Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Back to the Books and Winnowing Down the Projects

Farmer Boy's Fanny appliqued block. 
This lead-off image is an orphan block from the lot of my project shown below. The crocheted quilt in the background was from an antique shop in Clearlake, California. 

After visiting 4 thrift shops, an estate and rummage sale came through and produced books and CDs. My $10 donation to the Boy Scout rummage sale will spin into $100 profit. Back to listing the books, I will follow that with listing a few needle kits.  

I was blessed with some quality storage baskets from my mom's estate. That prompted me to cull down my quilting projects. I still have them stored in Ziploc bags and would like to find some cloth or canvas storage bags. 

In my quilt project cull, I found these antique flower quilt blocks. I bought these in a lot and sold half of them online. Four of the blocks need a green stem added to make the blocks consistent. I may not use all of them, as some have some dark spotting. I may size down those blocks, depending on the border fabric. 

Reseller update: When I first began listing sewing patterns, it was mainly vintage cut ones. Over the years, I have segued to newer uncut patterns. The patterns that do not sell are home decor (excluding anything holiday-related), and cut wedding dress ones. I de-listed at least 25 patterns from my first tub of mainly Butterick ones. 

I finally got around to listing this Disney goldfish costume. All it required was  reinforcement of the larger fin on a corner of the costume. I keep the rainbow of colors in threads and fabrics for mends and reconstructions. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185596921817

I am doubling my eBay listing efforts because I recently purchased a new 2022 Toyota truck, an Army green Tacoma sport. Love it!

Friday, September 16, 2022

It Is All About That Crochet, and the Sewing Pattern Sessions

It is all about that crochet (sung to the tune All About That Bass). My lead-off image is a cluster of crocheted flowers bought at thrift for $1.99. The crocheted slip cover to the vase was in another $2 bag I've highlighted below. 

I was able to turn my attention to the $2 bag of crochet pieces I bought in Fort Bragg. I've listed the lot of orphans for $32. I also have more sets of crochet granny squares to list, some very soft and beautiful ones. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185583111696



I am back at it - listing sewing patterns on eBay. Like a squirrel storing away food for the winter, I am in Madwoman listing mode. I have squirreled away boxes and boxes of patterns to list. It has nearly gotten out of control. 

This pattern deserves a highlight even though a patchwork cover doesn't make much sense to me. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185571521279

I couldn't resist posting this adorable slippers pattern. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185571548867

I am heading toward my goal of 2,000 total active listings. $15k in gross profit for FY 22/23 is another goal. My profit has increased by $5,000 each year. If I can list everything in my death pile by year's end, I might be able to reach my milestone goal of $20k. 

September signals that start of queueing up my Countdown to Christmas posts. I will begin composing them weekly, and if I have enough content, go to daily until Christmas. I will highlight this find again - I was delighted to find a light-up vintage Christmas tree at thrift for $3.99! It has a clunky/chunky 70s vibe to it. 

Crocheted items continue to dominate my life 😐 I spent more than what I usually would for this crocheted blanket ($18). The Mr. and I stopped at a thrift shop in Clearlake, California. They were just opening their doors and were moving big items so I could look around. It is in the keeper category - now known as the colorful Clearlake blanket.

Had a completely awful day the other day. It began by having a buck run into my already beat-up 2008 Ford Escape. I was taking the country road at a slow pace but could not avoid him. He hit the driver's side bumper, and his antlers hit the top of the hood. He went under the vehicle and then stood up from his tumble and ran off. 

The vehicle now down, I worked from home. While I was trying to reach something on a top shelf, the bucket I was standing on gave way and I twisted my ankle, spraining it. I was already upset from the accident, so that just added insult to injury. 

I am on the mend, and there looks to be a new car in my future. 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Off and Running

The reason for the post title is that the months from September through year's end seem to fly by. These two G.I. Joe figurines are another item I collect. Found at a flea market for $1 each, they too like to hang at the marina. 

I rarely deal in clothing but this Mexican embroidered jean jacket will go up on eBay. There are other embroidery details on the sleeves - bought for $40, will be listed for at least $80. 


The Paul Bunyan thrift shop in Fort Bragg came through for me with quilt books, crocheted squares, and fabric (I don't need). 

We, like many others, are escaping the 100+ heat. We have had the good fortune of staying close to the coast where the weather is downright gorgeous. I hope you too are staying comfortable. 

Monday, August 29, 2022

Freebies and Treasures

I am on track to complete my listing goals of books and sealed CDs. I was all set to list for sale this 1976 publication of Treasures from Throwaways. It was a giveaway scored from a fav thrift. I pulled it from the sale pile because I can use it for either my AtoZ posts or do a spoof on some of the crafts. The lead off image is a cardboard tree from that book. 

The book also highlights painted furniture. Funny how things like that trend back. 


Now that the holiday selling season is looming, I am ratcheting up my efforts to get product listed. I have been concentrating on sealed CDs. Some of my best CD finds have been from the thrift shop State of the Ark in Fort Bragg, California. This Rambo Mix is the best of the bunch.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/185556194425

All throughout the summer my eBay listings posted averaged 25 items per month. August was deemed crocheted-blanket-month. I gained this beaut for a few dollars half off at thrift. Bought one day, listed the next. If only I could do that with all of my items, August's blankets are now listed. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185557190529

Ending the post with the Pattern of the Day - cutest of the bunch of the sewing pattern sessions. 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/185557760223

Thursday, August 25, 2022

I've Got the Blues

I know exactly why I have the blues - I am grieving. I lost my best friend, my mother, last month. I cannot allow myself to fall into the abyss. I have decided to resume my Art History classes at Sacramento City College in the spring. 

My quilting activity is on hold. It is such a physical craft. You have to be 100% to engage in the sewing, ironing, organizing layouts, etc. in quilting. That is just the piecework aspect of it, the actual quilting is a whole nuther story.  

The Mr. has put the kibosh on me adding more shelving to contain my eBay listed product. I will continue culling those items that have not sold. I just launched a 60% sale on Creative Circle needle kits. They seemed a good idea at the time, but have not been moving like they should.  

Even with taking a month off during the summer as time away from selling, my sales reflect as up 70%! Go figure. I did allow offers and acceptances during that time though. 

Another category I am beginning to think may be slowing are cookbooks. I have a little collection of 1980s red plaid ones. I may have to stop buying them and let this round sell through. 

My best selling patterns are from Vogue. I can see myself segueing to carrying only that line of vintage pattern. There are other specialty patterns that are best sellers such as Folkwear and the historical costumes. Costume patterns in general do no sell as well as I anticipated. 

Ending the post with a pattern I have kept in my collection, a 1972 McCall's 3397 Betsy McCall rag doll.

I keep the cutest and oldest sewing patterns that I find. Probably about 1% of what I actually list. 

My next rounds of eBay listings will be books, NIP CDs, Vogue sewing patterns, crocheted blankets, then quilt blocks and tops. Let's see how well I keep to my schedule. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

How much is that dolly in the window?

I thought I was back in business buying a bag of doll clothes for $1.99 at thrift. A few years ago, I found bags of Barbie clothes. I lotted them up by color and all of the lots sold. But for my recent purchase bag, only two articles of American Girl dresses were keepers. Not too bad for a buck a dress. My fav Hallmark bear sports the cutest of the two dresses.  


My pattern collecting, of course, continues. Here is one most unique, at first I thought it was a pattern for a full-sized chair. On closer inspection, there are eyeglasses resting on the chair in the picture, and the instructions note "Only for bears, bunnies, and dolls." 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185549719745

eBay Open 2022 will be held September 21-23. It is hybrid event for eBay sellers. Only those who live near New York, Austin, and Los Angeles, can attend in person and those live events have sold out. I would really love to attend one of those events in person. 

Ending the post with this neato Treehugger graphic. I do beg to differ on "shopping at the Thrift Store Leads to Less Hoarding." I have so. much. stuff, especially fabric. I buy it in bulk and give away all of the character prints. 

Sunday, August 21, 2022

August is Crocheted Blanket Month

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185557213958

It has started out that way finding a crocheted blanket per week in August. One year, it was the summer of the hinged blue Ball jar where I found 5 of them. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185557206166

I am not sure what my fascination is with these crocheted items. Maybe because I never mastered the crafts of knitting and crocheting. 

Here was my first find of the month. I think each one is a work of art. 

I will have to put some or all of them up for sale. I get to collecting in cycles. It is odd some things show up at thrift regularly, other things show up occasionally, and other finds are rare. Items I collect in the rare category are crystal Princess House lamps, wooden duck decoys, and of late, ceramic tiki mugs. 

My summer days of leisure are nearly over. We kept our camper was in fish camp alongside the ocean for three months. We now have a supply of cod and salmon. 

Time to ramp up the eBay listings. I have product to list in all of my specialty categories. I will highlight the unique ones in the upcoming posts. 

Ending the post with graphics from a 1960s publication - Let's Crochet.


Sunday, August 7, 2022

While the Cat is Away

Half off day at thrift produced both the laundry sign and the crocheted blanket for less than $5. I buy those blankets to sell and then I end up keeping them. 

While the Mr. is away at fish camp, I am sourcing. I average spending $25 at each thrift location, finding my specialty items of sewing patterns, books, CDs, and needlekits. Since I have ramped up my business, I spend more on product, than I do for myself. 

There are certain sewing patterns I keep for myself, this vintage Butterick is one of them. 

This pattern hits on two cylinders, it is an apron, and there is cross-stitch involved. 

This may be the only issue of this obscure Pentecostal church collector plate - The Church by the Side of the Road, in Seattle, Washington. Discovered in one of my mom's cabinets while packing up her apartment. 


I am busy listing books on eBay. While the red plaid cookbooks have not been moving as quickly as before, they do eventually sell. A couple of recent finds in that category were the Fannie Farmer Cookbook (1984), and the Vogue Sewing Book (1970, first ed.).

Ending the post with the image of a peahen that has adopted us. She is quite the character, a peahen stalker. You will be involved in some task around the ranch, and you look up, and there is that peahen. I have named her Matilda. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Updated eBay store video

After receiving some constructive criticism from a well-known thrifting podcaster, I updated my eBay store video. My original sequences on my iPhone were facing vertically, rather than horizontally. That cut out a lot of space where I could show my product. 


There is also a feature on the iPhone to square up a picture. Never knew that. I don't do a lot of listings directly from my phone, but that may change in the future. 

I will also be devoting some time to learn iMovie. I was winging it with this video. As I learn more tips and techniques, I will share those. 

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Christmas in July

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185519798442

An anomaly in the world of resell is Christmas-themed products selling in July. I recently listed holiday needle kits, and they sold quickly. I purchased a mystery bag of sewing-related items and this kit was part of it. 

I listen to a certain thrifting podcast and have learned some information on listing terms. 

Antique: Items that are over 100 years old. 
Vintage: Items that are old, my criteria is 1980s and earlier. 
Retro: New items that are made to look old

eBay now offers sellers the option to post videos. My next purchase is a rotating display stand for those types of videos. 

On a different subject, my family and I like Princess House lamps. We each have one. This recent find had a cracked lamp top. 

When I did a search to replace it, I was surprised to see the lamps fetch from $40-$100+. While I did not find another PH lamp, I did find a lead crystal one with flowers ($1.99 at thrift) that nearly matches another of my thrift shop find lamps. 

The last second hand find to highlight is this Goorin hat. I don't find too many of them and sold a blue one that I now wish I kept. This black and white checkered is beyond cute, but just a tad small for me. 


The fan is retro. I am tempted to model that hat, all I need to complete the outfit is a pair of Dr. Martens!

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Upcoming Blogiversary

Celebrating my 11 year blogiversary next month. The frosted cake donut with sprinkles is one of my decadent indulgences. I hear Levi jackets are trending, and I've got a red-tag one. 

A while ago, I signed up for AdSense and then promptly forgot about it. It is those irritating ads you see that break into the blog post. Well, those irritations just paid me $100. I am unsure how long it took to earn that $100 (pretty sure it was a few years), but that is $100 I didn't have before. 

Reseller update: In August 2019, my listings on eBay totaled 4. Three years later, my listings hover around 1,700. Last year, I made $5,000. This year, I made nearly $10,000.

I was all gung ho on reselling thrifted quilt books. Turns out the popular ones are also the popular fabric designers such as Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink. I will be reducing that inventory, 3 cratefuls of it. 

My business goals continue, and after viewing this video
I created one of my own for my eBay store. I went ahead and purchased the iMovie software. Eventually, I will be adding more video to my listings. 

My next asset purchase will be another 5 shelf rolling wire rack. The first rack is overflowing. I have enough death pile inventory in sewing patterns to fill up another two shelves. 

I met a so-called "Peddler" during my family leave stay in Washington. Keith owned the Comfort Inn where I had a room for two weeks. He had been an eBay seller for quite some time, and encouraged me to become an Amazon seller. 

He mentioned his wife was successful reselling vintage glass. He suggested carrying a hand-held blacklight, and anything that luminesced was worth checking out. Just pass the light along the rows of glassware at thrift. 

My newest BOLO is yarn and have already sold a few skeins. Mostly I find acrylic, or the quality yarn is priced too high at thrift. 

There you have it - until next time~

Tami

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Radio Silence

My mother at 94 years old left this world on July 11th. She died peacefully surrounded by friends and family. A celebration of her life memorial service was held on July 20th. I flew in prior to her passing and stayed to settle the estate. This type of loss makes you question your own life. Grief overwhelms you.

My short breaks from the bedside vigil were to the one place that gives me comfort and joy - thrift shops. I found another blue Ball jar to add to my collection. I haven't decided on the quilt blocks. 

I was able to send back 3 bankers boxes full of inventory to sell because a U-Haul was rented to empty mom's apartment. A 6'x12' trailer was filled to capacity. There is a huge photo archive to cull through and digitize.

I will be back in Fort Bragg, California, in a couple of weeks and hope to share some more interesting images.  

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Happy 4th of July holiday

The red and white crocheted blanket and USA patriotic wall hanging were both purchased last month at a 1/2 off thrift sale. It was almost criminal that I spent less than $5 for the two. I image the cost of just the yarn alone on that well crafted crocheted piece was over $30.

I bought the red and white blanket to sell, but now I just can't part with it. 

I sent a quilt to be completed at the long-armer as a birthday present to myself. My next project is a baby quilt. It should be a quick put-together of bordering the blocks, and sewing everything together. 

Recent listings on eBay were a group of needlekits. Those finds come in batches, so when I buy them, I just scoop them up. Even better if they are Christmas ones. I don't really examine them until I prepare them for listing. 

This kit I am especially fond of because I made the original when it came out in 1990s, and is displayed on the mantel each holiday season. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185481816565

It will be Christmas in July for me because people buy holiday items all year round. Two of my listed kits sold next day. 

This display was at my fav hospice thrift - I would snag that flag quilt had I been in town.

We are back in Bragg - Fort Bragg, California. I hope to have more whale/fish pics in an upcoming post. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Happy Birthday to Me

A happy to be alive birthday. I did one of my fav activities - thrifting! I will complete this nearly-finished packet of doll house accessories that include a rug, pillow, and picture frame. A great birthday present to me from mystery crafter. 

Quilting is a contact sport - it is you against the beast. It seems I have injured myself again and I can only attribute it to my full-on press to meet a deadline. Machine quilting, through any sewing machine other than a long-arm, is challenging. Quilting by check is definitely my future. I did utilize one service but she complained about my pieced backings, and I was not fond of the widely-spaced quilting designs she offered. 

So, I am splurging and sending in this basket block quilt top with a wide backing Moda Grunge basic grey to a new-to-me longarmer. 

Segueing to the subject of fabric and their use in reseller listings, I will utilize that Moda grunge fabric as my image background. I have also kept an eye out for yarn, see my post my-first-foray-into-yarn.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/185478519252

This is my first post using the tips from the video below. I was inspired to be more inventive in my eBay listings.

Until next time,
Tami