22 May 2013

Bare Bosoms, Antiques & Outlaw Bikie Antics

It's not necessarily attractive,
but the body art is creative.
Eumundi held its annual Body Art Festival last week.  It’s a Perv’s Paradise at the best of times, but oh dear it bucketed with rain – bare bosoms abounded.  Note to artists:  use water resistant paint next time.  The Body Art Festival doesn’t do anything for our sales - middle aged men with cameras tend not to be our demographic, and in fact our sales are down every year during this Festival. 
But the organisers, the artists, the models, and let’s not forget the middle aged men with cameras, all have a wonderful time and declare it a great success every year.  So next May I expect we will again be swamped with painted bosoms, just maybe next time a little more water-resistant.  And now I’m not going to be running the shop, I think if you can’t beat them you should join them, and in my hand-over notes when I sell the shop I shall stipulate that Malcolm and Sharon, the shop’s new owner and manager, should get into the spirit next year and go topless.  With artistically rendered flowers across their bosoms, naturally.
New on the website - French Jet & Rhinestone
Leopard Brooch, c1935, $42. 
You know I like spotty cats.
Mind you, the sale of the shop is not yet done and dusted.  The contract of sale is signed, and as soon as the lease is signed it will be really happening.  Hopefully soon.  I’ll let you know when I know.

Meanwhile, life goes on.  We visited the Caloundra Antiques Fair since I last wrote.  Boring as.  And OMG how can things in Caloundra be more expensive than Paris???   I’m always amazed and appalled when we visit local antiques fairs and find them to have little of interest and what is good is hideously expensive, but Doug just shakes his head and reminds me that this is precisely why we travel overseas to buy.  Of course that’s not the only reason, but we couldn’t have such successful buying trips if the prices were as high in Europe as they are locally. 

Lladro English Setter's Head.  The nicest
thing at the Caloundra Antiques Fair.
We met up with our friends Alan and Sandra at the Fair, and they always have high quality clocks for sale but this time they were also offering a Lladro English Setter’s head.  I’m not a great fan of Lladro, it has to be said, but I was in love with this dog’s head.  It was the pick of the Fair and if we weren’t building the rest of our house I would have seriously considered forking out the $700 for it.  It’s a lot, I know, but this was a really very beautiful piece.  It stayed behind because I’m being a sensible gel, but yet again I lamented how much it sucks to not be rich.

Australian Art Deco ceramic flower trough,
c1930, $78.  Similar to the Casey trough I
bought at the Caloundra Fair, and coming
into the shop this week.
We only found two things at the Fair that were worth buying and affordable, but still not good enough prices for them to become shop stock.  Just as well I liked them for myself.  We bought an Australian pottery flower trough by Casey in a lovely greeny-turquoise glaze, which I immediately envisaged being potted up with nice white orchids.  Of course Caleb has excavated the orchids twice already, but he and I have had a little talk about the perils of digging up my flowers (and being caught red pawed) and he appears to have gotten the message.  It reminded me that we had a similar Art Deco ceramic flower trough in a box, which I've now dragged out and shall present in the shop this week.
This moggie brooch is French, c1950.  It's on the
website and meant to come into the shop, but
I'm thinking about keeping it
We also bought a cool glass battery case, which is entirely in keeping with the semi-industrial look that I favour.  These cases tend to be tall and thin and make really interesting containers to keep things like lemons in – kind of like vertical fruit bowls.  We have three in different sizes now, though, so the next one I find will become shop stock. 

Fortunately, we’re not in a position where we need to be buying new stock yet so it wasn’t the end of the world that the Caloundra Fair was so boring and expensive.  The delving into our garage continues to produce great things that we’re really happy with, including some quite rare German Fat Lava plates and a couple of enamel on copper French dishes.  All striking and quite beautiful.  We’re pretty confident that we can keep digging out great stuff until Christmas, but a September buying trip will be essential to present new things after that.
New in the shop this week - German Fat Lava
plates, c1960, $80 (for 6 plates).  I've started
putting prices on things that I feature in the Blog
which are also for sale because too many
people complained that I didn't do that.
And on that topic, planning has now commenced for the September buying trip.  In addition to the Paris Markets we really want to make it down to the Montsoreau Puce this time because it always results in fabulous finds.  The Puce starts quite early on a Sunday morning, so rather than falling down dead into bed after a huge day of trawling the Paris Markets on Saturday, we instead have to leap into the van and bolt the few hours down to Saumur – the nearest affordable town to Montsoreau.  It makes for a tiring weekend, but the shopping is unbeatable. 

It was heartening to look through the latest edition of Australian Vogue Living this month, which focuses on French style and on almost every single page vintage French style is featured.  Yay for good taste being highlighted!  This stuff isn’t easy to find, but that just adds to the thrill of the hunt.  There are some very fabulous Jielde lamps shown on the front cover of the magazine, and we have one that we use every time we do some framing but we haven’t been able to source any remotely affordable ones for some years.  I shall make a concerted effort again in the coming trip, and if I can’t find any in Paris or Montsoreau they are not to be found.
Petrol-Head Klaatu loves the V8 Super Cars. 
He sits so close to the screen he goes cross-
eyed, but you can't keep him away. 
He's also a big fan of Meerkat Manor.
But the buying trip is still a few months off, so in the meantime we have to ensure that the shop keeps choofing along nicely.  And so far so good.  Yet again we enjoyed an excellent sales week, though last weekend it wasn’t helped by the Noosa Food & Wine Festival drawing lots of people away from us and to the beach on Saturday, and also the Black Uhlans were back in town, racing up and down the main street during the middle of Market Day and making one hell of a racket.  One of the few things guaranteed to wake Caleb from snoozing on my desk is a Black Uhlan on his Look at Me! Look at Me! ultra-loud motorbike. 
I always find it amazing how outlaw motorcycle gangs insist on being seen and very clearly heard everywhere they go.  Forgive my naivety, but isn’t the whole point of being outlaw is that you don’t draw attention to yourself?  Aren’t nefarious plans somewhat thwarted when everyone knows you’re there?  Having said that, although I missed the Sneaky Reverse Psychology lessons during my Criminal Mastermind classes, I do see some merit in the Hey, Look Over There! approach, distracting us all with big, loud motorbikes when in fact we should have all been looking behind us, to where the nefarious plans were actually unfolding.  It’s an oldie, but a goodie, so I’m sure I’ve identified the Black Uhlans’ business strategy.  Because it couldn’t simply be that they are precious petals craving everyone’s attention with their muffler-free motorbikes.

The Black Uhlans are certainly a noisy lot, but they have good motorbikes.  Bimbo optional.
Also, forget the spiffy paint job - black is de riguer if you're a Black Uhlan.  Stands to reason.

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