Full Steam Ahead

The first item I listed for sale on eBay was an all-in-one printer I had purchased in the throes of thinking I was going to become a mobile notary.  Yeah.  Didn’t happen.  Anyway!  I listed the printer one night and told myself not to get too excited because it might take a while to sell.  I woke up the next morning ready to look at my listing and chanting, “don’t be disappointed . . . don’t be disappointed . . . ” because deep down I was really hoping for a sale.

IT SOLD!  I look back now and see that I underpriced it, but I was glad to get anything back out of this still-in-the-box printer.  I started casually looking around the galactic interwebz for information about selling on eBay and I came across people who claimed to buy stuff at thrift stores and resell them.  I was a disbeliever for a long time – not that I thought these people were lying, but that there were reasons it wouldn’t work for me.  How many endeavors never begin because of the things we tell ourselves?  “Yeah, but they live in a large metropolitan area and I don’t!  I’m sure the Vegas area would never have cool stuff in thrift stores to resell!  They probably don’t have a full-time job like I do!”

I’ll save the details of getting past that for another post.  Today, I will address the question I am asked most about my eBay sales:  How do you know what will sell?  The answer is multifacted, and sometimes the answer is – I don’t!

  1. My parents drug me to antique stores throughout my youth.  I remember my mother frequently showing me things and exclaiming, “This is Blenko!” or “Look at this Wallace Nutting piece!”  So I’ve heard brand names that people (or least my mother) value throughout my life.  I’ve thanked my folks many times for bestowing this knowledge upon me.
  2. I subscribe to Suzanne A. Wells’ eBay blog, on which she frequently relates information about hot-selling items.
  3. I rely heavily on my mobile phone to search eBay sold listings to get a feel for how frequently an item sells and for how much.

The times when I don’t know if something will sell is when I rely on number 3.  The item below is a perfect example.

Mamod Miniature Steam Engine
Mini Steam Engine

I saw this at a Savers store and thought it looked cool and may appeal to steampunk aficianados.  I knew it was vintage-ish and it had a prominent brand name, so I whipped out my cell phone and pulled up eBay to search on the brand name Mamod and look at sold listings.  That’s when I discovered this is a miniature steam engine and they sell pretty frequently and for more than the asking price!  So I snatched that baby up!

So even without antique-mad parents, one can make money reselling thrift store buys on eBay!  Look up every brand name you see on quality-looking items, and soon you’ll get a feel for what people want to buy.  Or you’ll run out of battery.  Or both.  More eBay advice to come in the future.  I’d love to hear your questions and comments.  Thanks for stopping by!

One Hex of a Jewelry Box Makeover

A little background before I unveil the befores and afters – I no longer live in St. Louis.  One random day that pesky straw appeared – you know, the one that broke the camel’s back – and I couldn’t take my job anymore.  I struggled with my decision for a couple of hours, and then I went to my boss and told her that was going to be my last day.  She didn’t try to convince me to stay (which encouraged me to go even more), and just like that – BOOM, unemployed.  But at least I had a chance at remaining however sane I was at that point.

After a few months of desultorily looking for jobs in St. Louis, I decided to radically change my life.  I put my house up for rent, sold most of my possessions, and boomeranged back to Mom and Dad’s house!  My plan is to stay for a while and then buy a tiny house to put in my brother’s backyard.  I have found a wonderful job with less-crazy people, so I’m paying off some bills and making big plans.

And this has to do with a jewelry box makeover . . . how?  Since I made the decision to pare down and eventually go tiny, I have to remind myself not to buy makeover candidates at thrift stores.  One of the hardest parts of selling most of my belongings wasn’t parting with items I loved, it was saying goodbye to the basement full of future projects I’d never gotten around to.  It was really humbling to see all the great ideas I’d once had walk out the door with someone who might turn my great idea into a great finished project.

SO!  I’ve been avoiding “befores” at the thrift store, but I could not pass this one up.  I hope you’ll see why….

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It’s not particularly well-made or anything, I just really loved the simple lines of it and I knew I could give it a new life.  I had a stash of paper hexagons I had punched from some particularly awesome scrapbook paper (I couldn’t let them go in the moving sale!), so I chose a paint color and went to town!

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I couldn’t find the exact drawer pulls I had in mind, so I followed Melissa’s lead over at Polka Dot Chair and headed straight to the button section at Joann.  These little crystal-looking flowers were just the thing!  I wanted to make sure they didn’t flop around on the front of the drawers, though, so I picked up some semi-rigid tubing at Lowe’s and made little sleeves for the buttons to sit in.  Then I fed a wire through the drawer front and secured it inside.

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I’m really happy with the way this project turned out.  If it makes you happy, too, go on over to my etsy shop and buy it!  Thanks for stopping by!

 
I linked this project up at:

Try it - Like it

It’s Not Slim Shady, but Guess Who’s Back?

My family has a saying – If it’s worth doing, it’s worth OVERdoing! But I’m taking a different approach – if it’s worth doing, it’s worth REdoing. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do with this here blog-type-deal. It has languished too long and I hope there are a couple of you out there glad to hear from me again!

I just finished a little jewelry box makeover and I’ll post those pics shortly (promises, promises), but I want to talk a little about the direction of this blog. I am still going to have a lot of before and afters, but I’m also going to throw in some information about various topics – tiny houses, selling on eBay, thrift store shopping, et cetera.

I also plan to use my (also languishing) certification as a Life Coach to give back. If you have any issues weighing on your mind, please send them to me at howdy@redopalooza.com or post them anonymously in the comments and I will issue a thoughtful, sensitive, and properly punctuated response. I’d love to hear what you have to say and help in any way I can! I’d also like to see if I’m actually any GOOD at life coaching . . . I’ll let you guys be the judges of that!

So here’s to the future – I hope you’ll stick around and see what happens here on the ole ‘Palooza! Thanks for stopping by!

New Year, New Directions

No project today, just the beginning of a whole new year.  I could spend this first paragraph explaining all my “reasons” (a.k.a. excuses) for the extended hiatus between posts on this blog, but I’m going to skip that and tell you where it is going from here.

I love to make things and most of them are before and after-type projects, but I’ve found that I will go weeks without completing one and that keeps me from posting.  I also love decorating my home, thrift store shopping, and selling some thrift store finds on eBay.  I would love to share a little of everything with you and going forward, that’s what you’ll find here at Redopalooza.

This year is starting off in really exciting fashion for me, as I am moving in to a new house!  I live in the St. Louis metro area and bought a place closer to my job.  It is cute as it is, but one of the reasons I chose to buy it is the abundance of DIY projects I can tackle within.  First was refinishing the wood floors, about which I will post in the very near future.  Meanwhile, I’m going to rest after a full day of packing and moving.

10000 EBD OMO

Happy New Year!

Who’s Your (Fry) Daddy

I mean no patriarchal disrespect when I say this, but nobody needs their daddy around anymore. Not with all the bad news out there about the evils of cholesterol and deep-frying. Oh! I meant to say nobody needs their FRY Daddy around anymore.

I’ve never been much of a deep-fryer person anyway – every time I attempt it, everything in my house (clothes for work the next day) ends up smelling like a greasy strip mall Chinese restaurant. So I didn’t have a Fry Daddy to dismantle, but somebody did and this fry basket ended up at the thrift store.

I grabbed it with a light fixture project in mind, thinking I might stick something in those holes or hang something beaded off of them. But the longer I had it, the more its industrial vibe spoke to me and I decided to go a more purist route. All it took was some spray paint (of course), tin snips, and a light kit from Cost Plus World Market.


If you insist on keeping your Fry Daddy intact, you can purchase this light fixture in my etsy shop! Hope you like it and thanks for stopping by!

I linked this project up at:

DIY Show Off

Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/11/10/that-diy-party-42/#zVc44gcySUZXJ3Zz.99

Reflections of the Past

Geez, that title probably made you think you were going to see some kind of Lifetime for Women movie, didn’t it?

Well, I’m happy to say that’s not the case (or sorry to disappoint, depending upon your feelings about Lifetime…it DOES have Project Runway going for it)!  This is a post about mirrors.  See what I did there?

I found a set of four Burwood pictures at the thrift store.  Only three of them would fit in the frame for these pictures, but rest assured, they all came out the same.  I LOVED the shape of the frames, but the finish on them was hideous, as Burwood/Syroco/Home Decorators vintage items usually is.  And the “artwork”…?  Ahem.

Can ya guess what I did?  Of course you can.  I painted them.  And, after nearly severing a digit while trying to do it myself, I had a glass shop cut some mirrors to fit and glue them in place of those sad, 70’s butterflies.  This all happened about four years ago and I still love them just as much!  I hope you like them, too.  Thanks for stopping by!

I linked this project up at

DIY Show Off

Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/10/06/that-diy-party-37/#8tiwySeCxXhDtBoh.99

Around the World In a Briefcase

This little briefcase called out to me at the thrift store a while ago.  It reminded me of a vintage suitcase and I immediately knew what I was going to do with it.  I had a moment’s couple month’s pause about altering it because it had a vintage shoe company brand name on it (Wikler Shoes) and I wondered if it was a old salesman’s case or something.  Eventually, however, I just decided to dive in with my Mod Podge!

As I mentioned in my laundry room makeover post, I love anything travel-related, especially vintage designs of travel posters, advertisements, stickers, et cetera.  Knowing this, my parents have gifted me with two different sets of travel stickers over the years that were laying dormant in Craft Purgatory.

Sidebar – it’s so funny about things like these stickers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I loved them so much I didn’t want to use them on anything.  So instead, they were languishing in a drawer, gathering dust.  Strange way to show love, don’t you think?  I do this with scrapbook paper, too.  Arrggh.

At any rate, I stuck the travel stickers on in what I perceived to be an attractive fashion, Mod Podged over them and here is the result!

 

Hope you like it!  Thanks for stopping by!

Happy New (Fiscal) Year!

What can I say, I’m an accountant at heart. :0)

Since I last posted, I have relocated back to my beloved Midwest. You should come to St. Louis and see me! Or, uhhh, see the Arch! Yeah! :0)

Here’s a little project that I couldn’t walk away from at my new favorite thrift store, St. Vincent de Paul. I got this sturdy, but kinda sad, little cart for THREE DOLLARS!

I administered the usual treatments (paint, bright fabric, elbow grease) et voila!

 

Hope you like it and are looking forward to a fantastic fiscal year!

I’ll Get the Chair for This

Can you keep a secret?  I mean, really, like not tell ANYONE?  Cuz it looks like I may have committed a crime and I have to get it off my chest.  Can I trust you?

Oh geez, put the phone down, I’m just talking about a design crime.  And no jury in the world would convict me after it sees the evidence!  I’ll leave it up to you.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present to you Exhibit One:

An unassuming chair that had seen better days, but with fine lines and a proud lineage.

Suspecting a design icon in the rough, Ms. Palooza purchased this chair for the (what should probably also be criminal!) low price of $7.00 and spirited it away to a location she refers to as Craft Purgatory.  Ominous, no?

Her internet research turned up a very similar specimen, designated as a Saarinen office chair by Knoll.

However, the chair in her possession bore a brand name of Virco and had only four casters, not five.  Additionally, when Ms. Palooza viciously tore into the chair with a screwdriver and pliers, this is what she found:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chair literally fell apart in her hands and spewed ancient upholstery foam debris (see second picture above) throughout her house.  After a halfhearted attempt at DIY upholstery, Ms. Palooza had it professionally reupholstered and now it looks like this!

Here endeth the Perry Mason (yes, I am 67 years old) bit.

So I bought this chair at a thrift store and it was disgusting.  I tell myself it’s a Saarinen knockoff so I can sleep at night, but I know there are design purists out there who are probably crying, “Sacrilege!”  In any case, I think it looks great!  i’d love to hear what you think, even if it involves design prison!

Thanks for stopping by!

Green with Amy

One of my favorite ways to start a project is with a piece that’s already not hideous.  Don’t get me wrong – it’s fun to take a crime against humanity and attempt a reformation on it.  I mean, there’s nowhere to go but up in those cases, and if I screw it up, I haven’t committed some mortal decor sin.  But the ante is upped when I come across a little item like this set of shelves, that is already pretty cute by itself:

But I couldn’t leave well enough alone, now could I?  What kind of blog would this be if I didn’t do anything to gems such as this?  It would be a shopping blog.  And frankly, I can’t muster up much more than “Look what I bought!” when it comes to writing about shopping, so lucky for all of us, I went to town on this bad boy!

I’ve been painting by hand lately and I’m kind of liking it.  Please don’t tell spray paint that I’m seeing paint in a can on the side, but we’ve got something special, I think.  I feel more connected to pieces that I paint by hand, and I don’t look like a doorknob, standing in my garage in my spray painting getup for all the world to see.  Spray painting getup = flannel pants, sweatshirt, slippers, crazy morning hair, and mask.  I think it’s the reason I don’t know any of my neighbors…!

At any rate, I painted these shelves “Gilded Pesto” by Valspar and then introduced them to Amy Butler in the form of scrapbook paper.  Of course, our friend Mod Podge came to the party, sealing the paper on the back of each shelf.  Et voila!

And then we had a couple knickknacks get in on the action:  my little Asian guy who is a salt shaker without his mate (I wonder if he was seeing Cayenne on the side and Black Pepper ditched him!), and a singing bowl.  If you’ve never seen or heard a singing bowl, I highly recommend them.  I love to just close my eyes, strike the bowl, and listen to the ringing, which will go on what seems like forever.  It’s very soothing!  And decorative!  🙂

I like to think I improved upon an already cute little set of shelves.  They didn’t need much help and easily could have gone other design directions (shabby chic, anyone?  Or shabby “sheik,” as I saw it referred to recently?!), but I am of the opinion that adding Amy Butler to a project is always a step in the right direction!

Thanks for stopping by!