Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's A New Year And A New Years Resolution I Will Actually Keep

We have all done it. Made those New Year resolutions that we just can't seem to keep. I will quit smoking, I will lose weight, I will stop...whatever I should stop doing. Most of us just seem to fail. I am running out of time to keep making promises to myself I can't keep. I swear, the older you get the faster time moves. Maybe it's some sort of time-space anomaly. I think I will have to email Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He might know whats up.

Really though, it seems like just a couple years ago I was a teenager, sporting my Robert Smith hairdo and sitting in my friends basement being dark and mysterious why we listed to The Smiths. We were the original Emo kids. A couple more years and my son was 2 years old and watching Blues Clues until his eyeballs popped out. He is now almost 18, getting ready for college and has a full beard. Really, what is going on with kids and facial hair? I don't remember kids having beards when I was growing up. My older two were just starting to do the stupid teenage stuff I used to do. For crying out loud I have grandchildren!

Now I am considered 'middle aged'. I notice it creeping up on me. I'm sure a lot of you around my age know what I'm talking about. The little noises you make when you bend over to pick something up or get up from a chair. Having your joints ache when the weather changes. Gray hair, wrinkles and worst of all the dreaded waddle! Next thing you know I will be sitting in a rocking chair on my porch yelling at kids to get off my lawn. I have always had a young state of mind. I feel 18 but my body says otherwise. I am now called 'that woman' instead of that girl or that lady. You get the sympathy compliments from younger people like 'you can't be that old! You look so young!'. We all know they are big fat lairs!

It's a fact, you can't stop it. Oh, you can get plastic surgery and needles in your face. All that crazy stuff society says you should do because if you're not beautiful you might as well give up. Screw a bunch of that. I'm not nipping and tucking and doing all that stuff to try and make myself look younger just because everyone else says so. Plus, you might look like this:

Nobody wants that.

So my New Years resolution is to just go with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up, but I'm not spending valuable time and money trying to look younger when I can use that for much better things. Like fishing. I'm not going to dye my hair or freak out about wrinkles. I'm going to let my Old Flag fly! Bring it time! Give me your best shot! And please, don't tell me I look 25 when I'm in my 40's. Your pants will catch on fire.

Have a great New Year!

Cheers!



Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Cards That Will Make You Feel Better About Your Own Family

I'm sure everyone has been subject to one of those dreaded family photo Christmas cards. Mom breaks out the matching sweaters and makes the family pose in front of the tree. You all look like idiots but you know, it's the Holidays. I have even been guilty.

Circa 2005. Seriously, What the hell was I thinking?



Whether you send out those gems to your friends and family as a joke or as true Holiday greetings, these cards will make you feel just a bit better about your crazy family.


The dog is even in disbelief about whats going on here.



We said we wanted an Xbox One for Christmas



If you don't wear the diaper it won't look real!



I believe it was 'Savior' not 'Terrier'




If you have a horrible family Holiday card, please share! I don't want to be the only one!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Small Business Commercials aka What Were They Thinking? (There Is A Moral To This Story)

OK, I know everyone has that one small town store that has the most ridiculous commercials you have ever seen. Growing up I had Cal Worthington of Worthington Chevrolet. My brother and sisters and I would stop what we were doing to trample each other in a race to the TV the second we heard 'It's Cal Worthington and his dog Spot!' Now Spot was never a dog and Cal was not right in the head. But, he did have the catchiest jingle known to man and did stuff that kids beat each other up to see. If you grew up in the Sacramento/Nappa Valley in California and someone said 'Pussy Cow' you would know exactly what they were talking about. And I know there are a few of you right now who are grinning and singing it in your head. The commercials always featured Cal with dangerous animals or doing stupid stunts but boy, that jingle! It still haunts me to this day. Just watch this and you will see what I mean.



After I grew up I moved to Seattle. Boy, did we have a doozy there! We had Vern Fonk. This dude did parodies of everything from Hair Club For Men to Forrest Gump. His commercials came on really late because I'm guessing it's the only time slot he could afford. My friends and I would actually stay up (no DVR back then) to see the new Vern Fonk commercial. We lived for that 30 seconds! His slogan was 'Remember To Honk When You Drive By Vern Fonk!' I always wondered if he regretted that. The world would be a sadder place if Vern Fonk Insurance didn't exist. So sit back and watch the awesomeness of Vern Fonk unfold in front of your very eyes!


I have since moved to Connecticut where I have lived for the last 14 years. This journey has taken me to the wonderful land of Bedding Barn. This man is..ummm...creative? His commercials just make you say 'what the f*** was that?' Really. I'm serious. This is a thing. Watch at your own risk...


Now to the moral....You should always support small businesses. From your local crazy retailer to the small online shops *ahem* they are what makes our country great. Because if we didn't we would only have crappy Allstate and Sleepy's commercials, and nobody wants that. The genius creativity of Vern Fonk and the Bedding Barn, not to mention the father of crazy commercials Cal Worthington, would have never been known. I salute all small businesses that have the intestinal fortitude to make complete fools of themselves to feed their families. That's what makes them better than all the Walmarts in the world. 

If you grew up with some awesome local commercials or even have them now please share!! I have to see them!!

Cheers!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Upcycle vs. What The Hell Is That

So in the vintage jewelry sellers community it is not uncommon to take pieces of vintage jewelry and upcycle them into a new unique pretty piece of art. Then, there are those people. The ones who take things, mash them together and try to pass them off as vintage. For example:

                                    

I have never seen a pair of vintage earrings signed MONET TROLLS. They must be rare and worth A TON! Granted, I did buy those earrings. They were so gawd awful wrong on so many levels I just had to have them!!! I still wonder what possessed this person to put trolls on a pair of earrings and actually think they could pass them off as authentic. I guess the first clue is she spelled miniature wrong. The scary part is I wasn't the only bidder! I will display these as a reminder of who the competition is. I am not intimidated.

Now there are those artisans who take vintage pieces and turn them into beautiful works of art. Meet Maria and Lisa from Salvati Designs. They turn vintage jewelry into amazing home decor. I'm kind of partial to the N. Now this is how you upcycle people!


The pieces they create are just gorgeous. You can go get your own at their eBay Store.

So what have we learned? Friends don't let friends make scary upcycled troll earrings and sell them on eBay.

Cheers!



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Save A Life.....Buy Vintage

Don't get up at 3am to get trampled by soccer moms or beat up by some old lady with a really big handbag. Come on over and get amazing gifts you can't buy at Walmart. Absolutely beautiful vintage jewelry, housewares and collectibles. They come with a pain free guarantee. I promise.





Trust me, your body will thank you.

Cheers!



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So, What Exactly Do You 'Tumble'

Social media isn't my forte. First, I'm not very social. I'm going to be that old lady who hits people and things with her handbag. I'm the one who forgets my own family's birthdays. I literally will have people come up to me and say 'Hey Niki! How ya been?' We will have a 10 minute conversation and as they walk away my husband will say 'who was that?' My answer 'I don't know.' So yeah, not so social nowadays. Now I have branched out to another social media site to connect with people. I am now on Tumblr. Ok, great, I get to connect! The one thing that bothers me, and it must be my inner Grammar Nazi, BUT WHY DOES IT NOT HAVE AN 'E'?? Anyway, check it out. Apparently all the cool kids are doing it. Like Boy George, and you can't get cooler than that.




Cheers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ohhhh, Shiny!

Man. I bet you thought I dropped off the face of the earth right? If the earth had a face though I bet it would look like Jack Black, then everybody would want off. 

I have been obsessed lately with shiny objects. You know, those little things that make you 'oohhhh' and 'ahhhhhh'. Especially the ones from our glamorous past. That's when women really cared about their appearance. Every outfit had to be accessorized perfectly. Even for a trip to the grocery store. There was no Sponge Bob pajama pants and flip flops at Walmart. (of course there was no Walmart either, but you catch my drift) No woman would be caught dead outside the home in her pajamas! Gasp! What a scandal! 
Let's pay tribute to the shiny things from the past that made women women and men notice!

Crown Trifari
Since the 1920s, Trifari has been one of the most respected and admired producers of costume jewelry in the United States. Founded in the 1910s by Gustavo Trifari, the Italian-immigrant son of a Napoli goldsmith, the company has designed jewelry that’s been worn by countless high-profile clients, from Mamie Eisenhower to Madonna.




Monet
Founded by brothers Michael and Joseph Chernow in 1927 in New York. Monet is known for it's high fashion costume jewelry and has had many famous designer contribute to their line.



Coro 
The Coro company was the largest manufacturer of costume jewelry. Founded by Emanuel Cohn and Gerard Rosenberg in 1901, the company produced a broad range of designs. They were known for their well designed, vibrant pieces.


Coro Aurora Borealis Ice Blue Flower Brooch


Go check check out these amazing Etsy shops, AngiezillasBoutique, TheArtisanal, and of course HeyThatsAwesome to find some beautiful shiny of your own!

Cheers!
Niki


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Commissioner Gordon! It's the Batphone!

Ok, can we just talk about Gotham for a minute? Actually, all these new DC shows that are coming out? Oh my god, they are AWESOME! Gotham has me on the edge of my seat and The Flash, I can't even go into how awesome that is! I'm behind on Arrow so that has to wait. Too bad, I love me some John Barrowman! So fun facts: Barry Allen's dad on The Flash is the actor who actually played The Flash in the old series. The actor who plays Alfred on Gotham is none other than Sean Pertwee. His father is John Pertwee who played the third Doctor in Doctor Who (which is the best show ever made!) Sean Pertwee also portrayed Gareth Lestrade on Elementary. Which is not to be confused with the much superior, British program Sherlock. Oh Benedict Cumberbatch, what I wouldn't do to you! I digress.  John Barrowman played Captain Jack Harkness (Face Of Boe) on Doctor Who as well as on the the spin off Torchwood (which is an anagram for Doctor Who. Mind blown right?) And finally, pointed out by the hubby, doesn't the kid who plays Bruce Wayne have a striking resemblance to Christian Bale? Coincidence perchance? So back to Gotham! Cobblepot is portrayed so well in this series (kinda kicks Danny DeVito's ass. Just saying) Creepy, desperate and brutal. I love it so. It turned on a light bulb. I had this super cute Swarovski crystal necklace and the pendant is shaped like a little umbrella.

                       

I finally decided to list it. So all of you Cobblepot fans, this is a classy way to geek out without letting that flag wave to high! Which mine is apparently at full mast right now! 

So when it comes down to it, who's holding the umbrella?  

Cheers!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wait...What? It's Not Christmas yet!!


You know what bothers me most of all about retail stores? They have no concept of time. Bathing suits in winter? Coats in the spring? Next they will be selling Christmas decorations in May. Well I'm close. It's not even Halloween yet and all of the fall items are clearanced out and they are moving in the Christmas stuff already. I'm surprised I'm not hearing Jingle Bells when I'm walking through the stores. Well lucky for you I just happen to have some pretty amazing autumn items you might just want to snatch up!

                       



                       


                        


                       


Now I'm going to let you in a little secret. 
Seriously, try this recipe. My turkey every year is so juicy I am cleaning it up off the floor after I carve it. That's why you need the tree and well platter. It keeps all those juices in place!

Make you holiday beautiful with these amazing vintage housewares. 
You will thank me later!

Cheers!





Friday, October 3, 2014

And Cue The Slow Clap.....

I have been revisiting my youth and gorging out on 80's movies. Were we really that ridiculous? It really cracks me up seeing the fashion of the 80's. What were we thinking? The latest gem I just finished was Can't Buy Me Love. A classic Patrick Dempsy pre-McDreamy. I do wish I could travel back sometimes. Where's the Doc (either one if you are a sci-fi geek) when you need him. So my time machine is a thrift shop. So on my journey through time via The Thrifty Time Machine I have found some amazing artifacts. Now if I can find some Guess jeans, Keds and those glasses that really weren't glasses but more of a Geordi Laforge look. I honestly think I wore this to a high school dance.




Honestly I'm surprised we didn't all go blind. By color or science!
*slow clap


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Because Fashion Is Smashin'

Oh I wish I could get away with wearing the gorgeous fashions of way back when. Unfortunately, jeans and T-shirts are my uniform. The way women dressed back then was just amazing. So feminine and couture. You see the runways now and just go 'what the @*#&??' Who would wear that really??


SERIOUSLY??!! You have a Yeti in a skirt, a tiger with liposuction, a zebra taco and I think the one on the end is a serial killer. Or a Nazi. Or a sleeper cell. Whatever, it's not good. So, in the true spirit of real fashion I present to you some beautiful vintage pieces I could only dream of pulling off, and they won't cause people to gawk, snicker or run screaming for the hills.





Now that is fashion. If you will excuse me now, I'm going to go get ready to go out in my Spongebob Squarepants outfit. Or maybe I should rock the cheesy poofs dress? It's a thing. Really.


Just remember, friends don't let friends dress in clothes that look like food.
Cheers!







Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Listing Is A Pain In Me Arse!

That title came out very pirate-y. Wasn't it just Talk Like A Pirate Day? I digress......I have stuff, but I have no time. Between life and stuff and other junk I tell myself everyday "OK Niki! This is it! You are going to list those kick ass 80's dresses today!" I give myself pep talks. Alas, the puppy is being a psycho spaz, I forgot to charge my camera battery, I have to take my Mother In Law to the doctor, Navy stuff, blah blah buggery I got nothing done! To be honest, I love the shopping and finding treasures part. I love interacting with my buyers and doing research to find out exactly what it is I found. What I hate is listing. It's not hard, it's just tedious. Even the photo part I like. I used to be a freelance photographer and I like getting creative. I JUST HATE LISTING! Anyone have tips or tricks? Something to make it just a bit easier? Man you would be my best friend if you told me there was a button that just went 'click, your item is live to shoppers' Heck yeah! And I have a unicorn tied up in my backyard. I guess it's just part of the job. PPfftttt.... you can't see it but I'm making faces at my computer. OK, I'm really going to list some stuff tomorrow!


Monday, September 15, 2014

Have You Seen New England In The Fall??

Autumn is sneaking in rather quickly. I swear I was just complaining about how hot it was and how sun burnt I got fishing all the time. Now it's cooling off and my flip flop tan is fading. It's time to make the house warm and cozy for those cool nights filled with fluffy blankets, hot beverages, comfort food and the smell of falling leaves in the air. Oh, you need awesome vintage items to make your home inviting? I can help with that!





Hopefully you find something amazing to comfort you and yours for the chilly days to come. I have lots of other autumn inspired items in my shop. Go see! Hurry!

Stay warm!
Cheers!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

How To Keep Em' Coming Back! A Guide To Repeat Customers

My adventures of online selling at different venues and owning a brick and mortar business taught me a few things about customer satisfaction. Vintage can be a hard sell so giving your customers a warm fuzzy feeling will always be a win. I hope these tips can help you get a few more happy customers who will keep coming back!

Cliche Informative Stock Photo

Never Ignore Messages
Customers want to know you are paying attention. It makes them feel comfortable purchasing from you. If you ignore their message or take forever to respond they might take that as sign you are not serious about customer service. Respond as soon as you can and be cheerful. Even if it's just a quick note telling them you got their message and you will contact them soon.

Follow Up
Send them a message a few days after shipping to check in on them. Tell them you just want to make sure their item arrived safely and that they are happy. Ask if they have any questions and thank them again for their purchase. This way they know you care about your customers and if they haven't left feedback it might incline them to do so. Following up can also prevent any problems that might arise. If they are not happy you can intervene immediately to fix the situation. 

Make It Personal
I always call my customers by name and reference the item they bought when I have any correspondence with them. This way they know they aren't just another sale or profit. I like to include a handwritten note with the item they purchased and tie it on with ribbon and such. Sometimes I like to add a little extra touch like putting candies in a jar or container they purchased or a cute little soap or candle for decor items. It's always a nice surprise.

The Importance Of Shipping
Make sure you ship your packages as quickly as possible. We live in an instant gratification world so the faster they get their item the happier they will be. There are so many tools now to help make this easy. USPS will deliver shipping boxes right to your home for free. Shipping labels have become easy being able to print them right from home. If you leave your package near your mailbox with the "hey pick this up" flag your postal carrier will pick it up and scan it on the spot. 

When a customer receives their package that is the first impression they get of you. If the box is old and raggedy or it's covered in duct tape it really doesn't give them the impression that you packed it safely. Use new boxes and tape them up clean. I like to write on my boxes 'This package is for someone special. Please handle with care'. Label your boxes in bold letters or use stickers to let the postal service know if the item is fragile. 

Pack your items carefully and be confidant that even if dropped it will be safe. I saw my postal carrier scan a package and literally tossed it over his shoulder. Thank goodness it was made of aluminum! Try double packing glass and fragile items. I will pack an item securely in a box then place it another box fully padded. I have a lot of crystal and it is so delicate. This really protects it well. Thank goodness for flat rate shipping!

Always offer combined shipping and offer alternative shipping methods. Not only does the buyer have control over their shipping costs, they are more likely to purchase another item. 

Finally, don't overcharge! Try to keep your shipping charges as accurate as possible. If I ship an item and it ships less than $1 as quoted, I will issue a refund for the difference.

Give Them Value For Their Money
Everyone loves a deal! Offer discounts for future purchases or for other reasons such as 10% off a $50 order or free shipping for a second item. Offer other items at a discount if purchased together. Of course only do this if it doesn't cut into you profit margin. I had a woman looking for replacement Mikasa pieces. She was interested in a vegetable bowl I had listed. I had 2 and offered her the second one at half price. she was so happy! 

Don't pull the old 'offer an item dirt cheap then charge a billion dollars for shipping' routine. This really turns customers off. Be honest and fair in your pricing and charge accurate shipping charges You come across as an honest seller.

I hope this information was helpful. When in doubt just think about how you would like a transaction to happen. Make them smooth, cheerful and easy and I guarantee they will come back for more. Happy customers=sales! (the photo says so) 

Cheers!






Party On Wayne, Party On Garth

Breweriana....weird word. Really just a fancy word for people who collect items you would use for drinking. If you are a brewerianan (is that even a word?) check out my latest finds!



So party on you crazy brewerianans! (I still think I made up that word) 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Curses Are Nothing To Poo Poo At! (Caution-Spooky!)

I came across this bunt pan that has a very scary backstory. Read on if you dare...

WARNING! PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION BEFORE BUYING THIS PIECE!


1973
Edna Heffelpoppin was taking a leisurely afternoon walk along a graveyard fence. She stumbled over something and looked down. She saw a beautiful West Bend Shape Cake bunt pan. 'This is perfect!' she thought. 'Now I can make a beautiful cake for my good friend Enid.' Edna took it home and made a lovely cake for Enid. The next morning Enid and Edna woke up with giant warts on their faces. Coincidence? Maybe. 

1976
Janet Saffenbocker bought this same bunt pan from a garage sale. It was 10.25" across and 4" high. Perfect size for her Christmas Jell-O mold. Janet went home and made her famous lime, cherry and jalapeƱo Jell-O topped with bacon bits. Her guests loved it. The next morning everyone who ate the Jell-O woke up bald. Related perchance? 

1982
Robert Gobbelbobbin found a bunt pan in nice vintage condition with a slight patina and a small mark on the side in an abandoned lot. 'My wife would love to use this as part of her kitchen decor!' He took it home and his wife displayed it proudly. 2 days later frogs started coming out of all the faucets and filling their home. I don't think this is just happenstance. 

2014
Niki Patterson was shopping at a thrift store when she came across an awesome fluted/bunt pan. 'This is great! My son's birthday is coming up and I can make him a cool cake!' After baking the cake it fell apart because she doesn't follow directions well. Her son is now disappointed and has told all his friends on social media what a horrible cake his mom made. (This incident was actually caught on film) She is now a social pariah and never leaves her home. 

I did some online research and found that this pan was used by a coven of witches in Salem to bake their Cake Of Doom on All Hallows' Eve. They hexed the pan so any person who was not a witch would never benefit from the beautiful cakes it can make. It comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity For Curses and Hexes written by a real witch doctor named Larry I met at a laundromat. He has confirmed my suspicion of the curse.

Buy this at your own risk. I am not responsible for any harm that may come from using this pan. Larry told me if you go see him he can remove the curse. He lives in the basement of his mom's house.

(None of these statements are true except me making a cake for my son. I can never make a bunt cake! That's how I know this thing is cursed!)

C Is For Cookie....

Oh cookies. Yummy, warm and sweet who can resist? Well to make those cookies taste even sweeter come see what I have to not only have them taste great, but looking great too! These vintage Brown Bag Cookie Art presses are super adorable and have all been retired. Not only can you make cookies, they have a little hole at the top so you can hang them with a piece of ribbon as neat-o wall hangings. Your friends will be so impressed!  *oohhh ahhhh* Oh yeah, cookie press.







Happy baking!
Cheers!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This Style Brought To You By Dynasty

I love vintage earrings. Especially big chunky 80's styles. They always remind me of Alexis and Krystal. I'm sure a lot of you are too young to remember but boy did they have 80's high fashion down to a science! I just got some new items in my shop so you too can look like the Divas of Dynasty!




Now no fighting ladies!
Cheers!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Niki Is a Spaz.......

So I was running errands yesterday and dropped my phone under my seat. When I got home I looked under it to grab it. Hey! A bag of goodies from the thrift store I completey forgot I had. Awesome vintage jewelry and some cool Brown Bag Cookie Art cookie molds. Got to post new stuff today like this awesome pin!



There was also these super cute earrings



I hope you like my awesome vintage finds as much as I do! Cheers!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Man I love Finding Cool Stuff!

So I found some really cool stuff the last time I went out treasure hunting. Like this awesome 70's Road Runner Glass!





Hey, you know you want it! Contact me if you have questions!

Cheers!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Social Media Smocial Media........

So I have turned to the Dark Side. I have connected to the world through social media. Feel free to check out these links and friend or pin or tweet or follow or whatever. Of course I must do it in memes for it to be legit.....#cometothedarkside





Cheers!