02 April 2013

Big Dogs, Big Sales & Naughty Girls

New on the website - French multi-coloured
rhinestone brooch with a white Japanned base,
Well that was our first Easter spent in Australia in some years.  So hurrah, we enjoyed our first chocolate chip hot cross buns in some years.  Despite extensive searching, we’ve never found chocolate chip hot cross buns in England, and certainly not in France – sacre bleu!

Eumundi was packed on Saturday, but when there are so many people everyone ends up just shuffling about and not really looking at things.  We ended up having an excellent week, though not as excellent as you would expect with so many visitors.  But still, can’t complain about excellent.

Calypso knows I've got my eye on her, and is
feigning disinterest in doing anything naughty.
At home Calypso and Mischka have been in trouble.  Calypso because she knows she is not to attack our Qing Dynasty marble head of Buddha in the bathroom, but for some reason she just can’t resist him.  When she was little I would occasionally catch her teetering on the top of Buddha’s head, and she was strongly discouraged from such acrobatics because try replacing this piece if she breaks it.  As a big girl she grabs and tries to wrestle with the head, and I know that Buddha is all forgiving and loves animals, but I will be less forgiving if she kicks him off the bench and breaks him. 

But after leaving the room for 30 seconds,
I return to find her casually sitting next to Buddha. 
Not being naughty, nosiree, no naughty going
on around here.
Meanwhile, Mischka’s trouble started because Doug finally got sick of sitting on our stock chairs – chairs that are awaiting respringing and reupholstering before they come into the shop.  We decided to put away our good chairs and use stock chairs while we had idiot kittens who love to play chasey over the furniture.  It’s been some years now and I keep getting kittens so the idiocy hasn’t yet lessened, but Doug is finally sick of getting springs stuck in his bottom so he raided our storage shed and brought back a very cool black leather 1960s Fler chair. 

Right in front of me she edges closer to Buddha,
but pretends she's just looking at something
out the window.
But guess what?  The chair hadn’t even made it into the house – was on the verandah while we removed one of the stock chairs – before Mischka leapt on it and gave it a test scratch.  Boy did she get shrieked at and chased about the house, being told loudly and clearly what a Bad Cat she is and how a short, sharp visit from the Smack Fairy was heading her way.  We’ve now bought a water pistol to shock her little furry socks off should she try again, but the shrieking and chasing and threats seem to have worked so far.  And now the chair has the first of what will no doubt be many war wounds gained from being in our house – we’ll just call it patination.

But finally she can't resist for a second longer
and has to launch the attack she had been
planning all along.  Buddha has withstood her
assaults so far, but she's in huge trouble if she
breaks him.
Caleb has been surprisingly well behaved at home, but in the shop on Saturday he became hugely over-excited and wouldn’t settle because a variety of mutts turned up for play dates.  Poor little Poh – the Little White SomethingorOther and the only scheduled play date - didn’t actually make it into the shop because she was too intimidated by the big dogs who were already visiting.  So Poh’s visit was a fleeting hello through the window this week.  In her place was firstly a whacking big malamute and his friend a rottweiler-cross, and then a big golden retriever. 

Caleb meets his biggest play date yet.  He fluffed
up a bit and gave a warning snarl but his tail is
pointing straight up, which is always a sign that 
he's feeling okay.
The malamute was the biggest play date so far, but what a brave boy our Caleb was.  He fluffed up momentarily and gave a quick snarl, and boy that made the big dogs sit up straight and pay attention.  And then, having established the ground rules (do as I say), he did a bit of nose touching with the malamute and laid down next to him.  The rottweiler-cross wasn’t interested in coming any closer – it’s amazing how one little Bengal snarl will do that.  I only had time to get one quick photo, because I was hovering and ready to intervene if the malamute wasn’t as friendly as claimed.  But there was no problem, and he was a big softy.  But once he started loudly yowly-howling at Caleb that was a bit too much, and the date was over.  His owner assured us that the yowly-howling was just him “talking” and it was cute (though ear-splitting).  But Caleb doesn’t speak yowly-howl and didn’t find it one bit cute and stalked off back to my chair.

Poh the Little White SomethingorOther
was too scared of the malamute to
come in for her play date, so she and
Caleb greeted each other through the
shop's front window.
The golden retriever's visit was over so quickly I didn’t even have time to get the camera.  Caleb has the measure of golden retrievers now, and isn’t one bit scared of them, so he marched up to a lovely girl to touch noses but she was terrified of him and kept leaping backwards – not a great thing in an antiques shop.  So we positioned her in the doorway (because Caleb isn’t allowed to play outside the shop), but then she just leapt backwards onto the pavement.

So the hunt continues.  We need a big dog that likes cats but isn’t a sook so he can’t intimidate it, and one that isn’t too loud.  Someone asked why we don’t just buy Caleb a puppy, and he would love it, but it isn’t going to happen.  He has the rest of the Gang as willing victims when he’s at home, and he’s going to have to make do with doggie play dates in the shop.

New on the website - French deep green enamel
lidded pot with a pale blue interior, c1920. 
Photographer's Assistant not included.
A good deal of the French vintage costume jewellery I photographed for the website this week I sold in the shop over Easter, but I still have a nice selection for the site.  We also sold lots of La Vie Parisienne covers and images and French vintage advertisements – it’s a good thing to be the only shop in Australia who sells only originals of these things, and we get a lot of repeat custom for them.  I told Doug that I had set aside six pictures for us, but when I inspected my secret stash we had 32 set aside.  I agreed to sell one – and that sold within days of going out - but I reckon I’ll find places for the others when the rest of the house is built.  And if not, then I’ll flog the ones that don’t fit.  Promise.

Le Galion perfume advertisements
New on the website this week - vintage French


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