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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Life takes over... an update

I haven't blogged.  I haven't written my favorite penpal.  I haven't even had a good tub soak!

In NYC were about to move to a new apartment... It's been nearly a year.

In ATL the business is going well and I'm preparing to design costumes for Children of Eden.

And that's what is going on in my life.

Things that have made me sad:  

Prince Died.

Trump is still running for President. 

Things that made my happy:

The kids will be home soon... my son until he decides he's ready to move out, and  my daughter for the summer. 

I'm costuming Children of Eden.  

And that's my update.  XOXO


Friday, March 18, 2016

You can never have too many pillows... or shirts

I just had to integrate my sewing skills into my HER Store, so I made pillows from dress shirts today.

Mens dress shirts make nice pillows for the bedroom as they are typically light weight and more delicate than you would think when transformed into a pillow.  I actually had more fun with women's dress shirts.  There were more textures and patterns, and the shirts had embellishments that lent to the design of the shirt.

Here's the project:


I used the ironing board for my cutting surface since the kitchen island is busy holding another project.



Here is my template. I used presentation board and  went ahead and made 2 sizes for future use.  I just measured a square and then curved the corners so the pillow would not have weak corners. 


I outlined my template with marker


I did all the cutting in one sitting.  Here are 9 pillows, cut and ready to go. 


Then I ironed. It was important to get the button placket flat so it would sew without bunching


To keep things flowing I just ironed one, put another on top, ironed it, and just kept going. 


I then ran them through the sewing machine.  8 of 9 had buttons somewhere on front, so I could sew all 4 sides.  Don't they look great


Here is the collection complete. I added embellishments and extra buttons where I thought it was needed. I have more pillow shams than I have pillow inserts... at least till tomorrow. 

Ps the pillows are slightly smaller than the sham to get that stuffed look I like. 


This former green shirt has this nice ruffle on it.  I was sure to cut it out and place it on the pillow where it belongs. I will be bringing them to the store in the morning. I got a call that a large piece of furniture sold, so I have to go move things around and close the hole... until I find something else got sell. 

On haggling and playing fair

Today was certainly a day that tested my patience. But first some background info.

I placed my first set of hand painted items in my HER Store today.  It took me all of Monday and some of Wednesday to prepare the items.  They are beautiful.  Good solid wood, and careful and meticulous painting... and not that trendy chalky stuff either. This paint job should last for years.

So, I staged the items, beautifully, I might add and as usual, the sales person said... "don't forget to do your social media" before I left.  So I did.  I did my Facebook page update.  I did an OfferUp ad. I placed a Craigslist Ad.

But lets back up a little.  I priced these items dirt cheap. A freshly painted dresser for $100.  A matching night stand for $35 and some accessories to make the set pop, also fairly priced.  But here's the thing.  I got several immediate responses.  They all wanted me to drop the price by 50%. My short answer was NO... ask me again in a month if the items have not sold.  If I had priced that dresser, for example at $50.00, then based on what I paid, plus the time spent, and commission to the store, I would walk away upside down.  Based on how many people have inquired, I am positive it will sell for full price.

Now, here's where it gets sticky.  Someone on Craigslist did offer to pay full price. but he wanted to bring a check to me, and not get it from the store.  I explained that for his protection and mine, I only sell through the brick and mortar store. This made him mad.  He proceeded to copy my ad, with the business address, and repost my dresser for $35.00.  What a jerk!  I noticed it pretty quickly as I have a habit of going back and viewing anything I write after maybe an hour. (This is from my years spent as a content writer.) So I go on Craigslist, and see the description of my items, with a cheaper price attached.  Thankfully, there was no photo.  In my description was the brick and mortar address, so my guess is that the goal was to get people to come to the store and offer $35 for the dresser and try to get the staff to honor the ad.... or just to harass them.

Ugh. I called the store. I contacted Craigslist. I replied to the ad.  (In the future I will not reveal the store address again until a deal is made.) The problem was fixed and the ad deleted, but it made me so mad... and wasted an hour from my life. I don't like to waste time.

Now this is only part of the problem, thought it was a sticky wicket.  I searched craigslist for white dresser.  I also searched OfferUp for white dressers.  Mine was one of few made of real solid wood, and the most cheaply priced.  Why, oh why would people want to undercut such a fair price?  Should I have doubled the price and then let them haggle? That would be unfair to list items for twice the price I had them in the store wouldn't it?

Even though my prices were firm, it seems to me that everyone is out for a bargain.  And I understand, I buy as much from Clearance as possible... I just wait for the items to go on clearance... I don't try to get items brand new to the store at clearance prices... it's kinda rude... especially when the item is high quality AND fairly priced.

I'd love to understand how to get people to value the price... is it to price higher and make it seem more valuable, or to trick them?  I'd hate that.

It reminds me of the days when I painted murals (before homeschooling)  If someone was paying me a couple thousand dollars to paint a room, I got no problem from them.  They valued my expertise.  If someone had received my services as a gift, or at a discount, they didn't trust my expertise and badgered me the whole time I was painting.  I fixed it by not giving discounts and discontinuing gift certificates.

Any ideas on how to create value so that folks don't try to rip me off? I'm all ears.

update: Oh wait... did someone just ask me to give this to them for FREE?  Yes they did.  Said "my son would enjoy it".  Mind blown! I need to be more .. I don't know... firm in my social media ads.  I just don't get it.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

NYC Update

I have a partial view for the WTC from my apartment
Yes, NYC is a blast.

But it is also stressful.

And it is also hard.

And I love it.

And I don't like it so much.

I thought I was going to blog about it a lot, but I don't like to be negative, and honestly, there are things that have been a strain.

Living apart.

Financial strain... it costs so much more than you'd think.

Juggling being available for the kids.

Taking care of the house.

The way things are going right, now, we are probably in it for at least another year... But... we are starting the apartment hunt right now, as our current lease is up in May.

We had no problem paying for rent insurance, the first time because if we were new tenants and also own a house, and they want to make sure you won't cut and run... but if you have been a perfect tenant for a year, and financially, you exceed the requirements, then why would you get a letter stating you need to renew this insurance, that amounts to an extra months rent.  I'm not that much in love with my apartment that I would just fork it over, so my next visit will feature apartment hunting, and my next one might include moving... could be across the street, could be across the city, could be across the river in Jersey.  I guess we will see.... first hubby is going to talk to them about removing that requirement... cuz, that's just crazy and unjust.  I would miss the current view though.

So... yeah, enjoying this respite in NY, I head back to GA in a few days to dive back into costuming and merchandising my Vintage store space.