Friday, January 9, 2015

Creating A Sale Ad For An Online Store (Sort of)

Hello, and a very Happy New Year to you!  With all of the holidays behind us, it is time to get back to work to make a successful 2015!

Now that the year has started, I thought it was a great idea to reduce my inventory so that I could add new merchandise to spark my sales.   I arranged my sale to begin this week, and to run for the next week.  In order to bring in traffic to my store, I always like to market the sale on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

There is this simply amazing website for making graphics.  It is called Canva,  I use this website, which is also in an application form for iPad and smart phones.  Canva has forms in the correct size for everything from Twitter posts to headers for both Facebook & Twitter.  There are several free backgrounds and graphics available, and if you want something particular, the backgrounds are only $1.00.

Now, I have used this wonderful website many times before.  Thankfully, it's an easy site to use.  Unfortunately, not so easy when you are using a touch screen laptop!  It was my first attempt to make an ad graphic using my new laptop.  I found exactly what I wanted for my ad.  Perfect background and the perfect graphic to add my store information to.

As I proceeded to design my ad,  I found that using a stylus did not work too well.  Every time I tried to drag words or photos into place, they ended up on top of each other.  I fought that crazy touch screen for two full hours!  But, being determined to get the ad finished, I carried on, and finally finished it.  Yay!   Press save.......and download!     Check download folder for ad to share on social media sites..........nothing..... Try again to download.........nothing.   No way, no how was that computer going to allow me to download that ad!!

Did you know that Canva has a "school" to teach you how to use all of the tools on the website??  I will be starting it this week.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cork's Lunatic Asylum (by Drone)

Cinematography by 13 yr old Nomah.  Music by Skully of Metisse.  Song - Fort Camden Winter

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Twinkle Twinkle Pretty Lights!

     Last Christmas, we did not put up a Christmas tree.  In October, we adopted a pair of kitten brothers who were just barely 8 weeks old.  We named them Willie & Jase, after the Robertson brothers from the tv show Duck Dynasty.  These two little guys acted just like the Robertson brothers; always into mischief.  So, thinking ahead, instead of putting up our 7 1/2' Christmas tree with all the beautiful pink, crystal, white, & silver glass decorations, I took a little 2 foot scrawny artificial tree, wired little red cardinal birds to the branches, and set it on the buffet table.  It took about 5 minutes for the boys to find the tree and check it out.  After about 10 minutes, it was on the floor, plastic beads hanging off, and red birds twisted every direction but straight!!

     This year, I decided to be proactive!   Even though the boys are now a little over a year old, they are still full of mischief, so I decided to do something a bit different this year.  I wanted a Christmas tree with lights & the works!!!  I proceeded to the nearest Walmart, and purchased a 4" white artificial tree, pre-lit with pretty lights of red, blue, green & yellow!  I then went into the decoration aisle, and bought gold, silver & crystal unbreakable balls for the tree.  Haha!! I have outsmarted the little buggers this year!!

     Yesterday, I put the tree together (not really much to do, except unfold it & make it look like a tree).  To make sure that my little guys didn't knock the tree over, I took packing tape & taped the tree stand to the table that it was sitting on.  That should do it!!  They won't be able to knock this tree over!!!   It didn't take long to add the decorations & the crystal beads.  I topped it off with my Grandmother's 1950's Angel.  Not bad looking for a cheap plastic tree.

     Last night, as the sun went down, and it started to get dark, I plugged the tree in.  Pretty bright lights shining off of the gold & silver decorations!! Very tempting to two little kittens full of mischief!!!  As the evening went on, and with every little noise coming from upstairs (our tv room is downstairs) , I went up to check the tree.  Nothing!! Not a branch, ornament or bead out of place.  Maybe they haven't seen the tree??  But how could they miss it??  It's bright & shiny!!! It's something new & different!  Aren't you even curious about it?? 

     Well, guess what!  Those two little stinkers completely ignored that Christmas tree!!!  Not even a glance!! What???  After all of the work I went through to keep that tree & my kittens safe, and they don't even have the decency to at least jump up and take a look at it??  Bat an ornament or two??  How can they do this to me???

I am so disappointed.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Support Local and Online Small Business This Christmas

     Christmas is right around the corner, and we are all busy making our shopping lists, and deciding what to get for each of our loved ones.  This time of year, the newspaper ads, television ads, and now the internet ads are in your face every minute of the day!!  I think I have received at least 3 or 4 emails each day from places like Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, Target.... each telling me that I need to come shop their sales!!
     I don't know about you, but I detest going shopping when the stores are so crowded and everyone is pushing and shoving, all of the aisles are blocked by shopping carts, and some people are wandering aimlessly with a lost look in their eyes!  I usually end up doing all or most of my Christmas shopping online. 
     This year, I am going to ask you to do something different.  I am a seller on eBay, and I have many friends and acquaintances who also sell online on many different venues.  Many of these friends are single Moms, stay at home Moms, men and women who have lost their jobs and have not been able to find work enough to support their family, and then there are those who are disabled.   These people put their heart and souls into their business, as small as it may be.  One of these friends is a disabled man, who relies on his jewelry making business to support himself.  His jewelry is top quality and his prices are extremely reasonable!
    So, this year, why not give your hard earned dollars to someone who really needs them, instead of the big box stores??  By doing this, you will be helping those small businesses stay alive and thrive!!! Below are a few of those small businesses.
     Wishing you, one and all, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

James eBay Store           

Pam's eBay Store

Lori's eBay Store


Sandy's Collectibles and More

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Venturing into the World of Antique Milk Glass

A few years back, I became interested in an opaque, milky looking glass, that was solid color on the body, but the edges were see-through, similar to Opalescent glass of a later date.  This beautiful glass is now called Milk Glass.  Below are three of my oil lamps in milk glass.  The one on the right is a very pretty light aqua blue with a very Victorian raised design.  The smaller one is hand painted with pink, blue & yellow flowers.

The first milk glass or what was referred to as "Opal Glass" at that time, was made in Venice in the 16th century.  Later on in the late 1880's, the glass became very popular with the rich and elite in the US.  This  milk glass was made in dinnerware, barber bottles, oil lamps, covered animal dishes, decorator plates with reticulated edges and many, many more pieces.  Below is a photo of an owl plate, several reticulated plates, a hand painted heart shaped dish & a single salt shaker.

This beautiful glass was made by several different companies in the early years, such as Vallerysthal, Ditheridge, Atterbury & Company, Gillinder and Sons, and Bryce.  Later during the depression years, Fenton, Fostoria & Westmoreland made several pieces of glass very similar to the old opal glass.  In the 1960's through the 80's, Indiana Glass, Colony, Imperial & others made a solid milk glass, that was much heavier, with no opal edges. 
Below are three hand painted barber bottles that were used to hold lotions & colognes in barber shops.

Milk glass was not only made in white opal, but was also made in blue, pink, yellow & black.  Some pieces were decorated with gold paint, and others were hand painted with floral designs.  The gold on these pieces is not the shiny gold that we know today, but more of a flat, brownish color.  Many of the pieces that you will find today, may be missing some or all of the original gold, and parts of the designs.  You will find many designs, like raised cartouches, lions heads, beads, & swirls.  Below is an example of three of the covered animal dishes that I have found in my hunts.  One is a dolphin, the front one is a dog, and the other is a chicken in a sleigh!  The middle is a hand painted syrup pitcher.

I became interested in collecting this beautiful glass, when I found a covered candy dish at a thrift store.  It was in perfect condition, and was a very reasonable price.  From that moment on, I became hooked.  Since then, I have put together a nice little collection, and am always on the lookout for more pieces to add.  Below is the very first piece I purchased.  This is a covered candy dish made by Vallerysthal.  It is in perfect condition!  I paid $5 for it at a thrift store.

So, keep your eyes open for this beautiful glass when you are out browsing thrift stores, or attending auctions.  Maybe you will get hooked on this beautiful glass, just like I did! :-)

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Addiction! A Confession.

I am an addict.  Yes, I admit it.  I need my fix at least once a week, and sometimes even more than that!  I am hooked.  When I go a long time without, I start to have withdrawal symptoms that you cannot even begin to imagine. Shaking, pacing, mumbling to myself.

Yes, I am AUCTIONS, THRIFT STORES, ESTATE SALES & GARAGE SALES!!!  No one ever warned me that going to these things, hunting for those "treasures" could possibly be so addicting, taking up hours & hours of my time!  It's not that I LOVE selling online......I mean, I do enjoy it, but the real high is the hunt for those goodies that make me shake like a drug addict!!!

I read the auction listings on at least twice a week, for both Iowa & Nebraska.  I live in Nebraska, but I am willing to drive a good ways to get those goodies!!  If there is a listing with photos of glassware or china, cups & saucers, or hand painted anything,  I am making my list, checking my bank account, and planning my attack!!

I have learned one important lesson though.  NEVER tell anyone at an auction, what something is or how old it is.  I was looking at a piece of EAPG, an old Coin Glass square toothpick holder.  This very little, frail old lady, looking so  innocent, asked me what it was, and how old it was.  She didn't look dangerous!!! She would most likely fall asleep before the auction even started!!  So I gave up my secret! Yes, it is old!!! Late 1800's....Coin Glass....I have the salt, pepper & tray that match it at home.....I am so happy to see the toothpick here!! I collect this glass.   Well, guess what!!!  That little old lady stayed awake during the whole 9 hour auction, until that piece of Coin Glass came up, and she proceeded to OUTBID me!!!! And then, turned around and smiled at me!!! Vicious woman, I tell you!!!

From now on, my lips are sealed.  I will give only my name, city & state.  I know NOTHING!!! Shhhhhhhhh! ;-)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

A love of glassware

My love affair with glassware started about 20 years ago, when I stopped at an estate sale on the last day of the sale.  Everything was 1/2 price!  There, I found a pretty gold (amber) vase with frosted white coins around the outside.  I bought it for a whole $10.00!! 

Taking my prize home, I did some research, and found out that the vase I had just bought was actually worth $40!!!  At that point, I was hit with a bolt of lightening!!  

I love all types of glassware, and I collect yellow Cameo Ballerina depression glass, yellow Lancaster glass, but my favorite is the EAPG (Early American Patterned Glass) from the turn of the 20th century.  

This beautiful glass is readily available at thrift stores, auctions, estate sales, garage sales, and in online stores at reasonable prices.  I have found rare pieces at thrift stores for under $5.00!  You can find water pitchers, goblets, relish dishes, platters, & bread plates in so many different patterns.  

A great reference book to have if you are planning on collecting EAPG glass is The Standard Encyclopedia of Pressed Glass 1860 - 1930 by Bill Edwards & Mike Carwile.  This book has been invaluable to me in identifying the glass that I have found.  This book is available on in the hardcover form, used, for less than $5.00.  An investment well worth the money.

One of my favorite pieces is a cake stand that I found at a thrift store for less than $5.  The pattern is called Daisy & Button Petticoat. 

This pattern is not as readily available as most others.  I also bought a matching open compote in the same pattern at the same thrift store.  Check out the thrift stores the next time you are there.  This is something you can collect with a very low budget!!

Below are some photos of a few more pieces from my collection. 

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