Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why We Like to Hunt for Treasures

I bought a pair of ceramic lamps recently while visiting my favorite thrift shop. The lamps are mid-century modern marked Ernestine, Italy. They are going to go into my sunroom with appropriate new shades as soon as the 5 visiting cats depart for their new home.

I looked up Ernestine on the net tonight. I found two single lamps, neither as strong in design as this pair. One was for sale at $1190 and the other $1500. Cha--ching. That's why we all like the treasure hunt.

Mr.Flannery, doing his Snoopy, helicopter ears, happy dance.

Quack, Quack and there Ain't No Ducks

{open template} I went to two auctions today. I bought a bunch of good junk. My favorite {close template} pieces are these two 1930's electro-magnetic medical devices. Can we say QUACK QUACK? They came complete with all the paddles, plugs and headphones necessary to work miraculous cures. I really like all the Frankenstein like dials and gages.

I got this nice fir (not fur RNC) footlocker

My neighbors put part of their purchases to immediate wardrobe use.

The first auction was about 45 miles from Flannery Bay. Mostly farm stuff and outside in the damp. Lots of people had trod much of the dirt driveway and yard into a pancake batter like mud. I bid on a fanning mill for Kris, but it went for more than I wanted to pay. The lovely people there had double parked me into my space so I had to wait for some idiot to respond to the auctioneer's request to move his truck. BAHHHHH!

There was a second junk auction by one of my least favorite auctioneers on the way back home. That's were I bought the quack medical devices and the trunk. (And sat next to the fashionable ladies). I bought a couple other items including 2 wire wreath stands from a funeral home (but very usable on a porch at Christmas time) and a home made ladder that I will paint red tomorrow. I also bought a great womans seal fur coat trimmed with mink, 1920's style (any ideas for removing substantial moth ball smell from the coat?); a metal floor lamp (visible behind the purple hatted lady); a 1950's portable typewriter; and a stack of old galvanized pails. There was a half a hay rack stacked with boxes and boxes full of fabric, but I know nothing of such matter, so I did not even contemplate a purchase, even though the last 20+ boxes sold for $1 (yep - that's 5 cents per box).

All in all it was a pretty good day. And now I will have fun with my faux medical career. Maybe I'll offer a free buzz to any trick or treaters who show here at Flannery Bay.

Mr. Flannery

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gypsy Lea's Prepares for Christmas

Its that time again. Time to get ready for our monthly sale at Gypsy Lea's. Our 4 days per month format generates a great deal of pressure for getting the store right for those four days. We have a wonderful space to fill, but it is limited. And we only have a small amount of back-up space where we can stash items until room appears on the floor. Gypsy, Kris and the other dealers have to set up to maximize sales and maximize WOW!

Unlike the traditional square footage individual booth shops, Gypsy Lea's has one cohesive display incorporating stuff from all the dealers through-out the store. This smearing and blending of everyone's creations shows our customers how everything can fit together. It strengthens everyone's presentation, but it also means that a bunch of coordinated effort at set up is required.

I have brought a few pieces into the shop already, but the majority of my items are here poised for transport to Sauk Rapids as space opens. I also have a mass of smalls to bring in this time. Much of my stuff will be Christmas themed or usable as a Christmas gift. Our November sale is our big Christmas event.

Ho-Ho-Ho and lets hope for a huge event.

Mr. Flannery

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"I Love My Hog" vroooommm

OK kids I have a question. I found this item in an array of photos for a local auction. There is no further explanation. I don't know what it does.

I watch re-runs of That 70's Show regularly. In one show Kitty is very upset with Red when he buys a small motorcycle. Her upset ends when she goes for a thrilling and enlightening ride astride the bike. She gets back home and grabs the cycle around the handlebars saying "I love my hog". Maybe this item is a stay at home version of Kitty's hog.

Mr. Flannery

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Its Hogerific

Robelyn at Red.neck chic blog has been having fun with the couch skins that I sent to her. She combined my pig skins with her bling, parts of suede skirts and her own special view of the world to produce the Hogerific line of purses. They are sooow desirable that she has decided to give one away. You can enter her contest by viewing her blog. It will be great fun. Click here for Hogerific purse for FREE

The Hogerific sofa and chair in better times. The small tables were made with California tiles in the 1920's. The larger is from Malibu Pottery, the smaller probably Pasadena Pottery.

Mr. Flannery

On-line Auctions - My New Hobby?

My trip to St. Paul produced a nostalgic journey into my past. The string seemed to pass through a long time Chinese restaurant in my old neighborhood. Of course, in following the string I had to partake in the all you can eat Chinese food. The fortune in my cookie was almost startling. I saved the fortune. It is unbelievable "Now is a good time for a new collection or hobby".

The new hobby may well be on-line auctions. Not national auctions such as eBay, but local auctions conducted only on the web. I have participated in 3 such auctions in the past two weeks. I drove 1/2 way into the Cities (Minneapolis-St.Paul for the uninitiated), to pick up my latest load.

This is my favorite piece. It is a huge, 14" diameter, Peters & Reed jardiniere. Made in South Zanesville Ohio c.1905. It has a wonderful stained brown glaze with large applied lions and other decoration. I have collected P&R for 25 years and this is the largest standard glaze (deep brown) piece I have ever seen in person. This piece will stay in my house, above the range of Babe's tail and outside of the cats' stomping grounds.

Newel posts, about 2 1/2 feet tall.

One of three boxes of stereoview cards. This is 50 cards of a trip through a Sears & Roebuck store in about 1910.
Wonderful wormy red cedar mantle. About 6 ft long.

Stained glass table lamp. Not old, but right price and nice look.

And my favorite piece for Gypsy Lea's. A gear motif table with a lazy Susan top.

Mr. Flannery, working on his new hobby (3 new auctions opened on-line tonight), Oh my!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Real Flashback

I gave my friend Leigh, a ride into St. Paul to her parents house. They have lived there for 49 years. St. Paul is a city of distinct neighborhoods with each area well defined, often by Parrish rather than school attendance area. Leigh's neighborhood was south of and next to the neighborhood where I lived the first years of my life. I took the exit off of I-94 into her Highland Park neighborhood.

I tried to remember how many times I had driven on that street. I did remember getting on the bus when I was 4 years old at the corner near our house. My dad was the bus driver and he stopped, picked me up and we made a circuit on his route. He called out the name of every intersecting street. He tested me on the make, model and year of the parked cars that we passed. And now I was driving down the same street looking at houses that I've always known and streets that I've always seen and remembering things that I hope I will always remember.

I dropped Leigh at her parents and started back on my 60 mile trip to Flannery Bay. I got to the the local business district, a place where I shook Adlai Stevenson's hand at a stop on his 1956 campaign for President. There Wong's Chow Mien Restaurant was still in business, now the Cleveland Ave. Wok with an all you can eat Chinese buffet lunch. I had to stop.

I remember going into the chow mien joint with my father when I was 4-5 years old. We were there to get some exotic foreign take out food. (Even though my father, who had spent 3 years in China during WWII, assured me that chow mien was really an American food). I remember sitting in the vinyl and chrome chairs waiting for our food to appear in a number of paper boxes with a lump of little plastic tubes of soy sauce. The Chinese people who owned the restaurant were scurrying around and shouting at each other in Chinese. How exotic for 1950's Middle America. My dad even answered a question in broken Chinese, a talent that I never heard before or again.

Today I was sitting at my table. The Chinese owners were scurrying around and hollering at each other in Chinese. The chow mien was long off the menu, but the white rice was the same starchy sticky mass with soy sauce that I loved as a kid. And the lemon chicken with broccoli and carrots was fantastic. I didn't answer anything in Chinese, broken or otherwise, but then I hadn't lived in China for three years, either. All I could think of was how much I miss my dad and no matter how much things change there is always a string to home that stays the same.

Mr. Flannery

A Small Log House

Leigh has built a log house on my lake about 3 miles south of here. The cabin is well traveled. It was originally assembled in Montana. Disassembled, it was shipped to Seattle and reassembled on the floor of the Seattle Civic Center for the Seattle Home Show. Leigh had a booth at the same show and talked with the log guys during slow periods. The house was disassembled and shipped back to Montana. After the show Leigh bought the house as used from the log guys. It was then shipped to Minnesota and reassembled on a lot she had purchased here.

The log house was the smallest model the log guys produced. In fact, it was too small to meet the minimum square footage requirements of the local building code. We had to design a shed dormer addition to the side of her cabin. The cabin sits high on its foundation on a 70 foot hill above the water. It has a tuck under garage and dynamite views of the lake.

The house and its decoration have been done on a shoe string and from a distance. Leigh's favorite place to shop for stuff for the cabin has been my garage. The house is very comfortable, very warm and very interestingly decorated. My next house may very well be log built.

Field stone fireplace in the shed addition.

Cement countertops on 100 year old oak store counters.

English oak wardrobe used as a hall closet.

Lots of tin signs.

Matching antique pine doors on barn door hangers between the bedroom and the fireplace. Headboard from the old Bluegill Cafe in Bagley, Minnesota.

The other end of the shed addition with door to the deck and antique slag glass lamp.

Vintage game boards on the side opposite Paynesville Grain & Feed sign.

A nice 5ft round oak table that we cut down to coffee table height.

The house is still a work in progress. The best thing is the fact you can put a nail anywhere without worrying about finding the stud.
Mr. Flannery

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Trip to the Buffalo Nickel

My friend, Leigh, visited from Seattle this weekend. We have been friends since high school. She returns to Minnesota about every 6 weeks to spend time with her parents and we usually spend a day together. Today she wanted to do some antique shopping. So we visited my shop at Maple Lake Antiques, made a detour through Target and then stopped at the Buffalo Nickel. Its a big barn located just off Highway 55 in Buffalo, Minnesota. (Now if I was going to open a shop in Buffalo with my hogs I'd probably call it Buffalo Chips). The Nickel was just starting to get a hint of Christmas and one of Leigh's favorites, Tamara, has 3-4 booths in the Nickel.

Leigh looking at Santa in a box.

A huge 3 pronged hook in one of Tamara's spots.

Tamara's box of Snooker balls.

Tamara 2

Tamara 3.

Tamara 4.

A hanging chicken waterer. (You can hang the chicken or the waterer, I guess).

Writing on the mirror.

Great metal star with an Xmas bulb.

Lots of soft goods, wool jackets and such.

Kathy's cabin chic.

Half a boat.

A full size boat.

Skates, silver bells and a red chicken feeder.
I don't go to the Nickel or many of the other shops very often. Too close to retail for my tastes. But I did notice a real trend on this trip to the shops. Many more soft goods. Lots of clothes, linens, blankets and fabric. Many more smalls and fewer real antiques. Almost no antique store feel and no furniture store feel either. Not sure what to do with any of this information, but it is interesting to note.

Mr. Flannery