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Thursday, December 30, 2010

my name is amy, and i am an addict....

I can't believe it's been a week since I've posted. I'm not sure where the time has gone, although I'm pretty sure I spent most of it watching dogs :) We had about 30 dogs boarding over Christmas. About half have gone home, so things are getting back to normal, but one of our employees is off until New Years so we've been working a lot. Especially Jeff, bless him. He's put in at least 12 hours a day everyday since Christmas Eve.

As for today's topic, yes, I am an addict, but not to anything dangerous or that will turn me into a mugger or anything (I don't think).  I'm addicted to Pyrex. I can't help it. I see it and I have to buy it. As long it's at the right price, of course. I think the best thing about selling vintage is that I can enjoy the pieces I find until I sell them. And since my house is slowly turning into a warehouse with all the inventory I have, I decided to make use of some shelves I have in my kitchen to store/display Pyrex. Here it is:

I have one shelf left, so hopefully I will sell a few pieces before I find more :)

Happy hunting!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

more good luck

Yesterday, I was fortunate to be featured on the front page. I ended up selling four of the spoons that were featured.

My luck continued through the day. First, I found a silver dime. I know, it may not seem like a big deal, but I've been checking dimes for years and never found one.  Then, the treasury that I put together climbed to number one! It's not unusual for it to take an hour for me to put together a treasury. Yesterday was a crazy day though, so I threw one together in 15 minutes - and it went to number one! I think I'll start taking less time from now on :) It's still in the fourth position this morning with over 3500 views!

Here it is:

It seemed that my luck had given out when I fell down the stairs to our basement. These are the most steep, narrow, and treacherous stairs that I've seen outside of a European cathedral (circa 1400s), so everytime I go down them, I mentally tell myself NOT TO FALL, NOT TO FALL, NOT TO FALL. I've fallen down them before (can you tell?) and I'm always afraid I'll do it again. The good news is that I only fell down the last three. And I didn't crack my head open. So, hey, more good luck!!

I guess it's all how you look at it :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I woke up to the exciting news that one of my items was in a treasury on the FRONT PAGE of Etsy! I can't tell you how happy I am! Here's a screenshot - the spoon/bottle openers are mine (sorry, I know it's a little hard to see):

I logged onto my shop this morning just like always and I noticed that one of the spoons had sold. I also had two "convos" from folks asking about the spoons and which ones I had left. I thought it was strange because those things had been posted for months and I had only sold one of the 8 I had. Anyway, after responding to the convos and doing some other stuff online, I went over to Craftopolis to check my shop views. That's when it hit me - I had been on the front page. By 8:00 am my time, I had twice as many page views as I've ever had in a whole day! And 16 people had favorited my shop. I once had 10 people favorite my shop in one day, but the average for me is 2-3 a day, so 16 is amazing!

Just when I thought I would have no more sales until after Christmas, I've had 8 in the last 3 days! Hooray! Of course, now I have to go stand in line at the post office. I was there yesterday though and it wasn't so bad, so maybe it won't be bad today either, especially since if you are just shipping today, it's not going to make it by Christmas anyway.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Well, we're less than a week until Christmas. Hope everyone has accomplished everything they've hoped to by this point and, if not, well, just have another spiked egg nog and relax. Stressing won't get it done any faster (although if it did, I would always be the first done at everything - ha!).

After having a great first half of the month, the sales dried up three days ago. I knew it would happen but it was still a bummer, although I'm happy to have a few days off from the post office! Here's hoping January brings lots of customers with Christmas money to spend.

Anyway, today I thought I would share some items, both handmade and vintage, from my Favorites list. At least what's left - seems like half of my favorites or more were snatched up during the holiday rush. Guess that means I have good taste :)

I have a thing for clocks. In addition to the red art deco clock that I missed out on, I also had a beautiful turquoise and chrome model on my favorites list that was sold. When it comes to clocks, simple is better in my book. I really like this old school clock:

The time clock at The Barkway is on its last legs. I found this really cool vintage one on Etsy, purely by accident. I mean, I never even thought to look for one there. If it hangs around for another week or two, I might convince Jeff to get it.

I think these fingerless fleece gloves are cool and I really love the turquoise stitching against the dark gray (although it's hard to see in this photo)

This rectangular Dansk enamel pot is to die for

Ditto for this Catherineholm turquoise enamel pot

This retro looking tea towel would look perfect in my kitchen. So cute.

Isn't this clutch great? Love that color combo

Speaking of turquoise and brown, these mugs are groovilicious. Love the pedestal.

One of the items in my faves that sold was this cute little vintage tackle box. I think it was priced at $45.

Although it's not vintage, I picked this up for $10 over the weekend at this surplus store down the road from us. It's plastic inside instead of metal, but I still love the look of it.

Happy hunting!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

this, that, and the other thing

I've been pretty good about posting everyday, but this week has gotten away from me. It's true that time speeds up the older you get. Remember when you were 10 and the days took forever (especially the school days)? I could use a couple of days like that right now.

We are still trying to finish up Christmas gifts - being the year that I quit my job, we are doing all homemade gifts this year. I'm hopeful that we will finish everything up this weekend and get it shipped on Monday.

I finally found a topper for the tree - well, at least something that works as a topper now that I cut the bottom off. So, FINALLY, the tree is done. I want to wait and take a picture at night, so I will post it tomorrow.

And I found the item that will be the giveaway item. I'm anxious to show it off, but I really think it would be better to wait until after the holidays, so look for that around the first of the year.  In the meantime, maybe I will find a second item and pick two winners.

On a completely separate topic...earlier in the year I bought a Groupon (if you don't know Groupon, you have to check it out - for a discovery flight. By way of background, a have a slight fear of flying (as well as a fear of small spaces and doctors, the latter of which can be a problem since I'm also a slight hypochondriac!). I think my fear of flying is a control issue - I have none when I'm in a plane and I have no idea what's going on, so that makes me fearful. Anyway, I thought taking the discovery flight would quell my fear of flying if I knew essentially what went on in a cockpit.  Well, I loved it!! It was one of the best things I've ever done. So, since then, I've wanted to take flying lessons. Problem is they are expensive (it's about $9-10k to get your license). The other problem is that I discovered this desire after I had given notice at work so I didn't even have the opportunity to decide whether it was worth it to stay in my job a little longer in order to take flying lessons. Of course, they are completely out of my price range now. But I still really want to do it.

So, the question is, do I take the money out of my 401k to fulfill what has become a dream of mine or do I just wait and hope that someday I can afford to do it without taking money out of my retirement investments? Which really brings up another question for me (and this is not a new question, but one that recurs every so often) - is it better to live the life you want to live now or to secure your future? I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. And Jeff and I don't have kids, so I have no need to leave anything behind. I would be fine dying penniless, but only if I don't have to live the last years of my life that way.

By quitting my job, I already made a huge argument this year in favor of living the life I want to live now. So, maybe I'll put off the decision on flying lessons until next year - one major decision per year :)

If you have any thoughts on the topic, I'd love to hear them! Have a great day :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

one more thing...

Cul-de-Sac Shack, one of the blogs I follow, is having a giveaway in celebration of reaching the 100 follower milestone. You can check it out at the link above - all you have to do is leave a comment to be entered!

Speaking of giveaways, I'm planning to do one here soon as well. I will admit it - it's a ploy to get new followers and to get comments from those of you that I know read but never comment. :) It probably won't happen until after Christmas, but stay tuned....

weekend wrap-up

Busy weekend! First of all, we hit our 50th sale yesterday! Hooray! I'm so excited by that; just hope that it doesn't stop completely after the holidays are over.

Saturday I was at the thrift shop, still looking for a topper for our tree (at this rate, it will be new years before I find one) and I was strolling through the housewares section, as I am known to do, lingering particularly long in the aisle where the Pyrex hides, when I turned to the pots and pans aisle just as a man was picking up what looked to be a beautiful Descoware orange flame dutch oven. Immediately, my stomach dropped. If only I'd turned around 30 seconds sooner, I would be holding it instead of him! I stood there for a minute while he looked it over, all the time silently willing him to PUT IT DOWN, PUT IT DOWN, and then he walked off with it. I was sick. I couldn't believe I had missed it. Distraught, I continued on through the store, although I couldn't stop mentally kicking myself for missing that pot. When I was done, I decided, just for the heck of it, to stroll past the pots and pans aisle again, just in case he put it back. Believe it or not, HE HAD!! I snatched it up so fast, the lady standing there looked at me surprised. I carefully removed the tape from the lid, expecting the inside enamel to be trashed, but it was almost perfect. I just couldn't believe it. And, as I suspected, it was Descoware. I brought it home, listed it that same day, and it sold on Sunday!

Although we didn't get a ton of stuff listed this weekend, the stuff we did list got a lot of interest. We had this perpetual calendar that we bought a few weeks ago, but it was difficult to photograph given its size and I wasn't sure how we would pack it (at it's shortest, it was 30 inches long). We finally got it photographed and posted. I checked on it 10 minutes later and it was SOLD! Only two people even looked at it, including the person who bought it. And it's going to NEW YORK CITY (sorry, I always think of that Pace commercial when I say that). My humble little item is hitting the big time :)

Saturday was also a great day because I got my hat that I ordered. And I love it. So I figured this was a good excuse to crawl out of the shadows and show myself to the world. I'm just kinda bummed cause it's so warm here that I don't even need a hat right now. I talked to my mom over the weekend and it's been colder in FL than it has been here! Weird. But, the cold will catch up to us eventually, no doubt.

Happy hunting!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

reading goal

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to read 25 books by the end of the year. Yesterday, I started book #24. Full disclosure - one of the 24 books was a re-read, but since I hadn't read it since college, I'm including it.

Among the 24 were a couple of non-fiction books like Super Freakonomics and Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce, although I guess some would argue that last one is fiction :)

I also read some good mindless books like Books 9 and 10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I can't help it - I love those books. I've never seen the True Blood series, but I wonder if it would somehow ruin the books for me.

Both of the books of essays that I read this year were good. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris was hilarious, as always. That guy cracks me up. Jeff and I saw him do a reading one time and it was awesome. I also read Things I Learned About My Dad by various authors. I usually don't go in for sappy stuff, but it was a fun read that wasn't too heart wrenching.

I read a few books by some of my favorite authors like Fool and Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore and Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. Fool was great - it's loosely based on King Lear as told from the court jester's point of view. So clever.

From the age of 13, I read Stephen King religiously. I finally lost interest many years later, but this year I picked up Under the Dome and I'm glad I did. At 1100 pages, I wondered if I was crazy for reading something so long when I still had so many books to read (or if maybe I could include it as 2!), but I got through it pretty quickly since the story really held my attention.

I love Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. I only read one this year - Going Postal - but it was a great read. I also read the book he wrote with Neil Gaiman (who wrote Coraline) called Good Omens. It's a fantastic yarn about the anti-christ being switched at birth and the hilarity that ensues as a result during the end of days. I think it was my favorite book of the year. I can't recommend it enough, particularly if you can appreciate English humor and aren't easily offended.

Another book that ranked high on my favorites list this year is The Passage by Justin Cronin. I had never read any of his books. From what I understand, his other books aren't anything like The Passage. It's a vampire story but not your usual vampire story. It's different from anything I've read and, again, although it was long (in the 1000 page vicinity), it was worth it. The characters were good, the story was good, the dialogue was good. Overall, I give it an A.

I read a couple of classics as well, including my one re-read which was Brave New World. I also read Fahrenheit 451 which I've been meaning to read forever. Can you tell that I like storylines based in the future? It's great to consider all the possibilities of what the future has to hold, good or bad.

Most recently, I've been reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy. The third one is Book No. 24 that I just started yesterday. I read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in two days. Most of it was the second day because, believe it or not, it actually took me a little while to get into it! But then once I did, I couldn't put it down. The second book, Girl Who Played With Fire, in my opinion, was better than the first. That's unusual in a trilogy, since it seems the second work just exists to prolong the overall story. I have high hopes for Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest; hope it doesn't disappoint. If you want to read stories about computer hacking and sex crimes in Sweden that DON'T involve Julian Assange, these are the books for you :)

By my count, I also started five books this year that I never finished. I have a bad habit of starting two or three books around the same time and ultimately putting one down and never getting back to it. All five were non-fiction. It's not that they weren't good, but, for instance Team of Rivals is about a gazillion pages long and each page has a gazillion tiny words! Ditto for A History of the US People.

So, that, for the most part, was my reading list this year. There were a couple I left out because they weren't worth mentioning at the risk of making this post even longer than it is.

Wish me luck on finishing two more books in the next 20 days!

What were your favorite reads this year? Please share - I'm always looking for authors I've never read before.

Friday, December 10, 2010

estate sale friday

I checked this morning and there were 11 sales going on in the Denver area today. We didn't feel like driving all over the place so we chose two that were closest and set out. The first sale was productive - the photos below show what we scored. The people hosting the sale just ticked me off though. I was all ready to come home and rant about it here, but I ended up not having time to post earlier and now, well, I'm just over it and don't even want to discuss it. It wasn't that great of a story anyway, so don't feel cheated :)

As we were heading to the second sale, Jeff called into The Barkway only to find out that they had 40 dogs! That made the dog to people ratio too high, so we had to scrap our plans for the second sale and go to work (well, Jeff went to work, I came home and packaged stuff to ship and THEN went to work).

On a completely unrelated side note, perhaps you heard that Pantone chose 'Honeysuckle,' a shade of pink, as its color for 2011. In response, I made this treasury. As of this second, it needs 12 more views to make it my most viewed treasury ever. So, why not have a look - you know you want to!

Ok, as promised, here are our latest finds:

A Douglas Flameproof sauce pan/teapot

A matching Douglas Flameproof percolator

A Lu-Ray Pastels vegetable bowl

An Edwin Knowles platter (this is probably staying in my kitchen!)

'Tree of Life' made in 1963 by Homco

Arby's Norman Rockwell collector's glasses. I just love the little dogs - that's definitely what drew me to them

Cool 70s flip binoculars made in Japan

A cute metal tray

And another cute metal tray

Happy hunting!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


It's been a long day and I'm just too tired to come up with anything interesting to write about, so I'm just going to share my latest treasury. I want just about everything shown, especially that really cool wingback chair. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

o tennenbaum

We got the tree up just in time as presents from my mom arrived today so now we have a place to put them. I think this is the most fun and most stress free tree I've ever had. Truth be told, Jeff decorated most of it. And I didn't even stand over him pointing out what I wanted to change :) We still need a topper and some icicles, so I'm only going to show close up pictures until it's completely finished. Without further ado...

So, now for the good news and the bad news. The good news is that I hit my first goal yesterday and could buy the clock I was coveting. I was working at The Barkway (our doggy daycare) when I noticed the sale, but I didn't have time to get the clock right then. When I got  home two hours later, it was gone. Sold. To someone else. Not me. :(  I can't even tell you how bummed I was. I looked for another online and found a couple in the same style, but neither were red. 

As bummed as I was, I did manage to pull myself together long enough to get myself a consolation prize :) I've been wanting a knit hat forever, so today I bought this one. I love it and can't wait to get it!

Happy hunting! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Yesterday, I mentioned that it generally takes me a long time to get inspired for Christmas and that this year was proving to be no exception. Well, last night I received the ornaments that I ordered from Angela at Cut N Glue (aka Pickles on Pizza) and that boosted my holiday mood! Here they are:


In the past, I have decorated our tree in a variety of ways. Some years I was in a very matchy-matchy mood and everything on the tree had to be the same (or one of two) colors. Other years, I've just thrown it all up together.

This year, it just so happened that I needed to trim the tree AND find a project to blog about and suddenly it hit me - BLOG ABOUT TRIMMING THE TREE. Yes, I am a little slow sometimes, but I get there eventually, I promise.

So, this morning, I was at ARC looking for canning jars when I decided to swing through the Christmas section to search for inspiration. Just as I was cursing the decision to bag up the ornaments in seemingly random fashion so that it's impossible to tell what you are buying, I realized how fun it would be to decorate the tree with all second hand finds (well, except for Angela's ornaments, of course). And not just that, but to add some mystery to it and use mainly what comes from grab bags. I chose six bags:

And here's what came out of them (I couldn't fit it all into one picture, so here are a few):

There's a range from cute to funky to just strange. Exhibit A, a Christmas....dragon??

A fuzzy plastic candy cane....chicken??

The little known Christmas spoon?

And, my favorite, the elusive one eyed Christmas mouse. Don't laugh - he once killed a man just to watch him die :)

And no Christmas would be complete without Garfield. Of course.

Or a glitzy disco ball ornament shaped like Saturn:

I'm not sure what these little guys are, but they are cute:

And the best part? For all that stuff plus the balls and garland that I didn't show, I only spent $9.50! Woohoo!

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the decorated tree in all its full glory.

Happy hunting!

Monday, December 6, 2010

this and that

We had a pretty productive weekend. I told myself on Friday that I would get 15 items listed on Etsy and I managed to get it all done on Saturday (although it took a good portion of the day). On Sunday we went thrifting and made apple butter. It was the first time I'd made apple butter and the first time I'd canned anything, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it turned out yummy and all of the jars actually sealed! We'd been picking up small jars as we found them in anticipation of making something, so I'm thrilled that we used them! Here's a shot of the finished product:

If you've never made apple butter, I highly recommend it. It's so easy! We used the crock pot and let it cook for about 10 hours. And the house smelled SO good as a result! Warm apples, cinnamon, and cloves. Yum! And we've already polished off a whole package of english muffins :)

I haven't listed a lot of Christmas stuff in my Etsy shop - I guess I just haven't been inspired by the holidays yet this year (it takes me awhile - I've usually gotten into the spirit by about new years!). But on Sunday I found these cute vintage choir girls made in Japan. I think they are just darling. They are going in my shop today.

A couple of weeks ago I set a goal that when I reached a certain number of sales, I could buy something off Etsy. Well, I only need ONE more, so I've gotten serious about figuring out what I want. And I think I've found it. Now I'm just SO worried that it will get sold before I can buy it. I'm posting it here only because I know no one reading would snatch it out from under me (at least I hope not)! Here it is:

We need a wall clock in the kitchen and red is our main accent color and I'm completely into art deco right now, so this is perfect. If it sells, I will be devastated. I hope I haven't jinxed myself.

And finally, I will leave you with this, which is something that all of us should try to remember to do especially at this time of year:

Happy hunting!