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  • Debra Palmen

Things are happening....



We have two weeks to go until we close the pop-up shop, and Calypso and I are ready to go home. It’s been fun, but also a lot of work and we’re tired.

And meanwhile, other things are happening:

Thing 1

Collectorama, the big antiques fair at the Nambour Showgrounds (on the Sunshine Coast) is taking place this coming Saturday (5 March) but this time it will take a huge effort by us to get there. The order of events shall be:

  1. 1. pack up a good deal of the shop for several hours on Thursday afternoon after we close;

  2. 2. unpack for several hours on Friday to create our stand at Collectorama;

  3. 3. actually do Collectorama on Saturday from very early until mid-afternoon;

4. repack everything we haven’t sold – and hopefully we'll sell lots – for several hours on Saturday afternoon;

5. replace the shelving and unsold goods into the shop for several hours on Saturday night;

6. pack the car, as fast as we can, for Peregian Beach Market on Saturday night;

7. leave home for the Peregian Beach Market at 5.30am on Sunday;

8. repack the car after the Market and return any unsold items to the shop on Sunday afternoon.

Naturally, we shall be deeply unconscious by Sunday evening but will then spring back into the shop, bright-tailed and bushy-eyed, on Monday morning.

That’s the plan so far. Let’s see how it goes.

It won’t be helped by the fact that this morning I fell down our mountain in what Doug assures me was a spectacular fashion. I had taken Calypso for a walk before heading to the shop for the day, and naturally she wanted to clamber around some interesting rocks and tree trunks in a difficult spot. And naturally I followed her. So far so good.

It was the getting back down bit that proved a challenge. She took the pussycat shortcut down the hill to safety. I followed her down the pussycat shortcut. Only I’m not a pussycat. And I didn’t land safely. My plan was to hit the ground gymnast-style, and then do that two-hands up salute to Doug that gymnasts give after completing a fabulous routine.

What I actually did was a spectacular face-plant, stopping a few feet short of a seriously high cliff. At least it was spectacular. I immediately turned onto my back to see how Calypso was, and she was sitting there looking at me, somewhat bemused. I could see in her face she was thinking What the hell are you doing?

Getting bruised and battered is what I was doing. Mostly my ego, but my knee and hip also copped it so I shall be hobbling around Collectorama seeking cups of tea and lots of cooing and sympathy from everyone. No laughing, no pointing – Doug’s already done enough of that. After he first checked that I wasn’t dead and helped me to my feet.

Thing 2

I’ve had my first interview about my book, which was an interesting and bit embarrassing experience. It was by an American writer’s website, so some things I had to translate into American for them. You can read it here: http://awesomegang.com/debra-palmen/. I felt a bit uncomfortable rabbiting on, but they told me to not give them yes/no answers, so I was encouraged to rabbit on. You know that’s one thing I can do quite well.

And on the topic of the book, thank you to everyone who has bought it online recently. It’s moved up and down within the Top 5 in the Antiques & Collectables category at www.amazon.com.au since I published it, and that’s all thanks to you.

Now I’m about to be given a terrific opportunity to have exposure to a broader national and international audience, which is very exciting and I’ll talk about that more when it happens. But for that to happen it means I need to sell my book to booksellers at a wholesale price. And that means I'm now doing business with big Chinese printing firms, learning all about digital versus offset printing, trim marks, 3mm bleeds, and then all the palava involved in importing books en masse to Australia. The things you learn that you didn’t really want to learn!

Thing 3

Da-da-da-DA-da-da! It’s been a long time coming, but at last there is actual activity on my website.

Yes, it’s true! I’ve been hassled by many people – lots of people – on an almost weekly basis about how sucky my website is. Yes, until now there's been almost nothing for sale on it, I know that. But until now it’s existed as a vehicle for selling my book – thank you to everyone who has bought a print version from me – and for this Newsletter.

But now I have listed every single reproduction vintage image I have available. The entire catalogue, which no-one except me has ever seen. OMG do you know how much work was involved in that? Lots, is the answer. I’m not technically literate, you could even call me a techno-numpty, but at last I figured it out and got it done.

Now there’s more in my online catalogue than you’ll see in person if you visit me. That's because hundreds of pictures weigh too much to lug about to markets and fairs, but online you can view them all at your leisure. The three Erte numbers I've featured in this Newsletter are among the new pictures on the website. Plus the entire Erte alphabet - that took a bit of finding, let me tell you.

Have a look – at the top of each page on the website you’ll see ‘Shop’. Under that, you’ll find ‘Vintage Pictures – Reproductions’. It’s a great collection, if I say so myself. It’s taken me years to put together, and there isn’t another one like it in the country.

And yes more items will appear under each of the other categories in due course. I think I’ll move on to the Jewellery category next – I’m doing the easy stuff first and I bought some beautiful 1930s necklaces on our last buying trip. But I’ll see how much we sell at Collectorama, and then I’ll start updating the Jewellery page. See, with enough nagging from youse lot I eventually become a good gel who properly tends her website. Sort of.


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