Vintage finds and retro handmade--a sweet mix I know you'll love.

This is my blog. To visit my stores, click the Etsy or Artfire links above, or the product images on the right column of the screen.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Announcing: Room to Create Sale

JcPenny's recently announced that they are tired of sending out circulars and running constant coupon sales, so they have decided to lower their baseline price on everything in their stores and have done with it.  Taking a page from their book, I'm having a vintage sale in my stores, but there won't be any coupon codes to enter or anything like that.

Why am I doing this? Frankly, my house is not a warehouse, and it's getting a little crowded in here. I need some room to create. I need some more storage space.  My pom pom collection is multiplying like Star Trek tribbles.  Yeah.  All of that.

On Etsy, vintage prices have already been significantly reduced.  On Artfire, expect the rollout to be more gradual, since I have 243 items (as of writing this) to adjust, and that is taking awhile.

Now, for two very important things shoppers might want to know:
  • Please note that I have small, lightweight items marked with free (to the US) or very reduced (to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK) secondary shipping.  This is the shipping charged for the second thing if you buy two.  I wish it were possible to note on the items themselves that for many of them, I could probably manage to fit three or more of such items in the same package without raising the shipping price more than a penny or two. Maybe not at all (weight-metered mail is silly this way).  However, if you bought 3 or more, the checkout process on the site would probably automatically overcharge you on shipping. If you'd like to buy an armload of something, please contact me and I can bundle the items and get you an accurate (not an estimated) shipping price. If the order is big enough, I might even give you an extra discount on the items, just to say thank you. You might be amazed about how much I can save you this way.
  • All shipping prices reflect US postal service rates, plus about $0.60 for the cost of the box and the packing around your items, and a few drops of gasoline that get used up to take your box to the post office.  If you think they are too high, please, please write your Congressman or the Postmaster General and beg on behalf of online retailers for something about this to change.
If you read this blog and decide to buy from me, I will throw a small party in your honor. Unfortunately, you won't be able to personally attend. ;)  I can promise you that I will dance and sing your package all the way to the post office for you, and when you get it and open it, I hope you will start dancing and singing for joy as well.

Thank you, as always, for being a fan of CandyAppleCrafts and Sweet Old Things!  Please visit again soon.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Puppy for Valentine's Day

Just in case you missed it, I thought I'd pass on the news here that I have a new handmade dog in my Etsy shop now.  Meet the puppy in a box, just in time for Valentine's day!

This puppy was modeled after Chow Chow puppies, for those who recognize the breed.  They look a lot like little teddy bears.  I shaped the paws to hold onto the lip of the box, so the puppy could stand up on his hind legs and peek out.

You can close the box with the puppy inside.  The lid is decorated with roses and ribbon, which really makes the surprise that much nicer when it is opened.

So what do you think?  More dogs and other creatures to come.

I have two other business updates you might want to know about:
  • The US postal service is raising its rates again on January 22.  This means I will likely have to increase shipping prices on all of my items.  I really hate how this affects my customers, but it seems to have become a regular part of doing business online.  If you've been eying something large in my shops, I advise you to buy it before shipping rates go up again, since those rates will likely increase the most.
  • All scarves on Artfire are still on sale for 30% off with the coupon code NEWYEARSCARF.  In addition, secondary shipping is free on many of my items.  Secondary shipping is applied to a second item in your cart at checkout.  I have paired scarves with coordinating jewelry in my shop, so now you can take 30% off a scarf, and get a brooch for a few dollars extra (and no extra shipping).  Check it out and calculate your savings!

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year's Resolution: Redo Your Wardrobe

Tired of the same old look?  This year, consider spicing up your wardrobe without breaking the bank.  I've seen some fashion segments on television that claim to have found new looks for less, but frequently they still run about $60 or more for one new ensemble.  If we are looking to save money, we often need to cut more than that from our budgets.  Here are some tips I have gleaned that I think will work for a pennies type budget:

  • The rule of two matches.  Try to buy new garments that can be worn with at least two other things you already own.  Minimize the number of wear-alone or distinctive pieces from your wardrobe.  If you are going to spend more on one piece in your outfit, make it count for multiple outfits.
  • Buy high-impact accessories.  You can look just as good in a little black dress (or another solid neutral color) paired with eye-catching accessories.  The good thing is that, with the exception of jewelry made of precious metals or stones, your accessories usually cost less than the clothing you are wearing.  Again, look for accessories that go with more than one ensemble, such as a floral scarf or a large piece of costume jewelry.
  • Buy vintage.  This is a huge trend right now, but it has a practical side as well.  Frequently you can find high-quality things for a fraction of their retail price. You have to be willing to sift through the worn leftovers, but this time of year thrift stores fill with things people donated for a tax write-off, spring cleaning castoffs, and unused gifts the recipients were unable to return.
  • Alter it!  If you are cleaning out your closet, consider altering those "mistakes" you wanted to wear, but somehow couldn't.  Maybe the sleeves or pant legs were too long, it didn't fit in the bust, or you hated the drape of the skirt.  Frequently it is an easy change, but if not, look into your local dry cleaner's shop to see what they charge for alterations.  Chances are they would be cheaper than replacing all those clothes.
  • Ditch the guilt.  If you have held on to clothes that you hate (but maybe you spent a lot of money on them), it's time to let go.  You are much less likely to wear clothes that make you feel bad about yourself, especially if you own something you love more.  As an added bonus, getting rid of the guilt gives you space for some replacement pieces.
While you're thinking about all of this, you might want to check out my January scarf sale, going on now.  All ladies' scarves are marked 30% with coupon code NEWYEARSCARF.  Just type in that code on the right side of the checkout screen.  Follow the link to see what I have available.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Resolution: Redecorate on a Budget

In the spirit of making a change in 2012, many of us may have wished for new horizons and surroundings.  While it may not be workable to move right now, it is still possible to transform our surroundings in small and large ways.  One way to make a change is to redecorate, and it's even possible to do so on a budget.

Here are a few tips, in case redecorating was part of your New Year's resolutions for 2012:
  • Seek out ideas from interior design blogs, magazines, and tv shows.  As much as possible, gather clippings together in one place.  I hear Pinterest is a great place to find interior decorating images and gather them on a digital pinboard.  There is also the old reliable method of collecting magazine clippings in a binder, notebook, or journal.
  • Try to work with the furniture you have.  You don't have to run out and buy a whole new set of furniture if you want to redo a room.  Try making a graph of your room and small paper outlines of your furniture, so you can rearrange the pieces virtually before you exert your muscles, and be willing to swap furniture from other rooms in your house.  Another option is to paint or reupholster what you have (just not valuable antiques).
  • Consider repainting the room.  Paint does cost something, but it is one of the cheapest ways to dramatically transform the room.  Before you pull out the drop cloths and get started, it is generally recommended that you paint a piece of posterboard with the paint you want to use and tack it to the wall for a few days.  This gives you a chance to see what the color looks like in different light levels (night, sunny day, rainy day, etc.), and lets you change your mind before you make it permanent.  For other tips, look online for articles such as this one.
  • Bring in new pieces of art or other objects of interest.  If you have a good backdrop already established in furniture and wall color, it's time to accessorize the room!  Don't be afraid of some color and texture.  This is a chance to express your personality without spending a lot of money.  If you decide later that you don't like these things, you can replace them without a lot of regret.
  • Buy vintage or handmade for maximum impact.  Stores may not have the style or type of furniture or decor you are looking for.  Here's your chance to have something custom made for your needs, or find something that no one makes anymore.  If you shop carefully, you might find something that will brighten your home and your life for years to come.
Until next time, I'm wishing you a happy new year!

P.S. I am currently running a 30% off sale on vintage fashion scarves for women.  Visit my Artfire store and enter the promo code NEWYEARSCARF in the box on the right at checkout.  Vintage scarves can be worn, framed as art, or reclaimed for decorating projects like throw pillows, so be sure to check out this deep discount!  The coupon is available all month.