Saturday, September 21, 2013

Western Art

 You all know that "Leanin' Tree" is a company that makes cheezy greeting cards featuring cowboys in outhouses, horses hanging from cliff tops and Indian spirits in the sky. BUT did you know that "Leanin' Tree" has a really great museum of Western Art in Boulder CO? The company owner Ed Trumble has been a patron of western artists for over 60 years and a huge portion of his collection of paintings and sculpture is housed there. All I can say is WOW!

The painting above by Wilson Hurley is of the Southwest - I just love the play of light and color!


Kirk likes Western Art that features cowboys in their real environment and this is one of his favorites - a more contemporary piece called "Colorado High Country".
 Once again, I am drawn to the play of light on the mountains.

There is also a large collection of bronzes - more cowboys!
This one by Curt Wilson really shows off the majesty of the Grand Canyon. Ok, so maybe some would find it a little lurid but it really calls to me.  
                                                 Outside of the gallery there is a lovely sculpture garden 
with western animals in all their glory
Oh, and a few more cowboys!

                  This little cutie is one of my faves -
                   "Opulent Owl"

     What is your favorite piece  of Western Art ?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tricks of the Trade

OK, being and INTERIM INNKEEPER is not all glamour - it's not all about driving around the country and having fun - there's a LOT of hard work involved. People often ask us what our job entails and how we can do it at so many different B&Bs. So, since you asked, here are some Tricks of our Trade:

   The #1 trick is to be able to graciously multi-task!
An innkeeper needs to wear many hats at the same time while smiling the whole time. I really do LOVE my job and I always try to keep that in mind.
  Here is a photo of me in the office and you can tell I am multi-tasking because I still have my apron on, duh!

 Our basic job is broken down into 4 areas.

 The first is office work and reservations.
 The important trick in the office is to be very careful with the money. Remember, it is not your B&B and not your money! I give really good phone and my big trick there is to know that each time you get someone on the phone they are a potential guest. Always upsell with the most luxurious room first and if the required dates are booked, suggest alternate dates. Nothing pleases our clients more than to come home to lots of reservations!

The second area is the kitchen and my big trick there is to always be thinking ahead. We are usually preparing breakfast one day ahead. As much as possible we have it all "prepped" and ready to go the night before. That way the morning runs really smoothly. Our other trick to being a great innkeeper is that during breakfast time one of us is the designated "chatter" who takes personal time with each guest while the other of us runs the kitchen.

Now as you can see from this photo, Kirk is our head houskeeper and he has a few tips for you: in the shower have a disinfecting cloth in one hand and a microfiber polishing cloth in the other - your shower will be clean in half the time. For toilets, he suggests using the disinfecting cloth on the corners behind the toilet after wiping the toilet. You'll be surprised at the difference it makes!

I have a couple of tricks in the laundry room. First off, "strip" a room as soon as possible and get your laundry started otherwise you will be in there all day! Whenever possible, just "flip" the sheets [no, don't flip them over but wash them and then put them right back on a bed so that you do not have to take time to fold them]. When folding, if you fold inside out when you lay the sheets on the bed they will unfold to be right where they should be. Da Da!!

Now the last area is the fun one - guest services - this is the part of being an innkeeper that we really love! Trick #1 is always try to greet your guests by name and know something personal about them [ where the are from or what they are doing so that you can say "how was the show Bob?"] Trick #2 is to try to anticipate what they will need before they ask [will they want milk or lemon with their tea?] and our signature trick is that we try to give EACH guest something special: a wrapped muffin for a snack, a fresh flower in their room, help with their luggage, sweeping snow off their windshield , just a little something extra. It is so nice to make friends with many of our guests.

And my favorite trick.... bake cookies late afternoon and at welcome time your inn will smell heavenly for your guests!!

So now that you know some of the Tricks of the Trade, you can go out and be an
Interim Innkeeper! Right?