Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How We Spent our Christmas Vacation

The holidays are but a distant memory at this point - one week back at work has a way of making that happen.  The last of the decorations are tucked back into the attic, the houses are looking barren without all the finery, lights, and greenery, and the days are just short, dark and cold now.  The one sliver of encouragement this time of year is that we are actually gaining a little (very little) extra daylight each day. 

Amidst my afternoon Cuban coffee withdrawal (we had a nice hit of that each afternoon in the week leading up to the New Year and I'm still sorely missing it) it's a good time to document what we actually did accomplish over the holidays (precious little on the actual projects, but oh so much otherwise).

1.  Cutting and decorating our own Christmas tree - a fun family endeavor that we haven't indulged in a number of years, but the demise of our artificial tree made this a necessity this year.

 2.  Spending lot of quality time with family:

3.  Making and devouring the roast beast:

4.  Too many games of Mexican Train to count (some people tried some interesting moves):

5.  Saying good-bye to the huge leaning pecan tree endangering our house (we didn't do the work, but left it to the professionals):

6.  Clearing the yard with the new chainsaw on a 75 degree day:

 7.  Working the most difficult puzzle ever - the Constitution (no two identical pieces, monochromatic, and beyond difficult):

8.  Adding a new rug to the mix:
9.  And, most importantly, seeking an excellent home and Forever Family for this special and sweet guy who found us over the holidays after he was dumped off and on his own for days:

All labs are sweet, but this guy is beyond special - about a year old and so friendly and loving.  We can't wait to meet the lucky family who will be adding him to their home.  For now, he's safe and comfortable hanging out with us and Tosha is tolerating this temporary very big brother.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Art of the Auction

I'd like to say that we are becoming regulars at the antique auctions.  That would, however, imply the following: 

1.  We know a lot about antiques (we do not)
2.  We have the time to become regulars at anything (we do not)
3.  We are skillful at recognizing the value of auctioned items (we are not)

Despite not rising to the level of regulars, we have been trying to attend auctions more frequently in an attempt to outfit Glenlochan.  We even ate Thanksgiving Day dinner early to make that evening's auction (which might just be a new tradition).  So far, we've added three vintage finds to the house, had short-lived buyer's remorse about two of them, kicked ourselves for not bidding on 20 other items, wished that we knew a lot more about antiques, and generally had a lot of fun, despite our ignorance (or maybe because of it!).

There is definitely an art to buying at auction - bid too fast and too often and you can inadvertently drive up the price.  Bid too late, you risk losing the item.   Forget your ceiling and you risk getting caught up in the heat of the moment and a lot.  Rob has the strategy down, a holdover from his horse training days when he was a regular at the horse auctions.  I do not, so it's thanks to Rob that we have the three items we do. 

Rookie mistake number one - buying an item from the "ring" without previously inspecting it.  Here's my score in that regard:

This Victorian hall rack has all the original hardware, two scalloped umbrella pans, and a marble seat.  The detail was extraordinary - solid walnut and in great shape, none of which I knew as I was bidding on it.  I completely lucked out, considering I bid on it on a whim in the heat of the moment.   I had completely missed it during the pre-sale inspection period and I could barely see if from our auction seats.  And I had to outbid several interested buyers.  Needless to say, I was sweating it after I won until I could get to it to see in detail what I had purchased.  Not a mistake I'll make again any time soon.

The umbrella pans were filled with cement (someone must have had the bright idea to use them for castings) but I was able to get those cleaned out.

Not bad for a rookie.

The other two items were purchased a bit more deliberately.  Rob had his eye on a 19th century satinwood dresser, inspected it in advance, entered the bidding fray, and came out the victor on the other end.  It hadn't caught my eye during the presale inspection, but was a nice find for the bedroom.

And finally, the Cheval mirror.  I knew I had to have it from the picture on the website - I had been wanting one for years.  Rob inspected it pre-sale, and then proceeded to procure it for me with skillful flair, bidding for the first time just as the hammer was coming down, and spending slightly more than I was planning to bid.  It was the only thing I wanted for Christmas and I love it.

It wasn't the only thing I received for Christmas, however.  Rob managed to get me two voluminous books on antique furniture.  A little light reading in my quest to master the art of the auction.  Happy Holidays!