Upping My Photo Prop Game

This time of year we normally experience a bit of a slowdown with estate sales, many folks are busy with back to school preparations and taking vacations to celebrate the end of summer. However continuously from late spring we have been in full-on crunch mode! We thought we would have only two sales this weekend and Labor Day weekend but we have a full schedule with four sales each weekend. A common theme has been with many of the sales that the homes are super full with decades of accumulation. The trend is continuing as we are already nearly full for September already! The fall is my favorite time for sales, the weather starts to cool off and people's thoughts turn to entertaining for the holidays and buying gifts. Estate sales are a great way to accomplish both tasks on a dime!

With that in mind, I will be preparing my best pieces for a souped-up caravan at our upcoming Long Grove sale. I have wonderful vintage Native American jewelry which did not sell online and I will offer it there before posting to the online store, eBay and Etsy. I will do the same with the amazing pieces by Mixtec celebrity jeweler Federico, I have yet to present them anywhere. There will also be the new jewelry by Elysium which is made by Mexican artists as well as other Tucson Gem Show finds from Bali, Russia and Thailand. We will make a command center for the jewelry which I will man. If she is feeling up to it Mother will join me. We have a very busy weekend of sales that weekend so it will be all hands on deck to cover everything.

This past week I posted the above jewelry lot - the squash blossom pendant with turquoise, the sterling beaded earrings and bracelet sold and the other items are all available. If these pieces are still available at the time of the Long Grove show, they will be presented there. Some of these pieces are a little more of an investment but they are either classic styles or ultra rare turquoise which is no longer mined. The butterfly pin and the earrings at the lower right are Bisbee turquoise which is stunning and very desirable. The ring, storyteller pendant and large pendant are Royston turquoise which comes in an array of colors from bright blue to green and is very popular due to its cool color combination with a brown matrix. I am hoping to find new homes for them next month!

It has been a while since I purchased any props and Replica Surfaces was re-introducing some surfaces from the past so I spent the big bucks to get another bundle of five. I was sorry at the time that I did not get the Coral when I ordered Terrazzo and they brought it back Friday. The very best deal with these surfaces is to buy them in the bundle of five so I also got Toasted Marble which will go with Desert Clay and Iced Lavender, Painted Sorbet and Apricot Ombre which all coordinate with each other. I was not sure about the pastel colors of this grouping at first but when I saw how versatile they are I decided to give them a try. Painted Sorbet (which is above) can be oriented in four different ways to pick up on the desired color palette. I also got more sleeves to store the surfaces in my official Replica Surfaces carry bag. I think it will be heavy but will keep the surfaces safe and if I drive again will be able to take them to Arizona. They are meant to be used with natural light and the backyard in Scottsdale is the perfect place for that.

On Friday Mother needed to go to the hospital for some tests so I took the down time to search on Etsy for jewelry display props. I found some props made of wood which come in a variety of colors and styles and were reasonably priced so I decided to try three sets of colors to complement these surfaces. I choose Black to go with the Terrazzo / Coral combination, Toffee to go with Toasted Marble / Desert Clay and White to go with the pastel combination. It will take more time to style the jewelry in the groupings but I think it will look a lot better to give the pieces varied heights and dimension rather than laying most of them flat. I have never been able to successfully attach the little plastic stands which are supposed to hold these surfaces together and make them freestanding so I make the L shape with them in my large light box. I signed up for the Replica Surfaces photo course as well so it all was a big investment but I am all about learning and growing.

Our time at the hospital Friday was longer than expected. Mother had blood work done as well as two tests to try and determine what is causing her shortness of breath. The second test showed a possible pulmonary embolism so Mother's doctor was interrupted to look at the results. We were told that hospital admission may be needed and the doctor ordered a third test stat. Once those results were in, we were told Mother could go home and to call the doctor for more details. We arrived home at around 1:50 and Mother called right away but the answering service answered, apparently they have cut office hours again and leave at 2:00 on Fridays. The answering service refused to put us in touch with the doctor and said we have to wait until Monday. I understand that these people need to have a life but it definitely has caused us a lot of upset to have to wait all weekend to find out what happened. I have no idea what the purpose of an answering service is for if you cannot get through when there is an emergency. All I can surmise from what we were told and what I found online is that the last test was the most accurate and they would not have let Mother go home if she had a pulmonary embolism. We were told that Mother will keep another test she has scheduled so it seems that we do not have an answer yet.

Understandably this has been upsetting for Rachel as well and she is driving home from New York with her puppy Ozzy as we speak. She was kind of thinking of coming back for Labor Day anyway. She is still working from home so she will bring her computer and keep her work schedule. I will need to bring Vivi home because late at night after a long drive is not a good time to introduce Ozzy to Vivi. My hope is that Vivi will be able to get along with him, I think it would really alleviate some of her boredom. I told Melinda that Ozzy was coming and that we should have a dog play date. Cooper goes to dog parks all the time and Ozzy is socialized so they should be fine together at least. Ozzy is probably larger than Margot already so we will see if a 4-dog play date is possible. The weather is supposed to cool off so it will be way more pleasant to be outside than it has been.

On tap is to continue to keep up with estate sale paperwork, finish the garage organization so we can get our vehicles back in and get the jewelry priced and ready to be sold in three weeks. Before she left, Rachel helped me update the estate sale business cards, adding our office mobile number, updating the icons to make them more understandable and removing my name and title. These cards will clear up confusion - I have always had my name on the cards which made more sense when I was answering all of the phone calls and going on all of the estate sale meetings. Now everyone can use the cards and when people call they will not think they need to ask for me, they can just speak with Melinda. She identifies herself when she answers the phone.

When she comes back, Rachel said she would help me fine-tune the other graphics so finally I will be up to speed after the graphic designer ghosted me before the pandemic. I will have stickers for the jewelry boxes and business cards for C'est La Bries which will offer an online shopping discount for a first purchase. I would also like stickers that I can put on the folders for the estate sale meetings. I have resigned myself to the fact that we are just too busy with estate sales for me to tackle bar coding the jewelry right now. If things do not slow down I will plan to work on this over the winter while I am hopefully in Scottsdale.

That is all for this week so I will see you next time!