Sunday, August 31, 2014

A World of Little Finds

My post title is a play on words since I found a globe and a few little things this week. Up first was a sort of odd estate sale with not much to offer. I brought home an old alarm clock and this china puppy. He will go in my dog collection. And, yes, I bought a never used paint brush at a garage sale. Still painting around here and needed a new sash brush.

 A few more little finds from the thrift shop. A set of dogs made in Occupied Japan. That, obviously, makes them pretty old. The snail is marked "Japan" and must be from the early 70s as I have another one only smaller that I bought new back then. This guy went in my daughter's terrarium.

And I give you the world. Globes seem to be a hot collectible these days. We'll see if I have any luck selling this one. If not-- they are useful as is, right?

Have a good day out there!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vote For Batman and Cheap Posters

Not many garage sales last week. This is the big haul: four posters. They are the smaller size, about 14" x 18". I definitely do not need a new poster in my house, but when I saw this Batman one in the stack, I was hooked.

I still like this movie.

At fifty cents apiece, I couldn't forget my daughter.

I've said it before, but you sure never know what you'll find at garage sales and thrift stores!

Happy hunting!

Friday, August 29, 2014

More Sunflower Pics

This sunflower had a visitor on its back for awhile. I wanted to get a closer shot, but it boinged away.

Come on in-- the pollen's fine!

Can it really be the end of summer?

Thanks for viewing!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Little Things

I haven't shown much in my new dollhouse in quite a long time (which is probably how I started the last dollhouse post). I made a (non-working-- let's not get carried away) roman shade in the bedroom that I have yet to do anything else with except paint it blue.

Decorated the front quite a bit. Added everything you see. I made the mailbox which doesn't show up too well here, but bought everything else. Kind of hard to make a gold eagle.

The local dollhouse store is closing its doors soon (the owner is retiring) so I bought a couple things on sale, including this little train.

Also picked up a sale nightstand which I put under the window. Bought a cat in a bed, and made the two wooden vases out of a weird, vintage bead that I cut in half.

Last time I mentioned I was going to try this wooden flooring that is printed right off the internet. It turned out pretty nice. I just taped it here and there underneath. If you wanted something more permanent (and probably better looking), you could Mod Podge it down. I might even do that some century.

So there you have it. No immediate plans for more projects, but I should really pop in to the dollhouse store one last time before it's too late.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wacky Pack Wednesday

A sort of back-to-school type Wacky for today. What is it about a brand new box of crayons? So perfect, so hopeful... Okay, Diane, you're making too much out of this.

Crayola was formed in 1885, but didn't start making crayons until 1903. Can you imagine all the broken crayons in that time???

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mini Notebooks

I've made these little blank notebooks for kids before. Simple enough-- scrapbook paper cover, a variety of different writing papers inside stapled in the center. I make them 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" to fit into plastic ATC/Baseball card sleeves.

Recently I thought I'd make some a little more "adult" and offer them for sale in my Etsy shop. Yes, I made quite a lot. This is just a sampling.

I made some Christmas ones too.

It's fun! There are so many nifty papers out there today. This is also a great way to use up some paper.

Have a pleasant day!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday's Muster #33

Today's collection is a "sampling" of the cross stitch projects I have around my house. I haven't done much stitching lately, but used to have a project going all the time since the early '90s. Below is the first large picture I ever attempted. It now hangs in my entryway.

Two more I did from patterns. The one on the right was rather challenging; lots of little stitches, but I like the way it turned out.

I did this one for my daughter. Never framed it, but I stretched it to a board so it can stand on a shelf.

I decided to do this one since I have a couple sets of old keys on display. The skeleton keys at the bottom actually came with my house. I never tried them in any doors.

I did the tree picture. The little chicken picture I bought for fifty cents at a thrift shop. That one is actually a crewel picture, not cross stitch.

This one is long, as you can see. I fudged the pattern a bit so it would fit on ready-made aida cloth. I added the cat at the end myself to balance it out. That's trickier than it sounds!

My mother stitched this one in the 1960s. She had it displayed hanging from a dowel. When it came to my hands, I framed it.

I have a friend who cross stitches too. She made this for me.

I've also made lots of ornament type pieces.

And some pillows.

 Lots of Halloween...

Lots of Christmas...

This is just the tip of the cross stitch iceberg. I have some pictures stored away, some are complete, but I never did anything with them as far as framing or sewing into a pillow. I've made a ton of pieces for friends and relatives to the point they probably got sick of them. Now, I do the paper crafts and have put stitching on hold. And, yeah, blogging came along too...

Thanks for viewing!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pinch Me

You won't believe what I found pretty cheaply at a garage sale. I still don't believe it myself. Look below. This is right out of the car-- haven't cleaned it yet.

I might as well give up garage sales-- I'll never top this!

One note: my daughter asked where the "delete" key is.

Have an unbelievable day!

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

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!