Sunday, May 27, 2012

"At the beach, life is different.

Time doesn't move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides and follow the sun." ~ Unknown


Here at the Jersey shore...not "the" Jersey shore...that is up north...we are down south...anyway, this weekend kicks off the season for us.
Retail always talks about making all the money in the 4th quarter...Christmas...but for those of us who live in this area, this is our 4th quarter. 

 And so, Avalon opens the season with an Antique Show...and this year, my elf and I agreed to do it... so today is just showing...no telling lessons...here are some pictures of our booth and a glance at others at this show...


We tried to have a nice variety. Handcrafted soaps from Terra Viam...Mary's soaps have been featured in Country Living, and now her soap can be found in the British Museum, but you can get her soap at the Dutch Rose also!  And...coming soon...environmentally kind laundry soap.

We also featured McCoy...
and a variety of depression era glass flower frogs...
We had treasures for coastal living...
We had pretties...
We had primitives...
The old has been repurposed into urban/French/country...take your pick...I think it is a look that blends with any style...
You know we love variety...


But, I would not be able to do it without the able assistance of my "elf" - best buddy - Ruthie...I caught her sitting down...not her usual style...she is a constant arranger...rearranger...
Some other shots from around the show...this is from George of The White Whale in Cape May Court House...I did a feature on him a year ago...always great stuff, reasonably priced...
And, some pictures from various displays...I could not get to everyone since I had to get back to open the shop...and some people were still fine-tuning...but it was a unique mix...these shows are slowly fading from the retail scene...of course, having the beach out the door and a sunny warm day can be serious competition...still 30 minutes transports one to another world...
So for this lone surfer, his days of having the beach to himself are gone until fall...but we appreciate those who come and support us...
“Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"Here's looking at you, kid."

Ah...Casablanca...Rick's toast to Ilsa, "Here's looking at you, kid", used several times, is not in the draft screenplays but has been attributed to something Bogart said to Bergman as he taught her poker between takes.  It was voted the 5th most memorable line in cinema in AFI's 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes by the American Film Institute.

We are getting ready to look at you in the shop!  We have an array of all kinds of fun "stuff"...retro, vintage, antique.  What started me on the looking at you was a display my design elf created with some old glasses I acquired in one of those buy it all auction moments.  These are vintage Hong Kong glasses...some with cases...and they are powerful!  The owner probably could have seen Alaska from Hong Kong...


Anyway, it got me thinking about glasses.  I have worn them for over 50 years, and I really never considered the history.  The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, or Romans did not have them.  In a letter written by a Roman about 100 B.C.,  he stressed his resignation to old age and his complaint that he could no longer read for himself, having instead to rely on his slaves. Further research uncovered that the Roman tragedian Seneca, born in about 4 B.C., is alleged to have read "all the books in Rome" by peering at them through a glass globe of water to produce magnification. Nero used an emerald held up to his eye while he watched gladiators fight. This is not proof that the Romans had any idea about lenses since it is likely that Nero used the emerald because of its green color, which filtered the sunlight. Ptolemy mentions the general principle of magnification,  but the lenses then available were unsuitable for use in precise magnification.

Around 1000 A. D. the reading stone, what we know as a magnifying glass, was developed. It was a segment of a glass sphere that could be laid against reading material to magnify the letters. It enabled presbyopic monks to read and was probably the first reading aid. The Venetians learned how to produce glass for reading stones, and later they constructed lenses that could be held in a frame in front of the eyes instead of directly on the reading material.

It is not clear who really invented the reading glasses, but
 early spectacles had convex lenses that could correct the presbyopia (farsightedness) that commonly develops as a symptom of aging. Nicholas of Cusa is believed to have discovered the benefits of concave lens in the treatment of myopia (nearsightedness). However, it was not until 1604 that Johannes Kepler published in his treatise on optics and astronomy, the first correct explanation as to why convex and concave lenses could correct presbyopia and myopia.

Benjamin Franklin, who suffered from both myopia and presbyopia, invented bifocals in 1784 to avoid having to regularly switch between two pairs of glasses. The first lenses for correcting astigmatism were constructed by the British astronomer George Airy in 1827.

 Early eyepieces were designed to be either held in place by hand or by exerting pressure on the nose (pince-nez).  The modern style of glasses, held by temples passing over the ears, was developed in 1727 by the British optician Edward Scarlett. These designs were not immediately successful, however, and various styles with attached handles such as scissors glasses and lorgnettes remained fashionable throughout the eighteenth and into the early nineteenth century.

In the 19th century the responsibility of choosing the correct lens lay with the customer. Even when the optician was asked to choose, it was often on a rather casual basis. Spectacles were still available from travelling salesmen. J. C. Bloom, writing in 1940, described the method of fitting glasses in the Western part of the United States in 1889, when he first went into practice: "When a person came in to get a pair of glasses, you would look him over, ask his age, and then reach into one of the boxes that had the mounted goods and you would-reach from box to box until the patient said he could see. He would ask what the price was, and it was anywhere from $150 to $5."

 A short paragraph in the "Optical Journal" of 1901 warned against peddlers: "If you value your eyesight, you will place no confidence in the statements of tramps who go from house to house selling spectacles. They will tell you your eyes are diseased and nothing but their electric or magnetised glasses will save you from blindness. Such talk is an insult to your intelligence."

At the beginning of the 20th century, Dr. Norburne Jenkins wrote in the "Optical Journal": "Wearing spectacles or eyeglasses out of doors in always a necessity, but glasses are very disfiguring to women and girls. Most tolerate them because they are told that wearing them all the time is the only way to keep from having serious eye trouble. If glasses are all right, they will seldom or never have to be worn in public".

Despite this statement, a variety of glasses and optical aids were available and were worn in public. Spectacles with large round lenses and tortoise shell frames became the fashion around 1914.
Here is Stephen Vincent Benet.  The time had now come when "the average human disfigurement, often an injury, seldom a person, instead of being ashamed that his eyes are on the blink, actually seems to be proud of it". The enormous round spectacles and the pince-nez continued to be worn in the twenties. In the thirties there was increased emphasis on style in glasses with a variety of spectacles available. Meta Rosenthal wrote in 1938 that the pince-nez was still being worn by dowagers, headwaiters, old men, and a few others. The monocle was worn by only a minority in the United States. Sunglasses, however, became very popular in the late 30's.

I do have some interesting glasses from that Hong Kong source...my creative shop designer creatively spun them into the rafters...look up!


 Not to mention a rhinestone pair...and the traditional "granny" glasses...
and, as Ann Landers once wrote,
“Rose-colored glasses are never made in bifocals. Nobody wants to read the small print in dreams.”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother.

 A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing. ~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987

I will be with my 85...soon to be 86... year old mother today.   True...in her mind, I am still a child...it is difficult for her to understand that I am looking at Social Security as something more than a line on my paycheck.

I have a great admiration for women who are mothers...especially the single mother who is working and trying to support a family.  I see many of them in my college classes.  I never had children...I knew it was something that I could not handle.  I wanted to teach, and I just did not think I was a good multi-tasker. 

So, today is a simple post...no wrapped present or card or gift certificate makes up for your being with your Mom...and, if she is no longer with you, maybe take some time think about a special moment you shared.   Remember, it is not always about stuff...it is about love...be nice!

"You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool Mom."  ~  Unknown



Sunday, May 6, 2012

“You don't stop laughing

because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” ― Michael Pritchard

This week's post is a potpourri of things...nothing serious...the semester ends this week, and I am decompressing!

I have a new line of cards...these are just hysterical...you cannot help but laugh... The company, Leanin' Tree is an all American company based in Colorado. The company has been in business since 1949! See--we do have companies that have survived without going overseas. They print on recycled paper with soy-based inks as a certified "Green Printer." I am trying to buy American, and I am trying to follow the repurpose path also. There are cards, magnets, and a few of the designs are notepads. These cards are truly for the chuckle crowd...
All reasonably priced...$2.79 for the cards, $3.95 for the magnets, and $4.95 for the notepads. Speaking of reasonably priced, did someone miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime to sell on One Kings Lane. Remember the $149 paint brushes from the other week...check out this...
Now...check out the price...
Little did they know that this qualified for more than 25 cents! And, I do think it was half price by the time my BFF and I got to the yard sale!
Next to the new card rack is a new "ladies corner"--a touch of vintage...a touch of antique...a dash of new...we have vintage purses, hats, and even books spotlighting women.
And...another new feature in the shop...vintage baby...it seems many women are opting for a touch of retro for their repros...babies, that is...
And, then we have reworked the bump out area in the front of the shop into an area for old, and some new, books
...journals, some treasures for the scrapbooking crowd...like ribbons, glitter, old paper.
And...Votivo is featured...these candles are truly amazing...they burn well...the scent is pleasant without being overpowering. It is another American company also...they are soy...they burn to a liquid, but once you extinguish the flame, they solidify beautifully, and they burn consistently without making a hole in the candle.
So, there is a peek at what we have been up to...I am eternally grateful to my "elf" for her perseverance in creating these design areas for your entertainment...keep that in mind as you visit the small businesses in your areas...these people work to create a joyful shopping experience...they are more than metal shelving and price guns. We hope you will like what we have created for you as the season slowly comes into bloom for... “The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do.” ~James Barrie.