01 October 2015

I'm a Photographer, Not a Miracle Worker!

1940s Tapestry Footstool, $45

So said the lovely Kim Davies, my photographer, who had bravely taken on the unenviable task of photographing me for Indulge magazine’s contributor’s page. 

Taking a headshot, they call it in the industry.  Taking a headshot in a different life in another industry involved using someone’s head for target practice (though more often a simulated someone’s head).  In all honesty I can’t say which process I enjoyed less.  On balance, probably the photographic session.

So anyway, I shall now peer out at you from Indulge’s contributors’ page, and you’ll get the chance to judge my writing and my hair in the same package.  How good is that? 

I thought about showing you the picture now so you could get your guffawing over with and just settle down before the official publication.  But then I thought, Why humiliate myself for free?  So you can jolly well buy the magazine.  Just, please, one little thing – don’t spray bystanders with your mouthful of coffee if you’re flipping through the mag in your local coffee shop.  No good ever comes from drink-laughing.    

White cane Gothic Revival setting, c1900, $260
Notwithstanding what she had to work with, it must be said Kim the Photographer’s bedside manner could stand a little work.   

We went from the “not a miracle worker” quip, proceeded through “Oh my God that’s hideous” when reviewing photos, and finished with “we can probably use this if I crop a whole lot from your bosom”.  I do have an ample bosom, but you will be amazed at the magic of cropping. 

Meanwhile, in addition to posing a career challenge for Kim the Photographer, I have been having a bit of fun with the distressed paint effects I’ve been applying to various pieces of old furniture.

Extra large picnic basket c1940, $32
Crackle-glazing has been a big failure so far.  Big failure.  All I’ve done is burn myself quite badly with the concoction you’re meant to apply.  It’s amazing where you unconsciously touch yourself, and then learn about it when you’ve inadvertently applied something caustic to those surfaces. 

Before your eager little imaginations run riot, it was my face I touched.  But just imagine how bad things could have been.  Makes you downright wince. 

So anyway, my burns are healing and I’ll approach that more cautiously and have another go.  But the painting bit is going well.  So far I’ve sold everything I’ve worked on, but it’s slow work.  Maybe it’s Beginners’ Slowness and I’ll get better.  Maybe I’m just a slow painter and should just chill about it.

Wooden painted box, $70
But chilling is good, and I’m finding that painting furniture is a very Zen experience.  You lose track of time, you don’t focus on anything except the piece in front of you.  Even with Calypso yowling in the background, because if I’m outside how dare I be outside without her, I eventually zone her out, or she gets over it and goes back to bed.

I’m hoping to have some nice pieces ready for the next Collectorama Fair, on Saturday 7 November, but I’ve been selling a good amount of painted things at the Peregian Beach Market.  So I shall paint like the wind, and see if I can get a stockpile ready in time for Collectorama.

Last Collectorama, in September, went really well for us.  We sold lots, and almost everyone was lovely.  Almost.  You know if you’re weird you’re going to get blogged on, so why are people weird?  To give me blogging fodder, clearly.

So our one blog-worthy encounter at Collectorama was a guy who complained – he actually approached Doug and waited patiently until Doug was free – to complain that our prices were too low. 

Is there no pleasing some people?  No there is not, is the answer. 

Another wooden painted box, $42
Doug said if he wanted to pay more, if that made him feel better, that would be fine with us.  But no, he didn’t want to pay more, he just wanted to have it officially recorded that our prices were too low.  Things can’t be real when the prices are so reasonable, apparently.

News for you, weird guy, our stuff is real and reasonably priced.  Get over it.

Meanwhile, the Spring edition of the magazine Antiques & Collectables for Pleasure & Profit is now on the shelves.  It’s a good mag, and in this edition you will find an article by me about the joys of travelling to Helsinki for a spot of shopping.

Sept edition
As much as I enjoy writing for Antiques & Collectables, it’s only published four times a year.  So I’ve decided to write a book. 

Several books, in fact, but the first one shall be called something like The Shopaholics Guide to Free Travel.  Maybe The Shopaholics Essential Guide to Free Travel. 

In it I shall reveal exactly - exactly - how to buy antiques and vintage in France and England, where to go, what to buy, how to get it home to sell it, so you can go and do it again.  And seeing how you always work Play Days into buying trips, you'll have fun shopping and fun sight-seeing and playing, and when you sell your purchases you will recoup the cost of the trip.  Maybe even turn a profit.  Sound like a plan?  It works for me.

What do you think?  It shall be a Kindle book, and don’t worry if you don’t own a kindle because you can now download a free app to read eBooks on your computer, phone or tablet.  More on this as it progresses.

Cute little pigeon holes, $38
Our next outing will be at the Peregian Beach Market on Sunday 4 October.  I’ve painted a variety of boxes and baskets in preparation (some shown here), and maybe I’ll have another chair or two ready by then.  I hoping to have a smallish glass fronted wall cabinet ready – having instantly sold the last one to another dealer at the last Peregian Market – but you know how slow I am at this.