Sunday, October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween!

The patch was part of a 99 cent bag of scouting badges. So cute!

Estate sale finds $40 for the lot, included Air Force patches

Books, vintage fabric (also shown in the image backgrounds) a gypsy composition doll, costume jewelry, and a wooden box inlaid with sewing characters. Gypsy doll will definitely make another appearance on the blog. I can't believe she was left outside in the rain, there was a roomful of dolls for sale inside. 

It was the estate of a costume designer, as evidenced by the books I brought home with me, and inquiring of the people on site. Included in the $40 lot was 51 sewing patterns, mainly vintage and mainly cut. 

This 1984 Berenstain Bears pattern was the funkiest of the bunch.

There was a small plastic container included in the estate sale, the ceramic cat looks over the beaded purse that was disintegrating. The beads are still good but are the tiniest beads I have ever seen.

I was thrilled to find the Goth choker and a pin that looks suspiciously vintage. Gold fringe earrings a bonus. 

Trail cam images: Me - the lens was foggy from a recent downpour. 

The inquisitive deer

Reseller update: Now that I am working my way through my death pile of Christmas CDs, I am going to start checking the back of the CD as well as to see if the CD is in its case. Usually, Christmas CDs get very little play, but some do show signs of wear and I can't list those. 

I splurged and purchased a new Jensen CD player. Playing Christmas music of just instrumentals makes for some nice background music working from home. I can't listen to vocals because then I get distracted. I've saved around 50 new CDs I have to decide if I am going to keep or sell. I've got to take another dive into my collection and try and winnow it down again. 300+ Christmas CDs are too many. 

My mere 1,500+ listings on eBay now have a total value of over $20,000! My goal is $10,000 total sales by year's end. My sales have been down 20-25 percent over the last two months. Here's hoping it will shift into high gear. 

A Halloween Madam Alexander modeling from a thrift shop shelve. 

Ending the post with a couple of plants that came home with me from another estate sale. I believe the first is a ruffled geranium, and the second a spider plant that still needs a little trimming up. 

It has been awhile since I have purchased plants. These two were just the right size to transport home and join the garden. 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Preparing for the Countdown and a Smidgeon of Deer

My shopgoodwill quilt blocks will be a challenge to incorporate into a quilt. I thought they would mesh with another set of quilt blocks, but they don't. These look to be headed for an eBay listing. My $30 box, won on an online auction, also had some nice pieces of yardage so I did not lose money. 

Reseller update: For awhile my sourcing outpaced my sales. I have learned that you buy whatever you think will sell, and gather the items like storing nuts for the winter. Keeping all of that "product" can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, I have more than enough room to store 1,500+ items without having to rent extra storage space. That would kind of defeat the purpose and cut into the profits. 

Now my sales are outpacing my sourcing. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my potential listings. Here is my death pile of sewing patterns and Christmas CDs. 
That plastic tub was full and overflowing when I started on the Christmas CD listing sessions. The gray crate is full of patterns in order by number/manufacturer. The 1980s knit sewing patterns were recent acquisitions, and below is a banker's box full of uncut sewing patterns. 

I will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of my annual Countdown to Christmas. All of the posts are queued up and now it is a matter of filling them up with kitschy, holiday  happiness. Christmas trivia will be featured, and the rescued Christmas CD I am listening to that day. December 13th will be Weird and Wacky Day. 
When I start unpacking my tubs of Christmas decor, I photograph scenes for my countdown. I actually photograph for the countdown all year long because there is always holiday-themed stuff to be found secondhand. 

Ending the post with a recent trail cam images, a doe discovered the camera. I have since moved it to another spot and have lowered it. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Return to Office and the Scissors Holster

I am sure that a scissors holster will come in handy for the zombie apocalypse. It was a 99 cent thrift shop find. 

State departments are slow but sure returning to office. It looks to be a two-day a week schedule in the beginning. That will be ideal for me because I will be able to interact in person with co-workers and I can utilize my vendors I like to use in downtown Sacramento. The Mail and Ship for my package dropoff is a scenic walk past the Capitol. My optometrist and optician are both on Capitol Mall. 

I frequent Freestyle, a clothing exchange, also in downtown Sacramento. I get credit for clothes that I pick up at yard sales or that my daughter has cast off. I have been able to buy a Coach bag, and other upscale pieces of clothing. 

One of my other favorite places, one of the few thrift shops left downtown, is the Goodwill boutique at 1621 L Street, Sacramento. Just a couple of blocks away from my former state department. 

When I am downtown, sometimes I use my hour lunch break to go on a long walk. There has been such an influx of homeless into the downtown area, I am unsure whether I will be able to walk alone. It would probably be a good idea to carry Mace. Maybe I could just carry my lethal sewing scissors? 

I will also have to change my parking habits. Prior to youknowwhat I parked downtown in a relatively affordable parking garage ($140 a month) that was an 8 block walk. Going back to Sacramento means I will have to find a much closer garage and pay more $$$. 

On another subject, working online - after participating in a few online interviews, I am getting the sense that even though people like working remotely, they are fed up with the hybrid interaction of only online meetings. There simply isn't the connection that you experience when you are interacting in person. There is a shared energy that doesn't come across the web. It would be folly for management to ignore this great divide. I think they are considering it, at the very least trying to arrange All Staff in person monthly meetings. 

Segueing to news on the homefront -

We have rain!!! I can't begin to tell you how welcome that is in our dry, dry Northern California. 

We also have our first cord of wood stacked and available for winter use. Last year, the Mr. fell ill and we had no one to help process the wood on the property. We ran out of wood halfway through winter. 

The trail camera is up and I should have wildlife images sure to follow!

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Psychedelic Man, I found Fishing Santa

I picked up Fishing Santa $2.99 at thrift. He is a perfect precursor to my Countdown to Christmas posts. I have decided to withdraw from my college classes. It is too much commitment for me to fulfill. Work stress is at a high level right now. I have to remain focused on keeping my health at a even keel. I want to keep doing my fun stuff, like this blog, and my reselling. 

Mystery music lover dropped off psychedelic rock at thrift, and I am the lucky recipient. I also snabbed a pair of sunglasses that will eventually make an appearance, and another set of Tarot cards. These are not as neat as my 70's find of Tarot cards, so they will most likely go up for sale. 

Sometimes a creative project goes awry, and you have to rethink the design. I started this project and decided I didn't like the borders on the blocks. I got the seam ripper out and took all of that marginal fabric off of the blocks. 
I lurk on the online auctions, and found this mixed lot of quilt blocks and fabric. I am hoping those quilt blocks mesh well. Red is a tough color to color match. I spent $30 on that lot. Sometimes I buy random lots, especially if they have quilt blocks. 

Just as I predicted, Christmas CDs have started to sell, so I am keeping a tally from October 15 to January 15 to see how many of them sell. I just put another 25 on the board, have another 25 in photographing process, and another 75 left to list. I went wild sourcing on holiday CDs this past year. My "new" CD rack from thrift is completely full of listed ones.

My good news, in addition, to a week vacation at the end of the month, I have an online interview this week with my former department. It is in a section I had always hoped there would be an opening in my classification. Fingers and toes crossed!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

I Made the 1,500 Mark and Terrific Tarot Cards Found Me

I made my goal of 1,500 total listings. A. lot. of. work. The last 200 or so have been Christmas CDs. Supposedly, there is a reseller in my area with 30,000 listings. I am betting that is a full-time job. 

Algorithms fascinate me. I don't understand all of the ins & outs of eBay's algorithms, but I do know when I am listing in a certain category, that is where I am usually getting the sales. I was going great guns, then suddenly sales dropped off 50%. Sewing patterns still remain the most watched item. 

I continue to refine listings. After I pass a milestone, such as this 1,500 one, I work up a buffer of about 25 items. With that buffer, I start ending low performing listings. My intent with CDs is to lot the lower priced ones together. 

One aspect I do enjoy about composing the listings, is discovering the potential value of an item. I spend 25 cents to $2.99 on CDs, depending on value. Some I know right off have value, the off-beat ones, DDD recordings, and those that are new in package. Buying a CD for 25 cents, and selling it for $25.00 is delightful. 

It is getting harder to find quality clothing at thrift. The second-hand prices have also been raised. I have begun buying retail again, mainly online. Certain retailers offer discounts and credits on buying so cute clothing is affordable.

On the subject of Tarot. I love those kinds of cards. Books in that category also sell. But back to my newly purchased cards at $2.49 from Goodwill. They are retro cool from 1970. The kit is intact with all the cards and the instruction booklet. I think the front has sort of a Barnaby Collins/Dark Shadows kind of look. 

I shuffled the cards per the instructions, then laid them out in the order of the Wish Spread. My querent was whether I would move into a new position at work.

 The key card in the Wish Spread is the 9 of Cups, the Wish Card. 

The 9 of Cups fell in the 15th position, so my wish will be granted or problem solved, at least to some degree. 

Here are a couple more images of the cards from that deck. 

I could envision myself telling fortunes with this deck from my gypsy wagon at Burning Man. 

Oh, and for my post title, that the terrific tarot cards found me, I have read somewhere that cards choose you or you must receive them as a gift. Well, all the leetle Tarot cards call to me!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Modeling the State Fair Dress and Missing Work Social Events

Thought this would be a cool fall image - me wearing the black strawberry print dress, with newly purchased thrift shop black leather gloves ($2.99) and black heels. 

I try not to think of all of the fun fall activities I enjoyed prior to this forced lifestyle change. I was also involved in the social committee, planning the fall potlucks, and Christmas parties. Work social activities were my only in-person social outlet. 

For a time, State workers were allowed paid time off to receive COVID vaccinations, to recover from those vaccinations, and to care for a family member stricken with the illness. Those protections ended in September. Now, it is anyone's guess what, if any, protections will continue. 

Reseller update: I continue to list Christmas CDs. I did quite well last year selling those items, people purchased them well into January. I picked up some Barbie clothes so I will lot those up to make a few bucks. I sell a lot of little stuff - but all those littles add up!

The sewing pattern priced the highest on the board is this 1969 Vogue Couturier Design by Fabiani of Italy. If I even pretended to be a seamstress, I would attempt this pattern.

I will begin composing my Countdown to Christmas posts. That activity really continues all year long with image gathering. Countdown to Halloween and a week-long visit to my mom planned at the end of this month. 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Sierra Gold Harvest Quilt Show

 I attended the Sierra Gold Quilter's Guild Sierra Gold Harvest Quilt Show, last day of the show late afternoon. I paid my $7 attendance fee and enjoyed the eye candy. The Guild had a table of freebies, and me, being the quilt book reseller that I am, found 4 books I can list. But on with the show!

This Featherweight sewing machine and Mary Engelbreit fabric quilt was a sure show stopper for me. In one of the outside cases, this was the best I could do to avoid window reflection. 

These are my "Best of Show" picks in no particular order. The artist's information is provided on the card image.

Each one had some unique feature that prompted me to highlight their creation. Quite a group of talented people!