Over the life of this blog, we have made a few blogger friends. Jeri Dansky, a professional organizer from my home state of California, is one of them. Today I saw that Jeri had some great tips for keeping organized on online retailer Design Public’s blog.
Hello all! Alison again, Mark being otherwise engaged.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have a huge thing for antiques. I’m not quite sure why that is. My parents aren’t big antique lovers so it doesn’t run in my family, but an interest in history and a love of books and research definitely does. Most of the fun of buying something new (old) is going online or to my ever-growing collection of reference books and researching the history of a piece I’ve purchased.
Over 1100 booths in two buildings make for a very full day of antique hunting, but I’ve been going for several years and I have my favorite vendors, mostly those who specialize in mid-century modern pieces. Though not technically antiques at less than 100 years old, much of the time I unearth relics of a forgotten era: when average furniture was made from solid wood or good quality plywood instead of particle board, when everyone needed a personal ashtray after dinner and the imbibing of adult beverages was not limited to after work or weekends.
I admit that watching old movies or shows like Mad Men, I assumed that the scene presented had to be an exaggeration, or an affectation of Hollywood glamor. However, in talking to some the vendors at the DC Big Flea and sitting at Christmas dinner with a wonderful gentleman who was in advertising in the 1960s in Manhattan, I was forced to reconcile my romanticized view of a design era I love with a very different and somewhat tawdry image.
But then, that’s the wonderful thing about antiques or pieces that reference the past. It makes it easier to understand how we got here and move past where we are now, hopefully to something better. How’s that for a thought for the new year?
If you’re going to the Big Flea, make sure to swing by and see us in Chantilly. And if you stop into the Chantilly showroom on Sunday, I’ll play show and tell with whatever new treasures I acquired. See you then!
Just a note to anyone who reads this blog site. Thanks for the support, the comments, and the teasing. As I close out 2008 in my mind, I think of the year as the one that I decided to pull myself up out of the 1950′s and into the modern world. I will say that I am still debating the value of being engaged in the techno-internetty-blogger-facebooky world. But I’m trying my best to adapt, and I think that as long as you try your best, there is no shame in the mistakes that will be made.
So thanks for bearing with me through the errors and oops’. A year ago, I did not know what a blog or facebook was. Didn’t really care either. Somewhere along the way, someone thought I might have something interesting to say to people. The verdict is still out on that one!
Happy Holidays, and be well.
We just had a nice little mention on Jeri Dansky’s blog site. She was discussing various pop up TV cabinets, and seems to like ours quite a bit. What is shown is a solid Mahogany Glasgow credenza with art glass doors we made in house. Greg Gloor is the designer of this cabinet, which has been quite popular.
There are various ways to hide TV’s. I own a Library Entertainment Center, which Erika and I just love. The bookcases slide to the left and right over the rear bookcases to reveal the TV. Check it out on the web site – www.hardwoodartisans.com in the entertainment center area.
So, I have been doing a lot of work from my home lately, specifically AutoCAD drawings. It’s nice to be able to concentrate, and the complexity of the work dictates a lot of focus on the overall project. I work at least twice as fast at home as when I’m in the office. There is a lot to be said about working in some peace and quiet.
The other night I was working on a drawing I needed to get done, and had spent about 45 minutes to an hour working feverishly on it. I was almost finished, when my cat, Woody (what else would I name him?) jumped up on the table and laid down on the keyboard. When I tried to extricate him from my workspace, he hit the power button on the laptop. Everything lost. My boy, my boy. I love him, but just wanted to kill him at that point.
I go to a local coffee shop in Warrenton, Black Wolf Coffee, once in a while. Lately, I go there more frequently. Sherri makes the best mocha, and she recently has gotten me hooked (like a pusher) on coffee with two shots of espresso.
I heard that Starbucks had suffered a 97% drop in profits. Gees, I’ll take the 3% profit in this economic climate. Stop your whining, Starbucks. You have nothing to complain about.
Danker Furniture announced the closing of three stores in the area. This does not make me happy in any way. It actually makes me sad, and a little nervous. Many jobs are lost, and all the knowledge and talent that has been acquired over the years at Danker is dissipating. Competition is good for businesses. It affords the ability to differentiate oneself from the pack. I like Sherri’s coffee better. It has more love in the mix. Many people really liked Danker. They were reputable people who knew their jobs.
I worry about local businesses like Black Wolf. I go more often for several reasons. I figure I have $10 extra bucks a week to burn through, and if that makes a difference of keeping Black Wolf there in a year or not, I’m glad to do it. Also, I’ve been having some pretty interesting conversations with my barista (that always sounds so impressive) about stuff. Important stuff, like…….I don’t know………stuff. Really, going to Black Wolf makes me feel more centered, more focused on the day at hand. The visit is only for 5 minutes, but when I leave with a smile and a great cup of coffee, I’m good to go.
What I’m telling you is that we are all in this thing together, and some businesses are not doing so well. If they are worth having, go support them. Don’t let the doom and gloom of the economic forecasters dictate when and where you spend your money. Gas prices are down, the election is over. Go get a cup of coffee and celebrate.
I met a very interesting person today by the name of Jennifer Sergent. She is a reporter for Washington Spaces Magazine, one of the magazines we advertise in.
We found some common ground in that she and I went to the same high school – Langley – though several (read many) years apart. Also, she has a blog – washingtonspaces.com/blog like I do.
I found the time with her refreshing, like talking with an old friend. It’s nice to meet someone new who has shared similar experiences at some other time. It was as if I had known her for years. Have you ever had that happen to you?
When I said in my last entry that I am a master craftsman, I did not expect people to take notice so quickly! If you’re looking for some quality reading material, let me suggest a pair of articles featured in the DC Examiner and the Baltimore Examiner.
The first, in the DC Examiner, is an interview I did about our furniture donation initiative with ACTS, which I discussed in a previous entry. Sorry if it sounds choppy… I only had three minutes to interview!
The second, in the Baltimore Examiner, quotes Alison–that thirty-something Marketing Director of ours–about our Murphy and wall beds. Speaking of which, last weekend’s Post ad featured the Library Wall Bed. I think they make excellent guest beds… nothing beats a real mattress for comfort, not to mention the inherent space-saving features of being able to fold a bed into a wall.
We typically sell a lot of these beds around the holidays to families expecting out-of-town visitors, and I have to imagine other furniture retailers experience a similar phenomenon. I’ve also seen some pretty innovative guest solutions out there, though in my house we just put rocks under the mattress to get guests to leave early. In your house, where do your guests go?
I like to think of myself as being good at what I do. I work for a company that has been in business for 32 years, and I’ve been a part of it for the last 22. And yet every day I learn something new as a woodworker. In this field, it is very hard to be a “know-it-all,” no matter how hard I may try. So, as you can see, today when I make a piece of furniture for a customer, there are many things–collected over my 25 years as a woodworker–that I take into account. You might even consider me an expert furniture maker… even a master craftsman.
My extremely talented Marketing Director recently coerced me into writing down some of my sage knowledge in the form of an article, which we submitted to DesignLine magazine. Today the mail arrived, and with it came the magazine, with my published article on pages 16 – 17! “The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here! I’m somebody now!”
So, what do you think? Did you learn something? Bonus points if you can guess which movie I’ve quoted.
Wow! We’ve received a lot of interest in a product we’ve not even debuted yet… our Linnaea dining set! We’ve already drawn up plans for a table, and we’re working on the chairs as I type. Here, you can see two of the table drawings. It’ll be at least 4 weeks until we even have a picture of this never-before-seen item!
However, we do have one Linnaea dining item you CAN see now: the Linnaea credenza. This great piece is diminutive in size and works great as a small server or even as a living room cabinet which stylistically matches other items in the Linnaea Collection.
Do you have any other ideas for items we ought to add to the Linnaea Collection? If so, please leave a comment below!