Let’s end the year with some rusty auction fanciness!
Take the full holiday house tour
A while ago, I wrote a post titled The Auction Olympics; about a day I drove back-and-forth between two separate auction houses, each running multiple auctions, all with totally unpredictable and variable timetables.
Since then, I have embraced the absentee bid.
Not only did my ten-hour bidding-marathon eradicate the thrill-of-the-unknown-with-a-whiff-of-danger-in-the-form-of-possible-bankruptcy-and-divorce, it also forced me to acknowledge that I am someone who cannot be trusted in an adrenaline-fueled state.
Theoretically, I should have already known about the adrenaline issue— seeing as how I once nearly paid $1,200 for a pair of antique garden urns in a spur-of-the-moment-madness based on the thought process: if I do not get these, I will die… Which has yet to be borne out in any kind of evidence-based investigation, and is more accurately: these are probably crap I can live without.
While writing this post, I reflected on the process of how I so merrily agreed to pay nearly $1,200 for garden trinkets… and I have to say – there is confusion. And it is FAST confusion.
You go from $100 to $1,200 in under a minute… Your brain can hardly keep up, so you are really operating on instinct. And apparently my instinct is towards bankruptcy.
So I am now a fan of leaving a bid on your item and hoping for the best.
On the other hand, as I learned last weekend– if you cannot be bothered to show up and supervise your stuff, it might disappear… there were three urns, and one just wandered off.
I don’t even have a photo of it, although you can kind of see it in the background of the photo above– it’s the short one with no base or bowl.
Even though it was missing nearly all of its pieces, I still wanted it, because I like things that are broken and crappy.
I left a bid on Sunday afternoon, for the auction on Monday.
My top bid was $60/each for the big urns, (which would have come to $75 including tax and buyer’s fee) and $20 for the little one.
I figured that if I won, I was definitely going to be paying my top bid because whenever I write a post about auctions, people warn me of unscrupulous practices and price-jacking… which I’m not really sure how to avoid— I mean, if you want something and you’ve set a decent price for yourself, is there anything else you can do?
Monday night when I got home, I called the auction house and they told me I won the urns for TWENTY DOLLARS A PIECE.
Even with the plague-of-locusts-that-is-the-buyer’s-fee-and-tax, they only came to $25, and that is a ridiculously good deal.
I headed directly out into rush hour… it was dark. And raining. And when I got to the auction house, I went inside to pay, before heading out to the dock area to load them up.
The woman behind the counter said – are you sure they are still out there?
And I was like – um, no?
She said – well, they steal things, you know.
I am not quite sure who they are… Or why, if you know about them… something is not being done?
But after I went out back to the dock area, I could see how rampant pillaging and theft would be possible… no one was supervising anything.
I looked around to see if there was anything I myself might like to steal… but, I guess they beat me to all the good stuff. There was nothing left but a mauve toilet seat and a velvet reproduction of The Last Supper.
Then I started hunting for my urns and shaking my fist and saying things like— so help me… if someone stole my urns!
The two big ones were under a tarp by the auctioneer stand… but the little one was gone.
Because there were three urns, and they stole the one I wanted least, I am satisfied with the trade-off of not having spent an entire day watching boxes of toilet seats being auctioned off.
If they stole one of the big ones, I’m not sure… maybe I would wish to have been witness to toilet auctioning.
Now is the part of the post where there must be accountability for what I have acquired.
In my world:
1. these are mine now.
2. the end.
But not everyone thinks that is a good ending. And I know that people will ask me –what are you going to do with them? Are you going to paint them? Is Paul going to replicate the base-booster that is missing on the white one? Where are you going to put them?
Then I end up feeling like I have done my post wrong – or even that I am doing life wrong… because my ability to plan and predict ends abruptly the moment anything enters my house.
I actually really like the white one just the way it is… I have LONG wanted one exactly like this, in exactly this condition, in exactly this size, to keep inside the house… I’d like to grow moss in it, but my success rate in the past with moss is negative zero. So I’m imagining it filled with possibly-also-ridiculous-bulbs-forced-in-February.
However I do not love the silver paint color… and if we paint that one, (probably black to match my other one) then it makes sense to paint them both to have a matched pair…and then, it will not be the rustic/broken/fanciness I was envisioning.
These are problems I am comfortable having.
I’m going to sign off for the year now; my brothers are home, and we have some regressing to do… MOM! CAN YOU MAKE MORE PECAN TARTLETS?? HOW LONG UNTIL THEY’RE READY?
Every single week, your comments are the best part of my blog… you are clever, insightful, and entertaining. The way you use language makes me happy, and when I read your comments I am aware that I am the luckiest blogger on the internet.
I treasure you and am deeply thankful for your existence.
From the bottom of my greedy, GFT-loving heart.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Solstice,
Happy New Year, Merry Boxing Day, Happy Kwanzaa…
Whatever holidays you celebrate,
I hope you get to spend them with the people you love.
December 21, 2015 @ 10:34 am
No my friend; it’s the other way around – WE are the ones to thank you for all those amusing, hilarious, wonderful, wise and witty but always OTT moments you offered us throughout the year(s). I still haven’t managed to read everything but I keep this for a day when I really, really should be bored and really need to be fully entertained – with a video or two thrown in!!!!
Thank you SO MUCH from the very bottom of my generous Swiss heart, living a small life in a late Victorian pile nr Paris – thank you for the laughs, the hilarity, the fun, the sharing of your insanity & genius…. I send you a BIG hug and a kiss each for you, Paul and sweet Eliot
December 21, 2015 @ 10:34 am
You say the comments are the best part for you! Well your blog is a bright light to my day. Every time I see one pop up in my inbox, I greedily read it right away. My style and taste may differ from yours but I love and appreciate your style! Merry Christmas to you and your family, and all your followers
December 21, 2015 @ 10:36 am
…. I mean Elvis 🙂 …… sorry !
PS: Maybe your Hero Husband isn’t called Paul either?! God, give me a brain….
December 21, 2015 @ 10:37 am
Those are amazing!!! I have only one that was at my mom’s. We didn’t clean it up, just used some spray on clear coat…
December 21, 2015 @ 10:42 am
Your blog rocks and I thank you for your posts that make my day! Hope the kitchen is coming along…can’t wait to see it complete! Merry Christmas to you, Paul and Elvis <3
December 21, 2015 @ 10:45 am
Thank you for posting these updates! I live vicariously through your GFT acquisitions and renovation madness. You make me want a giant house to redecorate and fill with antiques. Maybe one day that dream will happen, but not before I win the lottery… Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Paul and Elvis.
December 21, 2015 @ 11:05 am
Victoria Elizabeth you are a sweetie. Merry Christmas.
December 21, 2015 @ 10:45 am
These are GREAT! I’m so glad you won! I like to live vicariously through your purchases. 😀
And your blog is MY treat! I love when you post new things. Happy Christmas!
December 21, 2015 @ 10:51 am
Merry Christmas to you all! You make me smile with your decorating adventures, and now I want to know more about that garland!
December 21, 2015 @ 10:56 am
Thanks for all the smiles and for writing what many of us feel but are too introverted to say….
You are a hoot and I strive to be off the wall like you (can you come over and help persuade dear hubby to get rid of our living room sectional so I have more room in my ‘art studio’ for more stuff?!). Enjoy your family! ?
December 21, 2015 @ 10:58 am
You make me laugh out loud, I love your blog. You should be writing books!
December 21, 2015 @ 10:59 am
I was so happy to see a post from you this morning! Your post can make any day better for me. Thanks for being you and sharing your wonderful zany humor ! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!
Sarah Jessica Farber
December 21, 2015 @ 11:00 am
I, too, tend toward bankruptcy! But it’s a cozy, well-appointed bankruptcy.
Christina in FL
December 21, 2015 @ 11:01 am
GREAT urns! lol That didn’t come out right. 🙂 Anyway, Sumptuously Wonderful Holidays to you, Paul and Elvis.
December 21, 2015 @ 11:03 am
Victoria ~ just a quick “thank you” for your awesome blog. Even when my day is not going the way I envisioned and everything is headed south in my world, when I open my email to see that you have a new blog post I smile. If it is possible to feel a connection with someone you’ve never actually met I feel one with you. (And with Elvis as we have a female cat named George who could be Elvis’s doppelgänger). So thank you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Paul. I raise a glass to the many awesome finds and designs discoveries coming in 2016. Can’t wait to read about them!
December 21, 2015 @ 11:04 am
Don’t paint the white chippy one….it’s perfect! I always can’t wait to read your blog because they are so entertaining. I think in your next life you should be a stand up comedian! Have a Merry Christmas and I look forward to 2016 and seeing your new kitchen come to completion!!!! I’m sure I’m not the only one. But then, you really should give that dear husband of yours a rest!
December 21, 2015 @ 11:05 am
Double Ditto to all of your kind wishes and sending them all back to your Handsome Husband,Elegant Elvis and always Fabulous Victoria……..I rarely looked on line after finding few living humans having an interesting exchange about the things in Life that are critically important…….i.e. GFT also things that glow, glitter and shine with a patina of Age and former glory. until Hallelujah!!
I discovered your lovely world of wit and worry and wonderful followers who give me hope for humanity and the future. Looking forward to 2016 and the addition of a wing to hold all of your new acquisitions of wonders. Can’t wait!
December 21, 2015 @ 11:15 am
Victoria, I understand your adrenaline drive! You need a calm and collected pal to accompany you to these auctions. Your instincts are great and your imaginative repurposing knows no equal. But if you had a pal to pull you out of that adrenaline rush, you might be happier in the end with your purchases and might not question yourself!! . I know this, because I’ve had friends like that who were able to stop me from making crazy crazy bids and purchases. Sometimes it is merely a.. “really?” that would save me from myself! In the end, the hunt is what it is all about, and if you are having fun, that matters a lot.
December 21, 2015 @ 11:16 am
We just got back from a wedding in New Orleans and, sweetpea, YOU would have loved all the GFT we saw in shops AND open houses! (The Husband, dearest man that he is, is considering the possibility of a house in NOLA!!) My girls (daughter and daughter-in-law) are now using GFT with total understanding and solidarity with you! Merry Christmas to you and yours! xoxox
December 21, 2015 @ 11:16 am
Another happy reader when I see you name in my email. This actually reminded me of an experience enjoyed with my son some 12? Years ago. We were driving to meet his grandmother in myrtle beach, sc and were in the wilds of eastern North Carolina when I happened to spot a sign advertising a life stock auction. We were running ahead of schedule so I said let’s stop and watch. David was about 11 at the time and always up for a new adventure. It was late in the fall and a rather chilly day. We went into the octagonal barn with rough wooden tiers of benches rising nearly to the rafters. The two of us climbed up to a spot and were talking about the sounds of the auctioneers rapid tat-a-tat calling and the animals be herded in an out of the space. I realized I was surprisingly warm and looked around for the source of that heat. A small herd of goats was brought out in at that moment and I heard the auctioneer ask for first bids. At that exact moment I discovered that a a huge kerosine heater was hanging from the coupula at the top of the barn. I grabbed David’s arm and pointed to the glowing heater……so it should be no surprise what happened next!! Yes, I did, I made the first bid on a small herd of goats! David was no longer in the mood for an adventure fearing what his father would do when we returned to our home with his grandmother and a small herd of goats. Fortunately, I was outbid…..unfortunately, I’ve never been able to get David to go with me to another acution!
December 21, 2015 @ 11:32 am
OMG, Anna, I so identify. Baby goats are my current obsession, and despite the fact that I live in a deed restricted community that would never allow them, I wouldn’t be able to resist that bid. And Victoria, as always, your blog posts lighten my day. If it sparkles, shines, is metallic or looks like it was dragged behind wild stallions through a medieval sandstorm, I simply must take it home. And anyone who asks me why should immediately be committed.
December 21, 2015 @ 5:02 pm
I can go to Columbia, sc anytime I need my goat fix! My sister-in-law keeps about 5 in a lovely area that ajoins her business. Her employees treat them like therapy animals. They are mini-goats and both cute and gentle…unlike some of the ones on the farm when I was young.
December 21, 2015 @ 11:22 am
LOVE these gorgeous urns! Perfect for a Christmas tree “stand”. I have an idea… Since you (and the rest of us, I’m sure) love the white, chippy one. Leave it, and sand blast the gray paint off the other one. Then, you can keep all that glorious character on the one, and maybe duplicate it on the other? A little white paint, some dirt, a few years outside, should do the trick! 😉
Merry Christmas, VEB!
December 21, 2015 @ 11:42 am
We all need little sandblasters for projects like this! Maybe you could ask for one for Christmas?