Google tag

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Editing listings and Lucky update

The vintage buttonholder card was tucked into my sewing pattern tub. I have my "kept" patterns down to one small tub (originally 5). 

I have edited half of my 500+ of my eBay listings. I made them all blue dot conforming (see my previous post) and raised the prices. I knew I had under-priced quite a few items but was testing the market to get product moving out the door. As long as I can find CDs for $1 each and sell them for more than $10, I will continue to list them. 

Speaking of CDs, I found my first long box at thrift, a Carole King one to boot. I also found a Peter Frampton Comes Alive! supposedly a high dollar CD. Buying all types of styles and genres really pushes me out of my musical comfort zone. Newest listen is a New Zealand group the Warratahs. I have also picked up a couple of Disney CDs, so I will report if those are movers or not.  

I loaded up on needlework kits and this time I won't price them so low. Here is the best of the bunch. While I love the counted cross stitch ones, they are my least favorite to complete and they seem to the be the most favorite on the eBay listings. I will keep the mallard needlepoint, it even has its hoop included.

Great day for sourcing, I found everything that I deal in - CDs, needlework kits, sewing related books and clothes for myself and the Mr. This $2 scouting vest was in Halloween costumes. I will lot it up with other scout stuff I have been collecting. Here are some of the fun patches on the back of the vest.

Little Lucky update. She is thriving and is kept garage confined until the summer heat and smoke subside. 

I would also like to see her get a little bigger so she can hold her own against our other two cats.

College is in full swing and September means starting a new job!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Called it Right and the Blue Circle in eBay

What I'm talking about is CDs, they continue to sell, especially gospel ones. They sell far and away quicker than any other genre (other than Christmas). 

I got with Google AdSense quite awhile ago and have simply ignored the account and any earnings. I did it more to give my blog more "cache" rather than make money. Lo and behold, I checked my AdSense account and I have garnered nearly $70. Doing nothing. I'm liking this. 

I put myself back in the debt hole buying my laptop and getting a new pair of prescription glasses. I have already made a large payment on the laptop though (proceeds from my reselling). 

Six months since I abruptly began working remotely. So much has changed in my daily routine. Money I would have spent in Sacramento buying coffee, donuts or pastry is now spent locally. When my work day ends, my online college begins. Next in priority is my eBay store. 

I believe in mastering a platform before adding any additional sites. I was ignoring the eBay blue circle listing. When you compose a listing there are numerous fields to fill out. When you complete those fields, the blue dot changes from a blue line around the circle to a solid blue circle. Here is a video from Being Thrifty Over 50 on that subject. 

Page views have shot up, not sure if it is because of these YouTube highlighted videos or not. No bother, I welcome new readers and hope you enjoy my content. I hold hope of moving to an audio blog as a podcaster but I am still on the fence about that. 

So while I was editing each listing to fill in those blue dots, I raised my prices by a third. (Charge for editing time). *chuckles to self* I have over 550 listings with an aggregate value over $7,000. I buy all of my product at 50 cents to two dollars. Now doing this for a year, I have a better sense of what will sell. AND pats self on back, I have made eBay Top Rated Seller status!

Ending with steers in the front yard (we don't own any livestock), escaped from the neighbor's field.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Reselling Funds my Thrifting

Sometimes it is all about You. Thrift shopping is a total indulgence, because hardly any of it is ever Needed, most is certainly Wanted. Like one of these blown glass watering thingees. Always priced too high retail, at 99 cents it now keeps my palm plant, a recent transplant from my old office cubicle, well watered. In fact, now all of my office kitsch has been moved home. I doubt I will decorate my new office space since I won't be in office anyway. 

I also collect leaded glass lamps. As with artwork, I upgrade my lamps also. When I find a higher quality one, I either thrift another one back or keep it to put in another location. 

I have declared it the summer of the Blue Bell Jar. This is the third one I have found in the past three months. The little ceramic bowls are for Lucky. I had been using custard cups for her food and water. 

Finally, in my finds I found clothing, the cutest of which I highlight below. A bubblegum pink corduroy skirt that fits perfectly and a pink cashmere *sings the word* sweater. 

And that box of fabric? There were at least 3 colorways, so I chose one and pulled some orphan blocks. I am going to surprise the gift giver with a quick quilt. One of my most favorite things to do is bring together a quilt top. Right now I am in the "I'm not sure I like what I have done" stage. 

Because of the fire danger, I have moved more of my quilt and needlework projects to my offsite location less fire prone. I am hoping this method will force me to complete projects at home rather than *squirrel* onto something else. 

While I love the idea of podcasting. It is a huge commitment. Ya gotta post content. My newest idea for one is Tami Dances to Disco, have alternating clips in different 70s outfits, a swirling 70s background, and then make up moves like "the butter churn." (laughs to self)

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Focusing on the Fabulous

Leading off with Fun Find of the Day - these 3 Grateful Dead poster mugs 69 cents each from Goodwill. Not retro but very cool. 

Where there is smoke, there is fire. Boy howdy, do we have a lot of smoke. We live in a Northern California tinder box, fearful of a fire maelstrom. Nine of the 10 acres burned here five years ago. We can't even escape to the coast because of the you-know-what outbreak. 

Little Lucky kitten update - she is acting more like a kitten now, playing and romping. A nice diversion from all of the stressors that include working remotely, Covid concerns, heat waves, and now excessive air pollution. 

My staycation goal was to make 600 eBay listings. The total now stands at 560 - all the new ones being sewing patterns. Now I have to wait for September promotion fixed price listings to continue. I have enough in my death pile from a recent sourcing trip to Folsom, California with the usual sewing patterns and needlework kits. There is a Star Wars costume pattern (yay) and I thought I would venture into Halloween items. 


It must be the Summer of the Blue Ball Jar, finding yet another one, complete with its wire closure.

This group of vintage books will most certainly sell. I kept both the blue 1972 Singer Sewing manual and the Cookie Jar encyclopedia. Three jars that I have are listed in the book.  

I admit I am buying more. Nothing worse than a pandemic shutdown to trigger a hoarder. One of my mother's friends also sent me an entire box of beautiful fabric! I am going to spin a sweet and simple quilt for her. A total surprise.

I am binding minimalist plaid quilt so its glamour shots in the wild will be soon. 

College has begun and I couldn't be happier. No, I am not sending my kid away to college, I have gone back to school. Since it is all an online learning platform, it is ideal for me. 

It is good to be student. Amazon Prime is just $6.50 a month for students (6 mos. free) (this is not an ad). I have had numerous tax incentives over the years too. But back to prime, there are numerous programs we haven't seen that are offered through this service. We had about run out of things to watch on Netflix and Hulu. This also gives my 92 year old mother, who I place orders for, more items with free shipping. She also got to order a fashionable bejeweled face mask only offered through Prime. She was delighted.

Pattern is the Day are these Cafe Curtains from 1957. Another one of my keeper patterns found today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Pattern Listing Day and eBay store categories

Had our pooch not hurt herself (meaning an emergency trip to the vet), I would not have stumbled onto a thrift shop half off sale after I dropped her off. Sewing patterns, needlework kits and a Tink Disney mug, my 2nd Disney find of the week. Day3 of the Von Zalez Staycation means afternoons devoted to sewing pattern listing. I am very much an outdoors person but not in 100+ degree heat. 

Here is this darling of a unfinished counted cross stitch that was listed.

This 1965 bathrobe pattern is a keeper. All of those from the 1960s and earlier I keep. Call it nostalgia, maybe even foresight, but I am not letting those go right now. There is a 60s hairstyle, a bun on top of a bouffant on the blonde in front.

I continue to refine my eBay selling techniques. Here is a recent YouTube tutorial on organizing your product into categories. This also shows you how to bulk search your listings, something I couldn't figure out previously.

The new Dell XPS 15 laptop arrived and it. is. beautiful. 15" sleek. It couldn't have arrived at a better time, college starts up in a few days. Financed through Dell, hoping a stimulus check and a pay raise will have it paid off within the year if not sooner. 

Here is a Disney toy recently listed. Will my 49 cent investment in this toy pay off?

Monday, August 17, 2020

Doll Day on the Midway

The Stupsi doll pair sold listed for around a year, I bought them for $1.50 each, I sold the pair for $40. If I had children in my life, I would have kept them. 

And wouldn't cha know, the same day I sold the Stupsis, I found this mystery bag of dolls for $2.99 at thrift. They looked a little bedraggled but promising. I think the one in the middle is a strawberry shortcake. Some have had a "little" hair trimming done. 
The lineup pre-cleaned. 
The group cleaned up quickly by putting them delicate cycle in a lingerie bag with all of their clothing left on. 
I used to have a doll like the one on the far left. She is joining my patriotic collection and will be further festooned in red, white and blue. Doll in the middle has punk-out potential and other than what little is left of her hair, all of her costuming is intact. The others will be listed for sale. 

I am starting to see the other resellers. I rarely hit thrift during the week but it is Staycation Week in the Von Zalez household. The others snag the quality stuff. I was a few minutes too late on a well executed oil on canvas floral. Made my heart ache. 

Fun Find of the Day - a Prince The Hits 2 CD. I have always been a fan but never bought any of his recordings. It is a happy Tami day when I find his music secondhand. 

My latest collecting obsession, sheet music and music compilations for guitar and vocals. This 99 cent gem is a forever keeper. I have been collecting violin music for many years now. When I played the violin, I recall how expensive sheet music was (and still is). 

I've been rearranging my remote workspace (aka the spare bedroom). This cross stitch was initially under glass and framed in gold. The frame broke and is being fixed. I took the opportunity to re-frame the hibiscus flowers in a glass-free traditional wood frame (pointing the right direction). 

Have you been rearranging your living space? Doing home improvement projects? 

Ending with a BOLO wooden alphabet blocks ($1.99). These Sesame Street ones I predict will go quick, being sold as a lot with other wooden blocks. I also picked up an adorable working 50 cent Disney toy I will highlight on my next post. 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Sourcing and Potentially Podcasting

A frantic round of sourcing to beat the 100+ degree produced another 25 CDs to list and a few more sewing patterns. I have found my niche. I am getting better at spotting the imported CDs which bring more $$. I am also rediscovering music from the late 90s, bands I will listen to while ripping to my laptop and think, "Oh, yeah, I remember them!" (like The Proclaimers). 

Gospel music continues to be a good seller for me. It helps that I know what to look for. Those into gospel, remember Andrae Crouch and the Disciples? There was one group I hadn't heard in awhile. I've linked to one of their performance at the end of the post. 

After I pull any CDs I think might sell, I sit on a couch in the store and search the Google shopping for the titles. 

As I list more, I end more clothing listings. Maybe those items are just slow movers, I get impatient with them. Clothing is at the end of its heyday anyway. We will need less because we will be appearing in person less often. I know I like to dress up for work. If I am only going to be in one or two days a week, that will require one or two outfits, not 5 for the week. Social events, when will those resume? It's anyone's guess. Might as well sell the mink. 

Fun Find of the Day: This is my second duck decoy I have found thrifting. The first one I found while visiting Washington state. 

New kitten update. She was around 4 weeks when we found her. She was battling mites, fleas and worms and has been treated for all of those. Little Lucky has a Buddha belly right now but that will even out. 

And onto my new favorite subject - Podcasting

It looks like it might be time to move platforms from blogging to podcasting. I have enjoyed blogging but it is like hollering into a tunnel and getting no response. Very one way. 

I need to learn more about the process. This really is cutting edge. More and more people will be turning to online broadcasts. Edison Research reports that the number of American tuning into podcasts have increased 175% over the last five years. I know I am one of them. The Mr. listens to The Joe Rogan Experience and I Jason T. Smith. I predict an explosive increase in podcasts as we all have to home isolate for who knows how long. 

The Mr. is NOT on board with the idea of me starting a podcast. He thinks it should be high tech with earphones and special lighting. I think it should be low tech with just the minimum of hardware broadcasting from my remote workspace. We'll see. 

Ending the post with Andrae. I have all vacation week to convince myself to take the podcasting plunge. I have six episodes in pre-planning stage and am reaching out to a friend for a interview-based podcast. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

One last look and retro quilt done

I took one hard last look at the sewing patterns I wanted to store for awhile. Culling this time was more brutal, 25 more patterns from just one container. I am never going to sew clothing. It is cheaper to buy clothing thrift and alter it than to make clothing from patterns. BTW Vogue patterns sell the best.

I also purchased two bags of sewing patterns from Goodwill. This packet of transfers dates from 1965 and will join my keeper crew. 

Nearly 25 CDs are waiting to be listed also. I would like to hover around 500 listings. I also want to cull listings I figure will never sell, mainly old publications (other than vintage cookbooks). 

A favorite YouTuber of mine is Jason Thrifts, an online reseller. I like his format and love his momster JPeg. His segments on Thrifty Over 50 are an enjoyable watch for me. Since I am starved from human contact, it is one of the few touchstones I have now with people albeit online. 

Quilting update: Retro quilt is finally done. Each of the 15" quilt blocks had to be rehabilitated to bring them to square to be fashioned into this quilt. I chose the bold tattoo border fabric because it seemed to bring all of the blocks together. I purchased the wide quilt backing on sale. It was professionally quilted in an Ansley Park pattern. It, like all of my 2020 quilts, has been bound in a scrappy solid border. 

Previous post on retro quilt here and here. Linking with Kelly for Needle & Thread Thursday at

I hate to admit that I get a kick out of winning lots at online auctions. Sometimes they are a hit, sometimes they are a miss. The last lot I bought turned out to be the one needlepoint I wanted to keep and spent about what I would have in a retail store. Live and learn. 

Fun find of the day - A 1997 compilation of Funk Classics, Vol. 2. I sprang for the $4 CD Goodwill price tag for this fun romp. The songs are long-playing versions with a couple I had never heard before.

My staycation begins at the end of the day. I took a week off between jobs. I will have the delight of the usual hunkering down and trying to stay cool in the 100+ degree heat wave. I will make progress on my projects for sure!

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Back to the regular programming

I posted a couple of kitty posts now back to the usual topics. I will let you know how Lucky is doing, as cat posts from me are few and far between. She has taken to hiding under the towels in her cage. Her first vet appointment is on Thursday. 

I haven't been much in the mood of anything. Summers can be draining with the 90-100 degree heat. Starting a new job and going back to college will more than consume my time. 

As happens, thrift shop finds have slowed down. Good in way, because I was bleeding money stocking up on what I had found. I continue to buy clothes for myself but share very little of those finds. 

Having hit my 500 listings goal, I can pull back from the push. Bite-sized lots like 5 or 10 are easier to fit in rather than 25 to 30 listings. Sort of plugging away here and there, stuck inside with near 100 degree heat again. 

Golly whiz, my first eBay certificate and I am on the way to Top Rated Seller status. I redacted my real last name, because I work in privacy at my department. 

Pattern of the Day is this 1997 Vogue Creative sort of ethnic-looking uncut tunic pattern. A pattern of ethnic-looking hats sold quickly.

Yet another keeper from my finds, this 1992 Engel Puppen $2 at thrift. I discovered she had a broken finger after I brought her home but that wouldn't have stopped me. She, along with a couple of other dolls, will be sent to the doll hospital for minor repairs. 

So looking forward to my new job beginning September 1!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

No bigger than a minute

Little Lucky survived through the night. She was eating so that was a good sign. After I removed the burs from her fur, I saw she had mites so I am treating her for those. Getting an appointment on calendar for her vet appointment and when to get her spayed. All ears and eyes, she still hasn't realized she has landed high in the Pet Lottery. 

Reselling update: CDs are selling in the Christmas and Gospel genres. 

Still not selling Barbie clothes, craft books, and clothing. All the clothing is going to an exchange so I can buy cute things for me or my family. 

On the work front, I went through the fingerprinting process necessary for a Contingent Job Offer (CJO). There were a few more cars in the parking structure, not many but a few more than I have seen in the past few months. 

While I know things are dire for some, things are looking up for me. I feel fortunate to have gained this upper level analyst position. It is a job more attuned to my education and experience. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

There is a new fur baby in my life

This critter was not an intentional addition to the Von Zalez ranch family. We already have two cats and one dog. Two cats is one cat too many *grins*. Her head is cupped in my hand because she was too weak to hold it up. 

We named her Lucky. Lucky because the Mr. found her in the middle of our rural road when he was headed to work Sunday morning. She was mewing loudly and was so emaciated. Lucky because another day exposed to near 100 degree weather would have killed her. Still weak, she is eating well.  

There are only a couple of scenarios why a weakened kitten would be on the road. One, someone drove up the road and dumped the kitten, or she could have been part of a feral litter and the mother was moving them. We didn't find any other kittens where she was found though. 

She will be caged until she is old enough to fend for herself. She has many perils to avoid ahead of her, large predators like mountain lion and bobcat, coyotes, hawks, raccoons, rattlesnakes, to name a few. If she is skookums like our other ranch cats, she will survive into old cat age. 

I would like to get her used to a harness, since she is young enough to train. Now is one of the best times to add a pet to the family because you have the time to devote to socializing them. 

The Mr. teases about the "boat fund" that my reselling business may finance. Lucky would be a boat kitty walking the docks with us in her cat harness. 

Speaking of cats, here is one CD I have for sale, Nine Lives by Little Charlie and the Nightcats!

Finally, my passion for fabric showing through, I bought a bag of mystery fabric from Goodwill. Three quarters of it was unusable to me but then there were some vintage gems hidden in the middle of the bag, like this panel. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Something to Crow About

Two dollar ceramic rooster (no chips or cracks!) joined my collection. Of late, the best scores have been those they have just rolled onto the floor. 
Blogger has changed some things, making it more challenging. The old format was just fine. Adding a label now takes an act of God. 

Back to the something to crow about, I finally achieved the promotion I had been seeking. I am in the contingent stage pending background check, etc. so a start date is not set yet. I will still be working remotely but work more aligned with my legal experience. This is the job I have had my heart set on since I began public service. I started in an entry level legal secretary position, taking me nearly 7 years to get back to the professional level I left in private practice. 

On to reseller's update: Specialty and vintage cookbooks, CDs went up on the sales block. I TRY not to keep all the amazing cookbooks. This first edition Disney cookbook was pulled from my sales floor. I already tagged and scanned two recipes and thought, oh why not? It's a keeper. 
What I did list was a retro 70s Spice Island Cookbook.

Still experiencing hot temperatures in Northern California. Lots of indoor time mean I continue to put up those eBay listings.