November 5, 2012

Look at My Display Tent!

It has been awhile since I posted here. Season has begun in Southwest Florida and I am raring to go.
This last Saturday, I began by setting up my display tent at the Promenade in Bonita Springs where I will set up every Saturday Morning until April!
The day began at 3 am. Preparation the day before, included loading the car and managing to squeeze in 5 large boxes of Children’s Books. Preparing the day before allows me to sleep in.
Friday included an 8pm phone call from our real-estate agent; the house was going to be shown at 1pm on Saturday! Ah preparing for an event always leaves bits and pieces lying around. (Displays not being used, signs cardboard little things.
Thank heavens the car was loaded, I finished cleaning the house to show before leaving at 5 am. Arriving at my assigned location at 5:30 began setting up my display in the dark. By 7 am I was ready. My new earring display board is working out very well. I want to do more to display necklaces and sets!
Now the morning always begins watching the shoppers racing each other to be the first inline for the fresh fish stall. One of these days I will manage to get some fish this week he was sold out by 10am! The flowers and vegetables are always wonderful! My first sale of the day was a mini book. I love selling these are they make great card replacements. What a beautiful morning with many smiling people. I did catch a few without smiles, but they were smiling as passed my booth. One couple, I told them I love to see the romance, they came back they were holding hands to keep form falling over. What a great laugh. Another couple, I just said “Hi Smiley” and they began to smile. A beautiful morning is complete with a smile.
I had several little girls trying on necklaces, I had told them before, they began I sold Adult jewelry, but they could try on one necklace each to see what they thought. They left with instructions to show me something they made next time they come.
You may ask why I do not sell to children, it is simple, young children tend to put jewelry into their mouth. I just do not feel comfortable with them potentially swallowing a piece of jewelry.
Harry Potter Sorting Hat
I also showed them the mini books I had with me! Two of the children really wanted the Harry Potter Sorting Hat Sticker Kit (Mega Mini Kits) they are saving their allowance to come back next week.
A slow day as season begins, a few looking for gift ideas, I handed cards out and several told me they would be back.
At noon, I began to dismantle! 4 tables boxes of jewelry bookshelves, and the grab bag box all where gathered together and place into the car in 45 minutes along with the canopy and sides, the fastest I have ever managed to break down. Off to the next event, which began at 3pm in Fort Myers.
Eating a small snack in the car the temperature had risen, by 1:30 I began to set up. The canopy first, it is warm I left the sides off, and the set up began, many of the vendors expected the event to be indoors. They did not even have umbrellas. Here, I unloaded the boxes of books for donation, I had left in the car. Off to the side they waited until I could get them moved into the school. By 3pm, I was exhausted but set up they way I wanted. I need to paint the back of my display boards!
In the car, I keep two golf umbrellas, these I shared vendors. I wish I had had more.
The bounce house was busy; the school activities in progress and the shoppers did not show. I had planned on donating 10% of my sales after I sold $50.00. I did not meet my minimum. I sold 1 pair of earrings.
The event ended at 6pm and I began the break down, finally catching someone who could take the books indoors. Finishing at 7pm, I ran home unloaded the car and collapsed.


August 22, 2012

Books on Sale

New Copies of Books
Suffering from a book overload, with many older titles, and boxes of books yet to be listed for sale. 

This week will begin a purge, With the kindle's entry onto the market, print book sales have dropped.

While some titles will remain for sale, others may be repurposed, donated, and perhaps tossed.

Now, this is a time consuming process.

What will determine be the outcome?
  1. Price - Postage and packaging prices are rising, while using recycled packaging whenever possible (turning cereal boxes into shipping boxes) this is not always possible.
  2. Number of Copies for sale - Very popular, these you will find hundreds of copies for sale, does it pay to store them waiting for a buyer? 
  3. Condition - Paperbacks from the 60's and 70's can be fragile, are they still in the condition they have been listed in?
  4. Emotion - A tough call, some books just have an emotional feel, inscriptions, nostalgia.
  5. Status - Already listed for sale or processing, more of the unlisted will go without listing.
  6. Space - with every nook and cranny in the stockroom full, the inventory has been creeping into unused spaces inside our home. 
Shop while you can. Ordering more than one? Combined shipping can be arranged.

June 2, 2012

800 square feet of BLISS

I stumbled across a new blog today, Rustic Living.  Stopping to read an entry 100 square feet of BLISS.'

A memory triggered, of our move to a new town. My parents moved us in during Christmas vacation. My youngest sister was just a few days old, making a total of 7 people living in a house 796 square feet. A little larger than the 100 square foot this single gentleman lived in.

Village "School House" Wall Plaque

The home was built in 1900 and everyone referred to it as the Ford House. With thick hard plaster walls and a steep pitched roof. We kids slept on the second floor, the girls walking through the boys’ room. Now, I know they are counting the square footage from wall to wall, but the roofline met the floor. When I stood, at five foot, I cleared the single bare light bulb by an inch my brothers soon began to hit the bulbs as they grew.

What most people would use as a dining room, my parents used as their bedroom. With my youngest sister placed in an old drawer tucked into the corner. The second floor being to cold for an infant.

The bathroom jutted off the rear of the home, and old porch conversion. With freezing pipes and drafty floors, winter bath times were quick. One quirky thing about the home, there was a second sink by the rear door. When we sat at the table, whoever had a seat near the door had to be careful to not hit the sink with their elbows?

The living room had the only source of heat in the house, an old oil burner. Tucked into the corner too up most of the free space. With the front door, one to the kitchen and one to my parent’s room, each on a different wall, and a door to the “basement” a crawl space for storing can goods. Made setting up the furniture difficult, a single sofa and chair. I know there had to be a TV, but I cannot recall it clearly. The days before cable I think we managed to receive 2 stations clearly and a third depending on the weather.

More later...

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Writing in my dreams

How I Write by Janet Evanovich 

Maybe You Should Write a Book

As I lay my head at night

a story seems to come to light
ah just what to write you see
in the morning it cannot be
the words have gone
the story done
disappeared with the morn.

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May 26, 2012

Traveling Shoes

Vintage BALLY Adorna 

will they also be brave enough to travel?

Have your shoes ever taken a trip without you?

These shoes are made for traveling,
 and that's just what they do
One of these days these shoes,
 are going to stop and visit you.

Well, I had a pair of shoes decide to travel the country, without the new owner.

I had two orders to ship with severe gallbladder pains hampering my vision. Printing the mailing labels, I attached them to the shipping boxes. Dropped the boxes at the post office on my way to the hospital. 

RoseFeather Lifelike Handmade 

Ruby Red Feather Roses

One box contained a dozen feather roses being shipped to a wonderful woman in  Washington State, from her son for Mother Day. The other contained a pair of shoes on their way to Texas. Imagine my surprise when the shoes decided to arrive in Washington State.

I promptly sent a new shipping label to the understanding recipient in Washington state.

Off for testing to see if I needed surgery.

Emails flying, Doctor's visits, and the prognosis, luckily, the shoes arrived before my scheduled surgery.

The grand tour courtesy of USPS Priority Mail and two shipping labels.

FORT MYERS FL               5/5/12 10:40am
OAK HARBOR WA                    05/19/12  2:59pm
KENT WA                          05/19/12 11:15pm
COPPELL TX                       05/20/12 10:55pm
TAMPA FL                         05/22/12  9:53pm
FORT MYERS FL                    05/24/12  4:51am
COPPELL TX                       05/26/12  1:24am
MCKINNEY TX                      05/26/12  1:24pm

These shoes should bring the new very understanding own many adventures, as they are not afraid to travel.

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May 23, 2012

Stay Alive... Just Drive

"Since the introduction of the automobile, distractions have always been a major factor in the safe operation of a vehicle. Distracted driving puts other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians in the bull’s-eye. Given the number of distractions in these days of electronic technology, along with eating, grooming and dealing with small children, society needs to accept the fact that distracted driving has become a public health threat."

Why I rented a spot at the local Stay Alive Just Drive Public Safety BBQ Cook-off held at Harley Davidson Fort Myers.
#1 it is a great organization.
#2 I wanted to work on my displays!

What my set up looked like when I began this season.
A borrowed blue canopy top left dark shadows.
Here are the results of my new booth set up!

I hung displays on the walls of my tent. 
Reorganized all of my displays.

Now to improve the set up time. This took me just over 2 hours, after 3 weeks of preparation.
I really like the looks of my booth from the front.

Views as you walk towards my tent.

The concrete blocks on the tent footing are a must, as wind will move the tent. But I do not like the looks.
And Here I have a friend visiting me during the event.

A customer!
The white carpet does not stay white on blacktop. 
Carpet squares would be much easier.

And adjustment to my signage is a must this one is hanging to low.
Earrings were raining down as the breeze hit the tent walls or people passed between the tents. Knocking the earrings off the display. I need to reinforce and place a buffer between the tent and the board.

I will be ready for next season. For now the temperature is getting to high and most of the shoppers have gone north.

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May 21, 2012

Barbara Ellis, Artist Extrodinaire

The Lions Club Farmers Market located at the Promenade At Bonita Bay, has been a wonderful place for me to set up my booth. The people I have met are friendly and smile easily.
Now I have made the acquaintance of a wonderful bead artist Barbara Ellis. She has an artist shop in the Promenade. Barbara was sitting outside her studio working on a new bead project, as I walked by.
I joined her at the table. To watch Barbara work, is to realize you are in the presence of a true artist. I hope someday, to be able to create as easily as she does.
Check out the information on her work at

April 15, 2012

The cuff bracelet.

Handmade Wide Stretch Cuff Bracelet - Brass

As I was packing my jewelry show last week, I noticed this bracelet had been moved and did not get into the proper box, I slid it on my wrist and continued, carefully packing the baby hats.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived home to discover the bracelet still on my wrist! It was so comfortable I forgot I had it on.  Now my inventory will be short a bracelet as I plan on keeping one of the Brass Wide Stretch Cuff Bracelet for myself.

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April 9, 2012

Easter Bunnies Become Chocolate Bread Pudding

If you are like me chocolate and Easter go hand in hand. And the day after Easter I rush to the stores to purchase the leftover Easter bunnies (other chocolate works as well). Now, the photo is not my pudding. It does not last long enough for a photo! But the bunny will also work in place of other chocolate in recipes.


Dessert Cooking Class Cookbook 

Chocolate Bread Pudding
4 cups dried (stale is best) French Bread cubes (or I used croissants)
2 cups low fat chocolate milk   (I used plain low fat milk and grated chocolate candy the old Easter bunny came in handy)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 
1 teas cinnamon
2 large egg whites
1 whole egg
2 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 8"x8"x2" baking dish
1. In a large bowl place the bread cubes. Pour the chocolate milk over cubes; stir and mash until bread is well soaked. (Mixture will be very moist but not soupy. If needed, add more chocolate milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until bread is well, soaked.) 

2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon. In a medium size bowl, use a rotary beater to beat together the egg whites, egg, butter, and vanilla. Add the sugar mixture, then beat until combined. Add egg mixture to the bread mixture. Gently stir until combined. (Do not over beat the white or the pudding will be dry.)

3.  Turn the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until almost set in the center. Let stand on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Serve.  Make 9 servings. 

( you can freeze the left overs and reheat at a later date, that is if you have any left!

March 14, 2012

Chicken Enchilada

I have not been posting regularly. I added selling locally to my list of activities. As much as I enjoy it it does take a large chunk of time in preparation.

Dinners have been hit and miss. This is a simple dish I make using cooked chicken. It is amazing how far a rotisserie chicken will go.

Chicken Enchilada

1 jar (16 ounces) Pace® Salsa Verde "Tomatillo"
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalapeno Peppers
1/2 large onion, chopped
6 flour tortillas (6" diameter), warmed

Serve on the side
1c shredded Lettuce
1 small tomato, sliced
1/4 sliced avocado
1 green onion, sliced

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix Chicken, onion, cheese and 1/4 jar Pace® Salsa Verde "Tomatillo"

Divide chicken mixture among tortillas. Roll up tortillas and place seam-side town in 11 x 7 x 2" baking dish. Pour remaining Pace® Salsa Verde "Tomatillo" over filled tortillas. Cover baking dish.

Bake 40 minutes or until enchiladas are hot and bubbling.