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Monday, May 30, 2022

Learning the Ropes and Listing the Odds and Ends

The lead-off image is from the 1947 publication Sears Pastel Painting Step-by-Step. One of the books to be listed for sale. 

Right off the get-go a Reseller's update - my CD selling habits will drastically change now that I know how to do quick value research on my iPhone. When you have the eBay app open, you choose the camera icon, it will prompt "to point the camera at the bar code." You are then provided with current listings. Some CDs I am already aware of their value, so I don't need to scan those. Others I ignore the value, I rip nearly all of the music to my laptop so it is worth the $1 spent for the music obtained. 

I listed my first Christmas CD from my phone. The two areas I found it to be quicker is the auto-population of the information, and posting the pictures from my phone. This type of listing won't work for the specialized fabric items, and I like my method of scanning in sewing patterns. 

On to the subject of fabric - I have learned to buy those lines of fabric I like. For some reason, dark brown prints are hard to find. I have some National Parks quilt panels and bought some dark brown National Parks print. From the same online retailer, I found Moda grunge and bought both the wide and a standard print.

Segueing to Odds and Ends - sometimes I buy items that are not in my usual categories, the following are just a few of those listings. 

The catcher's mitt was $1 at a yard sale. Listed it for $22.

I have also learned to copy of competitor's listing by choosing, yes, I want to list something like this. I add my own photos and edit the post, and wallah half the work had been done by someone else. Not only do I like to use OPM (other people's money), I also like to use OPE (other people's efforts). 

Oooo, and this one I have to post. Most of the good stuff I stumble onto comes off the rolled-on-to-the-floor thrift shop racks. When I bought this 1964 Bridge for Two at $1.99, I saw the cards were there but what I didn't realize until I examined it was that it had never been opened.

And the yarn from my last post? I paid $1.49 per skein and listed the lot for $25.

My next round of eBay listings will include quilt patchwork pieced work that I kept for myself and have now decided to sell. Some projects capture my attention and I run with it, while other projects languish, until I eventually lose interest. As bad as *squirrel* but I chalk that up to the creative process. There were all types of quilt designs that I "oooed and ahhhed" over in the beginning, I have sold quite a few quilt blocks and quilt tops. There is always someone ready to give them new life. 

Until next time,

Saturday, May 28, 2022

My first foray into yarn

After dropping off my quilt for judging at the creative arts building for the California State Fair, my route home through Sacramento included three Goodwills. The background for my pale yellow sunflowers, the first from my greenhouse, is a $1.99 piece of patchwork from one of those locations (now listed for sale). 

As far as my blog title, this YouTube video inspired me to keep an eye out for yarn.  

I haven't decided whether to sell these Snuggly Wuggly yarns as single skeins or as a lot. I rarely run into quality yarn but Goodwill came through at $1.49 each. 

I am a believer in reselling CDs, especially the holiday ones. Admittedly, I did have two TUBs full of non-holiday CDs and thrifted them all back. For my CD slog, I start by researching them on eBay's Terapeak. If they have a history of selling for $5 or less, then I thrift those back also. 

The latest genre of CD I will test out is jazz. Quite of a few of that category recordings from the 1980s dropped at my fav hospice thrift. 

Next project in the quilting queue is a baby quilt. My hands have to recover from the race-to-the-finish completion of this last project. 

Ending the post with two uncut patterns of the day. In addition to selling patterns, I collect them. These two I won't let go any time soon, the first from 1957 and the second from 1961.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

It Was a Go, and Then It Wasn't

My art quilt entry into the California State Fair had been accepted for judging and possible exhibition. The image below is how I signed this competition quilt. Those loose threads were "buried" by pulling the ends into the quilt and snipping them off. The fabric is Moda Grunge, I will be buying more of that. 

As anticipated, I encountered folds in the fabric when I was quilting it. A sharp-eyed fabric constructionist will notice how I solved that problem. I used to get all worked up when I couldn't work around the folds in the fabric. I am getting better at shrugging it off and hand stitching the folds down. 

Here, I reveal stitching without a foot so I could free motion my signature and date. This is what the back looked like - a hot mess. Hard to see against the print but trust me it is wonky. It would be overlooked by the average bear, but I know this is being judged. My resolution? I made a fabric patch that I quilted down on the backing. 

Binding and fabric patch. 

And the corner of the quilt with the patch cover up. 
The last detail was a hanging sleeve in the Hoffman Bohemian Blenders fabric. There are the irritating folds in that section of the backing (and my zoomy yellow tennys photobombing). I was hoping the sleeve would cover those mistakes, but no luck. I hope those mistakes weren't the ones that left me out of the competition. 
Rather than take the image and convert it into a grid (no, can't make it easier), I "eyeballed" it and worked it in block sections. 

I received an acceptance from the fair, and then a rejection two days later by an "Oh My Goodness" email from the coordinator. I was going to reveal this piece in all of its glory hanging at the State Fair, but that was not to be. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

Sad to say, I am not a fan of the fair anymore. Not only was my piece rejected (I get it), but my media pass was also taken away as I don't have proof of 12,000 followers. I am no where near an influencer. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Entered and Awaiting Word

My lead-off image is a basket quilt top purchased at the Cameron Park hospice thrift for $2.99. This one is such a spring/summer delight, bordered and ready to be quilted, thank you Mystery Quilter. It is joining my quilt collection. 

After two years of waiting, and two frantic months of preparing, my entry into the California State Fair is in! I changed categories from Other Fiber Art to Art Quilt. I finished the flimsy on Mother's Day. The Knitting Woman measures 75" x 100". I didn't have batting large enough for the quilt so I had to do the Frankenbatting. That is when you have to whip stitch sections of batting together to have enough to cover the flimsy+. 

Now that I am more comfortable with curved piecing, I may tackle that Storm at Sea in plaids. I have the templates, picked up for a song, from thrift. 

Reseller update: After all is said and done, I am clearing $500 a month on my eBay sales. I love this business! As a child, I would pack AVON orders for my mom. I loved doing that too. 

I have reached my goal of 1,800 listings. I have enough unlisted inventory to keep me busy for three months, working four hours a day, five days a week. The reason I can gauge that activity is I was not working full time for three months and I devoted my "work" day to listing on eBay. 

I am seriously considering retiring this year. Sacramento is just not the same since the lockdown. Nearly all of my favorite restaurants have gone out of business. Some days when I am in office I am the ONLY person working on the entire floor. I just cannot adjust to co-workers choosing to remain remote, never having met or even seen them online. It is just too weird. I am even managed remotely which in itself is not a problem since I remain a professional in managing my time and workload. But it is odd, not being able to head down to your supervisor's office, just to say "Hi," or ask a simple question. So I am in the process of completing the paperwork. 

Ending a post with a cutie patootie Pattern of the Day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Cubist Quilting

I am in the quilting phase of my State Fair quilt, the Knitting Woman. A tedious phase of this process I usually farm out to someone else. For competition purposes I have to be the sole creator of this artwork from start to finish. I won't reveal the entire project, only her cubist face and the top of her knitting needles. 

She is near monstrous size, king-sized plus! I am in love with her and think she is magnificent. I envision her as one of the pieces that hang from the ceiling in the crafts exhibition hall. 

I also hope my piecing will lay flat while quilting. One nightmare is when you reach a section in the quilt that the fabric has skewed, you have to fold it and quilt it down. 

Prior to quilting, I mark quilting lines. Learned from experience, your eye will fool you and what you think is straight is NOT

After lines are marked, it is sandwiched. The backing, a good 4" longer on each side is wound onto a painted baseboard. The top is wound onto another painted baseboard. Rather than explain the whole thing, here is the YouTube video. 

Showing my attempts at her face creation - no. 1. 

And attempt no. 2.

There were many sections I did over and over again. My takeaway from this self-taught curved piecing is that you have to break up the circles/curves into small sections.

Just when I thought I had my fabric addiction under control, I discovered more fabric I had squirreled away. It was not a good feeling. In my last attempt to destash, I gave away yards and yards of fabric, mainly feedsack prints. Fabrics I rarely give away are batiks, woven plaids, and Christmas fabrics. I do have to give myself credit for winnowing down my cabinet drawers full of remnants from 2 cabinets down to 1. 

Before I plunge into slapping sewing patterns onto the eBay board, I really need to list the needlework kits and quilt blocks. Quilt blocks, tops, and pieced patchwork all eventually sell.

Until next time ~

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Polynesian Patterns, and the Plant Sale

Every so often, there are sewing patterns I obtain that go into the keeper category. This set of 4 Polynesian patterns are those. There are 3 uncut ones, and I went back for the 4 cut one so I would have them all. 

There is no secret as to why I can give away fabric, many pounds a year, by wrapping my eBay orders in it.  I bought these two bags of fabric from mystery quilter at thrift, one $4.99, and the other $5.99. 

The $4.99 bag is all usable fabric, there were a couple of orphan blocks, a patriotic strip border, and other delights. There are pieces for a small flannel doll blanket. 

The $5.99 bag came with trims

Orphan holiday blocks and some festive prints, and a completed pillow cover. 

The character material is the type that I give away. Those types of prints usually don't work for my types of projects. The bear flannel will stay in my collection, along with the orphan blocks at the top left and top right. 

I stumbled onto the UC Master Gardener Program plant sale in Jackson, California, just as it was opening. I bought a scented geranium, some tomatoes and peppers, and an Aeonium. 

I will look for this sale next year and bring my own cart!

Wishing all a Happy Mother's Day ~

Sunday, May 1, 2022

May Day

Moving into May means Gardening, Flowers, and a Reseller Update.

A quick mention on my State Fair Quilt - 3/4s done for the top and shooting for the May 19 deadline for image submission. 

Reseller update: A batch of books just went on the eBay listing board. My focus on books have been How-To. Whether it is cooking, sewing, crafting, or hunting/fishing, they are all in that genre. Interestingly enough, one upscale thrift would not take donations of cookbooks. I suspect that interest in cooking at home is going to wane. 

Sales have been sluggish also. I also attribute that to the outward looking, rather than inward, with people being out and about more. Everything I resell is focused on indoor activities. One reason my business boomed during lockdown was because of that fact. 

Sometimes I buy mystery bags at thrift. It isn't so much the surprise value of some of the items, it is the delight in discovering tchotchkes that are one of a kind or remembrances of times past. Those pipe-cleaner bees are def 1960s-era. 

The best of three bags was filled with many of my favorite things: fabric, patterns, kits, and books.

Greenhouse update: I am finally getting the hang of greenhouse gardening. This is my best group so far.

A trip to Placerville thrift shops didn't produce a huge score, but a surprise one of two well-constructed doll clothes on doll hangers for $1.49 at Goodwill. Going into my keeper category.
I even sell a book on making doll clothes, even though I wouldn't attempt it myself.

Wishing you a Happy May Day and that you share flowers with friends.