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Monday, January 31, 2022

A bit of kid's clothing and back to work

More of the mini daffodils were cut and made their way home with me, this batch being the white/yellow ones. I have been picking up puzzles and this retro motel sign one was 99 cents at thrift and unopened. 

Yard sales are where I pick up clothing for sale or exchange. Here is the best of the $7 bag of goodness. Red feedsack print trimmed in white eyelet 12 month sized and a red plaid sunbonnet hat. The dress was missing button that I replaced prior to listing.

Having dealt in sewing patterns for a couple of years now, I find that ones that have to do with home decor, New Look and See & Sew brands are non-starters. I was going to pull the retro cut ones but they continue to sell, slow but sure. 

I have greatly winnowed down my fabric stash. I keep only the "cutest" fabric, and get rid of the uglies. All of the odd holiday-themed (i.e., Valentines, St. Patrick's day) is wrapped around eBay orders. This retro typewriter print came in my latest $2 bag of thrift fabric.

Baby Cabbage Patch doll has joined the clan, found at the same hospice thrift a few days apart from her Cabbage Patch sister. This baby version from 1982 set me back $1.99. 

I will keep them both for now, until I go through one of my great decluttering episodes.

This was my final day of reprieve from my full-time job. I hope it will not be too hard going back to full days after 3 months of being off work. There are so many places that I miss in Sacramento, I hope I can go in office now and then for a change of scenery. 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Upcoming Writing Challenge and Sacramento Murals

There will be no quilt activity for awhile as my sewing machine is in for routine maintenance - a 7 week wait for service. 

I have been fairly non-participatory in blog/writing challenges, with the exception of joining into the Blogging from A to Z Writing Challenge last April. I am unsure if they are going forth this year, there was the loss of a key member. 

Another group I attached myself to a few years ago was weworkforcheese. Another key member passed, the last post on the blog was in 2015. 

I would love to find another group that possesses a spirit of fun. I did find 2022-february-flash-fiction-challenge at Writer's Digest. The prompts will be provided daily with the challenge running from February 1 to March 1. For instance, the prompt for 2021 Day 1 was "Write a story with no dialogue." 

Dropping off my equipment at my old job in Sacramento, it seems the streets and sidewalks had been cleared of the scads of homeless that had taken up residence. I assume they just moved on to the banks of the American River and are fighting for tent space there. 

I was able to see a couple of new murals along J Street in Sacramento. Soon, I hope to visit many more murals when I can go in office. 

Prices have risen at thrift. It is a shame. It means I will have to raise the prices on my listings. I am making the most of my last days of vacation, back to work on February 1. A visit to Goodwill in Folsom meant I found another 27 uncut Vogue sewing patterns. It never hurts to stock up on product. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Mini Daffodils and Retro Sewing Patterns

Daffodils are in bloom. There is a section of land between my favorite thrift shop and highway that produces these mini daffodils. Each year, I cut them before the rain comes and destroys their fragrance and bloom. 

Sewing patterns, I love them. The few that I keep are the really old ones, or the ones that intrigue me and I might use one day. This glove pattern makes the most sense since I wear gloves all. the. time. ๐Ÿงค

A weekend of sourcing amounted to 58 sewing patterns one day, 33 another day, and another 45 in the queue from this month. That puts me at 136 patterns in the death pile. Before I engage in more sewing pattern sessions, I am hoping to make a dent in the CDs, and Boy/Girl scout-related items. 

I upgraded to Windows 11. I had to change my photo editing method seems they monkeyed with that aspect of the program. On the eBay front, they are touting the fact that we can add videos to our listings. I haven't found any vintage toys to demonstrate, so I don't have any YouTube offerings. Prior to this change, one had to upload the iPhone video to another site, convert it, and then upload it to eBay. 

Another small irritation, iPhone images I email to myself transmit as some other format and have to be converted to a jpg/jpeg format. Luckily, most of my images I capture with a 35 mm camera. 

My goal is to end this month with 1,800+ active listings. ๐Ÿ’ซ 

I am unsure whether the Blogging from A to Z Challenge will go forward this year. There have been no 2022 blog posts from that group. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Cabbage Patch Kid adoption and upcoming Quilty Orphan Adoption

Imagine my surprise finding this 30+ year old Cabbage Patch Kid at thrift for $1. She even has her hair ribbons! I laundered her clothes and sponge bathed her in Tuff Stuff. It is hard to read on the back of her neck but it appears she was manufactured in 1979. 

I am not sure if this is her original outfit. I am pretty sure the pants are and I will repair the elastic. Back in the Cabbage Patch kid craze, I was able to wrangle new dolls for both of my kids. I have no idea where those dolls are now. 

Reseller update: My latest listing session was new CDs. I also pulled from the listings CDs in the following categories: country, classical, artists over 50 years old, CDs in mass circulation. Moving on to quilt blocks and pieces, here is the best of the bunch.

Even though I made total sales of $1,200 in the past 30 days, my net sales minus taxes, eBay fees, and shipping were $600.  

I am not sure what I aspire to but one reseller on eBay business was able to buy a house and use half to store product in the garage and master bedroom, and then rented out the remainder of the house as an air bnb. ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

In 2021, sewing patterns were 40% of my total sales, books at 24%, and CDs at 19%, with the remainder in needle kits.  

Reporting back on sewing patterns pinned to Pinterest. I believe I sold 2 right off the bat from that exposures. I am also testing these listed quilt pieces, and will let you know of the result.

I have saved a couple of pieces of patchwork to give away at the upcoming Quilty Orphan Adoption online event in March. 

Quilting is more fun than Housework

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Finding the Tarot and Marketing on Pinterest

Finding the tarot cards, where did I find an amazing set? In the kid's toy section at thrift, and it was half off day. This is just a sample of the cutting edge artwork. 

Voyager Tarot from 1984. When I am the right frame of mind, I will lay out a reading from this deck. I don't take it lightly that it came into my possession. I love these vintage tarot cards. 

Plunging into Pinterest! I am always looking for new ways to market the products I have for sale. I already have an existing Pinterest account for this blog, I am going to see what type of response I get when I pin the more fun, quirky, and cute patterns. If it generates a lot of sales, I might opt for their business account. 

There are some adworwable sewing patterns, and here is the first one I pinned onto my tam_gonza-ebay-reseller board.

The book listing sessions for eBay have nearly ended. I came into possession, along with the tarot deck, some 1970s publications. ๐Ÿ˜ Quilt blocks/pieces have moved next into the listing queue.  

Best book from the estate sale freebies with, at the very least, a catchy title.

I had the blessing of time the past three months. I was off work, for various reasons I won't elaborate here. I was able to catch on listings by devoting approximately 4 hours a weekday it.  Holding steady at 1,700+ listings.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The magical cactus garden

This flapjack succulent will join the beginnings of my cactus garden. The plants had all been in separate pots, that proved too hard to maintain in our excessive heat summers. 

My magical garden will include some solar lights and other fun elements. I will bring in a transfer of rock for ground cover. 

Reseller update: I have yet to figure out why, when I am listing in a certain category on eBay, that is where my sales will pick up. My recent listings have been books. Course, I always sell sewing patterns no matter what. With over 1,100 patterns listed, something is bound to hit. 

Traits that might set me apart from other resellers, I accept nearly all offers and rarely counter. I even sold a CD for $1, just to get rid of it. ๐Ÿ˜

I wrap all of my orders in fabric. I give the stuff away, and then I buy more fabric. There has got to be something wrong with me. I recently bought a kitty cat print, if that is any consolation. ๐Ÿ˜

The majority of the things that I buy are $1 or less. It is almost criminal. 

The highest priced item I have listed for sale at $65 is a military book, the 1977 Guide to the Soviet Navy. It was part of a naval historian's estate.

Upcoming events: If I can come up with a proper theme, I will participate in the April A to Z Writing Challenge. I could post sewing patterns that would coordinate with a background story for each letter. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Estate sales and a reason to shine again

Estate sales have started back up again after a holiday hiatus. 

I go to the Tinker O'Brien sales but rarely buy because the pricing is so astronomical. The antique sled was priced at $600, and the duck decoy at $65. 

A second estate sale was on its last day and items were being given away for free. I scored a few retro cookbooks, a couple of random linens and a pair of Wiss scissors that only needed a little lubricant. 

Thrifting update: My bag o' $2.99 fabric produced nearly all that was usuable. There were specialty prints and a piece of some nice patchwork piecework. 

Reseller update: After the culling of my Christmas CDs, I nearly attacked the books I had listed on eBay. I was going to pull dollhouse-related publications, and what do you know? They started selling. The same thing happened with my regular CDs. I wanted to cull some of those too, but then sales picked up. 

I made the culling mistake when I first began listing on eBay. When something didn't sell within a couple of months, I pulled it. It was until I put in a good year that I finally realized that you have to store a lot of stuff when there is a lot of stuff listed for sale. Luckily, I have settled into categories that the items are relatively small. 

Where sales have come to a skreeching halt are cookbooks. My theory is that now restaurants are beginning to open up, people are opting to not cook at home as much. I will keep listing those retro books though. 

Job update: Finally, after months of interviews with the state, I have secured a new position. My year+ with another department was nothing short of a disaster. I will still be in the legal field with an emphasis on health care. I am so looking forward to a new job with new colleagues. Gonna let my Tami light shine again. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

Hope Springs Eternal and Some of the Unusual

I am passing through the book eBay listing phase of the death pile. I hold out hope that someday I will find some ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿค‘ dolla dolla bills in a secondhand book, but have found none so far. 

I found this note in an origami book.

We shared souls
We stayed up late laughing and loving and each moment we shared was an eternity of perfect happiness, forever encased in my mind and heart.

A few images from a monthly flea market held up country Amador County. 

And a random share of a Seattle World's Fair pin from 1962 found at thrift. I am recollecting memorabilia from that event I attended when I was 2 years old. 

These Voodoo dolls were one of my favorite finds from last year.

And a few more images from another flea market held in El Dorado County.

Pattern of the Day is this 2007 Women with Wings costume.

Until we meet again.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

X Factor Quilt

This X Factor quilt project finally prompted me to quilting. I take long breaks from that activity, either from no devotion of time or from lack of interest. But when completed blocks come my way, they bump all other projects when it comes to one of my favorite activities - sewing together a quilt top. 

These quilts blocks came in a mystery bag of fabric. It was the first time I had seen blocks sewn together that were not trimmed. They were also sewn together in red and green thread on a machine with erratic stitching. The seam allowance ranged from 1/8" to 3/4" and the blue borders were uneven. The joining work could only be described as a Hot Mess. The blocks themselves were in pretty good shape though. 

The 26 blocks were freed from their blue-bordered prison. Each was ironed and then trimmed to 7".  I am grateful to mystery quilter for her effort that I can now enjoy. I place the fabrics as 1980s vintage. 

Some work in progress images that show the detail on the blocks and the LPs I was listening to at the time. At least 6 of the blocks were smaller than 7" square after it was all said and done. It was then that I was glad I hadn't given away all of my small remnant fabrics. I used those to supplement the odd-sized X blocks. I had more than enough plaid in my stash. I haven't decided whether to add more borders to make this less throw sized and more bed sized. 

Reseller update: Here is what the storage of 1,126 sewing patterns looks like. There are also needle kits and assorted linens/fabrics on the fourth shelf. All of the containers on the shelving were from thrift. I've caught up having ending the sewing pattern sessions. Turning my attention to a few books I've been able to pick up at thrift in the past couple of months. 

Ending the post with a Quilter's Code printed on a graphic T-shirt.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Not-so-Western Quilt finally completed

The New Year begins with COVID uncertainty. One thing most certain is that I will be thrift shopping all throughout 2022, as long as the secondhand shops stay open. 

This quilt was a long time in the making, first finding the fly-fishing border fabric, and finally the fish binding fabric. Other posts on this quilt the-not-so-western-quilt and here.

I thought I was doing great sending my Christmas fabric remnants wrapped in eBay orders, then ... I discovered another tub of holiday fabric. ๐Ÿ˜•

I did an ugly fabric destash. Three bags of yardage was thrifted back. I consolidated nearly all of my remnant pieces in the dresser drawers devoted to fabric. 

The Edwin Dorris series of paintings continue to drop at a Sutter Creek thrift shop. These three went up for sale, but didn't join my collection.  

Reseller update: Even though I had listed over 200 Christmas CDs for sale on eBay, I did a major culling. Even the slightest scratch meant the CD was thrifted back. My focus will be on those in near perfect condition and those still sealed in package. 

My attention now turns to the regular CDs. I will put them through a condition check, and cull all of the oldies/country, mass produced ones. While I don't mind storing sewing patterns, CDs take up space that I don't like giving up. 

I am also culling out the needlework kits. There was a run on them in 2020. I sold more than I normally would. Now, even the really neat ones aren't being snapped up. My theory? When the pandemic forced us all indoors, we looked to sedentary activities. Now that things have opened up some, those kits will go in the back of the closet. 

I am aiming more for quality than quantity. I am focusing on uncut sewing patterns, unopened needlework kits, CDs sealed in package, and books worth more than $25. 

Pattern of the Day I have listed on eBay is this quirky bird costumes for kids.

Lastly, a couple of thrift shop items that I didn't buy and now lend some colorful images. 

Delightful painting but not for $350.00.