Tuesday, April 30, 2013

TIME for Allegan; BookEnd

TIME FOR ALLEGAN: Sunday marked not only the start of our outdoor season, but also the season opener for the Allegan (MI) Antique Market. We had a terrific time. All the right ingredients were there: the weatherman cooperated, at least for the most part; customers turned out in droves for both early buy on Saturday and for the show Sunday; we got to reconnect with customers and friends we hadn't seen since the end of last season. What could make a show better? Sales were good in all categories. Plus we got to hang out with our Chicagoland BFF Lynda Boyd, her son, James and his new wife, Sara, and had dinner with Grand Rapids pals Dan and CJ Zondervan to boot. By the way, if you are in the area, the Mexican food at the Beltline Bar is not to be missed! Thanks to everyone who turned out to support the show. Next up, Kane County. More on that on Facebook later this week! Come join us. xo
BOOKEND: Remember me telling you about our favorite on-line marketing savant, Abby Kerr? Well, when you have a sec, be sure to check out her Best of the Web column (you may have to sign up to receive her email newsletter to access it, which is well worth it.) This week's three articles were all terrific, and be sure to check out these two older posts by Meg Worden and Justine Musk when you have a chance. Excellent reads, both of them. xo

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Allegan (MI) Antique Market Season Opener This Sunday; Weekend Report

ALLEGAN: Woe is me! I just spent 30 minutes looking  through my photo files for a picture of the giant chicken at the Allegan Antique Market front gate. To no avail! But that doesn't change the great news that this weekend will herald the market's season opener, and the start of our outdoor season! We can't wait. If you need show details, just click the link in our calendar sidebar. See you there! Check out our Facebook page later this week for a peek at what we are bringing. xo
WEEKEND REPORT: Sunday we were road warriors. First stop, SoBo Style in Columbus, Ohio. The store looks great -- all decked out for spring! Katie's mom, Mary Kay, even made a wonderful breakfast for everyone while we unloaded. Katie's gearing up for several big events in May. Check out her blog and Facebook pages for details. Then we were on to Indy's Midland Arts and Antiques to restock. Check out our Facebook page for a peek at some of the great new finds we added.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reason Number 547 I Heart the Fleas; Grayslake Report; BookEnd

REASON:  I think everyone gets frustrated with their* work from time to time. I know I do! I envy dealers who can unequivocally throw their heads back, fling their arms out, and say "I LOVE my job!" All the time. Hmmm. Maybe I am just too fickle. I have to settle for my beloved love-hate relationship with my work. But fortunately, there's ALWAYS more in the Love column. Those other guys are just on Prozac. Speaking of the Love column, here's one definite plus. Where on earth can you find treasure so consistently for so little? Case in point, my little bluebird of happiness pin. Vintage enamel, 1 1/2 inches tall, perfect shape, $1. Does it get any better than that!? What about you? Flea anything fab lately? Leave a note and share! * I know it is supposed to be "his/her," but that always seems awkward!

GRAYSLAKE REPORT: Great crowd on Saturday and quite busy Sunday, too, when all was said and done. The special feature was vintage clothing, which always draws tons of happy shoppers (and lots of great people-watching.) We've noticed a bit of a shift the last several months. We are seeing LOTS of new shoppers, which is great, but fewer sales to our long-time dealer customers. This pattern has cropped up before, but it is always unsettling. Where did they go? Our guess is that is often the time of year -- coming off first quarter to a cold spring doesn't necessarily translate to dollars for a lot of our dealer customers. Boo. But we ended up with a good show just the same; just have to wait for it, instead of getting a strong push during early buy. Next up is ALLEGAN! More on that next week. We are off to Ohio and Indy this weekend.

BOOKEND: "The Solace of Leaving Early" by Haven Kimmel

First, I have to apologize to my pal, Shannon. She loaned me this book more than a year ago, and there it sat, neglected. Even more embarrassing was the reason -- I just couldn't get excited about it. Even though I love the author, I didn't like the cover. Or the title. Is that shallow or what!? But like they say, never judge a book...I picked it up the other day because I was between titles. And I was IMMEDIATELY hooked. It is amazing. If you have ever lived in a small town (or a small community anywhere -- office, college dorm, city block), you will recognize it here. Or if you've wondered about paths not taken or choices made, you will love it. The fact that it takes place in Indiana, partly at IU Bloomington, is just a plus. OK, only maybe for me. But if you've flirted with academia you will also love it. Go get it right now! And, sorry, Shannon. Now Joe wants to read it! xo

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Picasso, Kane and Grayslake

Picasso and Chicago: Last week was spring break and since there was no show on the calendar, my family headed for a little r&r in the big city, Chicago. I wanted to see the Kara Walker exhibit I had read about in the Wall Street Journal, and the Picasso exhibit was a bonus. For some reason, we tend to forget that when this notion strikes us, it also strikes every third person in the Midwest -- we all descend on Chicago at once! Man, was it crowded. I also tend to forget that after about 15 minutes in the museum, I want to leave. Each of the amazing things on exhibit demands undivided attention -- how can you concentrate on so many? Plus I am hot and getting bumped and jostled. But I've paid $23 per adult and $17 per student, so I'm gonna look at it all. At least 'til I can't stand it anymore. Or they turn the lights out, whatever comes first. We actually stayed 'til closing. The Kara Walker exhibit was very interesting, but I wished for more narrative. Would have been great to live close enough to attend a lecture.Walker is a mixed media artist; this installation included cut-paper silhouettes, watercolors and large-scale graphite drawings. The precision of the silhouettes is awe-inspiring, set off by the chalkboard-colored gallery walls. The Picasso stuff was over the top. While I understand his importance, I have to confess that Picasso is not my favorite. I think his paintings are often ugly, but I forget how sublimely beautiful his drawings are. Plus there was a lot of background about him personally, which I knew little of. Two cool Picasso Facts -- he never came to the States in his entire life and the Art Institute was the first American museum to exhibit his work. There were a number of companion exhibits going on as well, including a re-gathering of many of the pieces exhibited 100 years ago for the Armory Show, a pivotal exhibit which established New York as the center of the art world, replacing Paris. The whole experience really made me think, though, which is one of art's greatest functions. It resonated especially because of a piece I'd been reading, "How to Be a Creative Bad-ass," but more on that next time! Bonus Idea -- someone needs to do a whole blog about what people wear to go look at art -- that's almost as interesting as the art itself!
KANE COUNTY:We weren't quite sure what the weather was going to do, as we had some sprinkles during set up and the milder temperatures seem to be eluding us.The only constant was the wind. But by the time the show opened, the sun was peeking out and it had warmed up quite a bit. It was quiet for us for about the first hour, but then it was super busy for the rest of Saturday. Not much furniture sold until Sunday, but smalls sold well both days.  Many thanks to all who came out to see us at the show -- including a special thanks to everyone who came by to wish me happy birthday. Thanks for making me feel so special.
GRAYSLAKE: Remember that Grayslake is coming up next. Print the red coupon to receive HALF-OFF general admission. Check us out on Facebook later this week for a peek at what we are bringing! See you there. xo

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Join Us for Kane County This Weekend!

Join us this weekend for the Kane County (IL) Flea Market! We're gonna be thinking garden -- and it looks like the weatherman just might cooperate. Need show details? Just click the link in our calendar sidebar to visit the promoter's website. And check us out on Facebook later this week -- we'll post photos giving a peek at what we are bringing! See you there! xo