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Saturday, May 29, 2021

American Art and the Sewing Pattern Sessions

Happy Memorial Day weekend! A shout out to all who have served. 

The 300+ sewing patterns I have listed on eBay have now been edited to absorb the $$ I made on shipping and shifted to the pattern price. They were listed as Parcel Post and changed to First Class Mail. The 50 more awaiting listing will all be at the higher price. The days of vintage patterns at rock bottom prices are over. 

Not only that! On my return from my weeklong vacation, I hit up my local county route of 4 thrift shops and what did I find? A sewing pattern resellers dream, vintage patterns at 29 cents a piece. My favorite time periods with those from the 1960s and 1970s. 

While I do sell the majority of what I find, there are those that are forever keepers. I fall in love with the graphics. Perhaps one day I will sell them. This 1971 Simplicity pattern was the look when I was a teenager. 

Very excited about my next art history class - American Art! An 8 week session that doesn't start until the middle of October. That gives me plenty of time to gear up for it. And what did I find to start me on my way to success with that class? This 1952 first edition, signed by the author (Harold McCracken), Portrait of the Old West. A definite keeper with many color plates of artwork like this one. 

Adding to my Western art collection in my living room, was this framed print for $12.99.
Tough to get a good image when it is under glass. Eventually, I will be able to identify the artist. The print has a luminosity to it. It passed the "gotta love it" test. 

Having my eBay store on vacation hold worked perfectly. I sold $50 worth of product and shipped the orders out on my return. Back to work for me now until my next week off at the end of June. I want to go to the ocean but the Mr. is still COVID-shy. 

Monday, May 17, 2021

Mary Mary and the Mallard

Quite Contrary! There I said it. Mary Mary in her original box was a $4 yard sale find. With that permanently startled look, how could I resist her? How does your garden grow? 

I haven't picked up a Madam Alexander doll in quite awhile. I have about 7 of them now, all but one thrift shop finds. 

I also found a cashmere *sings the word* lavender long-sleeved sweater - $1! All sorts of new stuff to wear when I am visiting mom next week. Finally getting some well-deserved time off, a week in May and then another week at the end of June. 

Best recent CD find, this 1982 Wolftracks by John Kay & Steppenwolf.

Added to my wooden duck decoy collection, this one a Mallard, a $5.99 thrift shop find.
I have decided to change all of my sewing pattern listings on eBay from Parcel Post to First Class Mail and then raise the prices. There has been so much b****ing and moaning about the shipping price, I will just adjust so the profit is realized in the price. 

Greenhouse update - here is how my garden grows, we will finally have artichokes!
There is also hope that I may be returning to the office in downtown Sacramento, possibly two days per week. I had given up that hope many months ago. We will see.  

Ending the post with an undated Butterick Pattern of the Day decidedly summery in fashion. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Friday in the Middle of May

My remote work station continues to evolve. I replaced the bulky tapestry with a curtain panel made of the zoomy purple print fabric backed by corduroy fabric. A $2 thrift shop find. It is the exact length from curtain rod to floor that I needed. 

While the California State Fair has been put on hold, the Amador County Fair will be going forward. I have never entered my crafts at the county level, and it is high time that I do!

In light of my desire to enter a quilt in the fair, I cancelled my summer session art history class. There is no way I can complete an entry and another 8-week class prior to the July 9th deadline. I am even considering entering my plum jam into competition. 

Reseller's update: A crocheted blanket finally sold, if only for a few dollars profit. I nearly pulled it from the listings. I have one left to list but it is a black-bordered granny square one with colorful centers, with those being more popular it should move quickly. 

I discounted my listed CDs to half off just to get them out of inventory. Next up for deep discounting are the books. 

Ending the post with the best thing I've seen on the internet today, Quilting for Monkeys. Friday next, I will be flying out to finally see my 93 year old mother in Seattle. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Happy Post Mother's Day from Mystery Quilter

I'm glad I pushed myself to visit a couple of smaller thrifts, one in Jackson, California, that consistently produces fabric and craft-related gems. This $12 wrapped bundle included 29 completed blocks, a partially completed block with instructions, and at least 4 yards of the beige fabric. This will project will push all the others, I am tempted to sew all the blocks together without borders or sashing. The colorway matches my living room decor. 

Is it any wonder I can give away so much fabric when I buy it at $1 a pound? 

Fabric cube 1
Fabric cube 1 contents
And a sewing pattern to boot! I kept about 1/3 of it and thrifted the rest back. 
Fabric cube 2
Fabric cube 2 contents

I am back to collecting plaid wovens. I still want to do a Storm at Sea patterned quilt in those fabrics. 

An internet local downage gave me the chance to scan in 45 sewing patterns for listing. That makes a big dent in my death pile. After I get those babies up for sale, it will put me beyond the 1,000 total listings goal. 

I spent Mother's Day boating on the Sacramento and American rivers. It had been over 5 years since I had been on a boat. It was so much fun! 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Another PBN has entered my life

It has been over two, and perhaps three, years since I have found a completed Paint by Number at thrift. This seascape was $4.99, and I snabbed a frame at $3.49, not quite the right size but the right color. The poor picture was in an awful frame, with masking tape used as the matte/border, and some staining on the inside of the plastic frame (which luckily didn't translate to the painting). 

I took a strip of batik fabric and taped it to the cardboard backing. 

I cleaned the glass and then removed its original hanging wire and replaced it with a new hanging wire with hardware. 

Picture was taken at an angle to avoid the glass reflection. 

I have three of them now which include a landscape, and a duo of cocker spaniels. 

The PBN was found at a hospice thrift and the frame at Goodwill. My route included 6 thrift shops. During pandemic, I was spending around $100 a week (it was cray, cray) but now it has slowed down. My total spent for visiting all 6 was approx. $25. 

I had some donations and at hospice thrift it was the first time I had seen limitations, they were not accepting books, pictures in frames, and vacuums. 

Having a lull between modules on my college coursework, I was able to put up some more listings on eBay of books and sewing patterns. I especially have to concentrate on the books, with some hidden under the remote office work space bed. 

Fun Find of the Day, 3 Francisco fine china Ballet pattern dessert plates priced just for me at $1.99 each. 

I am not saving these or selling them, they are going to be put into everyday use at home.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Wrapped in Fabric and it is May Day!

My system of wrapping the majority of my eBay orders in protective fabric for mailing is starting to pay off. One entire tub of fabric has been emptied. I still have an entire bolt of hunting-themed fabric that will experience cuttage probably later this year. 

I also mail men's orders in men fabric and women's orders in women fabric. How does one determine that? Well, the usual pre-identity raising ways such as blue = boy, pink = girl, floral, flouncy - girl; stripey, polka-dottey - boy. There are some gender neutral fabrics like scrolls, sconces, and paisleys. It is all very scientific and based on my own made-up order of things. 

Moving on to a bit about quilting, as I have moved through the different stages, my tastes and what I like to do with quilting have changed. 


Stage 1:    Buying, organizing, sorting, color coordinating fabric (everyone likes this stage). 

Stage 2:    Planning the blocks and quilt layout (major fun too). 

    This is Stage 2 of the National Parks quilt. The Grand Canyon cheater panel and the entire backing where the work is already done. I just have to decide how big I want to make it with the neato border fabric collection. I am tending toward king-sized. 

Stage 3:    Cutting the fabric. One of my least favorite stages but a necessary one.

Stage 4:    Patchwork piecing, bordering, sashing, completing the quilt top/pieced backing. 

Stage 5:    This is where I send it to a longarm quilter for the quilted design. 

Stage 6:    Binding the quilt. I enjoy this part of the process because I like to hand sew. 

I am moving away from matching scrappy pieces of fabric to buying color-coordinated collections. The thrifted fabric was a great way to learn the craft but you end up with scads of mis-matched fabrics that will never marry well. 

Segueing to Fun Find of the Week. Local thrift deeply discounted CDs as 3 for $1. This 1966 recording is the earliest CD I have found in the wild. It will be my first listen of the day.

Reseller update: I have removed all of the clothing listings, I had less than 10 items in that category up for sale. Next month, I will start de-listing the lower value CDs. One I sold for $1, just to move it out of inventory. 

Finally, it is May Day today. As a child, I would pick flowers and then leave them in paper baskets hanging on neighbor's front doors. Here are this spring's flowers from my garden.