Friday, April 30, 2010

Live Event Painting

Have you heard about live event painting? My sister is a live event painter. She is hired to attend weddings, anniversary parties, and other events and she paints the event while the event is going on.

I took these photos of her painting of her friend's son's wedding. She arrives early to the event to paint the background of the painting. This is usually the interior space of the venue.

She takes some photos while she's at the event as she always needs to put the finishing touches on the painting.

She'll ask her clients if there are certain people they want included in the painting and then she will add those who will add interest to the piece. Perhaps someone is wearing a polka dot dress or a hat and they stand out. She might add them to the painting.

Wedding paintings will of course have the bride, groom and their families and the cake.

If you would like more info about live event painting, please email me your contact info and I will have my sister contact you.

And don't forget my blog giveaway, leave a comment on the 200th post and I will enter you in the drawing. The winner will be drawn the evening of May 3rd.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

200th post and a giveaway

It's my 200th post. I can't believe it. I finally got here. Some bloggers have reached this point in less than one year but it took me nearly two years.

The blog has evolved for sure. In reviewing my older posts, I realize I have become a very dull girl. I don't do as many posts about places I've been because I really haven't been anywhere of interest. I mean, no daytrips lately. Most of my posts are centered around my home. I also think my blog has not really grown as I had hoped. Was it because I don't post very often? Or maybe the posts just don't interest my readers. Now I try to post every other day but I am not always successful.

So I'd like to ask your opinion. What posts do you like to read? Do you like daytripping around New England with me? Or do you like posts about the condo? Do my posts about tea parties interest you? Or would you like to read more about the kitties? How about my estate sale finds? Is that of interest to you? More photos, less words or vice versa?

You can pick more than 1 category. You can also make suggestions on something entirely different that you would like to see.

You will be rewarded for your input. If you leave me a comment on this post, I will enter your name in a drawing for my 200th post giveaway and I will draw the winner on May 3rd. What is the prize? It's a mystery. I like a good mystery, don't you?

Don't forget, leave a comment, receive one entry for the mystery giveaway. Good luck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Two Sisters Antiques and Collectibles

I worked on Saturday afternoon and since I was in the area of West Medford, I decided to stop by Two Sister Antiques and Collectibles at 473 High St. I had been to the store years ago and I decided it was time to go back.

I spent at least an hour chatting with one of the sisters. Theresa used to be a banker and she's obviously passionate about antiques so we had a lot in common. She opened her shop 9 years ago and she and her sister have built an award winning business.

This chandelier would look wonderful in my bedroom. The white chandelier against the blue walls and white mouldings in my bedroom would be stunning.

I am always drawn to whimsical pieces like this little guy.

What have we here in this cabinet?

Some lovely pieces.

I asked if I could take photos and write about her shop in my blog. She said only if I said something nice. Well, I told her I don't trash anyone except for the estate sale guy and of course, Sears. Plus what could I possibly say that is negative?

Theresa wanted me to take a photo of this desk. It was very nice.

She had interesting pieces.

Wish I had a spot for this settee.

And this chandelier was gorgeous.

Vintage dresses and a dress forms.

Too bad I don't have a piano to put under this victorian piano lamp.

Are you wondering what I bought? You know I bought something. Well, I purchased a teapot (surprise, surprise) and matching teacup, and creamer. I didn't have time to take a photo of it before this post. You will see it on my table very soon.

And if you find yourself in West Medford, Massachusetts, please stop by Two Sister Antiques and Collectibles. Tell them Elaine sent you amd maybe I'll get another banker's discount.

UPDATE: I received an email from Theresa, one of the shop owners.
She is offering my followers a 10% discount on anything in the shop. Just mention Elaine and the blog. Happy Shopping! And by the way, they will be closed the week of May 2nd for vacation.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The sofa and the estate sale, an intrigung tale

You may remember that I attended an estate sale in Winchester last weekend. When I posted I said I didn't buy anything. That statement was true when I posted on Saturday but then I went back to the sale on Sunday.

I liked a sofa and chair I had seen there on Saturday but I thought it was a) more than I wanted to pay and b) too big for my living room. The style was just what I was looking for so I decided to go back on Sunday and measure the sofa. I was hoping it hadn't sold. Not only was it still there but the price was cut by $150! I measured the sofa and sure enough it was smaller than the sofa I presently had in my living room.

So I bought the sofa and chair with my Visa debt card. I obviously couldn't fit the items in my car so I spoke with the estate sale company owner and asked if I could come back and pick them up. He said sure, the homeowner would be there another week but to call him to arrange a time and if the homeowner moved sooner he would call me.

When I was leaving the home and almost at my car, a man called out to me. He had a print in his hand. He thanked me for coming to the estate sale and he said he wanted to give me a print of the North End of Boston. He said his uncle had done the artwork. I asked if he was the seller of the property and he said no, he was a friend of the family. Honestly, he kind of creeped me out. I am not sure why. I took the print and drove off.

Monday was a state holiday, Patriot's Day, On Tuesday, I saw that the money was withdrawn from my account and I called the guys who helped me move to the condo to help me with this job. We agreed that Friday at 5PM was a good time.

I called the estate sale guy on Tuesday afternoon to ask if Friday was ok. The call went to voice mail. I called again Wednesday morning, again voice mail. I had the guy's card so I had his email address. I emailed him Wednesday afternoon. He did not answer the email. Each time I left him a message, I asked him if Friday at 5PM was ok and I told him I needed to confirm with the moving guys. I thought it odd that a man who had a cell phone to his ear the entire time I was at the estate sale, would not return my call.

I had a bad feeling at this point and I began to think I'd been scammed. I did a little investigating. I called information and asked for the phone number for the business, no listing. I went online and checked out the website. It looked legit but how do you really know? Next, I looked up the business name on the Better Business Bureau website. Would you believe the business was rated an F? Scoring from A+ to F, this guy got an F! He had two complaints against him. One for a non delivery issue and one for a refund issue. After reading this information I was feeling sick. How stupid could I be! I filled out paperwork at the bank to dispute the charge.

And then....he called me on Thursday morning. He was all non chalant. He did not offer an excuse for the delay in returning my call and he tried to sell me a marble table that had been in front of the sofa! I said NO! He said Friday was fine, the homeowner would be home but he wouldn't be there since he had to go out of town. I still wanted the sofa and chair but I was none too pleased with his customer service.

I met the movers at the house and they loaded the sofa and chair into their truck. I was dying to ask the homeowner how she knew the estate guy. I wanted to tell her I thought he was a con man. I waited for the right moment and then I casually asked her if she knew the estate sale guy. She said no, she found him through the yellow pages. She was an older woman with a heavy accent,very sweet.

I told her I almost cancelled the transaction because he took so long to get back to me. She said to me, "he does the same thing to me with the phone calls. He scares me." I said I didn't want to alarm her but if I were her I would get a full accounting on everything that was sold. I told her about his rating from the Better Business Bureau. She said she didn't know how much anything sold for and someone had shown up at 7AM to pick up something. He hadn't told her what was sold or when people were coming to pick up their items. She asked what I paid for the sofa and chair and I told her. I gave her my number in case she had more questions. I described the guy with the print and his car to her and she said she did not know him.

I don't think I overstepped. I really think this guy is a scam artist who is taking advantage of a trusting older woman and she needed to know that. I think he is going to take all the money that was made that day and cheat her out of her cut and then move on to the next victim.

As I left she grabbed my hand and thanked me for telling her and confirming her suspicions. She looked so sad, like she might cry but she didn't.

On a lighter note, as you can see, the kitties were very interested in the new furniture. Seconds after the guys brought the pieces into the living room, Molly and Oscar were circling and sniffing. Of course they had to jump on the sofa and chair.

Molly settled in at the end of the sofa. And then HE wanted to sit there.

And then there was a fight. So the sofa and chair are home at last. I love how they look in the room. They do have a case of the musties. You know, they smell musty. The woman had them in her finished basement. So anyone got a cure for the musties? Something that is pet friendly?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Melrose, Massachusetts- the new Hollywood?

This is Ben Affleck. He is at the corner of Main and West Foster Streets in Melrose. This photo was taken by a friend of a friend and forwarded to me. Last Fall, Ben was filming the movie, The Town, in downtown Melrose. The filming was done inside an abandoned bank building on Main St.

The friend of a friend was just leaving Hourglass Gifts for a Starbucks run when she "ran" into Ben Affleck. She took the shot with her cell phone camera.

This is Tom Cruise. He was in Boston last Fall to film his new movie, Knight and Day. Cameron Diaz was also filming here.

Another friend of a friend shared these photos. The photographer is a banker who was on a sales call in the building above where the filming took place.

Looks like there's going to be lots of action in this movie.

How fun it must have been to witness the filming of this scene.

Caught in the act by Tom. He was nice enough to wave. Although these Tom Cruise shots were taken in Boston, Tom did do some filming in Melrose as well. He had an evening shoot in Melrose under cover of darkness. No photos from that evening's filming.

Knight and Day opens June 25th. Release date for The Town is September 2010.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sears- The Bane of My Existence

Here it is, my cursed washer and dryer from Sears. Oh don't mind Oscar. He thinks his toy is underneath it.

I'll bring you up to speed on why this is the bane of my existence. In November 2008, I bought a stackable washer and dryer from Sears. I bought the exact size unit as the previous condo owner had because it had to fit into this tight spot. It's basically a coat closet.

I have to say the delivery guys were buffoons. First they got lost twice coming to the house. They had to call me for directions. When they got here, they couldn't get the unit in the closet. They huffed and puffed and mumbled to themselves. They got the hookup done but they couldn't get it totally into the closet. They tested it and it worked. They forgot to take the manual out before testing the washer so the manual got soaked and they never sent me the one for the dryer they promised I'd get.

They were so frustrated they decided they could not get the unit in the closet and they unhooked it and left it in my hallway. They told me to call installation and they would arrange for "specialists" to come and finish the job.

So here's the damage they did to the inside of the closet from all the pushing and shoving they did.

To add insult to injury, I had a 12 month 0% financing agreement with Sears for the appliances. The 12 months was up on November 9th and I made the final payment on November 4th in the store. Evidently, the store was switching over their payment system that very same day and my payment info was not recorded.

As a result, they tacked on the entire 12 months of interest to my next bill and reversed the payment. This was about $400+. I called in December and it was reversed and I had to go back to the store in January to pay again since they needed the info again.

For some strange reason, in February the interest came back on my bill. I called again and was assured it would be reversed. It wasn't reversed so in March I called again and this service rep sounded like it would really be fixed. He said it would be fixed and because "I had been through enough" he would waive the late fee. He said I had a small balance on the account for one item I had charged at Christmas and if I paid $42.94 the balance would be zero. I paid by phone and thought I would close the account once I got my April bill.

I got my Sears bill today, the interest was reversed, the late fee was reversed for March but the $42.94 had not been processed. Therefore, I am now 10 days late and I owe $2.00 in interest, a $15.00 late fee and the $42.94. I called again, got another person who I had to explain everything to and she reversed everything again and took the payment.

I am at my wit's end with this company. Does anyone have a good solution to the problem? I think I deserve some compensation. Can I claim mental anguish? Pain and suffering? Perhaps a boycott might work. After all, I think they deserve it. This problem has gone on for 6 months!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Estate sales and antique fair finds

Shopping at estate sales and antique fairs is a passion of mine. You never know what treasures you'll find.

Over the past few weekends, I attended an antique fair and an estate sale. I got this lace last weekend at an estate sale.

I am always on the lookout for china. I especially like teacups and small plates. I picked up these plates at the estate sale.

These will be perfect for tea parties.

I think this one is my favorite.

I thought this one was pretty too. And since it has so many colors in it, it will match up with many of my teacups.

Lately I'm into antique tins. I thought this one was sweet.

And just look at the other side of it. I got this at the estate sale. It was a good one, the sale was at an antique dealers home. Wish I could have gotten there on the Friday but as you can see Saturday was still a good day for unique finds.

This one looked all New Englandy so I bought it.

I forgot to mention I went to Sage Farm antiques right before Easter. This tablecloth was so cute I just had to have it.

A few weeks ago, I went to an antiques fair at a local church. I purchased this pristine set of hankies. The burgundy one is my favorite.

The set was in it's original box.

I like this hankie because of it's colors.

I went to two estate sales today, but, nothing caught my eye. That's ok, I've done enough damage lately.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Show and Tell Friday-lamp

I am participating in Show and Tell Friday. Hosted by Cindy at My Romantic Home, you can check out other posts by clicking here.

The lamp pictured above has been in my home only one year. I have it in my hallway but it was once in the living room and in it's past life it lived in a gorgeous Victorian home in Melrose, Massachusetts.

I bought the lamp from a woman who was selling the contents of her home. She was downsizing and moving to Florida. She estimated the lamp to be from the 1950's.

It is funny how I ended up with the lamp. I was the chairperson for a charity tea which was held at the lamp owner's home. I commented about her lamp and she asked if I wanted to buy it. I knew she was moving but I had no idea she was selling all her beautiful items like the lamp, china, furniture. I lucked out that day for sure.

Don't forget to check out the other participant's posts over at Cindy's blog.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Inn By The Bandstand- Exeter, NH

If it wasn't for Sharon of A New England Life's December post, I would never have known about this Inn. Sharon stopped by the Inn at Christmas time and posted about it. After reading her post, I went online to the Inn's website and discovered they serve afternoon tea.

I decided to drive up to the Inn to check it out. If I liked what I saw, I was going to make a reservation for afternoon tea for my tea group.

The outside of the Inn was attractive and I loved the architectural detail at the entrance.

Aw, look who was at the front desk. Gizmo, the official greeter. He was the sweetest dog. He helps innkeeper Victoria with the guests.

Victoria showed me the living room. She suggested I should book this room for my tea event. I agree, this will work nicely for my group.

I love this fireplace. Tea by the fire would be wonderful in the Winter months.

The interior entrance of the Inn was lovely. Very New England with it's dark colors.

The sitting area was elegant.

Meals are served here. Did I miss breakfast?

The inn was beautiful and Victoria (and Gizmo) couldn't have been nicer. So I booked a date in May for afternoon tea. Tea in the Living Room, I like the sound of it!


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