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Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Bear Hat and the Two Red Plaids

I bought the Black Bear Hat at thrift as a lark and placed it atop a lamp. Both the Mr. and I mentioned it looked like I brought home a friend for the bear rug. 
Once I realized curtains were bringing in big bucks on eBay, I have been on the lookout for linens. These absolute gorgeous floor length pleated lined curtains never made it to my listing pile. Priced at thrift $7 for the pair, they were still in their dry cleaning wrapping, with some minor damage at the bottom of one panel. They blend in with my green-challenged painted room. 

Best of the sourcing bunch included these two red plaid vintage cookbooks and Americana fabric. The older 1950 publication joined my collection that includes a 1971 version. I figure a 20-year span will be interesting to compare the two. The 1978 publication on the right had never been used with the subject tabs still awaiting insertion between the pages.

My musical interests have broadened since I began reselling CDs. Someone recently dropped a spate of new-agey music at my fav hospice thrift. I have discovered these recordings are soothing, non-intrusive background music for working remotely. Some feature forest sounds, rain forest, whispering wind, or autumn air. Listed below are some of the others I have kept in my collection:

Eric Fernandez Magic Gipsy
Medwyn Goodall Medicine Woman
Keiko Matsui Dreamwalk
All of the Trance Planet series

Lastly, a fun find (and worth some $$) French rapper Shurik'n. Gonna have to brush up on my French. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Blue Fabric Metric and the Hinky Election

On a previous post, I wondered why-is-there-so-much-blue-fabric? I have been using my excess remnant fabric to wrap my eBay orders. I started the year with a full tub of blue fabric remnants, end of January - I am halfway through the fabric! I continue to sell steadily, seems 1,000 listings is the magic number. 

I have no fear of running out of fabric, I have an entire dresser filled with yardage and a full bolt of a hunting/fishing themed fabric. Not only that, I have bid on MORE on an auction site. Fabric addiction, it is a thing. 

I don't print my eBay shipping labels on self-adhesive. I print on a sheet of paper and then cut off the half that lists the Online Label Record. I have saved all of that information from my year's past and want to compile a graph or chart showing who is buying what and from where. I know I have a lot of buyers from California and the east coast, but the midwesterners, where are you? 

I continue to cull my listings, the next to be de-listed are cassettes. While I sold a few of them, they are too risky for return (even though I have tested them) and bring too little profit. 

Those following along will remember a mention of some rare books I came into possession after an estate sale. While I had high hopes, seems they are pretty much good for only decoration. With the lot of 30+ books for $50 or so, I will make back my money on the naval-related, and Vietnam war publications. 

Californeeya has opened up unexpectedly from pandemic closures, maybe in light of a growing Recall Gavin Newsom (California Governor) movement. Political shenanigans continue into 2021. 

We are still confused about the election. Even though this is a Democrat dominant state, everyone we have talked to (strangers included) voted for Trump. You can't help but think something Hinky happened. I do wish the best for the Biden/Harris team. Kamala was the Attorney General when I worked at the California Department of Justice. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Exceptional Estate Sale and Gypsy Tami Travels

While thrift shops have been my primary destination for sourcing, estate sales finds can result in big ticket items. A local estate sale provided a slew of books. I grabbed all of the sewing/quilting related ones and a few military related ones, buying the lot for $30. A waving Mao Tse Tung watch will nearly cover that cost alone. Another chachkie is the Chinese compass, listed online for $80, so mine will join that "rare" one. I suspect it is a tourist item from China.  

Just when I finished selling the last lot of Barbie clothes, I find a $5 bag of 4 of them at thrift. The doll second from the left has a button where she shrugs her shoulders and her hands are articulated. The doll on the far right possibly is a Midge. 

When I first started reselling, I pooh-poohed the idea of selling books. I was of the mind that people weren't reading books anymore because I had stopped, with the exception of textbooks, that activity. As those books started selling, I got better at spotting which ones to list. You bet I snabbed this 1977 publication Guide to the Soviet Navy from the estate sale

I went back for Day 2 of the estate sale and spent $20. Turns out the gentleman was Kit Bonner, Jr., naval historian and rare book collector. I now have some publications I need to take for valuation. Other amazing items included an English Leeds plate and a Chinese Empire hand painted vase. I have been Blessed by the Bonners. 😇 I have to admit I cried for awhile as I unloaded the books and looked closer at all of the items. My $50 investment will bring at least $500 or more my way. I need to do my own show! 

I am all hat and no cattle. Time to admit I am no longer a city girl but a country girl. My time in Sacramento came to an end a pandemic-ago. 

I splurged on the Harley Davidson western hat $19 at thrift. I love it! Also wearing thrifted Learsi fringe jacket, and Articles of Society ripped jeans with black leggings and not thrifted Ariat black cowboy boots. A photoshoot seemed a great way to celebrate my estate sale good fortune and show off the amazing hat. 

My latest dream? To have a Gypsy wagon and dress up each day of the fair or event and sell specialty items or certain foods. This not being around people business isn't good for any of us. Gypsy Tami Travels or Tami Takes You Gypsy Traveling? We'll see. It is fun to dream. 

The last of my finds was the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die. I am going to bookmark 50 I find intriguing as a goal in retirement. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Top Five Blogs for 2020

Top Five of MY choosing, all but No. 1 were new-to-me blogs in 2020. 
The majority of my reading moved from books to blogs years ago. My Top 5 Blog list is random and irrational, and they are (none paid promotions btw 💜):

A quilter holds my No. 1 spot, Wanda at Her patchwork quilting style is bold, bright and confident but her blog is low key. She also treats her reader to images of plants and flowers in bloom. Her quilt retrospectives are my personal favorites. 

#2    A new-to-me blog Vintage style and beauty + retro recipes. 

#3    Deep in the Heart of Textiles Sharing a range of textiles and other interesting info.

#4    A gal from Queensland talltalesfromchiconia quilting, gardening and cooking.

#5 While I am not hip nor there, I enjoy reading about the latest in design-related disciplines.

There are tons of other quilt-related blogs that I follow and will reveal some other time. 

Off to scan in my 30 or so sewing patterns for listing. This Mad Men looking one sold recently.

I miss the thrifted fashion blogs (modeling clothes/outfits purchased secondhand). Seems those types of bloggers either moved to Instagram or quit blogging. 

We just had our Inauguration of the President here in the states. While my gown doesn't quite make it to the Lady Gaga level, here is my virtual support.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Popular Resell Items and Power Seller Status

My best selling resell categories are CDs (including Christmas ones) and sewing patterns (Vogue being most popular). The next best selling categories are listed in no particular order:

Books - cookbooks, quilting, sewing, specialty crafts
Needlekits of all kinds, bonus if they are still sealed in original package. 
Boy/girl scout items
Vintage sewing machine parts and manuals
Quilt tops and quilt blocks
Barbie clothes were very slow but sure sellers. I lotted the clothes/accessories by color. 

Categories that I have pulled listings:

Books on crafts with kids
Stuffed animals
Women's clothing

I am still dabbling in the vintage toy category. I did have one sell and I have one listed with 5 more in the queue. As an aside, my YouTube videos demonstrating those toys have extraordinary views. 

So excited to have reached Power Seller status on eBay that means I have reached a certain level of sales and customer service.  

Ending the post with a sweet graphic from the 1945 The Complete Book of Sewing. October looks like she is wearing a beanie, my go-to look this winter. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Call Me a College Geek

I look forward to spring semester at Sacramento City College. Being online has been a boon for me, finally able to take the art history classes I have always wanted. Intro to Art History is queued up and I will have my first online counseling session. 

Reseller update: The weekend's fun find was this partially completed afghan + magazine from 1972 with instructions. Too bad I have never been a knitter, not only does my left handedness impede me, this project involves circular needles *yikes*
I hit my 900 listings goal on ebay - woot woot 💥 I picked up more Christmas CDs (yes, I did), and sewing patterns. Both are my bread butter on resell. 

Another truly delightful find was this Beautiful Bollywood CD. I absolutely LOVE Bollywood stuff so this CD is a forever keeper. 
The last of the Christmas decorations have been put away. I begin decorating in the middle of November and then it all comes down by Martin Luther King Day. Now, I can turn my attention back to my quilting projects. 

Finally, here is a peek at my high-tech shipping center.👀 Surrounded by artwork and all of my smalls. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Why Thrifting is Such a Blast

Thrifting is so much fun because you find treasures for reasonable prices and the money you spend is directed towards those in need. While I am not into Pyrex as some, I will buy an Americana pattern bowl for 99 cents. I know the Pyrex people out there could identify this pattern. 

I cannot resist cookie jars. My luck a cookie jar collector's wondrous items are coming through thrift. This blonde-haired little red riding hood entered my life for the low, low price of $4.99. I could not be happier! My 1991 Encyclopedia of Cookie Jars lists her at a $90 value but I am not giving her up. 

My final thrifted finds of the day were these two Charles Wysocki puzzles. I am saving those for my not-too-far-off retirement. I had some gorgeous puzzles from the 1970s, but gave them all away years ago. Now, it seems they are trending back in style. 

Reseller update: Books are selling. It seems that whatever I am listing at the time, seems to be what is selling. I am overloaded with books right now (and CDs, if truth be told). 

Total sales for 2020? Over $4,200. My goal was $3,000, so I more than exceeded that amount. Let's set the bar high, my goal for total sales in 2021 - $8,000. I have been listing items with higher values so I can sell less, and make more $$.

Monday, January 11, 2021

I put myself out of commission creatively

The reason for my post title is that I slipped and fell while walking the dog. Nothing major but good-enough-to-hurt scrape on my left elbow, bruised left hip and maybe a slight concussion. After purchasing some new Sulky thread, my intentions were to sew together the new-to-me Dresden blocks. They will have to wait.

On to reseller update then - the king-sized completed cross-stitch sold, listed on ebay at $125 and I accepted $80 for it. 😁I have learned to keep an eye out for linens at thrift. There is interest in this shabby chic shower curtain, eventually it will sell.

I bought this shabby chic publication for resale but pulled it for my collection to complete one of the projects for Christmas. There are some adorable reindeer cutouts, even the Mr. thought were pretty neat. I am trying to twist his arm to do the cutouts for me. 

While I can't sew, I can still bake and made my first homemade traditional New York cheesecake. I had bought the springform pan at thrift, and had pulled this recipe from a 1988 publication. Seems about time I tried it, yes?  Blueberries frozen fresh last year. 

The cheesecake turned out tasty but not photography-worthy. 

Here is the backside of magazine page - Can you still find Aunt Jemima branded products? 

Two keepers from thrift were these two framed prints. The Mr. loves to hunt grouse and I loved the look of this Pennsylvania-Dutch Tole painted creation. Dated 1976, I cannot make out the signature. I had to photograph at an angle because they are both framed under glass. The teal one was $1.49 and the grouse one was $5.49. 
I have always loved paper birch trees.
I am constantly moving pictures around from room to room or sending them back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 

With this most current fall, I may have to arrange to walk/hike with another person, just to be safe. 👼

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Hitting the Road Running

It feels good being caught up on some of my ebay category listings. All of the needlekits are listed.

All of the sewing patterns are listed. A few quilts there stored off to the side. 

The books have moved from the She Shed Trailer floor to alphabetized in the crafting armoire. 

I am constantly reorganizing. At some point, I will have to move to a bin system with UPC codes. 

Recent finds included a ton of Christmas CDs. I am not going to pass those up when they are greatly discounted (50-75% off at thrift), I now have 40 to list but won't do that until I have caught up on all of my other categories. I hit on all cylinders at one thrift and loaded up on books, CDs, sewing patterns and quilt-related items. 

The Mr. and I recently watched a Minimalist show on Netflix. The actors advocated getting rid of stuff and that stuff included CDs. I cheered and said, "You go! Resellers like me will love you for it!"

Fun find of the Day this Rolling Thunder quilt template. 
The year has started out gangbusters for me.

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Three Fedoras and a Fish

Beginning with my lead-off image of three fedoras and a fish. I know those hats will sell, and the fish? It was a freebie at thrift where I dropped off a couple bags of non-selling items. I rarely make it to this thrift shop so I hope that my donations will cycle through before I visit again. 

At that same thrift I picked up a "squirrel" project. I have my other quilt projects all planned and listed and then SQUIRREL, I find something new to bump everything else. These blocks were listed at $48 but the owner dropped it to $40 after I asked if she could do any better. I thanked her profusely, told her I was a quilter and that these blocks would finally become a quilt in 2021. 

There are 30 of the Dresden plate blocks I will sew together for a keeper quilt. There are another 11 large flower applique blocks with a few that need some stems and leaves, also keepers. There are enough pieces of a fan quilt to list to recoup the cost of this Amazing Gift of Mystery Quilter.

Reseller's update: For online resellers, those stimulus checks couldn't have hit at a better time. The first mailing day of the year, I had 8 orders to ship. That is a milestone for me.

I did some product listing cleanup. Unique items that have not moved in over a year are ended. Craft books, plush, original freebies to me, and things I just listed for the heck of it during lockdown were ended and sent back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 

All sewing patterns have been listed. I have somewhere in the 300-400 category. Christmas CDs are also listed. As predicted, the Brady Bunch Christmas sold for the asking price. For the lot that I spent $50 for $1 CDs, that Brady Bunch one made back half of my money. 

I am plowing through listing needlework kits I have garnered from estate sales/thrift over the past few months. I will then turn my attention to books, and I've got some good ones. My sellers are vintage cookbooks, specialty books, and now (those I pulled from my keepers) quilt books. I won't pass those up now if I already have the same publication. 

My other unique sure sellers are boy/girl scout lots and sewing machine manuals/parts. I have more than one lot to list in those categories. 

I really am in awe with the money I have made this past year and half. Of course, the more you list, the more you sell. I don't post on different platforms, being an ebay loyalist. 

It delights me to know that I will have a thriving business into retirement. It has always been my intent to segue from my current public service with the state of California to a business of my own. 

Finally, a $1.50 fun find at thrift I thought the Mr. and I would try out - a Duck Dynasty Redneck Wisdom Family Party Game. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year's Day 2021

It is a New Year and a New Day. I am hoping to see my 92-year old mother in 2021. 

I am going to try and tackle 2021 with the same gusto that I did in 2020. 

I am continuing with my art history classes through Sacramento City College. I take one class each semester. I am in no hurry. 

Reselling continues on ebay. This year's goal is to gain freedom from the chains of debt and to start saving. First quarter goal - to post $15,000 in total product listings (currently at $12,500). 

Recent fun finds included this "cookbook."
A $3.99 carved Mallard duck to add to my collection.
Testing the ebay waters with this 49 cent metal toy truck. Other than looking pretty beat up, everything works and it rolls easily. He's not a Tonka, but hoping someone has $20 worth of nostalgia. 
My quilting goals and project images were posted here. Depending on whether there will a State Fair this year or not, will determine whether I will make a competition quilt for entry.

I am cautiously optimistic that 2021 will be a better one than 2020.