Introducing Federico

Since I do not have enough new to me vintage Native American jewelry to make a purge, I have officially moved on to other styles. I decided to start at the top with my best new pieces which are designed by Federico Jimenez. He is a Mixtec Indian artist originally from Mexico who now lives in Southern California and has many celebrity fans. In the past I was afraid to approach Federico's booth because I know his work is pricey. However I have always been intrigued by it and took a chance at the last Gem Show. There were quite a few artists who did not make the show, probably due to the date and venue changes and I like to get something new every time. Federico and his staff were so lovely to me and the more I selected, the greater the discount without even asking. They even custom made and shipped me a pair of earrings to match a necklace I purchased. This photo represents about half of the collection. The jewelry is both charming and beautifully made. In my opinion it is worth every penny. People on Facebook say they are such big fans but the question was would they take the plunge and buy at a 30% discount which is unheard of for Federico's jewelry? The answer is no, not really. One of Federico's helpers let me know that the naja necklace (the smaller necklace on the display) was one of their best sellers. I purchased one to test it out. It turns out it is the only piece of the group that sold and I could have sold at least two more. Now I know for next time!

Although the Scottsdale home will be under construction all winter, one thing is for sure - I still want to go to the Gem Show! I decided to book the place to stay because the longer I wait, the smaller the selection will be. There are some choices that look great on the surface but the reviews say the neighborhood is sketchy. It is important for me to avoid those areas not only because of the safety factor but also the value of the jewelry I will have there with me. Overall we really enjoyed our time in Oro Valley this year. It is such a quiet, peaceful place and we enjoyed some great food, especially at El Conquistador Resort. However the drawback was the distance from town which was about a 40 minute local drive. This time I wanted to get closer to town if possible and I found success!

Our destination will be a luxury casita in the Catalina Foothills, which will cut the drive time in half. Casita means cottage in Spanish and this one appears to be on the grounds of a large mansion. It is 1,200 square feet so there should be plenty of room. Most of the photos on the listing are blurry but above is a clear one of the entrance to the casita. It looks very upscale and charming. At first Mother did not want to go but she has been feeling better and now will plan to go. I was talking with Melinda about going and having to rent a car for an extended period of time and she has offered to go along and provide use of her car. They can drop me off on my heavy duty buying days and go do something else if they prefer. We will have to figure out the sleeping arrangements because there are two bedrooms which is very common in Tucson. One bedroom has a queen size bed and the other has a pair of twin size beds. The logical thing would be for Melinda to take the primary bedroom and Mother and I take the secondary bedroom but Melinda is thinking she would like to sleep on the floor. We will see! Next step is to book a couple of plane tickets which I would also like to do in advance to save the most money. If we travel light we can both go for about $320 direct round trip on Frontier Airlines. But it probably would be worthwhile to pay the cost to check a bag, I believe it is $42 for up to 50 pounds. I still have clothing and other items I would like to get there.

Mother has been asking me to take her for her driver's test and also to get her permanent handicap plackard because the temporary one expires at the end of the month. We had done a couple of test drives and I felt her awareness was not quite 100% but she wanted to take the test anyway. So we headed over to Schaumburg Friday afternoon and the process was painless. As a senior, Mother was able to skip the line (it was not long) and went through the process of photo, eye test and payment. The next step was the road test. I drove her around the back of the building and there was no wait. Luckily it was a nice day and I did not mind waiting outside. The test seemed to take about 20 minutes or so and then I noticed they were back and the instructor was standing outside the car talking to Mother. All I could hear him say was OK? OK? a couple of times so I thought that meant he was reprimanding her about something and she did not pass. However she passed! I am glad that this big hurdle is completed but I do not think this is free reign for Mother to go take off on the expressway by herself. I would like a few more excursions together where I do not point out any hazards to see if she can get back to 100% awareness.

Before I left to go home Friday night, I let Vivi out to the backyard. It was dark out and by the time I could get around the corner of the house with the lantern Vivi was on her way back acting a little strange. It did not take long to realize that she had encounted a skunk and it sprayed her a little. She kept lifting her paw to the side of her head. I quickly got her back in the house and she jumped in a chair and started shaking. Poor girl! I ran out to get the ingredients for a homemade remedy but Mother could not wait and used some other ingredients she had around the house. I do not think it was a full skunking but it was enough to cause the house to smell. Vivi is fine now and she does not seem to have learned a lesson from the experience. Every time she goes out in the yard she goes right around the corner looking for that skunk. Kuochun found a company online called Skunk Masters that will come out 24/7 to remove the skunk smell from the home and dog. This is great to know for future reference.

I took some time out Saturday night to spend on the online store to see if I can solve some of the issues I have been having with posting to eBay and Etsy myself. GoDaddy customer service is horrendous, I feel like I know more than they do and their response is either "wait 24 hours and things will clear up" or if I mention eBay they say it is an eBay issue. I tried yet again last night to resolve a simple issue and ended up hanging up because the guy was clueless and left me waiting for 20 minutes. I really like the user friendliness of the GoDaddy interface, as long as things work the way they are supposed to it is great. I am afraid to change because a new system could be worse. Also I would like to keep all of the websites under one umbrella so they have a cohesive look. I created 8 listings for Native American watches last night as a test and it looks like I have resolved some of the problems with posting the online store listings to the other sites. It will just be extra work to create profiles for each type of item that I am selling. I may have to just accept the fact that the listing descriptions are not going to be formatted.

My goal is to work things out as much as possible with the online store because I have Claire on the case shooting jewelry photos. I had given her a shoebox loaded with antique to vintage sterling jewelry about 3 months ago. She went on a couple of trips and I was busy but we are back to business now. I had tried to sell this jewelry here and there at the estate sales but interestingly enough this type of jewelry is not as popular there. I think it will be way more popular online. She stopped by this week and I gave her all of the Federico jewelry and asked for some modeling photos as well. I am excited to see what she will come up with as the look of her own Etsy shop is very cool and beautiful! When she is ready she is going to start posting items to the online store to the best of her ability and then I will review and publish.

I have a good handle on the estate sale paperwork and next week there is only one package to do so I will take the extra time to try and get as much jewelry as possible listed online. It is a lofty goal but I believe I can post all of the vintage to newer Native American jewelry online by this time next week. Once everything is posted, I am going to create an online sale on directing customers to the online store (which they allow us to do) and pay the fee to advertise nationwide. I really have some amazing pieces and they will all be 50% off and include USPS shipping with delivery confirmation. I posted this cuff bracelet as an example of what is in the collection because I just love it. If it were my size it would be a keeper!

That is all for next week, now I am off to decide if I have something on hand that I would like to take the time to post a jewelry purge with. See you next time!