Monday, June 27, 2016

Estate Sale Finds 06-27-2016

I know I've kind of been off the grid lately but we have been super busy.  We went right from our trip to Key West to Kentucky Lake where my parents joined us for some rest, relaxation, geocaching and some brutal games of Rummy cube.  I still have to catch up on those posts.

Anyway.....  We haven't been to an estate sale in a few weeks so of course on our first weekend back home we spent 2 days getting knee deep in junk treasures.  I picked up a bunch of stuff and who knows when I am going to have time to clean, photograph and list everything.  Let's just say that my office is stuffed to overflowing.  I need an intervention!

Check out the patina on this fabulous galvanized vase - I just love it!  The old time candy jars are always fun to find and this one was in great condition.

The Corian cutting board looks brand new and I picked up the huge "B" for Chablis because that's her nickname.  I have a feeling she will repaint the "B".

I was drooling over the vintage paper dispenser and I bought it with every intention of hanging it at the lake house.  Truth be told, I paid a little more for it than I usually would have, but I really wanted it.  Then..... I looked it up on-line and saw what they are selling for and I may list it in my shop.   I don't know, I'm torn over it.   Maybe I'll list it and see if it sells - if it doesn't, well, then I'll be forced to hang it at the lake.  We'll see.  The boots are kids size 1 Laredo cowboy boots and are in excellent condition...

I picked up these 2 pillows and will re-cover them with material to match the vintage rocking chair I just re-finished for Chablis.  Which reminds me -  I never did a post on the 400 mile Kentucky yard sale because I took a bunch of pictures of all the stuff we bought and then I deleted the photos on my camera card because I thought I had already loaded them onto my laptop, but I didn't.  And that pisses me off because we went 50 miles in one direction one day and then 100 miles the next day and now I'm too busy to re-take photos of everything.  I'm losing my mind.  Maybe one day I'll just show you the finished pictures of the rocker.  It's pretty darn cool.

This is a Columbia shirt that I'll be selling...

I usually wear an old blue work shirt when I'm fishing and the one I currently have is about 20 years old, threadbare and is literally falling apart.  I picked up this one to replace it...

The birdcage will be painted, distressed and listed in my shop.  The Readers Digest is from 1934.  Isn't that cool?  I like the blue color...

I always pick up advertising tins when I see them - they are great sellers for me when I can force myself into selling them.  I do actually use them for craft storage, altho they also look fab sitting on shelves around the house.  I usually list them in my shop and enjoy looking at them until they sell.

Chablis asked me to keep an eye out for clay pots for her.  For some reason they have been scarce at the stores lately.  Two of these were brand new, never used...

I've been looking for a metal colander to use for fish at the lake and Louie scored this one for me.  It's super heavy duty too...

These might be my favorite find of the weekend except for the paper dispenser - 2 lanterns that have the most awesome patina and they are gorgeous!  I'm giving them to Chablis to add to her lantern collection.

One of the estate sales we went to had photos on-line of some of the items they were selling.  They had a whole set of kitchen canisters, you know, flour, sugar, coffee, tea, grease, cookies and about 10 spice jars.  They all matched this cake plate and I wanted them for the lake but they were snatched up by somebody else.  Darn them.  Anyway, the kitchen canister set thieves over-looked this matching cake plate so I grabbed it up.

It needs a super good cleaning but it's pretty nice.  I'm tempted to keep it but since I don't bake a whole heck of a lot and I didn't get the rest of the set anyway, I will probably sell it...

Louie bought the coke tailgate grill for me to re-sell.  It needs a good cleaning as well..

Louie also scoped out this vintage South Bend fly fishing rod.  It was leaning up behind a cabinet in a basement work shop.  It pays to be snoopy and believe me, we have no problem being snoopy.

We don't fly fish but it would look kind of neat hanging on the wall, don't you think?  I'll probably try selling it tho...

Louie was on a roll this weekend.  He bought this for washing his boat...

I do love advertising tins, as you already know.  But Chablis will get this tin because she eats Mac and Cheese like three times a week.  She considers it a food group!

Here's a cute little oil can and a brass water nozzle.  Both will be listed in my shop.

Movie reels and their tins.  This is something I've never bought to re-sell so I thought I'd give them a try...

A good seller for me are pants hangers.  Most of the time I find them forgotten, stuffed in the back of a closet.  Most people don't give them a second glance and just discard them.  These I found in a box at the bottom of the linen closet under a pile of hand towels.   Remember, when you're looking for treasures, poke around in the back of closets and cabinets - you never know what you may find.  I'll never get rich off of them, but people, they are money makers!

Would you believe that I was looking for a wrench the other day and couldn't find one anywhere?   And I'm married to a contractor!  So I snapped this one up and it's already been stuffed into my craft apron.  I'm also keeping the whisk broom, which I'll use in my car.  I've been looking for one of these for the longest time.  Who would think whisk brooms are so hard to find?

We needed some steak knives and the ones in this Philippe Richard set are super.  The butcher block holder is in real need of a cleaning.  I think I may wash it, re-stain it, keep the knives and sell the butcher block itself.  I've seen them go on-line for some good prices.  What do you think?

Well, that's it for this week.  Looks like I'll be busy for awhile listing everything.  What did you like the best?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Fathers Day 2016

Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there!  Wishing my dad the happiest of days.  Thanks for being such an inspiration and wonderful role model to me.  What would I do without you and your fried potatoes, iced box cookies and poke's in the forehead???

I like the quote I recently saw that sums you up perfectly..." If Papa can't fix it, we're all screwed."  You are forever my hero and the man who can do anything.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Book Review - Store Focus

If you own an ETSY shop or are thinking about opening an ETSY shop in the future, then you will be interested in Store Focus, a book I just finished reviewing.  Store Focus, by Barbara Jean, is a journal for Etsians and the perfect guidebook to help you get started, get organized and most importantly, get focused!

Navigating Etsy can be confusing for beginners and this is where Store Focus really shines  -  it gives you useful information and a place to jot down your notes, ideas and creative thoughts.  It will help you navigate the Etsy world of shop names, tags and keywords, categories, shop announcements, and messages to your buyers.  

Work on the 3 P’s - products, pricing and promotional strategies by using plans provided in the book.  Organizing your supplier information is a breeze when you use the supplier info pages.  Confused about retail pricing?  That’s always my most difficult area.  I loved how Barbara broke down Gross Profit Margin into a formula I could understand and use.  This page right here was worth the price of the book!  

Keep all your ideas in one spot and feel free to doodle – who knows where it may lead.  Just do it in the journal so you don’t lose your ideas on a random napkin or slip of paper. 

Have you thought about Social Media?  What are your goals?  Barbara suggests loads of platforms you can utilize and your journal is the place to lay it all out.

Links to Etsy Facebook Groups and resources for tags, keywords, marketing, titles and SEO are all provided here for you.  Don’t know what SEO is?  Well, buy the journal and save yourself the problem of figuring it out on your own. 

Once your shop is up and running you’ll want to keep track of important stats like page views, favs, traffic sources and of course, revenue!!  Twelve pages for shop stats will keep you organized for an entire year.  Everything is at your fingertips and you can easily carry the journal around or slip it into your purse.

The only thing the journal doesn’t include that I would have found useful would have been a section on how to figure out your product shipping costs and exploring the maze of post office shipping supplies.  That’s always been a landmine for me and I feel it would have been a helpful addition.

Store Focus can help you tweak your existing Etsy shop too.  There’s always room for improvement, right?  Well, I have exciting news – Barbara is taking pre-orders & will place a bulk order next Monday.  It is regularly $18.95, but for her launch promotion it will be $16.95 plus free shipping for US customers, and discounted shipping for International customers.  Also, as part of the launch, she will be signing copies, and there are 4 printable pdf bonuses as well.  After the pre-sale ends, she can order the books in onesie - twosies, or you can get them off of Amazon.  So please, if you’re interested, follow the provided link and pre-order your copy this weekend:  Sun Lion Publications

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Key West - Day 6

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me through 6 days of our trip.  On our last day we got up early, ate breakfast and then headed out to Key Largo.  We had booked the 4.5 hour snorkel tour at John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park for early afternoon.  We got there in plenty of time, so we signed in early.  Good thing we did too - they were packed.  I highly recommend making reservations in advance for any of the activities you want to do here - everything was filling up quickly and we were there by 11:00 am.   Fortunately they are highly organized and used to dealing with crowds, so the process moved along quickly.

Once we were checked in we grabbed some lunch at the snack bar - they don't have a huge selection and we ended up with some sub sandwiches.  I suggest you stop and grab a meal before you get here if you'd like something more substantial.

After that we walked over to the aquarium.  We both enjoyed that and it's free!

The next few photo's are a really good example of the color and types of fish we saw on the reefs the entire trip.....

After the aquarium we grabbed some ice cream and headed over to the boat.  We went to 3 locations and each was slightly different.  The cost of the 4.5 hour tour is $ 38.95 and I thought it was well worth it.

Our favorite stop on this snorkel trip was getting to see the Christ of the Deep statue.   Unfortunately, by the time we got there, there were also 2 other boat loads of people there and it was a feeding frenzy as everyone was headed over to the statue at the same time.  Tradition is to swim down and touch the hands of Christ.

(credit - google images)

Chablis headed over, swam right down and touched it...

I tried 3 times but between the buoyancy vest, the current and the multitude of swimmers, I just couldn't swim hard enough to reach it.  I was exhausted and had to head back to the boat.  I'm not used to not being able to do something, so that was a real reality check for me.  I was so disappointed and frustrated with myself, but at least I got to see it.  The only advice I would give to the snorkel tours would be to somehow scatter their arrival so that so many people weren't trying to get to it at the same time.

Despite that, it was a fun afternoon.  If you do the 4.5 hour tour I advise to bring plenty of water and some snacks.  They supply a water bucket but we went through it really quickly and after 4 hours we were starving and we hadn't remembered to bring a snack with us.

After we returned to shore we headed over to our hotel -  The Hampton Inn.  This was by far our best hotel of the trip.  When we were checking in they had a tray of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter - I'm ashamed to admit that I scarfed down 3 of them while we were checking in!  The room was very clean and they had a really nice beach on the gulf side that we didn't have enough time to use.  Since we were so hungry we took fast showers and headed down to The Fish House for dinner.  We had a great dinner.  We started off with the Smoked Fish Dip appetizer - OMG - it was excellent!  They gave us so much that I could have easily made a meal out of just the dip.  This is what what left after we already ate half of it....

I had the stuffed shrimp...

Chablis ordered the Fried Grouper...   Both were very tasty and they were large portions.  Another winning meal!

 Afterward dinner we went across the street and grabbed a geocache Castle in Key Largo.   It took me about 5 minutes to find it and believe me, I was working fast because the mosquitoes were out in droves.

Our full afternoon on the sea left us exhausted and ready for bed, so we made it an early evening.  Our room was a ground floor room and Chablis noticed that a laundry room and gym were conveniently located in the building next door.  When I woke up at 7 am the next morning I took all our clothes and bathing suits over and threw them in the washers.  While they washed and dried I did a few miles on the treadmill.  Let me tell you, it was nice to go home with clean laundry and not have to worry about it when we got home.  Hampton Inn gets 2 thumbs up for a winning hotel!

I want to leave you with a few last photos from Key West that I didn't get to include on my Key West posts.  One night when we were walking down Duval we ran into Harley and his pet parrot - Bones.  We had a lot of fun taking photos and talking to Harley....

Bones liked to give kisses....

I think these pictures perfectly sum up our Key West trip - crazy and a lot of fun.  We packed a ton of activities into 6 days.  I know it was probably a little whirl wind for some people, but Chablis and I enjoyed it and we got to do everything we really wanted to do, except for the catamaran ride that got rained out.

So long Key West - we had an awesome time!!

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