On The Road Again...

This posting will be kind of short and sweet - although it has been two weeks, there is not a lot to report on the jewelry front. Due to time constraints I have not been able to post any new jewelry purges but have received some new pieces in the meantime. I now probably have enough to post three more purges at the moment. The goal is to get back on track and start posting again next weekend.

I also needed to complete my taxes which went smoothly this year. I was able to properly use the spreadsheet I purchased on Etsy the year before to tally up expenses. It was nice to be able to complete everything the day before the deadline and also feel that I had time to capture all of the expenses I incurred.

We were also able to go back and complete Mother's taxes at the senior center. The folks wanted to make sure the IL state form was done correctly so they actually sent it to their IL counterparts. We both greatly appreciated the way they went the extra mile for her. Next year she will be an AZ resident and she will be able to complete the process in one visit.

I was able to post a few new individual jewelry items online. I have had this amazing Seven Dwarfs turquoise and amber pendant and cuff bracelet set for at least a couple of years. I had taken photos shortly before I headed home for the summer last year but did not get them posted. I decided to take a new set as since then I have purchased some more leather and hide squares to use as backdrops. I knew this vintage-style floral print leather would come in handy for particular pieces...

When I had the opportunity to purchase these pieces, I recognized the artist right away. I stumbled across her on Etsy a number of years ago and followed her shop in the hopes that the right jewelry for me would come up. It finally did last year in the form of a heart-shaped white buffalo pendant with onyx flower accents and coordinating flower earrings. For some unknown reason I left them in Mount Prospect. I wish I would have brought them with me but I will have the chance to wear them again this summer.

The set I purchased to resell was custom made for their wearer and also included a very dramatic pair of dangle earrings. I did sell the earrings but the other pieces are available. I linked all three photos to the listings in my Shopify store. They are one of a kind and will never be made by the artist again.

I learned something new while attempting to post this jewelry to Etsy. Because they have amber, Etsy flagged them as being potentially hazardous. Etsy considers amber beads strung on a string which are less than 1.25" long to be unacceptable for their site. It looks like they want to evaluate every amber piece to be sure. Luckily they passed a few days later!

For a couple of afternoons which were not too hot I spent some time doing some outdoor photographing on the back patio. Good thing I did because we are now in the midst of a hot spell - highs have been in the upper 90s which is about 13 degrees above normal. Some relief is being predicted next Thursday through Sunday which is great timing because it will concide with two events I enjoyed attending last year but it was too hot to fully enjoy them - AZ Tiki Oasis which is only five minutes away at the iconic Valley Ho Hotel and Junk In The Trunk Market which is about 20 minutes away on the north side of town.

I also tackled a project which I had been putting on the backburner which was to photograph my collection of bolo ties which will be sold. I have enjoyed using my new props to highlight each unique collection and am pleased with the results. I now have both indoor and outdoor photos ready to go. The bolo in the photo above was one of three pieces I had made. The sterling and turquoise pin was converted to a bolo slide and new handmade cording added in a combination of black and brown colors. The artist knows I love butterfly jewelry so he added the filigree butterfly dangles on the ends of the tips. Looking at this photo again I may not be able to part with this but I have others which are just as amazing!

For the outdoor photos of the fancier bolos, I used one of Mother's cowboy hats and a poncho to dress up my mannequin. I have some smaller ones which are less "girly" and I used a vintage Wrangler Western-style shirt to highlight those...

Currently I have no bolos online as the ones I posted previously have all sold. I have a few pending to go on consignment at the Heard Museum. Speaking of the museum, I had never heard back with an inventory list and finally took a moment to contact them. It turned out that they were trying to reach me by email but I never received anything. I gave my personal Gmail address so I do not know if it related to that or it was a typo in the email on their end. It was spelled correctly on the inventory sheet though. At any rate, I received the inventory sheet. I was hoping for more on a number of pieces but if the lot is successful I would come out ahead overall which I guess is all that I could ask for. I experienced another hiccup though as when I matched up the photos I took with the inventory list, there was a pair of earrings I did not recognize and two pieces which are not on the list including a very large concho pin and a valuable concho belt. It has been about ten days and I am waiting to hear about the discrepancies. They do keep jewelry on consignment for a year but now I am concerned that the snowbirds are gone and the hot summer (and I presume slow time of the year) is right around the corner. I will continue to be patient...

These two weeks (and this past week especially) Mother and I have been working on the homework to prepare her home for sale. The procedure to pack up the U-Box went smoothly with great help on the other end. For the first time, I hired movers through U-Haul as opposed to Dolly and they brought the single U-Box to the home on a little trailer. Instead of having the U-Box in the driveway for several days waiting for U-Haul to pick it up, the movers took it back to the Des Plaines store right away. Unfortunately though not everything Mother wanted fit in the U-Box and I had to quickly prioritize the most important items. I think they just about all made it into the box. Most important were the artwork, bed, dresser and mobility scooter. At the last minute I was able to have the long skinny piece of folk art and the fabulous concrete frog fountain added in. There was some empty space but I believe the remaining items were too large to fill it. I am not sure but I think my storage cabinet must be in the box. I will be really glad to have it to organize my jewelry props. My biggest concern was that the pair of lingerie chests which Mother was going to use as side tables in her bedroom were separated. However there will likely be another chance to get the second chest here as the plan is still for Melinda to drive the car out. Hopefully the chest will fit in the back if the seats can be folded flat. The U-Box is scheduled to arrive in Scottsdale May 1, which means the first day we can move the items to the apartment will be May 2.

The final "sweep through" of items Mother would like to keep was Wednesday, Thursday the U-Box was packed and removed and Friday was staging day with a couple of helpers from the estate sale group. Things got off to a bit of a slow start but luckily the realtor was in her office which is just a few blocks away and she popped over and made a to-do list for staging. Here are just three photos from the end of the day Friday, the staging looks amazing. This is a little gem of a home and the new owner is going to be so lucky to get it. I wanted to downsize there one day, the home is the perfect size for one or two people and is in great shape but it was not meant to be.

I am very sad about it but now I will need to pivot my life plan. In July of next year I will pay off my Mount Prospect home. This is a big milestone and will be a huge financial help. I never thought I would downsize from there but having Mother's experience with a small home and living in this patio home in Scottsdale has changed my thinking. But now I figure I will hold onto Mount Prospect, at least as long as I continue to do estate sales. As far as Arlington Heights goes, things are now in the realtor's hands - she, her husband and son helped out with final touches over the weekend and photos will be scheduled for next week.

Saturday Mother decided to have me hire Dolly movers to move the major items from my Scottsdale home over to the apartment including several furniture pieces and most all of her clothing. Things went smoothly but the first floor bedroom is starting to look empty now. I do not have any furniture to place in there and Kuochun and I are planning to leave in less than two months so it looks like I will need to address this in the fall. Before we go though and Kuochun agrees, it is likely that I will move downstairs and Kuochun will move over to my room upstairs. Mother did not take her bed so that means I cannot make the third bedroom an office unless I decide to sell the mattress and frame. We may end up with two extra mattresses - we have the king size bed in Arlington Heights which has only been used once and would fit well in the first floor bedroom here. I suggested that we wait until the U-Box arrives and we see what is missing before deciding if we want to send another U-Box.

Since Mother will be having a moving sale in Arlington Heights, I am going to pack and ship many of the unsold items we brought out to Scottsdale to include in her sale. We sold a lot but there are still a lot of beautiful items including clothing, scarves, purses and shoes as well as Christmas decor. After two years of having sales here in Scottsdale I am ready to regain my garage space. I can send the items by ground since there is no hurry and this will minimize the cost. I will just need to buy some moving boxes since I did not save any of the larger ones. 

I had four estate sale packages to complete this past week as well, the first time to have this many in 2024. However there are none to do next week so the hope is that things will settle down enough to where I can get back to jewelry again. I do not want to go another season with having all this silver jewelry not ready to sell in the caravan. Time is getting shorter but I will do my best to get through as much of it as possible. Kuochun will be back next Tuesday so I am looking forward to turning the early morning dog walks back over to him and reclaiming my sleep! That will definitely help.

I guess this was not as short and sweet as I thought it would be. Until next time!