Thursday, February 25, 2010

If Rugs Could Fly

I currently possess and plan to sell four really beautiful rugs.
I know very little about rugs.
I'm researching my brains out, perhaps a bit more literally than I'd like (blerg migraines).
One of these rugs has a tag written in what I'm guessing is Arabic. I do not read or speak Arabic.
Upside-down it looks like cursive Hebrew. I do read Hebrew, though poorly and with little to no comprehension.
If anybody out there in Blogland does read Arabic or whatever language this actually is, I will love you forever.
If anybody out there in Chicagoland wants to buy a rug, I don't care about your language skills so long as we can sufficiently understand one another to make it through a transaction. I'm hurting for cash and the physical energy/ability to chase down buyers. This is a problem.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Camera's Got the Blues

I'm already a Photoshop addict; mindless snapshots of my friends at the Chinese New Year's parade are subjected to at least cropping and curves before I'll post them on Facebook. But today's batch of pictures were like a germaphobe finding a booger on his coffee cup.
I know my camera has trouble with purple. It thinks purple is blue. I heard a rumor that Canons in general don't like purple, so maybe Grimace screwed them on a modeling contract and this is their revenge.

Today I was not photographing purple, I was photographing the hats I got at the auction last week until my camera battery died. One of the hats is green, and while it came out green, the hat on the screen was significantly bluer than the hat in reality. I ended up color correcting every single shot. I always feel weird when I have to doctor photographs to make them look more like the real thing.
So purple is blue, green is blue. Camera, do you have the blues? Because these color identity crises are wearing thin, and for as much as I love Photoshop, all that extra work kind of...blew.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bidding Blizzard

One week ago today Chicago blizzardiness coincided with the estate/antiques auction I like to go to. I have the luxury of living a five minute bus ride away, whereas many of the even-more-regular regulars didn't consider it worth battling over a foot of snow to sit in a warehouse for seven hours just to get a shot at a good deal on a 12' piece of an old airplane wing or a cement casting of a cow skull.

I got the cow skull.

I got an incredible amount of stuff. With competing bids limited to die-hard dealers and warm-blooded, well-seasoned Chicagoans (What, this? It's called snow. Suck it up) gorgeous rugs went for hundreds instead of thousands. One woman could barely suppress a giggle as she bought one after another as the bidding climbed beyond my "dammit, I just don't have the capital or the knowledge" range. I still made it out of there with two Chinese and one Sarabend rugs for less than you could buy their knock-off versions at Walmart.

I knew I did well on the rugs. Everything else had me a bit worried; I always go in with a list of, " If it goes low enough, I'll bid on it" items, but those always end up selling for a few billion times my budget. This time, I ended up with a box full of 20s-60s era hats and purses, the cement cow skull, a tilting mirror, this huge fabulous atrocious black and gold oriental vase, a very mid-century lamp with more scratches than I'd like it to have, more friggin' china (in case I don't have enough to get rid of already) and more art than I intended.

I've finally almost caught up with photographing everything I had before this auction, so very soon, my little chickadees, you will get to see the causes of all this excitement and fear. But even without visual aids, I can tell you that after my last two days of research, I did even better than I thought. I have to be vigilant and actually sell things to people (money can be exchanged for goods and services, I hear), but researchland makes it seem like I made sound investments (if you can call a vase that could eat my dog an investment) and I just might get to eat next month after all.