Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bargain Art

I confess, I love auctions. I'd never been to one before 2004, when I attended my first one with my seasoned veteran date, James. He had been going to them for quite some time. At my first auction with James, I picked up a few small Belleek china items for a great price, and I was hooked. My two auction passions are pottery and artwork. I don't normally luck out on pottery or vases, because fantastic pieces like Roseville and Fenton usually don't go for cheap- everyone recognizes those names and knows their worth.

This year, we've been to a few auction houses as well as estate auctions. Not only do we always have a lot of fun, we always come home with a neat find. In fact, I don't know that we've ever been to an auction or estate sale and NOT bought anything!

Although my sewing abilities are relegated to only cross-stitch, I do appreciate the hard work that goes into any kind of stitching project. At the last auction we went to, I got the pair of needlepoint horses below for next to nothing. They were obviously old pieces, but they were horses after all, and I can't pass up anything with a horse on it.

The piece below is a bit quirky- it's someone's original hand drawn architectural plan. It's actually quite large, and it was professionally framed, and I can see the talent and time that went into this. Plus, no one else bid against me so I got it for two bucks! Hey, $2 for an original work of art is a bargain, no matter what the subject is. I have it hanging upstairs over my work table, where I have great intentions of one day creating my own art again.

This painting below is an oil, and from the looks of the frame, it's fairly old. I told James I was interested in it, and while I was busy playing on my phone, he'd bid on it and won it before I even knew it had come up for auction. I think we picked this one up for a fairly great price too, less than $20.

The original water color below we got at an estate sale, and the departed was definitely an art collector, he had every space in his home covered with an original painting. Many were from the artist that painted the piece below, entitled "Seaside Cottage", which was painted in 1977 by Franklin Jones. I have never heard of him, but have since found articles about him online. He wrote several books about how to paint with water colors, and these were at the estate sale as well, along with I think a few dozen of his paintings. We paid a little more for this piece, but I love it. It was crooked inside the frame, so I took it out to straighten and reframe it, and found another original water color on the other side, by the same artist! It was not complete, but I thought it was a pretty cool discovery.

And the best of the best is below, a huge piece we got a few weeks ago. It came from a farm house in Pennsylvania somewhere, and I knew I had to have it. I wish I could show you how big it is, it's about four feet high and five feet wide. It's an original oil. And of course, I had someone bidding against me (a phone bid), but my dear husband knew how much I loved it and he outlasted the other bidder. It's not the most expensive piece of art I have, but it's the most I've ever paid at an auction. It has a place of honor right in our living room- in fact, I took down a big horse painting that was already there and put this up instead. I love it, it's original, and even though I don't know who painted it or even when, it was a fantastic find and I love it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kitties Still Spoiled Here

I don't want you to think that just James and I have been upgrading our digs. The cats, of course, are always first in our thoughts. Check out their new kitty condo. We got this a few months ago, at a huge antique/furniture show. We went with the intentions of finding an old desk for James' office- and we did, bu well beyond our budget. Instead, we came home with this fabulous piece.

We walked outside and I had literally just said "they don't have anything here for cat lovers" and we stumbled across this! Several of them, but this is the one we loved and brought home. The guy who makes these is local, and not only does he make gigantic ones for shelters, but he also custom makes pieces for homes all over the country (he had a photo album to share). We've talked about going back to get another one, the cats love this thing. Here is his website, Furwood Forest, and you can see he has quite a talent and imagination.

I think this is an awesome cat condo, and I don't mind saying this piece was less expensive than the cat condos at PetSmart or in catalogs I've looked at. If you are a kitty lover, check out the website, he ships!

Hello Again!!

Well what better way to get back on the blog, than to update with the new computer. After all, without it, I wouldn't be here again. It took awhile but everything is pretty much back in place. Above is the new computer, and James' new desk. He moved everything so that he can look out the window now. There is a second smaller desk to the right, not in the photo, but it's still a mess and he's getting it all fixed up to his liking.

Everything is new- new computer, new keyboard/mouse, new printer, and two new monitors- one of which also is an HDTV. With a flick of a button, it becomes a second PC monitor. I am happy James went for this set up, he's never had a TV in the office, so now he can work and watch the Braves play at the same time. I'll be blogging from here, since this is where we download the photos.

Below, we moved the old desk upstairs to the bonus room, which is sort of my office. My laptop is up there now, and I put it under the window that looks down on the back yard. Sweet. I got a great new camera for Christmas, so I've been taking lots of fantastic photos that I'll get posted on here as fast as I can! Plan to do some catching up this weekend, so I'll have a few posts. Thanks for hanging in there, glad to FINALLY be back, for real!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

One Day Closer

Yes, one day closer to getting back on the blog permanently! Our new computer is still at Best Buy today, but they promised they would be finished transferring all our data from the old computer in a few hours. The new office is set up, we have new desks, 2 new monitors, even a new printer. And upstairs in my studio, I inherited the old desk where I can keep my laptop and have a place of my own.

I'll still use the new computer for blogging, because we'll keep all our photos on it. I can't wait to be back on, I have missed posting and reading and discovering new blogs to follow.

Look for me this week, back on here boring you with vacation photos, tales of the kitties, and the goings on at our house.

Thanks for hanging in!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

In Limbo

I hope that very soon, I'll be back on here. No, we still don't have a new computer yet, so no internet access at home. It's high on our list of priorities, we just haven't been home the last few weekends. James is changing out his whole office- we recently bought him a new desk and his old desk will go upstairs to my "art studio" that I never have time to use. A new computer and printer are in the works shortly- I am hoping for sometime this month!

In the meantime, we've stayed busy around the house and around town. We've spent a lot of time working in the yard (some of my flowers above) and still have a few projects we want to tend to this year. We've had two great vacations already this year, with more travel planned for the fall. And we always have our little weekend jaunts here and there. Around town we stay busy too. We've been to a few great auctions and picked up some nice artwork and antique pieces.

I've got tons of photos to get posted on here, so once we get back up and running I hope to get caught up. Work still dominates our lives, my days are still 10 hours and James even more. But I miss blogging- both my own and reading everyone else- and I miss sharing the photos and stories with my friends and family who normally wouldn't get to see all the pictures.

Can't wait to be back in the blog world for good!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Okay, Really Still Here!

I am really really still here. Our modem at home has died, and I've been without Internet for awhile. I am posting quickly at work, before I get caught. I've shut down my weight loss blog, for lack of progress. But I've got so many great stories and photos to get caught up on here. Now that I have recovered from surgery, my right arm can take the extra abuse of the computer at home.

As soon as we get back online at home, I'll start posting photos from the last vacation, etc.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Am Still Here!

For the few of you who still read my blog- I am still around. I have been avoiding the computer at home, with good reason. I've had incredible pain in my right shoulder since the first of the year, and on March 1st I finally had surgery (below). The orthopaedic team at Emory removed a bone tumor. I am still in some pain, so I try not to use the computer at home. It has been a long 2011 for me so far, and hopefully this surgery will be the cure! It is a possibility- dim- that I may need a second surgery if the pain continues. I have a large calcium deposit on a tendon in the same general area, and that may be the cause of my pain- but removing the tumor took precedence over the calcium deposit. Still waiting on the biopsy, but the doctor said it did not look like anything to worry about.

I have SO much to catch up on with the blog, so many photos to post and trips to blog about. So very soon I will be back on here regularly. James got me one of those mini laptops for Christmas, so I can relax anywhere in the house and post, and not be tied down to the home office.

Please hang on, and I'll be back on here really really soon! Thanks.