front porch trash

front porch trash

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lottery winner...?

Do you play the lottery? Or as we call it around our house, our donation to the state education fund.

We will occasionally play and when we do SweetiePie and I always disagree over the numbers to be played. We have tried letting the computer choose and using our own numbers. Any we choose always yields the same results. A donation to the education lottery fund.

We had tickets that expired Dec 27 and I kept forgetting to check the numbers. So today while we were making an ice cream run getting a few groceries, I remembered to check my tickets.

Yeah, I got them to put it in a box because I didn't want to strain my back. A whole dollar on a $24 dollar "investment". Not such a good return.

But then again there might be something good to come out of this transaction. When SweetiePie and I go out to eat and  when he gets ready to leave a tip we choose a bill and use the serial numbers to try and make the best poker hand. Looser has to put a big L on their forehead with their fingers.
This one has a great straight. Could be a winner!! Of course two pair could win, but it all depends on what the other bill has.

I think I'll stick to thrifting. At least I can count on a return of my investment, unlike the lottery.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Teaching Them Right!!!

We were all celebrating the grandsons birthday last week with a bit of nostalgia since he is joining the Army after graduation in June.  January and February is birthday central in our family. Three in January, six in February with Valentines thrown in for good measure. Grandson starts off the chain and then our youngest daughter, SmartA**.

Oldest daughter and I wanted to take SmartA**out for lunch this Saturday and maybe do something together. So we asked what she would really like to do. Guess what she said? Go thrifting!!! Not a problem. Now, oldest daughter is not a thrifter. She is more of a Target/Kohls kinda girl. Which is fine (not really....retail?) if that's how she flies. But we are all planning a thrift trip. SmartA** wants to go to the big thrift with the 25c bins and 99c racks and free bins. An adventure......and time together. And we will find some good things along the way.

I have been trying to cash in on the big donation surge at the end of the year. Also, the big thrift has calendars ($1) that they sell at the end of the year with coupons for each month. January's coupon is 50% off of your entire purchase between the hours of 8am and 10am. I purchased 2 calendars before the end of the year and received 2 free ones on my first visit in January. coupon a week for each month all year long and they only cost (lets do the math) an average of 25c per calendar divided by 12 that makes each coupon cost just over 2c. I think I can live with those numbers.

I've been twice and gotten a few things.  Seems like sheets have been a good thing in the bins lately.
This pile is big. The pile on the left is two deep with sheets and the pile on the right is a king size duvet cover with shams, a twin size duvet cover with shams, a full size sheet set with quilt and shams to match, plus a bunch of sheets, a Xstitch crib quilt, talking King Arthur game(in German). Also two handmade gingham aprons, one with chicken scratch and one a vintage border print. Ivory single edge eyelet fabric, 6.5 yards on the bolt, and a new IKEA mosquito net for a bed. Housewares include a stacking Regal food carrier, coffee carafe, 3 espresso carafe, Super Shooter, glass microwave replacement, vtg Pyrex Kitchen Aid mixing bowl, and a dozen assorted kitchen gadgets.

The two pair of sandals are new, boots, crocs leather shoes (didn't know they made leather shoes), Teach My Toddler complete set, some wool hats, ball caps, Art Bin tackle box, a unicorn cuddleuppet, and hangers for all of the stuff .

What I forgot to take a pic of is a pile of coats that I got on my first trip. A Sir Pendleton men's top coat, a Banana Republic wool cashmere jacket and several windbreakers. And a whole bunch of free stuff.  Two vintage thermos, knitting looms and some loose toys.

So what am I doing on this blog? I need to get my self in gear and get some things photographed and listed, especially the coats. I have a thrifting date on Saturday.

Happy thrifting.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Behind the Scenes at GW

Our local paper, The News & Observer, published an article about a former Good Will employee in their latest Sunday edition. Some interesting reading. Read Here

This was the second story that this particular writer had written about GW. I remember reading about the couple that runs the stores here in the eastern part of the state. With a combined salary of almost $800,000 it looks like they could have purchased the guys book.

I have said it before but I do not like these local stores. No bathroom, no shopping carts, no credit or debit cards and nothing ever goes on sale. They have recently started letting you use the bathroom in the back, but you have to be escorted and they wait for you. Please, I'm a big girl.

If they had shopping carts I believe people would buy more. They don't hold anything for you at the front and you only have a little plastic basket to haul around.

And what happens to all of the jewelry that is donated? They used to have a bunch of jewelry at the front counter but they did away with that several years ago. And why is it that you never have pillowcases to match the sheets that are donated? I asked one day and the clerk said they "dispose" of them if they are dirty. Now is that stained or just dirty or do they go to the recycler? Most of the sheets they have are clean and folded neatly and don't have stains.

 Its also strange that the spokesperson for the company doesn't know what was trash or recycled clothing. Looks like the tax man could teach them the difference. If they sell clothes to a recycler they would have to declare the income, if they have garbage pick up it is an expense. Simple.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dear Tuxedo Shirt Guy,

I was excited when you purchased a tuxedo shirt from my store on ebay. It's only been listed for almost two years. I was sick and tired of looking at it every time I had to dig through the tote to get another sold shirt.

I'm not excited any more. I am just relieved to get the shirt back and in one piece. The last time I sold a shirt the buyer returned it with a hole punched in the sleeve.

Thankfully you didn't punch a hole in the sleeve. You didn't even unfold the shirt and yet you "trashed" it. I am at a loss for words how you can properly inspect a shirt without unfolding it and actually looking at it.

I'm sorry that I missed those TWO loose threads on the hem. Each one was less than 1/2" long and were "so tacky". I'll try to do better next time. Also, I'm sorry that I missed that 1/4" loose thread on the bottom button hole. I'll try to do better next time. I guess I really need to get a pair of scissors if I plan on more of this "ebay thing".

If you had bothered to read the description you would have noticed that I did say there was some wear to the collar. And I will make a note to self that ALL tuxedo shirt should be shipped in a box so the collar doesn't get folded. How kind of you to point that out to me.

I have issued your refund,  if you can take time out of your busy schedule to check you messages. I'm sorry I wasn't home when the package was delivered so I could refund the minute it hit my mailbox. It took me 5 hours to refund your money. I'll try to do better next time. Of course my SweetiePie could have waited for dinner while I checked my email and handled the refund. What was I thinking?

And thank you so much for escalating this whole mess to a claim only 4 hours after delivery. I'll try to do better next time.

Oh wait, there won't be a next time. I have blocked your ass from ever buying anything from my store for the rest of your life, maybe longer if you piss me off.

Yours truly,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Shell Cordovan Shoes?

I once had a pair of Allan Edmonds shoes listed as cordovan. Now, I also had them listed as cordovan calf skin, but someone asked if they were cordovan or just cordovan color.  Cordovan color, thank you very much.

I don't think I have ever found a pair of shell cordovan leather shoes before. The description of the feel of the leather is like heavy plastic. That is just what this leather feels like.

I have researched these and they appear to be shell cordovan but the soles are not nailed and the heels don't have a V notch. I think that the nails and V notch are vintage shoes, but I can't get a definitive answer.
Here they are. Can someone tell me if they are really shell cordovan? They are not creased like calf leather, but have waves instead.

 The only thing I have done to these since I picked them up yesterday is wipe them down with a damp cloth. From what I have read you don't polish shell cordovan, just buff and the shine appears.

Also have these shoes that I picked up at an estate sale this summer. Appear to have been worn once, but they have a terrible mildew smell, no visible mold or anything, but smell very musty. I have had them sunning for ages and the smell is getting less and less but I guess I will have to freeze them to see if that does the trick.

These have the same feel to the leather and don't have little creases, same type of waves. I can't find any Bass shoes listed as being shell cordovan leather.

Did you know that shell cordovan is from a horses butt? A thick, tough leather on each side of the tail. And only one pair of shell cordovan shoes per horse hide. You can cut 3-4 pair of shoes from a cow hide. Just so you know.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How Approximate is Approximate?

I measure all of my clothing that I sell. I describe, over describe, actually and then this comes back to bite me   
I think I remember hearing on Scavenger Life to describe like you have no pictures and take pictures like you have no written description. I have tried to live by that little tidbit of advice.

Sold these True Religion jeans back in early December.

I did all of my measurements and took extra photos because I wanted the buyer to really know what they were getting. They sold in less than a month for full price. I was pleasantly surprised that they sold so quickly since they were flare legs and not skinny or boot cut.

The day after the buyer received them I got an ebay message stating that they were not as described. I listed the waist as measuring 16" and she stated that it actually measured 13.75". Well folks, that's an error of more than 2". Am I blind? Am I dyslexic and wrote or typed the wrong numbers? both questions.

After several messages with question as to how she measured and detailing how I measured and stating that I would be "happy" to accept a return she opened the case for not as described and wanted to return. Hello, I already told her I would accept a return. Why open a case? Well she did and it earned me a defect.

When I got them back it was the day after Christmas and I put them on the back burner until the last week. Well, I was actually upset that I had the return stuffed down my throat because I knew I hadn't made such a large error. When I finally pulled them out and laid them out to measure, laying on the original table, the same tape measure and everything as near as possible to the first measurement, my measurement was 15.75".  Not 13.75" as she had stated. And I always state in each and every listing that measurements are approximate. (A lesson I learned from a listing several years ago over the issue of less than a half inch in a piece of woven trim.)

Then I set out to duplicate the way she came up with 13.75". The only way I could do this was lay them out this way.

And if you measure across the top of the back of the waistband you get between 13.5" and 14", depending on exactly how you stretch them out. This is not how she said she achieved her measurement. We both stated that we place the waistband, top edges together, and measure across with the waistband folded in half. I think that is how most sellers measure the waistband of pants.

So my question. How much error is allowed by ebay for an approximate measurement? Are you allowed to be off less than an inch, half inch or what is the basis for approximate?

Anyone have previous experience before I call ebay?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Nostalgic Find

When I was out on New Year's Eve looking for free stuff I ran across an old friend.

Carrie Keeper, missing her bonnet, but still a
place to store a girls hair bows. 
About 25-30 years ago I was a stay at home Mom with two growing girls and looking for an outlet for my creative juices, and extra money. I had always sewn and enjoyed making clothes for my girls and myself. I ran across a pattern for a "Carrie Keeper" ($3, check or MO!) in a craft magazine, ordered it and made some for Christmas gifts and then made some for a friend that ran a doll shop in town. I was hooked on crafts. I probably made 300+ during the frenzy of less than a year. That got me hooked. I stayed at home, created AND made some money.

Carrie Keeper originally had a round bonnet that covered the back of her head and a bone ring for hanging. The pigtails were for clipping hair bows. Hair bows were all the rage, still are. Her face is hand painted, lightly stuffed, and stretched over a cut salt box frame. Reduce and reuse even back then.

Next, my doll shop friend convinced me to make Cabbage Patch Doll Clothes. That's a whole other story.

She looks pretty good for a gal her age. Aged well and I don't know if some little girl used her for hair bows or just on her wall. I remember painting those faces and how to assemble them. (I probably could make them in my sleep, even now.) I see the fabric I used for her hat every day. I used the scraps from all of the fabric (available in pink, peach, lavender, blue!!) I used for the hats to make a quilt that I have on my bed right now.

Somehow I think she has found her new forever home.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It's Always the Season...Selling Season Hopefully

Happy New Year to everyone. Here's hoping to a more prosperous year than the last. I know everyone is ready to settle down from the holiday season and.....list, list, list.

It's no fun being sick at Thanksgiving. Especially when the family comes to your house for dinner.

It's no fun being sick at Christmas when everyone comes to your house on Christmas Eve.

It's just no fun being sick.

But I survived two rotten colds with lots of congestion and mucus...lots of mucus....and aches and pains. Now everything can only get better.....right?

I missed the blog world but believe me I was busy in the "real" world. I'm running out of storage room for listed items. I have been trying to operate out of a single room at home with listed items on one side, in totes and on shelves and unlisted items on the other side hanging on a rack and on shelves. And on another wall my photo set up. I need more room. So I am taking over another room in the house. Thank goodness there are only the two of us in our "nest" and I have the room. I can't wait to get all of my unlisted stuff in one room, take photos and then move it to the storage room.

I hope this change means that I will be able to have my dining room table back, my sofa back and a place to put my stuff inventory. But I just can't keep from acquiring more stuff inventory.

Last year I visited my favorite thrift store on New Year's Eve and got a huge free haul. Same thing this year? Nope. They must have learned the error of their ways and decided not to give away so much stuff. I got a handful of free stuff and only spent $15 on everything I purchased yesterday.

I ventured out to see what I could dig up. I haven't been thrifting/sourcing very much since Thanksgiving (sick/busy/sick). My first stop they had three matching recliners on the sidewalk with free tags. Don't need a recliner, don't need three recliners. Not much else. I spent $13 in the store. $13...I can't remember when I spent that small an amount on inventory.

My next stop is where I usually find all of the free goodies. Bins were almost empty. And they didn't bring out any new stuff. And I only spent $1.78 in the store. But the line of incoming stuff was long and they had lots of stuff stacked at the back door.

This is my $15 haul. John Meyer of Norwich embroidered jacket, chicken scratch apron, vintage linens, cast iron door stop, straw trivets, 3 free milk glass cosmetic jars, pancake molds, 5 printed fabric panels, Baby Einstein (no accessories) and free books and magazines for the grand kids.

This is additional free stuff. Two Lalaloopsie dolls, one missing an arm, Fisher Price Nativity figures, wood toy, cassette tapes and the box is for the dolls.

Now the big move into the new space. Of course I would love to paint the room before I move everything , but I don't think I want to take the extra time to paint. My SweetiePie can't help and I just don't think I want to tackle it by myself and keep listing and selling. I just want more space.

Now get out there and list for the New Year...list...list...