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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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Make Customer Service Your Number One Priority!

Being on so many social networks, I hear alot of talk & complaints about customers who are unreasonable, demanding, lying, scamming....yada yada yada....but sellers....stop and put yourself in the place of the buyer.  Yes, there are scammer's and difficult people out there, no doubt about it.  When I worked in Customer Service for a mail order catalog, I was positive that I must have talked to every one of them in the United States and a few overseas!!! :-)  But, really, people are mostly good, and just want to be treated like they matter, that their purchase is important to you and that you want them to be satisfied with their purchase.

Some time ago, I had a customer out of the country, who wanted me to ship a heavy order by UPS Ground (which I have never done) and specify a broker that she wanted to use.  I have never filled out waybills, or done anything like this, not even on in my previous job!!  My first reaction was....what a pain!!  I then looked at it a different way.  I decided that this was a great learning experience! I contacted UPS, and riddled them with questions on how to do this.  In the end, I helped the customer save a bundle on shipping charges, her order arrived in perfect condition and in record time!! I had a very happy customer, and I learned something new while making a nice profit.  I am sure that this customer will shop with me again!!

Whenever I have a customer contact me with a problem with an order, I do one thing before I respond.  I check their feedback.  If a customer has 100% positive feedback, it is most unlikely that they are lying or trying to scam you.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  If it's a low cost item, and it's damaged, either replace it immediately if you can, or refund immediately.  If it is a more expensive item,  ask them to return it for a refund.  If you have shipped the item by UPS, you can go to their website, and request a call tag (UPS goes to the customer's home and picks up the package from them within 2 - 3 days) or you can send them a prepaid label to make it easier for them to return.  Think about what you would want if the tables were turned.

Trust me, you may end up spending a few dollars...and maybe you will lose your profit from that sale, but in the long run, it will be worth it.  Remember, that customer will still be giving you feedback, and hopefully glowingly positive feedback!!  Future customers will read that feedback, showing that you responded quickly and took care of the problem.  This will build customer confidence in your & your business. 

Who would you rather do business with??  Someone who assumes you are a scammer?  Or someone who treated you like the important customer that you are??  I know which I would choose!

The Dilemma of Working from Home!

This morning, I awakened with the thought that I would really jump in and get everything done today!!! I have eBay orders to pack & ship, merchandise to photograph, listing to do, ironing of linens & packaging them for sale.  I have two webinars to watch & listen to, a book on Social Networking tips to read, business materials to order....and on and on.  

Unfortunately, life does not always co-operate with what you have planned!  It seems to interject itself into your "working" time, screaming that "I need to be taken care of RIGHT NOW"!  Four phone calls & 3 different representatives from a pharmaceutical company, just to get my husband's diabetic strips shipped!! Call to doctor to get the prescription straightened out!!  Cats need to be fed (again), oops....someone did something in the litter box.....gotta clean that!  That load of clothes that I put in the washer at 8am this morning really need to get into the dryer, and oh, those clothes in the dryer need to be folded!!  Are your days like this???

No matter how hard I try to set aside a specific time to run my business, and do what I have to, it just doesn't work out!!!  I am my only no one else is going to step forward & do what needs to be done!   

Four cats & a retired husband, who has NO hobbies, No interests what so ever, who is recovering from a surgery, and who loves to talk about everything & anything from sunrise to sunset, keep demanding my time.  And today, I am frustrated.   I want to yell, scream & tell everyone to leave me alone for just awhile!!  But I won't.  I will do what I have to, and then squeeze in my work time between my family responsibilities.  Is this the way it's suppose to be??

Now I must end this little rant, and get busy with work.  Go pack those orders & get them shipped.  Maybe I can listen to the 2 webinars this afternoon....if nothing else demands my time. 

Soon, I will have a new office.  Yes, a spare bedroom.  I am re-doing the room to fit my needs for the business.  It has to wait until Spring though.  Hurry hurry Spring!!!! :-)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Two and 1/2 years ago (April 2012), I closed down my eBay store, Sandy's Collectibles and More, after 9 years.  The store was very successful.  I loved what I was doing, and I was making money & friends doing it!! I sold mostly crystal goblets & glassware of all kinds. When a buyer searched for a specific brand of goblet, if I had it in my store, I would come up on the same page as in the eBay search.  Life was good, and I was enjoying what I was doing.  I was good at it too!

In 1999, my mother, who lived with us, had surgery that left her paralyzed from the midsection down.  She was 72 years old.  I took care of her at home for 3 months, at which time, she had a stroke & had to go into a nursing home.  I visited her as ofter as I could, and after a few months, I was her only regular visitor. She passed in 2005, after several visits to the hospital.  

In 2006, six months after my mother passed, my father had a stroke that left him unable to speak or write.  He had no way to communicate.  On top of this, he had dementia, and was very angry. I was the only one who could control him, hence several calls from the nursing home & eventually the assisted living facility, to calm him down.  He was 83.  I  became his Power of Attorney, handling not only his medical issues, but also his financial problems, which unknown to me & my step-mother, were massive.  Dad passed away peacefully in September 2008.  He donated his remains to the Creighton Medical School, and two years later, he was cremated & his remains returned to me.  

Dad's death started a chain reaction.  From September of 2008 to March of 2009, I lost two uncles, one aunt, one cousin by marriage, a long time friend to cancer, and a friends 7 yrs old son to cancer. 

In 2010, I felt myself sliding into a deep depression & sadness.  I had lost so many of my loved ones, seen so much that I never want to see again, dealt with lawyers, doctors, nurses, therapists.....more than I ever wanted to.  On top of all of this, I was living with an alcoholic husband, who was killing himself slowly.  In 2011 he had a heart attack that nearly killed him.  The doctors said his body was already starting to shut down from the alcohol.  Two weeks later, I had a complete meltdown.  

Nothing like that has ever happened to me before.  I felt it happening for more than a year, felt myself sliding, but could do nothing about it, until I finally crashed.  I had just made an appointment with a psycologist for the following week, but it was too late.  I ended up watching myself break......screaming, crying, shaking, unable to speak, unable to stop.  I was in the shower, unable to turn the water off, unable to do anything but stand there hanging on to the shower door. 

I stopped doing everything.  I closed the ebay store.  I stopped going to auctions, thrift stores, out with friends.  I stayed home and stayed on the computer all day long.  I had no energy.  No interest in anything I loved.  I also have Fibromyalgia, and it flared to where I could barely move.  I was literally a mess.  I had one true friend who knew, and stood by me.  I have never met her personally, but we talked on the phone many many times.  She did what she could to help me. 

Fast forward 2 1/2 years, after several therapy sessions & thousands of dollars (after insurance paid), and a lot of hard work, I am back.  I have never felt better than I do right now.  I had to make some changes in my life, and my husband had to make some serious changes too.  He no longer drinks.  He has come to the realization that it was killing him.  He also realized that if he didn't quit, I was leaving after 44 years of marriage.   

The changes I have made;  I no longer get heavily involved in politics, I help who I can...but not to the extent that it puts my own well being in jeopardy.  I eliminated a few "toxic" relationships, where I was used & not appreciated.  I've put me first for once in over 44 years.  When I am tired, I take a nap.  When I am angry or upset, I will tell you.  I am back going to auctions, estate sales & thrift stores!!!  And I have reopened my eBay store!!! Again, I am doing something I love, something I thrive on!  And it is doing great after only being back for less than 2 months!!! 

The moral of this story???  Never let anything or anyone suck the life out of you, or take your joy away.  Yes, you will have situations that you will have to deal with, but don't do it alone.  No one can take on the problems of the world without damaging themselves.  

One person who has helped me see that I am worth loving myself, is a beautiful lady named Aida Bredou.  Thank you for all your wisdom dear lady.  ~ Sandy

Sandy's Collectibles and More