Sunday, July 21, 2019

Reseller's Numbers Game

Going through my things for sale, I have discovered three things: (1) I have hidden my thrift shop purchases in the oddest places AND from the Mr.; (2) I forgot I had even purchased certain items; and, (3) there are things I just don't want to part with (see Jurassic Park dinosaur figurine above). I have a small backpack full of dinosaurs that are keepers. 

My audience will have to bear with me while I experience the thrill of reselling. This is not a sponsored post for EBay, I am taking advantage of that site's offer of 50 free listings. As an aside, I have EBay slotted as my next stock purchase. Buy what you know, buy what companies that you use - example, I use EBay and have for years. unsolicited stock advice

So proud of myself, as of this post I have 38 listings, mainly populated by books (such as this 1980 publication below). I may list others but I have been at it pretty much all day, and it is tiring. 
I am pleased to report that fabric and quilts blocks have taken the lead in views and sales. I try to keep the fabric priced reasonably since I have certainly spent very little in comparison. 

In explanation of my post title, in an effort to make money, you should have as many listings as possible. A number's game of sorts. Because I am new at this, I am unsure what will sell quickly. I have read resell blogs but their posts are hit and miss (mainly miss) about their successes. 

My short-term goal is to amass $500 so I can pay off my Baby Lock sewing machine. My ultimate goal is to pair down my possessions. Should I suddenly leave this realm, my children will have neither the drive nor the desire to resell my collectibles. 

Other items I won't part with are my Madame Alexanders and vintage dolls, ceramic smalls, artwork, certain vintage hats and clothing, books on art, sewing, cooking and floral arrangement, to name a few. 
On Saturday, the donation bay at my fav thrift shop was overflowing nearly into the parking lot. There isn't a whole lot to do when you have to hunker down for these summer hot streaks. We look to be in for 100 degree weather for quite a few days. That said, it is perfect time for this reselling activity. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Jelly Roll Race Quilt and more Thrift Shop Karma

I am happily listing away again this weekend. In my thrift shop wanderings, I picked up some $1 items of clothing, and some fabric. Yes, I continue to hoard that particular item. On the flipside, I have listed a couple of quilt kits and quilt block lots for sale. 



It was a quinky dink that my newly purchased Moda jelly roll pairs nicely with these oblong blocks. I see a new quilt in my future.

Segueing to the topic of secondhand finds, I follow a group on Facebook where thrift shop karma was discussed. Here is the original post where he asks:
Anyone ever find anything of yours in a thrift store and you aren't really sure how it wound up there?


And there was this follow-up.
"I never set mine on fire, but ..."
People posted incidences where their items had been stolen and they found them at thrift, or a relative had passed and a sibling had  donated all of the items and didn't tell the rest of the family.  

There was more than one story about books recycling back to find their original owner. They could tell by markings or writings they had done to the publication. 

Another had a Steiff plush kitten she had lost. Being relatively rare, it was hard to find to replace but she eventually found one on Ebay. Turns out it was her original toy (distinctive ear damage and had her initials she had marked on it), came from a different part of  Germany. 

More than one baby blanket found its way back to its original owner. There were a few paintings stories, one commentor posted she was with a friend whose grandfather had passed some ten years earlier. He had been a painter who they thought had destroyed all of his paintings. There at Goodwill was one of his creations. Everyone was crying.

One gentleman writes: Newsflash, we all melted our toys at some stage of puberty. One lady responded, "I put my Barbie's legs in the toaster." I replied with, "Yes, we know. Toy abuse is rampant. Many a Barbie has been violated." #savethebarbies

Another gentleman added, "A lot of Hillbilly Jims had 'Hold ma beer' moments, its in their nature." 

Ending last with one who responded to the question, "Anyone ever find anything of yours in a thrift store and you aren't really sure how it wound up there?" was simply, "my dignity."

Monday, July 15, 2019

How to Become a Hoarder

Mkay, my post title might be a little misleading. I don't think I am a full-fledged hoarder but I think I am exhibiting the early signs of one. These are just two of my doll collection. Such cute 1974 vintage Stupsi dolls, I think they are a bonded pair so I am selling them together.
I finally have broken through the inertia to start listing some of my collectibles. Resellers know the effort involved in listing items for sale. There is the photographing, the listing, the monitoring and the mailing. 

Previously, I sold used textbooks, ones that I had used in my college courses. I didn't have any emotional attachment to them so they were easily resold.  

What took me by surprise was my emotional reaction to selling something as simple as pins. I was anxious. I was worried. What the h**l?  It seems that once a thing is in your possession, it becomes part of the HOARD. I am truly perplexed by this reaction. 

When I thrift shop I have used the "I can always resell it" excuse to buy a particular item. Gave myself a pep talk, I have been using that excuse forever

I even tried the one bag in/one bag out rule. Sad to say, there are more bags coming in than going out. A lot of it is clothing and I do shop for replacement kitchen bowls and such. But still, there is no reason to keep these items when I could gain money for value.  

I will post from time to time on my progress. I have 10 listings up now and hope to have 10 more by next weekend. Going up for sale are books, fabric, dolls, plush and costume jewelry. 

Wish me luck!

If interested,
Items are listed on Ebay under tam_gonza

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Thrift Shop Karma and Charm Bracelets

I love stories about coincidences in thrift shop finds. Maybe it is wishing and hoping for some kind of clue as to the previous owner. 

My recent find was a sterling silver charm bracelet. These types of bracelets were all the rage beginning in the 1960s and continued on into the 1970s. I had lost the bracelet of my youth. I started buying single charms and then bought a bracelet with a few charms. When I called my jeweler to inquire as to the cost of adding charms to a bracelet, he said it was $15 per charm! 

Sometime later, I had located my mother's bracelet. 
In addition, I bought another bracelet from an online auction site. I think I paid around $30 for it. This one reveals it was Berta's, born on 7-26-67. 

This bracelet was priced at $18.50, reasonable. I saw that Lois had engraved her name on the back of one of the charms. When I got to the cash register, I told the cashier, "I am going to wear Lois' charm bracelet." Then said, "Let's see if she put her birthdate on it." It was a common practice for charm bracelet owners to have their name and birthdate on one of the charms. 

I then asked the cashier, "What is the date today?" She replied, "July 14th." I got the chills, engraved under Lois' name was the date "7-14-67." 


My first thought was that a wonderful charm bracelet such as this landed in the thrift shop because its owner had passed on. I told the clerk that it was karma that the bracelet came into my possession on the day of Lois' birthday. I said aloud, "I am wearing your charm bracelet Lois, in celebration of your birthday!" Lois was(or is) a mere 8 years older than me. 


Another thing I do is honor mystery quilters who have donated their fabric. I incorporate recently scored secondhand fabric into my current creations, usually as bindings. That has been the case with the last two quilts. The bindings have come from my box of feedsack fabric.  

Another find with Lois' bracelet with a Bailey Blue dress modeled  by my ever-trusty Sally stand-in. I like the detail of the built-in ruffled slip.
I am making progress toward listing some of my collectibles on Ebay. I figure it is time shake loose some of my valuable items. They will be listed under tam_gonza. One item going up for sale  are these set of 4 Field & Stream Honor Badges.  

7/15/19 Post update - these pins sold within hours of posting. 

CA State Fair & Food Festival 2019, pt. 2

This post will highlight some of the fine art from the California State Fair. Having attended the fair for a number of years, I can be certain of a few things: 

There will always be a very large installation piece.

At least one stunning painting, again - very large.
Requiem for a Wedding Cake by Alexandra Lown, Sacramento
Juror's Award,  Award of Excellence, and Sacramento Fine Arts Center Award
Quite a few delightful surprises.
There is the very odd
And somewhat derpy
At least one hands-on exhibit in the fine art pavilion.
And on to furry animals
Lion head rabbit
Watching the baby goats frolic
I also bumped into a sheep judging competition, complete with one parent consoling a disappointed competitor. 
So many things to see and experience at the California State Fair!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

CA State Fair & Food Festival 2019, pt. 1

One of my yearly traditions is a visit to the wine garden at the fair and this year was no different. 
I was granted a Media Season Pass for a second year in a row to the California State Fair. While I am not a creative arts participant this year, I did want to check out my competition for 2020. This post will focus on mainly fiber art. Tomorrow's post will feature fine art and furry animals. But before we get to that, a shout-out to the team that created the Amador County exhibit. The panels are painted, one depicting Preston Castle. They hit it out of the park, it is placed at one of the entrances in the county exhibits building.

And on to the quilts and fiber art.
Birth of Venus by Alissa McBain, Sacramento
Modern Quilts - First Place


Circle Sensation with Swags by Marianne Mulheren, Mendocino
Appliqued Quilts - Fourth Place
I like how the purple mannequin is pointing in the quilt's direction.
I did not get the names of the artists on the hanging quilts.

My Guardian Angel by Mary Boyer, Sacramento
Other Technique Quilts, Best of Division and First Place


Loving Amsterdam by Jan Soules
Art Quilt, Juror's Choice, Best of Division and First Place
It was a shame the Loving Amsterdam piece was behind glass.  It  was hard to photograph. The image below is another creation I would have liked to been up close and personal. The glass and lighting interfered with viewing the amazing artistry. 
Lady in Red Portrait by Joan Schlinkert
I think it was called Counted Embroidery
And on to some fun stuff, you can guess which caught my eye.Question for quilters: Do you keep finished quilts to give as gifts? We recently had guests from out of town who had two ten-year old twins, boy and girl. You never know if people will like quilts (some don't), so when the visitors exclaimed their delight at one of my quilts, I promptly gifted it to them (quilt shown here). While it was not my best work, it felt good to be able to send them home with a homemade gift. 

Finally, I have decided to sell some of my fabric. I see there is a "used fabric" category on Ebay. My goal is to sell enough fabric to cover the cost of the new sewing machine. 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Piggy Bank Savings bought me Atomic Starburst

A year has now passed since I committed to the Money for Quilting Challenge hosted by Val at myplvl.blogspot.com.  
My intent with this challenge was to save money for longarmer charges but found one that is reasonable and have sent her three quilts so far. 

Back to the original intent to purchase fabric. I wanted something cool and zoomy. My piggy bank savings totaled $40 in bills, $22 in change. Not the most stellar savings total, but admittedly, I kept forgetting to put money away. 

Nearly every month I participate in the FabHopShop. While looking for certain icons, I check out the quilt kits or new arrivals or fabric collections. 

At first, I was not a fan of color coordinated fabrics. I discovered certain fabrics are coveted. Once stock is bought up, it is gone. On a wing and prayer you may be able to find a specific fabric on an online auction.  

Back to my reveal of how I spent my piggy bank savings, this is the first time I have bought a bundled fabric collection, this one being Palm Canyon by Violet Craft for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. In addition, the first time I have bought a pattern for the Atomic Starburst quilt. I've purchased quilt patterns at thrift shops, but not a full fledged retail pattern.
Other retail fabric purchases I allowed myself were 4 yards of midnight blue batik. I use that fabric for binding and think it might marry well with the blocks shown here. I had also used up all of my low volume fabric on recent projects so I supplemented my stash with Champagne fat quarter bundle by Art Gallery Fabrics. 

Love all these new fabrics and my new sewing machine. I'm set for whipping up some wonderful creations. 

On another topic - let's talk about Quilter's Guilt. That is when you have promised someone a quilt and a long time has passed between the promise and the creation (sometimes years). The group was split on the topic when it came up in my American Patchwork & Quilting FB page. Some said gift the promised quilt, others said - make a different quilt (the poster wanted to keep her promised creation), or just let it slide. It had been over 8 years since the quilt was promised and both women had moved on to different jobs, etc. 

I am pretty good about giving away my promised projects so I won't suffer from Quilter's Guilt. 

Be sure to visit the others on this hop to see how well they did in the yearlong savings challenge.