Monday, May 25, 2009

Problem solving

My dog, Mack, likes to follow us around. When we are cleaning and moving from room to room he won't stop following us. And he doesn't just follow at a distance, he has to follow so closely he runs into you when you stop. So today I decided I would fix that. I put him in my purse and carried him like a kangaroo. He seemed to like it once I got him in there.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Letting go

Once again I'm developing attachment to a quilt. While I'm piecing the top of a quilt I'm so excited about giving it away. I can't wait to finish it so I can wrap it up and present it to the person (or baby) in question. But something happens while I'm quilting it ... I get so attached I want to keep it for myself. Granted these quilts I'm currently making are really small and have some type of baby print to them. The current one even has Elmo on it. Once I get the whole thing finshed and the binding on it I'll be ok with giving it away again, but while it's in my quilting hoop I have such a strong attachment to it. The one I'm currently working on I plan on giving to a new little cousin who we are waiting on the arrival.

After I finish this quilt I have two more cut out or almost cut out. They are also baby quilts and I really love both patterns! We'll see if I'm able to give them away! I also have two that need binding! I have a ton of quilting to do in the upcoming months.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get with the program

In honor of my friend who's wedding is right around the corner, today's topic is going to be a money-saving tip for wedding programs. This would also work for any event where a program is needed.

For my wedding in Nov. 2006, I wanted these super cute programs from this really adorable (shall remain nameless) stationary shop. I was told that I could order these super cute programs a month before the wedding. (My wedding was Thanksgiving weekend) So a month before the wedding I went to order said programs. The stationary shop girl laughed at me. I was beyond unhappy.

After going home and having a 'freak-out' to my fiance, we decided to try to make programs ourself. I gathered all the information I wanted my program to include. (Attendents, music, parents, memorial to family members) I typed up all the information and then played with the fonts. I included our initials at the top of the program. We opted for our programs to be lengthwise on a normal sheet of paper. So for each piece of paper we got two programs. Our programs were front and back. On the front was the service information and on the back was all extra info.

Then once we had everything how we wanted it, we took our sample to Kinko's. At Kinko's we picked out a nice heavy paper and they printed and cut all the programs for us. The grand total was $35. This was by far the cheapest wedding purchase we made. And they were perfect. I would suggest designing and printing your own programs to all brides.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Rummage sale professional

Today was a super exciting day. I had a rummage sale to help pay for the condo we are renting in Key West this summer. Our portion of the rental is $250. I made $286! It's like we are staying for free!

I try to have a rummage sale every spring/summer to unload unwanted junk and make a little extra money. This sale was by far the most I've taken in. (AND I don't have children so none of it came from baby clothes, toys, children's clothes)

I figure others my learn and profit from my rummage sale tips so here they are.

1) ALWAYS price to sell. It doesn't matter if you paid $50 for that Gap sweater no one is going to pay $5 or $10 dollars for it at your rummage sale. If you are having a summer sale then winter items need to be priced CHEAP, I'm talking 50 cents to $1. EXAMPLE: plain sweatshirt: 25 to 50 cents, but brand new still with tags on it Kentucky pullover windbreaker $5, brand new Old Navy fleece/ Nike sweatshirt $2 to $3, bleach-spotting Nike sweatshirt 25 cents.  This pricing system also works for housewares. Most items need to be UNDER $1. 

2) REMEMBER if you don't sell it then you will probably be donating it and then you will make nothing. Plus you have to figure out how to get it to donation location.

3) ADVERTISE. Either take out a newspaper ad (which can eat into your profit), post signs if your city allows you to (post them at all major entrances to neighborhood and main traveled intersections within your neighborhood), or when you notice that neighbors are getting ready for sell then pull out your stuff and mooch off their advertisements!

4) PLACE like items together!

5) Put a price on EVERYTHING. This way while you are totaling up someone's order you don't have to stop to negotiate. Plus I think people buy more when they know what to expect.

6) Don't forget to weed through your old Bath & Body Works, Mary Kay and Victoria Secret lotions. Even those that are half used will sell. Also bottles of hand lotion, shampoo, hair spray, nail polish and regular body lotions will sell. (Make sure they aren't bottles that were sitting in your shower molding) Depending on how new, amount left in bottle depends on pricing. Full bottle of body spray, lotion will go between $1 to $3, half empty will go between 50 cents and $1 depending on size of bottle. Nail polish between 25 cents and $1 depending on brand, amount left.

7) This may sound gross but don't forget men's underwear and undershirts. These may be some of the first things sold! Seriously! Women's don't sell as well but children's do!!

8) Don't forget to check pockets, purses, jewelry boxes and anything that something can fit inside. You don't want to leave something unexpected for the future owner.

9) When cleaning out closets, under beds and in attics, even if you don't think it will sell it still might sell. Put it out there with a price on it. Someone might buy it, remember #7 (I've seen people buy a bundle of hangers, old golf balls,  ect.) 

10) Make sure you dust items and furniture before putting it out. No one wants to buy something really dirty. If the clothes have been stored for awhile you might want to wash them or at least fluff them in the dryer. 

11) Make sets of things. Sell an old comforter and sheet set together or leave bed pillows in shams. Sell all bathroom accessories as a whole, a group of 5 frames.

12) Make small repairs. If a shirt is missing a button, sew one on. If a comforter is ripped then sew it up. If you don't want to make these simple repairs then price accordingly. 

13) Borrow some tables or hanging racks for your sale. People will dig but they tend to buy more when it's all in view. So display it nicely.

14.) Go back and refold clothes once you get a break between customers. Just like #13 it sets the tone of your sell.

15.) Have fun! Play some music. If you are selling a radio turn it on! This will also show that it's working!

Whether you use one or all of my tips, I hope you have a great sale! If you would like to add tips to the list then leave them in the comments section. I'm also looking for something new to attract customers.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Summer must-have

I'm super excited about my little flower garden. We live in rental property so there isn't much we can do with our space. Mark won't let me do that much either since we won't be here permenantly. (We did paint our bathroom blue but don't tell our landlord!) So last summer I decided to fence in a little area around our patio and plant flowers there. I bought spring mums last spring. They were so little and cute with yellow blooms. Well all summer long I watered them with bloom booster. The little yellow spring blooms fell off and I kept watering the green plants left behind. All summer long a few times a week I watered those mums (and all the rest of my flowers) with bloom booster. I know the instructions tell you only 7 to 14 days but I couldn't resist. Then in the fall when the mums start to bloom again my little garden mums burst out with blooms! I have already started my blooming plans on the greenery that's popping up from the mulch!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Raising their heads

I was super excited today because while I was washing dishes I glanced up at my African Violet (who has been dormant all winter) and noticed little blooms popping their head up out of the leaves. I just check on it last week and saw no signs of blooms coming up. So I was super excited by these little signs of life.