Buffalo Dancer Is Back

This past Thursday I was able to post a lot of Buffalo Dancer jewelry, most all of it came from the last Tucson Gem Show in late January. The barrettes and teardrop shaped pendant came from a previous trip. The rectangular barrette, all of the mercury dime earrings except for one pair with posts, the shorter mercury dime bracelet and two long keychains and a short keychain sold, the other items are available.

I still have the longer mercury dime bracelet which is a men's length but a jeweler could easily remove some of the beads for a custom fit and those extra beads could be turned into a pair of earrings, a pendant or both depending upon how many need to be removed. If help is needed with this project, I can assist! I have go-to jewelers who help me with both personal and resale projects close to home both in Illinois and Arizona. Melinda is helping me fulfill an order by shipping out a long keychain, she still has two long keychains and a short one which she is happy to send to anyone who is interested.

Buffalo Dancer is an artist duo, the artists live in Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. The first time I met the artists I was immediately drawn to their work - it is high-quality, made with beautiful stones and the designs are very charming. I heard that one of the artists is related to a legendary Hollywood actor! So far I have kept the two large butterfly pendants from the last show. I also kept a pair of black onyx heart earrings from a previous purchase which are a perfect match for the one pendant. Both pendants look great on the handmade Navajo sterling saucer beads I purchased last time from a different vendor. I believe I shared these before but they are so beautiful I am doing it again!

As much as I love turquoise I am not finding I gravitate towards it to wear, it must be because the Macoma Boutique clothing is not coordinating with it. But because these butterfly pendants have so many colors I have been able to wear them with clothing I have. I am happy to be the only one who has introduced Buffalo Dancer jewelry in my neck of the woods.

I never thought I would say this but I have been slowing down on the Macoma Boutique purchasing. I am finding that some of the pieces are not lasting long - they look worn out after only one wearing and laundering, even on the gentle cycle and hung to dry. No more French terry for me! The slinky fabric is advertised as great for travel because it does not need ironing but I find it very scratchy so I avoid that as well. The buttery soft fabric is polyester just like the slinky and fortunately it has been lasting longer and truly is very soft. But my go-to fabric is cotton knit, these pieces have been wearing great. I have been buying Easel brand cotton knits since the beginning and also love T Party brand which is very boutique-looking. The styles are super cute and what they call "edgy" but they are not at all to me. It looks like I have to be careful with T Party as well, one shirt pilled up and down the sides after only one wearing. I hope I will be able to defuzz it because it is very pretty. I did not experience this with my other T Party purchases but this top was more sweater-like. I set up an eBay alert to see if I can pick up any new T Party pieces for a great deal.

I have developed quite a nice little wardrobe in size Small for my mannequin from Macoma's 50%-60% off sales. Most everything is Savannah Jane brand made by Andree By Unit. The tops are very cute and nice quality, bohemian with embroidery and are a great compliment to the jewelry. I saw someone use a wrap dress online and I bought a few cute dresses as well. Now I have plenty  for her and need to stop! When the weather warms up a bit I will be taking the mannequin outside on Mother's patio for some jewelry photo shoots.

Fortunately for me the styles Macoma is showing lately are not interesting. There are a lot of polyester "bra free" tops which would not work for me in my current size. I would much rather wear the cotton knit anyway.

For the most part, everything is going great with invoicing through the Shopify store. Two customers were leery about making payment through the shop and did not purchase what they claimed. Unfortunately there are a few scam artists making their way through the Facebook groups and when group members are scammed they post about their experiences to warn the rest of the group. I always do my best to show that I am a trustworthy seller - I mention that I have been selling online since 1999 and have a yellow shooting star rating on eBay with nearly 14,000 positive feedbacks and a 100% positive feedback rating on Etsy as well. One of these customers even purchased from me in the past. Overall I can see the customers are loving the different ways to pay - some are using Shopify Payments so they can receive the jewelry right away but make four payments over time or they are paying in full using Shop Pay or PayPal. I just hit 50 sales on Shopify, none of the sales are organically through the website yet but I know this will take time. For the people who passed on their items, it is really their loss - I have nearly sold out on the one item and I may end up keeping the other, I was on the fence about selling it anyway.

Unfortunately Kuochun experienced a setback this past week. The urologist removed his catheter early Wednesday morning but we were back at the office on Thursday morning as the plumbing was taking a while to get going again. Just before we went to the office Kuochun said he had a "normal" experience but when his bladder was scanned a half liter was still retained. The catheter had to go back in for another four weeks. He was definitely very down about it but he was told during his last hospital stay that he would have to keep the catheter in for a total of six weeks.

I set up an appointment for Kuochun to see our primary doctor who is affiliated with Lutheran General. I explained in a nutshell what has happened to him this past two months and that we are uncomfortable with the care from the urologist. As far as I know, Kuochun has never been examined and his progress is not being monitored. He has an appointment next Monday, May 2. Our doctor is so great - she is from Romania and is very cute and charming. She never lets her patients feel rushed, she gives us all the time she needs. I am hoping that she can help Kuochun with a second opinion on his condition.

We are both definitely disappointed that a trip to Scottsdale will not be in the cards right now. Mother is scheduled to have knee replacement surgery May 24 and she will need help. Rachel may drive out to stay with her afterwards but if she cannot I will stay there. Luckily Kuochun is not quite as helpless as he has been, although it is way easier for me to bring him food, water etc. than for him to have to navigate around with the catheter and big bag. By the time all this settles down it will be very hot in the Phoenix area so I do not think I will want to go. I am trying to keep Kuochun's spirits up by talking about spending time in Arizona over the winter and taking a few driving trips. I would like to go to Palm Springs, Las Vegas, northern Arizona and Albuquerque. I think I will finally sell the van and get a car to use out there. Since Kuochun is retired we really do not need two cars in Mount Prospect anymore. The only difficulty I am having is giving up my license plate, my dad got it for me when I was 16 and I have had it ever since. I do not think Kuochun would want to transfer it to his car - his plate was randomly assigned but somehow it is a combination of a nickname for me, the first 3 digits of our cell phone numbers and the last two of our zip code. But I am sure if I asked him he would do it. The daughter of my parents' former friends and I have the same first name, spelled the same way and she has coveted the license plate for a long time!

Things are super busy with estate sales right now so I have not been able to work on jewelry organization as I had hoped. At this time of year, there are a lot of house closings so we end up with a glut of sales all at once. We had five sales this past week and we have six next week! After that, the schedule is not quite as heavy but I am looking for it to fill up with our usual four sales per week. So far it does not look like we are going to have any summer help but maybe that will change in a month or so. We had a job interview this past week but it was a no-go. I immediately felt it was not a good match when we had to leave Vivi out in the cold for an hour and things went downhill from there. I was literally clenching my fists under the table the entire time. Taking anyone on at this time would be a very careful decision, it would have to be folks who genuinely are interested in estate sale work and in it for the long haul. But we will be just fine without anyone new, I am very happy with our core group and truly appreciate the unique skills that each group member brings to the table.

I have caught up with estate sale paperwork which has been a major feat considering all the running around I have been doing helping the family. Next week there are five packages to do but I hope there will be some time to work on the project to make a nationwide online sale of my vintage Native American jewelry collection. The original goal was to have everything in place in time for Mother's Day gifts but there is always Father's Day! I have pieces for men as well including bolo ties, belts and rings. I also need to start pulling the Southwest Style jewelry to send to Melinda to sell at the upcoming sale at her friend's new home.

Well that is it for now, until next time!