Saturday, March 28, 2015

Who knew I was a Hazel Atlas fan?

I've never really paid much attention to Hazel Atlas. My heart has always belonged to Pyrex. Lately, however, a lot of Hazel Atlas pieces have caught my eye in collections I've seen on Instagram and Facebook. After I picked up a Hazel Atlas bowl at a thrift store I started to do some research. Turns out, I've always been a Hazel Atlas fan. These are just some of the pieces I've had in my house for years:

One of my first Hazel Atlas glasses. I don't even remember where I got it anymore. I've had it a long time.

Not all of these souvenir glasses are Hazel Atlas, but many are. I have many more souvenir glasses, it's one of my favorite things to collect.

The Lookout Mt. glass is probably my favorite Hazel Atlas glass. It's a special place to my husband and I. And the starburst glass has been in use at our house for many years. We have two and surprisingly, they have never broken although many other glasses have through the years.

So, I've always been a Hazel Atlas fan. I just never knew it.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ikea Hack- ticket stub table

I wish this idea was mine, but I did get the idea from an Ikea hack I saw online. I can't find the link to give proper credit, but it was a side table with concert tickets covering the table's top. When I saw it I knew I had to do the same thing with my Minnesota Twins tickets. 

This was one of the times that I appreciated being a pack rat. I've been going to Twins games since 1989 and I still have a ticket from every game I've been to. I love the look of those early day tickets mixed in with recent game tickets.

The How To:
All I did was arrange the tickets to how I thought they looked good on the table and then adhered them to the table using Mod Podge. I found it best to let tickets "hang" over the edge as I glued them and when the Mod Podge was dry I went along the side of the table with an Xacto knife. I also found I had to lay something heavy on top of the tickets as I glued them or they tended to curl up, particularly along the edges. 

I was going to put Mod Podge over the top of the tickets as well, but I found that the ink on the tickets smeared when I did so. I think I am going to have a piece of glass cut to put on top instead. 

This was a super cheap and fun project to do. I don't remember what the little side table cost at Ikea, but it was under $10. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bright and cheery yellow

It seems like I often find related items around the same time. I’m not sure if it’s because an item similar to something I just bought catches my eye or it’s just a coincidence. Last summer, it was the color yellow that I kept finding. Personally, I tend to gravitate toward darker colors. However, I was loving the cheery yellow. It just really popped and made me happy. And after this long winter we've had I find I’m again really liking the color yellow. It’s such a nice bright spring color.  

I love this yellow metal bowl. It has some rusting, but I know I could find a use for it.

I love the design on this canister. One of the things I really liked about this canister, is the piece of masking tape on the lid labeled "oatmeal". I imagine someone's grandma making the best ever oatmeal cookies and this is where she kept the oatmeal.

And this is where the grandma would keep her best ever oatmeal cookies. 

All three of these pieces really had me debating whether or not I should totally redo my red kitchen and go for a yellow look. I love cooking and being in my kitchen, but I think I would love being in the kitchen more with such a fun and bright color like yellow everywhere.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Roller skating and bumper cars

Growing up there was an indoor roller skating rink in my hometown called Wheel A While. It was thee place to have a birthday party. This may sound funny, but the thing I remember the most about Wheel A While is the Twinkies. My mom must not have bought Twinkies because whenever I went to Wheel A While I had to get one of those red Twinkies with the coconut on it. They were the best. Once in a while I will still buy one, but they just don’t taste the same as they did at the roller rink. My other memories include playing Limbo, which I was never any good at and some other game that involved skating to a corner of the rink when the music stopped.
Close to Wheel A While was Bump ‘n Tilt which was another popular birthday party spot. Bump ‘n Tilt had bumper cars and a video arcade. I know I had at least one birthday party there and attended many others. Whenever I watch Wreck It Ralph I always think of Bump ‘n Tilt. The Fix it Felix game reminds me of all the arcade games we played growing up.

I have great memories of playing Mario at home for the first time and still love playing video games, but I realize that having that convenience shut down the video arcades. We had a great little arcade at the mall too. There are a few game areas in local restaurants and at the bowling alley that spew out tickets to redeem for prizes, but it just isn’t the same. My kids love it, but sometimes I wish they could experience the roller rink or an old arcade. Those were the days.

Friday, March 21, 2014

It's almost baseball season!

It’s almost baseball season! I have been a baseball fan since I was 10 years old. That year the Minnesota Twins won the World Series and gained a lifelong fan. I’m not sure why I ever latched onto baseball as my dad is not a sports fan and I’m the oldest of three daughters, but whatever it was I was instantly hooked. The winter after the Twins won the World Series I started collecting baseball cards and read all I could about baseball. I loved the history and I loved collecting cards. I still have all of my baseball cards. They aren’t worth the fortune I hoped they someday would be, but in a way they are priceless to me.

One of my favorite possessions is my 1985 Topps Kirby Puckett rookie card. Kirby is and always will be my favorite baseball player. I loved watching him play. I was lucky enough to see Kirby play in person in many games at the Metrodome. And I will always remember when I attended my first unchaperoned concert because that was also the night Kirby hit the homerun to win game 6 of the 1991 World Series. I also remember exactly where I got that rookie card. I blew a good portion of my vacation money on that card, but it has been one of the best purchases I have ever made. It might be just a piece of cardboard with a photo on it, but for me it represents my childhood.

I still love to collect sports memorabilia. A few years after my husband and I bought our first house, I was spending an afternoon rummage sale shopping with my mom. At one rummage sale I picked up a letter from a letterman’s jacket and a vintage college football program. Now I have several vintage programs hanging on one wall and several letterman’s letters throughout my living room. I also started collecting homecoming pins. I love the way these things look and feel in my home.

I currently have a few baseball related items in my Etsy shop and it is my hope to add more. While I love my baseball card and sports collection, it just seems like it’s time to downsize. There are certain items that I will never let go of, but it might be time to let go of some things.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

So you want to sell on Etsy?

I’ve had several people say they are interested in selling on Etsy and have asked me for advice about how to get started. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’m always happy to share my experiences. I started out selling handmade items, but when I went back to work full-time, I decided to switch to the vintage market. Having experience in both of these markets has given me a unique view of Etsy. While I did enjoy the handmade side of Etsy, in my opinion, handmade items are a lot harder to sell than vintage items. I’m not saying don’t sell handmade items! Do what you love! For me selling vintage items was something that was easier to do with a family and a full-time job. Here’s some of the things I’ve learned from selling both handmade and vintage items on Etsy:

1.       Do your research. If you know what you are going to be selling, look at Etsy shops that have similar items. Look at how items are photographed and described. What prices are they selling their items for? What do they charge for shipping? What are their shop policies? What payment options do they accept? Another really great resource on Etsy is the community forums. If you have a question, chances are the question has already been asked in the forums. Changes to Etsy’s policies and procedures are also announced (and sometimes strongly debated) in the forums.
2.       You get what you give. The more you list on Etsy, the more you promote your shop, the more active you are in the forums, the more you will sell. This is especially true with handmade items. The handmade market is highly competitive and your items can get buried in a hurry. If you aren’t regularly updating your shop, shoppers will have to click through many pages to find your items.
3.       Take good photographs. This is the first thing a potential buyer will see. I have actually seen blurry photos on Etsy, which makes me cringe. I would have liked that item, but if you can’t take the time to take a quality photo, what does that say about your product? Photos with visual appeal also help to draw people to your shop. You don’t have to have a top of the line camera, but do invest in a quality camera. Also invest in a tripod. Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Tripods are a must have for getting quality closeups of your items.
4.       Know where to promote. Facebook and blogging are my two favorite ways to promote, but there are so many other options out there. Maybe Twitter or Pinterest is more your style. Maybe you’re a social media queen and you use every social media outlet available. Etsy also has promotions available that feature your items at the top of search results. I tried Etsy promotions a couple of times with limited results, but give it a shot and maybe it will work well for you. Networking can help as well. There are groups on Etsy that work together to help promote each other, but this takes time and is another “you get what you give” option. Etsy groups work for some, but I just have never had the time for it.
5.       Don’t give up. It may take some time to get that first sale. Even if you’re lucky and get that first sale quickly, you may still experience periods of slow business. Everyone experiences this at one time! In my experience the time of year is a big factor on my sales. Winter and spring are the busiest, just because people are indoors on their computers more. Depending on the types of items you are selling you may notice busier and slower times as well.
6.       Have fun! While I loved selling handmade items, it got to be more of chore than a fun side job. I took a break and eventually came back selling vintage which fits in better with all the other demands on my time. And it feeds my need to hoard, I mean, collect things I don’t need. Find something that you enjoy doing and you’ll love Etsy!

If you have an Etsy shop what are your tips for anyone thinking of taking the plunge? 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Are you wearing green today? The kids and I all made sure to wear our green today. No pinching here!

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would share some of the green items I currently have listed on Etsy.

These cookbooks are perfect for the upcoming grilling season.

  I love vintage wrapping paper. How cute is this paper?

 I also love vintage items that are functional like this shaker.

Wouldn't this turtle soap dish be fun in a kid's bathroom?