Tag Archives: Online selling

It was Time for a Change…

Standard

Wait! It’s not PURPLE! So how can it be my blog?

I got very tired of the ribbons in my last WP theme covering my gravatar and anything else they pleased. The default font was wonky and made my sidebar look like pulled taffy.

I saw custom design and name your own domain packages, thought about site hosting, and looked at most of the fonts on type kit. Am I going to start a stand-alone eCommerce extravaganza to sell Nik’s photos and my junk? Do I want to spend hours messing with CSS and shopping carts and lay-out strategies? Am I going to waste money buying into the custom design “make all your own fancy fonts” thing?

No. Yawn. Next…

I’m more interested in saving money for a new travel adventure. Wanna go on another trip.  Or 2. Or more! Rome was just the beginning…

Have new doggeh to love on, too. Disa, the beautiful Finnish Lapphund who has blessed our lives!

I know the day is looming nearer when I’ll have to get all serious about my online sales again. Nik needs business experience and exposure for his art. I need to sell the vintage junk, uh, lovelies overflowing my house. Creativity must occur. Creativity must occur.

Creativity.

Creativity…

AHHKKK!                       PZZZTTTT….

That was the sound of my brain shorting out.

We sprang forward today. There’s one less hour in the day and it’s almost gone…

So in the interest of time and abating a bit of my frustration, there’s a new theme. Pretty paisley, unadorned by any tweaks, headers or customizations.

And I still missed the end of the day. It’s tomorrow already…

Here are some more pics of Disa… Enjoy!

Advertisements

My Daughter is Awesome!!

Standard

This, again, is an old post I’d never published. It has enough bragging about my daughter that I felt like it would be something positive to do on this very dreary rainy night…..

I’m one of those compulsive crafty hoarder types & I’ve accumulated more stuff from my mother and grandmothers…and aunt…. One of my current projects is to dig out lots of my vintage patterns, books, magazines & materials to share with the rest of you all….

Well, then, since I’m actually in condition to start using my (beloved vintage) yarn again, I’ve been obsessively searching for just the right yarn winder and swift. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I can make my own… I found wonderful instructions for tinker toy and wire hanger swifts – and interesting ways people have figured out to use hand-mixers or reversible screwdrivers as ball winders.

I surrendered my ball winder to my DD for her recycled yarn project. She needs the $ for law school next year plus she’s an awesome artist… One of the most creative people you will ever meet. (Do you think I’m proud of her?)

Please see her etsy store Dyet Yarns for her luxury recycled fiber selection. Many of these are proba bly vintage to begin with but she puts her own special “twist” on them – and then you can buy yummy yarns for pennies on the dollar!!

Update: She has recently put up an even yummier set of yarns, with colors ALL inspired by Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky!

a. Something Worth Protectingn (Silk/Cotton Upcycled)
b. Ancient Guardian (Shortcake and Luscious)
c. Raze the Sky (Sockolate Mousse)

(see it in her blog: http://www.dyetyarns.com/archives/345)

You get the idea!
Her other store CandyCornStudios has other great creations like her jewelry & knitting- no bias here, huh?

She also sells more uber-neat creations on her own site CandyCornStudiosHub. Yeah, that’s her in the tentacle shirt….

 

I know it’s not vintage, but it sure is creative!! She does work with vintage parts too – she just doesn’t have any of her steam punk pieces up.

It’s been a rough few months….

Standard

What does that mean? you might ask.  Changes.  Hard choices. And, well, more abuse to my body.

After the euphoria of the election wore off, it was down to business as usual in my household.  For me that means homeschooling, work, Thanksgiving, Christmas, my parents and my hubby.  Going to physical therapy 3 hours a week (now it’s been over 18 months…)

There are good changes.

DD got into law school for environmental law.  And got a full tuition paid scholarship to the very expensive private school in New York.

Hurray!!  Is this not the greatest field for the new Obama world???

She’s not as worried about paying for it now and can concentrate on accumulating $ for living expenses.  Her new hobby will is also a new source of income – recycled yarn. By unraveling nice sweaters she gets at thrift shops, she gets really great fibers for very little $.  She’s enjoying rehabilitating the yarn & learning to over-dye it. Find it in her etsy store, Candycornstudios.

DS1 is graduating from college in May with skills –

employable even in this economy.  Yay!!

The Kat is in college! Really!!

Husband has a good, completely recession-proof job.  Really. And today’s our 15th Anniversary!!

Wonderboy turned 13 (Ack!! Teenager!!)  and has grown about a foot.  Still ravenous about learning. A joy & a pain.

Some not so good changes.

I ended up in the hospital the week before Christmas with chest pains. Not a heart attack. Just stress; my blood pressure went up. Hubby and I talked; figured this was a sign I was under too much stress. Probably needed to slow down more. The only thing that could go is my work. So that means closing my practice.

After Christmas,  with much encouragement from hubby, therapists, PT, I decided to close at the end of June when my lease is up. This is an extremely difficult decision.  I love my work; I’m very good at it. There are a lot of people who are very upset.  On the other hand, most have been very supportive.

To make matters worse, mid-January I fell down

and gave myself a honking concussion.

I tripped over my black dog in a dark room.  I didn’t know a head could hit a hard-wood floor so hard.  I did miss the corner of our oak TV cabinet.  My 2nd thought (after OH MY GOD have I cracked my head open or caused a bleed in my brain) was “Crap! Just what I need. More brain damage!”. I didn’t realize until a couple days later that I’d also hurt my left arm and my bad hip too. Damn! Because that leg wasn’t working as well, a few days later I miss-stepped on the stairs. Fell down hard on, you guessed it!, my bad hip. Then I went dooowwwnnn the steps.  Wrenched my right arm from grabbing the banister.

Damn! More abuse to my body.

Hmmm… Closing my practice is looking better and better. Brain not working like it used to.  Sad.

Mom isn’t doing so well. Dad is even more stressed. Needs more help; slowly figuring that out for himself.

Hubby is exhausted because he’s working too hard. Watches TV a lot.  No time for real relationship. Sad. 😦

This is a depressing blog entry huh?

But wait! There’s actually more GOOD news!

I’ve left OLA. They proved to be a dud.  I spent a year trying to make it work for me.  Didn’t.  Sad.

The good part?  I found a great site; one that is the fastest growing eCommerce site ever – Bonanzle!

Now have 3 stores (“booths”) to divide up my inventory into more managable sizes. They are also more focused – Dragonmum’s Vintage Valuables for my vintage jewelry and collectibles new & old. Dragonmum’s Wears for clothes, accessories and fabric products (linens etc). Dragonmum’s Fabrics Fibers and Fun for toys, yarn, fabric,  craft materials and vintage craft/sewing/quilting etc magazines and patterns. Got computer things that don’t really fit into those categories;  they’ll probably end up in the “Fun” category….

Here are some examples of my inventory.  Most is the same as I had on OLA but I have more great things…. especially jewelry!!

On Vintage Valuables:

A Beau Sterling Modernist Cat Pin, Enamel crab pin, Emmons Silver-tone horse pin and a gorgeous enamel blue bird pin by William Spear.

A 1979 Jasco Adorabelle, Funny Shopping Lady Planter, Pale yellow moonglow beads and my 9 luscious skeins of vintage Red heart wool yarn!

On Fabrics Fibers and Fun:

Black & Gold German Satin Fabric, 4 skeins Plymouth yarns “Fantasy Naturale”, back issues of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine  and an Elmo stuffed toy.

6 balls of Lana Grossa Brillo yarn, 3 skeins green Berocco Cotton 100 yarn,  “The Painted Desert” by Hoffman Fabics and a stuffed horse from Douglas the Cuddle Toy Company.

On Dragonmum’s Wears:

New Sapphire formal gown by Alex Evenings, Ralph Lauren black leather shoulder bag, Frankie & Johnnie Rodeo Drive Purse and Pottery Barn Baby crib bumper pads.

Come on by and take a look – Bonanzle Rocks. Really!!

Tonight I went yarn stash-digging!

Standard

Wow! I had no idea I had collected so much yarn!

For some insane reason, I decided to dig out yarn from the horror that is my sewing room. In the evening. Bad idea. DUH.

Must have been so tired I couldn’t think.

Got more tired by scrounging around over and under bolts of fabric and boxes of yarn.

De-stashing is a must – but I really shouldn’t have done it tonight. I am going to majorly regret this in the morning…. (Yes, I did!)

You know I’m serious about de-stashing when I get out purple and turquoise yarn to sell – and my vintage yarns….only some of them though.

Nobody’s getting my Lopi or cabled/crepe Australian yarn!

On the other hand, I realized I’ve got some great vintage yarn that I will never use – so I will put it up to auction so the yarnies  (like yarn harlot and other dedicated vintage yarn hunters) can fight over it!! (Addendum 3/17/2012: None of you found it… Nuri got some, I gave away almost every skien of synthetic that lurked in corners to the local women’s shelter, I still have some of the bestest vintage and I’m making stuff with the rest. You missed out on such loveliness. Now make big sad faces!)

I’ve got super Patons highland with flecks (along with a super vintage patons knitting leaflet from the 60s, and lovely Red Heart wool (back when they made real yarn…). Both are lovely turquoise. Those are the ones I have in significant amounts!

I’ve got bags, boxes and baskets, all waiting to be sorted.  All of it isn’t vintage. But there’s a lot of it.

Some is plain old New Zealand wool, Australian wool, some brand name fancies, almost all 100% wool or cotton. I will admit to one large skein of Red Heart Acrylic but I have no idea how that got in my stash!

Nik (remember Wonderboy?) started some of the sorting, but got “fatigued” after filling about 4 gallon zip-locks. He decided to raid the fridge for more food, and found some left-overs that he said he was “slavering over”. Couldn’t sort with hands and mouth full of chicken.

Sigh. I guess that leaves it to me for now.

But I’ll get to play with all that lovely yarn!!

Maybe I’ll take some pics tomorrow and give you a peek. Make you drool!!!Tongue Out 1

I’ll be putting it up for auction in my OLA House, Dragonmum’s Hoard, on OnlineAuction next week. Might even have some at fixed price. Never know, could be a snooze-loose situation!!

**Addendum: I’m no longer selling on OLA. please visit my Bonanzle Bonanza store Dragonmum’s Vintage Valuables. For yummy yarn, visit Dyetyarns on etsy.com!

Olympic Meta Tag Analysis – A New Sport??

Standard

Today I’m trying a new sport – meta tag analysis!

I figure that with the Olympics starting this week, that I ought to try out for something!!

So, you ask, why am I concerned about meta tags? Dragonmum’s Hoard isn’t doing so well.

An esteemed colleague from OLA (Funky J Monky) pointed out the importance of getting search engines to find our OLA Stores – since we still don’t have direct feeds. Even then, we need to be tagged correctly to be ranked decently. Since I’m partially clueless (not totally – hush you, I am not!!)

Funky J Monky can be found at Funk & Junk Collectibles.

I’ve visited several of the free meta-tag analyzer sites. As a small on-line seller, I don’t have $ to pay site developers. Free is the right price.

I just want something that will point out my mistakes.  I can find other tools to tell me how to fix them!!

I’ll keep you posted on how they are working.

Here is a good basic tutorial on Key Word Optimization.  I cannot vouch for any of the links on the page, though.

Best Meta Tag Analyzers I’m finding:

I liked MetaTagMD. They actually take some time to go over your site – of course, they’d like you to subscribe to their service!

SEOTools has a keyword density analyzer, and WOOOHH! So many great tools! For Free! including a FireFox add-on for improved competitve reseach SEO fo Firefox

A different SEO (Searchengineoptimizing) gives a very comprehensive report. They do ask that you link to them. There’s a lot of it I don’t know what to do with – like reducing number of links – but I’ll figure it out if it seems to be useful.  I can understand the words “poor” and “terrible”, which, unfortunately, were used several times in my site analysis…. SEO Analysis of Dragonmum’s Hoard

Widexl – sends you to SEOCentro Meta Tag Analyzer : so far so OK. Slightly different approach than the others. It says my title relevancy to page content is excellent – that makes me a bit skeptical but the rest seems logical. Also wants your first born ($$$) for the rest of their services!

1 2 3 Submit Pro has a key word density analyzer, but their meta tag analyzer sucks.

To Avoid (Worth less than free!!):

TrafficZap – useless

xtvworld – leads to TrafficZap!

Submitshop – ”

brothersoft – shill site – one of those that just have buy dot com listings, etc

nternet-marketing-resources.co.uk – shill site for casinos!

Thisisouryear – couldn’t process my URL – kept dropping off the user id code.

So-So:

Scrub the Web – well, it’s free, what do you expect? Very Limited feedback – probably not worth your time

**There are several DIY Meta Tag Generators.  They are a whole different post!

Update on OnlineAuction: **Addendum: I’m no longer selling on OLA.please visit my Bonanzle Bonanza store: Dragonmum’s Vintage Valuables .

Our Open House Sale wasn’t the success we expected, especially for Dragonmum’s Hoard. I still have lots of lovely cheap clothes, collectibles, bags, shoes, fabric, craft patterns, clothes patterns and counted cross stitch charts. Plus, I just listed some gorgeous designer upholstery fabric.

Today, Vintage Quilting magazines go up; I have magazine back issues from the early 1970s!!

I don’t think there was enough advertising exposure – we are novices at this, and even when the direct Google feeds go live, we’re still going to… hey, that’s where I started this post!!

Disorganization wins another day!

Standard

When I got up this morning, stiff and bleary eyed, I was running through my mental lists even before I finished that first cup of coffee. (that DH makes so wonderfully in the morning 😀 ) Morning meeting at 10, then back home to do several dozen things relating to moving my office.  Next, pack up all the goodies I’ve sold on line in the last few days.  If I’ve still got time, take Wonderboy to the Hillsborough Antiques Mall so he can root around in the collectibles.  List the 5 other lots of scrap fabric. Somewhere in there, eat lunch and dinner…  NOOOOO…. Too early to be running brain lists!!

Went to wake Wonderboy.  He was sound asleep drooling on his bed.     His Dad goes in and gives him his meds before he leaves for work.  Usually when I get to Nik about 8:30, he’s at least willing to crawl out of bed.  Not today.  Left-overs from a stomach bug we both had yesterday. OK, no trip to the Antique stores today!

Got to meeting almost on time!! (best I can do 😳 ).  Got home ready to tear into the rest of my list…then ‘blink” somehow my time got sucked into a black hole.  I know exactly where it went.  I sold several things on line over the weekend, and I needed to find 2 of them (that’s the step I forgot; needed to go before “pack up…”). I knew they could only be one of 3 places: in the mess in my  bedroom the mess in the craft room, or the mess in my sewing room! This was a serious problem….    I had a vague idea where one item was, but the other one…..????

Gronk not like mess!Gronk not like mess!!

So I approached the problem with my typical organized and orderly fashion…I ransacked every box in the craft room. 

Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to consolidate boxes of “inventory” – you know, stuff I buy because I like it, but really” mean to sell it”. You ask \"how messy could the craft room be?\"
Does that room look like I could do that in 10 or 15 minutes? 

Ha!  Hear thChuck not like mess either!e sound of time being sucked into that black hole??? Chuck does.

I managed to find the little ceramic sewing machine in the craft room. I also found all four of my trolls, the 4 pair of shoes I cleaned up to sell, 2 batches of jewelry that need photos, and a whole pile of the clothes for Steam Punk embellishment (and all the clock parts for embellishing them).  When I left the room, it was quite a bit more, hmm, organized isn’t really the word…the mess was a bit more compact, I’d say.

Still needed to find that ceramic basket of flowers!! OK, not in my bedroom.  I’m NOT showing you a picture of the bedroom!!

On to the sewing room.  Yesterday I’d made major progress in my de-stashing campaign, and I could actually see floor…This is a big deal in our house; one of my expectations is that we be able to see at least part of the floor in every room!!! 🙄 Luckily there were only 4 boxes of “inventory” there (actually, the whole room is “inventory” but that’s another post…).  At the bottom corner of the 4th box – there it was, a 1″ X 2″ little bit of ceramic.  Didn’t think I’d find it, Huh?

But now it’s 2:30!!! Didn’t I get home at 12?  Have I eaten lunch?  Have I even peed?  Geez!

So, I have 3 boxes to pack, a non-paying bidder to run down, a change of address form to get in the mail (for my office), supposed to call the Vietnam Vets to haul away some furniture, call the pharmacy to renew prescriptions….and wait!  I get phone calls from not 1, not 2, but 3 patients and the therapist I’m subleasing from. Do I get everything done?  Of course not. I gathered the addresses to mail the packages, packed up the fragile ones all comfy and safe, wrote everyone a personal note, addressed the packages, taped them up, filled out the change of address form…and it was 5 pm!  Post office closes at 4:30.  Antiques Mall closes at 5.

There went the rest of the time…..slurp!

Ate lunch and dinner.  Peed.  No listing today. Renew drugs tomorrow. Call VV tomorrow.  Get Dad to mail the packages. Tomorrow.

Today, disorganization 1 dragonmum 1/2.  I usually try for a tie game.  And this is when I’m taking my ADHD meds!!

Tomorrow is another day. I should hope so!
Tomorrow is another day. I should hope so!

Maybe tomorrow…