Back To Jewelry

Since I had a rare week off from estate sale paperwork due to no sales Memorial Day weekend, I was able to get back to jewelry work. I posted some new arrivals of vintage Native American pieces - some without stones and others with onyx or jasper. The onyx lariat necklace, the earrings on the far right, the coil cuff bracelet at the lower left and the heavy cuff bracelet to the right of the pendant all sold, the other pieces are available. Since I am working with my other set of props which includes the first cowhide piece I purchased (a placemat) it took longer than usual to get the pieces nicely in the photo without the left or right sides of the placemat showing. I am happy with the way it finally turned out. I thought the naja pendant and feather barrette would sell for sure but no such luck. As I have said before, turquoise rules! The plan is to post the unsold items from this grouping online next Wednesday.

This week was the time for both Mother and Kuochun to visit their primary doctors. It was Mother's turn on Monday, we saw that her primary doctor is expecting and looks to be 4-5 months along so Mother was glad she was able to see her before she goes on maternity leave. Mother had some lab work done at the same time to be sure her levels are staying normal and there will be a follow up in a couple of weeks. She will also have a different type of ultrasound done to try and figure out why her legs keep swelling and the "water pills" are not doing much good. It seems though that we will need to do our best to keep Mother's health under control until we can get her back to Arizona and to the lung doctor in October.

Unfortunately though we missed her cardiologist's appointment on Wednesday. It was completely my fault, I had put the appointment in the calendar under Mountain Time instead of Central Time. We will now have to wait a couple of months until we can get in again. The lung doctor in AZ ordered a couple of tests through the cardiologist here so luckily we still have time to do our homework.

On Thursday it was time for Kuochun to visit the doctor. He had been seeing my primary doctor for a couple of years but could not get in to see her or Mother's doctor this summer so he decided to go back to the doctor he last saw about seven years ago. It had been so long I forgot that he had a doctor he was happy with and the office is not far on the north side of Mount Prospect. Kuochun has been coughing like crazy ever since he quit smoking over a year ago so he is scheduled for a CT scan of his lungs to see if there is anything that can be done about it. Praying for good news! He also wanted to schedule a colonoscopy because he was overdue. When we returned home in the afternoon he got the call that he could go next Monday, or wait until January when we will not be here. Monday it is! I am really proud of him for continuing to take charge of his health.

After Kuochun's appointment, we decided to visit the new grocery store in downtown Mount Prospect, Angelo Caputo's Fresh Market. It is on the first floor of a brand-new condo building on Maple St, south of the railroad tracks. There is street parking as well as a convenient parking garage. The store is about the same size as a Trader Joe's and is bright and spotlessly clean. There is an entire aisle devoted to refrigerated heat and go meals. We selected the Chicken Vesuvio. We also got some crumbled mild Italian sausage I could pair with some organic angel hair pasta from I picked up from T.J. Maxx and Rao's four cheese sauce. I cannot resist Italian bakery cookies, my favorites are the double cookies with frosting between. I also selected a slice of chocolate cake with white frosting. It turned out the frosting was whipped cream. It was so fresh and amazing! Kuochun chose a couple of different cream puffs and I requested a Nutella cake roll slice for Mother. However Kuochun ate the cake roll before it could make its way to Arlington Heights. They had Racine Kringles - even though they are not from Mother's neck of the woods in Wisconsin we still like them. I picked up raspberry as a change of pace from almond. Finally from the bakery I grabbed a bag of four foccacia rolls with tomato hunks on top. I used them to make turkey and muenster sandwiches with a spoonful of their homemade pesto sauce. They were awesome and really filling. Next time I will put some arugula on it too. We picked up some hot food as well - I tried the cheese lasagna and a couple of mini arancini and Kuochun got the cream of broccoli soup and a croissant. We really loved Caputo's - Kuochun especially adored the chicken vesuvio and it was great for us to share because it was a mixture of dark and white meat. The meat literally fell off the bone which was very rare to see with chicken. He was able to make 3.5 meals out of it and I had one, which was very economical considering the whole pan was less than $17.00. These are specialty items with next-level ingredients so pricing is higher than Mariano's but less than Sunset Foods. I wish them well and hope they are accepted by the community. We will definitely support!

After lunch, we paid a visit to our two Glenview sales as we had some homeowner jewelry to deliver to one. It was great to see everyone working at the sales and I was able to meet two people for the first time. The two sales were so different - one was in a mid-century home totally loaded with tchotchkes and the other was in The Glen with beautiful but more minimal decor. Both sales were a hit!

Friday I decided to switch gears and work on some costume jewelry. It has been such a slow process to try and get the vintage Native American jewelry completed, namely because I keep buying more. So I took a look at the higher-end vintage costume jewelry I had on hand in the garage and selected pieces worthy of posting. My collection is starting to dwindle because I have not been buying any costume jewelry but I still have a good number of quality pieces remaining. I decided to start with pins because they are the easiest to do. I am so very pleased with the props I found on Etsy for the costume jewelry. I bought a bunch of Lucite coasters from an artist last year and this was my first time to use them. The backdrop is leopard print cowhide, also from Etsy. I just cannot do a plain white or black background. I feel this combo definitely captures the era of the jewelry. Because this piece was larger, I used the entire coaster but on smaller pieces, I experimented with just using a portion of the coaster, as shown below.

Depending upon the shape of the piece, I was able to place them in any of the four "corners" of the coaster for interest. The pieces I have posted so far are in the new collection: Vintage Costume Jewelry.

I experimented with using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to write the item descriptions for these pieces. I was blown away by the results - I wrote the title and the system wrote the descriptions, optimized for each online marketplace I belong to. There was very little that I needed to change and I just added some pertinent information, such as measurements. It sounds like me but on steroids! Overall it does take more time but the descriptions and titles are customized for each marketplace and hopefully the extra effort will lead to more sales. I am realizing in a hurry that to do this right, it will be a long process. But it is a dream come true to get to this point. So far I have had one piece of costume jewelry sell - the Weiss butterfly above. It sold on eBay about 10 minutes after I posted it. There were some technical issues with posting to Etsy which should be the best place to sell vintage costume jewelry. I am in the middle of an online chat with Vendoo so hopefully this issue will be resolved soon.

On Saturday I received my order of nine more backdrops which are either embossed leather or printed cowhide. I also found the rest of the Lucite coasters which I shipped home from Scottsdale specifically to use with the costume jewelry. I am looking forward to experimenting with everything. As well as this has all worked so far, I found big disappointment with the plain colored Replica Surfaces I purchased last year to use with the coasters. They looked so dull and the shadow of my phone kept interfering with the shot. I will definitely be listing them for resale. I have definitely had the best luck with the wood-look Surfaces. It has all been a process of many years and overall it has been very rewarding to finally get to this point where I have products in an online store and the listings look like "me."

Next week will be extremely busy with helping Kuochun and Mother, as well as two estate sale meetings on Tuesday and another on Wednesday. It will be time to get back to paperwork too but the hope is I can carve out a little time to get some more jewelry posted. It is important to keep the momentum going so customers stay interested!