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Monday, April 29, 2013

Jere' a big way

We have long been fans of the C. Jere' pieces by Artisan House that are grand in scale and made of high quality metals. We've sold several in the past, most notably a huge Brooklyn Bridge and an even larger freestanding Birds in Flight sculpture.

Jere' Brooklyn Bridge

Jere' Birds in Flight

With two recent acquisitions, we feel we've reached new heights...and widths. My SIL was the winning bidder on a very rare pair of cast aluminum and chrome crane statues not long ago, and just a few days ago, we were contacted by a local woman whose elderly mother was downsizing and had a Rain Drops wall sculpture for sale. The cranes are 67" (170 cm) tall, and the Rain Drops sculpture is a full 60" (152 cm) wide, making them officially the largest Jere' pieces we've offered to date.

These pieces are all in wonderful condition. The cranes have a glorious patina and exhibit very few other signs of age, other than a missing reflective chrome piece on one base. Personally, I love the mismatched bases, because I think it gives the pair an edgy look. If I bought them, I wouldn't change a thing.The Rain Drops owner bought the sculpture in the 1970s and has taken exceptionally good care of it. I know she hated to part with it, but we'll find a new owner who will treasure it as much as she did.

C. Jere' cast aluminum and chrome cranes...almost 6 feet tall

C. Jere' Rain Drops wall sculpture...a full 5' wide

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Post-construction saga: SNAFU

I'm not intentionally being coy. I really do plan to reveal my new modernist nest soon. In fact, I intended to reveal it long before now. However, there's no accounting for weather or for workmen. Or for moving the store, which is causing the current delay.

I've vowed not to do the full reveal till everything is finished, and right now the entire back yard is torn up and covered with weeds. Not just the part in front of my new apartment. I mean the entire back yard.

My daughter and SIL decided...and very rightly so...that the original layout of the yard, while perfect for a single older woman, was not conducive to play for the boys. The yard is small, and most of it was taken up by shrubs and flower beds, leaving very little grassy area in which the grandsons could cavort and commit mayhem, so my SIL wielded his mighty chain saw and removed the shrubs. Then it rained. By the time things dried out, the brush was very brittle. We decided we didn't want the headache...or the cuts and abrasions...of hauling it off, so we set about hiring it done. The first person who was supposed to come didn't show up, but we were luckier the second try...although that person came so late that he had to work by porch light.

Then it took a while to get all the roots tilled up. That was no fault of the workman with the tiller. He had to wait until several other things were done...particularly getting someone to flag the gas line, which we rightly assumed ran directly under the area to be tilled. More rain, this time with hail, caused a couple of delayed visits.

My SIL also had to wait for the flagging before he could jackhammer out a couple of sidewalks. One originally went to the carport/storage area, which was converted into my kitchen, closet/laundry room and bathroom, so it had become The Sidewalk to Nowhere. The other, in front of my apartment, was an eyesore and needed to be replaced.

Once that was done, the tilling had to be further postponed till we could get someone out to haul off all the rock and concrete my SIL had so dauntlessly and manfully broken up. There came the rub. The guy, who had delivered a diatribe against "flakes on Craigslist" when he hauled off the brush, stood us up the first evening he was supposed to come back. And the the next. And the next. Then it rained again. And rained. And then it was muddy for several days, delaying the haul-off even further. The guy finally showed up and took away most of the debris.

In the meantime, though, we discovered that the rest of the rock in front of my new apartment, which we thought we could finish digging up in a snap with a shovel, was buried so deeply that it would need to be jackhammered as well. The tardy rock hauler said he'd loan my SIL his save another rental at Home Depot...and he also said he'd come back to pick up the last of the rocks the next day when he got his jackhammer. He finally showed up a week later. I opened the gate for him and then went back inside, only to discover that he had picked up his jackhammer but had left behind the rock.

The tilling was finally finished, and our brand new rake immediately broke. More delay was caused by trying to find the receipt and then time to exchange it. I think this is a perfect example of how the acronym SNAFU and Murphy's Law came into being.

So at the moment, the plan is to go on a marathon landscaping finish-up as soon as the last piece of furniture is moved into the new store location. Till then, we have a yard cart full of rocks that we're going to have to find a place to dump, dirt that needs to be spread, nandina and boxwood stumps/roots that need to be picked out of the dirt, an I-kid-you-not boatload of weeds...and sand. Where the sidewalk came up in front of my apartment, we found a ton of sand that was put down in 1950 when the house was built. After staying put for 63 years, it now migrates into my apartment in copious amounts every time the door opens. That doubles when the grandsons enter. They sit in it to play with their toy cars and trains, so they track in shoesful and pantsful. That is, unless they're busy committing the aforementioned mayhem, such as having stick fights or throwing chunks of concrete at each other. (Thanks for leaving those behind, flaky brush/rock hauler man.)

If dirt is your thing, we've got it.

Did I lie about the weeds?

Or the sand?

A few baskets have been hung in back,
along with some well-placed flags telling us where we can dig.

A few more have been hung in front...but, as you can see, it's still looks like a war zone.
The plastic lid as a stepping stone is a nice touch, don't you think?

Soon. Very soon.

::SIGH:: I hope.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Oh! My Papa...

Almost a year ago, I posted about playing a game of "If money were no object" with my SIL. Both our lists of must-haves included a Papa Bear chair by Hans Wegner. A few weeks ago, one came his way, and he has had it beautifully restored. The teak now looks brand new, and the new gray wool Maharam upholstery is stellar. Take a look at this beautiful example of Danish design.

Papa Bear chair and ottoman, designed by Hans J. Wegner for AP Stolen in 1951

We have been visited by the Wegner Fairy (the vintage modern equivalent of the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny rolled into one) several times lately, having also found a set of Wegner dining chairs and a gorgeous teak sideboard under our pillows.

Dining chairs by Hans J. Wegner for CM Madsens

Teak sideboard by Hans J. Wegner for Ry Mobler

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's official. The store is growing again.

My SIL is taking another bold step. Mid2Mod is moving to a larger space near the Dallas Design District and will be open by appointment only as of May 1. He will have a new full-time partner in the business. This new daughter...has given notice and is leaving her position as webmaster and creative coordinator of a large urban school district. She will assist in buying and will be in charge of all marketing activity on a day-to-day basis.

Her first big project will be revamping our website and adding an eCommerce feature, allowing us to sell directly from the site, as well as from V&M. There will also be an increased focus on sales to the trade.

Her active participation in the business will make it possible to travel as a family all over the country to bring vintage modern treasures back to Dallas. To that end, they are looking at a 27' Airstream that they can modify with sleeping quarters in front and space to carry furniture in back. If that project materializes, you can expect play-by-play posts here.

Once my daughter is working primarily from home at the end of this week, my responsibilities...both as babysitter and web editor...will be over, and I will be able to pay more attention to my blog and will be posting with much more regularity. It's a win-win all around.

To make the move easier, my SIL is having a huge sale at the current location, offering 30% off everything in the store and 50% off all his Gus* Modern floor models. Here's just one example of what you could get at 30% off...this gorgeous dropleaf dining table by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen, which is new to the store.

Dropleaf dining table by Peter Hvidt and Orla Mølgaard-Nielsen

Table with leaves open

Underneath table

Close-up of table legs and brass hardware

And, yes, I'm almost ready to reveal the new apartment. We've had some delays on the landscaping, but jackhammering has been done, rock and concrete have finally been hauled away and tilling was completed today. We'll lay concrete blocks and put down grass, and then I'll be ready to show you my new digs!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Winner, winner...

Nope, not a chicken dinner. This lucky giveaway winner gets a pair of vintage candleholders created in Italy for Rosenthal Netter.

I used to choose the winner, who was the 8th person to sign up for the giveaway.

And the winner is...SusieQT.

As soon as I have her mailing address, I'll get the candleholders right out to her! Congratulations, SusieQT. I hope you have the perfect spot for them!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bringing in the new

My SIL is constantly searching for great new modern furniture to sell in the store, in addition to the phenomenal vintage modern pieces he finds. We help customers create unique living spaces by mixing old and new, and we practice what we preach, as our homes are decorated that way as well.

We have most recently become a dealer for Eastvold Furniture. This is how designer Matt Eastvold describes the company:

Eastvold Furniture is a small Minnesota-based company that designs and builds finely crafted furniture. The pieces built in our small rural shop end up scattered all over the country and will (we hope) be passed down to future generations. One of our highest priorities is to use quality, sustainable materials. Our furniture is designed to stand the test of time, and we believe that the creation of each piece should benefit both our community and our planet.

We are both pleased and proud to add the Eastvold line to our selection of products at Mid2Mod.

Photo: This looks fun!
Shipment from Eastvold Furniture

Photo: Oooooo Ahhhhh!
Much ooooing and aaaaahhhhing as the first unit came to life

Small Elko credenza in bamboo by Matt Eastvold

Classic credenza by Matt Eastvold

We also got in some new Gus*Modern pieces that we're really excited about. We have been carrying Gus* products for quite some time (and have Gus* sofas and chairs in both our homes, so we love the line.) Take a look at these beauties.

Hull coffee table by Gus*Modern

Adelaide bi-sectional sofa by Gus*Modern

Sunday, April 7, 2013

In the store: Care for a Danish?

No, not a pastry. More Danish Modern. But this time it's a little exciting for us, because we have beautiful Hans Wegner pieces in the store, some of which aren't even pictured in this if you're local, you need to get in to see them. (The store, usually closed on Sundays, will be open for the Deep Ellum Arts Festival.) Feast your eyes on these great additions:

Solid teak dining table by Johannes Andersen

Hans J. Wegner teak chairs with original leather seats for CM Madsens

Not Danish, but Scandinavian nonetheless, these chairs are by Norwegian designer Torbjørn Afdal.

Form chairs by Torbjørn Afdal, also with original leather seats

And on the American front, we have bowtie chairs attributed to Paul McCobb, as well as a spectacular 72" bench/coffee table by Kip Stewart and Stewart MacDougall and a pair of Lightolier pendant lamps. (The lamps are a story in themselves. They were found in new old stock condition...still in original packaging with hangtags. They had never been removed from the box and were marked 1959.)

Bowtie chairs attributed to Paul McCobb

72" bench/coffee table by Stewart and MacDougall for Drexel

Lightolier pendants in mint condition


Mid2Mod Blog Giveaway

I'm giving away this pair of vintage candleholders, created in Italy for Rosenthal Netter. To enter, become a Google follower of this blog and leave a comment on this post saying you're a follower and want to be entered.

It's easy to be a site member. In the Google Followers box to the right of this post, click on Join this site. Once you have set up a Google account, click Follow publicly, and you're done.

The deadline for entering is midnight CDT (North America) on Friday, April 12. The winner will be announced on Saturday, April 13.

My SIL is also having an exciting giveaway right now. Check for details on our Facebook page, but act quickly on that one, because it ends today.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Great Gus* a vintage bonus from me

It's that time of year again. My SIL has a giveaway during the annual Deep Ellum Arts Festival held each spring, and this one is fantastic. He's giving away this Gus*Modern Delano chair and lightbox table! This is a $1200 value, based on MSRP.

To enter the drawing, simply like Mid2Mod on Facebook using this link, or, if you've already liked us, leave a comment on our Facebook page telling us you've already done so and want to enter.

For an extra chance to well as a chance to win the giveaway on my blog...all you have to do is be a Google follower of this blog and leave a comment on this post saying you're a follower and want to be entered.

It's easy to be a site member. In the Google Followers box to the right of this post, click on Join this site. Once you have set up a Google account, click Follow publicly, and you're done.

Here's what you can win from me:

Vintage candleholders created in Italy for Rosenthal Netter

The winner of the Delano chair and lightbox table will be announced at the end of this weekend's festival.

The deadline for my contest is midnight Central Daylight Time (North America) on Friday, April 12, so join and/or comment by then. I will announce the winner on Saturday, April 13.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Elizabeth Rockwell Raphael: A girl and a gallery

In 1941, 21-year-old recent Sarah Lawrence graduate Elizabeth Rockwell decided to bring modernism to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She opened Outlines, a gallery that remained open until 1947, when lack of support finally forced her to close its doors. Over the course of six years, however, Outlines featured the work of the likes of Alexander Calder, John Cage, Maya Deren, Merce Cunningham, Paul Klee, Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, Amadeo Modigliani, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Georges Seurat and Marc Chagall, to name only a few.

Pieces were borrowed from museums and private collections, and exhibits changed every four weeks. The gallery also boasted a circulating library of art books, literature and experimental recordings and hosted lectures and film viewings. The gallery itself was decorated with modern plywood furniture designed by local architect Crombie Taylor.

At the time, abstract art was considered bizarre at best and even subversive and un-American by some, so this was a monumental achievement by a young woman that newspapers in her day called "a girl." Elizabeth Rockwell Raphael died in 1998 and has been called "one of the most ground-breaking women in the modern art scene." In 1971 she founded the Society for Contemporary Craft.

In 2009, Raphael's granddaughter Cayce Mell happened upon several documents bearing her late grandmother's name, along with an address in downtown Pittsburgh, as well as a list of famous artists. Until then, she had no idea what her grandmother had been doing when she was in her early twenties. What she discovered was a missing link in art history.

Mell and her husband Jason Tracy have spent the last four years compiling a documentary film about Elizabeth Rockwell Raphael and Outlines. A few weeks ago, we were contacted by Tracy, who sent us a link to the trailer for their film. I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did and will look forward to seeing the film in its entirety. - Cayce Mell