Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Amy, Joey, and Katie go on an Adventure

I had meant to post about Brimfield on Sunday, but things kept popping up.

Katie, my friend from NYC (how posh does that sound?) came up to visit on Friday, and we had fun looking at the Piece by Piece jewelry she hadn't seen (or hadn't seen in a while.) We went out to dinner and to bed fairly early because we were to meet Joey in Brookline at 8am.

That doesn't sound early, I know, but I usually leave at least an hour to drive from Lowell to Brookline, although usually the traffic on a Saturday is not too bad. As it was, we left late, we stopped for breakfast, and we still made it on time.  I guess, if I had been on Amy-time I probably would have been a half-hour early. Katie-time is a little more nerve-wracking for me, but probably more efficient.

We called Joe from the car because I was carrying books for my sister and I didn't want to walk up three flights of stairs with them if I didn't have to. Then we piled into Joey's car and opened presents. We haven't seen each other since last Brimfield, so Joe had Katie's Christmas present and Katie had Joe's birthday present.

Then off we went to Brimfield.  Traffic was light, and we got a good parking place at May's. I think people might have been put off by the rain the night before, but we had listened to the radio and heard that it would stop in the morning, probably before we got there.

That happened to be the case, so we got to shop without the Brimfield dust, but with some of the Brimfield mud holes. A fine time was had by all.

I was very circumspect in my purchases, though. With Intergem last week and my trip to Pittsburgh, next week, I felt I had to show some restraint. In the end I got a nice vintage crystal necklace (which I am presently in the process of cleaning and restoring), and a couple of cigar boxes to be transformed in to display pieces.

We didn't make it to the J&J field until it had closed for the day, but we did have a nice visit with my sister and brother-in-law (Sport & Spool Antiques, picture above) while they were packing up.

It just seemed like an extremely short day, even though I got up at 5:30 and didn't return home until after 9.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Surrounded by Sparklies

It's been an eventful week. Smashed in between was Mother's Day. As a childless, single person, I felt I had to call all my childless, single friends and wish them a Happy Mother's Day. (Oh, and I also called my mother, who got my card so I'm still in the will...just kidding.) I think this may become a tradition for me. It costs very little to call someone on the phone and we all got a giggle about getting a mother's day call when we aren't.

It's not that we don't appreciate what those of our friends who have become mothers have done, will do and are, it's just we chose a different way and are fine with it. I guess it's hard to explain if you're not someone of "a certain age" who has made that choice. I used to regret it, but I find the older I get, the more I don't. Weird, huh?

Enough sermonizing....on to the jewels.
We went to InterGem on Friday. I should say we spent ALL DAY at InterGem on Friday. I don't think we've ever spent that long or that much at a show. Every muscle in my body hurt (and I couldn't help thanking my lucky stars that Brimfield in NEXT week.)

Yes, you read that right, I was totally done in at the end, but it was fun. First we went to the "wholesale" side where you have to have a resale license to get in (or sneak in...but we have a resale license, so we got in legitimately.)

Peggy's new "thing" is facetted gemstones, so we were looking for nice stuff at a good price and we did find that...unfortunately, a "good price" is still more than semi-precious beads, and I think we spent more than we did at our first three bead shows, combined!

We struck the mother lode early on  when we bought some really nice apatite, aquamarine, kyanite (a really nice stone which is a dark blue, like sapphire, but a little purpler) and Ametrine (which is different colors all mixed up in the same stone...very nice.) Later we shopped several vendor's "bargain bins", and ended up with some very sweet little rubies (probably about 3mm round), some heart-shaped green topaz, the london blue topaz we kept trying to order from Fire Mountain (but they were always out of stock), and, yes, some sapphires...FINALLY.

Where we struck out was the settings and the chain. I only found one nice delicate, thin chain in sterling, and one interesting, heavy one in copper. Of course, we ended up with the usual headpins and bits and bobs we pick up when we see them because we can always use them. I can see I'll have to go back to the catalogues after I've been "economically stimulated."

Elated and depressed, how can that happen?

Luckily, our order from Fire Mountain came today (Tuesday) with the settings we didn't find at Intergem. It took four hours to process everything, check it off the order and put it in it's little baggie or box cell. I'm almost as tired as when I went to InterGem.

The other fun thing that happened last week is that my sister and brother-in-law are starting a web site for their business, and I'm working on it. I may be in over my head, but I figure with the three of us, we'll probably be able to make it work.

Right now, it's just a temporary page, but you can check it out at Sport and Spool Antiques. One of their pictures is over to the left.

I wouldn't expect it to be up and functioning for a bit. They will be at Brimfield this week and off and on the road for a while. I will be visiting my parents at the end of the month for my birthday. Getting an ecommerce site up and off the ground when we're all going hither and yon like that will be a challenge. In the meantime, if you're in New England, visit them at J&J during Brimfield. (Unfortunately, I don't have their booth number, but you'll know them when you see them.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Slow Day in Princetonville

I'm kind of enjoying a slow day today since the past couple of weeks have been filled with crises of one kind or another.

Peg's Tegretol levels came back okay, but since her symptoms were as bad as they were when she fell, we prevailed upon the neurologist to represcribe her Keppra. In a day, the change is astonishing. 

Before she was depressed, forgetful, complaining about spasms in her leg and tightness in her arm. She was barely talking, very frustrated and didn't know whether she wanted to stay at home or go out just to get out.

Now, it's as if a light were switched on again. She's talking (so much so that I can't concentrate to read my new book on thyroid problems so *I* can figure out how to help me concentrate better.) She cooked something complex, it's astonishing.

In fact, she's been following me around looking for me to provide entertainment. I'm sure she's got plans for me to take her hither and yon (mostly yon, since gas is so pricey these days.) Unfortunately, watching me program in HTML for the Puppet Showplace isn't much in the way of entertainment, even if it does pay some of the bills.

By the way, in HTML-land, when it rains, it pours, it seems.

My sister and brother-in-law decided to set up a web site to add to their antiques business and consulted me about how this is done. I know one shouldn't work for relatives, but it could be fun. I just hope my skills are up to the task.

Talking to them reminded me that Piece by Piece's web site could use an upgrade (or at least new photography), and I'm STILL upgrading Sabatini's site with the new look.

Add to that I have my friend, Katie, coming to stay prior to Brimfield (for which "much cleaning needs to occur") and we will be seeing doctors, there's a bead show (InterGem, this weekend), Brimfield itself on the 17th (hi Diane!), and then I'm off to visit the parents in Pittsburgh (or just "off".) Maybe I should just savor this slow day...

Friday, May 2, 2008

We're in the Movies...

...Or, more correctly, our building might just be in a frame of the movie they are filming across the street. It's called "This Side of the Truth" and has Jennifer Garner and Ricky Gervais in it. (I'll probably rent it as I haven't actually been to a movie in a movie theatre in about three years.

Gervais is one of the writers as well, and I think he's also directing it. I wouldn't have known who he was ('cause I live in a hole in the ground) except he always has three or four people around him wherever he goes, I think it may be in his contract that someone has to walk backwards to talk to him.

It's fun to watch them shoot the movie, although I'll be glad when they leave. It turns out that making a movie is simply short bits of acting swallowed by vast quantities of standing around talking, eating, smoking, and moving things around. I've been getting up at 8 (early for me!) and drinking my coffee on the porch while letting the cat out to eat grass and watch the people walk around. Then, mid-morning, I take a break and sit on the front steps of the building and watch a bit as well.

I can't really see much because, as I said, the building they're actually shooting across the street, in a back building which is flanked by two that are closer to the street. The extras did some walking down Princeton Blvd today, though. We've been referring to the extras as "the townspeople." Well, the townspeople walked down the street in front of our building and Ricky Gervais acted as though he was driving a car in front of them. It'll probably be cropped out of the movie itself since our building was visible.

The crew is actually more interesting to watch than the townspeople. I've discovered that you can tell who works on the crew in one of three ways (sometimes they have more than one "movie maker marker") They always have a cellphone to their ear when they're walking. Can they walk without a cellphone? Who knows? Maybe the person on the other side of the phone is telling them how to walk or what to look at or not look at.

If they don't have a cellphone, they usually have some sort of headset. These people usually wave.

The others have white cards on a lanyard, the way most of us who've had to work in a secure building do. I think, maybe, the union requests that they all put them on backward so all you see is the white side and you can't tell who does what job.

Of course, I'm teasing a bit. Everyone's been really nice, even when trying to keep us residents out of the shots. It's a shame that their final day of shoot was rained on.  They're supposed to leave tonight (probably in the dead of night, which is when they came on Monday), but I'm not sure they'll be able to since they've lost time due to the rain.

Anyway, that's our excitement for the week. One of the most impressive things I noticed, however, is that a huge percentage of the movie people seem to smoke. I would say more than half. But, I guess someone has read them the riot act because I've been noticing that most of them have been depositing their cigarette butts in the trash or in special cans. Which is impressive, and great for us since when they leave we won't have all these cigarette butts around.