It feels like years since I've posted here. I've been insanely busy and yet not doing much of interest, so I'll try hard to make this fascinating.
For one thing, I painted my kitchen, which took well over a week. You have to take everything out, of course, and it's surprising how much stuff there is. It all got piled in the living room which made the living room pretty well useless. Gary and I went to Kelly-Moore to get paint and it was shockingly expensive, but through a series of discounts (some probably not deserved) they knocked the price down to a somewhat reasonable level. The clerk was very helpful, so I give them big points for that.
Then there was the Washing Of The Walls which was tedious and messy, of course, and I encountered the top of the stove exhaust which was a masterpiece of piled-on gunk. I'm telling you: TSP is great stuff. It even got the gunk off my refrigerator, which had been there since 1992 or thereabouts.
Finally I did get to painting, and the paint was much lighter than it looked on the chip, and it also looked a lot yellower than it did on the chip, but I really was not in a mood to take it back. It took a couple of days to get the room done, partly because I had a red accent wall which took a coat of primer plus two coats of paint to cover. I can't say the colors are exactly what I had in mind - I wanted something warmer - but it is certainly cleaner looking.
And after that came the moving everything back into the kitchen, rearranging stuff, and deciding what would go back and what would be consigned to the Future Garage Sale Pile. I had a problem with one shelving unit that got all wonky and refused to budge, and in the process of fixing it I slammed my upper arm into a shelf and it hurt like a mofo, but I guess I will live.
Anyway, the kitchen is mostly done now and it looks nice and light and airy. Now of course the rest of the house looks dismal in comparison.
Which brings us to the next thing. I had two digital cameras, a Nikon and a Casio, and they both died within a month of each other. I'd had the Nikon for a couple of years - it was used - and supermatt41 had given me the Casio, so it also was used, but still: how could that happen? With my online shops I NEED a camera. I took both cameras to the only local camera place that actually knows what they're doing, and they gave the diagnosis of tits up and the information that digital cameras are very expensive to repair. However! They had a Nikons on sale, and yesterday I fortuitously went in there and bought the last one of the cheap ones they had. A year guarantee plus freebie special prints, so that was a good deal.
Which brings us to the next thing. Some of you know I've had an Etsy shop for a couple of years. In recent months I have become disenchanted with Etsy for a variety of reasons, but the recent announcement that they are "redefining" what "handmade" means spells the end of Etsy as I knew it.
Brief overview: Etsy is a website that allows anyone to set up a virtual shop. Since their inception, the only things you could sell would be supplies (i.e. beads, patterns, yarn), vintage items (over 20 years old) and handmade items.
They have now decided that a handmade item can be something you had an idea for and then farmed the idea out to a factory which would make it for you and also ship it for you. So your "handmade" item could easily come from a sweatshop in China and still be "handmade" under their new guidelines. Which means someone like me, sewing one dress at a time, cannot compete. I cannot make 100 dresses a day and I cannot beat their prices. The writing on the wall got larger.
About six weeks ago I set up my own website, Violets and Wine. I am slowly moving my Etsy stock over there. The good thing about Etsy is that it's like a shopping mall in terms of traffic: it has its own, whereas I had none. I have had to learn to promote via Tumblr, Reddit, Twitter, StumbledUpon, and so forth. I have a WordPress blog that I work on every day. It's a whole new world for me. It remains to be seen if I am successful, but it's clear I cannot stay on Etsy much longer.
October is really beautiful here. We are having one of those long, drawn-out autumns that are rare and lovely before winter sets in, and The Old Farmer's Almanac says this will be a cold, rainy, snowy winter.
Gary and I have been trading rocks (from his now-defunct koi pond) and pie (which I make) for firewood from some friends, which is a pretty damn good deal if you ask me. Gary picked up apples yesterday and tomorrow or the next day I will make a couple of apple pies and take one to our friends in exchange for firewood.
And lastly, this: I saw a local obituary for someone named Desmond Luck, which rang a bell with me for some reason. I finally remembered why that name was familiar. I met him five years ago, under circumstances that you will surely agree were unusual. Read it here.
We have to paint our entire house, so your kitchen escapades made me really tired and I'm now willing to be more put offish.
Your Violets and Wine website is like a trip through my childhood. I love it.
Wisconsin is notorious for really fast springs and autumns, but this autumn is being really kind. We've got lovely sunny coolish days and lovelier thunderstorms.
i've been come really disenfranchised with etsy in the last few months. you used to be able to find some really nice, unique gifts on there. now this "ships from china" business... um, no. etsy, you ain't ebay; stop that shit.
That sucks about the cameras but I think you're going to love the Nikon. I love my Lumix dearly but if I need to buy a new one I'm going for Nikon. It sounds like Etsy got greedy, which is too bad because I always thought they were a more attractive option than eBay. At least you now have your own space and you can do as you damn well please. It looks fab, too.
I got a CoolPix - which is what I had before it died, and I really like it for its ease of use as well as the bargain price. Plus Crown Camera gives a 1 year guarantee, which I would not get from Amazon.
I wouldn't mind the Etsy changes so much if it wasn't so obvious they were lying. If they would just say, "hey, little shops, vamoose - we're going for the China sweatshop crapola because there's more money in it and they don't complain nearly as much as you peons." Having worked for the government for many years, I can spot the double-talk pretty easily.
I do love my SupaDupa website's graphics and they have superb customer service. Etsy didn't even have a phone for sellers with problems; you had to email them and then wait... weeks..... SupaDupa gets back to you within a few hours. They were really helpful when I was trying to figure out Google Analytics and other coding stuff.
Loved this post!
Yay new kitchen! Pics please, now that you have a new-to-you camera? We've had digital cameras give up the ghost at the same time, it's SO ANNOYING. It's like they KNOW.
Good for you with the new website! It's hard to get a following - the blog is a great idea. Our blog brings traffic over to the site, and vice versa. Good luck with it - Etsy can bite our collective bums. Why can't good things stay good? Sheesh.
Rocks and pies for firewood is an excellent trade :-)
I remember reading your story about Desmond Luck! RIP, little dude...
Happy October :)
Yes, pics of the new kitchen will be forthcoming - I'm still arranging stuff and putting things away (how could anyone have so much STUFF?) but as soon as that's done, I'll post!
I am getting followers and hits from the blog - I just have to post every day or almost every day. It's curious what brings in the most hits - so far, a book from about 1970, The Mason Williams Reading Matter, has been very popular hit-wise. Now would someone just BUY it instead of LOOKING at it?
So glad that you are done wit the kitchen. it sounds like a cheery color.
I have a lot of old patterns. I gave what my mother had away. Do people really give $13 for an old pattern? You shop is like a journey back in time. Good luck with it. Once we start going through my mother-in-laws things I am sure I will find vintage items. She had an extensive salt & pepper collection. I might have to set up an ebay shop or something.
Oh yes - they aren't making those old patterns any more and finding an intact, unused one is rare. There are a lot of online communities devoted to the finding of such patterns and making them - which is a challenge because the older patterns don't have nearly as much information on them as modern ones. They assumed you knew how to piece them together without assistance - and there are modern seamstresses who enjoy that challenge. Some patterns are worth much more than $13 depending on the company, the designer, the age, and so on.
It was nice to hear from you =)
Best wishes with your new virtual-venue. I am tired of homogenized garbage but as long as there are garbage lovers out there spending their money, there will be tiresome acts joining the masses.
Walmart and its ilk have taught many people to value quantity over quality. I've had messages from would-be buyers saying, "I can't afford your clothes!" Well, then maybe you should shop elsewhere. I'm not a factory and even at what I charge I don't make minimum wage on these clothes.
Oh my goodness! Mr. Luck was certainly lucky when he wound up at your house.
We are having a warm, dry autumn after a cooler than usual very wet summer. Who knows what winter will bring!
Painting is such a chore, and you are right, paint is not cheap. I know you are glad to be done.