparations, but I have also been rewarded with very untundra like weather. It has been 70* and sunny here the past few days. So I have been dancing with furniture.

I had to clear the projects from the driveway and place them in my covered storage area. Of course I had to reset and sort everything that was already in the storage space. I have been stacking things at the entrance and pulling things out randomly all Summer. So I spent much of yesterday just rearranging and trashing things in the storage already. Today I started hauling and stacking and dancing with all the wonderful junk that I had on my driveway.

I am hoping for one more day of good weather to get everything finalized before the snow. Damn I hate the weather here.

Mr. Flannery

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Electra Glide in Blue

Damn I hate the weather here in Minnesota. I attended a good looking auction on Sunday. It rained, it snowed, the winds blew hard. There was a good size crowd and apparently they liked 1930's walnut furniture. 3 piece bedroom sets that generally sell in the $100 range sold for $500 and $625. A 1930's oak parsons dining table with 6 chairs, usually selling in the $80-100 range, made $375. One of the auctioneers said to me "furniture seems to be doing well today". I ended up buying some lamp shades and parts and some old door hardware.

The bigger injustice occurred on the way to the auction. I was driving into a small town area just before the auction site. I was doing 42 mph slowing from the 45 mph zone that preceded the town. There sat the police. It was 10 o'clock on a Sunday morning. And apparently the limit had just lowered to 30 mph. The lights went on, I pulled over on the shoulder and out she stepped. Like Robert Blake in Electra Glide in Blue there she was, 5 foot nothing and maybe 100 pounds with her entire bat utility belt included. If I was carding her, I would have questioned whether she was old enough to drive, let alone carry a gun. I don't know if its my genial attitude or my snow white hair, but she told me to slow down and have fun at the auction. No ticket, no warning, no nothing. What an angel of a little girl.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Hog's Pen at Kari's

I set up my small space at the Kari's Red Barn Minnesota last night. The sale is in a real barn, what better place for my hogs? The first 5 photos are of the Hog pen. Not a garland, snowman or cute saying painted on old wood to be seen anywhere. Some of the other more elaborate, stylish and saleable spaces, decorated for the fall and well coordinated with the shopper's tastes are shown in the other photos.

The Hog Pen

The Roses

I just hope that Kari's sale is as successful as Gypsy Lea's sale was last week.

Mr. Flannery

The Dining Room Box Looked Great

I painted the convertible buffet/dining table a nice satin black from Walmart. I think that it looks great.

I brought the piece into Gypsy Lea's for the October occasional sale. Fortunately at least one customer thought the item looked great too. The sale was the best since we started in May. By Sunday morning we had sold so much furniture that there was enough bare space to hold a dance. I was planning on hauling some of my unsold pieces to Kari's Red Barn Minnesota sale this week in Maple Lake. The bad news was that I didn't have much inventory ready for Kari's, the good news was it was unavailable because it sold at Gypsy Lea's last week.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cats in the Sack

It seems that the many cats who are still at my house think that sleeping on my bed is a good thing. My cat, Gracie, is the tri-color on the right.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dining Room in a Box

Its been a long time since I updated this blog. Sorry but it seems that real work and real life caught up to Mr. Flannery for a while. That and a lack of inspiration and general malaise related to economic and political issues that seem to be overwhelming my outside activities. Anyway I am going to try to post to the blog more often.

I have a wonderful piece of furniture that I have decided to call a dining room in a box. It is a Duncan Phyffe style buffet with a china cabinet at the bottom surmounted by a felt lined silverware drawer. Then a pull out table and 4 additional leaves. The table will pull out in one section as a small desk or out all five leaves to almost 8 feet long.

Unfortunately the top is badly scratched and the front is sun faded. I am going to paint it black and send it to Gypsy Lea's for next week's monthly sale.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, August 18, 2008

Good Time at Gypsy Lea's

We had a good occasional sale at Gypsy Lea's in Sauk Rapids this weekend. The weather was beautiful and the traffic was steady. We had a nice array of primitives, shabotaged pieces, foo-foos and even a couple of hogs. I worked on Saturday and Sunday so I was unable to attend any auctions. Therefore, my current inventory will have to remain at only two lifetimes full. I am contemplating making a center island for a kitchen using some doors, porch pillars and a butcher block table top. More on that later.

The UP sign is one of my hogs. It was salvaged
from the side of a boxcar after a
train wreck about 20 years ago.

A real hog. A chair with
a frame made from welded horseshoes.

Mr. Flannery