Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Spirit Box -

My Little Spirit Box ...

I found this little box at an estate sale,when I took photos of it - I noticed that it had little orbs around it -

 Then I took photos of other items with the box as a prop -

These photos had orbs showing up too -

The interior of the box is burned with 1903 Christmas from Washington DC -
and this is a little glove box -

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's all Vintage to me ...

Update on my exploration of other stores on line - I have a few items listed on Ebay - you can find them here
Lucite Daisy Paperweight
Vintage Siamese Cats Wall Hangings

Lucite Faux Tortoise Shell Trays

I have listed a few things on http://www.retrophoria.com/seller/FLEAOSOPHY/
I like the look of this site - it is clean and simple - but there is no community - feels a little lonely after the community I found on Etsy ...

Also on Zibbet - http://www.zibbet.com/Fleaosophy

I also found a great community here at The Vintage Village  this is a cool place for groups, discussions about vintage and you can even sell from here - there is a membership fee (haven't paid it yet) to access all the features - but in addition to Retrophoria it seems a few of the members in this village sell there too.

I applied to be a vendor on One King's Lane but nothing has come through yet...

I am also going to be accepting banner ads here on the Fleaosophy Blog -
Your ad will show at the top of the right hand side bar on every page of the site!

 Ad Size: 150x150 pixels

Cost: $5 a month, or $45 for the year (you supply the ad)
             $25 if you need me to create the ad for you

Payment Method: PayPal

I'm looking for sponsors that relate to the content of the blog - vintage shops and sites, upcycled products, of handmade using mostly recycled items .

 I reserve the right to not accept any ads that I feel don't "fit" the blog, so please keep that in mind when inquiring about advertising.
Send me an email at pattipics44@gmail.com  for more info

Some farm fresh barn finds - no really I found this stuff in a barn ... have a few more items that I need to take photos of - like an early 1900's game of Parcheesi complete in the original box, some small ice skates and roller skates - and more stay tuned!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

So much to do so little time ...Guess I will take a nap ...

Ever feel like that? I know I do! I am gearing up for the holiday shopping season in my online stores. My regular job, taking photos of children in day cares is super duper busy, and on the side I work part time for an online auction company MAXSOLD, taking photos of the items to go online in the auction. (Need to downsize, have an estate to settle and want an easier way to do - message me will be glad to give you MAXSOLD info.) See there I go getting side tracked again. So in the midst of all this, Etsy decides to change a few things. Some good some not so great ideas, but it's Etsy and they can do what they want with their service and site. So I decided to explore other options for my vintage store. I opened an Artfire store - and a store on Zibbet - all under the same name FLEAOSOPHY - Problem is
 I was already set at Etsy, now trying to get 2 other stores at least presentable creates a bit of a challenge, with my limited time.

 I have a ton of new products to list, most I have already taken the photos of. Now however I am stuck, do I list it all on Etsy, transfer over to the other sites or wait until after the holidays...oh the choices. For the most part I am listing things on Etsy - still have about 200 items live and ready to go, I have another 100-200 items waiting to get added, so I think I will add them to all the stores and measure the success of the holidays.

 Having been through this with several other online stores in the past, the new startups need the shopkeepers, want them to be happy and are pleasant to work with, then they get successful - Cafepress was my first venture over 12 years ago. Once the website is successful, the owners sell out to raise money to expand and then they are beholden to investors, not the original customer base. Yes the shopkeepers are the customers of Etsy, Cafepress etc.. but once they get too big, then they lose sight of their original customers and believe that the shopkeepers' customers are their customers and that is where they start to go down hill.

 Eventually I will start a standalone website - have one working now, just too close to the holidays to launch it and hope it does ok. And on top of that someone somewhere bought my name - and wants to sell it for over $1200. So no, thanks, not gonna do that right now. Almost feels like someone stole it and wants me to pay them for it back. That's how the interweb (as they say on one of those cartoons or was that in congress?) works. The one thing I do know is if I want something done my way, I have to do it myself. Otherwise I have to be grateful others took the time to build something I can use to make some money, even if after I built my business up they take it away... At least I had it for the time I did. Here's hoping Zibbet pays off, and I may even try Ebay again.

Ww will see... So everyone stay in touch subscribe to the blog, like my page on facebook and keep me posted on where you are too!

Monday, September 9, 2013

How I improved my sales on Etsy ...

I decided early in the summer I wanted to get better traffic to my store, make more sales and be noticed. I started studying the treasuries that were on the front page, made notes of who consistently had treasuries and products featured. Started following a few that I really liked.

My first treasuries on Etsy well they sucked.  I didn't know what treasuries were really about, and I fell into the trap of doing all vintage, or all owls or all one thing and it usually wasn't a great theme.  Not that all the items I picked weren't great!  I loved them that is why I picked them.  But they were usually fellow team members to promote something and actually at first, I didn't have a clue what I was doing.  You can see my treasuries here from the most recent on back go ahead look at the last page ...
Patti's Treasuries - Go to the Last Page to see first ones!

I started to take a good hard look at my store photos, and began making changes. I blogged about it -
http://fleaosophy.blogspot.com/2013/08/eek-photos-i-am-I am a photographer this should be easy

I joined a few teams that made treasuries, I made lots of treasuries, looked at lots of treasuries and fav'd and followed those I loved.  I made some treasuries that seemed to follow the Front Page recipe - and some treasuries I made to tell a story (those are the ones I love to do) and then while I was sleeping a treasury I had made for a vintage team I was on was on the FRONT PAGE - it told a story - the theme of it was the Ghost and Mrs, Muir - it was a bit romantic, nostalgic and vintage - and not at all what I
expected to get chosen for a FP.   the-ghost-and-mrs-muir

I also had a print from my second store on a FP treasury, which was awesome!  my print on the front page!!
But the most important thing I have gotten out of all this - is the networking with other shops, finding great items, and the fun of great treasuries. The bonus my stuff is selling, my views are WAY UP, my sales are up when a ton of people are complaining about slow sales etc... my store is growing!
Every day I have several items featured in treasury, sometimes I don't get notification my the maker, and I have to search my feed to see them all and I think I miss a few of them because it has been so many!!  That's FREE ADVERTISING!!  I don't do the Etsy ads, sorry Etsy, I pay enough with listing fees etc...  and I make treasuries featuring items I love and that sells for those stores - I know I get messages saying thanks!  since that treasury was up the item sold in 20 minutes!

I honestly believe it all comes down to the photos I have in my store, helps other people find and market by treasuries, and my making treasuries shares my love of the items I find, and all that I made it to the front page - TWICE so far ... My Second FRONT PAGE treasury!! WHOO HOO!! # 2

and some of my favorites that I made and others have done No Exit
The Most Interesting Man in the World
dragon slayer
a secretive man
nights in constantinople
water nymph

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

EEK ...Photos ... I am a photographer this should be easy ....

So, I am a photographer, not the I take pictures because I got a camera for Christmas photographer. An actual I go to work, lug heavy equipment sweat my butt off and get great photos photographer.  I work for a large company, and that specializes in photos in day cares and preschools - and I LOVE IT!!

 I am great with the kids,  I get great smiles - not those cheesy smiles you see in most school photos - I don't work for THAT company - I work for the one that captures the smiles in the child's eyes, and I do!  We as a company pride ourselves on that -(wish I could show you some but I can't due to privacy etc... ) so what's the problem ?  PRODUCTS do not Smile!!  they don't laugh they don't giggle and well posing a product just isn't the same as getting a two year old to look so darn adorable and cute!

I have been tweaking my product shots at the store http://www.etsy.com/shop/fleaosophy  and you can see a difference from the older products to the ones I am currently listing.
I have reworked my little studio - gotten a cute little table - and some awesome crates and wooden props and today I painted the walls - the white paper backdrop was just BLAH...

I have been using some actions for photoshop I currently LOVE LOVE LOVE -Freshwonderland2   by Paint the Moon - I purchased the Fresh Wonderland2 there are a few freebies to try out (but I LOVE all the actions they have too!) http://paintthemoon.net/blog/tag/free-actions/  I love Wonderland 2 because I can run the action and see how all the options will look on an image and then run all my photos with that action -

I also have a great model - Bree - is a love who will come over and model for me anytime - she was in some of my early digital art photos as a fairy

Now here is how the studio is looking - stay tuned for some new photos -
first set up - white sheet on wall  - an old table for display

getting ready to paint

$15 table I got at flea market - painted with chalk paint

this is the current version - a few  crates and my $15 table with the walls painted the same as the table -

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chalk Paint Experiment ...

During my flea market adventure over the weekend - I scored a great little table for $15.  It is the perfect height for taking photos for the products in the store.  However in the state I found it, it's not quite right.
I like the little rim that goes all the way around, I think it can be a great prop table.  instead of the great big hulking table I am currently using.

Oops Paint
White Dry Non Sanded Grout
So I saw a recipe for making homemade chalk paint.  Which apparently is quite popular right now.  However, at over $34.00 a quart I am not in the market for chalk paint.  I do however have a bunch of oops paint I got for $5 - $7 a gallon - and apparently all I need is unsanded grout $7 at Home Depot
I mixed about 4 heaping tablespoons of unsanded grout with some water to make a paste and mixed until smooth

I added the paste to the paint in a seperate container that I could seal
  It did make the paint a bit thick.  I had heard that you don't need to sand or strip a piece prior to painting it when using chalk paint - EVEN better for me - it's the lazy persons paint!  So here goes nothing...  It went on pretty good, definitely needed 2 coats, and actually I ended up touching it up in a few places.  but over all I liked the effect, how easy it was to use, and look out it made the paint go farther, so ...

I think I will be painting a few things with chalk paint.  I just got some really great oops greens, that really nice calm teal green color and I have some mirrors,  tables, a few chairs ... look out 

And if you decide to try chalk paint for yourself, be warned the recipe above is my own measurements - not exact by any means - and I would suggest you maybe start with the amounts you feel comfortable with.  From what I hear this stuff sticks to alot of stuff ... Oh and finish it off with a coat of Minwax finishing paste, to seal and protect - 

Have fun!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Flea Markets and Estate Sales Whoo Hoo!

So I went to a Flea Marketing today with my friend Robin and I must say, I think we scored a few great items.  Mostly I am happy I found a little table I can use for the photos I take of items I sell on Etsy.  I have been using a table that was a tad to tall, this one is shorter and longer not round - and I paid $15 for it.
It needed a coat of paint but still a great find. I am going to paint it with homemade chalk paint, will let you know how it turns out in my next blog post.

I think I have gotten a bit jaded with the flea markets, since I have been having such luck at the estate sales and yard sales this season.  When I walk through a flea market and talk to the dealers I know they got the stuff at an auction or estate sale and I want THOSE prices!  not flea market prices.  I used to think flea market prices were the greatest.  But combined with the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of a great deal - I think estate sales and yard sales have the flea markets beat. I am going to try some auctions before the summer is over.  Will keep you posted on that adventure too.

But I must say there is something about a field of venders with tables lined up as far as you can see.  It makes treasure hunting easy.  Especially when the vendors are willing to make deals.

not sure who would love this - but there is something at a flea market for everyone!

But then the estate sale/yard sales - you know the ones, they have a ton of stuff so they add estate sale to the signs to get the bargain hunters to stop.  Those sales can be awesomely great finds, if they are really trying to clean out and just want stuff to find new homes.  Professionally run estate sales are great too, fun to go to and I try to attend a variety in the area and get to know the companies and how they organize them.  Some companies start out with high prices and don't bargain at all, they are out to get the best prices for their customers.  Which isn't the customer shopping!  Some companies will do half price on the last day of the sale.  One local company sometimes runs the last day with fill a bag sales, fill a bag for $5.  Love that!

Yard sale/Estate Sales - The ones run by the family, they are just tired of looking at it.  They want to sell the house, make room for something, or need the money.  So please buy the stuff - sometimes they want to deal and have it move out, other times they are more interested in sticking to a price they set - it can't hurt to ask - "what's your best price" or "would you take ___"  I usually start out lower than I am willing to pay, but if I think an item is already priced fair, I don't bother with the haggling.  Some people  love to haggle no matter what.  I prefer to get a good/fair deal, so that both the vendor and I feel good about it. 

some of my treasures today

Vintage 1950's chair and stool $5

Vintage lamp and shade great condition if I told you what she paid you would be jealous! I know I was!
Vintage shade on the lamp - perfect condition!

more treasures - can you tell I love the crates!

Until next time - it's a Fleaosophy ...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

One persons' Junk is my Treasure ...

Look what I found! Vintage Lincoln Beauty Ware Chrome Canisters - Probably from about 1950.they measure flour and sugar each 9.5" tall, 7" deep, 4.5" wide at the back 

coffee 6" tall, 7" deep, 4.5" wide at back 
tea 3.25" tall, 7" deep, 4.5" wide at back
now I found them  in the basement of my friends grandmothers house.
her mother had finally decided it was time to clean it out.  I love that. My friend thought everything was junk, I told her I think it will all be treasure!  and I found a few treasures - actually more than I could take.  So I decided on just a few items and I loved these - 

So here are a few before and after photos - and a little tip for cleaning chrome

the set even comes with the yellow flour scooper.
To clean rusty and pitted chrome I use small squares of tin foil and water - a light going over depending on how badly it is pitted can greatly improve the chrome - something about the friction of the tin foil against the metal fills the pits in and it also removes rust - 
works wonders!