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Organizing too many cozy things

10 Mar

It has been said that I might be a little nuts, and a whole bunch of OCD. Perhaps. So I’m going to show you three secrets I have to making 200’square fit into 10’squared.

The catch is to buy hanging organizers. We are renters so installing anything is not worthwhile. We are also boarders of all things fuzzy (hats, caps, scarves, and gloves) so this is our little closet in the living room next to the front door. Missing would be the mirror, but we know we look good- no need to swag cheque (French!)  after putting on our hats and coats.


this is a picture repurposing a shoe holder as a hat, glove, scarf holder. Its a bit messy, as some of the items are getting washed right now (weather is beyond perfect today, winter might have been over a few hours after last week’s snow storm!)

The bf caps are in a basket on the floor. I hate caps, really no reason other than to keep his bald head from frying in the sun. But more than 3 is too many! My ”inside” scarfs are neatly tucked in my dresser. I like using this organizer. Because it is not plastic and it fits so much, but you can still see what you have!



This picture is a bit of a mess, and sure I could have cleaned up for you a but more, but I was putting stuff away and thought (for a fleeting moment) that I had too many purses. I have about 4 more larger ones under my bed and about 10 antique purses neatly hidden from people.

Not because I distrust anyone, more like I like to keep my demons hidden (my demons meaning my excessive collections of random stuff)

I think most people use a closet organizer like this one for sweaters, but mine houses purses perfectly. My less used (yes, I only where certain purses in certain seasons) are stuffed with (free) tissue paper from the Ikea packing stations and then wrapped in their silk bags. Others might just be stuffed and others are used so often stuffing or wrapping is pointless. I layer to fit more and again, by seeing everything and by making it all easily accessible, you tend to use the items.

In the little blue bag I tried to blur out is my ”donate bag”. Basically when I come across something I rarely use and it is donate-able, I stick in this bag and once its filled, I walk it down to the thrift shop. My gain, others gain… win-win.

In the milk crate are picture frames. I can’t resist a good sale. I was planning on using one soon for a present. I’ll post that gift soon.

Do you have issues with using the stuff after ”organizing”? Out of sight out of mind- but then what’s the point of having, but not using your awesome stuff????

My only qualm? The organizers were on sale and thusly do not match. But one was bought at Target, the other WalMart, and both still carry that line. So when those go on sale… eventually everything will be matchy.






Flea Market-ing 101

7 Aug

I began flea marketing (as a seller) a couple of years ago. Mostly it was out of the fact I live in apartments so even if I did find yard sales safe, I could not have one. I also like lots of stuff and every so often, I feel the need to purge and replace. So to the flea we go.

I have learned a couple of things about flea markets in the last few years, and I realized that given the correct conditions I can sell pig shit to a pig farmer and make a profit!

I equate flea marketing with merchandising with food preparation. I would often be an expediter in an independent living facility’s dining hall. I would argue with the girls that they should garnish, wipe away stray sauces, and never ever let anything wilted leave the kitchen. Presentation is half the battle.

I then worked alongside an ex boyfriend. He has a resale shop (mostly in electronics, but since has exploded into everything and anything!) and it was always a mess. I learned a lot from him about how to make money and two of the biggest things I learned from him is “everything is technically for sale” and the “power of the donuts”. The latter phrase is in relation to people. You have to smooze and you would be surprised with what you can get! There is more to that phrase, but for another time (like when I write my book!)

I use those principles when setting up my flea stands. I do not have much of the swag- I only have two folding tables (one card 4×4 and one 8×3 that folds into a 4×3 handy carry table. I have a comfy chair to sit in and a Mr. T thermos brand lunch box that holds my supplies.

Supplies: blue painters tape, white duct tape, and masking tape. I have a handful of different sized safety pins, clothes pins, and alligator clips. I also have 3 sharpie markers, various sized and colored papers in squares and rectangles, and small bungee cords.

I also will occasionally pull out a small clear glass fish bowl with origami stars and green glass stones. This is my “fishes or wishes” jar. I will explain that and my other special items on another post.

This weekend, I got rained out on Sunday. I sold a beautiful 12person serving (plus all of the accessories!) of pristine NORITAKE for $250 and will be using that to buy an EzUp tent and a second 8×3 folding table.

I will often just turn over the container or box that I am transporting my merchandise in and put a nice textile on it and use it for a display “table”. But with the rain nearly every weekend, I am afraid to use my cardboard boxes as display because when they get wet, they fall, and all of my stuff will come with it. So another table I will get.

Here are some pictures taken this previous weekend.

This was my small table, on Sunday. Notice it is the same Churchill from first photo, it just is displayed better. I also remembered my linens (I bought matching cheapo linens from big lots for both of my tables.)

This was Sunday. Around 10am. I am sitting inside of my truck, sadly looking out. I could have run and saved my stuff, but I made sure to not put anything out that cannot survive a good soaking. I was SOAKED

After I sold my last suitcase, I had to come up with another display set-up on the spot for this pretty English set. Aldi and their free boxes did the trick. But they are all now mushy cardboard. Dang Rain!

I sold 3 other suitcases earlier in the day. This was my pride and joy one. The lining and the condition, as well as the unique square shape was to die for. I really had no intentions of selling any of them, but technically everything is for sale. I priced high ($40) when asked and most looked at me like I had 3 eyeballs. Another just handed over the $40 and was smiling ear to ear. I should have priced at $50!

I was trying to go for a “theme” I find the biggest issue with most people buying something that is broken or in need of TLC is they do not see it as being re purposeful. By displaying in a realistic manner, (and every time something sold, I replaced it with more in the theme) people stopped a little longer than they would have other wise. Then you reel them in with your charm, and they hand you money. It is a pretty easy model to follow.

I was displaying these on the side of my mini SUV, draped over and could not figure out why they were not selling. So I re-strategiezed and came up with this idea- use my garment rack and display them at an angle and low and behold, all 4 sold within the hour.

This was Saturday’s mini card table display. Not sure if you can enlarge the image, but my little sign on the right (the green sign) says “ALL BOWELS” “ALL BOWLS” “ALL…” “Dang-it” “$1 each!” I was not satisfied with this display, but I left my table linens home and It was just a hodgepodge of stuff.




Glass Etching

12 Jun

A close friend recently gave birth to her beautiful baby girl. She is a special girl, born with Downs syndrome, but an even more special blessing as she was a later in life gift.

I made a small gift basket to accompany the large gift she received.

I made strawberry malt cupcakes. I wrapped them in a pretty vintage picnic red and white fabric. I used my cricut and the indie cartridge to make little cupcake toppers in the form of strawberries.

I also etched two champagne flutes with the family’s initial and the date of their special present’s birth.

The process of etching is really simple. This was my 4th or 5th time etching.

I started with choosing the font and style. I went with the Sophisticated cartridge. I love their fancy fonts. I used the cartridge for the dates and embellishment.

I then used the Cricut Craft Room software to play with different designs. I decided on the initial on top, the embellishment below and the date below that. I welded the pieces together.

Next I printed out the design on vinyl. Since I cannot use the vinyl again, or the negative, I printed it on contact paper. This works just as well! I found in other cases, that if you cut out too close to the image, you can use vinyl electric tape to add to the edges. I realized after I started applying the vinyl that I left out a number in the date! Just peel off the glass and reprint!

I had to be careful with the size of the image as the champagne flutes are narrow and I did not want to warp the image by applying. I applied the vinyl to the glass, starting in the center of the image and then used my plastic scraper to smooth out the image, working outwards. It is helpful to do this in bright light and facing the underside of the image. This helps see any bubbles or problems. It is very important not to have any creases or bubbles.

This is what it looks like after I applying and smoothed the vinyl. I found it difficult to take an image and still get all of the details. I am looking online to see how others remedied this. Here is a great example of how to get the picture, well, perfect. It is important that before you apply vinyl and before you apply the cream that you wipe down with rubbing alcohol.

I set up my etching station using a paper plate, the cream (I use Armor Etch. A small bottle goes a long way. Use the 40% coupons at our favorite craft stores and you will not die of sticker shock), and makeup sponges (I use the triangular ones). I would strongly suggest rubber gloves too. The cream makes your skin itch (more like a chemical burn).

Apply the cream in large goopy quantities. The first time I used the cream, I did not use a lot. I now goop it on. Completely covering the negative. I found that applying more and then before rinsing it off, grab that sponge and place the excess back into the bottle.

Wait about 5 minutes and rinse off with plain old tap water. I then take off the vinyl and rinse some more. Here is a sad picture of the after. I was actually really pleased with the details and how I had not a single smudge or place where the etch was lighter or darker.

I read that you can use the alcohol ink and mix in the etching cream to create color. I would recommend you practice on $1 store glasses before choosing to do this on a larger scale. Perhaps also consider using simpler designs at first too. If you have any more questions, please comment and I will be sure to respond. Thanks!

I am going to buy a new camera. My iPhone first generation is sad and broken and no amount of “fixing” on a computer program can fix my images. I already priced it and decided I am getting the camera in pink.

Antiquing on a Sunday

28 May

This weekend was the Memorial Day Antique & Flea in Stormville NY. I remember it being much larger, I think there were about 30 food, 100 flea, and probably 100 antique booths. I remember being younger and it being double that. But here are some of the little favorite things I found.

One of my favorite mottos.

One of my favorite ways to pick groups for students…

Large glass with a Long Irish toast. Come, fill your glasses.

Glass beads. I was such a teenager in the mid-90s!

Decanter read “Cocktails” one glass read “me” and other read “you”. Along the glass tray “cocktails for two” repeated. What a fantastic idea!

I checked, this was the first Bush.

Beaded flowers and a pretty purple glass

More beaded flowers

Imagine at some point someone cared about this stuff. And the students were held accountable to maintain their records. Wow! I was told I am not supposed to expect students to come with writing utensils! And they are expected to make a graph! A REAL GRAPH! on the back!

I did not buy a thing. I did get a fantastic sunburn for free though. 🙂

Well at least you can reach the light switch now

26 May

Garage. Took 18 hours of simply clearing debris. Now this is a working garage, it houses a bmw, snow blower, pool stuff, etc.

It is more like a car n a half sized garage. During the 18 hours, I threw out a lot of trash, old cans, leaves, you name it! It took close to 9 hours to reach the side door. The light switch is there and so is the plug that family used for pool filter. There was a couch and a mountain bike (hanging from rafters of course) blocking that door. I was wondering why the plug for the pool filter was running across the lawn… they could not reach the plug. I wonder how long that has been. 

That kind of thought saddens me. 

So my plan on the garage was simple. I follow this plan for all types of organizing and cleaning. I start on one corner and work my way around, going up and down. Then repeat. 

Garage plan

I used three plastic bins, clearish, to use as a modified pile. I find instead of piling without a bin, it does not seem contained. I use bins instead of miscellenous boxes because by seeing the linear similarity of the bins, you focus on that same similarity “like with like” when filling the boxes. All Jedi Tricks here.

One bin was for “stuffing”. My mom is a full time ebayer and uses a lot of packaging. She accepts handouts even if she doesn’t want them. So all of the stuffing (plastic wrap, paper, peanuts, air bubbles, egg crates) is everywhere. 

One bin was for “keep”. This bin was for stuff that I think my mom meant to keep, but for some reason it did not get far from her backseat. A nice calphalon pan, 6-pack of root beer,  good cds.

The last bin was for “donate to the cause”. That means I get to flea market/craigslist. The problem with that is that it became painfully clear that was going to get filled instantly. So I decided not to concern myself with anything but tossing broken, old (think 1994), and gross stuff. Then I swept up the funkyness and leaves. This all went into big black trash bags hung up by snow blower.

I made it half-way around. Then I repeated. I replaced the stuffing bin with 3 large plastic bags, one for each type of stuffing. I broke down boxes (flatten them), grouped every usps mailer I found, and grouped more like with like (car oil, cleaners, rags, nylon rope, and dishes.) Oh Lord, the dishes. I found about 5 full settings (including gravy boats, platters, and everything!) 

It took me about 8 hours to get halfway around. That was the side of the garage the car is parked on. 
next I get attacked by the second half of the garage. 

Captain, I have my helmet on

23 May

And I am ready to go.

This week, I will be organizing. A lot of purging, A lot of organizing. Hopefully, a little bit of money making.

I am at my mom’s house. She can be considered a hoarder. And I can be considered neurotic. Combined with an action plan, I feel we can conquer at least something.


  1. The garage.
  2. The hall closet.
  3. The walk in closet.
  4. The “kids” bathroom.
  5. The backyard.

Each will be cleared out, decluttered, reorganized, and useful again. We will use the Clean Sweep method of “keep, toss, donate/sell”. I am hoping for a lot of the last two. Pictures to come.

A Work in Progress

16 May

By request. This is my craft organization. Tell me what you think! It is a work in progress.

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