Living room jungle

Living room jungle by Ginny Qtip
Living room jungle, a photo by Ginny Qtip on Flickr.

I am playing with Instagrams. This is my 2nd one.


Talking about the Sofobomo Photography Book project on Monday

I agreed to talk on Monday, June 20, at the Lancaster Independent Photographers' Group about creating a Sofobomo book in 2011. This was a fun project to do last year. I plan to do it again this year.

Today the first thing that I am doing is refreshing my memory on the process of making the pdf book and what it is that I can say about it that will take more than a few minutes. Not that it's that simple. It's easy but not that easy. But not everyone has the same software for creating a book.

I don't think many (or any?) in the group have the software that I have. Not that they'd have to have that but I can only talk about the software I used. I can only guess at the process of using other software. I used InDesign. I have Pages but I didn't use Pages and I'd have to figure out how to use it to make a book in order to talk about it. So can't do that Monday.

A more fun thing to talk about in regard to the Sofobomo project is what subject to choose for the book. Today I need to give some thought to possibilities for my own Sofobomo book for 2012. I've been very busy with other projects and without that phone call from Ken John asking me to do this for the LIPG meeting Monday, I might have forgotten about getting ready to do something for Sofobomo. An important part of the process is choosing the topic. I am hoping my giving this little talk on Monday will get me up to speed.

I have from today through tomorrow morning to come up with some ideas. Hmmmmm. Going to go and put on my super duper heavy duty thinking cap!

Here is the Sofobomo FAQs page.

And here is my Sofobomo Book from 2010: Cardonnacum, A Place of Thistles.

Logo 237 x 85



The Antiques Biz: The price of drop leaf tables, slant front desks, etc.

We spent most of the last week previewing and attending auctions. Far more than usual items that we're interested in buying were up for sale. One auction had over 2,000 lots, many of which were large lots. We were there for all three days. We acquired a number of things that we wanted and got the one we most wanted for a cheap price. It was a good week! Yea!

We made some observations though on the state of the antiques market. Most ordinary attractive usable antique furniture is at the bottom of the barrel of price. Hardly anyone wants it. If dealers can't sell to retail and retail isn't buying, dealers aren't buying.

A large 19th century tapered leg drop leaf table at which ten people could sit sold for a block price of $25 even though it was sold at a well advertised catalogue auction at a wellknown auction house located in an attractive upscale area. (Final price would be $25 plus 18.5%.) 19th century slant front desks sold for a few hundred dollars each. Those desks used to be staples of the antiques business at over $1,000. Wing back chairs were sold for in the very low hundreds of dollars each. Nice wing backs used to be $500 and up and up.

Some furniture lots included multiple pieces of vintage and antique furniture that were not parts of sets but were all good usable pieces. The auctioneer struggled to get prices of a few hundred dollars for the large lots. If you didn't have a truck, you'd have to remember to include the cost of renting a truck to pick it all up and bring it home. Dealers were the usual buyers of these lots.

We sat on our hands for almost all of the furniture lots. We don't have a truck or a store or any more room in our house for large quantities of furniture for resale. So I gritted my teeth and sat on my hands.
I did buy one furniture item for $175 block price (plus $18.5% buyer's commission). It was a small cute folky blue painted desk that we decided was tramp art made in the mid-twentieth century.

I had been so pleased with my acquisition of another lot for a cheap price that I allowed myself the indulgence of buying this cute piece. However, even though we had previewed everything well including this piece, we are undecided whether this particular piece was made seventy years ago or fifteen years ago. So I am a little disappointed in myself for not being more suspicious of it. But it wasn't a ton of money and it will look great in our bedroom in place of a plain white modern Ikea piece that has been sitting next to the bed for years gathering books and dust. The blue piece has a "character" that the Ikea piece doesn't.

My post today is to state that if you have rooms that need furniture, this is the time to buy antique and used furniture at auction. At least around here in Pennsylvania. I have heard that the market for antiques is soft just about everywhere right now. So if you have a need for furniture, go out and look at what you can buy at auction. Compare prices to those in new furniture stores.

We had some 1950s furniture consigned to one of the auctions this last week too. We lost money on it.

It's hard to know what to do right now if you need to sell furniture. Years ago I was told that in our business when things are tough and you're not selling much "to buy your way out of it." In other words, accept that prices are low, the market is off, and use money that you do have to go out and buy items that are good deals and sell them for a profit. Or use them for yourself. They can be cheaper than buying new.

The current situation of the soft market is an opportunity. This is likely the bottom of the market and these prices might well not be around in a few years. (Can the price for a usable 19th century antique table go below $25 or even stay unsold at that price?) If you can buy something at a good price and still pay your bills, this is the time to do it.

Does $25 really sound like a high price to pay for a 19th century drop leaf table? As a seller, that is a disappointing price. As a buyer, that is a fantastic deal!

(And btw I already have a very cool 19th century drop leaf table sitting in my kitchen that I bought at a previous auction at the same place for the also cheap price of $200. My table, bought a year ago at the same auction, has cutout shaped skirt ends and an original old red finish. I am hoping to clear out the clutter one of these days, get some chairs to go with it, and use it for its intended purpose. Right now it is covered with boxes of "stuff".)



Links to a couple of blogs & a post on blogging

I found two blogs this morning that had posts that made me smile and made me want to come back to read more. So much so that I want to share the links to them. The first one linked led me to the second one.

Penelope Trunk
The Pioneer Woman

I will be spending more time reading these blogs. My acquaintanceship with them is still new. I've only read a few posts so far. One of the posts I read was  "Ten Important Things I've Learned About Blogging" written by The Pioneer Woman. I got a kick out of that. I have done some of those things (even if I don't have a sister) but I have been seriously terrible about others like how often I write a post.
My intentions are good. I intend to write more often but then life comes at me and I spend entire days spending time doing something other than thinking about writing a post and by the time evening comes, I just want to lie down on the couch in front of the tv and fall asleep. Weeks go by, then months without a post written by me on any of my several blogs. I don't know if I will change this. I am guilty of blog neglect.
Maybe Pioneer Woman will inspire me to get my act together and take better care of my blogs?! Or not. BTW, if Barb is reading this, you will likely seriously love those two blogs!



Photo and a link to more photos: Cockatoos

Today I went to Feathered Sanctuary, a parrot rescue organization in Willow St., PA, to see and hear a talk given by Tracey on understanding the body language and behavior of cockatoos. I don't own a cockatoo or plan on getting a 'too but I thought that learning more about any species of parrot might help me understand my own parrots better.
Tracey gave an excellent demonstration and spent a lot of time answering questions about parrots and answered questions about other types of parrots too.
While I listened, I took a lot of pictures of Tracey, the parrots, and some of the people there. I uploaded some to an album on Facebook which is at this url: Link to album on Facebook 
And I am uploading one photo, my favorite, into this post:



Lori Stahl's photograph of me!

Lori took 136 pictures of me!
Thank you, Lori!
Here is one of them: