Community Garage Sale 2023

The main photo is NOT of the community garage sale but it turned out so cute I had to feature it. More on that later!

I took a week off from posting jewelry online in order to prepare for the community garage sale. As this was our first time participating, I was not sure what to expect. I never do host a typical garage sale and I did not know if the customers would find the items to be too expensive. I decided to do 75% off our downsizing sale prices on most everything, except for better jewelry and handbags. As was the case with the downsizing sale, it was a challenge to put everything together on my own. On Wednesday evening, I decided to enlist Dolly's help for Thursday. I sold several large items left over from the downsizing sale on Facebook Marketplace but there were still a few remaining. We are more than ready to get our patio back so I thought I would get help moving the items to the garage. I also had some furniture moved around the house, namely switching out the area rugs in the two upstairs bedrooms. The original plan was for Kuochun to take the larger room with the TV but he decided he wanted the smaller room. Since I am giving the desk and credenza a try instead of a dining set, I had the set moved to the garage. I think I will try and sell the set, and if it does not sell for a good price I will probably send it back home in a U-Box. It really looked great in the basement in Mount Prospect.

The furniture situation is just about settled here, I am waiting for a dresser that I ordered for Kuochun to go with his bedroom set and when I get the chance I am going to make the rounds and search for a small dining table and a couple of chairs for the area between the kitchen and office space.

Although I was able to shoot a lot more individual jewelry photos for the sale ads this time, once again the ads neglected to have proper photos. However, the photos I did post attracted a couple of high-end jewelry buyers who I allowed to come on Friday. They were interested in pieces that I was not displaying for the garage sale and I knew it would be a lot easier for them to shop without a big crowd. The first buyer is a fan of both vintage Native American and Mexican jewelry and made a 3-hour drive from northern Arizona to visit. She found quite a few great pieces including the showstopper pendant by Leon Martinez above which she will wear to the rehearsal dinner for her son's wedding.

Later in the day the second couple arrived, they had about a 45-minute drive and were able to find some great high-end vintage Native American pieces they could work with including this Persian turquoise jewelry set. They are resellers so I wish them the very best with their selections.

Although I was very grateful for the wonderful sales on Friday, it did put me behind as far as preparing for Saturday. Right up to the last minute, Mother helped me with making price signs for the larger items and I tried to throw together a 75% off jewelry table. Kuochun was telling me to open the garage door early because other folks were already open and customers shopping. I just was not ready and it was difficult to navigate around because all the clothing racks and other items to be put on the driveway were still in the garage. It was a little overwhelming when I opened the garage door and everyone tried to flock inside while I was trying to get one of the clothing racks out. A kind woman helped me anchor the clothing rack on the driveway with some rug pads I had. The driveway has an incline so the rack never would have stayed in place.

We were basically swamped all day! Melinda had come to take Mother around to the other sales but I needed her help for the first hour. After that, Kuochun filled in while they were gone. Unfortunately they did not have much luck at the other sales - Melinda found some leopard pillow covers and Mother only got Girl Scout cookies from the granddaughter of the woman in charge of the garage sale.

Overall it was a fabulous day and the results far exceeded my expectations. The customers were all so nice and polite, even if they thought the 50% off jewelry was priced high. In addition to the jewelry, Kuochun's clothing was popular. As was the case last time, the younger girls loved his vintage grandpa sweaters and plaid flannel shirts he used to wear to work that are now too small and his fleece-lined pants to keep warm that he no longer needs. None of the larger items sold but I will put them on Facebook Marketplace. At the end of March I will assess what is left and see if anything should go to a consignment store. I feel confident that I should be able to sell most everything on my own in the next month.

After the garage sale ended we wanted to take Melinda out for lunch. Instead of sticking close to our area we decided to take her to California Fish Grill. She could make it on the way home and Kuochun and I had been wanting to take Mother there as well. It was a big hit, everyone loved the food. Melinda noticed that they had agave cream soda which sounded interesting so Mother and I tried it too. It tasted like candy but was very unique and good. I would go back there anytime!

On Sunday even though I was tired from the garage sale Kuochun and I had the Willo House Tour to attend. We started by walking the street fair which was very cute but I did not buy anything. One woman was selling quirky clothing and costume jewelry. She had really nice fleece jackets for only $20 but unfortunately they were a little small. We forgot to go to the car show but there was a Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) Jaguar which was on display at the street fair. Interestingly we have seen the car in our area a couple of times when we have been out and about.

There were 11 homes, the vintage firehouse and 2 gardens to see on the Willo Tour. We walked the entire route except for house #7 which was off the beaten path. We did not miss it though and drove there at the end. House #1 was on the tour the last time I attended, the house is large and unattractive but is now for sale. Other than that I enjoyed seeing all of the other homes. A couple of them were grandma style but the others were all nicely decorated. The main photo was a corner of one of the gardens and I thought it was adorable. Kuochun said he could paint something on our wall, maybe I will take him up on that. A few of the homes had casitas, or small detatched homes on the properties. They are very popular in the Southwest. I love the idea, typically they are the size of a studio apartment and have a kitchen or kitchenette and a bathroom. One was definitely an Airbnb. We toured an open house as well which had the largest casita we saw. It had a living room, bedroom, full kitchen, laundry and bathroom. Definitely a great setup for Mother or a workspace but I am not changing real estate at this time!

One of the homes is the residence of an interior designer and it was very eclectic. It was difficult to get any photos in general because there were so many people and we always had to keep moving but I was able to get a few snaps there. I loved this display of vintage Lucite purses on the dining room table. I also enjoyed the appliques on the lampshades of the pair of lamps in one of the bedrooms. It is not shown in the photos but there is a Lucite tray loaded with random costume jewelry and fashion watches between the lamps. I told Kuochun it looks like my 75% off jewelry table from the garage sale!

Kuochun really liked the valet in the corner of the room with the Gucci shoes on it. I have never seen such a cool valet. The homeowner definitely likes to incorporate Lucite into her designs! Maybe she would like to help me out with my home, more on that below...

It has been one thing or another since December and I finally took some time to catch up with my interior designer. We are coming up on a year since the construction project was completed and the punch list still has not been addressed. To start, the designer gave me a choice between two contractors - one highly experienced but would charge more and the other young and not as experienced but would charge less. She suggested I choose the less experienced contractor and that the cost to pay her to "babysit" the job would be less than hiring the other contractor. Overall the design and work turned out great but the babysitting did not really happen. I did express my frustration a bit and it must have been something I said because she replied that she has decided to step back and stick with clients closer to her home base. I do not know her exact location but we are on the Phoenix border, central Phoenix is less than 20 minutes away. It is definitely disappointing to hear that she did not want to see the project through, as the next step is to tackle the second floor. She is very talented and has great ideas and I thought we had a good collaboration going. I think I am going to take this year off from new remodeling projects and focus on building up a cushion this summer and fall to get through next winter and Gem Show purchases.

I have several folks to call - I need landscaping maintenance help, I never heard back from the HOA as to whether I can paint and tile the front of the house and someone has a bunch of my jewelry on consignment and does not seem to be doing anything to sell it. I also need to see if the contractor can tackle the punch list soon and if he is willing to work with me on future projects. We have been living without electricity in the front entry, living room and family room areas. I committed to a project to fix this back in December and the city has finally granted the permit. March 8 is when the work will start. It will be so great to have all the lighting installed and in working order. The electrical box will be replaced as well as it is original and no longer safe.

I have two estate sale packages to complete next week and then I will have two weeks off from paperwork. I should get going on my taxes because I will need to help Mother with hers. She has been using an attorney which I think she no longer needs since her taxes are way simpler now. I definitely plan to keep pumping out the Gem Show jewelry and get back to polishing and pricing vintage jewelry so I can start shipping it home for the caravan. I have one more lot of Native American jewelry to post and then everything I currently have will have been presented at least once. Some more should be coming soon though!

I have some fine-tuning to do but I moved the shipping center from my bedroom down to the new office space. It has been great so far, having the credenza behind the desk means everything I need for shipping jewelry is at my fingertips. I am still feeling a little crowded in the bedroom now that I have both of my dressers in place so I am going to move the printer down there as well. It may be a bit of a hassle but I am going to give it a try. I do not print much here, basically just estate sale contracts for my files.

Signing off for now, see you next time!