Saturday, June 30, 2012

Come see me at The Thrifty Groove!

I'm honored to be guest posting over at The Thrifty Groove today.

I was in Newport, Rhode Island at the end of May and found this fabulous consignment shop called Closet Revival. Go over and check out my post at The Thrifty Groove and leave Diann a nice comment so she can feel your love and support.

Diann is busy with her business in the summer and that's why she's asked some of us to guest post for her. I am more than happy to be a part of that since I'm all about thrifting and second-hand shopping, and since Diann's blog is full of thrifty inspiration.

Thanks again, Diann, for the opportunity!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Failure to launch

I want you to know that this is probably one of the most embarrassing things I've ever made public. I have no doubt that by the time you are done reading this--that is, if you get through it--you will think I am either completely insane, or suffering from full blown late-life onset of attention deficit disorder. It is . . . a list of unfinished projects at my house.

This is what I've got going on right now:
more china and glass waiting to be upcycled
  1. 7 pieces of furniture in my basement waiting to be painted, distressed, refurbished, etc.
  2. 45 new ceramic pendants at the ceramic workshop in various stages of completion
  3. 30 completed ceramic pendants waiting to be strung
  4. 50--give or take--pieces of vintage and antique china and glass waiting to be made into something else
  5. 1 very large full sun perennial bed overrun with weeds that needs to be completely pulled up, re-edged, and re-designed
  6. 4 pieces of tin ceiling panels to be painted, distressed, and installed as the back splash in my kitchen . . .

Whew. Okay. That's just the beginning . . .

This is what else really needs to get done but for some reason doesn't even make it into the list of things that are on the front burners (that's plural "burners", as in a giant commercial stove with lots of burners):

small table waiting patiently to be refurbished
  1. Finish organizing craft room (I painted it and arranged it last year, but never really completed the organizational phase).
  2. Finish trim work in remodeled kitchen.
  3. Create new facade and mantel for chimney in living room.
  4. Clean out garage (a task that gets done a little at a time when I get completely frustrated with it or when I have a garage sale like I did last week).
  5. Run electricity to the garage (the garage was built several years ago and, for one reason or another, I never got around to running electricity out to it).
  6. Unpack the rest of my dishes (which hasn't been done since remodeling the kitchen last fall).
  7. Unpack my teapot collection (also has been in boxes since last fall).
  8. Completely remove and replace decking and railing on front porch.
  9. Remodel bathroom (there's only 1 bathroom so remodeling it will be very tricky and have to happen very quickly once underway).
  10. Clean out my clothes closet and take lots of clothes to Goodwill.
  11. Clean out attic for garage sale and Goodwill trip.
  12. Plan and prepare for fall garage sale, including going through Christmas decorations to purge some things (if you're like me, you have way too many Christmas decorations for your own good).
  13. Lay 200 brick pavers as a new path leading from backyard path to driveway.

Okay, I think I'll stop now. There are more, but my head hurts. If your head isn't spinning around like a satan-possessed 12-year-old yet, then it's probably because you have started formulating your own list in your own head and it's starting to dawn on you that we all have huge lists like this. Maybe huger! Maybe you have the hugest list of all!!

So in the next week and a half, I am preparing to go east to sell some jewelry, visit some friends and look for additional work out on the east coast. And guess what I'm going to get done from my lists between now and the time I leave for Rhode Island?

handmade necklace made with vintage crystal from a chandelier
Items 2, 3, and maybe a little bit of 4 on the first list. Three things. That's it. Three things. Can I be happy with that? With only getting three things done on this seemingly endless list of really big projects?

Absolutely! Because it's great to have goals and aspirations, but it's even better if you can live with the fact that we're human beings and we do what we can. As long as I am working hard, feeling some joy in what I'm doing and feeling tired at the end of the day, I can be grateful for what I have and proud of what I've accomplished. Even if it looks like my work will never be done.

So we can go ahead and make our big, I-can-do-it-all-if-I-just-work-harder list of things we want to accomplish. But we must also be good enough to ourselves to know when to walk away from the list and live life!

I'm livin' large at the following fabulous parties:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What will you give me for it?

If you are like me and you go to a lot of garage sales, eventually you end up with a lot of stuff in your basement, garage and attic that you no longer use because you've replaced it with cool stuff you got at a garage sale.

Rented child loading wagon
Soooooo . . . . . . .

Time to have a garage sale and clean out my basement and garage so I can make room for more stuff.

Here's my short list of how to best go about preparing for your next garage sale.

1.  If you don't have one or more of your own, rent or borrow a small child who can do labor for you. Mine is 11 years old. She's my niece. She can't carry a lot, but she is really good at painting signs, cleaning, pricing, making displays, and counting money. Less work for me. Plus, she gets to sell stuff and make some money.

Rented child merchandising her own products
2.  Put out a good Craigslist ad. Garage sale junkies like me depend on Craigslist to find the best sales. A good Craigslist ad should list a lot of the items you are selling so people (like me) can decide if it is worth it to make the trip to your house. Ideally, you should be posting your Craigslist ad sometime in the week before your sale.

3. Pre-pricing. To price or not to price your items. My niece and I, we like to put price tags on things. What's a garage sale if you can't go to the drug store, buy some little stickers and adhere them to anything that's not tied down? Even so, when things are priced, people will still ask what you want for it. The lesson here: people want to haggle at garage sales. So even if you are pre-pricing, take that into consideration and give yourself some room to negotiate. People are always happier if they feel like they're gettin' a deal. I know I am.

4.  Pickers like to pick. Since I am totally drawn in by visual gorgeousness, I have to at least put some pretty displays out near the street because I believe it draws people in. But remember that "pickers" are often people drawn to chaos and the idea that they might dig through some things to find a treasure. So while you might do a little merchandising, leave a few things in boxes for the pickers to pick through.

5. Don't forget to have some change on hand. You want to be able to take people's cash immediately and give them change back if necessary.

6. Relax. Having a garage sale--much like going to them--is an opportunity to connect with fellow pickers. Maybe stock a cooler with bottled water to offer people if it's a hot day. Plan to hang out, sit and chat with your neighbors, who will undoubtedly stop by and maybe even buy something.

bootie one of my neighbors bought
7. Prepare yourself for failure. Nobody sells everything at a garage sale, not even you with your circa 1989 wok and your 1980s fishnet scarf with the knots on the ends (oops, that was me, not you). I plan a 1-DAY SALE ONLY, and then just put the leftover stuff in the back of the Jeep and head to Goodwill. But even before I get that far. I'll pile up the stuff that's going to Goodwill right near the curb, stick a FREE sign on it and see what happens. I live in the city, so there's free-style curbside pickin' goin' on all the time.

It's a hot one today, so we didn't get a lot of traffic, but so far I've taken in over $100, so that doesn't suck!

Happy pickin' y'all!

It's my birthday and I'm partying at:

Ladybird Lane Weekend Show Off Party
My RePurposed Life Catch As Catch Can 77
Boogieboard Cottage Masterpiece Monday
All Things Fee Calling All Crafters
C.R.A.F.T. Making Monday Marvelous
Our Delightful Home Show Me What You Got
Coastal Charm Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Debbiedoo's Newbie Party
Today's Creative Blog Get Your Craft On
Beez Rental Designs Frugal Treasure Tuesday
Singing Three Little Birds Inspire Me Monday
Saavy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesday
From My Front Porch to Yours Treasure Hunt Thursday
Shabby Creek Cottage Transformation Thursday
Made in a Day Made You Look Linky
No Minimalist Here Open House Linky Party
The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday
The Thrifty Groove Thrifty Things Friday