One of my favorite art pieces is a hand-signed and numbered serigraph by Itzchak Tarkay: if you know the name, please let me know (221/350). We bought it at an “auction” on a cruise – yes, its billed as an art auction, but really its just a art sale. But I love it: the bold blues; the stunning, bored woman lounging at a table – I never tire of looking at it.
Occasionally in the mail I get flyers for a seized assets auction – items acquired from police and government auctions. Typically the flyers go right in the trash, but this one caught my eye because it had a photo of a piece by Itzhak Tarkay, one of my favorite artists. When I read the details, I saw an original oil by Tarkay was being auctioned. The hotel where the auction was being held is a 5 minute walk from our home, so I kept the flyer, and put the date in my calendar.
I have attended auctions before: in addition to the cruise faux-ction, I’ve been to live auctions in NYC and at Hotel Drouot in Paris, as well as some livestock auctions at the Indiana State Fair (we were there, it was interesting!)
A couple weeks later I walked to the auction preview at 12:30, planning to just see how a seized assets auction worked. The room was filled with
- framed art work on easels, including signed lithographs, serigraphs, etchings and original oils – by Rembrandt, Picasso, Warhol, Peter Max, Matisse, Dali, Chigall, and yes, several Itzchak Tarkay originals and signed lithographs – including the original of my serigraph! (they didn’t know the name either)
- a counter with jewelry, including Rolex watches, loose stones and diamond bracelets
- several long tables with original bronze sculptures, art glass, and piles of silk and wool rug
- register to participate by signing in and get an auction paddle
- each registered participant is given a pad of round red stickers: if you’re interested in an item, put a sticker on it
- only items with stickers will be auctioned
- there is an 18% service fee plus local tax on top of the auction price
In the corner was a fruit, cheese and cracker spread, and next to it a complementary bar. The auctioneer clearly wanted registrants liquored up. After nibbling some cheese and armed with a strong blood mary, I started squeezing my way up and down the aisle crammed with easels. There were maybe 20-25 other people checking out the items up for auction, some clearly there for the auctions, others who (like myself) appeared to be merely sightseeing.
I had planned to leave before the auction, but I hadn’t finished my bloody mary yet so I sat down to watch and learn. There were only about a dozen people bidding, but there was some serious buyers present. Prices went from as low as several hundreds of dollars to $20,000 for the various pieces that were auctioned off in the next half hour. The original Tarkay of my serigraph sold for just over $11,000 – and when I returned home I saw similar original works by Tarkay for sale for over $20,000.
In all, an entertaining and educational way to spend an afternoon: and while I’d be thrilled to own the original, I still love my Tarkay.
April 1, 2015 No Comments
I’m a microwave popcorn addict: and I love the convenience and calories of the mini-bags, typically about 100 calories per serving. I’m not loyal to any brand, but I prefer kettle corn: sweet, salty and crunchy.
The last few trips to the grocery I’ve noticed a new player on the popcorn shelf: Skinnygirl. So today I gave in and bought a box of Skinnnygirl Sea Salt & Lime Popcorn… WOW!
I didn’t expect there to be a distinct taste difference, but I was wrong: the lime flavor is distinct and delicious! It doesn’t taste at all like a margarita, but it does taste distinctly limey and salty. The Kernels are Orville Redenbacher: big crunchy and every kernel popped. When I checked the box its more calories than I thought – but still reasonable for a daily healthy snack that satisfies. (Have you ever had 2 of your 100 calorie snacks because one didn’t satisfy you?)
I highly recommend you give it a try: I thought I loved sweet and salty, but I’m truly a lime and salty girl.
- Skinnygirl Sea Salt and Lime Microwave Popcorn
- 10 mini-bags
- 160 calories per bag
March 27, 2015 No Comments
I love frozen yogurt… and I’m happy to visit my favorite frozen yogurt store, Pinkberry, on any excuse. But sometimes I just don’t want to go out – its too hot, too cold, to wet, too late, or too something.
I shared a while back that I discovered and use my Zoku Slush and Shake maker to make homemade salted caramel frozen yogurt. Turns out great! I store the Zoku slush maker in the freezer of my NYC apartment, and can make salted caramel yogurt any time I want.
Now, I discovered the Zoku ice cream maker: the same scrape and stir concept, but in a bowl shape! I was in SoFlo at Williams-Sonoma, and actually paid the full price $25.99 to take it home and try it that night.
February 16, 2015 2 Comments
I drink on average 2 diet ginger ales every day – yes, I’ve heard pop isn’t good for me. I like diet ginger ale, and I rationalize I could be doing things that are a lot worse for my health every day. For a year I’ve been hinting – actually begging – for a Soda Stream so I could make my diet ginger ale at home. I hadn’t actually tested the diet ginger ale yet – Bed Bath and Beyond frequently has someone making and giving away samples, but I don’t want to sample cola: I don’t like cola, I like diet ginger ale!
February 9, 2015 1 Comment
If your spice cabinet looks like mine, you can’t find the spices you know you have, so you end up buying duplicates – although in our case, my husband is too lazy too look so he buys more. Which explains why we have 3 giant bottles of chili powder…
We recently moved (yes, again!) and merged 2 kitchens into one. As a result, my spice cabinet looked like this:
Its hard to see, but behind all those spice jars are dozens more spices that we use, but can never find. I had seen TV ads for a spice shelf organizer, and as I was heading to Bed Bath and Beyond anyway, I decided to buy Spicy Shelf.
February 2, 2015 3 Comments
I work from home, and sometimes I get a bit of writer’s block combined with some desk fatigue. Last week the days started turning cooler, and instead of a single cup of tea I decided to make a pot of tea… and realized my teapot needed a bit of bling!
1 glass teapot with a metal lid
September 21, 2014 1 Comment
A while back I shared how much I LOVED the book The Hundred-Foot Journey – A Novel by Richard C. Morais. The book shares the story of a young Indian boy and his extended family of restaurateurs in Mumbai who move travel first to southeastern France, where he ends up in the kitchen of a Michelin-starred restaurant.
June 13, 2014 No Comments
I didn’t know this was a tip until someone saw me drinking my morning water, and thought I had a genius idea! So today I’m sharing it with you!
I love strawberries, and happily they’re now inexpensive and available year round. I buy local strawberries when they’re in season: but when they’re not, I buy whatever strawberries are at the grocery.
I typically buy 1-2 cartons of fresh strawberries per week, and I use strawberries in my morning smoothie or yogurt, and in salads, homemade ice cream, and sometimes I just like to eat strawberries.
When I buy them, I leave them in the plastic carton but wash and dry them as soon as I get home from the grocery, then put them in the fridge in their plastic container. When I make something using strawberries, I grab a knife and trim the tops off, then slice or quarter the strawberries as needed.
June 6, 2014 2 Comments
I love collecting seashells, but what I really like to do is incorporate seashells into my decor: I love the touch of nature they bring, and the memories they hold!
I’ve visited Sanibel Island in Florida several times, where I perfected the Sanibel stoop: walking along the shore bent over, searching for the perfect seashell to add to your collection. In Sanibel I found an assortment of conch and whelks – being careful not to take live shells – which are both beautiful, and can be made into decorative and useful gifts.
Here’s my latest DIY seashell craft project: place card holders – which can be used for more than place cards.
Read all about seashell DIY place card holders on my post on MumRx
May 26, 2014 1 Comment
I just moved to a new apartment, and the closets are very different from my last apartment. So off I went to Bed Bath and Beyond, with a list of closet measurements and a closet floor piled with clothes.
And I discovered a Real Simple Solution.
May 8, 2014 No Comments