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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Peeking behind the reseller's curtain

Taking advantage of fixed price listings for store subscribers, I continue to compile listings of books and CDs. This stack is my next round to photograph, etc., ad nauseum. I don't know why I hadn't ever done a fixed listing other than I don't think I understood how it worked. All my listings had been auction style. 

Here is my fancy photography setup. Scoring that thrifted tripod for $3 was a happy day. The fancy buffet length tablecloth was also a thrift shop score at $2. 
Sourcing from my own home, there is more than enough to keep me busy.  Too busy, in fact, this does feel like a part-time job. I estimate it takes a solid 8-10 hours to compose 30 listings. From photographing, to editing, to composing the listing, that doesn't include thrifting/sourcing time. I also have templates for CDs, needlework kits, etc. 

I pulled all the cookbooks that I never use and put them up for sale. I have 6 containers of Christmas CDs, each holding 25 of them, yep that puts me at about 150. More than I can listen to each holiday season, it's nuts! I pulled 10 more from my collection to list. 

Slowly, but surely, we have been going through the Mr.'s book collection. We are keeping all of the how-to books, with the exception of those that focus on raising farm animals, we don't want to commit to that. He has flight manuals, dive instruction books, Westerns (keepers), and counter-culture publications from the 60s (also keepers). 

My sourcing moved from a corner of a room to downstairs shelving. I wouldn't mind having a barn-full of product to sell (it could happen), that is a whole nuther post about why I want a barn. The Jurassic Park mug and Jurassic World plush are there to remind to stay with what I know. I have watched quite a few reseller's videos on YouTube and there are BOLOs (be on the lookout) for [you name it]. I bought a couple of those BOLOs, Cadoo games and big girl lingerie. Neither have moved. 

I am so glad I became an Ebay store subscriber so I could take advantage of the promotional listings. Including those items I listed in my first image, it is the first time I have surpassed 100 active listings! A milestone ~

Friday, March 27, 2020

Doodle Quilt Done

Zipper and the Doodle Quilt
I like to keep my projects moving along so they don't languish, but there was this one. I didn't even list on my project sheets, quilting lines had been marked and was waiting to be quilted for a year. Here is the original post qwilt-qwazy-queens-and-doodle-quiltWhat a delightful project to pick back up again with its bright, fun colors. I had the last remnants of a Riley Blake Happy Flappers jelly roll for the binding. I particularly love the backing fabric, a remnant piece featuring toy dogs. It will be my car/picnic quilt. 
Realizing there is still time to complete a creation for the California State Fair, I did my first fabric pull. I already had source photos, even a name - Quilter in Isolation. I think it will be timely. The website on the fair indicated it would go on as scheduled in July-August at the height of the mid-summer California heat. 

Rather than do raw edge applique (my last state fair submission), this will be in traditional applique. There are some vintage linens, a mini quilt in the making, and a background fabric recently purchased at Joann's. The biggest leap is hoping the idea you imagine will translate to fabric. 

In encouraging news, an event has been scheduled for the middle of July for those graduates of the Analyst Certification Program (me, me, me.) I think it will be the first scheduled gathering at work since the shutdown. 

Linking up with corona-quilt-along-off-wall-friday. I finally have a finished quilt for a linkup AND I have a work in progress. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fear Holds Us Back

Something as simple as threading a bobbin, I was afraid to attempt on my vintage machine. In the grander scheme of things once we are through this worldwide disaster, we shouldn't be afraid to live once again. Maybe there will be modifications to our lifestyles. It seems the Mr. and I have been preparing for this change all of our lives. We tend to be isolationists (the Mr. more so than me). We each have projects at home where we tend to lose track of time. That bobbin winder, it works perfectly. 

Minimalist plaid quilt top and backing are now sandwiched. This project used up nearly all of my plaid wovens and nearly all of my flannel stash. I admit I indulged in retail therapy. I had to return the bobbin winder after getting the Franklin machine up and running, and Joann's was open. We continue to be a Covid-free county. It was a great day to be at that retailer because I pulled all half off fabrics or more and they were giving away end of bolt, normally they charge 50% of that remnant. The plaid deer fabric will be the binding. 
Reseller's update: I am moving forward on listing CDs for sale. A sleepless night found me buying CD mailers online around midnight. All of my listings on Ebay had been auction but the company has offered a store subscriber promotion of 50,000 Fixed Price listings. Boy howdy, I am letting them all loose now. 
Needlework kits are selling slow but sure. I figured there was a market for those pre-disaster. 

It took me 3 hours to just photograph what I have to post for sale.  That doesn't include image editing either. I hope it will pay off eventually. I have more of the mindset that selling a lot of little things is just as good as selling one big thing. I pulled cookbooks I never use (why not list them?) and all of those Christmas CDs. 

Keeping busy and taking frequent outside breaks have been my method to stay healthy and happy.  

Monday, March 23, 2020

Stocking versus Stockpiling

The Mr. and I have played the "What If" Disaster Scenario game for quite some time now. I am not going to list the "What Ifs" because they range from the benign to the extreme. 

All throughout the year, we buy a little more than we could use that week or even that month. Around Christmas when sometimes money lets loose, we buy even more for the year ahead. 

Over the years, I have collected books and publications, some that have long since gone out of print or have been removed from circulation. Some I have even scanned the contents into my computer. 

I have archived 334 recordings (albums) from CD onto my laptop. My music backup nearly filled the 256GB of my Jumpdrive. My vinyl collection is less extensive but encompasses the best of the 60-80s decades. One of note, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition Greatest Hits. 

Reseller update: I have 30 active listings now. My goal is to double that by next weekend. I may dig deeper into my projects and let those loose for another crafter to bring to completion. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Welcome to My Self-Isolated World

While we are sheltering in place, as all Californians are required to do, online activities continue. I may try to blog more often and am looking into starting a podcast. 

Posting as tamaschen on Instagram for the IGQuiltfest2020, I took the image above as "favorite block." I was stuck on this project because I bordered the blocks and wanted to sew them together but didn't plan on how to construct them. I solved my own problem using that background fabric between the bordered blocks for the flimsy. The blocks that I bordered now measure 10" square. I have at least 20 of those blocks that measure 7-1/2" which will allow me to make 2 quilts from the online lot. I will post progress, once I get back to this one, it will go along quickly. Retro quilt is first up after sandwiching the minimalist plaid quilt. 

This sort of self-isolating for crafters is not a great burden. We tend to lose track of time as we lose ourselves in our projects. I am hoping that others in isolation will do some spring cleaning and donate for me to source once this passes.

Linking up with Cynthia at quiltingismorefunthanhousework for:

Reseller's update:
A grandmother's flower garden partial kit sold. I took a $20 loss on that one. You pay the price on impulse purchases. A holiday hounds cross-stitch just sold but for a profit. 

The thrift shop and consignment store closings have been the worst for me. When all else fails, I can shop thrift. Luckily, I had burned out on putting up listings of things for sale. I have what reseller's term as a "death pile," things we have bought for resale but haven't listed yet, mine include: over 100 CDs, patterns for crafts like aprons and dog beds, and lastly, books which I find to be a slow mover. 

One source interviewed on TV believed the virus could not be transmitted by fabric or cardboard. That sounds reasonable to me, two of the things that I deal with selling online. 

My predictions in our future:
More people will be encouraged to work remotely. My quality of life has actually improved being able to telework. I can start work earlier in the day, because I am home. I only take a 1/2 hour lunch so I can end my day early. When I am downtown, I like to take the full hour so I can walk around the area. I am not commuting 3 hours a day (1-1/2 hours one way). My work day ends at 4 so there is time for gardening, weather permitting. 

As an aside, because I have an older laptop and don't know what type of strain teleworking will be on my laptop's system, I bought a 256GB Jumpdrive to backup my music and photos. 

Gloves will come back in style. I wear cotton gloves for my eczema attacks so I wear those same gloves when I shop now. 

Victory gardens, also known as war gardens, will be popular. I planted strawberries, onions, a blueberry bush, and rhubarb plant. Seed starting will begin in earnest because Ferry-Morse tomato and pepper seeds were on sale. I bought tomato Culinary Blend and sweet pepper Rainbow Blend mix. 

What permanent changes do you foresee?

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Dark Days and Crafting Away

Life has certainly been interesting for us all. The Mr. has always been a prepper. What is the Boy Scout's motto? Be Prepared. I picked up this book for resale, it seemed appropriate. I think it will sell. 
I may soon be working from home for an indefinite amount of time. I am just awaiting word. Not delving into the whole situation, but worth a mention. I think there will be a legion of shut-ins. 

Segueing into what I blog most about thrifting, quilting, and a smattering of gardening. 

I picked up at thrift a high grade photographer's tripod for $3. No more shaky images! This weekend's finds included a couple of records, a few CDs, a button book, and some men's clothing at $1 each. The latter I buy to see if it will fit my son, or get credit at Freestyle, a clothing reseller. 
The best of the bunch to me was the $3 bag of Girl Scout items, especially the daisy patches. I could put those on a quilt or mini-quilt. The flag emblems are the bomb too!

Reseller's update: The Art of French Cooking sold. I think the project kits will sell too, with special mention to shut-ins. A Grandmother's Flower Garden partially completed quilt kit will sell too, there is a bid, but I will take a loss. I bought it at auction but when I got it, there was no "spark" of joy. Then sometimes I have reseller's remorse and I un-list items I have for sale. I have done that more than once with kits and books. 

Here is a post on Facebook from Renee Kropat at the Up-Cycled Cloth Collective highlighting one of her creations and the following:
Since my hubby and I are in that older age category that this virus could hurt us, we have stayed out of crowds, do outside walks and one can find me in my studio. Found a twenty year old craft pattern. Using scraps and odds and ends ( I may not have followed the instructions completely) but I like this little guy. Mouse, bear, who knows? I suspect I will get a lot of sewing / crafts done in the next few weeks. Be well all. Glad this group is here.
That is the reason I am going to start listing the craft patterns and keep those kits listed for sale. Creative people will continue to create as an outlet for difficult times. 

Greenhouse update: I will be planting strawberries and onions in the center bed. The artichoke survived its move. I have yet to see if the rhubarb will revive. 
I usually lead off with quilting so I will end with the minimalist plaid quilt flimsy. I took the image in the rain, a much-needed commodity in California. My day involves completing the backing and putting it in the sandwich stage. My Babylok should be ready by the end of the month. I have 2 quilts to bind and 3 to quilt (including this one) in the queue. 
The IGquiltfest continues on Instagram where I am posting as tamaschen

Monday, March 2, 2020

8.88 and Forging Ahead on YouTube

Timing for half day off at thrift means not getting there right when they open the doors, but about an hour later, when they start rolling the merch on the floor. 

Included in my less than $10 purchase were a men's flannel XL shirt, 4 publications, another bag of fabric (mainly Christmas), landscape fabric, and a bag of horses + squirrel pictured above. 
Continuing with my series on the Franklin sewing machine, this one focuses on maintenance.  

Over at IG for the #igquiltfest2020, the day's prompt is "Fav technique w/tip." I will have to see what other's posting if I have something that will fit that prompt. 

Sunday, March 1, 2020

YouTubing It and the IG Quilt Fest

The leaping last day of February meant a $5 bag of remnant fabric was another violation to my Buy No Fabric Challenge. It was all for me at thrift with that and some 50 cent fun things of vintage thimbles, hair ties and a beaded fabric embellishment.  

The remnants were a good purchase though, higher end manufacturers, some novelty prints, some Christmas (which I don't need) but intend on whipping up into a quilt at some point. 

There is a story behind Christmas fabric. Early on in my quilting career, I tried to link up with a certain group of quilters (who shall remain unnamed). I was too late to get in on the ones who were highlighted in the hop, so I linked up my creation in the comments. One would have thought I violated a Biblical rule of quilting blog hops because I received a lengthy STERN email from said blog host. Linking up my post in the comments was simply not allowed, she told me. I obliged by deleting my comment and any reference to her and her blog. It has since left a bad taste in my mouth for holiday-themed quilts. I never finished the quilt I made, it remains a flimsy to this day. 

On to American Patchwork & Quilting UFO challenge. No. 7 was posted for March, on my first list it is a rooster needlepoint, in the queue but awaiting its turn after completion of the magnolia needlepoint. My No. 7 on my second list is a Monet's Garden needlepoint kit up for sale. If it doesn't sell, I won't shed a tear because I will keep it as one of my projects. 

I bought a bobbin winder and think it will be a good purchase because I have heard other quilters say they like them. It is the first sewing machine related purchase that I have bought retail, other than my sewing machine. 

Here is my first YouTube tutorial on my Franklin sewing machine. I hadn't been able to find exact information on it so I am posting what I have learned. I hope to do more of these on how to use the attachments (a lofty goal) and free motion quilting with the machine. 

March is also National Quilting Month and festivities have begun on Instagram with the #igquiltfest2020. I will post on a few prompts as tamaschen.