Sunday, July 15, 2007

Estates for Sale

It's Sunday, we're both home and nothing is on the burner to do except find some estate sales to prowl. First destination is a home in the CWE where we found the bulk of our purchases today. Books, a bird-patterned crewel pillow (for 10 cents! see below), playing cards (most for Mail Order Bride's Dana) and some gold chains.

I also picked up a keffiyah here which I think was being used as a tablecloth as it was presented in the linens area. It's a really nice one, thicker and a little more detailed than the one my friend Alex Weir picked up for me in Turkey around 23 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I still wear and love that original one, but it's nice to have another, especially for $1! Anyway, you can barely see it in the photo as Olive thought it a nice bed.

Lastly I got a funny little gold colored holder with six gold-trimmed shot glasses. Wouldn't that be cute for jello shots?

At the second sale we encountered an unpleasant lady conducting things, unwilling to bargain, citing her "fiduciary responsibility" to the client. It's an estate sale fer crissakes, lady. While Steve was drooling over the Esquire magazines from the 40s and 50s (they were quite lovely), they were priced from $10 to $15 each and, as she made clear, were not negotiable. All we left with was the Betty Crocker cookbook.

The third sale, in Parkview, was pretty cleaned out by the time we got there (and it was only 11am or so!), but I did snag the needlepoint Raggedy Ann pillow. Why? I don't know, except that it was $1 and it kind of scared me.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to again try to cast little shallow bowls made out of cement molded on leaves. The first time I attempted this my concrete mix was all wrong and they just crumbled as they dried. Further research told me that I needed plain Portland cement for the project so I set off for Home Depot to find some. Well, they indeed had it -- in 94 pound sacks. I managed to get a somewhat unwilling employee to help me get it in the cart and then a much more cheerful young gent helped me get it into my car. On the way across the parking lot he was chanting the HD slogan "You can do it. We can help" and humming their theme song. It was amusing. What worried me was how I was going to get this 94 pound bag out of my car when I got home. I mean, I knew I could lift it, but I also knew I couldn't go very far with it. I only managed to get it up to the front porch, but I was going to work there anyway. What this taught me is that when TV or movie characters rather easily cart around human bodies, it's SO fake. Obviously, a sack of cement is more concentrated, but STILL.

The cement leaves are still curing so I won't photograph them until they are done. I did check them out and they seem more structurally intact this time. I hope so. I want to also paint them. I think the cement absorbs paint in a very interesting way...If these work, I'm also going to try making one using one of my giant hibiscus flowers as a mold. I think that could be just fantastic looking.

Also yesterday I was inspired by another artist to make some papier mache vessels. I made a form out of wire and chicken wire and covered it in newspaper strips and flour paste. It's still drying, but I have high hopes for its potential. Suddenly I'm very interested in vessels -- things that can hold other things. Things that are useful in some way.

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