Monday, November 26, 2012

Counting down to Christmas

I have been wanting to make a Christmas countdown board forever and am so happy I finally got around to it -- just in the nick of time!
First, I went through my ephemera and looked for numbers.  All the ones I used, shown above, are vintage except for the round black ones; they are new from the scrap book store.  Then I scrounged around my craft supplies for vintage findings for each day.
That was as far as I got on the first day, but then this morning I was able to finish up.  It was such a joy to work with so many of my "junk drawer" pieces and Christmas kitsch!
I had to run out mid day to buy magnets to finish the job -- but here it is, in all its glory!
The "base" is a vintage TV tray which has been painted with chalkboard paint.
I think it makes a great background for all the little magnets!
Here are some closeups...
I'm sure you can tell just by looking...
that I had A LOT of fun with this project!
At the very end, I added a sparkly "Merry Christmas" next to number 25!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In which I break two holiday traditions

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends!
For Thanksgiving this year, I bucked tradition by having meatloaf for dinner!
only because I have two recovering from the flu at my house
and they don't have an appetite, yet.
I plan to cook the turkey with all the trimmings later this weekend.
And we enjoyed the other aspects of the holiday -- thankfulness, togetherness, and laziness -- as usual!
The other tradition I'm breaking is not going Black Friday shopping.
I just have so much great stuff already!
Like the wonderful ear bobs that came in the mail the other day from Angela!
Look at those button ones!  She knows me so well!
Who needs Tiffany when you've got Angela, I ask you?
And I refuse to be in the crowds.  No deal is worth it!
I'm going to do all my shopping online from small businesses this year.
Now, I'm getting caught up on showing you some of the fun stuff I've picked up thrifting lately.
I love the Christmas kitchen towel with the trio, above.
Not to sell, but just to enjoy in all its kitchy-ness, for 49 cents.
Along the same vein -- a package of vintage party invitations with an elf.
Look at the little bells on his toes!
I bought the china cup and saucer to sell, but only when unpacking it discovered a chip in the rim so I'm going to have to keep it.  I loved the raised painted berries.
It's sitting on a wonderful Christmas table runner.
I am so into "NOEL" this year -- and I have no idea why but that's okay.
I often find craft supplies at great prices when I'm picking junque.
I picked up this HUMUNGO roll of vintage red tulle.  I know I'll have fun with it.
I just might wear this frothy red petticoat slip when I'm doing Christmas crafting this season.
I couldn't leave it behind at an estate sale.
It remains to be seen if I will ever leave the house in it, though.
Buying stuff like that slip is always worth whatever price
(in this case, $5) just to see the look on my husband's face when I come home with it.
I also picked up this package of tear away pattern for silk ribbon embroidery.
I thought it would be fun to try, since I'm a novice in that art.
I love finding unopened packages of craft supplies.
Like these quilt clips which might come in handy if I should ever start on my son's quilt.
It says they're for machine quilting but I think they'd be equally helpful for hand quilting, since I don't have a rack of my own.
More craft supplies -- this time, old clip earrings that will be disassembled for bling.
And a whole box of Russian vocabulary cards with hilarious drawings!
These will be a fun addition to ephemera packs.
Okay: you know I could never resist a silk hankie-sized scarf (from probably the 1960s) with a "9 day wonder diet" all spelled out (and illustrated!)
It was a diet recommended by Harper's Bazaar.
It makes me laugh!
Now this probably makes YOU laugh -- that I would buy such a thing as this Easter egg bauble.  Complete with a mother duck and two ducklings.  From an estate sale.
It was put together with beads, sequins and pins.  All plastic.
You just don't see something like this every day, in such good condition.
It was treasured, for sure.
And now it's mine.
If you're fitting junque-ing into your holiday weekend, I do want to hear about it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Little London Market

Something new and exciting happened in Colorado Springs this past year: a new outdoor vintage market sprung up downtown on the second Saturday of the month, called the Little London Market.  My friend Kathy sells there and ever since she told me about it, it's become a favorite.
As with other, once a month markets -- you just never know what you'll find when you stop by; vendors vary and there is always something fun to see!  This last market of the year had a holiday theme.
Look at those vintage lace pretties on the mannequins in back ~ swoon!

The gal who had the booth above, Beth, also has an Etsy shop called Crown Antiques.

 These photos are from my friend Kathy's booth...

 She does such a great job arranging her wares!
Another friend who had a booth there, Lani, also has an Etsy shop, called Objects of Affection
She is having a BIG SALE in that shop over the next few days!  Here's her ad for that:
Cute ad, huh?
So, I know you are wondering what I bought for myself at the Little London Market:
It all came from Kathy's booth -- she has the BEST stuff!
I already had a kitty sewing box like this, in pink, but I love it so much in red!
AND it came with all these wonderful buttons!
Look at these little Putz-like houses -- they are teeny tiny, and pink!
 Kathy recently traveled to Portland, and she brought back some treasures for me, like these great photos...
how adorable is that little curly-haired girl?
These trims are the perfect size for tags...
and this grab bag (box) of pretty ribbons will be so great on so many projects!  She got them from a place that I would love to visit -- the Button Emporium and Ribbonry!
I'm so happy she thought of me while in OR.
I can hardly wait until the next season of Little London Markets next year!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Let's hear your Etsy Feedback Horror Stories!

So, yesterday I received my second instance of  non-positive -- in this case, neutral -- feedback in my Etsy shop.
The customer purchased this vintage Christmas tablecloth.  For $22.
 Tablecloths like this, of this age, are going on Etsy for two or three times the price.
This one was priced lower because it has some areas of discoloration that may or may not come out in the wash.
I felt that it was still fun and iconic, and had many uses -- either as a tablecloth or to be re-purposed into pillows, etc.
This is how my listing description read:

This is a wonderful tablecloth that is probably from the 1960s; it is white cotton with a bright red, olive-y green and metallic gold printed design. The design elements are ribbon topped and tied, stylized Christmas trees; and fancy glass decorated Christmas ornaments hanging in holly garlands. I really love it all! It is bright, cheery, and very retro!

This tablecloth has been used and bears several areas of discoloration; the low price reflects these flaws. It measures ~58.5" x 53.5". Please look closely at the photos to be sure you love it in this condition; vintage and sold as is.

Whenever someone purchases from my shop, they receive an email which contains a statement in which I ask  for their understanding because I am committed to using recycled shipping materials.  (This is not true in my handmade shop, only in my vintage shop.  In my handmade shop, I make a real effort to provide pretty packaging for my art.)  'Year-round, I package my vintage linens in plastic because I know that one ill-timed rainstorm is all it takes for cardboard box or envelope to soak through onto the purchased item.

So, I received this wonderful feedback today from the US customer for the tablecloth:

I love it! Thank you so much.

But, she also checked the box for "neutral" rather than "positive" feedback.  So, I emailed her to ask what I could have done better to garner positive feedback.  Here is her reply:

Hi,Yes I love the tablecloth.The retro design is really my favorite although you did very fast sipping for me. Thank you very much. So you wrote about the tablecloth"bears several areas of discoloration",but I feel many stain on it. I wanted to watch more zoom photo. And it was poor wrapping. I was disappointed because it'sTJ-max parasitic bag.

I will use it every Christmas! I feel a great deal of fondness for the retro Christmas tablecloth.
Thank you so much!

If I read it correctly, it seems she was unhappy that it has stains (which were photographed/described in the listing) and that it was wrapped in a plastic bag, which, although it might not be deemed real classy, was also disclosed prior to shipping.  (I am selling junque, after all!)

I find this kind of thing disheartening.  The only other non-positive feedback I've received in all my years of online selling was also on Etsy, from a woman who was disappointed that the bowls I sold her did not have lids.  Although I never said they did, showed none in the photos, gave an item count which should have told her no lids would be forthcoming, and sold them as bowls, not storage containers.

So -- those of you who sell online, tell me your favorite cracked customer stories.  I know you have them, and, especially today, I'd like to hear them!