20 July 2012

Horrible Photos & Other Disasters

Ginger Jar in my Green Window this week
It’s our 4 Year Anniversary in the shop today.  Yay, who would have thunk?  Although we’ve been dealing in antiques for 25 years, this is the first shop we’ve ever had and we opened it just as the Global Financial Crisis started.  What excellent timing – yes sirree, we have damn fine business sense.  But it means that during our foray into retail we’ve never been through boom times, and yet we’re still surviving.  In fact we’re still thriving.  And, most importantly, we’re still having fun.

The editor of the local community magazine unexpectedly came by to take my photo with some of our new stock – coincidental to our anniversary because she didn’t know about that when she visited - and took a shot of me holding my current favourite thing in the shop, which is a large English chinoiserie ginger jar.  I hate having my photo taken, and naturally I was having a serious Bad Hair Day.  Calypso was shop manager at the time and I suggested photographing her, seeing how she was artfully snoozing on the Manager’s chair with her legs on either side of the back, looking for all the world like a leopard sleeping on a tree branch.  But no, the photo had to be of a human.  Holding something nice.  And looking excited about it. 

So anyway, I submitted and cracked a suitably embarrassing how-thrilled-am-I-to-be-going-through-this grin but I’d rather the stock, or the moggie, or really anything else except me, be photographed.  Doug and I spent many years flying under the radar (old habit from a former life) and it doesn’t sit well with me to be willingly photographed.  But hey, it’s free publicity and it was a nice thing for them to do.  Even if I do look like an utter dag. 

One of my current favourite
American Calendar Girls
One of my current most pneumatic
American Calendar Girls
And it’s already working because two women have come into the shop today on the basis of seeing my happy smiling face in the magazine yesterday.  Well, that’s how they kindly described it.  And one of those ladies bought some jewellery, which was good.  And just now someone came in to buy the Chinoiserie ginger jar on the basis of seeing it in the magazine.  I know I’m going have to do some marketing to really get the website up and running, and this exercise just proves how effective that can be.  And yet photographing the stock can be dang difficult.  I took shots of my current favourite American Calendar Girls just to show how hard it is to photograph through glass., plus a couple of my current favourite glass pieces, and although they look interesting they're much nicer in real life.  So this will be a challenge.

Glass Comport that looks & feels
like an upsidedown Sea Anemone
Vintage Citrus Juicer just like
the ones used by street
vendors in Istanbul
But some things are easier to photograph, so I'll just have to be selective.  The commercial standard Citrus Juicer I put in the window this week was easy to shoot.  In Istanbul we noticed that street vendors selling freshly squeezed orange juice were using juicers just like this one, and boy they worked well. 

Glass Butterfly Tray, which is
actually pale blue
The enamelware window last week attracted a huge amount of attention, which was of course the whole idea.  The only problem was that it was a very crowded window, which it needed to be to achieve the Riot of Colour impact I was after.  But this did lead to a disaster, because getting in and out of the window proved to be a challenge and naturally people were asking me to retrieve things for them.  Last week I discovered a man down on his elbows and knees, bum in the air, peering under the brass-topped Byzantine Revival table, but I was able to intercept him before he bodged at it too much.  You make a very tempting target I told his rear end as I approached him from behind.  He quickly scrambled to his feet and said he was just trying to see if the top came off the table, which indeed it does and it might have been easier just to ask me that.  But you know how men don’t like to ask, right?  
Top of the offending table

So on Market Day, with the shop full of people and me here alone and the usual scrum around my table thanks to Calypso, I did not notice that someone else had fiddled with the table and had in fact moved the top out of alignment, so it was now quite precariously tilted.  Can you see where I’m heading here?  Yet again someone asked me to get something out of the window, and as I nudged the table as I stepped past it the fabulous Aladdin lamp that was sitting on it – the one with the big, beautiful white glass shade – went flying.  By golly it made the most amazingly loud smashing crashing noise you’ve ever heard.  Very impressive.  The cafĂ© next door was full, our shop was full, so I looked up to see dozens of saucer eyes and mouths in the O shape all directed at me.  Oops, I said.  I think I also said Bugger.  And I couldn’t even blame the cat.  But oh well, what can you do?  Accidents happen. 

Besides that incident it was a solidly good week again, and just as well because as of today I have started to plan the September buying trip so I’m up for some airfares real soon.  I had hoped to have the time to head to the south of France during this trip, to be there for my birthday, but our shop sitters can only come for a limited period so we have to condense our plans.  Nonetheless, I’ve still been able to schedule a play day in Versailles, a bit of play time in Paris (besides the shopping bit), and it looks like we’ll spend my birthday at Mont St Michel, which is very beautiful and we haven’t been there for years so that will be nice.  I quite fancy going to a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition currently on at Buckingham Palace if we have time while in London, but we’re having to knuckle down and get some serious shopping done that week (and thus serious amounts of cataloguing and packing) so we’ll have to keep that plan open until we see how things pan out.   

St George & The Dragon Vintage Tin
Side view of tin
We’ve unpacked quite a number of additional boxes this week, and have enjoyed rediscovering some nice things.  I have kept one vintage tin at home this time, while I consider whether to keep it.  I probably will.  It features St George & The Dragon, and they are depicted in an attractive mosaic design and I quite fancy it.  The last time I had a tin clearly made by the same company because of the mosaic design, it showed the Three Wise Men following the Star to Bethlehem.  That was a lovely tin, but it came out on Unpack Day and someone passing came into the shop just as I was unwrapping it and they immediately pounced on it so I didn’t have time to consider it for myself.  This time I’m ahead of the game and so get to keep the tin.  Probably. 

French decorative cast iron top
of a gate to a church yard
French decorative cast iron top of
the metal arch of the gate into
the church yard
This week I have also finally unpacked some lovely French ecclesiastical metalware, which I knew would have Dibs on from the moment I bought it, and indeed it was greeted with great joy and whooping and kiss-kissing on both cheeks by the Fabulous Fran.  She deserves all the nice things I can find for her, so I don’t mind that she keeps propelling herself to the top of my Wait List for these type of things.  Beautiful religious objects are always popular, but very difficult to come by at reasonable prices.  These two are respectively from the top of a gate into an old church yard, and the top of the metal arch over the gate into that church yard.  I did see a gorgeous marble angel at the Porte de Clignancourt Markets in Paris last trip, and I really, really wanted it, but at 3000 Euros it had to stay behind.  

Getting closer to obtaining a
decent photo of Mischka
In non-shop news, finally I’m getting closer to taking a decent photo of Mischka.  The trick was to first exhaust her (and me!) with a game of chasey around the central table in the shop.  Is it any wonder that things break around here with all this idiot behaviour?  She’s very good at doubling back on herself and feigning going in one direction but quickly jumping in the opposite direction.  She is always IT and I am always the chased one.  I put up a pretty good fight but she always gets me in the end, often by cheating and going across the table rather than around it, but that’s the benefit of being an agile pussycat chasing a galumphing human. 

Caleb is almost ready to come home
Meanwhile, we draw closer to bringing Caleb home – only two weeks to go now.  We visit him every Sunday after we close the shop, and what a sweet, engaging, schmoozy little boy he is.  He leans into you when you scratch his shoulders, and then throws himself down so you can tickle his belly.  We’re going to get on fine.  The rest of the Gang is so good natured that after the initial settling in period I’m sure they’ll take him into the fold and teach him how to be an Utter Ratbag too.  And did you hear about the cat in Alaska that was voted town Mayor?  Why can’t we do that here?  Vote 1 Klaatu!

No comments:

Post a Comment