Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Get Better Mommy!

Well, I have "taken ill" and will probably take another few days to a week to be better, so there may not be much activity. I hope everyone is enjoying the cool weather (always gives me a brighter outlook!). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hand Painted Porcelain bliss. This is the feeling I get when I find a piece of hand painted porcelain jewelry. Around 1900, American women were enjoying painting on porcelain as a way to adorn themselves as well as their homes. Porcelain was no longer prohibitively expensive, and an exhibit in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition inspired many artisans to try their hand...literally! Not only were jewelry "blanks" extremely popular, these women decorated tableware and nic-nacs. I only collect the jewelry me, they are miniature works of art. I get particularly excited when I find a piece that has been signed by the artist; though most are unknown. I have been buying these pieces for several years, and their price just keeps going UP! My first few pieces were bought for less than $20; these days, I am lucky to run up on one for less than $75...for a small one! The larger ones with a good, interesting painting and minimal edge wear are usually over $100 each. Please note, I refuse to actually pay these prices, but it is good to know they are going up in value! I have posted a few pictures of several pieces from my collection, including my only portrait. Isn't she beautiful? You have to wonder if this was a self portrait? Another favorite theme is violets and pansies.
And my absolute favorites are the landscape scenics!
Enjoy the pics and by all means...let me know if you see any of these!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

To Keep or Not to Keep...That Is The Question!

One of the hardest things about being an antique dealer is having WAY too much stuff in your house. Sometimes I feel like I would like some HOUSE with my STUFF please! For example, we live in a modified 1970's split level, and an entire big family room is devoted to STUFF. Note I am capitalizing STUFF. I know several other words for STUFF but they aren't as polite. (haha). I started out collecting Occupied Japan in high school; jewelry post-college, and then starting about age 30 a rapid succession of purses, hats, compacts, hand painted porcelain, glass buttons, open salts, enamel on copper plates, poodles, buddhas, solid perfumes, amateur oil paintings and bakelite. I have posted several photographs of some of these types of things for you to enjoy! However, out of all these items, the only categories that have "stuck" with me are vintage jewelry, bakelite, open salts, vintage purses and hand painted porcelain. That is still quite a few categories, but it makes a house interesting! I suppose a side benefit to being a dealer is that you can constantly re-decorate your house. It goes something like this: you get interested in something, lets say enamel on copper plates. You go to an auction, flea market, yard sale, antique mall or thrift store (or all of the above...several times over) and buy as much as you can find. After all, if owning one is good, owning enough to decorate every living room in town has to be better right? Of course! A few months later, as you gaze upon your massive pile of on copper plates,
you feel the first inkling of unease. The sneaky voice in your head says "What in the world was I thinking?" And "I don't really even LIKE these things!". And then, your pulse increases as you realize you have used up all your available space for this new STUFF and lo and behold, you have nowhere to sit down in your own antique storage facility...I mean HOUSE. Then, you frantically pull out your price tags and place all the items in your booth, hoping someone else will happen along who feels the urge to decorate all the living rooms in their town. It sometimes feels like a never-ending roller coaster, but that, in reality, is the FUN part. Getting excited about something, learning all about it and hunting it down. And then, if you are lucky, being able to make just a little bit on the re-sale so you feel justified in your actions...and in the fact that you have suddenly developed a massive interest in Victorian dresser sets and hey, by the way...there is a GREAT estate sale coming up.....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Welcome Cameron!

Cameron Thomas Orcutt entered the great big world at 8:59 AM Thursday, September 25, 2008 via C-Section weighing 9 lbs 6 oz and measuring 22 inches long. I must admit the anticipation of the "C" was a whole lot worse than the actual event. There were about 10 people in the operating room; though the only people I could see were the nurse anesthetist and Darby...a giant green drape hung in the air and blocked my view from the neck down. (probably a good thing!) I was having a hard time comprehending that 10 months of waiting and wondering had come down to a 15 minute procedure in which I saw nothing and felt no physical pain. I was dreading the spinal block; but if it is any reassurance, it hurt less than having your finger pricked. Darby was on the edge of his chair with excitement. He kept peeking around the green drape and then ducking his head back for fear he would see something he really DID NOT want to remember (me cut open). Finally we heard the doctor and the nurses start saying "Oh!" and "There he is" and "He's got a big head!" and then we heard him cry. And MAN could he cry. I started grinning...I felt connected to him immediately even though I could still see nothing. Darby got up to go to the warming table where they took Cameron and he did get to cut the umbilical cord. A few minutes later Darby brought Cameron over to me all swaddled up and clean and the first tears came down my face. He was beautiful and amazing and everything I had imagined and more. I still can't quite put it into words. I have never felt so overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn't express. As I was still strapped to the table, all I could do was kiss his cheek when Darby brought him over, and then everyone was whisked away and I was taken to recovery for an hour (HOW UNFAIR! The baby was born and I have to wait a WHOLE HOUR to hold him!?!?!?!?). After we made it to our room, Cameron was brought in and the photography sessions did the parade of visitors eager to see their new grandson, nephew, great nephew and great grandson. Everyone was so excited to meet Cameron; a sentiment I am sure he would agree with. So, in closing, from Cameron: