Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two Years with the Roses

I published my first blog two years ago this week. And I'm still the guy with the hogs hidden amongst the roses. In honor of this anniversary I decided that I would repost my first entry, explaining: "Why Hogs and Roses".

Many of the shops around here use rose in their names. Rose Cottage, Second Hand Rose and even Rusty Rose. These are the shops that emphasize shabby chic, cottage or some other similar fussy and girly style of furnishings. They are the shabbies. Flowers and frills and lacy type things, painted furniture, chippy paint and rusted gussets. I’m a guy who has somehow fallen into this shabby world. No wife or girlfriend pushing me for help and certainly no partner expressing the need to decorate. My stuff tends to be outside of the cottage and you will not find a piece of foo foo anywhere. My things are the hogs in this world of roses. Thus the title: Hogs and Roses.

I have been collecting, buying and selling antiques and objets d’interest for many years. At 8 years old my best friend and I took our coaster wagons on a scavenger hunt through the alleys of St. Paul. We returned with a full load of great stuff that others were tossing out. I’ve been hunting ever since.

I ran into the earliest shabbies about ten years ago. What I saw was a bad coat of paint on a piece of 1970's press board junk. And it was selling. I declared that I would shabotage furniture when pigs fly. Thus the title: Hogs and Roses.

Fortunately the shabbies have changed greatly from my first exposure. The pieces are much better in design and execution. Creativity and style exude from the items that many of the shabby ladies now produce. The creative opportunities presented by recycling, reconstructing and redesigning are exhilarating, inventive and often very clever.

My house was gut remodeled about 12 years ago. The design incorporates 17 antique stained glass windows and many other architectural antiques. This design process was the one great artistic expression in my life. The reuse and incorporation of similar architectural elements into my hogs now offers a similar, but smaller scale, opportunity to make further artistic expression.

I started to sell some of my pieces in one of the girly rose type shops. I was "the man" when women were in the shop for our monthly sales. They are presenters offering the customers a cozy pink nest. I am the junk man wondering if I should have washed that mirror after only 20 years in the garage. Thus the title: Hogs and Roses.

I will be writing an occasional blog at this site. I will give you some of my ideas, share some of my treasures and seek your counsel in dealing with the thorns that sometimes appear among the roses. Right now I am contemplating the use of old doors in shabotage projects.

Contemplation is about as far as I have gotten because I have no suitable place to work. The garage is filled with inventory (which may be psycho-babble for the good junk that I don't want to part with right now). The weather on the tundra is still too cold to work outside. I have started excavating my garage. I even found proof that the cement floor still exists under the pile.

Excavating has produced a number of treasures and the contemplation of new hogs to assemble.I hope that you comment on this blog and return again to see what we are doing. I’ll be the guy in the corner trying to hide his hogs among the roses.

Mr. Flannery


Anonymous said...

These two years have certainly gone by quickly! I remember reading your first entry when it was still on "paper". You are a fantastic writer, friend, and fellow "shabbotager"... Thank you for sharing your thoughts and treasures with us!

Marge said...

Congratulations on the two years, Peter. I always enjoy your posts and pictures of your hogs. Hope to run into you again one of these days. Are you going to the Art & Architecture/JunkMarket Style event in Mpls in early May?
I think it would be right up your alley!

red.neck chic said...

Congratulations on your 2 years!!! I'm certainly glad you decided to write - and I'm drooling over your house...again. LOL

;-) robelyn

ann at greenoak said...

we just made some tables out of old doors....and used neat old dropleaf table bases for legs....and stretched the apron out....that gave us the perfect overhang etc.....
your story sounds so nice.and your schedule is wonderful......do the women spoil you and clean up your mirrors!!! i hope so...
congrats on 2 yrs...im sure glad i bumped into you out here in the shabby cyber world....p.s. ....we have daffodils right now....