Cool Stuff

Cool Stuff

Jan 29


Today was moving day for Joe Leonard’s Griffin and Pegasus.

He got a call last week letting him know the Mythical Creatures Museum exhibit is going back on the road.


So we had to pack up the Pegasus and Griffin for their first stop in Minnesota for the Mythic Creatures exhibit that opens February 3rd.


Here are some pictures I took while we got them all packed up.













Lots of work, but definitely worth it to get these two back out on the road!


Recent Acquisitions

Recent Acquisitions

Jul 09


In this business I get to work on some really great pieces for Nutcracker Collectors’ Club members and other clients.


One of the things that fuels my passion to rescue and restore damaged pieces for people is that I’m also a collector. I understand each piece’s value and the historical significance to fixing it right.


Compared to most, I don’t have many pieces; but the pieces I do have are good ones I bought reasonably and restored for myself, or are ones I really liked and/or admired the carving or style.


I bought two pieces at the 2016 Nutcracker Collectors’ Convention. They both are pieces that caught my eye and I really liked them.


What’s most important is, I don’t have to fix them. Just wax them and set them out for display.




Cat Nutcracker with “VITZNAU” carved into the handle




Nice old Boxwood screw type nutcracker


I’m very happy with my new acquisitions.


Coming soon — The original pieces I took to sell at the convention (spoiler alert! – The ones I didn’t sell are currently for sale on Ardoria).


—– Brandon


2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 2

2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 2

Jul 02


As promised, here are some pictures of the second day at the 22nd Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention.


The meeting and auction were held at the Holiday Inn Express in Lexington Virginia.


A club member from Lithuania presented the history of Josiah Pratt (1767)  brass nutcrackers and other notable makers (Edward Grouttage (1770), William Ward (1770), Rob Moor (1770), and Richard Eades (1770)) .





 A few collectors brought pieces from their collection in for display



A collector from Connecticut’s pieces on display




A collector from Ohio’s recent additions to her collection


  Others brought in some great pieces to sell



Nutcrackers for sale


 The Silent Auction was in full swing and had a lot of great pieces available to bid on. Here are just a few of the tables










 CBS (WDBJ-7) came by and did a lot of filming and interviews. The news story can be found here – Nutcracker Collectors Gather in Lexington



Nutcracker collector interview – CBS (WDBJ-7)


 After the convention, everyone had a little free time to wander before meeting for dinner. We went antiquing a little, then downtown to a couple galleries.


downtown 2

Downtown Lexington Virginia




Window display downtown advertising the convention


 Everyone gathered at the Southern Inn for a great dinner and to say goodbye to fellow collectors and great friends til next year.





 Missy and I had a great time. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed getting to see everyone.


We can’t thank Lynn and Ann enough for doing such a fabulous job hosting this year’s convention.


 Stay tuned for pictures of the pieces I took to the convention to sell and pictures of the pieces I bought.


2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 1

2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 1

Jun 27


This year marks the 22nd annual Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention which was held in Lexington Virginia.


First off, I have to say Lynn and Ann did a great job putting this year’s event together. I can’t imagine the time and work that goes into this. They really did a fantastic job!


Here are some pictures from the first day of the convention. This is where the Nutcracker Club members get to visit the hosting member’s home and see their personal collection first hand.


Lynn and Ann provided local beer and wine, delicious home cooked food, local fried chicken, and decadent deserts to die for.  All this was provided as we toured their home, viewed their beautifully displayed collection, and visited with members and friends we haven’t seen for a while.


Everything was beautifully displayed. Their home and their collection are absolutely spectacular!


Click on the pictures for a larger view.


Arriving at the convention host’s house



Their stairwell lined with nutcrackers and the local paper covering their collection and listing the convention


The fireplace mantel


Display case full of metal nutcrackers



Display case full of wooden nutcrackers



Close up #1 of the wooden nutcrackers



Close up #2 of the wooden nutcrackers



Close up #3 of the wooden nutcrackers



Close up #4 of the wooden nutcrackers



Very rare cane nutcrackers on display


counter 1

Nutcrackers displayed on the bar


counter 3

Nutcrackers displayed on top of the bar



More nutcrackers displayed on top of the bar



At the end of the evening (and the convention), everyone was given a travel mug commemorating the event.


 Stay tuned for Day 2 to see the great pieces members brought to show off and/or sell.

More importantly, stay tuned to see what great items I came home with!


Apple Pie!

Apple Pie!

Sep 19



Ah yes, It’s Fall. The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. Time for a trip to Monroe’s Orchard for just the right blend of tart and sweet farm fresh apples for my wife’s fantastic homemade apple pie.


We’ve been going to Monroe’s Orchard since Dane was in grade school. Yes, their apples are that good.


Here are some pictures of our visit:









Monroe's Orchard Apples

Missy picking the perfect blend of apples for her apple pie!


HomemadeApple Pie

Missy’s famous homemade Apple Pie


Homemade Apple Pie

Mmmm… yes, her pie is as good as it looks!




Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show!

Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show!

Sep 13


Took a half vacation day from work on Friday with my best friend since high school and went to the 2015 Cleveland Pinball and Arcade Show. We had a BLAST!!!!


This is a great show and I got to play a TON of tables I love and some I haven’t seen before. Definitely go with a friend. We played all the tables on 2 player which made the experience that much more fun!


Here are a couple shots from the main room floor. The pictures don’t do it justice.








One of the highlights for me was getting to play Jersey Jack’s Wizard of Oz machine. This is a fantastic machine! It’s a low scoring machine (so don’t get frustrated), but an absolute blast to play!






Here’s a YouTube video featuring this amazing machine: CLICK ME!!!


If you are out and about and see this table somewhere, PLAY IT!  ——  It’s amazing!!!


—– Brandon