Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Little Birdy Told Me

Finally, updating my living room and dining room has come to the art collecting segment... maybe I rushed ahead a bit -- there is still a chair to upholster and a cabinet to refinish, lamps to select. But art is the fun part and, trust me, I could use a little fun.

Sadly, my favorite, most reliable antique mall recently closed. It was one of those monster malls with row upon row, booth after booth, fine antiques mingling with middle-of-the-road junk. I loved it and then, like an errant boyfriend, just when you thought it would be there always, it wasn't. It was gone. Ahhhh me.

Forlorn and woebegone, what was I to do? Wander into every antique and thrift shop in the city, to beat the bushes for a few integral pieces of art? Mighty inefficient and haphazard if you ask me. But then, quite by chance, I overheard two men chatting... about a new antique mall. The minute I became aware of what they were talking about I began eavesdropping in earnest. What new antique mall? Where? How would I find it? Shhhhhhhh...

It's on Route 4, they said. (Oh, Bully, Route 4 is one of those busy thoroughfares with every fast food restaurant, department store and chain shop known nationwide crammed within a five mile lenghth.) Those were the only directions I had. No specifics, not even a name for the place... How would I find it?

About two miles off the highway, up Route 4, as I was beginning to wonder... there was the sign, big as life: Antique Mall. Hooray!!!!.

The wonderful thing about an antique mall, if you ask me, is the whole conglomeration of antiques in one place. If I am looking for bowls or tables or candle sticks, it is a sure bet, at an antique mall I will find not one but fifty. I can choose this or that, discard a piece that doesn't quite go....

And so it was with the art. I started looking for pieces that just "grabbed me"... and what I began to notice were bird prints... Pretty, pretty bird prints. I didn't mean to zero in on these pretty birds... they just caught my eye and wouldn't let me loose. I got several bird prints that I think will make a nice grouping. (Another grouping I got was of children, but we'll look at them another day -- today I wanted to show you these lovely birds. Aren't they nice?)

And as it happens only recently I got a mini-yard-long from Francie's Scented Cottage that features a length of birds perched on a wire. They are too too cute. Don't you think? (Even with a fuzzy picture those little birds are unbearably sweet.)

Finding the new antique mall was a mightily entertaining treasure hunt. Finding all these dear birdy prints were the bonus nuggets of gold.

So I am wondering, are the antique malls in your area fairing well... or are they dying on the vine? And when you go antiquing what do you most like to find?