Saturday, December 29, 2007

Serious Auction Hangover

I went to another kimono auction yesterday. So much fun, but oh my!

Auctions can be addictive. Yesterday, I went over my budget, and way over my space limit! There was a huge amount of items being sold yesterday and I started off with a few large ticket buys. By lunch-time, I had already spent more than I had planned. In the afternoon, they were trying to get through the rest and so were auctioning things off in large lots and I just couldn't resist.

It's funny, it's not that I get things cheaper at the auction, but rather that I get a larger volume and access to some pieces that would normally be difficult to find. Yesterday, I bought a number of gorgeous old indigo pieces, a large stack of tenugui cloths (my husband is already claiming a number of those), some really cute furoshiki, and a few old happi coats. I wanted to buy some sets of geta shoes and a parasol, but by that time, I knew I didn't have space for anything more.

The people at the auction are friendly, and a lovely women next to me even gave me a few pieces she'd won in lots that she didn't want. The woman on the other side however was my main rival and we had some major bidding wars for children's kimonos. She outbid me on the large lots each time and other times was much faster than I was. I did manage to win a few while she wasn't watching though.

By the end of the day, the car was filled to the brim. I couldn't see out the back and my husband had to sit cross-legged for what became more than a two hour drive home (we got lost in the dark rainy night with only Japanese signs leading our way). There was a large kimono filled bag where his legs and feet should have gone.

I've now lost my living room once again and it will takes me days to sort the stock out and months to unpick pieces. It's a fun job however and what a great excuse to play with fabric. My husband doesn't complain when I don't cook or wash the dishes because I'm "working".

For now, I'll leave you with the piece I'm unpicking today, a really soft, light-weight silk kimono.


Joanne said...

Kimono Auctions sound like serious fun, and I mean both words literally I think. I'm not surprised you filled the car from the sound of it - I'm only surprised that your husband even had room to sit cross-legged ;)

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Hi Joleo!

You're right with the "serious fun" bit! It was funny, the auctioneer always teases me during the day and tells me that he's jealous I have a husband. Yesterday, he told me I was the most serious bidder. I asked, "Really, you think I'm serious", he told me that yes, I definately was. I think it's just because I'm concentrating so hard all day, trying to keep up with the Japanese, trying to bid in Japanese as well as learn a lot more about the textiles at the same time (I'm learning heaps!)

I think the only reason my husband had cross-legged room in the end was he pretty much insisted I stopped, he had tried packing the car and he knew we were out of room. I was then offered a pile of gorgeous furushiki at a great price and bought it, but joked that it was a secret from my husband (he was standing right next to me), so they thought that was pretty funny.

As crazy as my apartment is right now... I can't wait for the next one!

Jenny said...

What a fantastic experience those auctions must be. I bet you cane away with such lovely things. Enjoy the unpicking!Can't wait to see what you have got:)

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Hey Jenny

Yeh, I did get a lot of cool things and this time around am going to sell more full kimonos as well as the unpicked fabric. I got some of the cutest retro children's kimonos. There's a navy blue set that I may have to keep for myself....

I have to confess, I really enjoy the unpicking, it's always an excuse to watch a dvd ;)

Michelle said...

Oh my, this post left me just about giddy - an auction, kimonos, fabric, Japan - so many things I love all at once. I can only imagine what the excitement of the auction is like, then how wonderful it must be when you get home and get to play with all those beautiful fabrics. I'm green with envy!!

Anonymous said...

I don't have any idea what "unpicking" the kimono fabric might mean, but this purple and orange fabric is absolutely gorgeous! I would love to go to a kimono auction. Life in Japan sounds very intriguing.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Thanks everyone. The auctions are so much fun, but I have to admit, the weeks of sorting can start to drag a little, but then it's all fun again once I get to play with it!

Myartfullife, the "kimono unpicking" I go on about all the time (kind of a bit part of my weeks, though a fun one, I get to watch DVDs while I do it) is when I carefully take the kimono apart at the seams, so the fabric can be reused.

.. said...

Hello Melanie!
I discovered your blog and it´s so beautiful, congratulations!
I will visit you again!
Sandra (Argentina)


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