You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~ C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Appreciation for Garden Friends

Guess what today is?




                                                         source: Patricia Barton from the Happy Rabbit
It's Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Most of you know that I love squirrels! I did an entire post which you may read here.  Since that time I have acquired even more squirrels, like this crazy guy I found last year.





Thank you to all my crazy furry little friends! I love all the little squirrels, the red, the gray and the white. Come to my yard little squirrels, where treats will delight you! Thank you for entertaining me (and the kitties)  
for all these years!

xox Diane xox











Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Now All Our Neighbors' Chimneys Smoke

OK, so it serves me right for not driving my car for a week during the bitter cold. The battery is dead. Dead as a door-nail, whatever that means. Anyway just dead, it makes that awful clicking sound, but won't start.

I'm stuck here in the house until this afternoon when my hubby gets back from a business meeting and can drive me to the store. Our polar plunge in temperatures has finally ended and I thought I could get out on my own to do some shopping. Instead I have to be driven around by my beloved!

I hadn't been housebound that entire time, mind you, my dear hubby had been around and so I had been hitching a ride with him. But honestly, I think I had only been out of the house a couple of times during our extreme cold spell.  Since most of you that read this blog are also introverts, I don't think I need to explain myself! I would make a perfect hermit!

Getting on with it now, I decided to share some insights about my Etsy shop and selling online.  It's been a real learning experience for me that past couple of years. I am not particularly advanced when it comes to technical skills, but I am pretty good with writing and design, so I think that's what has saved me.  I have seen quite a few shops/blogs that started when I did fail and just disappear.

One thing I've learned is that you never stop learning! If you do, you fail. Simple as that!  I do tons of research online about how to make things better. How to handle social media, how to take photos, where to spend my time etc. That's just the marketing part, I also spend lots of time researching my vintage items and finding out accurate information about them. It takes a lot of time and am I making any money at this? I would say no, I am breaking even.  But I love what I am doing. I love that it is my business and I run it myself and I have figured all this out by myself. 

Another thing I figured out after lots of reading and research, is to "tag" and "title" my shop listings the correct way. I won't bore you with the details, but who knew that for the first two years I was doing it wrong!? Well, I certainly didn't and I'm surprised I made any sales at all!  The competition is fierce and about a bazillion more people are selling on Etsy and other venues now compared to just a few years ago.

After I changed my listings to show up better in Google searches, I have seen an increase in my sales. Suddenly my books are selling better than anything else. For example I've noticed an increase in the sales of my cookbooks, especially Public Service Cookbooks. These are the quirky ones put out by local utility companies as a thank you to their customers.  This was the type of thing that was quite typical back in the 1940's - 1970's. The only thing I get from my utility company now is a bill.

Now for the good stuff! Check out some of these fun images from a few of the books I recently sold.

This first one is my favorite! The book was sent out to customers by the Wisconsin Public Service Company during the 1960's. The deer in the Chefs' Hat cooking the holiday meal is just fantastic. Unfortunately, no illustrator was given any credit.


My blog post title was taken from this cookbook. Across the front of the book it says,

"Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke, 
and Christmas logs are burning;
Their ovens they with baked meats choke,
and all their spits are turning..." 


Quote by George Wither








The deer in the illustration above has obviously become an omnivore! The illustration below shows our Chef Deer stirring up a stew perhaps?









Here are a couple of the recipes from the books. There were three in the collection that I sold.















Another favorite image of mine! I think I will be using this one again in the future! The dishes look like my house after a party!! Notice how in each picture the candle has burned down to almost nothing! I love those little details.

So here I am housebound and freezing to death in my office downstairs because my space heater also died. Another thing on my shopping list...
now where is my dear hubby?? 

Hope you're having a great day! See you all soon! ~ Diane