Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Appraiser Polish - Wedgwood Pottery



Lately, I have been doing a special trick to learn my antiques...I have been choosing polish that reminds me of a kind of antique that I want to learn more about. 

I choose this polish by Nails, Inc this week because it looks like Wedgwood porcelain.

Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, commonly known as Wedgwood, is a pottery firm. Wedgwood was founded on 1 May 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood and in 1987 merged with Waterford Crystal to create Waterford Wedgwood, an Ireland-based luxury brands group. 

Wedgwood is most famous for their blue and white design – which I LOVE.




The color blocking effect and timeless blue and white is SIMPLE but so vivid and exciting at the same time. I really like the matte finish. It's also somewhat affordable right now - it's also very durable and if you get the earlier pieces, it's really high quality. (Hint - blue is the most common but also my favorite - green is rarer!)




You can find cameos, pendants, and other accessories in this pattern. The neoclassical patterns are really fun and if you look closely, you can see how the Romans lived and get a little peek into history on your vase!

Next time you are out and about, keep your eye out for some of this porcelain. If you need a pop of color in your decor, I highly recommend it.


Friday, March 6, 2015

8 Things People Who Work in the Antique Industry Can't Stand Hearing When You Are In Their Shop


Y'all know I work in the antique industry in sales and as a professional personal property appraiser. I absolutely love my career and so many things about it. It's exciting, interesting, every day is different, and I have met so many amazing people and seen some incredible things over the years...and I am just starting out. I love the history, research, and stories...but there are also some times when I just want to scream - mostly in my shop. 

I am guessing almost anyone in retail customer service can identify with these things that we just can't stand hearing - especially those in the antique industry.

8) "I am just wasting time." 

I know people don't mean anything by this but you wouldn't believe how many people say it. "Wasting time" just carries a bad oura with it unless you are Dave Matthews saying it and then SWOON. Unless you are Dave, don't say it when sales people are working and come up to help you. Basically anything else is better.

7) "Do you BUY antiques?" 

EVERY TIME I fight the urge to say, "No. We steal them. Or better yet, all these things have been donated to us - do you want to donate something to us, too?!"

6) "I saw the same one that I have on Pawn Stars, Antiques Roadshow, etc." 

That's awesome for you. Keep in mind - those shows DO accurately represent what the item IS but the values are generally inflated retail prices - like when two people duke it out with the heavens aligned and they just won the lottery kind of prices. They do not give a fair market value - an FMV. That is the price that would happen in a normal day between several sets of people under no compulsion to buy or sell. Kind of like saying, "Oh, that's a good deal, I will take two, thanks!." That is a fair market value.

5) "I am downsizing." 

UGH. It always reminds me of someone on Biggest Loser or something. Generally, nobody ever downsizes something awesome. They are usually downsizing something that is dragging them down, right? Right. People always expect us to do jumping jacks because they are now "downsizing". What happened to UP-SIZING? Come in and tell us you are up-sizing and you might see those jumping jacks. Hell, I would even drop disco balls and bring in the dancing girls for the right "up-size".

4) "I have some junk I want to get rid of." 

When I get one where they actually say "JUNK", I tell them we do have a dumpster out back they can use. Sometimes, people even tell me that they have "had it listed on Craigslist for three months and not one person has called or emailed." 

3) "We already sold all the good stuff at the garage sale." 

People ACTUALLY tell us this on a regular basis. I literally just can't anymore. Not even. CAN'T EVEN.

2) "Grandma owned it and she was 90 when she died so it has to be old." 

Newsflash! Grandma might have gone shopping when she was 85 or could have been given a gift when she was like 89. Or went to target two weeks before her death. Just because Grandma owned it, doesn't mean it is "antique". Here are some easy tips - if it's microwave safe, or has a UPC code, or a certificate of authenticity from the home shopping network, it's not antique.

1) "Can I see the price on this, I have one JUST LIKE IT, will you give me $85 for MINE?!" 

Awesome. Let me stop what I am doing to actually generate income for myself and pretend to be interested while you make me pull something out of the case to tell you what the price is just so you can then try and sell me the item for the SAME PRICE as I  have it for sale in my shop.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Weekly Snapshots

Hey All! Here are a couple snapshots from this past week :)

Today: Peyton does this a lot. It's sweet. We keep each other warm. The amount of slime that covers my back from this is - I can't even.

Tuesday: I took a couple of business classes!

Monday: Made some delicious thai soup.

Sunday: Had some amazing bengies from Lucile's and went to the museum and studied quilts!



What was a bright spot in your week? 

XO,
Rachel

Friday, February 20, 2015

Missing My Buddy Today

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Audry - she was my first true love Bulldog - I got her by myself after I moved out. She was a rescue and I had four wonderful years with her. She came to the shop with me, just like Peyton does.

 
She died suddenly on July 25th, 2013, in my arms at the doll shop of a heart attack. It was one of the saddest, most precious moments of my life. My family and friends on Facebook really helped me through that time. I still have all of the sympathy cards on my desk. They meant to much and still do!


Four months later, I opened my heart and doll shop to Peyton. It was like getting a puppy.
 

It's amazing how DIFFERENT the dogs are. They are nothing alike. Audry was overweight, sweet, emotionally self supporting, and very wise. She didn't care about the small stuff and nothing really interested her. I loved that about her. She basically didn't give a f*ck. She didn't like any other animals and was content sitting in the grass, watching the world. Peyton is lean (almost underweight yet she eats like a wolverine!), wild, inquisitive, playful, and extremely needy and insecure. They are polar opposites - yet both were puppy mill rescues. Peyton is 100% more work than Audry.



Peyton had to stay home today because she was so disruptive yesterday and she needed a time out. I am missing them both. Today, I am grateful for furry blessings. They are HARD work but so worth it.

Happy Friday Friends!

XO,
Rachel

Monday, February 16, 2015

Someone Has To Start The Slow Clap - Lent 2015

My friend Danny AKA my gay husband, posted this picture on my status last week where I announced that I was once again giving up Facebook for Lent:

This was absolutely hysterical and I am still laughing about it.

Lent for me is a great time to unplug Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Facebook. It's a fantastic way to engage, learn, and keep up with friends and family.



If you follow me on Facebook, you may see a lot of my adventures. I share a lot. It's interesting when I talk to people from the outside whom I haven't seen or talked to in awhile and their reaction to my posts is usually something like, "OMG it looks like things are going SO GREAT for you!"

Well they ARE in many ways. I have worked really hard to be where I am today, right here, writing this blog. I also have some stuff I need to work on.

If you have a perfect life, relationship, job, house, body, etc, then you can just stop reading right here and enjoy this picture of Peyton in drag.


For everyone else - I am sure you can identify with me when you have thoughts or goals that you would like to see accomplished - and perhaps are sick of saying over and over, "I would like to...or I wish I had...such and such."

Lent is 40 days. In my 40 days, I have a couple goals and I am putting them out to the universe which makes them automatically more real than if I kept them floating around in my head.

1) I would like to learn something really well - to the point that it impresses people. 

  • Learn three facets of doll history REALLY well that I didn't know before. I want to learn the quirky stuff - so when I am doing my job as an appraiser and speaking on a subject, people might have light-bulbs go off because "I never knew that before!". 
  • I want to be able to talk on three subjects fluidly, without books or reference materials. This is a bigger and will require reading, retention, and commitment. To accomplish this, I will have to lay off a lot of my guilty pleasures like Daily Mail, Facebook (obvi) and reality television.
2) Lose the 8 lbs I have been dragging around since Christmas/Birthday/Miami. I know how to eat right, I know how to workout (by building it into my schedule), and I know the consistency it takes. Enough excuses. I had fun gaining those lbs - if you follow my Facebook page, then you got to see basically everything I ate. (It was glorious.)



I need to revisit in my mind when it is worth it and when I am just being irrational/bored/etc surrounding my health goals. Still knowing all the stuff, having seen a nutritionist monthly for 18 straight months, I have not been consistent since Thanksgiving 2014. I am hoping to use Lent to recommit and lose some unhealthy patterns that I have been sliding back into.

3) Send the ladder back down. I want to give back, help someone else out, and not tell anyone else about it. I have been given the ladder many times in my life and once you climb it, I firmly believe that it is your duty to send it back down. I don't know if it is going to be in the form of pro bono appraisals, working extra hours, helping a stranger, mentoring a friend, or giving money I earned to a great cause, I want to send the ladder back down and only I will know about it.

 (You are not the only one on the ladder.)

I will be blogging during my Facebook sabbatical so feel free to check in here to see what I am up to and I will be posting with how my goals are going.

What are your goals? If you have some things you are working on or towards, I would love to hear about them! Just sharing them "out loud" helps them manifest. If you are already working on something, awesome. If you want to start with me over Lent, GREAT. Let's get started!

There is ONE catch - your goals have to be something that gets you off the couch.




What are you going to DO?

Remember, you can make anything happen. You CAN do something SO WELL that is impresses people. Really, when you think about all the great things about yourself, can you name 5 things you can do really well and not just things you are (like nice, honest, etc). Being something is great but doing something is really important, too.

You don't have to take fancy cooking classes to learn to cook. Google it and watch some videos. You don't have to see a nutritionist or join a gym to meet your health goals. There is a wealth of information out there that you can access for free both online or in libraries. If I have accomplished or done something that you have wondered about or wanted to figure out for yourself, shoot me an email and lets chat about it!

Now, Danny, if you please - on Wednesday morning, feel free to start that slow clap. 

XO,
Rachel






Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pictures of a Bulldog Who Can't Even. Like, She Literally Cannot.

This dog just can't even. 


This dog is 100% over it - and these plastic tubs.


This dog seriously can't stand fleur de lys patterns on her towels.


This dog has absolutely had it with tiny hats. 


This dog simply cannot with these huge Victorian hats and hooker wigs. 


Like, seriously, can you just not? 


No, I cannot even without the hat.


This dog can't fucking believe her mother put her in diapers. 


"I am over foam fingers on Bronco Sunday." - This dog.


"...and New Years Eve. Seriously just stop." - This dog. 


This dog can't believe she is getting her picture taken right at this moment. She wishes it would just go away.


This dog has had it with Christmas photos...and that ridiculous elf necklace. WTF.


This dog isn't even close to handling the quality of this portrait of her - and having to take a picture next to it. OMG.


This dog could literally not give less of a fuck. 


Can this dog even? No, it cannot even. 


Can this dog from a chair? Nope, this dog can't literally anywhere. 

 
"Like, WTF are adults doing MOST of the time?" - This dog.


This dog is all, "Jeeves, the fuck?"


"Like for real...now you are putting me on sideboards for display? Like the actual fuck." - This Dog. 


This dog wants to know why she isn't still in her bed while wrapped in this stupid peace sign blanket. 


This dog just wants it all to staaaaaaaaaaaaaaap. 


Like for real. Even at the groomers. Just staaaaaaaaaaaaapppppppppp!!!





Because, this dog just seriously can't.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Hunk and New Years Day Vegetable Soup

I hope everyone had an awesome New Years. If you were in bed by 8 or just now getting to bed (been there!) I hope you had a safe and awesome time!

I had a blast going to Fogo de Chao with my favorite juicy men group. You probably see a lot of them on my Facebook page and the one on the right going into those great rolls is my number ONE fan, Danny Frazier.



 If I post something and he hasn't liked it in less than 5 minutes, I start to get genuinely worried. I LOVE it. I also love that Facebook is the reason we met! I friended him thinking he was the sexiest thing I had ever seen. I quickly realized he was of the other sexual persuasion which made it great for us to become fast besties. After looking at the below picture and you thinking you have seen a sexier man, your point is now invalid. Check this OUT:


I can't. I seriously CANT.

Anyway, I think my post was about soup. Get a cold wash cloth and compose yourself. Better? Ok, onto the soup.

After eating like a wolverine the last few weeks with my birthday and Christmas and New Years, I need a serious food overhaul and I start today. In general, I eat really well.. I have to. My body is like a venus fly trap for fat and I can indulge a few times a week (if you follow my Facebook, you know I never miss my weekly yums) but the rest of the time, I keep it pretty clean.

One of my favorite things to have on hand is soup! I cleaned out the fridge today and there were a ton of vegetables in the fridge and freezer that I wanted to use. Soup is awesome for that - especially vegetable soup. I took three 32oz containers of good quality chicken broth (use vegetable too!) and started chopping and dumping..

I used corn, peas, carrots, celery, broccoli, fresh kale and spinach that needed to be used up, and a couple half used miscellaneous bags of frozen vegetables, some asparagus and zucchini that I steamed last week and a half used onion.. It was all stuff that was still good but stuff I wouldn't have used on its own and needed to move. Pour the broth ad all your vegetables in!

One of my secrets is using an immersion blender to blend about half of it. It makes it heartier and more flavorful because those vegetables get blended in there.

I also added a can of chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. You can really use whatever you have on hand but if you have these, they are an easy and yummy way to boost flavor.

My secret weapon it to put in a bottle of REALLY GOOD QUALITY pasta sauce that is JUST tomatoes and spices. I like Mario Batali tomato basil. It only has tomatoes and spices. YUM! 


Gilbert the cat watched the whole process and made sure it went smoothly.

It's been simmering a couple hours now. I added dried basil, garlic powder, oregano, and salt as well. Do it little by little to taste.

It's delicious with a sandwich, as a topping for chicken, with sausage stirred in, or a great afternoon snack. It's 85 calories a cup and this recipe makes a HUGE batch - around 20 cups. You can add cabbage, potatoes, beans, shredded chicken, leave out anything, it's so easy and a great way to clean out stuff that's been hanging around in the fridge. (It also freezes well!) I never worry about the calories of vegetable soup made of just veggies. I didn't gain weight on vegetable soup unless Taco Bell made a Crunchwrap Vegetable Soup Supreme or something. Then I would have to think twice.

So, with that, I wish you a wonderful and prosperous 2015. One of my goals is to blog more about staying healthy and finding great recipes (that are EASY!) to share with everyone. My goal is at least 4 blogs a month (so a weekly blog) and I am really excited to get back into it.

Oh and here is another picture of Danny - with his CAT! Drool city USA!


XO,
Rachel