Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vintage Appliances

My first apartment had a vintage refrigerator in it, of course I was young and it worked fine for me. Who cares if items left in the freezer turned into ice balls, or that I had to defrost it every once in awhile? Honestly, I didn't defrost it that much, hence the ice balls. I do remember standing there with a blow dryer, the whole freezer was becoming a block of ice.

I love the look of vintage appliances, but they aren't always practical. Besides the ice block above they are also big energy wasters, made in a time when "save the earth" wasn't too high on the list. I came across some great vintage looking appliances on the inter net, thanks to Stumble Upon. They are called Big Chill Fridge, and I love the look of their appliances. Stoves, fridges, ovens, they do it all. You can choose from a variety of colors and sizes, and they are new. Vintage looks with modern conveniences, you know this vintage woman is a fan.

Monday, September 27, 2010

An Example of Great Customer Service

Since I ranted about my customer experience yesterday, I decided to talk about a great customer experience I did have. It was on Zibbet, and the shop was graphicdesignbytara.

I was looking for an ad. for Craftcult and Project Wonderful, and I contacted her. She promptly answered and I told her what I wanted. After some back and forth she made the advertisement up above. which I was very pleased with. All communication and delivery of the item were timely and I felt that my business mattered, which as a customer you always appreciate. You might have seen my ad., but if you haven't that's okay as well. In fact, this reminds me that I need to do some more advertising. I just wanted to add all my experiences on Zibbet have been great and I enjoy shopping there. If only I had more money...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Uses for Old Jars and Customer Service Rant

I love what MidwestFinds on Etsy has done. Have an old jar?-put a lid on it. Instant soap dispenser. It's another clever idea that I love. I also like the way it looks, if you have an old blue Mason jar at home, it would really add some vintage style.

And now for the second part of my post, if you sell on Zibbet on Etsy, please answer you "messages to seller/convos." Since the black cat is my thing, I stumbled across a funky pre-made shop banner that I thought would work for Halloween for my Zibbet/Etsy shops. I really like it. I sent a convo. and more than 24hrs later no reply.

Just so you know, I like to send convos before I buy. I had a bad experience on E-bay. Bought the item, and nothing. I sent messages to the seller, nothing. I filed a claim of non-receipt and did get my money back, but I guess she was sick and couldn't respond to my messages. Unless I'm in a coma I get to the computer and can respond to my customers. Part of running an online business means being able to check your e-mails. If you can't or are away, please put a message in the announcement so at least I know.

So, I will give the banner maker a little bit more time, but will likely end up going elsewhere. I really like the look of the pre-made one, but I don't and won't wait around for forever. After all, Modred is a black cat and Halloween is coming up, he's got things to do.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Box of Wooden Pegs

Sometimes in the vintage trade, you come across items you're just not sure what to do with. At my last auction, I ended up with a box of wooden pegs. They could also work as vampire stakes, but since I'm not friends with any vampire killers I'm not sure what to do with them.

I haven't come across any this old. They likely marked property or a garden, as some still have some rope with them. They were then put in a barn and forgotten, until I came along. They will probably sit in my basement for awhile, as I'm not sure what to do with either. Thankfully, we have the room, and my husband tolerates my vintaging. Sometimes you just hold onto items until you learn more about them, or what to do with them.

I did learn people would make dolls from some wooden pegs. I remember being a child and learning about Laura Ingalls' doll she made with a corncob. In today's modern age, it's hard for me to relate to this. I don't know how we survived without the inter net, but survive we did. I would prefer a soft doll to a hard doll, but again, it's a different age.

The only marking pegs I see today are metal. Someone likely carved these from wood, taking time and care. I want to make sure whoever ends up with these realize that once upon a time someone cared about his work, and made these. That's also part of selling vintage, you want your items to find a good home. For now they will stay with me, until I find one.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Country Auction

Once upon a time, someone mentioned that vintage sellers didn't work as hard as people who sell handmade because they don't put as much time in it. I'm guessing they've never been to a country auction. I attended one yesterday, the family had been there for four generations, but the place had been sold and it was time to move some very old items. There was a bunch of it I had to sit through, and as one woman said "we used our antiques," so mint condition wasn't an option. This is to be expected though, mint condition is a rarity with vintage, especially since some of the items dated from the early 1900s.

I got up in the morning, and it was cold and raining. It rained throughout the day, but I had my fingerless gloves from HamsaHealing, plus a jacket and coat because I am a bit of cold-weather weenie. The auction was at the farm in an out-building, so it could have been worse. You park along the road and walk-up, my feet got a little wet and muddy by the time I was done.

More rain. Most auctions have a friendly vibe to them, even if you're being out-bid. I sat next to one lady who took some of the items that no one was bidding on. She turned to me and said "I'm nuts." We both had a good laugh and I helped her move some our her items to another area, as space was limited.

I wish I could re-do furniture. Farm furniture is usually older and quality made, it just needs to be refreshed. Unfortunately, it's not a strength of mine. Maybe someday I'll have the room to buy it then re-sell it to people who can give it new life.

There were a lot of quilts and older linens. I don't know much about then, I think that's why I like reading the blog A Passion for Vintage Textiles. She knows her stuff and I'm always learning something. As a general rule, quilts hold their value. I have yet to go to an auction where they are going "cheap." I think every generation appreciates the quality and beauty of quilts.

All farm houses have to have a friendly dog, and this was no exception. His name was Clay, and even though he was wet I had to pet him. I have to admit, I gave him a french-fry. He wasn't too proud to beg, nice dog.

I made it through the auction, it was a full-day and time to go home. Sometimes with auctions if you can out-last some of your fellow-bidders you can get better deals. I had a good time and will be listing some of the items on my Zibbet and Etsy web-site as time allows. I hope everyone had a nice weekend, but hopefully yours was warmer with less rain.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vintage Fashion - How Best to Display Shoes

This post was originally going to be about vintage shoes, but when I searched for vintage shoes, well, some of the photographs on Etsy stood out as bad. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, or be mean, so I won't show pictures of some of the offenders. And please keep in mind, this is just my opinion, from a buyer's point of view. I don't sell vintage shoes, and am by no means an expert.

I was searching for vintage boots, and clicked on a tall pair. Let's just say the close-up wasn't good. The person is wearing them, and I do want to say it may not be a good idea to show vintage shoes being worn. Vintage items are great, well-made, but if you do show them being worn on another persons foot, sometimes the mind does wander over to the "foot odor" area.

Also, if I can tell you're not wearing socks, that grosses me out a bit. Again, I might be picky, but if they're mis-laced and a person's bare feet are wearing an item I want to buy that doesn't conjour up any pleasant thoughts. When I go shopping for new shoes, I know people may have tried them on before I do, but I don't have pictures of them doing so. Also, some legs aren't meant for shoe close-ups. If you're really pale, and the shoes are black, your legs look really bright and hurt my eyes. I don't have good legs, that's why I don't have any leg close-ups.

Below is a picture done by BirdsChasingBugs on Etsy. Nice picture, classy, I even like the background. No one is wearing them, foot odor doesn't even occur to me. These would be a pair I would buy, the photograph sets a pleasant mood, which is important when buying on-line. Set the scene based on the shoe, and the photo will sell the item.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's About Me!

Hello, I'm going to toot my own horn here a bit, I've been featured on another blog. If you have a moment, check it out:

They also have a store on Etsy, and if you're looking for some fingerless gloves I can recommend them from my own experience. I love the quality of hand-made.

I also want to thanks KawarthaBeads for featuring my Tupperware stacking bowls on her blog. I enjoy the blog, it has some good information as well as popular tags for Etsy's front page. I keep trying in vain to get a treasury on the front page. It would be more productive to hit my head on a desk, but once I try for something I keep going. If you have a moment, stop by and say hi.

And thanks to my blog followers, and enjoy reading the posts of other blogs as well as the comments left on my blog.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shawnee Miniatures

Looking for a bit of vintage decor, but don't have much room? May I suggest Shawnee Pottery Miniatures. They started production in the late 30s and lasted through the 40s. The miniatures come is a variety of themes, from small vases to the Puppy Dog at the left. They were used as party favors to aquarium ornaments, and could be bought in packages.

Since these are older items, paint loss and small chips are common. Finding one in true mint condition is rare. As with most Shawnee pieces, if there is gold on them they are worth more. The aren't marked Shawnee, they were marked USA or left blank. The USA mark was used by other pottery companies, not just Shawnee.

The size ranges from 3/4" to 3 1/4." Demand isn't as popular as it once was, but I wouldn't say they are easily found either. Keep your eyes out, as some people don't know they are Shawnee. Even if you're not a Shawnee collector, their cuteness and smallness can work well for decorating tight places.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

80s Flashback-E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

When E.T. came out in 1982, I wanted to see it. Every kid I knew wanted to see it. I lived in a rural area growing up, and people from miles around came to the one movie theater in the area. In fact, the original showing was full by the time we arrived, but they were doing a later one due to the crowds. We made the later showing, and sat on the floor. Since my sister and I were young, we didn't care. When you get older sitting on the floor is a bigger problem.

I only saw the movie that one time, and never again. I enjoyed it, but I watched it as a kid. I'm sure most of the references were over my head, and I missed subtleties that I would have picked up as an adult (for example, how did the mom manage to miss an alien in the house?). My sister asked a lot of questions and I tried to answer them as best I could. I do remember the end, and I cried a lot, it was sad when E.T. left.

Like most things from my childhood, I'm afraid of revisiting it. The ending won't be as sad, and I won't be sitting on the floor of a crowded movie theater answering questions. I liked the movie as a kid, I can't see liking it as much as an adult. I enjoy the memory the way it is.