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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Just When You Think It is Over and Over Again

Back to wearing a mask inside of buildings. We had a couple of months reprieve here in Caleeforneeya. As a state employee, I was also required to provide proof of COVID vaccination. In May, I was able to visit my 93-year old mother in assisted living. They are back in lockdown with one resident testing positive. 

It really doesn't surprise me. In fact, I expected things would go sideways again. At least businesses aren't being closed down and children can return to school. 

And on to bigger and better things - reselling! 😁 Shortly after I finished listing my death pile of sewing patterns, I bought 83 more, all uncut! If each one sells at $12 each, that is $996!!! Now, they usually don't all sell at that price, as I take whatever a buyer will offer. 

What do you do when it is HOT outside and the air is filled with smoke from wildfires? You list stuff for sale on eBay!

Jumping into the subject of quilting, sometimes you just don't like what you've put together and a project stalls. That is the case with this one. I think I used "marginal" fabric to match up these blocks. I am going to remove what I have done and start over. 

That has been my experience of late, having to do something over and over again. There must be some bad juju happening with the planets right now. Is Mercury in retrograde or something? 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Not-So-Western Quilt and Finally Found Dopey

Leading off with quilting stuff. I finished this quilt top from mystery quilter. The blocks were in such good shape, I had to do very little trimming and squaring up. I had just enuf of the blue and beige plaid woven for the borders. While others tend toward uber bright quilts in eye popping colors, I love these understated ones. I call it Not-So-Western because it isn't overtly Western but I think of it that way. 

I used the remnants to add the piano key borders, one of my favorite quilt top extending techniques. That is the creation I spun from the bag of 12 blocks and some remnants. 

Going through my quilting books for sale, I found this advice on storing quilts: You should roll or fold them and put them in cotton pillowcases. Occasionally re-fold them to avoid fold lines. Do not store in plastic bags as air circulation is essential. On that note, I intend on moving my PIZB (projects in Ziploc bags) to different storage containers. Lastly, do not store unwrapped quilts directly on wooden shelves as chemicals in the timber can stain the fabric.  

The Western quilt fits in with my Western Art and hunting trophy filled living room. The Sodbusters has joined my collection of Western Art. A small 5x7 piece that looks to be a watercolor. How could I pass it up at $2.99?

I told myself I wouldn't buy any more records. Fat lot of luck that did. 10 more came home with me. Three LPs that I picked up at a yard sale were $1 each, and the quilting books were all free. I find by Day 2 at a late afternoon 100 degree day yard sale, they are ready to give stuff away. 

The last of the needlekits went up for sale. I may segue out of that category, one of the smaller profit margin products. 

Dwarves are in the tub. I picked up all but Dopey at a bin diving event. Finally found him, a very dirty Dopey, and now I have all 7. 

On the job front, I have thrown my hat in for 6 applications now with different departments with the state. Hoping to go back in office, or at least a hybrid of that and remote. Fingers crossed. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

It is a Push Pull Thing

I am in the middle of listing needle kits for sale on eBay. More than once, I have pulled a kit to keep for myself and then put it back in the listing pile. When you sell items that you like (that is a good sign by the way), it is hard to part with them sometimes. This Chintz Cats needlepoint kit was pulled from listing (yet again) to retain as a keeper.
I have a full-sized tapestry I continue to hold on to. It is one of those denial situations. When will I ever devote time to that project? IDK 

It really is best that I continue to collect OPA (Other People's Artwork). I do love needlepoints and cross-stitch pictures but, I hate to admit, they will always be bumped off the wall for original paintings. 

Sharing the newest update to my sewing room annex. The brocade panels were a recent yard sale $5 purchase. The quilt a recent completion. The room still needs upgraded curtain rods, and the bed, a box spring and frame. 
The beloved abstract in that same room has found a home amongst my G.I. Joe toys + others, and the stacks of quilting and sewing books. 
This Nyform Troll finally went onto the listing boards. I kept him for awhile. He is so ugly, he is cute.

After this round of needlekit listings, I will plunge back into CDs (non-holiday ones). For those I have listed currently that have not moved, I will put them into lots per genre. They may move quicker listed that way. 

1,200 eBay listings! Woohoo. I have made my mid-summer goal. It is funny how you find items in groups. I haven't found needlekits for awhile. I am also getting pickier, only buying unopened kits and uncut sewing patterns. 

It has really slowed in the sourcing category, my guess people are getting out of their houses more and are not interested in cleaning out their closets. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Reselling Saved My Sanity and Return to Office

If it weren't for my sales on eBay, I would not have been able to ever leave the house during lockdown. Because the delivery of my packages was considered essential, I earned short 30 minute respites from the home/work environment.  

Now it is time to make another change. My current position as a paralegal is 100% remote work and has been determined it will remain that way. While some might revel in that opportunity, it is like serving a prison term for me. I live in a remote and isolated area. Working remote means near total isolation and for a social person like me, it is a tough go. I have applied for in office jobs with the state. That means even accepting a demotion to a lower position, if I have to. 

I have also had an odd experience with remote working. I was hired remotely. I was trained remotely. I have never met most of my co-workers in person. For some of my co-workers, they never appear on camera for video meetings. I have mixed feelings about that. The only word that comes to mind is "disconcerting." 

I have really tried to adjust to this new working environment. Part of in-office working was the social component, being with friends, enjoying coffee together, walking around the Capitol grounds. There are so many places to walk during breaks, so many wonderful restaurants (even thrift shops) in Sacramento. 

When I think of working in my remote office bedroom for another 5+ years, it makes me scream inside. I was able to do it because I had to. Now I am choosing not to do it, because I want to. 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Christmas in July

I am in the middle of binding a Christmas quilt, a first one for me. 

Christmas arrives earlier and earlier for me each year. I figure why not display my decorations for as long as possible? They start going up in late October and don't come down until late January. I also post a Countdown to Christmas and gather images all year long. 

My quest for Christmas items include lighted ceramic trees, boxed Hallmark ornaments, Christmas tree pins, and specialty holiday stockings. 

I replaced a favorite toy that disappeared from my collection. The abominable finger puppet was always placed front and center in my decorations. An eBay seller came through for me, and I got a bonus reindeer.

Reseller update: Here is what storage of 1,200 products looks like, quilt books in the crates on the floor, CDs to be listed on the chair, needle kits on the couch, sewing patterns continue from the couch onto the table and then onto the floor. Books line the floor and my ski equipment in the background for possible use again someday. Admittedly, not pictured are Christmas CDs I have stored under a bed and an armoire stuffed full of listed books. 

My last offering to this Christmas in July is this $5.99 thrifted abstract oil on panel board that has joined my home art gallery. I can check that one off of my bucket list (course, I would always welcome abstracts). 
It is a first for me though to see a picture strung with hanging wire both ways. I guess you can do that with an abstract. I did hang it the way the artist intended. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Reveling in the Escape from Captivity


Can you feel it? The general mood is pretty much ecstatic. Never again will we take for granted even the simplest things. I am itching to travel again and it has only been 2 months.

I have photoshopped myself onto a Florida Cypress Gardens lagoon image. I bought an armload of yard sale clothes priced at 50 cents each. This maxi dress with crocheted halter top was at the bottom of the heap. It is a keeper. 

I am applying for management level jobs with the state. Ones that aren't remote office. I cannot deny it. I miss Sacramento. With all of its trials and travails and the scores of homeless wandering the streets, I am still drawn to it. Even though working from home is easier on me, no brutal commute, I miss the people. I am also much less motivated at home because there are more distractions. 

Reseller update: Listings I have ended are children's wooden blocks, and a box of cashmere sweaters for crafting. While I still have a few random items on the board, I have narrowed down my specialties to sewing patterns, CDs (mainly Christmas), books and needle kits. I can make good money on unfinished quilt tops but they are few and far between. 

All of my books are listed. I have completed 200+ listings over the past 10 days. I want to test my theory that for each 1,000 listings it generates approximately $400 in income. 

Listing sewing patterns will dominate my life for the next couple of weeks. I want everything caught up for my art history class the middle of October. The unlisted CDs total around 500 or so. Round September or so, I will start listing Christmas CDs. They are consistent sellers into January. 

Back to my post title, how is the mood round where you live? 

Friday, July 2, 2021

Rehabilitating the Blocks for a Patriotic Quilt

Starting off with some quilting stuff. I had the good fortune of buying this set of 20 hand-pieced quilt blocks. Even though it isn't overtly patriotic, I think of them that way. Each block had to be rehabilitated. I had in my stash a piece of companion fabric. I employed the same method with another group of star blocks I adopted from the same thrift shop in Sutter Creek, California. I added fabric to the uneven ends and then squared them up to 14". I have five blocks of 4. 

This Mystery Quilter's handiwork deserved to be brought to fruition. This is my absolute favorite thing to do now - bring together another piecer's vision of a quilt. I get it, abandoning projects. Sometimes they need to be sent to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 

In my thrift shop wanderings I found these Watchover Voodoo dolls Princess Jasmine and Ballerina. They have joined my home office toy collection. 

My most favorite activity, thrift shopping, produced the usual suspects - CDs, sewing patterns and books. And books I have been listing! I am determined to move them out of my home office bedroom. Now that my eBay listings are 75 above 1,000, I am shooting for 2,000 listings by year's end. 

Sometimes a book will surprise me. Before I launch a listing, I check my competitor's pricing. This one listed out over $100, so I priced it at $85.

At first I thought these Lefton ceramic fish were intact but when I got them home, I realized they had been glued numerous times. Ah well, I will find a place for them. 

Another PBN has joined my collection, this one scored for $5. 
Even though I haven't really had a true vacation, it has been a delight not to work at my state job this past week.