Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

I've been good, I swear it! Here are a few of my favorite things from Bliss&Vinegar Vintage, it'll take the guesswork out of your holiday shopping. This sweet treasury was put together by a loyal customer of my Etsy shop.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

57 Sales in 61 Days

Beatnik bunnies, my first Etsy sale.

Exactly two months ago, on August 23, I posted my first few items in BlissAndVinegar & by the time I woke up the next morning my very first item posted was sold.  I kept posting, kept collecting, kept hoping against hope that all of my preparations over the year leading up to actually opening my Etsy store would pay off.

Now, 61 days after that very first sale I have reached 57 sales, almost a sale a day & I couldn't be happier.  I am having a lot of fun & the entire process intrigues & excites me.  I love finding customers who enjoy these vintage treasures as much as I do & I have come in contact with some wonderful people because of this new venture.

Beatnik lion & his mouse pal, one of my newest Estate Sale finds.

There are challenges, like finding the best way to photograph my items.  I love photography, but taking pictures & editing them for Etsy is definitely the most time consuming task I deal with.  I hope to eventually attain some sort of continuity in lighting & style so that my storefront has a cohesive look to it.  That might be the Libra in me constantly striving for balance ... or maybe just the lingering side-effects of too many years in retail.

Networking is also a concern, as Etsy doesn't really advertise & most folks I meet have never heard of it.  So, I am blogging again for the first time since I got married three years ago; trying to find like-minded crafters & thrift store enthusiasts who are working hard to make their way off the beaten path.  I have started a Pinterest page & am trying to add more photos to my Flickr account as a way for people to see my merchandise elsewhere on the web.

I don't know that anyone is out there, but if you can answer me this ... what is your best advice for someone just starting out on Etsy as a vintage seller?  If you buy vintage online, what avenues do you use to find what you are looking for?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Rainy Day Pumpkin Hunt

My fella & I went for a road trip a few weeks ago to see if we couldn't find me some new shops to thrift at.  It was the first rainy day of the season & the perfect day for a drive up north.  Sadly, the thrifting in Redding was not so good ... there was nothing.  The decent things were way overpriced & the rest was mostly junk.  Not even the good kind of junk either, I was actually pretty shocked at the condition some of the merchandise was in.  I guess I am spoiled up here in our tiny mountain town full of retired city folks & antique lovers.

We tried seven stores & I spent a total of $4.25.  I found one store, however, with a huge selection of vintage children's books that were on sale for 25 cents apiece.  I cannot resist old children's books, they get me in the gotcha.

The day wasn't wasted though, as we love a good day trip & had a wonderful breakfast in a small diner called Gold Street Cafe.  It had very friendly (& heavily tattooed) staff & quirky decor.  None of the tables or chairs matched & instead of being average restaurant furniture, they all looked like they were purchased at thrift & antique shops.  Very quaint & a killer cup of decaf.  I had a mushroom & spinach omelet & a bowl of fruit.  Chucky had their pork chops with scrambled eggs, fruit & cottage cheese.  Everything was very tasty, they accidentally put cheese on my omelet, but in two minutes flat my replacement arrived.

On our way home we enjoyed the rainy weather, listened to my favorite fall playlist & stopped by the pumpkin patch so that I could take pictures & frolic amongst those gorgeous, glowing orbs.  I like to daydream about us opening up our own pumpkin patch when we are older, Chucky thinks it's cute & rolls his eyes at me, but I am completely serious.

Their welcome sign was very sweet & I loved the contrast between its bright fall colors & the sweet pink old-fashioned roses that were climbing up around it.

These huge pumpkin displays always make me jealous.

My fella's all ready for pumpkin hauling duty.
I have a rough time choosing when it comes to plants & pumpkins.  There are so many choices & I would try to fit them all in my little Honda Fit if Chucky didn't stop me.  So I took my time wandering & snapping pictures of the multitudes that wouldn't be journeying home with us.

Like these ...

& these ...

& these lovely bright minis!  Though I bet I could have gotten all of these into Yoko's hatchback!

Chucky went for the huge ones, finding a large white pumpkin he had to have first.  I was off trying to choose the perfect grey pumpkin, it was difficult because their prices were so CHEAP!  $3 for the traditional jack-o-lantern variety, $5 for the specialty heirloom varieties & $10 for the behemoths in the covered tents.  As cheap as Trader Joe's, but so many more varieties to choose from & muddy feet to boot.

Chucky's first choice.

Our pumpkin haul for the day ... or so he thought.

I fell in love with the shape, color & graceful stem of this tiny darlin'.

In all we ended up with a large white, a large orange, three traditional jack-o-lantern style, one grey & I picked out 6 tiny pumpkins of different varieties to come home with us.  I rationalized it because the thrifting had been such a bust & I hadn't even dented my $20 thrift allowance for the day.

I can't promise I won't go back once more just to wander.
The pumpkins are all arranged on the porch & we've yet to carve any ... we'll save that for mid-week.  I'm going to make some pumpkin curry with the insides & can't wait to roast all of the seeds into a delicious crunchy Paleo treat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chocolates & Tattoos

Another birthday begins, number 38. To celebrate I will fill my day with the things I love.  I would like to do a little thrifting, maybe grab a cup of strong decaf & pick up a piece of my favorite chocolate (Dark Chocolate Coconut Truffle) at Coco Amatrice.

My Fella is closing down the tattoo shop to all customers (except for me) & I'm getting a very birthday appropriate piece inked. I've been thinking about this tattoo for the past year, it was inspired by one of my favorite artists, Leets.

She does these amazing fat pinups I adore, this one is proportioned just like me & see that gloriously giant slice of cake on her hip!?  I want one in the very same spot. So Chucky has drawn up his own slice for my hip ... it will go great with the cupcake & crossbones he did on my back a few years ago.
Precioso a photo by Leets on Flickr.
(I added in the leaves to cover her delicates as you never know who you may offend)

I cannot wait for it. You know that saying, "A carpenter's house is never finished; a mechanic's car never runs."? Well, a tattooist's wife is covered in half finished tattoos & has a huge folder filled with, "someday I'm gonna get this tattoo," tattoo ideas & rough sketches.

After the tattoo is finished we'll come home to hang with the dogs & bake some simple, Paleo-friendly, coconut flour honey-sweetened lemon cupcakes to take to my sister's house for dinner with the family later this evening.

On Tuesday we are going down to the city to see Ryan Adams, which is my main birthday excitement. I haven't seen him live in four years & I cannot wait to hear the new album live!

In other news, the Etsy shop is picking up, I posted my first items on August 23 & have so far sold 47.  It's a lot of hard work, a lot of tiny mistakes & lessons learned, but I have so much fun at it & the customers seem truly delighted by their vintage treasures. That makes me incredibly happy ... I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees the value in these things.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Going Up The Country

We took a trip up the Feather River canyon for a camp out with my family ... an end of summer celebration.  Some days I really wish we lived closer to a large city with options for museums & music shows & the like, but living out in the middle of nowhere has its advantages.  No close neighbors or freeways, super starry night skies, twenty minute drives up the canyon that yield so much secluded goodness.

<3 getting away ... even for a moment.

It was such a necessary breather, I sometimes (if this makes sense to anyone but me) get so caught up in my life that I forget to actually live it.  I am working on getting better at that.

A handsome travel companion doesn't hurt.
My husband Chucky & I have three large dogs so staying the whole weekend wasn't an option, but we had a lovely time of it anyhow.  I have been so busy lately getting Bliss&Vinegar going over at Etsy that I haven't had much time for anything else.  It is more work than most would expect, but I love it.  I researched for almost a year while I built up enough inventory to feel comfortable with adding items to the shop.

I kept an online diary for 7 years, but getting married in 2008 brought new responsibilities & usurpers of my time.  I have been wanting to start up a new blog for a while now & decided that opening my Etsy store was the perfect time to get it going.  Slow going ... but headed in the right direction.

I would eventually like to post my thrift hauls here & link up with Apron Thrift Girl & other such blogs as I find peeking at other people's vintage finds fascinating.