Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Salt Lake City

The Mormon Tabernacle
Forgive me for straying, leaving the store, and getting out and seeing the world, but, now and then, one needs to get away. The getaway for the Traditions gang, Robin, Diane, and myself was a trip to Salt Lake City to watch the Wichita State University Shocker Basketball team play in the opening round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The Shockers beat first, Pittsburg, then number one ranked Gonzaga, and so they are on to the round of Sweet Sixteen in Los Angeles. The victories in Salt Lake were a big boost to Wichita, the team, and coach Gregg Marshall.

"How about them Shox!"

It is always fun to get away, more so, when it is a trip to somewhere one has never been to. Everything one sees is new and different. Salt Lake is situated in the Great Basin, surrounded on all sides by the towering Wasatch Mountains. On a clear day, the snow covered mountains shine in their spectacular beauty.

The weather for this time of year was a bit out of the ordinary. Even though Punxsutawney Phil promised us an early spring, it is snowing. There snowflakes float down like soft feathers on the city streets and those brave enough to be out in the cold. The local weatherman describes the resulting snowfall as lake-effect snow, a term familiar to those from Chicago, but not so familiar to Wichita. Lake-effect snow is produced when cooler winds cross warmer waters such as the Great Salt Lake, picking up water vapor and then shedding it as snow. Judging by the large number of umbrellas, the warm winter coats, and the long skirts and dresses on the women, the citizens of Salt Lake are used to this condition.

The city itself is surprisingly new and modern. There is plenty of downtown shopping, including a new indoor mall called City Creek Center. Then, there are dozens of great restaurants to choose from to eat at. Our breakfast favorite was Lamb's Grill. For an afternoon coffee and snack there is the nearby Eva's Bakery, a French style boulangerie.

Eva's Bakery at 155 S. Main Street

Free public transportation and wi-fi at the mall makes getting around Salt Lake or staying connected with friends easy. And, the Shockers played at the downtown EnergySolutions arena, a short 10 minute walk from the Hotel Monaco, where we stayed, or a hop on the clean and efficient city streetcars. When not rooting for our favorite basketball team, we found much to do in and around Salt Lake. There is the nearby Sugar Loaf neighborhood, and to ski one drives 15 minutes to the Park City Ski Resort.

One could go on and on, but shouldn't we get back to planning the next trip and rooting for the Shockers in LA?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sarah Lanigan, Stickley Museum

This April, Sarah Lanigan, curator and executive director of the Stickley Museum in Fayetteville, New York is coming to Traditions Furniture in Overland Park and Wichita for a special event. We would like to picture the event as thrilling, exciting, and fascinating. And it will be, but not like this.

Instead, Sarah will charm us with a presentation on the history and style of Stickley, America's foremost name in furniture. Since 1900, when Gustav Stickey first created his iconic New Furniture, Stickley has represented the best in design and craftsmanship. It all began with the Mission style. This furniture reflected Gustav Stickley's ideals of simplicity, quality construction, and truth to materials. The grain of the quarter-sawn oak wood was emphasized and the mortise and tenon joinery exposed because Stickley believed this is what nature intended. The design innovations of Gustav Stickley' brother Leopold, and designer Harvey Ellis have both contributed to the rich legacy of Stickley Mission. Over the years, many of the Stickey pieces, including the Gustav Stickley Morris chair, have entered the lexicon of furniture styles. Auction values for early pieces have soared, but Stickley is furniture to be enjoyed now and forever.

Today the Stickley Furniture story includes other styles such as Pasadena Bungalow, based on the styles of the Greene and Greene brothers of Pasadena, California, as well as Traditional, Modern, and 21st Century.

There will be refreshments, gifts, and plenty of chairs to sit in, but we recommend that you make a reservation, for these events are always popular. This will be a daytime event in both stores. We will post the times as soon as possible.

And if you are a fan of the Antiques Roadshow, but haven't been able to get there to find a value for your ancient piece of Stickley, here is an opportunity to ask what your piece of Stickley is worth.

Stickley, you buy it because you like it, and find that over time it is a decision to enjoy. Are you wondering how to get your favorite piece of Stickley?