Labor Day Weekend

Here we are, marking the unofficial end of summer this weekend! As I mentioned before, we have not experienced our usual late summer slowdown this year and there are no signs of stopping. We are nearly fully booked for the month of September. Next weekend all of our new sales are very close to each other, with two in Mother's neighborhood in Arlington Heights and one just over the border in Rolling Meadows. I joked that we should throw together a garage sale! But sadly at least for the time being Mother does not have the energy she used to. Rachel drove in from New York last Sunday with her new puppy Ozzy in John's Mini Cooper to spend time with Mother. Luckily she is working from home so she had the flexibility to come here and still be able to work. The plan is that John will fly in next Thursday and they will drive back together a week from today. On her last visit Rachel chose a very large vintage oil painting for her birthday and now she will be able to take it home with her. That is making Mother very happy as it is taking up a lot of space in her second bedroom. They are all planning to go to the Frida Kahlo exhibit in Glen Ellyn next Saturday and I will puppy-sit Ozzy while they are gone.

We tried to introduce Margot, Vivi and Ozzy all at once but that did not work out too well. Margot was actually the aggressive one, I think because she was the runt of her litter she always feels the need to stick up for herself. At the same time she is so sweet and happy, always wagging her tail. Ozzy is already so well behaved, calmly following commands but when Margot showed him her teeth, Ozzy did the same. Vivi just stood there and watched them do it. I put Margot and Vivi back in the car and took them home. Maybe when John comes back we can try again with Vivi only, she just loves John. In the meantime, Vivi is staying with us. Vivi is thriving on a regular schedule with two square meals, three walks and a few trips to the backyard every day and never whines like she does with Mother. Margot and Vivi have a sisterly rivalry going on but they have been coexisting well. Below is an example photo, this is very good behavior for them!

I was not able to post a lot of jewelry online this past week due to time constraints and I am debating about whether or not to post during the holiday weekend. I am thinking that even if folks are out of town, they may still peruse their Facebook feed and it is very easy for them to order, all they need to do is provide their e-mail address and I send them a PayPal invoice to pay. Yesterday I found a box of beautiful Native American jewelry that somehow was mixed in with my empty shipping boxes and other packing supplies. I also have more interesting vintage Native American pieces come in so I could definitely put a great lot together. I guess I answered my own question! The new Replica Surfaces came in but there has been a delay with the props. I am hoping they will be in next week.

With Rachel here I have been able to keep up with estate sale matters and have a little extra time to organize jewelry. I have gone through about 60% of the buckets of jewelry I had stacked in the living room during the sale at home about a month ago. I was able to polish and price quite a few new pieces. Others need to go to Mother so she can make cards for them. I gave her a small lot to do and started to accumulate a new lot. I can see the remaining shoeboxes in the living room have some amazing silver pieces in them. I will get them polished and priced so they will be ready for the big Long Grove sale. I am excited to report that although there were no jewelry sales at the estate sales the first two days, I have sold quite a few pieces at all of our locations yesterday and today. That means there will be room in the cases for new pieces! I have not added any vintage sterling rings to the cases in a long time and so far have found about a dozen.

Next weekend estate sale wise we will have our biggest "break" in months. Our three new sales are all a stone's throw away from each other, two in Mother's neighborhood in Arlington Heights and the other just across the border in Rolling Meadows. As far as this weekend's sales go, we are going to extend two of our four sales to the Labor Day holiday and the Lake Villa sale will be extended to next Saturday and Sunday. I am looking forward to hopefully a little peace and quiet today and tomorrow as the garage and basement need some organizing. Yesterday, Francelia and Alfredo delivered the Thayer Coggin sectional sofa which will go to Scottsdale for the living room there. It arrived all wrapped in plastic but I can tell it's amazing. It went from a dreary mauve color to a combination of a mossy green with pale blue piping. It sounds like a weird color combination but will be perfect with the pair of multi-color Eames-style lounge chairs which are already there. The sofa is taking up a lot of space in the garage so the goal will be to get Kuochun's car back in. I feel bad that it has sticky stuff on it from the trees. My van is old so I am not worried about it.

I have more furniture to send to Scottsdale as well including a very cool desk and bookcase headboard that will go in one of the upstairs bedrooms. These pieces are Counterpoint by Drexel. I would love a long low dresser to match but they are $$$$. I did get a super deal on the other pieces so I guess spending more on the dresser would even things out. Alfredo is also finishing up Mother's wildly extravagant antique bench. I found it on Facebook Marketplace in Arizona for $45 but it has cost so much to redo it. A refinisher in Phoenix who was recommended to me charged $500 to refinish it, we never would have put that kind of money into it for a $45 piece. Some things cost more in Phoenix than in Chicago. Lesson learned to ask the price up front! I brought it back here on my last driving trip so Alfredo could reupholster it. We found all of the gorgeous fabric for the sofa and bench at Loomcraft in Vernon Hills. It is really high-end and would have cost so much more through a designer. Below is a photo of the bench in progress, at the time Mother was deciding whether she would like double piping or nailheads so Alfredo could not finish it up yet. When Alfredo was here yesterday he said the piping would be best since the piece is very old tacking a bunch of nailheads into the frame could end up cracking it. Double piping it is!

While I was in Scottsdale I bought a suite of office furniture for my basement from a Burr Ridge sale sight unseen. The set has been sitting in my basement in pieces since before I came back. Part of the set is a large desk / work table. I asked Alfredo to help me put the table back together as I cannot do it myself. Alfredo could not figure out how to attach the drawer as there are no rails and the movers neglected to include the hardware so he had to make a trip to Home Depot. But at least the table is together and upright and the credenza is in place. There are some smaller console tables with pedestals and pieces of glass on top but I can handle moving those. I was disappointed to see that the desktop is totally sun faded except where it looks like a blotter used to be and the credenza is pretty beat up in the front. Lesson learned not to buy items sight unseen. I think the pieces would be worth refinishing but I will need to find a new refinisher. The one have been using for years is planning to retire at the end of this year and is no longer taking new projects. This project will need to go on the backburner for now but I will work on setting up the rest of the office furniture and getting the packing materials under control. I have never discarded any paperwork since the beginning of our store so I would like to start discarding paper which is more than 10 years old. That will help free up some space. I had enlisted the help of a professional organizer and although it was a slow analytical process she was a tremendous help in coming up with storage solutions personally for the kitchen and my bedroom and for business for our estate sale supplies in the garage as well as the photography center in my basement closet and past years' paperwork in the furnace room. The project was about 90% complete, however with the pandemic it was put on hold. At this point I am going to try and finish it myself. Many folks were able to take the time to get organized during the stay at home order last year but I had to spring into action and figure out another way to generate money to pay the business and personal bills. I will always be grateful to online selling which carried me through that time.

It figures that it is Labor Day and instead of thinking of relaxing, I am thinking of how I can improve things around the house while I do my regular work. Overall the house is in good shape with all of the major projects complete. The exterior landscaping needs an overhaul and I need a new back deck. I inherited the deck when I moved in, it is not up to code and is falling apart. Next spring should be a good time for that. When I first moved in 20 years ago, there was a little tuft of ground cover in front and my landscapers at the time said to just leave it. I know it is expensive to install so I agreed. It did not grow much over the years until last year when it seemed to just take off and now a lot of the area on the right side is covered. I definitely love the idea of using ground cover instead of mulch because mulch is expensive to have professionally installed and does not even last one season. I had the landscaper out before the pandemic to evaluate this project but had to put it on hold with the uncertainty of the stay at home order.

Enjoy your holiday weekend and I will see you next time!