Posts Tagged With: surprise


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The famous Antiques Roadshow, exciting. A chance to have treasures you’ve hoped would be worth a million or maybe a couple hundred thousand, valued by professionals. Maybe you would be on TV?

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We brought my low-end Sony camera. Jim took my picture headed for the end of the line. I was told they had 400 people registered to arrive for the day. My vouchers were for the 11:00 to 12:30 slot.You donate $150 for three items.DSC05053 (Copy)

Because I had a small Chinese silk rug, we were sent to the Asian Arts room. It was interesting to see how it worked. Chairs lined up before three tables of evaluators.

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Here I am, in second place and I’m excited, considering this a possible high value rug because I had a Turkish rug dealer tell me it was worth $25,000. He explained that Chinese rugs have over 2000 knots per square inch while Turkish rugs have half that. He said the Chinese didn’t know what they had until recently. Now their rugs sell for very high prices.

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Isn’t it beautiful?  This is the back of the rug.

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This is the front of the rug.

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The evaluator told me about the famous pictures. It is a scene called The Dream Of The Red Chamber, and, she said, “…it lacks the male villain.”  There is a book about these figures and it was interesting to hear about it, but she doesn’t value  rugs and I had to leave and go to the room for  Decorative Art.

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The  evaluator  was Deric Torres from the auction house, Clars. He dismissed my rug as not valuable, worth less than I paid for it at an estimated  $800. He also said the Chinese mix in fibers and the silk may not be silk, and they are an untrustworthy investment. However, I have a tag, receipt and provenance for mine, so I would have no trouble proving it was pure silk.  Now if it were a Turkish rug, said he, it would have some value.  Oh, well. I figured the Turkish rug dealer exaggerated, but I didn’t expect it to be below the price I paid for it.

However, he got very excited about my Teka or Teca vase that he is holding. He showed me on the computer that it is worth $3,949 dollars, undamaged. I’ve had it for at least 20 years and last year my housemate hit it with a vacuum wand  and chipped it and then vacuumed up the chip. This happened while I was gone so I couldn’t even retrieve the chip. Now the estimated value is 1700 to 2500 if you can get someone who wants it very badly. I think that is very unlikely, but it does  validate my choices. I paid $12 for it at a Murphys second-hand furniture store in the 80’s.

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The third item I brought, an Israeli  vase, which is badly damaged, he valued at $600. I sometimes think they just want you to go home happy, if possible. It has an interest history, at least to me.

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On a trip to Disneyland in 1986 with a bunch of exchange students, we stayed at my daughter’s apartment on Katella Blvd. not far from Disney. I stopped at a gallery and saw this piece priced at $300, way out of my budget at the time.

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It hung in my mind and I drew it from memory, and this is what I remembered. Not very accurate but for whatever unknown reason, I kept the drawing as a reminder of it.

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In 1988, I went back to Disney with a another car load of exchange students to my daughter’s apartment, and here was that Israeli vase damaged, badly glued, on sale for $75. I bought it and rolled up my little drawing and put it inside the vase where it has sat very much loved on my dining room sideboard.

Torres told me it would cost as much as its value to have it restored, so, my broken down vase, that I always referred to as my chess piece, is worth what I paid for it— maybe more.

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After our long wait in the decorative arts room, evaluation over, we went to the Virgin Sturgeon for lunch, a  place recommended by staff at KVIE.

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From a window seat by the river, we watched the boats and took a leisurely lunch before the 2 hour drive home. It was a fun day, I learned gobs and I’ll probably go back next year and let them surprise me again with more “junk.”



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Opening the mail these days, I find more advertising than personal news. But, then, surprise! My adopted daughter, Karen, was published in Quilters Newsletter, a magazine I wrote a beginning writers piece for in 1976.  It didn’t pay much, in fact, it may have paid nothing, but the thrill was indescribable.

Here is Karen’s story that she sent me:

My husband retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2001 after serving for 20 years. To show my appreciation, I decided I would make him a quilted wavy U.S. flag wall hanging. I decided to use curved piecing to make it. He was thrilled with this idea. We went to my fabric stash to pick out the fabric. I cut out all the curved pieces using one template shape. Then the challenge began.

I tried to sew them together on the sewing machine and got so frustrated I gave up. I told him I was sorry; I tried but it was way too difficult for me. Years went by and as I made other quilts he would ask, “What about my flag quilt?” I’ve never been one to give up easily, so I thought, let me try one more time.

Guess what? I did it! I was so proud to have challenged myself, I decided to enter the quilt in the local county fair without him knowing. I talked him into going to the fair to see how my other quilts did. When he saw a red, white and blue quilt, he asked, “Isn’t that like the quilt you’re supposed to make for me?” When he saw the name and quilt label, he turned to me and gave me the happiest smile and biggest hug. I told him it didn’t win a ribbon. He said, “It won Best of Show to me!”  I’ll never forget the look of excitement on his face.Please challenge yourself and be patient. Just think, eight years later, you too can have a finished quilt for someone you love.

Karen is a great quilt artist. She’s a multitasker with, home and family, work, pets and many challenging projects.  She is proud of her quilt, but I’m proudest of all to be surprised by her accomplishments via a prestigious National Magazine. What a thrill!   Smooch!


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On our evening walk yesterday, a point of land that is normally deserted was alive with activity. We walked over to see what the encampment was about.

The land here is part of the Swinomish Indian Reservation. Thousand Trails leases from them and all fishing rights here belong to the Swinomish.  When we got to the top of the point, the fishermen were gathering in a huge net.

We watched for about a half hour as the gathered net got smaller and the pile of floaters got larger. They periodically tossed crabs back into the water that were caught in the net.

These two men pounded a huge stake into the ground to affix the next net being spread out while the fish from the first net were unloaded into bins on the beach.

All hands worked swiftly to free the fish from the netting and toss them into bins.

The catch is pink salmon.

It they happen to net a king salmon, like this prize, they set it aside. Maybe for the harvest celebration party. The Swinomish own a fish company and all proceeds are shared. This point is not the only spot they net salmon. The catch was not big this year according to one local observer.

This is a once a year event and we were glad we just happened to catch it.

The bin was loaded on a truck to be processed. From the number of bins, the work must have gone on all day. Then surprise, when we began our walk back, the tide had come in and we had to slog through water to get back to the park.

I will resume my China blog tomorrow.


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