I'm so bad with getting things done this time of year. I haven't even sent out Xmas cards the last 2 years because I'm a terrible procrastinator. One year, I got them all ready but they sat on my desk waiting for me to get stamps (because I just had to have holiday stamps) and I ended up mailing them, oh, sometime after the New Year.
Anyway, blogging ends up being a bit low on my list, so I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and Cheers for the New Year!!! Dee
Are you having a handmade Christmas? I am! What is that exactly and why is it important.
There is a growing movement of handmade artisans on the web that sell their wares via places like Artfire, Etsy, 1000 Markets and more. I've pretty much worn
out buying my family the same robes, jammies and other things that I can get from a large retailer, so I've turned to buying unique gifts, many of which are one of a kind (ooak) or can be customized.
Since I'm a crafter myself, I know what goes into a lot of these things and I can really appreciate the workmanship. Handmade doesn't mean cheap, but I'd rather pay $4.00 for handmade goat's
milk soap from my favorite shop then your standard commercial soaps. One of the shops that I frequent even raises the goat's, which I think is just great!
So when you're making out your list this year, include a few handmade items. You'll be supporting a small business as well as giving your family and friends a truely unique gift. And I'm sure you'll find something for yourself as well!
I'm having a Labor Day sale in my Etsy shop! Now thru 9/8/09, Buy One, get additional purchases for 25% off. Etsy doesn't have a handy sale option, so you have to either purchase the items and I can refund the difference via Paypal, or I can do a special listing.
I've really been meaning to update my blog at least once a week. Well, it's been nearly a month - oops! I don't like to just blog mundane things, that's what Twitter's for (isn't it?), so my blog suffers. Maybe with the kids back in school starting tomorrow, I'll have more time. Yeah, right!
When I sold full time on eBay, I became very familiar with shopping the thrifts. It was my alternative source for collectibles when yard sales were sparse or rained out. If you've never been on a treasure hunt at your nearest thrift store, here's a few tips.
Know Your Store Part 1 - Snoopy Lil Me
At store #1, the manager was bragging about his own eBay store one day. Innocently, I asked about it and got his user name. After looking up his page, I realized why he had his Franciscan dinnerware priced so high, older dinnerware was his specialty. Newer plates, such as Sango, he had very low. Certain patterns of Sango plates can go for $10-15 each, so that was what I liked to pick up there.
Know Your Store Part 2 - Sales & Merchandising Cycles
Store #2, which is quite upscale & a little more expensive, prices and restocks every Tues. Although the best things are in the store that day, it's just too crowded, so I usually shop that one on Thursdays. They also have a different merchandising theme each month. Featured items are placed on the end caps and are usually priced high. If they don't sell by the time the theme changes, the items are moved to other shelves and marked down.
Store #1 runs different sales each day. Tuesday's are buy one, get one free on plates & cups; clothing is 20% off on Thursday's, so you depending on what you're looking for, you can pick the best day to shop this one.
Patience is a Virtue
At store #3, the staff is entirely run by volunteers. Plates are all $1, coffee cups .25 cents but other items are not priced, which means they pretty much make up prices when you get to the register. In this store it really pays to be nice. One woman was trying to haggle on the already low prices so everything she brought up to the counter to ask about seemed to be going up in price. After she finally left the store without buying anything, I politely commiserated with the cashier. I got a few freebies that day.
Think Outside the Box
The craft section at thrift stores are usually pretty messy. But, the finds are great if you're willing to dig. The photo on top are some of my recent finds. The large wooden buttons were actually in with the photo frames. The funky faces were at the bottom of a pile of buttons. I've got plans to put these together into fun pieces of mixed media art. I've also bought old shirts just because I wanted the decorative buttons and sweaters are great for felting projects.
Next time you have $5 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, stop by a thrift and see what treasures you can dig up!
It's Christmas in July time! It seems funny to start trotting out X-mas goodies, but hey, everyone is doing it so I might as well get in on the fun.
I decided to do things just a little differently, my Etsy store is hosting some great vintage items that I've been saving. Like this wonderful tablecloth by California Hand Prints. It is still so bright and crisp, with just a tiny bit of wear.
For my Artfire store, I've taken advantage of an awesome sale tool
which allows me to mark down the entire store by any percent I choose. Since I don't have
a lot of Christmas items listed, I decided to run a 15% off sale. I do have 1 pair of earrings
I have a collection of salt & pepper shakers - some have lost their partners. I've been thinking of how I can repurpose them. My brilliant idea was to drill the holes a little larger and glue the stopper into the bottom in a permanent fashion so that I could use them as a bud vase. How cute would they look with a few long stem flowers coming out of them?
Unfortunately, this leaves me with the dilemma of how to get the water in and out. Maybe a slightly larger hole near the top hidden in the back would do. If anyone has an idea, post a comment. If your idea works, I'll make one for you :)