Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Antiques: Prices & Popularity

I'm not sure where the decline began but I blame part of it on the attrition of the use of "vintage" as a term to describe an item of some age.  I think we have totally confused our audience by incorporating the misuse of the word into our vernacular.  I've been chastised on an Etsy chat for using big words so perhaps one who doesn't respect the language should stop reading now.  I do and I use it as fluently and literally and inventively as I can.  I'm known as a grammar Nazi on Facebook.  I didn't cap that word.  Spell check did.  Spell check is not smarter than I am and I resent having to spell check spell check. 

Back to business.  Antique.  We all know the long held US import standard of an antique that is must be a hundred years old.  I try and respect that giving twenty years on the cheat side on occasion.  Somewhere I read the customs definition had changed but I just googled it and it is still 100.  So...sellers on Ebay who had something they knew was old but they weren't willing to chance using the strict term of "antique" came up with "vintage".  I saw the tide.  I fought but I lost.  To me, we compromised ourselves too much at that point and people began to mistrust.

This is vintage:


The term was previously used to describe wine of a certain year.  As you can see vintage does not necessarily mean old so the term is being misused to describe an item with the indication of age.  Nee antique. 

So...on a slow TV night recently I watched two episodes of Antiques Roadshow and guess what?  The trend has followed as in reduced values.  The two shows I saw were actually a shock to me in that AR would even admit to lower prices on anything.  I blame them for the astronomical prices people of an estate mind set were misled into believing the worth their stuff is worth.  And, while blame is in the wind, I blame American Pickers for the fact that NO ONE is willing to pay the price marked anymore.  I dislike the term "I digress" but maybe I did.

The point is, it is a phenomenon that I have been noticing reluctantly.  Our antiques just aren't worth what they used to be.  One excuse is that the younger generations wants nothing old.  They want new from Ikea.  Fancy any of that ever becoming a fine antique.  Another is the distrust built by fakes and forgeries unloaded on both those sites I mentioned earlier. 

Where it hurts me most is in our estate work and in appraisals.  It is very hard to tell an executor or a delighted heir that what their benefactor has left is not worth what they saw on AR in 2000.  It was proven to me by the decrease in values shown on those two episodes.  I still can't figure out why they did those shows and I wish everyone had been required to see them.

Please keep in mind that while there are nuggets of truth and veracity in what I write, I also have a tendency to attempt to add flavor with a bit of sarcasm or cynicism. 

I really would like your opinions on values and why we are seeing such a downslide.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

                                            A beautifully mature mountain dogwood tree. 

Springtime in these mountains has been a bit of an adventure this year.  We had beautiful days in February and March.  April overdid herself with showers.  It rained biblical.  The good news is that everything is lush and green now with blooms and buds a'plenty. 

Springtime brings projects.  I have had a rapidly receding land issue with the creek for the last two years.  The roots are showing on some of the hedge plants that grow along it.  Today I had a wall installed to stop the erosion.  Railroad ties backed with sandbags full of concrete.  We were careful to follow the "meanders" and built up from where the bank stops now.  Then we filled in some topsoil behind the timbers to help out the hedge.  It will take time for it to fill in completely but it's a start.  Expensive work.

So now it's May and the March winds are blowing.  I vowed yesterday to come inside and stay until I could go out again without my hair blowing in my face.  That didn't last but it was not quite as bad today.

Etsy is in the news again.  A new CEO.  For myself, I'm about ready to give up.  I'm tired of ridiculous changes and surprises.  Things seem to have slowed down tremendously since the news broke last week.  That is compounded with the new rules about payments.  I have been with PayPal since they paid $10. to you if you joined and I've never had a problem that couldn't be worked out.  They have phone-able Customer Service which Etsy does not. Etsy has decided that they will process PayPal payments too.  I'm not quite sure how that is legal but everything has to go through what is now known as Etsy Payments.  That, we resist, since most of us are still deleting spam from our emails from the hack that took place at Etsy a year or so ago.  I'm thinking of giving it up. 

I've run a 20% off sale in my Etsy shop this week and nary a nibble.  It's a bit depressing. 

I have three online friends who have moved on to their own website and are doing really well.  I wish I had the fortitude to try it.  With all else I have to keep up with I don't know if I could do it.  Then again, I might like the challenge of something new. 

Any readers dealing with Etsy these days?  Do you have a website?  Does it do what you'd like it to do? 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter is almost here.  Are you into dying eggs or examining your spirituality?  Or both, certainly. 

I loved Easter baskets when I was a kid.  I also enjoyed the tradition of getting decked out in a new outfit for church on Easter Sunday.  That is what Easter meant to me for many years and it is probably what I passed on to my daughter. 

Although I, in my own way, observe Lent, I'm not even sure I will attend church on Easter.  Perhaps Maundy Thursday or Good Friday.  I have been seriously struggling with my church relationship and spirituality.  My little church has been involved in a sex abuse scandal for several years and there has been a sort of frantic attempt to close ranks that actually became a house divided.  There are those who refuse to accept reality and those who are appalled that it was allowed to happen when there was clear evidence that an unhealthy situation existed.  Local cases remain in the hands of authorities waiting for the local DA to determine if he wants a trial.  Meanwhile, the perpetrator has been banished from the church in the area where he now lives and is getting older every day.  I sometimes wonder if the local thinking is if we let it go long enough he will pass away and we don't have to bring the scandal home.  I seldom go to church anymore. 

So, no need to get new clothes for dressing up - not that I did that anyway as an adult.  However!  I think I will make myself an Easter basket.  I may even dye eggs.  I think there is a farm around here that sells the Martha Stewart colored eggs.  Perhaps a collection of those? 

Finding beauties such as these would preclude the Paas procedure.  Not having looked for a while I have no idea what packaged products are out there for dying.  I loved the little transfers but seldom was successful at applying one.  Is vinegar still a requirement?  I have huge bottle of apple cider vinegar left over from my failed attempt to use vinegar as a diet aid.

Having learned recently that a neighbor of mine is raising chickens and having read so much about how wonderful a truly fresh egg can be, I've wondered about raising chickens.  I wasn't looking for that information as I looked for a photo of the naturally colored eggs but I found this great blog that is all about chickens.

The photo above is from poultry blog since Google didn't cough up a legitimate photo of Martha's eggs.  The kindness extended, though, to a full page of Martha Stewart links to decorating eggs like these:

Don't you like the edgy look of these?  I wanted to say non-traditional. 

Here's the link:
I think I will sign off since Blogger keeps telling my attempt to save has failed.  I haven't tried until now.  Let's see how that goes.
I hope you and those you love find all the best eggs.