I didn't mean to abandon the blog for so long but by the time evening rolled around this past week, I was exhausted. And rightly so...I've been house moving. House moving, you say? Yes, but probably not in the way you're envisioning. Let me explain.
Back in the mid-1980s, I bought a small sculpture as a souvenir of the cruise we were on at the time. The staggered roofs of the little houses on a hillside seemed to be the perfect reminder of what we were seeing in St. Thomas, even if the artist was fashioning them after English villages. A year or two later I saw another one by the same artist and bought it, intrigued by the detail and charm of these hand-crafted cottages. It wasn't long before we became serious David Winter collectors.
Had these been real houses, castles and other structures we could have populated an entire country when we stopped buying. The demand for these quaint sculptures had grown and in an effort to keep up, the artist sold out to Enesco, the giftware company that owned Prescious Moments, Department 56 and other collectibles. It was not a good thing, at least to our thinking. I was content with the ones we had.
A few weeks ago I was muttering about some of those pieces as I shuffled them around in the furniture in the guest bedroom. They were ones we'd taken down from the walls when we repainted Wayne's computer room. I told Wayne I'd sell them if I could instead of keeping them in a drawer; in fact, I added, I was willing to sell a good number of what we had.
One should be careful what one wishes for. It wasn't long before he was up in the attic bringing down the boxes all those houses, big and small, had come in. He rounded up the Certificates of Authenticity and built him a database to track what we had and what we were selling. Now it was up to me to sort them out.
The only way I could figure out how to do that was to take them out of the display cases where they lived. Keep in mind there are over 300 of them in three pieces of furniture, including this two-sided cabinet built into the wall in the dining room. The object was to keep only enough to fill two cabinets, assuming I could find enough I was willing to part with.
It was easier than I expected. I dusted all of the pieces (no small task there) and cleaned all the shelves and mirrors, then began putting the ones I wanted back in. All of the castles, all of the Christmas pieces with snow, all of the ones that were intriguing or unique or just said "keep me" when I held them. And as I came to ones I was sure I wanted to sell, I used the top of the entertainment center as a holding area for the ones someone else would treasure. When I finished, I had 93 I was happy to say good-bye to as well as the seven or eight pieces that had been living in a drawer in the extra bedroom.
It's really hard to get a photo of a see-through cabinet when there are windows behind it but it looks pretty all clean and newly-arranged. The one in the living room is bigger and holds the rest of the pieces.
Wayne took on the task of packing away the candidates for sale. He'll list them on ebay a few at a time but we'll need to photograph them first.
Finding the right box to match the piece was a challenge in itself. He had boxes stacked in every available free space in his computer room. Fortunately, all the empty boxes for the pieces we're keeping are now packed and ready to go back in the attic again so his office looks much better.
And I had a plan for the freshly-emptied cabinet in the dining room too. Two shelves hold the family keepsakes we've acquired recently and I was able to bring out the bigger serving pieces to the crystal that have been stored away. The top of the china cabinet was too full to hold them but now that have a home.
It's surprising how much lighter this room looks with the cabinet filled with sparkly, clear things instead of cottages. Of course, that sparkle came about because I washed everything before it went in here. And in true home re-do fashion, that only served to highlight the fact that the china cabinet could use the same treatment. That is, however, going to have to wait for a new burst of energy to strike.
I may not have moved a house house but it sure feels like I moved a lot of what's in ours.