Five hundred dollars! Cash. Yay. And just in time for Christmas. Oh, but wait. I’m home alone — all dressed up and… (Ah, well, there’s always my little secret stash box where I can squirrel it away and lay in wait for the floodgates to open when we can get back to full-on retail therapy.)
My friend and neighbor recently bought a piece for his sister for Christmas. He was an antique dealer for over thirty years, traveling the country from coast to coast searching out the finest and most authentic pieces of history including stained glass windows that could be incorportated into entry doors, beautifully hand-carved wood bars that could be transported into people’s homes where they proudly entertained in their own private basement bars. He was an “American Picker” before they coined the term.
I dragged his be-masked self into my apartment to show off my latest creation. He zeroed in on the lower left-hand corner and gasped, “Whoa, this is a fine and rare vintage cream pitcher! It’s probably worth over three hundred dollars just by itself! Where did you get it?”
“Hmm, dunno — Goodwill? Grey Bears Thrift Shop? Or maybe Caroline’s Closet in Aptos? I’m always grabbing the small pieces that don’t weigh too much and are priced cheaply. I’ve learned to run my fingers over the goods to see if they are rough or smooth — rough means hand-cut, smooth means it was cast. I sometimes have trouble with Waterford which can feel smooth, but…well, if it has that little green sticker that looks like a gold and green seahorse, I grab it!”
“Well, I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m gonna surprise my hard-to-buy-for sister with this for Christmas!”
With that, I wrapped the piece in a bath towel, thrust it into his arms, and said, “Sold! You can drop off the cash later. And with money being tight, you can make monthly payments if you like.”
I grinned, nudged him out the door and did a little happy dance. Now that I have been paid, I’m a professional. I remembered the first time I got paid to jump out of a plane at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk on the fourth of July — the jumpmaster doled out some cash to our group of six and said to me, “Alright, CJ, now that you’ve been paid money, consider yourself a professional skydiver!”
I beamed with pride. Same as now — alright, alright — let’s not get carried away! Now that the inventory is down one, I have to get busy increasing production to make my quota for the art show. I already have my sequinned gown picked out, so it’s a matter of work, and working out to keep myself trim enough to fit into it. Always something.
In case you missed it, here are some comments from my last blog:
I am a fortunate person. Carole gifted me one of these pieces for my birthday several years ago. It sits in my bedroom window on the east side of the house and it sparkles, gleams, and shines when the sun is up — then so am I. I just love it! — Anne Ryan-Atkinson.
The piece Carole mad(—e for me in remembrance of my mother after she passed is very dear to me. It is a uniquely beautiful piece of art. Everyone who sees it comments on how stunning it is! — Nancy Castle-Buchanan
Our Carole Jean original sits proudly in the dining room and we love it ! Every morning the sun pours through that crystal!!! — Jan Nicholas
There was another comment that didn’t come through due to technical difficulties from Micki Price-Savage — oh, wait, that’s my mom. Still counts (smile).
The photos don’t do justice to the work but I think you get the idea! Thanks for your encouragement and support. Carmel Art Gallery, look out, here comes Carole Jean!