Tuesday, August 21, 2012

flowers, mason jars, and driveway sales

So. Hello!! David and I took our last (hopefully!) qualifying exam on Thursday, and it was satisfying to finish it well (we find out official results by the end of this week). Prime example of ourselves walking away from test: me: "that plane wave question was interesting! my math said that it became left circular polarized after the perfect conducting interface. but I have no idea whether it was." husband: "oh, it was. my math didn't quite work out but I knew it should be left circular polarized after the interface, so I just explained it." me: "how. do. you. know. these. things."

Since that time, my brain has been recovering  in its own way...and have not forgotten about you, my bloggery friends! I've been working on finishing my chair reupholstery project, which I hope to share in the next couple days. It's taken longer than I thought, though, because the last step is eating. my. lunch. Seriously. If I ever accept a chair with no fabric pattern again, someone please remind me how crazy I apparently am. It is rather like wrapping a v. oddly shaped present. With one piece of stiff wrapping paper. And trying to keep that one piece of wrapping paper looking perfect. BUT I still have hopes that the chair will pull through, and I will celebrate by curling up on the perfect fabrics with a cup of tea.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share the randomness that was the Weekend After Daunting Exam 
(aka Weekend Without Brain Cells). 

Driveway Sale

For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to have a yard sale the morning after the exam. This weekend was the only weekend of the year in our town that we don't need the $15 permit to have a yard sale, and assumedly the college students are back in full force. So I made some signs, added our address to the free list, and posted an ad on Craigslist that included this photo after I somehow convinced husband to get out of bed early in the morning and set up with me:

This is from the web cam on my laptop. I am that lazy.

(See some of my crafteries on the middle table?!) Umm yah. Somehow it looked like more in my head, before I got it all out there... o_0 My first two customers didn't buy anything and I believe I went inside and told husband it was a flop and no one was going to buy anything. I simultaneously realized that 'savers' have a distinct advantage re. garage sales over us perpetual cleaners. 

However, it turned out that Oklahomans just aren't early birds, (despite their 'Sooners' nickname??), and we ended up making about $150 on the sale! We sold almost everything the first day, and I reasoned (selfishly?) that it was not worth getting up on Saturday to sell the leftover bits, because if there's not enough stuff people just drive by without stopping. This turned out to be Decision of Century, because Saturday we had the first rainstorm we've seen in months!! Literally. Since tornado season.

Image from the Norman Transcript - these Oklahomans don't remember what to do when it rains :)

Yay that I didn't get up to try to have a yard sale and get rained out! Fortuitous woot :) Soo I learned the following from our first driveway sale experience:
  • Random little kid toys sell surprisingly well, because said kids are out yard saling with their mothers, who give them a bit of $ to spend to keep them occupied
  • As Pinterest suggested, having a lot of small items (10-50 cents) helps, because once people pick up one thing to buy, they're more likely to pick up more items
  • College students will always buy tiki torches
  • You never know what people will buy (or at least I don't), so might as well put out everything you can think of. Our random old closet bifold doors, and beer glasses, sold, while the tile cutter and other items I thought would sell didn't.
  • Advertising is key, and not always cheap. I got on our free city's list this weekend, posted on Craigslist, and then invested $6 in foamboard signs that I put up at the main roads and such pointing to our house. I felt v. silly doing it and my thrifty self protested buying the sunny yellow foamboard, but it was totally worth it. You cannot sell the stuff if the people do not know you are out there :)
  • Have change on hand! Yes, I somehow forgot about this. Fortunately a lot of our initial customers paid in $1's, and we had a change dish in our kitchen that husband pulled out. Phew.
My crafteries were not a huge hit (Oklahomans are cheap, and I was selling my crafteries for not-cheap, because I was curious if they'd sell but was not about to give them away if they wouldn't sell), until one woman from TwoHipChicks came buy and bought quite a few items! She wants me to make more tornado wood projects to sell in their store, so I might try doing that this fall. :) She bought my white-washed crate (I'm going to make another one for our newspapers pile again), a chevron pillow I made of leftover fabric, an apothecary jar that I'd done a mercury glass finish on, and a few other items.

In addition to turning clutter/crafts into a bit of cash, I managed to meet some neighbors (including a former student of mine - fortunately he doesn't seem to have bad memories ;) ), score a BBQ invite, get motivated into making kitteh greeting cards and taking them to a consignment store, and meet the 2HipChicks woman. Woohoo!

Shy Fluffies

And then there was this:

I know, I can't resist the kitteh photos!! Izzy is seriously the most patient mama cat we've had. This kitten fell asleep on her tail and she sat like this for seriously an hour, only, I'm assuming, to avoid waking the kitten. Haha. I realized the kittehs have gotten a bit shy since we haven't been home as much the last week or two, so I've been trying to socialize them a lot now. They love sleeping in baskets. Like, a lot.

photo uploaded at full resolution for the fellow kitteh lovers out there.
Hehee. And they are v. proud of themselves when they manage to climb up on windowsill.

It's kind of impressive how much kittens sleep and all the random places they decide are comfy.

I looove having the sunroom looking so bright and clean these days. And the tile floor is a.maz.ing. for keeping clean with kittens! Night and day. Crazy that I was only 50/50 on whether to tile the floor, since I looove it so much! (Don't worry, I put out lots of soft blankets for kittens to sleep on...although as you can see, they prefer their own spots. I think they like how the tile stays cool in the warm afternoons.)


Annnd then we tried to just catch up on all the life stuff that got neglected in pre-crucial-exam phase. My lethargic self has been slow on this, but when I went to buy groceries, I let myself buy these sweet flowers for our dining room table, and it has been brightening all my days so much! Look how gorgeous they are. It's the little things, people.

Look how OCD I am right now - I plucked off all the leaves because they were too crooked and fold-y.  Just letting myself be me :) And we are loving drinking out of mason jars like this one these days!! Have I mentioned?! We found that a brand of spaghetti sauce comes in these jars, and pesto sauce comes in little mason jars. So we are slowly getting a 'free' set of glasses...I love how much ice water they hold, and their simple rustic style. Love. (I have found the easiest way to get the glue off is to hand wash and pull off the label - don't put in dishwasher, because glue gets gummy and is harder to get off -then scrape off excess glue with small utility knife. Works like charm and is v. OCD-satisfying.)

Sooo that was recovery weekend, along with cooking and relaxing with husband. And watching X-Files for the first time(!). Annnd working on reupholstery *glares over at almost-finished, ornery chair*! Am determined to finish. And share. Is coming.


  1. Congrats on nearly finishing both of you! And that's awesome about all the cool contacts you made at the yard sale!

  2. Thanks Annabel! Yah I'm excited about meeting the lady from the shop especially - it would be fun to make tornado wood projects for them!

  3. Nice one on the garage sale. We did one here last year and we had lots of stuff, but I did not think we would make much (we had done one in Fort Collins three years ago, where we made about $15), but we would made $90! So nice. ;)

  4. Woohoo good job!! Yah we didn't want to do it on a weekend where we had to get a permit because we didn't know if we'd break even if we spent $15 on permit! Haha. Selling the convertible sofa, some remodeling leftovers and my crafteries definitely made up the bulk of our profits. The best part is definitely having less stuff around!! Ahhh I can hear the house relaxing :D


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