Thrifty Finds – July 21

Green Tool Box a

I haven’t written about any of my junking finds lately.  I have been to some garage sales and a couple of auction sales, but not nearly as many as usual.  I have been working hard this month getting my shop restocked with awesome junk after doing almost nothing with it from late March through early June.  Here are a few items.

This green metal toolbox is one of my favorites.  Love the color.  It is in very good condition and could be used for so many different storage options.

Blue Tool Box a

Not only metal toolboxes, but wood, handled toolboxes are items I always pick up.  Love the blue color on this one.

Blue Train Case a

Finding a few different train cases as well.  This blue train case is perfect for storage.  I have a black Samsonite one that I have to get listed soon.

Sewing Drawer a

I used to find a lot of drawers from old sewing machines.  I don’t come across them nearly as often, but I do pick them up when I can.  This one is a typical design for a sewing machine drawer.  However I have another one with a great pull knob also listed.

Bright Pink Hat a

I have found some fun and funky hats.  I love the color of this bright pink puff hat.

Orange Wool Cloche Hat a

Or this orange cloche hat.  I have quite a few hats listed.  Fall will be coming when wearing hats will be easier than in this hot weather.

Crochet Half Apron Blue White a

I have also listed many different vintage aprons. From this crocheted apron.

Gray Apron Basket a

To this embroidered fruit basket apron.

Funky Flower Full Apron a

To full aprons like this funky flower full apron. Right now I have listed over 25 vintage aprons.

Even though I have not been writing about my junking or my Etsy shop, that is still apart of my life. Still enjoying it.  Life is good.


A – Z Reading Survey

I came across this survey at Writing Christian Novels and thought it would be fun to try. It originated at The Perpetual Page Turner.  Check them out for fun answers from those ladies.

Author you’ve read the most books from:
Sidney Sheldon.  Loved his mysteries.  He did a fabulous job of bringing several characters together and then tying it all together at the end. He never over did the blood and gore. I think I read all of his books back in the day.  More recently it would have to be Karen Kingsbury followed by Kristin Hannah.

Best Sequel Ever:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  I actually enjoyed this book even more than the first one, Hunger Games.  Needless to say I am looking forward to seeing the movie this November.

Currently Reading:
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston  This book was assigned to my 12th grade son for summer reading for his AP English Lit class.  I decided to read it too.  Really struggling with it.  Just not seeing the point in the book.  I am 3/4ths done.  Hope it all comes together at the end.

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Hot tea or Mio flavored water.

E-reader or Physical Book?
Definitely a physical book.  Love the smell and feel of a book. I also find looking for books in our public library relaxing and a form of entertainment. I am glad that e-readers are out there and do read a book on it from time to time.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
No idea. Dated my husband in high school.  Still very much in love with him so can’t imagine dating anyone else.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
The Host by Stephenie Meyer I do not read vampire books, so I have not read any of her Twilight books.  However a friend loves those books.  She encouraged me to try The Host since it doesn’t have vampires.  I really enjoyed this book.  I love to read books with moral dilemmas or books that blur who is good and who is bad.  They make you think.  This one did that for me.

Hidden Gem Book:
 After by Amy Efaw This was one that I picked up when browsing the library.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
For me this is a strange question….probably the day I learned to read.

Just Finished:
 Fly Away by Kristin Hannah.  The sequel to Firefly Lane

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Erotica, Vampire books and True Crime novels with gratuitous blood and gore

Longest Book You’ve Read:
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini  It was 860 pages.  The thing is I read it and the other 3 books in the series out loud to my boys.  That is a lot of words.  I hope to read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas some day. It has over 1200 pages.

Major book hangover because of:
Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

Number of Bookcases You Own:
I usually borrow my books.  Those I own are in a couple of boxes.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
I don’t read books multiple times because there are too many out there too read.  Why waste my time rereading.

Preferred Place To Read:
Propped in bed

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
I don’t have one.  I can never remember quotes.

Reading Regret:
I wish I wasn’t forced to analyze classics to death in high school.  Didn’t enjoy them and then didn’t pick up a classic until just a few years ago.  I would have missed out on Frankenstein or Animal Farm if I hadn’t started to read them again.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
I really can’t think of any that I need to finish right now.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
I am picking a classic, a Christian fiction and a non fiction:                                          The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom                                                                          This Side of Heaven By Karen Kingsbury                                                                      Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think  by Brian Wansink

Unapologetic Fan Girl For:
Catherine Anderson.  She writes romances.  I don’t read romances often, but every once in a while I will.  Whenever I have read one of her books I have enjoyed them.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
I don’t usually pay attention to what is coming out. I don’t feel the need to read something as soon as it is out.  So instead, a book I am waiting for from my library is Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa Terkeurst

Worst Bookish Habit:
I check out more books from the library at one time than I can ever read. Always have 5-8 books sitting on my dresser waiting to read.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Again, I don’t really have a bookcase, so instead I am listing the book that is 27th on my “Read” list on Goodreads….Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  It was one that I kept hearing about and finally read.  At times I really enjoyed the book and at times I really did not like it at all.

Your latest book purchase:
I rarely buy books, but I just bought Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien for my son for $.25 at a garage sale.  I haven’t read The Lord of the Rings books yet, but they are on my list to read.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason.  It is the third in a series and I just had to see how they all came together.

There you go.  Hopefully you will find a book or two to put on your “to read” list.  I would love any suggestions as to a “must read”.

2 Years – It’s Still Life Shop

Happy 2 Years

Today is my 2 year anniversary selling on Etsy.  My It’s Still Life shop went live on July 12, 2011.  I remember how scared I was to start selling online. The most intimidating aspect was the shipping.  Some day I will do a post on how I ship.  I have found it easier than I ever imagined it would be.

I have had a wonderful time selling in my shop. In those 2 years I have had 399 sales.  Many of my customers communicate very little with me.  They purchase an item.  I send them a note to thank them and let them know when I will be shipping the product.  Sometimes I don’t hear from them again.  Sometimes I receive feedback through the formal Etsy system.  So far it all has been good feedback.

Some awesome feedback I received just this year:

“Thanks Karen.  The casserole arrived in perfect condition, as was to be expected with your excellent packaging.  Its gorgeous, and I’m looking forward to using it.  Thanks.”

“Great item, great seller! Shipped super fast. Would definitely buy from again in the future!”

“Fast shipping, suitcases as described, and the seller was really helpful and nice. Can’t recommend enough!”

“Lovely and attentive shop owner–great product.”

Yes, those kind of comments really can make my day, and on my down days can get me motivated to get listing.

However, sometimes a customer will communicate with me as to why they made the purchase.  For example these brass pigs.

Brass Pigs a

I listed the pigs on May 22, and they sold on June 3.  The customer left me this note on the order.  “I am going to use these in my wedding on June 16th, if you can send them out ASAP I would really appreciate it. Thanks.”  Brass pigs in a wedding….hmm I wish I could see that wedding. Of course I rushed them out my door.  Believe it or not the post office messed up.  But the customer communicated with me about it.  It all ended up working out.  He left me this feedback, “Above and beyond. Karen helped me get through a mess up by the post office so I could get my brass pigs I ordered form her in time for my wedding. The best customer service I have ever received. Thanks!!” Wow, made my week.

After the wedding I received this note from my wonderful customer.  “The pigs turned out great. I took them to a silver-smith and had them turned into our wedding cake knives (it’s a long story).”  Don’t you just love that. I love that my customer told me what happened to those pigs and how they were used. He even sent me a photo of them. I asked if I could show you the photo, but never got permission, so I am not adding that photo.  I would love to know the whole story, but this just “tickles me pink”.  Ha.  Really I love hearing how the vintage items I rescue are being used.

Selling on Etsy is a lot of work.  The time it takes to find the items, clean them, take photos of them, research the item, write a description, estimate postage, mail the package and keep track of the information for tax purposes can really add up.  However, it fits well with my life as a stay at home Mom and homeschooler.  I love the “rush of remembering” when I find items I had when I was a kid.  I love that items are being saved, reused, recycled, enjoyed.  I really enjoy the people I am able to “meet” at my shop.

So if you have even considered selling items, vintage or hand-crafted, check out Etsy.  It has been an awesome place to sell.

Today I am celebrating and thinking of all the happy things over the past 2 years.  If you sell online, I would love to hear how you have enjoyed it?  If you don’t sell, but think you might enjoy it, why not?  What are you waiting for?

Happy Anniversary to It’s Still Life

Happy Anniversary

Today It’s Still Life and my little blog turn 2.  I can not believe that I have been writing this blog for 2 years.  I started selling my items just a couple of weeks later.  It has been so much fun.


I have written 385 posts in those two years; that averages to just over one every other day.  I have enjoyed this so much more than I could have ever imagined.  So if you are thinking of starting a blog…go for it.  I have met some wonderful people, as well as it has kept me motivated on my down days.

So today, I am celebrating…my blog is 2 and summer seems to have finally arrived.

All or Nothing Personality

Sugar Snacks

I know that I have an all-or-nothing type personality.  I remember realizing it when I was in college.  I had a snack machine right outside my dorm room suite door. I passed that machine every day and didn’t even think about it.  But then one day about two weeks prior to the year ending, I decided to have a snack from the machine with a friend.  That did it.  I thought about a snack every time I walked by, and in those two weeks I had a snack from that machine every day.  No will power for me. I either can’t think about something or when I do, I will fight it till I give in.  Thank goodness I didn’t try it at the beginning of the year. Can’t imagine what I would have looked like.

I have known this about me for years, yet never really think about it too much.  However I recently read and article by Gretchen Rubin on her blog about the One-Coin Argument.  One coin doesn’t make you rich, yet at some point one coin will make you rich. A great paradox.

Over the last couple of years I have been changing my eating habits due to health issues.  6 months I stopped eating sugar in order to stop my dependency on sugar.  I love me some sugar, but I knew it was causing some of my issues.  The first three days were tough, but then I felt so much better when I wasn’t eating sugar.  It made a huge difference, but I thought I couldnt’ NOT eat sugar always, so I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate it back into my diet in small amounts.

Ice Cream

Well that hasn’t gone so well because of my all-or-nothing personality. I was telling myself one, small sugary snack wouldn’t make a difference.  I did well at first, but then I travelled a lot in March and found that “one” didn’t make a difference but that I was regularly adding that “one coin” to my day. Before I knew it, “one” turned into “four”, I was back to being addicted to sugar.

So I am trying to re-regulate my body, and I am spending some time trying to figure out how I change my all-or-nothing personality when it comes to sugar.  I can’t go on being addicted to sugar, I just don’t feel good when I do and it affects my family.  Yet I am not sure how to incorporate a little in my diet without totally crashing and eating too much.  Oh the joys of life. 🙂  I just know I am going to keep trying.

So what about you?  Do you have a One-Coin mentality on something that you are working on getting out of your life or making it a habit?

Oh and yes, the photos are of some of my favorite sugar snacks.  I have mostly given up Coke, but the other items still get me.

Our Wish For You, Z

How can 16 years have gone by so quickly.  They all say it goes by in a blink of an eye. We didn’t believe them.  No one does, but oh, it is so true.  Maybe there is a lesson there, even if no one believes it, that doesn’t change what the truth is…truth.

Sweet 16.

So on this day when you were born 16 years ago, we look at you with pride of who you are and who you are becoming.  God knew what He was doing when He gave you to us.  You are perfect for our family.  We hope you have learned half as much as we have learned from you.

Yes, we want to wish you all the happiness, warm water, blue skies, and never-ending hot tamales bowl in the world.  You deserve all good things.  You are a special soul.

But what we really are wishing for you is everything you need to become the person God made you to be.  You need the good and the bad. The happy and the sad.  Times of need and times of abundance.  The balance of all good things.  As you grow into adulthood, we pray that you will revel in the good, happy times.  Grab on, savor those moment.  May they be the majority of the times in your life.  They will be, if you look for the good in all things. 

If you don’t know about pain and trouble, you are in sad shape.  They make you appreciate life.  Evel Knievel

However, we wish you just enough struggles to make you appreciate the easy life when it comes.

We wish you a few tears to realize how life is so good when there is sunshine and life is rolling along.

We wish for you to know that your Mom and Dad are here for you through it all. We are your biggest fans and will cheer you along the way and boost you up when you need it.

The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life.  “Why,” I answered with a thought, “now.”  David Grayson

So we pray that you grab on to this year, revel it in.  You won’t be 16 again.  Enjoy, laugh, try something new, expand your horizons, go for the gold.  Just remember, dear son, don’t forget to smell the peanuts along the way.