HOW DO I SPEND MY DAY


I had a message a few days ago from a person who said they would like to do what I do and was wondering what a "typical" day looks like for me.

I though that was funny because I really don't have a typical day. I have Ideal Days, Normal Days, and Perfect Days... thought you might find it interesting too...


Here is my IDEAL DAY and believe it or not, sometimes it happens.
 
6:30 – 7:30 Wake. Get the kids out the door to school.

7:30 – 8:30 Walk with Neighbor Friend

8:30 – 9:00 Shower. Get ready

9:00-12:30pm-  Find /Pick up Furniture / Worker with Furniture Pickers moving items

12:30 -1pm - Lunch

1pm-3:30pm  - Repair, Refinish Furniture

3:30 – 5:00 – Cook early dinner / Feed Family (I insist we eat together as a family then the kids go off to sports/play practice or do homework)

5:00 – 7:30 Paperwork / Showing Furniture 

7:30 -9:30pm – Family Time / Reading / Bed


My NORMAL DAY  

6:30 – 7:30 Wake. Get the kids out the door to school - hand out a gazillon dollars for dances, projects, fund raisers and Einsteins Bagels on the way to school. (No food in the house because I forgot to grocery shop yesterday)

7:30 -8:00  Pay Bills, Return Email while waiting for a customer

8:20 – Customer is 20 minutes late but buys a Dresser – Load into car

8:30 – 9:15 Walk with Neighbor Friend who is flexible with time

9:15 – 9:30 Throw on clean clothes, brush my teeth – head out the door.

9:30 -9:45 Head back home because I left my phone in the garage when showing the customer a dresser. Get a text from another customer that wants to see a buffet at 10:45

9:45-10:30am-  Meet with Picker, find nothing and race home

10:30 to 10:45 – Re-polish the buffet and realize there is a loose slider under the drawer. Frantically re-screw the loose slider and then realize it’s the wrong size screw. Search my bins for the right sized screw and repair the slider just as the customer pulls up.

10:45 to 11:15 Show the buffet to a customer who is very nice, visits for thirty minutes and decides against the buffet.

11:15 -1pm – Head back out  - 50 minute drive to meet with Picker up North. Find two small pieces that need to be refinished and realize a leg is broken on one piece while loading it but too tired to argue about the price and I take it.

1pm to 2:00 Grab Chick-fil-a in drive through (stuck in line while electricity goes out for ten minutes) and drive home

2pm-3:30pm  - Work on a drawer that is wobbly, add 2nd coat of polyurethane to three items, drip some on my good jeans that I forgot to change out of before working with polyurethane. Take photos of furniture that is ready to be advertised.

3:30 – 5:00 – Cook early dinner / Feed Family – I’m not hungry because I just ate. Run to Walgreens for school item my daughter needs, answer texts and email.

5:00 – 5:30 Unload my car, move in furniture drying in the sun as it starts to rain.

5:30 -6:30pm – Listen to kids complain while I wait for two customers. One is early and one is late. Both buy.

6:30 -8:00pm Talk about day with my husband while answering emails, doing laundry, playing a game on my phone and helping with homework. Listen intensely to a story my daughter is telling and try not to think about if the last text said the customer was coming tonight or tomorrow night - I don't want to look at my phone while she tells me about her day.

8:00pm Fall asleep during a show on Netflix. Wake when my phone rings. My customer who owns a furniture store has sent her guy to pick up two pieces she bought a week ago. I help him load and visit.

8:45- 9::00pm Make a weird response when my husband asks me a question because I (irrationally) don’t want him to know I have fallen asleep during the show.

9:00pm – Starving – I eat a pint of ice cream and a handful of trail mix (mostly chocolate).

9:30-11:30 Can't sleep because the chocolate had too much caffeine - I post furniture on craigslist and catch up on school newsletters

11:30pm Fall into bed wearing my clothes from the day before, too tired to
change.

The schedule above is way better than it used to be back when I had to take and pick up my kids from school, practice and sports (now my two older kids can drive themselves and their sister.)


My BEST DAYS  - Also known as: Why I Keep This Job!

6:30 – 7:30 Wake. Get the kids out the door to school.

7:30 – 7:35 Cancel walk with Neighbor Friend because it Snowed/Rained/Too Hot/Someone is Sick/Don’t feel like it

7:35 – 9:00 Long bath. Put PJ’s back on.

9:00-12:30pm-  Read a book. Practice my French. Read Blogs. Call a Friend or Sister.

12:30 -2pm – Go to long Lunch with Husband (also self-employed at his own company)

2pm-3:30pm  - Read. Nap. Computer Surf. Watch TED talks on Youtube

3:30 – 5:00 – Leisurely Grocery Shop. Cook early dinner / Feed Family

5:00 – 9:30 - Play a card game with my Kids / Long Phone Call With my Mom. / Walk with Husband to Wash Park / Start to read that book I got on vacation/ Bed


These three days and many, many, many variations of them are how I spend my days. I imagine they look a lot like yours! 

I need more of the BEST DAYS - don't we all!

See you soon!

Back With a Cold


Just got back from another trip to London!

My daughter is graduating 8th grade in May (our baby!) and each kiddo got to pick a trip to anywhere in the world (with a few limits) for their 8th grade gift.

My oldest skied Whistler in Canada for a week, my 2nd son went to Alaska for a week and Izzy picked London --even though she was there 6 months ago.

Why? She is not an adventurous type, she likes schedules, routines, tried-and-true methods - therefore out of all the places she has traveled, London was her favorite (Harry Potter connection? Yes, of course) so back we went!

Sadly, the day we arrived she went down. Sick. Really Sick. For two days she stayed in bed for the most part. Finally she perked up and we squeezed in all the plays, shopping and Harry Potter events that were possible.

Me? I read books and drank tea in the Waldorf Hilton for two days -- not a bad vacation for me at all -- and...well... I ended up in a "Rear Window" type of story.


...maybe through the hotel window I watched an elderly man who lived in the bldg. behind me,
...maybe I know more about him, his routines and his life than I should,
...maybe I was a concerned neighbor,
...maybe I watched him watch TV at night  (he stays up late)
...maybe the police should have been called on me

Maybe, as Izzy said, I'm really "a bit of a creeper."

Who knew what two days alone in a hotel with a sick, sleeping teenager would bring out in me.

I'm as surprised as anyone.

AND

I really miss him.


And now, I have the wicked cold...serves me right



See you soon,

Marla

Buried in Furniture


So, I let my garage get a little buried in MCM furniture over the last 10 days or so....

I kept trying to get out there but at first it was the wind, then my "sander-guy" was sick, then I had a lunch scheduled with a friend, then another....it seems I could always find a reason to not work.

But today - I conquered!

I posted 6 items and have several more coming up....I am back in full swing. There is now a path through the garage.

And, it's a good thing. I have another truck coming in early next week so I pulled it together just in time.

Love our beautiful Spring-like weather. I know we have a few snowstorms to go, but being outside on a day like today was a gift-

See you soon,

Marla

I Named Something!

It's silly, but I find it very rewarding.

When I search the internet looking for information on a dresser, many times I find pictures of dressers that I have sold and forgotten FROM my OWN BLOG!

The Diamond Series
But that's not what I find rewarding...the fact that I "named" several of these items and my "names" are now being used by the Mid Century World...I find that, rewarding.

Many great dressers from the 60s don't have Manufacturer names or Series names...so...I made up my own as a way of describing the dresser.

I have my "Diamond Series" my "Floating Series" my "Woven Series"...I'm not claiming that I am the only person who invented these names, but I do see my own blog as a reference for many dealers out there who use my invented, descriptive names as the actual Series name.
My "Floating" Series by Lane

I like that!

It does no harm and gives some nameless dressers the recognition they deserve!

It's Not Every Day...


It's not everyday I get two McCobb items  AND a Heywood Wakefield in...Friday was a good day.



It used to be I would get items like that regularly, but then the MCM boom hit -- I still get great stuff, just not as "name" brand as McCobb & Heywood!

The Heywood is a tall dresser that is coated in 2 coats of bright purple paint...my sander-guy is hating me right now.

Luckily - Heywood Wakefield's are all solid wood and very thick so it's just a matter of time and elbow grease to bring it back to its glory.

I just love these pieces!

The Bad Capitalist

I had a funny experience the other day that has happened before. As a customer was leaving with a dresser they had just bought, they said, "You know, you could have asked twice as much - you sell your stuff too cheap."

Its worth noting because it wasn't the first time or the even the hundredth time that I have heard that from customers, other dealers, family members, or my husband.

And....the way this customer said it, it was kind of a jab at me, like I was too dumb to realize that I could make more money if I... I don't know....maybe...wasn't so out-of-touch. 

Maybe I'm just another bad capitalist. (I love you Bernie, however, apparently, you are a little to the right of me!! : ) 

From the beginning, my philosophy has been to offer great vintage pieces for the best prices that I can - not because I'm clueless  - but because I can!

As long as I can make a living, do what I love, and offer reasonable prices, why wouldn't I?

I find great joy in taking a sad-looking, old dresser and making it beautiful and then finding a buyer who loves it. 

And just for the record, and at the risk of being too vulgar/blunt  --as a vintage furniture dealer I do just fine. It's part of the reason I am still doing this 9 years later.

 For me, it's not about squeezing the last penny out of someone - its about being decent and real -- and fair to both of us, which is why I don't negotiate on price. Being reasonable and fair matters to me ...

I am a small cottage business, I'm not trying to be anything more than that...I don't want to gouge people, and I don't want to be taken advantage of -- I think I have found a happy medium in the way I price furniture.

It's a sad commentary on our culture -- when you try to be decent and fair, some people think you are dumb for not trying to "smash-the-other-guy."

However, the bottom line is that I like what I do....and when it comes down to it...how many people can say that about their job?

I am blessed and I hope you are too when you buy from me and get a good deal...

See you soon,

Marla



Some Things Are More Important Than Furniture


I think the title says it all.

Amazing day yesterday - the first day that I felt a little of my political-depression lift. I am not alone in the fact that I can not get over this - I cannot "accept it." I will never "come together" and "move forward" - not with this moron megalomaniac at the wheel.

I will be at peace and accept the transition of power if Pence takes the helm. He's not my cup of tea, but at least I can say we only disagree on politics. The dumb-as-rock Cheeto is a danger to our country and my children.



History will judge those who were complicit.

Love will win.

Izzy and I - peacefully resisting tyranny

Love my Neighborhood Moms!


Live Edge Slice Tables

Sorry it's been so long since I had my head in the furniture game -- lots of reasons -- none worth blogging about. Let's just say...ice, a fall, hip pain and in those 4 words you have the complete story.

But, I am back - spent a snowy day taking photos and posting the items that are stacking up in my garage. I did take a break for an MLK holiday lunch and a snowy walk with Kevin.

On to furniture...I have a really great piece coming up. A one of a kind live-edge Slice Slab end table - it looks something like this -- it's a vintage piece of wood that is light on the outside and a reddish on the inside.

I'm pretty sure it's redwood, but it could be ash. One guy told me that playing the old-wood guessing game was fun, but its impossible to be 100% conclusive.

I haven't added legs yet and I can't decide between the tapered long wood legs and the hairpin metal legs. I like them both.

I want to keep it because I love live edge wood of any kind and vintage wood slice slabs are even cooler, but I am maxed out on space and use acrylic end tables just to make my small house feel less cluttered.

I want a mansion. Not to live in - I like small space living, but I need 10,000 square feet just to keep the unique items I love.

Check back in a day or two and I will post my table -- by then the decision - wood or steel legs ---will be made.

See you soon...