Saturday, July 30, 2011

I Really Like this Vintage Pallet Center Island.

Last Saturday we went to a very interesting auction in Benson, MN. We suffered through driving rain, lightning and thunder and then hot and humid temperatures. I think that every dealer in the state was there, including 3 others from Second Hand Rose. Unfortunately, we did not end up fighting it out between us because most items went for more than we can get retail. I did buy 13 vintage oak and steel pallets. I thought that they would be useful in storing the stuff that I have to remove from my garage so the contractor can repair the insulation and the ceiling. However, I decided that the pallets were just too interesting to put them all to mundane service under my inventory.

I made this center island on restaurant wire shelving and casters out of one of the pallets.

This is what the pallets look like in the rough.

Lots of sanding, painting the underside, staining and polying the top reveals this great island or counter.

I going to haul it into the shop tomorrow. It will look great under my industrial light fixtures.

Mr. Flannery

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Warehouse Carts

I've been dealing with the aftermath of two fallen trees and a flooded basement. I have insurance adjusters, contractors, tree services and a bunch of other people to meet, cajole, direct and investigate. However I did get a chance to get two warehouse carts ready for the August sales. I stained these with a dark red mahogany and then amber shellac. They came out darker than the golden oak that I used on the first cart that went into the shop.

Mr. Flannery

Friday, July 15, 2011

Great Stuff and Red Tag Specials Too.

Its July sale time at Gypsy Lea's in Sauk Rapids. We are doing something that we have not done in our three years of selling. We are having a storewide Red Tag Sale. Now Gypsy Lea's traditionally has some of the lowest prices for furniture, repurposed, redesigned and recycled stuff and special objets d'art, but with the Red Tag Sale prices assigned to many of our items make things almost unbelievably low.

I forgot my camera when I was at the shop on Wednesday, so I didn't get photos of the initial set-up. I stopped by the shop on Thursday afternoon, on my way to Dave Miller's auction, expecting to find the set-up ready to photograph. Well they had one hell of a Thursday. There were already open spaces and many pieces had sold tags on top of the Red Tag. The rain on Thursday didn't keep the customers away, but it did discourage some from taking things home. The dealers had restocked and reset and were waiting for a number of husbands to appear to pickup the wives' purchases "on their way home from work".

Kris and Gypsy spent a number of hours last night resetting so the shop is again stuffed with many "new" Red Tag Specials. The shop will look different from my photos, but it will be just as great.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Trees are Falling!!!

Last week a tree fell in a big wind storm. It just grazed my house, putting a dent in some siding and breaking a basement window. I didn't realize it at the time, but the tree also landed on the sump line coming out of the basement. It cracked the line and caused all the water from the sump pump to just recirculate into the basement.

I only live 30 feet from the shores of Flannery Bay and they installed a full basement in this place in 1921 when the house was built. It appears that my basement floor is only slightly higher than lake level, when the lake is at normal levels. The lake is as high as I've seen it it 40 years. (Even higher than the year the township replaced the outlet culvert with the high end downstream). My sump pump has been running almost constantly. Well anyway, by the time I found out about the sump the basement was filled with 2 feet of water. The furnace, well pump, hot water heater and water softener were all destroyed. I got an auxiliary pump working, because I thought that the sump quit, but as the water lowered I figured out that the sump was working, but recirculating. So I lost my sump system to a wind storm. I'm sure that is going to raise a few eyebrows at State Farm.

I am going to redo my heating system to go to off-peak electric on the furnace and the hot water. Much cheaper and more evenly priced than the propane that I have used. I'm waiting for contractors to get the pieces together and get me back on-line. Showers without hot water are definitely bone chilling.

Last night a second tree fell in a second wind storm. An old oak that was half-way up the hill and towered over my garage decided to shed some big limbs. I heard them crash at about 9:00 o'clock last night. I called the tree guy, but he is still very busy. (I had called earlier about the first tree and told him that he could take his time getting to it.) I pulled a few smaller limbs off the drive with the ATV, so I have passage on the driveway. So here I sit waiting to hear from the plumber, the electrician, the insurance adjuster and the tree guy. I swear this summer has been more weather related work than the damn winter on the tundra.

Mr. Flannery

PS - I just used the truck and the tow strap to haul the biggest two limbs off the drive so can now get in and out without too much hassle. The tree guy is going to wonder how those two pieces fell so far up hill.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Its Going to be Great at Gypsy Lea's

I shuffled off to Gypsy Lea's yesterday afternoon to help with set up for our July sale. It was raining and 73* when I left Flannery Bay and 25 minutes (and 18 miles) later when I got to St. Cloud it was sunny, dry and 87*. It was warm in the shop, we have an A/C system that is much more productive December than in July, Gypsy, Kris and Darlene were working away.

I spent most of the time wiring and hanging 8 new chandeliers that I bought at an auction. These are designer pieces from a defunct lighting store. They look great and are at much less than 1/2 of retail.

The shop is packed. We have so many cool things to offer our customers this time. We are just getting started. There are pieces stacked here and there, but none of the fabulous presentation that Gypsy Lea's is noted for. It is going to be wonderful, but we have a bunch of work to do before we can face our clients.

Mr. Flannery

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hogging the Spot Light

I have completed my third set-up for the occasional sale at Second Hand Rose in Buffalo, Minnesota. The sale starts on Thursday and the shop looks great. I'm very pleased with the way my space turned out. It is the second time that I have this location and I think that I have a good "feel" for how the space works. Therefore, I am going to Hog the spotlight in this post and just show you my space.

It was a very hot July 3rd setting up at Second Hand Rose. Other dealers were in and out, but I just sweated and plodded along.

I started by hanging a tambor door on one wall. A tambor door is like the top on a roll top desk only these are about 6 feet wide and 9-10 feet tall. (They were used as access doors to switching equipment in an old telephone switching station). I hung the door sideways and gave the wall an interesting vertical wood panel effect. (See photos 1 & 2, below).

I disassembled two big old industrial lights and rewired them for display in the shop. The old wiring connected to metal lugs on top of green insulators on the outside of the fixture. I am pretty sure that our customers would no be thrilled with big copper wires terminating in connections in the open. I took out all the old wiring, drilled a small hole in the case to pass a new cord through and put an adapter in the socket to accomodate a standard household bulb. I also replaced the working 400 watt bulbs with 40 watt bulbs, the big ones would have turned the shop into a convection oven within about 4 minutes. The lights now have a soft, low wattage glow that can be upgraded to full illumination just by putting in a bigger bulb. These lights are one of my favorite pieces and will look great over a kitchen center island or as lighting in an industrial style space.

This is my favorite wall. The industrial lights are in front of the tambor wall. There are black and white architectural prints, a basket of Ford Model A V-8 hubcaps and a 1950's lounger.

A close up of the recliner.

Yellow painted Swedish immigrant trunk atop a wonderful steel wheeled warehouse cart.

Mr. Flannery