primsong: (snood)
We got two new flavors of rooibos from Tea for All Reasons in the mail today. She's my new fave tea lady on Etsy... the Mama's Spicy Carrot Cake is our 'dessert' tonight and it's fabulous with a splash of cream, mmmm!  Going to try out the "Pot o' Gold" next (cacao bits, calendula leaves, tiny peppermint shamrocks, vanilla - ooh yeah)

And this is me at this point, with a bright colored afghan one of my dear online friends, Daughter of Kings, made gracing the couch behind:

Rockin' the (very) short hair!

primsong: (seven plot)
I don't do New Years resolutions, but as I look ahead to the last kid to graduate reaching that goal in June I realize it's time to shift gears more thoroughly to a Grown Up household instead of a Kid household - whatever that means.  Frankly, the "empty nest" sounds pretty good some days, though I love my kids, and I sincerely hope they can each find their feet well enough to get their own homes before too long.  Besides, my house is FULL of extra furniture and stuff they've stashed away for their "own apartment someday."  

For a baby step into this next season, I'm thinking I'll be winding down my Etsy shop and looking into getting a part time 'real' job this next fall - I love Etsy, but it isn't remotely enough to make a dent in our mortgage and I would very much like to work on getting that paid down.  We'll see what happens, I'm not particularly marketable but there may be something that comes to hand.
primsong: (tarzan)
Well, it's been over 3 years now since I started my little Etsy vintage shop, The Amiable Leaf - it had a slow start, but seems to have found an ambling pace that I can manage well enough and I enjoy it.  Lately, though, I've been looking at the backlog of stuff waiting for me to get it written up, measured, photographed, listed, etc. and realizing that this is most of what I do when I have computer time anymore - Etsy or the church newletter or library work or some other 'serious' project.  Not writing, or playing around with icons or reading fanfic or even recording for Librivox.  Somewhere along the way, the balance of hours involved in my side business has gradually taken over much of my 'play time'. 

Not that it's bad, per se, it's always interesting to me and goodness knows the dribs and drabs of money are useful, we're still supporting 1 kid in college and 2 in private high schools, after all - but I think I'm in need of pushing back a bit.

Ah, the age-old balancing act of work and pleasure, it never goes away does it?  Don't want to wait too long and go falling off the tightrope. How's your balancing act going?  Are you keeping the Big W word balanced with sanity-protecting fun stuff?
primsong: (pears)
I'm up late (for me) waiting for my crockpot to finish cooking the lentil-sweet-potato-coconut-curry I'm making for tomorrow's potluck.  The problem with sitting up late is I often end up wanting to buy things. 

Actually, I've gotten to where I shop Etsy first anymore, I love being able to support all these nice people who make all these nice things!  Like my somewhat-local Heavenly Honey Farm, - yummers... I tried their honey lip balm and honey eye cream and now find myself abandoning my former loyalty to the mass-marketed 'Burts Bees' with scarcely a backwards glance.  Sorry, Burt!  You've been one-upped.  I went back to Heavenly today and ordered a couple of their 'pillows' of lip balms to give to our church and preschool staff for Christmas this year, yay for having that taken care of.

Now I want beeswax candles too.  Haven't splurged on one of those for a long time. Hm!

primsong: (percy duh)
Got a message from someone regarding one of the vintage items I have listed for sale online.  They ask "Can you tell me where I can find something like this except NEW?"

Um. Get a time machine and go back 20+ years?  It's like....y'know... listed at a shop that only sells vintage?  Vintage, like, y'know, USED?  Like, duh?  Mine's in good shape, how about you just buy that one?

*shakes head at the silliness of humanity*
primsong: (unimpressed)
So...I sell stuff online on Etsy, which means I need a reasonably good digital camera on tap. My old Canon has been plugging along for eons, still working well but as it had lost its little protective door over the lens years back and all the little labels were wearing off, my DH gifted me with a new Sony one for Christmas. Yay, says I - it's nice and light and cute!

Thus Sony enters as supposed champion and promptly falls off their horse )
primsong: Scan from an old Dr. Who magazine (find tardis win game)
Gosh I love Etsy - lookie, lookie!   A TARDIS cincher?  Now I seriously want one of these, with the matching capelet of course.

Vworp out, baby!
primsong: (hamster)
So, what do you do when a cat keeps coming around and YOWLing under your windows every night, trying to come in the cat flap and act like it lives in your house.... in spite of being chased off, shot with a nerf gun, made the target of hurled pine-cones and squirted with a hose? Ya THINK it would get the hint. We've had to conclude it is retarded. >_< Our own (fixed, mellow) kitty is annoyed. It's well fed so it isn't a stray - but it's been doing this off and on for a *year* now and we're seriously thinking of getting a humane trap. Feline village idiot.

On the good side, I found some funky wavy forks on Etsy that a crafty person made into wall hooks and they're just perfect for holding up the little window scarf in my dining room! Yay! I love Etsy.
Love the 'do, Mr. Fork )
primsong: (columbine)
Note to self - do not try to catch up on journal posts while simultaneously babysitting a griddle full of french toast. And misplacing the spatula and running around in a circle going "I can't find my spatula!" prompting my entire family to suddenly begin reciting the Spatula City (Spatula City! SPATULA City!) commercial from UHF.

Been a mixed sort of day, started off badly with finding one of my parakeets in a bad way from being egg-bound (pretty seriously) then having to find a vet who treats small birds, then getting her there only to find what I'd already figured, that we'd have to put her down. The only good side of that is it was Snowy, the mean bird, not Sherbet the nice one - now Sherbet won't have to spend every day in a cage with a broody, dominant hen who attacks her from time to time, so overall maybe an improvement though I will miss old Snowy and we'll have to find Sherbet a new friend.

So considering it started off with putting down a small pet, the rest of the day's been pretty good... found some nice stuff for my Etsy shop including a vintage "space race" card game we're going to try playing, worked at the food cupboard bagging beans and filling little bottles of shampoo, making french toast with maple extract in them as an experiment (Next time, more extract), etc.

Just maundering about life, I guess - hope yours is also on an upswing!
primsong: (two)
I just love it when I find funkier than usual goodies for my vintage Etsy shop - this time it's an antique wind-up tin toy of a cat that is knitting - it's little needles go up and down and it has a wee ball of yarn in its lap. I don't usually go for stuff that's purely decorative, but it's darn adorable. That one gets cleaned up for sale, but the other two things are MINE all mine, bwa hahaahaa... I found the coolest space-age looking lime green lamp with a built in fruit bowl and a funky-monkey (as my son dubbed it) old decorative yellow and brown narrow wooden chair that totally gets to live in my house. This makes up for all the reams of old mugs, dusty tupperware and cheap resin trinkets from China that I have to wade past to get to them when I go our treasure hunting.

Also, on the Dreamwidth block party of LJ-refugees topic - I found a nice "starter kit" of links over here for anyone else who is just finding their way around: (many thanks to Kate for putting that together)!

Hello to my new friendly people - welcome! *waves*
primsong: (yay)
[ profile] everloyal and friend drove up to visit and as they came up the steps (cajoled in by offers of apple crisp) their question was "Why is there a body in the grapes?"

Oops. Realized I'd left the half-a-body mannequin I use for taking pictures of my Etsy stuff out by the grape arbor. It looked pretty good that morning with the sunlight on the leaves and propped on a bench it made a great display piece, but I'd wandered off for other angles and abandoned it there.

"Let me grab my body," I said apologetically and dashed out to the arbor, faintly hearing a "What did she just say?" from my husband through the open windows. Snagged it and toted it back across the yard, ducking into the kitchen as I went past the doorway to display the black cloth torso in my arms. "This one, I mean," I amended and headed downstairs to put it away.

This time I hear my now thoroughly baffled husband asking "When did I start living in a sit-com?"

"Oh, this place is much better than any sit-coms I've seen," was her friend's reply.
primsong: (Default)
We've our annual fundraiser thing for our preschool with a huge spaghetti dinner and silent auction for baskets of themed goodies donated in various ways. I hope it isn't cheap of me that I've decided to make a Vintage Themed basket using various goods from my Etsy shop that expired without any buyers. Maybe we'll wring some cash back out of them after all this way - my favorite is an early 1950s bottle with Treasure Island pirates printed on it that was used over the years as a water sprinkler for ironing clothes.

I'm starting to look at vintage stuff very differently than I used to, learning to spot what has resale value and what is just junk, getting to where I can peg different eras by lettering styling, what type of plastic, etc. but I've still a long ways to go. But then, I'm not looking for "valuable stuff" I'm looking for old stuff that pleases me in hopes that it also pleases someone else. A potholder with smiling little daisy and sunshine faces on it, for instance - it wasn't 'valuable' or 'collectible' but I sold it almost as soon as I put it up. :-)

Bonus new skill from all this - I'm getting better at removing old stains from old fabrics without destroying them in the process. Sorta. :-P
primsong: (Default)
Got some lovely new laundry soap from a seller on Etsy - honey and sandalwood, mmmm - that and rosemary with mint - mmMMMmmm... I'm actually enjoying catching up on the laundry today, though that apparently doesn't stop me from dashing off a brief meme just because.

Yoinked from [ profile] curuchamion, because my curiosity got the better of me -

you are lavender

Your dominant hue is blue, making you a good friend who people love and trust. You're good in social situations and want to fit in. Just be careful not to compromise who you are to make them happy.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

I pretty much agree with it as well, good fun.


Jan. 20th, 2010 01:44 pm
primsong: (beach)
These guys are SO cute - ohmygoodness!

I want one. Just had to show you - there's even a steampunk cicada with a penny farthing. And a Trekkie squid. And jelly-fish accidentally mistaking one another for spaghetti. Sweet.
primsong: (flower)
I've been trying to do some gradual switching away from consumable paper goods this past year as one of our little economizing things - kind of like more hanging out the wash to dry when I can, changing to cloth napkins (love them!) and the switcheroo on ladies products to washable flannel ones (super love them!). This time it's hankie time. Bought a nice lot of vintage handkerchiefs on Etsy that were being sold as 'imperfect' because they had little pulls, spots, etc. that made them less than desirable for collectors.

As I told the lady, I didn't mind them being less than perfect because I wasn't looking to collect or frame them, I wanted them "for hankies." She wrote back that she loved the idea and had decided to set aside some of the ones she'd been selling in a little basket "as hankies" herself.

I have two little baskets of them so far, looking for some more. We really like them now that we're used to them, they don't disintegrate in your pocket when you wash your clothes for instance, last better and are softer and prettier than kleenex. We figure we'll still use tissues when we're sick as germ-containment but otherwise I'm now wondering why we didn't do this sooner, they're so... nice!
primsong: (yay)
I simply love some of the stuff I come across at garage sales and such - in this case it's a computer hutch! It's beautiful and matches my maple kitchen cabinets, which is a Fine Thing as my comp is right at the end of my kitchen, I am sooo happy. We had to replace a couple bits but that turned out better than expected as well ) It even has a light at the top. Yay! I feel so spoiled, I would hug it if it weren't a piece of furniture.

I was just looking around my house earlier and mentally identifying all the stuff we got from yard sales - there's quite a lot, I suppose if I were one of those folks who "MUST have it new" my house would be pretty spartan (or I'd be in significant debt). Looks good to me - I'm grateful for my mom raising me to appreciate how used can be good as (or better) than new.

It's an interesting mindset, the 'new' thing. My daughter, [ profile] starbells, has an excellent artistic eye for clothing and told me one of her classmates admiringly asked her where she got her clothes. She said "Goodwill" and the other girl was both shocked and dismayed. "My mom won't let me shop at Goodwill, she says the clothes are germy."

I just have to roll my eyes. As if her 'new' clothing shipped from companies in China and handled by who knows how many people before her would be germ-free, lol! When my mom was in real estate for a while, she mentioned meeting a woman who said she wouldn't buy a 'used' house, only new because she didn't want to sit on a toilet seat someone else had sat on. I mean...good grief...

But then, germs hold little terror for me, and I love a good treasure hunt - plus now I get to hunt more often as my Etsy shop needs feeding, a nice bonus. Each to their own!
primsong: (books)
Looong ago we got a domain of our own for the very first time, venturing into Waters Unknown.Not that it was used as intended... )

And now to today - years later, when my AmiableLeaf Etsy shop was doing well enough that it looked like it would be a good idea to take all the books off to their own shopfront as books and vintage housewares kind of attract two different kinds of people.

And so what should I call it but Bookloaf?

I listed a handful of books and vintage magazines on it over the last couple of days and [ profile] starflower made me a simply grand banner for the top, even using my old neglected logo. And by golly I even already have a website by the same name. Better late than never.

I think my only regret in this so far is it keeps using up all my writing time! Hopefully that's going to go back into balance as the 'building up' phase levels out.
primsong: (books)
I feel like I have a new part-time job here, my Etsy shop has been doing surprisingly well and between that and garage-saleing for new stock and getting it cleaned up, researched, photographed, etc. it's just like work...except it's fun and totally at my own speed.

I put out a mishmash of things to see what sells and found to my surprise that my vintage sheet sets seem to do very well. My clothesline, as a result, is often full of sheets in many colors, all waving in the wind with me snapping pictures of them like some kind of linens paparazzi. I just sold more, so now I get to go sheet-hunting again. Old papers and books are pretty good too.

I'm just so happy that it isn't dead in the water - The only drawback so far is I keep wanting to hang onto the cool stuff instead of selling it, hah.

Just an update and encouraging note to the rest of you with Etsy shops to go ahead and put something out there, it's strangely entertaining.
primsong: (flower)
Seeing as we're doing fun stuff like having to re-stain the house, replace a dying dishwasher, replace two patio doors AND help with some college this year, I'm looking for ways to bring in a few more pennies on the side. The result so far has been setting up an Etsy account/'storefront' wherein I can peddle some of my assorted vintage whatnot and maybe dabble in selling some artsy things too, eventually. Somewhere down inside me must be some of those shopkeeper genes from my many merchant forefathers, if I can just rummage some of them up.

It's called 'Amiable Leaf' and so far it's, er... empty. With a pathetic banner at the top that I'll have to work up a replacement for. I'm still scratching my head over how to calculate shipping and other odd bits and am frankly a bit intimidated, like a little kid with a lemonade stand in a mall.

What I'm wondering is if any of you have tried selling anything on Etsy, and how it's going? Has it been worth your time? I'm eyeballing ebay as well, but they're so darn complicated and add fees every time you turn around or breathe - Etsy seems more friendly.


primsong: (Default)

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