Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Laugh For Saturday

I know we're not supposed to laugh at people, but does that include Coonhounds? I hope not because I was laughing so much at Rhody's goofy look while she was sleeping the other night that I could hardly hold the camera still. So go ahead and laugh-- I did.

Have a good Saturday!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vintage Sewing Patterns

Some of you know I use vintage sewing patterns in my paper crafts on occasion. I recently bought a "lot" of just the envelopes and thought I'd share a few.

Like the note on the one on the left-- "good pants." My sister used to make notes like that on patterns.

Versatile scarf on the left. The pattern on the right has an unusually large illustration.

I had a couple smock tops. One of mine was pretty similar to the green and orange number below, but mine was blue patchwork fabric with blue trim.

Kind of glad those looooong vests went out of style.

Wide enough for ya?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wacky Pack Wednesday Fool

This Wacky Pack is called a "Lost Wacky." It was dropped from production in the 1970s for unknown reasons; however, Topps did produce them in 2008 in a new series.

Of course, this is a parody of Kool-Aid; I intended to post this the week following "Kook-Aid" but obviously forgot.  Sorry, folks!

Have a foolproof day!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thoughts on Online Selling

Etsy and Ebay. I've sold on both but more so on Etsy. A reader suggested I write a post on what I've learned. I'll give it a go although I'm far from a expert or big time seller. I began selling on Etsy a little over two years ago with handmade paper goods and some vintage items. As I began adding inventory, I split the handmade and vintage into two shops this February. I've sold on Ebay since last fall with items that were too new for Etsy (must be handmade or at least 20 years old) or items that never sold on Etsy.

So what have I learned?

1. Just because it's vintage, doesn't mean it will sell. There are trends that are hard to keep up with or know about. However, reading blogs with vintage finds and browsing Etsy can be helpful if you have the time. Mid-century items are hot which is probably no secret; items older than that seem less desirable. 80s stuff has definitely NOT come into vogue yet-- still considered junky and tacky (if the shoe fits...).

2. Having a sale/offering a coupon code does not help sales. As a matter-of-fact, the few times I offered a code, buyers didn't use it, and being the nice person I am, I refunded the discount which is time consuming, and that brings me to #3...

3. Selling online is more time consuming then one might think. Besides the initial shopping or making of an item, you must photograph it with up to 5 photos (for Etsy), perhaps even "stage" the first photo with an interesting knick knack, doily, prop of some sort. Then, of course, there is uploading and editing (bringing up the light is a good idea) of these photos. Okay, now, don't forget to measure the item, note any flaws, a copyright... to be added to the listing. Listing items on Etsy is relatively easy, but it does take time. Ebay's listing system is a little more time consuming to me.

4. Postage. Eww, postage! How many times have I miscalculated and wound up making 50 cents on a sale? No exaggeration there. Media mail is pretty easy to figure since the distance does not matter. Regular postage, however, is a crap shoot since you have no idea where a buyer will buy from. And it seems a lot of my sales are to California. So you can err on the side of high and keep your mouth shut, err on the side of high and offer a refund for the difference (most sellers offer refunds for a difference more than one or two dollars), or try not to fleece buyers and eat a little postage yourself. I've done the latter two. And speaking of postage, depending on what you sell, be prepared to start a hoard of boxes, envelopes, and bubble wrap and hope that really big item never sells.

5. While we're on the subject of postage-- keep in mind you will probably be going to your post office several times a week if business is good. Mine is nice but understaffed, and I end up waiting almost every time-- usually behind someone wanting to send a large box to Mars.

 A vintage 45 that never sold last Christmas season. I'll relist it this year.

6. Seasonal items rarely sell after the holiday even if they are marked down considerably. Etsy listings last 4 months. I already listed Halloween items in my shops because of that. Of course, that being said, holiday items don't seem to sell much before a holiday either.

7. More than likely you will receive a question about an item such as: will you take a discount on an item, will you ship somewhere that you already stated you will not ship to. Some of these questions did pan out to a sale, but most of the people that submitted the questions fall off the face of the earth after you take the time to answer (i.e. tromp down to your basement in your nightgown to check some specific item late at night).

This old Halloween decoration never sold last year either, but there was a lot of interest there so I relisted it recently.

8. Pricing... that's a hard one. Obviously sellers want to make a tidy profit. Most buyers are looking for a bargain. I usually try to find similar items already for sale online and take it from there. Is mine in better or poorer condition? Is it a rare item? How badly do I want to unload it? You get the picture; lots to consider. Keep in mind, Etsy allows you to change the price. You can always lower it as time goes on.

9. Social media-- I admit it-- I'm an "itard." I don't do facebook, tweet, pinterest... I've read these can help sales so if that's your bag, you're one step ahead.

Vintage children's books don't sell as well as I thought they would.

10. A lot of Etsy folks add "freebies" or at least a business card with purchases. I tuck in a business card and an older note card, bookmark, etc. that I've made. These type of things are rarer on Ebay.

11. As for Ebay-- to be honest I don't have a lot of positives to say about it. Their fees are quite high. Recently, they changed seller ratings to mainly reflect how you ship items. I really go the extra mile to get orders out; have gone to the p.o. with migraines, in snow, etc..., but my seller rating right now is "standard" because I don't purchase Ebay's shipping labels and don't always provide tracking numbers-- I try to use the cheapest postage which doesn't always provide a tracking number. I can't see tacking on $1.05 to send an ATC in a first class envelope. I haven't made much profit on Ebay. Usually an item sits or sells for the low opening bid. I have sold a couple items with the "buy it now" option so you might want to give that a go. I also have had winning bidders not pay-- on Etsy payment is upfront. The only positive I can say about Ebay is people don't expect such fussy photos of your items.

Vintage prints (that were mine as a child) never sold on Etsy. Finally sold them on Ebay for less that I would have liked.

12. Back to Etsy and my handmade shop: since dividing the shops, my handmade items have sat which I was sort of afraid would happen. I mean who writes letters or reads real books so note cards and bookmarks are hard to push. I do offer some other things, but sales have been way off which is typical of the summer. However, I may have to close the doors after this year if things don't pick up, meaning for me, vintage items sell better.

13. So one thing I know for sure-- you can never tell what will sell and what won't. It's hit and miss for some things and depends on what you're selling for other things. I would like to see some statistics on what percentage of listed items doesn't sell which brings me to relisting. If I have a considerable amount of views (which for me is anything over 10), I probably will relist an item once. After that-- garage sale pile or donation bag. I rarely relist the handmade items-- I have too many to goof around with stuff that didn't sell the first time around.

 Note card currently listed.

14. I'm adding this one because I didn't want to stop on #13. Online selling is work if you want to do a good job which I guess is true of most everything. You deal with nice people and rude people which is true of most everything too. And like everything, if you don't enjoy it to some extent-- forget it!
An ACEO currently listed.

So if you stuck with me this far-- thanks!  Any questions or thoughts are most welcome!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday's Muster #32

A "girlie" collection today, scarves and hankies. A lot of these I inherited from my mother otherwise I wouldn't have much of a collection. That also means some of them go back to the 50s. Below are scarves in various sizes.

This one my mother made in the early 70s.  I have worn it around my neck with a deep pink T.  Kinda neat.

I've never worn this one but just bought it because it's so psychedelic. Do you see "Love" on the right?

This is an older, smaller one of my mother's. Looks like a Pat Prichard design, but it is unsigned.

Some hankies below. Again, a lot of these were my mother's.

This one my sister picked up for me at a thrift shop. Rather "50s," wouldn't you say?

Another one from my thrifty sister.

These I picked up at thrift shops-- they make great Valentine "doilies" for display.

These two were actually mine as a child. I remember tucking one into my white Easter purse to go to church and Grandma's.

I decided to show these since I keep them in the same box with the hankies and scarves. Old 1950s collars. The beaded one on the bottom is pretty fancy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Oh, and in case you're wondering why part of this post was shot outdoors-- I started shooting outside because it was a beautiful day but too windy. The scarves started blowing away!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Painting Saga Part 2

I posted about the bright green color we are using in our dining room and living room; here, now, is color #2: sky blue. At least, that's what I'm calling it. You could also label it Caribbean blue, light blue, turquoise.

Here is the front door, off the living room; it leads to an enclosed porch. This is the "before" shot. We painted the woodwork 15 years ago when we moved in. The walls we did in sort of a goldy, off-white modeled effect. About 12 years ago, we went over the walls with this beige. Definitely time for a change!

Quite a difference, eh?

Working on the front closet doors. some previous owner replaced all the original closet doors with louvered ones. Gee, thanks. Dusting and painting louvers is not high on my list of fun activities.

In case you're wondering how in the world I came up with a blue and green color scheme. Let me remind you of a fabric panel picture I bought at an estate sale (see the original post here). It will be hanging in the living room. Proving I have a bit of design sense, some of the walls will also be white. The blue and green is actually sort of dark so that should balance things out nicely.

Our short bedroom hall (which is now the blue color) has access to our attic in the ceiling. Here is the new and improved access panel by yours truly and my daughter. It's a nice little surprise if you happen to look up.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Non-Christmas Card

I guess that title is rather ambiguous. After all, any card other than a Christmas card is a "non-Christmas card," right? The current theme at Jingle Belles is to create a card for other December holidays or a winter-themed card. Here is my creation:

As I was working on it, my daughter said I should draw marshmallows on the background which I politely pooh-poohed. So she drew one herself. Isn't it too fun?

Thanks for viewing!