Can She Sell This??

green vase 1

It is photographed (finally), although not yet posted for sale. Working title is “Green Vase.” There was a price tag on it, that said $49.50. I will report back in when it officially becomes available to the public, and then the countdown to sale shall begin! So stay tuned!

P.S. I’m taking suggestions on both names for the item and suggested prices. 🙂 In fact, if you want to bid on this and live in Chicago, it could be all yours!

 

 

Be Careful Who You Let Into Your Home

from Craigslist.

I was open and friendly to a female customer last week who had sold things in the past on Craigslist. Albeit unsolicited, she gave me some advice about how to handle things to procure my safety. She suggested using a man’s name, making comments about my boyfriend being home, etc.

And I did only one thing. By happenstance I actually had my boyfriend and his male friend in the apartment when The Craiglist Killer II – The Serial Space Heater Buyer, came over. Luckily, they just happened to come back from Cleo’s down the street. They talked about going to another bar, but I sort of manipulated the situation so that they would chill at the apartment until my buyer came. I felt a little nervous.

and rightly so.

The item he alleged to want to purchase was a Holmes Space Heater. A perfect one at that – in great cosmetic and working condition, a 1-touch digital quiet and heat-generating slick piece of machinery. In fact:

holmes space heater

The Space Heater Serial Killer and I talked on the phone for about a half hour, during which some of the following rules of Craigslist Safety were disobeyed by me:

  • I talked on the phone for a half hour with a craigslist buyer – way too long
  • I revealed personal information about my physical appearance to a man, for example i talked about my hair color
  • I gave a gender and age
  • I’m not certain i said “boyfriend” or “husband” at any point
  • I was female
  • I discussed a current foot injury that imposed a physical limitation to my ability to run, should I need to

He talked to me to an annoying extent over my price. Perhaps not only is it important for me to stand up for myself and my pricing on principle, but also it is important for them – and they believe in what they are arguing. But more often than not, I feel like it’s an insult to the value of my product and service – and that they are arguing over a petty amount of dollars.

I usually veer towards what they are offering, although I have my limits. I know that a Holmes Space Heater is going to get at least $20. And I still ultimately agreed to $18. I do research on the market value of the product. Incidentally, he had offered me $17.50, but having done my laundry earlier that day, I was more than saturated in quarters.

I gave him my address and he said he’d be over for the heater in half an hour. During that time, my boyfriend and another male friend he had been out with came home. I didn’t plan that – although, I did ask them to stay, like I said. And it’s a good thing I did.

The guy – a personal trainer/bodybuilder – came to the door and said he had a present for me. He had JUST STOPPED at Walgreens (I looked at the time, the receipt was in the bag) to spend almost $25 on an ankle rap for me, as I told him I had an injury. That seemed so nice. I gave him the heater and chatted about about it (how hard is he gonna make me work to sell this to him, this is ridiculous, i thought, smiling my way through it).

I was very confident that the thing worked, and my place had guests, a hyper dog, and clutter – but i let him come in and test it. If I did not have people over, I’m not sure what would have happened. He immediately had weird and illogical reactions to the space heater. It’s clearly Grade-A (as verified by my bf and his friend afterwards), and there’s not much to really decide when it comes to an $18 space heater. I even brought a second one that was dirty from my back porch/laboratory that I used, in case he preferred that one. He just seemed like he wasn’t going to buy it, and possibly like he had no intention of buying it in the first place, or else he wanted something that didn’t exist – some huge heater to immediately shoot 90 degree air in your face or something. Like getting in your car, shit takes a minute to warm up. Because for example, he wanted something quiet but seemed to like the revving sound the non-quiet one made. Anyway, I quickly said “you can think about it” and that he could call me back, and he left, skittishly.

What do we think might have happened had i been home alone?

The Pink Princess

So I’m driving along (in an alley, of course) when a young-looking guy (approximately 21) emerges from behind a fence carrying what I knew could become a beautiful nightstand. It had one of my favorite features, which is that the drawer was on the bottom, not the top. There’s no name for this type of drawer placement, btw, at least not per the research that I conducted. He was quite nice, and even helped me secure the piece in the back of my vehicle.

“Are you sure you don’t want it?” I said.

He replied, “Yeah, it’s time for it to move on to someone else.”

ME!!!!!!

I wasn’t sure what to do with the piece at first (I never am) and then the idea struck. You will see this idea in the finished photo below. I think inspiration came from various sources, but in particular I was inspired by this site, found randomly during one of my net-surfing extravaganzas.

I had bought some pretty pink paint from The Home Depot, but at the time I didn’t have any particular use for it at the time of purchase, and I have a huge can of alley-FOUND linen white paint that has been rocking my world. So I decided to do a sweet combination utilizing both colors, that was totally not in my personal taste, or at least not meant for my current home decor, but bound to be perfect for someone else’s.

And it was. I posted it in two sections on Craigslist because I thought it would be perfect for a child’s room (which is ultimately where it went) and threw in some bemusing SEO buzz words like shabby chic and cottage chic, which the piece really was. What befuddles me sometimes is when I read descriptions of other postings that end with something like this: Perfect for your cottage beach home/romantic Parisian apartment…. etc. Who actually has these homes, and wouldn’t they be living off the beach or in Paris, and why would they be on Craigslist? But I digress. It could be more of an Etsy thing, and i don’t play in that space – not yet anyway.

My buyer might have had a cow if she saw the piece before i had done the work. it needed sanding, oh did it need sanding, but luckily I had my favorite toy, this Black & Decker Sander. I also primed the piece to make sure the paint went on as beautifully and smoothly as possible, using this good ole primer. If you ever wonder about what primer you should use, here’s a quote from one of the great employees at Home Depot: “Primer is Primer.” Sound advice, simply stated.

Then on with the paint! I had to decide where to place the linen white so that it didn’t overpower, but rather accented the piece. I think I hit the nail on the head, or the paint on the primer, so to speak.

BEFORE

refurbished nightstand

AFTER
pink1

Now folks, readers, and fans alike, I swear this piece was not commissioned. Here is a photo of it in the child’s room. Could there be a more perfect fit?? 🙂

pink princess

Furniture Bonanza!

Yesterday, I had 4 furniture buyers in 1 day. It was great. It was a lucrative day. It was a bit cray cray.

First thing in the morning, I went out and photographed this turquoise patio table, which only needed a little soap and water clean-up.
patio table1

I then wrote about it, and posted it differently worded enough so as not to be flagged on Craigslist under two categories: furniture and farm and garden. Within the hour I had been contacted by three buyers, including sweet white farmhouse. however, the neighbor who gave me her number and said she can be here within the hour got the table. First come, first serve.

Then I had Chris, also known as 3-Chair-Boy. For $70, he got me to deliver these 3 chairs heartchair1 in the back of my Honda Accord while driving on some very worn down brake pads. To his end, he gave me an ice cream bar and some sore throat drops, and appeared to be pleased that I had delivered something that was to his satisfaction. Sale closed, back on the highway.

Then I fielded a dresser situation and an art buy. The dresser was gorg, but I messed it up, trying to remove what I thought was a paint stain on solid wood. Turns out the wood was either stained or painted, because whatever I did caused some of the finish to rub off. Rather than work on it, I decided to try to sell as is. which worked.
dresserexquisite1

No sooner did the dresser buyer leave, than the Gustav Klimtz lady arrived, not knowing or caring who the artist was, lol. I had spent all that time researching him in my post. She was a cute little Mexican lady who loved to buy trinkets and art, and as a fellow “packrat”, I sold her five pieces of found art for $35 – none of them being the original prints she came for. They were all found in alleys and I already have more art than I know what to do with, so I consider that I good deal! One piece was advertised on craigslist at the time as “equestrian art.”
horse art2

Transformation

This was a lot of work for such a little guy! Many angles to paint from, and much old paint to remove! The new color scheme was inspired by the SKOW desk.

BEFORE

before brown stool2

AFTER
stool4

SOLD FOR $20.

El Latino Milagro

that is the name for this piece.

i had to work at this like a dog while my bf was out of town, because i brought it into the kitchen, and instead of buying a tarp I just used a big rug that i found out back that someone had thrown away. oh did that thing get covered in paint chips. and oh would paul have had a heart attack if he knew what i was doing in the kitchen. but it was easy to just throw the whole rug out when done, a great free way to contain and discard of mess!

The primer that this person used was exceptionally thick and bitchy to remove. I felt a very satisfied feeling though when I unearthed the natural grain of beautiful wood, that this piece would be worth the work.

my advice from this project: do not use an electric or even hand-sander, but rather forge on through all paint removal with the process of chemical stripping. otherwise you lose the grain of the wood and risk blotchiness while staining.

p.s. the girl who bought this said she liked the “weathered” look. WTF does that mean? It also sold within days, with three people pit against each other!

BEFORE

AFTER


SOLD FOR $70

The Two-Year Table

When my boyfriend and I first moved into our apartment, we had no coffee table, and I found one outside our artsy Ukranian Village neighborhood. However, we went on Craigslist furniture and quickly upgraded to someone’s Crate & Barrel coffee table, as ours was legitimately not in the greatest condition.

Paul thought it was hopeless. He thought that because one of the legs was falling off and that because it was chipped, we should ditch it. But I saw the beauty in it, the potential for what it could be. And my friend Melanie Lewis, who happens to be incredibly rad and seasoned in theatrical set design, came over and iterated to me that I do indeed have the power to fix and construct things. Sometimes all it takes is a screwdriver. This may also be the moment when I realized that I, not my boyfriend, am the “handyman” of the relationship.

So this table was my first experience with paint remover, and I used this one.  Oh, the blessed toxicity that I love to inhale and burn my body with! Ok, I try to wear gloves and keep windows open… but to every joke there is some truth!

I actually remember that I didn’t even know that paint remover existed, and I was just trying to scrape the old black paint off this table.  boy that was slow and painstaking. Thank you Home Depot.

I worked on stripping this table to perfection during the summer, and it had some crevices in the legs that took some time. By the time I was done, the season had changed and it was cold, and my work room is not insulated! So I let it sit for a while, until recently, when I decided the time had come to move on this table. I went to Blick Art Materials, bought myself some Blick Artists’s Acrylics, and started painting the table a light blue/violet. I knew that this shade would speak only to a few people, but those whom it worked for would love it. To accentuate the piece, or to just add a final touch, I added an Anthropologie knob to give it some character.

I sold it to the third person who responded to my post for it on Craigslist. The first person was rude.  I was actually going to go out of my way and deliver it to him, and he never got back to me to confirm his time and address. Maybe he thought I was a psycho killer who hides behind painted tables. The second person was waiting to measure her space once her new furniture arrived, and then it happened. One afternoon, a girl wrote to me that she LOVED the table. And I LOVED her right back, because she is exactly who I made it for. I told her that someone else might be interested in it next week (the dimension-waiting woman), and suffice it to say, she was over within hours to take it home with her so nobody else got it.

I hope it’s happy in its new home. 🙂

SOLD FOR $75