Friday, October 23, 2020

Cubist Cats in Chintz

First off, I have switched my blog format off of mobile. Not sure about my mobile users, but I could never access my blog on my iphone. I also had one reader inquire about the name of my ebay store so I have included that info on my blog header also. I sell on ebay as tam_gonza and the store name is grammasonacid, with a YouTube channel of the same name. 

Redoing that oil on canvas painting has whet my appetite to do more. Here I have an adorable stamped cross-stitch kit called Chintz Cats. I grabbed it as one of my keepers. While I may complete that needlework project one day, I have in mind doing a Cubist Cats in Chintz painting. 

Reseller update: ebay offers at the store level the ability to manage listings. They have a tab that offers sellers the ability to update item specifics recommended to achieve the magical full-circle blue dot for that listing. In editing my listings, I discovered I had some duplicates. Glad I caught them, that would have been a big problem - to sell product that already sold. 

I upgraded my iPhone 8 to a 12 and it is a beaut. My 8 was starting to show signs of fritzing out. The Mr. didn't replace his android in time and he lost all of his contacts. 

I bumped into another estate sale and this time it was a man-related one where the gentleman had moved to an assisted living center. I bought these Tiki mugs ($2 ea). I might have biffed on the buy but they might sell as a set.

There were 4 ceramic smalls Christmas angels the buyer first asked $15 for the 4 and I balked, so she lowered the price to $5 for the 4. Those darlings will appear on one of my Countdown to Christmas posts. 

This book rounded out my purchases, a reprint of the 1950 first edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book (1998). In beautiful condition and it is a keeper. 

It has the recipe I have been looking for - Gingersnaps or Gingies as they are listed in the book. "Soft and puffy ... true old fashioned ginger cookies." The recipe even adds Frosted Gingies! I was born at the tail end of the 1950s so I remember that distinctly American cuisine. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Oil painting redo and a hoarder confession.

Before everything went to hell in a hand basket, I made great progress in reducing my hoard. This how-to-become-hoarder post from July of last year was my tentative step in getting it under control. I began listing on ebay. I can only say it has gotten worse. 

One can guess what happened, oh never mind, I will detail it out. Six months of no thrifting, people locked in and the corners of their closets and cabinets came under scrutiny, fear of another lockdown - I have been buying like there is no tomorrow. My She Shed Trailer is filling up fast. I have 600 listings with a total product value of $8,000. Looks like I am well beyond the 250 freebie listings per month. 

Another arena I have ventured into resale is vintage toys. Ones that are 20 years or older, not powered by battery, are my newest focus. The demo YouTube videos seem to be popular for some unknown reason. 

Estate sales in my area have been popping up. I live in an upscale rural area with many, many retirees. Young families can't afford homes in the area as a general rule. Some of these sales are even combinations of estates. (I ask a lot of questions of those hosting sales). The frequency and amount of estate sales have been increasing. Is this Covid-related? I am not the one to say but it concerns me. 

On to other matters - I bought a ring light so it will even out the light on my online meetings AND I can use it to photograph my stuff for sale. 

I have 5 containers of Christmas CDs that hold around 25 each. I pulled 40 Christmas CDs from that stash and others that I know will sell, such as the Mariah Carey Merry Christmas album. I am sure there are more to go. I need to winnow it down to only the CDs that I truly love and am capable of listening to during the few weeks up to Christmas. 

The promised painting alteration images. I bought this framed oil on canvas for $5. 


After the Tami redo

I think I did it justice. My years of painting paid off. What do you think? 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Out in the Wild and the Freakishly Long Tree Trunks

A weekend of no cooking, no cleaning, no Westerns on TV, the Mr. has gone hunting. THAT means a weekend of thrifting, listening/singing to music, eating at restaurants for Tami. 

This mystery bag of fabric produced a mystery linen. Anyone who knows what this little ditty is used for, please comment. Umbrella cover? Velcro fasteners on back. IDK

Other delights in the mystery bag were a placemats and napkins set, rooster remnant and vintage fabric.

I thought I had found a use for all of those seasonal quilted wall hangings I made for my office cubicle walls. I put up the state fair quilt as a background but found it to be too busy. Back to experimentation. I will put up my Halloween quilt for a virtual event through work. I will appear on camera as a Misplaced Mermaid or Quirky Queen for the Day. 

On the subject of internet meetings, I have discovered sometimes you don't have to appear on camera. When that is the case, I can work on my needlepoint and hand sewing projects. BONUS! I am going to get so many more projects done. 

Christmas CD sales are heating up. I just picked up another 10. I had gone through Christmas CD listing burnout. I had kept my eye out for unusual or collectible ones but haven't listed any lately. It is about time. I have a ton of fun ones to highlight on my Countdown to Christmas. 

And on the subject of CDs, it was a weekend of electronic finds, an Emerson CD player/AM/FM radio for $2.99 and a toaster oven for $5. I sanitized the oven and ran a CD laser lens cleaner through the player. That was all it needed, the first disc I played skipped a bit, after the lens was cleaned, no more skipping. I am going to keep my eye out for more of these. 

The CD player is headed to my 92 year old mom. I have been sending her gospel CDs but she didn't have a player yet. The side loading feature will be easier for her. In her previous home, she had a side loading turntable. We gave it away in the move. 

Ok, this painting I am going to share now and then again after I have altered it. Priced at $5, it is beautifully framed but the tree trunks are freakishly long. The composition is sound so I am just going to fill in the tree canopy. In my prior life (before I began quilting and sewing again), I painted with oil on canvas and I still have the paints. My full sized easel is stored for now. 
I normally don't try to alter paintings but this one went wrong right around the middle of the painting. I will repost my attempt at making this painting really pop. 

Signing off to finish an extra credit assignment in my Modern Art class, then I am done with college until next Spring! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Artists and Anarchy

I have nearly finished my modern art history class. While enjoyable, it was an 8 week class and I forgot how much WORK is involved in such a short course of study. The last few weeks have been a struggle with not receiving my textbook until week 5, starting a new job and dealing with a major family emergency. 

Back to my title. Artists can reflect the current mood of the general populace. While the rich might be tone deaf to the masses, artists can bring the message whether it is dissent or disagreement with the powers that be. 

One assignment in class was to prepare an Exhibition Proposal. I chose Women in Images and one in particular was from the artist Jean-Fran├žois Millet. He depicted women in a field gleaning after a harvest. The Gleaners (1857) was met with disdain and disapproval from the upper classes. At the time, landowners were not granting gleaning rights, so Millet used a velvet hammer to make his social commentaryAt first glance, it appears to be such a restful scene, until you know the artist's intent behind it. That is just one of many examples but I will spare you from further art history. 

Now, the medium is online expression. While I could go off the rails with this blog, I have always kept it family friendly. As a joke, I chose the entity of grammasonacid for my ebay store and starting posting videos of toys for sale so I could link them to my ebay listings. Guess how many views my Disney push down toy has received so far? 

3,500 in one month. 

Yep, 3,500 views. WHAT are people watching? No one has bought the toy yet. It is not ASMR, maybe there is something else in the video that seems to be intriguing.

Now, I've got Mumbles the Monkey and Gabi Giraffe on for the show.

One of the best things of being a college returnee was getting Amazon Prime for next to nothing. I just put in an order for some badly-needed specialty pillows. Of the three needleworked pillow cases, I already had one pillow form that fit the poppies (it now resides in my home office). I bought 2 more pillow forms (on sale) that were promoted on Prime for the other two needlework pillow cases. 

Finishing with Fun Find of the Day this 1964 publication. Retro decorating eye candy. 
Orange office chair is to due arrive and I can't wait!! Now I am using one of the dining table chairs, while comfortable, it is hard to move around. 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Blast from the Past - 1984 and the beginning of Orphan Blocks Meet Jelly Roll

It must have been a good year for the craft person who bought the kits from 1984. Thrift sent them through priced at 99 cents each, all 7 unopened. I am severely tempted to keep the dog/cat Christmas plate cross stitch.

Included with my needlekit purchases was this hexagon crocheted blanket. I dug through tubs and tubs of linens for this $2 secondhand find. I have two crocheted blankets up for sale to see if they are movers. I have kept this newest one and will put the other recent find up for sale. 

My latest project includes orphan blocks from mystery quilter I bought at an online auction. At first, I was really disappointed when I got the blocks but then I saw the quilter's colorway preference coming through. Now, I knew I needed to add a jelly roll so I could "float" the blocks for the top. I chose a Moda Laundry Basket for the roll. My first task will be to rehabilitate the star block. It needs fabric sides to finish it off. Next, I will square up all the blocks and make them uniform in size at 2" intervals. For example, that blue and white pinwheel block in the center? It needs to measure out at 2-1/2" or the next interval of 4-1/2" because the jelly roll is cut at 2-1/2". 

So let's assume the pinwheel already measures out at 2-1/2". I will cut a jelly roll strip and sew it to the top and then the bottom of the pinwheel. Adding other blocks at different steps, I continue to fill in the space between the blocks with the jelly roll strips. 
I first did this type of process with my Gypsy Wife Meets Jelly Roll, Part 1,  Part 2 and Part 3.

Reseller update - Listing goal made! All of my sewing patterns are listed. They are hands down my best sellers on ebay. There are the ones I pulled from my keeper tubs (5 at high count) and those I have picked up at thrift in the past few months. Next up for listing are the needlework kits, with the last to tackle a tubful of CDs. 

I popped in to Goodwill to buy one of their what I like to call "fabric cubes," for $5.49. A nice lot of fabric remnants and a good start to replenishing my stash of fabric wovens. 

 Well, off into the Wild for more sourcing~! I hope all is well in your world. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Junk'N in the Junction and Estate Sale Finds

I went Junk'N in the Junction and had a great time. 

The best part of the day was finding a quilt top - $8. Another pink bordered star pattern vintage material one, this girl has blue cornerstones and is missing her side border like the other top I rehabilitated last month. I will iron it out, repair any damage to the sides and put borders on it. I don't think I will even try to match that pink material unless by some stroke of luck, I have something that blends with the rest.

I know Outfit of the Day and sharing thrifted fashion finds linkups have gone by the wayside but want to share my Junk'N outfit, the knit skirt a find the day before, AND a real men's fedora, Christy's Crown Series ($6.99 thrift). I sold my last men's fedora and kicked myself for it. Not selling this one. 

Stopped by my first local estate sale. While furniture seemed to be the most popular, I snagged all of the nearly completed, just started and unopened needlework kits at the estate sale. Most of the kits are from the 1980s. Got the whole lot for $20 including 9 CDs, all of those kits, a log cabin blue patchwork tote and a ceramic collander thrown in for good measure. I. am. in. hog. heaven. I also hooked up with the local estate seller who said there was an upcoming sale of a large estate. 

How can I resist not completing this amazing needlepoint Christmas stocking? Its a keeper. 

Estate sales in my area have been few and far between over the years. My theory on what is happening, older people are dying at a faster rate. Whether this is virus-related or not, I am not the one to come to that conclusion. We are even categorized as one of the counties with the least infection and 16 deaths (last count). 

Reselling goal by year's end - to have total value of all ebay listings at $10,000. We will see. I am at $8,000 total value now and I have the week off during Christmas. Yahooooo!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Minimalist Plaid Quilt

Happy October! My favorite month of the year. Glamour shots in the wild for the Minimalist Plaid quilt. Finished with a scrappy solid binding as I have done for all of my quilts in 2020. 

Nearly 8 months later, this quilt is finally done, original post here. The majority of the time was spent at the longarmer while I finished up my California State Fair quilt. I used up all of my plaid wovens on the top and all of my flannel fabric on the backing.  

My local hospice thrift shop is so popular, they have to close periodically because they are full from donations. The best stuff is when the rack are rolled onto the floor. I grabbed what appeared to be the contents of a sewing case. I would have spent $4.99 for just the patterns since they are all retro. I will share those 4 pattern packets I scored on an upcoming post. The bonus was the thread, some Gutermann and metallic. 

Fun Find of the Day $6.99 at thrift, this original NyForm Troll, retail tagged at $77.50. Truly vintage, I can't decide if he is creepy or cute. Sometimes a troll enters your life, thankfully this one was made of plastic and fake fur. 

Pattern of the Day from 1972, posting in Plaid!

I will start queueing up my Countdown to Christmas posts, hoping to fill out all 25 days in the month for the celebration. I have gathered enough holiday CDs for 25 days of What I'm Listening To. 

Linking up with Cynthia quiltingismorefunthanhousework for:

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Quilt Top Happy

A delightful day at thrift finding amazing yardage and a 99 cent twin-sized quilt top. While I missed the quilts and guitars when I saw a carload full of those come into thrift, I missed them coming on to the floor. Not this time! In fact, I nearly didn't stop because I am at this thrift shop so often. The yardage and top had just been rolled onto the floor. $2.99 for the batting and $4.99 for the major all usable yardage. A blessed day.

My 2020 Buy No Fabric Challenge went out the window when we were locked down and thrift shops weren't open for 6 months. When this much fabric lands at one time, managing my stash is non-existent. Part of this group was vintage - here is a selvage from 1990 on this one.

Fun finds of the day - this elongated cat salt/pepper shaker on a patchwork wrap-around skirt.

I was able to donate a couple of children's pillowcases to some Oregon wildfire victims. Here is a link to, a blogger in the Oregon who has provided that information. Funny thing, whenever I donate to these events or thrift back fabric I have lost interest in, I receive more than abundance in return. 

Speaking of children's items, this adorable sewing pattern went up for sale.

My freebie find of clothing a few months ago? So far, I have made $25 on that free clothing. I may put a few pieces up for sale. I don't need as many clothes as I have gathered, especially in light of my probable never return to in-office life. I will vote for 1-2 times a month for in-face meetings though. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

25th Anniversary Sellerbration on ebay and a Belated Blogiversary

Exciting things happened in internet land. ebay celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a Sellerbration. I received my ebay 25 t-shirt (love it!) and some random stickers. I sell on the site as tam_gonza and my store is grammasonacid

The best part was the DJ, she was the absolute best, loved her music choices. Once the live stream started running, it was well done. I would link to the YouTube video, but I can't find it. I REALLY want to go to a live ebay event now. 

My blogiversary came and went without fanfare this year. That milestone falls in August from 2011. Nine years, actually 11 years if you count my two-year starter blog. I have seen many wonderful blogs come and go during that time, some very successful but decided to pack it in. I can see how life could overwhelm this style of communication. 

Thrifting update: It is amazing I ever had any thrifted finds from just weekend shopping. Now that I visit the second hand shops more than twice a week, I am finding more than ever. Recent finds included 20 sewing patterns and this Santa cross-stitch stocking kit (both priced at $2). He was hidden behind something else but he came home with me! He is partially created - just waiting to be completed. 

Sewing patterns have taken over in popularity. I haven't listed the way cool CDs I have found. I've used up my fixed price free listings. I am going to have to deal with some auction style listings until I can convert them to fixed price. Here is the listing for Santa Collage stocking

Let's end with a Pattern of the Day from 1968.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

My name is Tami and I have a platter addiction

This platter $6.49 from Goodwill wasn't even in the plate section, as if someone had picked it up and then decided against it. I use platters nearly every day. This pattern is Tonquin Royal Staffordshire Dinnerware. I would love having a full set. 

The evolution of little Lucky to a leash-trained cat. I have never leash trained a cat. I have never had this much time to be able to train a pet. This kitten is unique because she came to me when she was so young (4-5 weeks old). I spend at least 4 sessions a day with her getting used to me and her surroundings. 

I love my Modern Art class, but because of some online snafu, I didn't get my textbook until halfway through the 8 week class. I am frantically trying to catch up on reading. I also decided to drop my second 8 week Intro to Art History class. I am putting it off until the spring. Between class and work, I have no time for any other pursuits (quilting and reselling). 

I was most impressed by this Jacques Louis David quote on art and artists:

"They (the Greeks) thought, and they were right, that in the arts the way in which an idea is rendered, and the manner in which it is expressed, is much more important than the idea itself. To give a body and a perform form to one's thought, this--and only this--is to be an artist."

Greenhouse update: It is lush and overgrown with the sunflowers peeking around the corners. Finally blanched pole beans, then warmed them in butter and garlic, and they were delicious! Other things growing in there are tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and watermelon. 

Lastly, thrifting update - no reselling update but plenty of interesting items now in the death pile to list. Fun finds included Derpy Lammy Pie. No bigger than a minute, she was found in the stuffed animal bin. 

Partial wooden airplane found its way in my basket too. Retro cool at $1.49. 

And then there was fabric! I nearly despaired when I saw another shopper with two bags, then went I visited the fabric area, there were 3 more bags, all for me! Two bags at $5.99 and all with usable material. The third bag, really the Mother Lode, was priced at $3.99.

Chock full of vintage linens with stamped cross-stitch designs. I WANT to keep them all, but I have to be realistic and put them up for sale. One is a complete Bridge set (I don't play Bridge). 

Also in that bag were 6 pillowcases, all well constructed. I may keep a couple of those. 

Last highlight find of the day - a Boy Scout shirt with badges. If I could just get around to lotting up the other B.S. items, I know it will sell quickly.