Friday, May 22, 2009

Just for fun

I plan to use this blog to tell you mostly about antiques and collectibles and issues in the market place but to tell you the truth - my yard is consuming most of my interest this week. So, I figured I'd show you some pictures and tell you what I know about the plants - BUT first, a picture of the one real antique in the garden...NO NOT ME!

This one to the left is of my Lightning Rod...copper with a milk glass ball. And its standing by the trunk of what used to be a plum tree til lightning hit it about 10 years ago. - Don't mind the jungle behind it...that's forsythia that runs wild...I have to get my hedgetrimmer fixed and "shave" it back so it conforms more to the "fence" shape. In front of my little statue (thank you to my MIL for a birthday present years ago) are day lilies Stella D'Oro - (gold). These are everblooming - meaning once they start in a couple of weeks, they will have yellow flowers all summer.

Here we go - the back yard is shaded by a huge, wide pine tree -which coats the ground with pine needles and pine cones (more about them on another blog - my ONLINESELLINGFORFUNANDPROFIT blog .) So some things won't grow there. It also shades that side very deeply. There is, besides the pine tree, an Empress Tree. Now I love it, but it's got roots all over and also shades the yard quite effectively all through the spring and summer. Heck it shades the neighbor's house across the street in the FRONT. So I have Hostas growing there because they grow elsewhere in the yard (but those pictures disappeared. I'll find them and post them later.)

That's PART of the trunk of the Empress Tree - with Hostas all around it in the nooks and crannies so I never have to mow in there and those other little green things are violets (wild ones) so I'm leaving them. See the pine cones? keep them in mind - next week I have a post about what to do with them on the onlineselling blog. (which should give you a hint)

Now, that particular kind of hosta grows tall and wide - it's just not getting enough sun back here but this is what it looks like out front with about 4 hrs of sun...

This one is about feet across ....yep - that wide. It's also about 2 feet high. And about August will have tall spikey flower stems with delicate lilac flowers...which make excellent dried flowers or pressed flowers for crafts.

The other corner of the yard is sunny but has a tendency to be a bog - so I planted "philadelphia" lilies - or tiger lilies or day lilies...what ever you want to call the. I love these. They just don't last long enough to suit me. Real short bloom time and real short bloom life but so pretty!! AND? the best part is, they are doing FANTASTIC in a wet place that has driven me nuts for 32 years we've been in this house - Check these out:
In another couple of weeks these will be masses of orange/reddish flowers! I personally think putting 10 plants in year about 10 years ago was the best gardening idea I've had.

THESE Are also excellent for drying or pressing and also for a craft I'll tell you about another time.... flower pounding. So much fun - such pretty things as a result!

Ok, that's the garden report for today - I'll show you more pictures when the lilies bloom...

oh wait - one last picture - this was my Mother's Day present from my son.... I did raise him right... It's a ROSE TREE - now all I have to do is keep it alive

Saturday, May 16, 2009

For the truly compulsive collector

This is the cream soup - about a handspan wide

watch inside the handles for dings and small chips and all along the rim inside and out and on the base and the ridges of the pattern. -

This baby is the 13" long 9" wide platter - again watch for fleabites (the teeny tiny chips) and watch for chips on the base and the inside rim.


Beth's Blue Royal Lace

Royal Lace, along with a couple of other patterns is notorious for "fleabites" on the inside rim. This is because (Look at the platter or plate and come back) on the plates and the bowls with rims, they made a "sharp" edge inside of a rounded one. Well guess what? When you wash dishes and stack them in the closet, those sharp edges take a beating. SO, you should always put paper plates or a piece of heavier paper (not coffee filters - like art paper or cardboard - between plates and those cute cardboard soup bowls inside the bowls for the same reason.

And this, is the berry bowl. It's a small "nappy" or 4-5" bowl. It's got the exact same shape as the 10" master berry so now you can identify two more pieces just by remembering this one.

And for now - that ends our Royal Lace Depression Glass lession. What next you ask? I'll find something. After all , I still have 20 tubs and 80 cartons of "merchandise" in the garage.

And if you're bored, you can come read my "other" blog called The Compulsive Collector.

More Blue Royal Lace -

Gorgeous Huh?

These are the straight-sided candlesticks. The book value in Gene Florence's Encyclopedia is $165. (market's down)

Bottoms up - just to show you what they look like underneath ( you should always look underneath and check every one of those cute little feet for dings/chips/damage as well as the inside candleholderthingeepart.

IF! IF!! you ever find these (even 1) with a rolled edge - GRAB IT and hold on for dear life and then call me. It is one of those pieces EVERY Royal Lace collector wants.

THIS is the cup and saucer - which I'm sticking in here so you can see the pattern better- Remember -blue green pink, crystal in order of importance and amethyst anything goes right to to the top of your BUY IT NOW list.

AND Here's what I still have listed which I'll talk about tomorrow

Beth's Blue Royal Lace

I've been collecting and coveting depression glass since 1975. Right before my wedding, I saw a set of Green Cherry Blossom at an auction in Berks County Pa. The green glass just begged to go home with me. However, it forgot to call my bank and arrange a loan. The auction was scheduled for 3 weeks later so I scrimped and didn't pay a bill and I brought $90 to the auction. That was a lot of money for me then, Heck, it's a lot of money for me now!

So it's time for the auctioneer to sell the Green Cherry - including plates, butterdish, bowls, tumblers, pitcher, cups, saucers. And first he auctioned it by the piece, then while they added up the total in the office, he auctioned it by the whole lot as one. Silly girl that I was, I thought $90 would do it. It went for several hundred. And I went home heartbroken but determined. Some time later the next year, we started collecting blue Royal Lace (well I also collected Green Royal Lace when I could find it which wasn't very often).

So, here is the Royal Lace story. Hazel Atlas made Royal Lace from 1934 to 1941. Supposedly the name was a tribute to the Royal Family of England, and this was around the time of the abdication of King Edward and the coronation of King George IV (father of the current HRM Queen Elizabeth II) It was made in Green, Cobalt Blue, Crystal, Pink and a few pieces in Amethyst. There are reproductions and I'll talk about them later.

The blue is far and away the favorite of most collectors but green is growing more popular all the time. The crystal suffers from looking "dirty" or yellowish after time and the pink is a very pale pink with a tendency to look orangey.

Hazel Atlas was the child of a merger in 1902. By 1928 it was known as the "World's Largest Tumbler Factory" as they churned out machine made drinking glasses. They were one of the most modern, mechanized glass factories. In 1929, they added Green tumblers to their line and in 1933 Green, pink and topaz were added. In 1936, they added Ritz blue.

Mmany assorted pieces of Royal Lace were shipped to England then and are now, via the internet and eBay finding their way back to the States. Cobalt blue was introduced in Royal Lace in 1938, a time when war was looming and shipping glass to England had lost some of its priority so most of what is found there appears to be Green, Pink or Crystal. Which is fine with me since it's hard enough to put to gether a set of blue anyway.

The story goes that Hazel Atlas had been making the Shirley Temple sets (mug, cereal bowl and creamer) for a cereal company and when they canceled the balance of the order (due to the economy or the war or lack of interest) they used up the left over materials for the Royal Lace pattern and it was so popular they kept making it. I don't sure sounds fishy to me.

Royal Lace has, give or take, 38 pieces in 4 main colors. This line has 5 sizes of pitchers, 2 kinds of candle stick a number of center or console bowls. There are dinner plates and grill plates. Lots to collect.

And here pictures of various pieces atarting withe the crown jewel of any collection - the butterdish. And you'll see why this is my absolute favorite pattern.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Auctions and Antiques -

First I apologize to my followers - this blog got off the ground and then "life" happened and it's been neglected for a month. I'm intending to not let that happen again.

How many of you have gone to a real life bonafide auction?
NO? You'll love it. eBay is nothing like a real life auction.

I'm gonna talk about my favorite kind of auction - general merchandise or household first. This is where someone breaks up housekeeping or moves or gets new furniture and wants to eliminate "things" from their house.

So there's an auctioneer, who does the "calling" (a singsong chant they practice in auctioneer's school) and his "helpers" who are called spotters sometimes. They hold up the particular piece or pieces or point to them and take them to the winner or to the "holding pen" where winners pick them up after they pay.

When you register at the auction (which you normally have to do)they give you a bidding number. Sometimes it's a little card the size of an index card, sometimes it's a paddle (looks like those old paper fans from Church pre-air conditioning). Every time you bid, you wave that frantically in the air. When you win, they write down your number and add that amount to your bill.

At the end of the auction, you go pay the cashier and they give you some form of "accounting" of what you bought. At one auction I go to, they used to use little coupons for each item. They write on the coupon what it was and how much your winning bid was. All your coupons where sorted by your bidder number and totaled up. Check, cash or credit ponied up and you get to take your winnings home.

The trick for me, has always been to go early and "preview" the auction and decide what I can't live without. Then while I wait for the auctioneer to start I decide how much of a hit my budget can stand for that item.

Once he starts taking bids, I wave frantically til I win. WALA, it's mine.

now some auctions will let you pick up big stuff (sofas, pianos, trucks, lawn tractors, book cases etc.) tomorrow or later next week. Some will pack your items. SOME take online bids and will ship to the winning bidder. (no on eBay anymore Thank God, but on several other sites, which we'll discuss later).

How do you find an auction you ask? Put in your zipcode and they'll tell you all about the auctions near you. My local newspaper also runs auction ads, primarily on Thursday in the one paper and Saturday in the other. Sometimes papers have a whole section devoted to life-style and will have an "antique" column where they will feature the antique or general auctions (as opposed to industrial, real estate, and automotive). So there you go. Check out auction zip and try your first "household" auction. You'll like it, I'm sure.