Light And Airy

This past Sunday I posted the last lot of vintage / estate Native American jewelry that I have on hand. This lot actually did well with all of the earrings, the 3-stone ring, the Ben Nighthorse inlay cuff, the stacker cuff with curved stamped shapes, the cuff with turquoise oval and the teardrop shape pendant all selling. I was surprised that there was no interest in the charm bracelet, when I have had those in the past people fight over them. Perhaps the overall success has something to do with my attempt at a "light and airy" group photo. I found these lazy Susans from India in two different sizes, one for each light box. I paired it with one of the Replica Surfaces, picking up the peach and purple tones in the inlay cuff. I then applied a filter and made a couple of slight adjustments until I was happy enough with the look. On my to do list is to learn how to use the filters I purchased nearly three years ago through L&A.

It looks like Replica Surfaces has found another way to take my money - they released a sneak peek video on YouTube for a new product. It appears to be a rolling stand where the surfaces click into place at a right angle. This would be fantastic as I have never been able to get their little plastic stands to work. They said they are going to announce the new product next week.

I thought about not posting this week because I could not think of anything positive to write about. It has been a tough time, dealing with several very challenging clients at once and the discovery of negative reviews posted for clients who should have been thrilled with their results. However I am not a quitter, I wholeheartedly believe in what we do and this is just a miniscule percentage of our clients and customers. I just wish more of the happy folks would express their views so our overall rating was not so poor. Business owners are at the mercy of these online review sites - we have no choice as far as whether we would like to participate and anyone can slander us with no repercussions. All I can do is provide calm and logical responses and I definitely have my work cut out for me.

I also received what I felt was devastating news on Friday evening - after asking the attorney about next steps with the Scottsdale plumbing case, she is advising me not to continue. I thought we were on the right track - I completed my homework and she was successful in having the claim assigned to a new adjuster. But when she asked the new adjuster to reopen the claim with the expert testimony provided he refused. This does not surprise me at all as they have been difficult all along, I thought the next step would be to write another letter with our monetary request and offer to take the case to court hoping they would settle with us beforehand. Now I feel like my $7,500 retainer and months of work is down the drain. Plus I put the reconstruction project on hold per her advice and it has ruined our plans to stay in the home this winter. She asked me to take the weekend to think about things and later today I will give her my thoughts. I hope this is not the end of the road after all of the hard work put into it. If so, I will definitely report this bad experience to the Arizona insurance board. I also will be changing insurance companies, I do not want to give this company any more of my hard-earned money.

I have worked these past two years to not only buy this home but take care of all of the issues with it but I know I will come out the other side. We will just need to be patient while the construction is being completed and I will need to continue to work very hard to pay for it. It will be a happy day when all of this is behind me. Mother and I had a role reversal last night - she was the one trying to lift my spirits. The thing to be most grateful for right now is that her health seems to be improving. It is definitely a shame though to lose this precious time with her in Arizona.

On a positive note, we have some wonderful estate sale opportunities coming up, the first of which is an amazing sale in South Barrington. This past week I was able to give good thought to the jewelry I wanted to send to each of our sales, replenish the cases and straighten them out and finally to take photos while the jewelry was tidy. It could be the fact that we are heading into fall and our customers are starting to think about holiday gifts but so far it seems my efforts are resulting in increased sales. I plan to put together another great selection of jewelry for South Barrington. Their furnishings lean more transitional and traditional than Long Grove so I will adjust the jewelry offerings accordingly. I already have a large case ready to go with sparkling vintage costume jewelry in fall colors. I have not had a lot of time to price new jewelry but I did a bit of pricing and organizing Saturday night. Mother is going to help me finally get the rest of the Tucson Gem Show finds on cards. I have the best of the best yet to offer - stunning art pieces with amber, dramatic pendants with turquoise and other natural stones from Bali and new statement jewelry from Mexico.

One thing that really lifted my spirits was that my classic squash blossom set sold on eBay Saturday for my full asking price! The buyer asked me a number of questions which I answered promptly and he decided to make this set the "push present" for his wife. He said she has been wanting one as long as he has known her. I am honored and grateful and truly hope she loves it.

Speaking of the best of the best - tonight if all goes well I plan to post my Federico collection online. These pieces will not be 50% off but I will be able to offer a discount from retail. Federico Jiminez is a Mixtec artist who has celebrity fans. As I previously mentioned, I had the honor of meeting him at the Gem Show last year. His pieces are excellent sellers on eBay and seem to really interest the folks in the Facebook groups as they rarely come up. They are pricey but exquisite and worth every penny. I will see if I can find new homes for some of them! I had set a few pieces aside for myself but I think I am going to try and sell some of those as well. These days there is not much of an occasion to dress up and go out and I can always get more next time!

On that note, I am going to sign off - my goal for this week is to work ahead on estate sale paperwork and I am making great progress to meet that goal.