Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here We Grow Again...

Well apparently People magazine hasn't caught this scoop yet so I'm going to leak it myself... Miss Susan the Dancing Diva of the Dance School next door has finally skipped town in her merry tap shoes, leaving 1500 square feet of vacant storefront right next to Salvage Chic. And with business going as well as it has been lately, I could not pass up the opportunity to expand my space!! Look for the Grand Opening next month. It will take awhile to get it fully stocked, so hang on before you decide 'it's not as cool as it used to be'; I promise it will get there!

On a funny note, I've told a few frequent customers "I have some exciting news." Instantly husband & wife or mother & daughter share a knowing look, and then look at me expectantly. I continue on: "I'm expanding..." and maybe I imagine it but suddenly notice the parties in question glance at my waistline and light up, about to exclaim "WE KNEW IT!" Yikes I quickly pedal forward before they make a grave faux pas... "My BUSINESS... I'm breaking into the space next door." Oh. They quickly congratulate me on my upcoming venture when all I can to think to myself is MUST.GET.ON.TREADMILL... Hopefully all the sweat equity in getting the new space ready will trim off those few extra pounds.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck

If a Woodchuck had this Woodstove? I don't know but if you see one tell him to start Chucking!! Kenny & I launched Operation Woodstove early this summer after we got a letter from the Oil Company demanding we get on the budget program because based on last year's consumption (with the thermostat set at 60!), they were estimating over $5000 in oil required to heat our Ancient Home. There's something to be said for your house being built before Abraham Lincoln was President but Airtight is not one of those words! Needless to say, trying to even find a woodstove let alone get it installed during the summer is about as easy as having a swimming pool installed in January. And now that fall is upon us, woodstoves have become the needle in the proverbial haystack. I have to give credit to Kenny for stalking every Lowe's in a 30-mile radius and finally scoring this floor model from the one on Brockton. We also lucked out because the guy who had come out to scope out our floorplan and determine the best fireplace to stick the thing in, was three weeks out for booking installs but happened to be working on a chimney 3 houses down this week and I think he thought he could slam this in in an hour or two. Those poor guys were here all day until almost 7PM, meticulously enlarging the opening brick by brick while my crazy hounds were up their ass. I think one of the guys was a Dog Whisperer or something because the dogs actually stayed pretty quiet... either that or the guys figured out the vacuum is their nemesis, and just ran it all day to keep them at bay. Judging from the frazzled state of Kenny who worked from home juggling conference calls all day, the latter is the case. But for now, the fire is toasty, the beer is cold, and the Red Sox are winning, so I guess he'd call it a good day after all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Goes Around Comes Around

and Around... and Around... I learned that last Sunday when Mack from Never Open Antiques was over visiting and spied a bureau one of my suppliers had just delivered. It was truly an awful looking item, dark wood with mismatched plastic red & blue handles, something I would never sell in the store which is why I figured Mack did a triple-take when he saw it. WHERE DID YOU GET THAT? he exclaimed like he had seen a ghost; I explained that I had just sold 2 bureaus that morning so I had this guy bring me 2 more to fill the holes until I could paint them for next week. "He bought that from us LAST weekend." Oh, Well... Great. Hopefully everyone got the cut they wanted off of it and does not regret it when they see it in all its AFTER MAKEOVER GLORY!!

Anyway we headed out to the parking lot so Mack could show me some stuff he had picked up that morning, all the while shaking his head saying "I can't believe you BOUGHT that." He threw open his tailgate and I peered in to find these 3 slabs of marble I had picked up months ago at an auction for like a dollar; I finally decided I was never going to get around to doing whatever I thought I was going to do with them, and gifted them to Yard Sale Buddy for his Yard Sale. "WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE?" I intoned, mimicking Mack's disbelief when he spied my bureau. "From Yard Sale Buddy," he smugly replied (as if he beat me to them); "He got them from a small clean-out he did on Pearl Street in Braintree." I choked back my laughter. "Are you sure it wasn't Halifax??" Now he just looked confused; I'm pretty sure he said Pearl Street in Braintree... why, IS there a Pearl Street in Halifax?" By then I could no longer stifle the Giggles. "MACK..." he looked at me expectantly; "You know that is my last name, right?" and burst out laughing. I left him on the curb shaking his head muttering "That son of a..." and you know I couldn't resist turning back to yell "I can't believe you BOUGHT those."

I guess what Goes Around REALLY DOES Come Around... and one man's trash is truly another one's treasure!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Junk Swap?

As you might guess, being in this business I watch a lot of HGTV home design shows. My Husband is always encouraging me to try out for one of those Design Star contests but I'm secretly afraid I'd end up being The Cryer who winds up in tears when her choice of paint color is questioned by the judges. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from an unknown party that I could see from the preview screen started out "Hi There; I hope you don't mind me contacting you but my name is Elisha and I'm a casting producer with the show..." My heart started beating faster as I scrambled to open the email thinking Oh.My.God! I bet Trading Spaces fired Paige Davis and wants me to be the new host! Come on, hurry up email server, open open open... and there It Was. "with the show Wife Swap that airs on ABc television. I'm currently looking for families that are garage sale and antiquing enthusiasts and stumbled across your site and blog and was wondering if you had a family and if you might be interested." My heart sank along with my dashed hopes and dreams of being the new Trading Spaces heiress but I have to admit the idea intrigued me. I imagined them swapping me with some housewife from Beverly Hills who would be horrified when forced to Dumpster Dive headfirst while Yard Sale Buddy held her by the feet; she would lament to the camera when her French Manicure was ruined toiling at the keyboard posting things to sell on eBay. I was on a roll, I thought GEE this might really work! Then I remembered I've SEEN that show and how they do their best editing to exploit the quirks of a family. I could picture the reunion scene now, with the highbrow housefrau tripping across the parking lot in her Jimmy Choos, leaping into her husband's arms exclaiming "I thought I'd DIE if I had to watch another CSI Miami marathon!!" SIGH... I guess I'll take a pass and just keep waiting for that email from HGTV.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Which is all I could say to Yard Sale Buddy about his approval, or lack thereof, of my newly painted house! I called him up yesterday to see what he thought about the new yellow color and he replied "You need to paint the shutters" WHAT?!? I exclaimed, hoping he was just goading me because he knew I picked the new color solely to coordinate with the existing shutters that I did not want to have to repaint. "There's nothing WRONG with the shutters, are you sure you weren't looking at the back side of them when we had them closed for painting?" No, he insisted, the yellow is OK but the shutters look like crap, you need to take them down, scrape and repaint them." We went around in circles for a few minutes until finally I said WHATEVER and pretended someone had come into the shop so I could get off the phone, fuming.

Fast forward to today when Yard Sale Buddy called me up to chat and asked if I could print him some more business cards. "No problem; but First you have to say My House Looks Nice." "I told you it looks nice, you just have to paint the shutters." We DID! I (lied) exclaimed, and then waited during a pregnant pause, knowing he drove by my house this morning to get to work. "Oh really... When?" YESTERDAY, I replied, I told Kenny what you said and he put a quick fresh coat of the red on them. I could almost see him nodding his approval over the phone. "You know, I THOUGHT it looked better when I drove by this morning but I figured it was just the rain making them look shiny. Everything looks great now, Nice Job." And suddenly all was right with the world; or HIS perception of it, anyway!!

To give you an idea of the "Before" picture, here's a shot of it when we first started painting:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Intense Day

My Husband's on vacation this week and we've been looking forward to a few days off together; with him working a 'normal' job and me being at the shop on weekends, we often joke we're like two ships passing in the night. Yesterday found us puttering around the house and doing some much needed weeding in the garden; then Kenny announced he wanted to tend to the front of the house which has been 'bugging him'. ME TOO! I exclaimed, and skipped off to assist him; only to realize, he was talking landscaping upkeep, and I was talking... paint color.

Let me preface this by saying we live on the country highway and don't do much more than drive past the front of the house to get to the back entrance. Upon close examination we realized we were seriously lacking Curb Appeal. We started out removing two gnarly shrubs that that we've been meaning to get rid of since we bought the house 4 years ago; once they were gone I decided the other two flowering trees hiding the house had to go too. And then there was that pesky paint color; when we bought it the house had a deeper grey color, with white trim and brick red shutters. More recently the grey had faded to an almost white. Since the house is Cape Cod style and only painted on the clapboard in the front with weathered cedar shingles on the other 3 sides, I pointed out that we could put a new color on the house by painting what equated to 2 walls of a room. Kenny was open to the idea and asked what color I had in mind. "Well... with the brick red shutters & door I think it would look really good in an historical yellow color; but it's gotta be JUST the right color yellow or it's going to look like McDonald's." That's OK, he said, worst case we could paint the shutters & door a different color. I shot him a quick look like Don't Be Sarcastic; WHAT? he said; "It's just that, we have like 21 windows with 2 shutters each." He blinked; Oh ****. You BETTER get the right color yellow; I forgot the shutters go all the way around the house!!

Stay tuned tomorrow to see just WHAT color I picked and how it all turned out... judging from the comments of passers-by it's a great improvement!!