Search This Blog

Friday, April 29, 2011

50's Rockin' Reception Invitations

My latest project: 457 handmade invitations for my daughters reception!Here they are all ready to send out! What's inside? Take a look...
A record! We were able accumulate just the number of 45 records we needed from garage sales over the past few months. We made a custom CD/DVD label that fit right over the original. Here's side one:
To announce that dinner will be served we added, "Diner will be open" Here's side two:
This is the more formal side, but we did say "Kevin and Kelly Biggs are all shook up to announce the marriage of their daughter... These were fun to make and fairly inexpensive- The real cost is in the postage. They charge $1.08 with no special handling or $1.71 and they won't run them through the machine- I've paid the surcharge in the past, but have discovered they still run them through the machine- so I opted for the $1.08 postage. We were able to hand deliver a little over 100 invites, so that saved some too. I budgeted $800 for invitations and we came in at $703.00. That includes ink ($64.00), CD/DVD labels,($103.00) records ($36.00), envelopes ($108.00), address labels ($17) and postage ($375.00) . We caught a break when we found a box of 300 CD/DVD labels at a garage sale for $3.00 (normally $50 a box) and were able to order the other labels off of ebay for only $24 per box. So far we're under budget- but we still have food, sets, lighting and more that can really add up. I'll keep you posted as we create our own version of a Rockin' 50's Reception! Love, Kelly.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Be Empowered

Last week, I committed to finish editing the last 60 pages of my 326 page Young Adult manuscript Colors of the Sea by Earth Day.

I was willing to make sacrifices.  When we ran out of milk, I knew my kids would have to make sacrifices too (we have plenty of soy milk in the pantry).  I did not sweep the kitchen floor when it was covered with spilled jelly beans, nope; I made the sacrifice to ignore that little episode.  Reef watched a bit more Baby Einstein then I’m comfortable with, but still I pressed on.  Mayer couldn’t find any clean jeans for school Friday morning, but it’s not the worst thing to wear the same pair from the day before.  I did make smoothies for the kids when they got home from school, but not before I bribed them to help out with anything that popped up for the next few hours.

I’m happy to say I finished at 6:00pm on Earth Day.  I emailed the manuscript over to Staples.  The counselor and I had a date night starting with a run to the copy store, always romantic, then off the post office where I mailed the manuscript to a dear friend and author who’s been patiently waiting for me to send her my revisions. 
I felt so empowered, like I could do anything.

Before midnight, I emailed my query (I’ve written about 37 of those) to an agent I meet at the Society for Childrens Writers and Illustrators conference here in Scottsdale last fall. 

Wow!  I felt like a million bucks, but then reality set in. My house, my laundry pile, my children begging to do something fun with dear old mom.

So on Saturday afternoon, we set off to Changing Hands and Bookmans.  Not only did I want to donate books for the My Dear Trash Earth Day Book Drive, but I wanted to pick up two $25.00 gift cards I’m giving away on April 30, 2011.  To qualify, become a follower (on facebook too) and leave a comment.

While at the bookstores, I was able to trade in some of my old books for something new.  Both Changing Hands and Bookmans purchase your gently-used books.  I was happy to use my trade as store credit and let the boys pick out some books they liked.  Payson found the entire series of Captain Underpants.
Chandler was excited to find Small Steps, from Louis Sachar author of Holes.
Baby princess found a new friend and a puppy.
I was thrilled to see my editor, Brandi Stewart, the children’s book buyer at Changing Hands.  Brandi helped me through a brutal edit of Colors of the Sea last year.  She’s the best.
After dinner at Chipotle, I took the boys and princess to see my sweet friend Ashley complete her final recital for her music graduate degree at ASU.  Here she is, in her backyard garden, singing the last song of the evening with her husband.  He's her prince charming and their love is something special.
Music in the garden was glorious and the food was just as sweet.
You can read Ashlee's blog by clicking here.  It's worth taking a look at.
She's promised to post the song she sang with her prince.  
I felt so empowered with the whole evening and finishing my manuscript; I decided to take on another task I’ve been putting off.
To re-do my gorgeous $15.00 buffet dresser I found at the high school rummage sale this spring.
I've been wanting to paint this beauty a vintage turquoise blue.
I sanded her up with a professional sander I found a few weeks ago at a garage sale.
I’m half-way there.  
I had no idea painting something ugly into something beautiful would make me feel so strong.  I see the world a whole new way.  I can do anything I want.  I'm going to be doing this more often.  I will not be intimidated by 1970's wood buffet dressers, not today NOT EVER.  I will no longer put off huge projects because I don't feel good enough.   And again, I feel so empowered.
Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Big Challenge Week 3!

It's Week 3 of the big challenge to earn $5,000 in 6 weeks to pay for my daughter's wedding! If you missed week 1 & 2 you can start here. I set an ambitious goal to earn $2,000 just this week. I knew I had an estate sale and I've been listing like crazy on ebay- So.... let's see how I did. Here are this weeks top ebay sellers... Women's Fresh Produce Size XL/XXL Pink Floral Top sold for $19.38
These Women's Royal Robbins Size 12 Teal Nylon Skirt & Shorts were an unfamiliar brand to me, but felt like great quality. I was happy to see they do well on ebay when they sold for $20.50

I love Anthropologie! This Women's Anthropologie Odille Size 0 Floral Silk Dress sold for $20.50
Women's Alyn Paige Size 3/4 Brown Cotton Dress Sold for $20.50
Wrap dresses are a consistent seller- no matter what the brand. This Women's Lane Bryant Size 14/16 Black Wrap Dress sold for $24.00
Women's Ann Taylor Loft Size 8 Pink Linen Dress sold for $26.51

Another unfamiliar brand I pulled from my summer pile: Women's Speed Control Size XL Graphic Floral Dress. It was my top seller of the week at $31.00. In addition to selling on ebay I also held an estate sale for a client. I advertise, organize, stage and price all of the items to prepare for the sale. During the actual sale I usually have Mr. Right and a family member or friend or two on hand to help wrap, load, restage etc. I charge the client 30% for these services. This weekends sale was very successful. I was able to sell everything in the house and go over, what I quoted the client on potential sales. I also sold my first car! I wasn't able to take a 30% commission on the car as my client clearly stated what she needed to profit. My client also allowed me to bring in some of my pieces to sell. It always helps when you have a variety of items to offer: Antiques, modern, etc. Here's how my week added up!

Estate Sale Commission: $800 plus $300 for the car
Estate Sale Personal Sales and Delivery Fees: $400
Ebay Sales: 899.01
Costs: 81.00(clothes), 101.82(ebay fees), 61.95(paypal fees) 49.95 (advertising)
This Weeks Profit: 2104.31
Total Profit: 2931.13

I'm right on track to meet my goal of $5,000 in 6 weeks. I've got one more estate sale coming up next weekend and I'm keeping my space at Qcumberz well stocked. I took things a little easier this week and only listed 31 new items on ebay, however, the wedding invitations are done and will be mailed today!!!! 457 handmade invites! I will share those with you on Friday. Keep us posted on your BIG challenge, we love to hear from you. Love, Kelly.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Sunday

I remember as a child my older sister Krista and I wearing Holly Hobbie-like dresses with little matching ruffled bloomers on Easter Sunday.  I remember the socks with pink bows, hair ribbons and white purses.  Krista and I stood by the front door and plastered our faces with smiles.
My mom loves Easter.  
As a little girl, she bought me my Easter dress and this year she did the same thing.
Standing by the front door in my Easter dress from my mom, I mean I can't break tradition.
My mom brought it over a few weeks ago.   
“Look what I picked up for you at a garage sale for $1.00.”
I love it, mom.  
And these J. Crew patent leather shoes I picked up at Mesa Thrift for $4.98 were the perfect match.  I'm not sure I'll ever shop retail again.
Even for Easter.
And ironically, I found my daughter's Easter dress at a garage sale too.
Eden, you look gorgeous in your $1.00 Easter dress.
The princess baby loves climbing up on our $5.00 garage sale mini-trampoline.  She stays very busy bouncy around.
Have you ever found an Easter or Sunday-best look at a garage sale or thrift store?
My dad taught me the tricks of garaging and thrifting, so it's no surprise he offered up his Easter best.
Yes, that's my dad with about 25 racquetball rackets.  
I can explain!
After a large Easter egg hunt in my parents side yard, my dad sets of a net for a game of “radminton.”
Never heard of “radminton?”
No one else has either because my 4 younger brothers made it up.
Imagine a little tennis, mixed in with badminton, a whiffle ball and racquetball rackets.
It's so fun, it's rad ("rad" is so 1980's, but brothers insist on calling it that!) and that's how radminton was born.
That’s right, my dad found all his radminton goodies out thrifting.  
Quote from dad:
"You can never teach them to young the joys of hitting a ball with a racket."
Keep in mind, my parent’s have 9 children, make that almost 30 grandchildren.  
If you live in Mesa, it’s not likely you’ll find a tennis or racquetball racket out shopping trash if my dad’s been there first.
I wanted to share something with my mom on Easter.
I found her this Harve Benard linen spring jacket for $1.00 at Goodwill.
She wore it with pride! The grandkids are getting ready to start hunting those eggs.  All there Easter baskets were collected from garage sales and thrift stores.  There's plenty to go around.
On your mark, get set, go!
Here's Eden with my older sister, Krista.
It was a beautiful day, 
with just a hint of spring breeze, lots of chocolate and family love.
Hope your day was beautiful too.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chair Rescue

My Earth Day Link is a little late, but I wanted to share my chair rescue.This little beauty was left over after an estate sale I did, so the owner let me keep it- for FREE! The green can be a little deceiving, but it is one of the most comfortable chairs- and it rocks! I took off the skirt, gave it a coat of black paint and took the cushions to my upholstery guy. Here's the after...
Here's a closer look...
The fabric is from a roll we purchased at a yard sale for $3.00- This is the third project I've been able to use it on. Although upholstery work is not cheap, it was totally worth it to revamp this chair- It has become a family favorite. For those curious readers- the antique post leaning against the wall was a recent $3 find at a garage sale. Let me know what you think. Love, Kelly

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Linky Party, Book Drive and $25.00 Give-Aways to Changing Hands and Bookmans

It’s a beautiful Earth Day and welcome to the My Dear Trash linky party.
I found this vintage metal patio table a few weeks ago while out thrifting.  
They don’t make them like this anymore.  
Solid steel, super heavy and all it excellent condition.
I already used if for Payson and Mayer’s birthday party.  
The party was a big hit, with all the expense paid for by selling trash.
Mayer wanted the basketball jumpy he had at his last birthday party.
Reef lounges on a $10.00 garage sale porch sing, enjoying all the fun.
While Eden plays with Daddy on a Little Tikes $5.00 garage sale slide.
What about you?  What have you found lately that you're crazy about?
Link up your trash below and you’re qualified for the two $25.00 give-aways, one from Changing Hands and the other from Bookmans. 
Leave a comment and you’re qualified for the give-aways as well.
If you’re not already, follow My Dear Trash on the blog and on our facebook page.
Have a wonderful Earth Day and share your commitments to bettering our earth.
Linky is open all week.  Give-away winners will be announced at the end of the book drive, April 30th.  
Also, I’m working throughout the day to finish my YA manuscript.  Thank you for all your well wishes.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Making Progress on my manuscript and Earth Day linky party tomorrow.

Two days of writing, editing and dreaming.  I listen to new age music when I write.  It puts me in a trance and I follow my mind wherever it wants to take me. 
Here's a listen to one of my favorites:
The kids have been great, so cooperative.  I want to thank Eden for taking a longer then usual afternoon nap.  Costco pizza to the rescue for dinner last night and the counselor took over dish duty. 
So, where do I stand?
After deleting a chapter and adding a new one, I’m on page 286 out of 306.  I think I still have one more chapter to add, a scene that’s been developing in my mind for the past few weeks.  I have to create more drama between my protagonist and the antagonist.  Drama, conflict, revenge; all in a day’s work.
Tomorrow I start submitting to agents.   I’ve been researching a particular agent who I feel would be a great match.  Here’s to happy endings and new beginnings.
See you tomorrow for the Earth linky party.
For our linky party, add anything trashy, something special you’ve picked up, repurposed or find particularly beautiful.  Maybe it’s something you’ve resold and made a profit off of.  We want to see it. 
Inspire us on Earth Day.
If you want to be entered for the $25.00 Changing Hand Book Store gift card or Bookmans gift card (both stores offer on-line shopping, so you don’t have to live in state to enjoy), leave a comment and become a follower. 
Click here to follow us on facebook too.
If you link up to our Earth Day Linky Party, you can qualify twice.
If you leave a comment about what you’re doing to celebrate Earth Day, you’re qualified again. 
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Big Challenge Week 2

If you missed week one you can go here!
Week 2- Only 4 weeks to go to earn $5,000 for my daughter's wedding. This week has been filled with planning, sewing, invitation design, centerpiece design, address collection and preparing for an estate sale. In addition, I listed 235 items on ebay! Some of those items will not end until later in the week- so will count for week 3's profits- I'm counting on a BIG week 3. I've taken all my craigslist items to the estate sale so nothing to report on craigslist but here's my top sellers this week on ebay...
Women's Sandra Darren Size 6 Graphic Maxi Dress sold for $14.99
Women's Ralph Lauren Size S Brown Suede Leather Suit was purchased for $1.00 and sold for $19.99
I listed this Women's White House Black Market Size M Strapless Dress for $9.99 and had a request for a buy it now- Sold for $19.99
This was one of my New York Goodwill outlet finds: Women's Lane Bryant Size 18/20 Green Striped Wrap Dress- it sold for $21.50
Anthropologie Elevenses Size S Green Floral Dress sold for $24.50
Another New York find: Women's Lane Bryant Size 18/20 Purple Wrap Dress sold for $35.00

And my top seller of the week was a new brand to me: Women's Blanque Size 1 Gray Crop Cotton Pants sold for $36.78. Here's how my week turned out...

Ebay Total:$696.56
Costs: 13.00(clothes), 80.01(ebay fees), 40.51(paypal fees)
This Weeks Profit: 563.04
Total Profit: 826.82

We're on our way! This weeks clothes costs were super low because I only shopped in New York at the outlet and the rest of the clothes were items I've been stock piling for summer. Each week I deduct the total I spent on clothes- not just those I list- So now I'll really start to see the profits. Hang in there with me- I'm expecting a $2,000 week this week- between my estate sale commission, my items for sale at the estate sale and a huge number of items listed on ebay- keep your fingers crossed. Love, Kelly.

To see week 3 of the BIG challenge visit here