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Monday, November 30, 2020

Proud to be a Pentecostal

Some time ago, I found this exquisite gray leather Bible at thrift. While it is not my favorite King James Version, I am open to a new translation of the Word. 

With being proud to be a Pentecostal, it also means questioning those who preach those beliefs. If the message is not positive, then it is not worth my time. Being a Christian to me means accepting and loving every type of person. 

My family attended Jimmy Swaggart revival meetings from the 1960s through the 1970s. It is no wonder that I am still a fan. My latest thrift shop find was this group of 17 Jimmy Swaggart records. 

We should also be careful of those who want to separate us by "color." I have read the Bible from cover to cover and I don't remember any exclusion paragraphs on race, religion, or identity. 

My message, I enjoy the freedom to worship in my chosen religion and I hope to do that in the future. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Countdown to Christmas is Heading Your Way

Tune in for Day 1 of 25 to the Countdown the Christmas celebrating all things kitsch, retro, holiday wonderful. 

Reseller's update: One of the best times to source online is right around Thanksgiving. Most have their attention turned to retail and the discounts offered there. 

My recent sales included books, CDs and lots of views on sewing patterns but no bites. I have CD burnout listing though so I have moved onto patterns. Much to my delight, there was a slew of patterns I had grabbed as a lot and it turned out to be another pattern collector's stash. Numerous uncut ones beginning from the 1940s, those all went to my keeper group. I will highlight them in upcoming posts.

Not all of the items I buy secondhand I list for sale. There are the items I keep for myself, and then there are the things I make mistakes. Of late, some tiki mugs, a popcorn push toy - that you can still buy new for cheap, and some stamped linens. I send those items I don't want and can't sell back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 

Fun Find of the Day - this Doggie Music CD.

And this Lush 1974 publication on artist LeRoy Neiman, listing on the boards between $250 and $40. It may be a keeper.  
Books are next to process for ebay listings. It intrigues me to see what sells. What is NOT moving are crocheted items and craft books. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Why is there so much blue fabric?

It can't be just me! I have always had more blue fabric than any other color. The tub pictured below? Doesn't even include dark blue. 

I have gone through my Annual Fabric Cleanout and bagged up three kitchen bags full of remnants and yardage. I kept remnants that were fat quarters or larger. I do not like working with teeny tiny pieces of fabric and do much better with completed blocks and strips.

Then there is Christmas fabric. I have one small tub I will wrap orders in for December buyers. There is a whole nuther tub of Christmas fabric in my offsite storage. I made one Christmas throw quilt and have another unfinished top. I keep telling myself I will make another Christmas quilt but I can't bear the thought of piecing Christmas fabric in June (which is what happened with completed Christmas quilt). 

Christmas CDs are selling, that is no big surprise. One vintage toy sold, and here is my newest listing. I try to focus on toys without batteries, but this one is so cute!

Those who have followed me for some time know that I am a huge fan of ebay. I have moved into the Basic Store Subscription this past year. Now, the company is offering an "Up and Running" Grant for small store people like me. I have applied and will report back on whether I am accepted or not. 

Up & Running Seller Grants Program 

Through the Up & Running Grants program, 50 eBay small business sellers in the US will each receive a grant package composed of $8,000 cash and $2,000 worth of eBay credits. In addition, recipients will also enjoy premium access to Seller School and direct training and coaching from expert sellers and eBay Growth Advisors. The program will help ensure sellers have the funding, education, and resources to help grow their online business.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Tackling 25 CDs at a Time

I must have over 200 CDs to list on ebay. I hurriedly posted the Christmas ones to catch the pre-holiday crowd. Over the past year, I have expanded my music-listening repertoire to Zydeco, World Music, and a couple of Japanese imports. I am going to chip my way through the CDs until I get back to the specialty listings. Mom mentioned I am officially working a second job. 

Each one of my orders is wrapped in fabric. Not only does it protect what I am selling (I also use bubble wrap too), it means one less piece in my ocean of fabric. Who buys fabric at $1 a pound? I do!

One of the pieces in the mystery fabric is the lead-off image. The selvage reveals it is a 2010 Alexander Henry print Bonsai Bridge. That one is a keeper, an addition to my Asian-inspired fabric collection. 

The newest wrinkle in my aging process - I have to rest my hands. Between the scrolling, mousing, and typing, my hands have indicated they have had enough. The official name for it is Overuse Syndrome. I have to schedule a time out for my hands, otherwise bad things could happen. When I watch TV, I sit with my hands on my legs so I won't pick up my phone or sewing or do anything else with them. 

Two thrift shops and one yard sale later, I picked up my usual suspects of CDs, needlework kits, and books. Fun find of the day was this cap, festooned with pins. 

And a fabric from the same yard sale - a 1994 Warner Bros. print. 

Included in my day's secondhand shopping haul was Boy Scout items. For some odd reason, they are prompt sellers. I keep saying I am going to lot them together so I've got to get going!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

People Need People

On auction, I had on my wish list a pair of cotton diamond argyle curtains but wasn't motivated enough to bid on them. While doing a search of vintage curtains, I had no idea they would fetch such a high price. I was thinking to myself, I haven't seen nice curtains come through thrift, I had even been checking. The Thrift Gods heard my wonderment and I found this shabby chic panel (I will check to see if another shows up).

I also found a finished cross-stitch quilt top. Maybe this will be my Christmas Golden Ticket? It is on a 7-day auction style listing. Let the bidding begin! *fingers crossed*

I was also on the lookout for a space heater.  The wood stove is used primarily in the winter and the heat does not distribute evenly through the house. I also have to close the door to my remote office bedroom from time to time. I nearly spent $80 on a small space heater but my last minute visit to thrift produced a $5.99 oil heater, opened and in its original box. The glass cutting board I put under it for extra safety. 

My total thrift shopping expense for those three items - $2.50, using a $10 credit earned. Love it!

I have always been kind of the talkative sort. Now I find myself conversing more with strangers no matter where I am. I will initiate conversations, just for the human interaction. Here is a Barbra Streisand song that says it all. 

Because I have been so successful this past year with a job promotion and the sales with my ebay business, I am trying to give more. I believe when you give, blessings are received doubly in return. 

Do you find yourself engaging others in conversation more often? Do you believe it is better to give than to receive? 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Wooden Duck Decoys

Yes, yet another thing that I collect - wooden duck decoys. Finding them is few and far between, duck no. 3 (the sole one on the second shelf), a $6.99 hospice find has joined my collection. I LOVE them!

Living in fear of another thrift shop shutdown, I devoted the weekend to shopping. Lots of Christmas stuff has dropped and I overheard the volunteers expressing their Christmas fatigue being inundated with Christmas, and more Christmas. 

My latest sourcing foray meant finding more CDs, needlework kits and another vintage toy. I hate to even count the CDs I have in the death pile. There is a tub full in the She Shed Trailer. Part of me feels guilty for having so. much. stuff. The other part of me is relieved to have the product in reserve. 

I have met my $10,000 product goal for my 700 ebay listings, that doesn't even include the numerous CDs I have left to list for sale, along with books, boy scout lots, and misc. items. 

Not much sewing is going on this time of year. With my reseller push, and Christmas decorating, my quilting projects are being neglected. My sewing area is also in a cold part of the house so I have to be very motivated to sew with a space heater running. 

Anyhoo, fun finds for the weekend included 4 yards of kitty princess fabric ($7 at Goodwill) and a couple of Japanese import CDs. 

What has captured your interest this fall?

Friday, November 13, 2020

Hunkering Down Again

While my county hasn't closed to indoor dining, surrounding counties are closing. I kind of figured it would be headed this way. Another reason why I have been sourcing like there is no tomorrow. There could possibly be no tomorrow if it goes so far as to close down thrift shops again. 

Now that I have jumped into the reselling game with both feet, I spot other resellers all the time. They shop differently, with a critical eye toward a possible profit margin, and phone in hand. The only thing I check online is CDs even though I am buying them for $1. 

There are times I buy and then wonder what was I thinking? Why did I buy a bug zapper at the bin-diving event? It took up a lot of room and I lost the purple octopus plush while hauling my 3 bins to checkout. 

As I list needlekits for sale, I pull the ones I just can't part with. The few I have chosen from 40 or so going up for sale are a 1989 Charles Wysocki Nantucket Breeze needlepoint. I have a Charles Wysocki tapestry I have in reserve for me. Saved from excommunication from the collection were a 1981 Creative Circle dark brown Fishermen's knit pillow, a sampler kit on brown linen, a 1984 Something Special Front Porch needlepoint. I have to hold back in my overzealousness to list everything for sale. 

On the college front, I intend to take Introduction to Art History, 8 week session, in the spring. Those who have followed me over the years know my love of art. I also think I have a wicked sense of humor. The calendar that will entertain me throughout the year will be the MOBA (Museum of Bad Art) 2021 calendar. Can be ordered here (not a paid promotion).

As I suspected, the state of California will no longer issue printed calendars to all of its employees. The remote work mandate has also been extended to June 2021. They might as well say Forever, I know I have accepted that reality (as I compose this post wearing my bathrobe and slippers). 

Coming up - All of the Countdown to Christmas posts have been queued up for the full 25 days! I've got lots to share.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Top Five Vintage Cookbooks

Leading off with a salute to all of the veterans who served our country. Those veterans in my family are the Mr., my son and my father. 

Since I have been on the continual hunt for vintage cookbooks, I consider myself a self-proclaimed expert on the topic. I have numerous specialty cookbooks but these I would recommend as additions to any cook's kitchen.  

Cookbook No. 1 - Better Homes & Gardens Red Plaid New Cookbook, the earlier the publication, the better. I have a couple of the 2006 versions for sale, but they don't move like the earlier editions.

Cookbook No. 2 - Craig Claiborne's 1961 The New York Times Cookbook. This book has been in my collection for over 40 years. I sold one recently. 

Cookbook No. 3 - Julia Child's 1961 Mastering the Art of French Cooking. When I found this publication, there were two versions, I kept the earlier 1960s one. 

Cookbook No. 4 - The All Purpose Cookbook Joy of Cooking by Rombauer and Becker, I have the 1975 edition. 

I just made the Pumpkin bread recipe from the Joy of Cooking, and it was fantastic!

And last but not least, Elizabeth David Classics, Mediterranean Food, French Country Cooking, Summer Cooking, 1980 edition. 

Honorable mentions of books I found this past year and are not vintage. 

1996 Disney's Family Cookbook. This one nearly went up for sale, but then I pulled it. I have so many fond memories of the Disney meals we had in Anaheim. As a child, I spent every summer at Disneyland. 

Another publication I pulled from the sale pile, was 2011 Guy Fieri Food, Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It. Lushly photographed and chock full of current recipes. 

Tackling a springform cheesecake with whole blueberries topping as my next baked delicacy. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Glad for the Seuss

I have run into some serious collectibles these past few weeks. I am not sure if my time has come or if I have just trained myself to be on the lookout for certain items. I bought this 1963 Dr. Seuss first edition ABC book for 50 cents. It does have some condition issues (as most things do after some 57 years). If you are interested in what it listed for, I have included the link. Let's call it my November surprise.

I have some Winnie the Pooh stuff awaiting listing, I think that might be popular too. 

As I have composed my Countdown to Christmas posts, I pulled 20 more CDs to list for sale, mainly duplicates. I have linked YouTube videos into each day's post. I love doing that for my countdown posts and it gets easier as more artists allow their videos to be shared. 

My latest items to sell (cookbooks, patterns, and a Nick & Nora pajama top) have sold as listed. That always surprises me, I almost expect a buyer to counter offer. 

Anyhoo, other my goal to be debt free, I have other, loftier goals. These are unformed ideas with ultimate business expansion, should I be so successful. I have mentioned before I would love having a full-sized red barn. I dream of property near the ocean. *sighs*

Another of my ideas is a Gypsy wagon that you could take to fairs or events and sell product. Wouldn't it be glorious to be around people again? I try not to think about life pre-COVID. So - many - things taken for granted. Hard for a people person like me. 

But back to the Seuss, the Mr. and I thought we had the $1,200 book in mint condition, but as I got to photographing it, the price dropped. The thought of a Seuss book that would bring that kind of $$ was fun to dream about for a day. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Vintage Cookbooks are Hot Sellers

As promised, I am reporting back on my bin-diving, thrift shopping, estate sale sourcing as of late. Vintage cookbooks are all the rage, some being snapped up within a day of listing. I have made back my original investment of $75 on the bin-diving event. There someone had divested themself of over 25 retro cookbooks. That same day I visited an estate sale and picked up 4 more cookbooks at 25 cents each. A hospice thrift visit provided a couple more books at $1 each. This 1977 Carla Emery original survivalist book sold for $45. A McCall's decorating book from the 1960s sold for $65. 

Still on track to reach my goal of $10,000 in ebay product listings by year's end. I list items in rounds with the last two rounds being sewing patterns and Christmas CDs. The next two rounds are needlework kits, and some Boy Scout lots. I have also signed up for ebay managed payments that cuts out the middleman Paypal. 

Because I am encouraged by my book sales, I pulled 25 quilt-related ones from my collection. There are certain types of quilt patterns that just don't appeal to me anymore - colorwash, stack n' wack, and applique, to name a few. 

I had hoped to be debt free by year's end but the laptop purchase (which will be paid off in December) along with the office setup expenses ($500), pushed my goal of being in the black into the New Year. 

This little Pokemon Christmas CD I listed for $150, thirty dollars below my competitors. I will report back if it sells at that price.

The push is on for the Christmas rush. I have even started decorating the house and leave those decorations up well into January. 

Fun Find of the Day - this 1970s mix CD, not only is the cover image a hoot, the songs are right up my alley. 
Finally, cool enough weather to warm the house with the wood stove. Fall is more than welcome here after a summer of oppressive heat and smoke. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November Blessings

Just when I think I won't ever find another original oil on canvas, one enters my life. It is almost criminal what I bought this one for - priced at $6.99, it was half off! I don't know how it made it to orange tag because I had been at hospice thrift twice the past week and never saw it. The Thrift Gods smiled on me. 

At first, I was going to pop the canvas out of the gold frame but after I hung it up, it all seemed to fit. Good sized too at 29"x24" framed. It has found its forever home. 

There really is something to having original art on display. I believe the energy from the artist and the creation make a room glow, especially oil paintings on canvas. If you have never been to an art museum, go! Experience it at least once in your life. The Crocker in Sacramento has recently re-opened. I haven't visited since the remodel some years ago. It is on my To-Do list.  

Reseller update: My first listings on ebay I used a white fine dining tablecloth as my background. My newest listings I have used a quilt in the background. It helps differentiate when items were listed. Some of these vintage cookbooks I scooped up bin diving are selling within one day of listing. I don't go wild with pricing either, I want these things to move! The She Shed Trailer floor is fast filling up with books. I ended up keeping 5 of the 30 books listed this last round. 

The plastic bag filled with toys? I threw away the plane and bus, they were just too worn and gacked up. 

But that farmhouse canister? This is what was included and I am tempted to keep this set. 

Goodwill prices are going up. I used to buy needlework kits by the bag, now GW is pricing them separately so too expensive to make a profit on resale. Hospice thrift seem to be keeping the prices down. 

It truly is beautiful this time of year. If only we had rain, to refresh the ground. 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Deep Bin Diving and Secondhand Freebies

My first outdoor thrift shop bin diving. The thrift shop had placed about 20 6'x6'x6' bins in the back. Even though I arrived on the second day of the event, it appeared as though all of the large bins were full for the taking. Tubs were priced at $25 each and I bought three of them.

Rather than detail out everything I bought in those tubs, I will highlight the best. Those things not shown included my usual specialty books, sewing patterns and vintage toys that will be highlighted on upcoming posts. I will let you know what sells and when I make my break-even point of $75. 
A Hot Wheels mat and some Fisher Price toys
I am especially intrigued by the farm house

Ceramic squirrel atop a large ceramic walnut
5 of the 7 dwarfs, tons of Disney stuff
and a light-up pink Cadillac

This 1970s Charles Schulz
publication in awful shape 
but one of my delightful finds

These two well made masks
were part of a Halloween lot of 2 adult
and 2 kids costumes.

Other unique items included a Sun automotive timing light from the 1960s.I gave to the Mr. He seemed pleased as punch because he collects that type of retro stuff. 

It was a warm day and by the time I finished the bin diving, I was drenched in sweat. 

Occasionally, thrift shops set out free items they think either can't or won't sell. I picked up this book from the free table, thinking nothing of it. I wasn't even going to list it, until I searched what was posted by other sellers. One listed the book at $40 and the other at $50. Say what? Never underestimate the power of a book on music.

I have also picked up 5 vintage specialty cookbooks as freebies ranging in listing price from $15-$45. Cookbooks sell. Craft books don't sell. I miscalculated that one. It makes sense though, parents, who are already overburdened, are not going to be doing crafts with their kids in their spare time. 

Specialty books continue to be good sellers for me. They take up a lot of room but worth the storage space they consume. A Reader's Digest sewing book and a Fannie Farmer Cookbook both sold within a day of listing. 

I am looking forward to this holiday season. My Countdown to Christmas will be a post each week until Christmas Day.