Location: salem, Massachusetts, United States

Monday, May 19, 2008

Interior Temporary Space "Before"

Here's what the new, temporary space looks like right now. Remember that it was to be a pet store, so the bilious green is apropos! We're painting it, starting tomorrow, a nice soft white called Timothy Seed. The dark walnut wall panels are beautiful, though, and will serve us well. Our frame corner sample panels will be a matching color mat board called Seamist. Framed with a dark walnut and antique two-row gilded and beaded moulding that'll blend right in.

We intend on having a section for our Custom Framing directly facing you as you come in the door--the wall that has the fancy lights will be our corner sample wall. Under that will be the very popular watercolor frame kits. To the right, facing the street, will be the main Gallery Wall, with the Oil Painting ready-made frames under that. To the right of that will be our Antiques Gallery, with the Antique Frames on display, as well as more of the Art Gallery. We'll have a Design Area, a Sitting Area, an Antique, and a Transaction Area. All will be truncated from what we had at the original store, but, we think, more efficient.

In addition, we will take whatever frame stock and materials that we salvaged from the fire and offer these materials to you at a STERLING price! (We have to make up whatever the insurance company decides they won't cover, as you KNOW they'll try to give us as little as possible! PLUS, my MOM was a "Depression Baby" and so, I am a "waste not, want not" person. I can't BEAR to throw out what I consider perfectly good moulding and supplies, even if they have a slight smoky smell! I guess it's also a bit "green" of me, as these trees were cut down/killed for the lumber to make the frames and then they'd be thrown in the trash? Can't do that! Sort of a "they must live on!" philosophy on my part.)

It's really NOT about the money; the insurance company is required to pay me for the loss. It's the principle of the thing. If they are reading this and say, "well, we won't cover that!" because of my comments here, so be it! I look at the lengths of moulding in the cellar and I see stuff that is perfectly useable. Framing material that I hand-picked from the samples salesmen showed me. Frames like the sweet deal I got at a trade show from a particular company in which the frame was being discontinued and I bought a whole bunch of it at a great price. Two days after it was delivered, Elaine sold one order in it that paid for the entire shipment! It sounds mercenary of me, but that's how things work in Retail! From then on, we called that frame Elaine's Moulding! Besides the fact that it is BEAUTIFUL! AND underappreciated!

I had origianally thought to make ready-made frames from the salvaged moulding, but realized that artists would be selling their work to the public in this possible-problematic moulding--(I personally don't think so, but one cannot take a chance in this litigious world!) So I think we'll make up a "special" corner display board of moulding styles that "survived the fire" and offer them at 50% off the retail. We'll of course cull the moulding as it comes out of the burned store's basement and throw out the really smelly stuff. You see, flames never touched the basement and smoke and heat travel UP! Yes, yes, Gravity works and so, over the last three and a half weeks since the fire, soot and ash and smoke-smell have been settling into the basement, so we are gradually taking out what we can, now that the insurance company has given the "go ahead."
The next couples of weeks are going to be intense. We intend to open on June 2nd, a Monday. We intend to move all the customers' in-house work to the new location sooner and call them all to deal with their situations on a one-on-one basis. We need to re-frame works that existing customers wish to save, or deliver the water damaged works to the appropriate restorers. Unfortunately, we CAN'T refund any monies paid yet, until we get more advance money from the insurance company. We ARE fully insured for the damaged and lost works of customers; I just don't know how much documentation the insurance company will want. I fear that they'll want to give only the amount of the materials involved for the creation of the works and not what they would sell for! I and my husband and friends had several works which were destroyed that fit under that blanket, so we're anguishing too.

Yesterday, to that end, we plucked a sampling of mouldings from different sections of the cellar moulding rack--Top Row, Left, Middle, and Right--Middle Row, Left, Middle and Right--Bottom Row, Left, Middle and Right. Plus under the Joining Table, which suffered a lot of water damage--same scenario.

So far, only ONE moulding sample exhibits a slight smokey smell. The rest are fine, though one does exhibit a mildewy smell, also a factor. We'll cull and cull and cull, until we have a base of salvaged materials that we feel confident will not cause YOU any "smelly" problems down the road!


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