Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Speedy Bump Sites for eBay listings

What is a bump?  It is a program that was 1st designed to promote eBay listings. It has been expanded to eBay stores, blogs and several other things. The creator - John- is the owner of auctionbump and speedybump.

How does it Speedybump work? The item listing number is copy and pasted into a box and viola the listing shows up with the picture. 

Imagine a column of 25 boxes.  The bottom box is #1 and the top box is #25.  When you fill in the form with an active eBay listing number it will automatically insert that listing into box # 25.  The item in box #1 falls off - is bumped off! 

The number in front of each link is the number of items the owner of that page allows each seller to have on their page at one time.
5 -
4 -
3 -
4 - 
3 -
4 -
4 - (was Mystery Bump)
5 -
3 -
4 -
? -
3 -
? -
5 -
3 -

Why bump? I think that eBay is spending lots of money on branding and bringing folks to the site.  But with big box stores, and large commercial vendors - I - as a very small speck of sand on the eBay beach - can get lost.  So it is part of my job to help bring people to my store.  And one way I do that is by bumping. 

I have compared myself to a very tiny corner store in a very huge mall.  The mall does a lot of advertising but I need to do something to to get myself noticed,too.  Just sitting and waiting for folks to wander by is not enough for me.   

How do I get noticed? Several years ago I learned about branding myself on eBay.  What does that mean exactly?  To me it means that when someone sees my name or logo they know immediately who I am.  I bet right now if I say a big red bulls eye you would think Target.  That is the idea of branding.  So when I bump my scarves I hope people recognize the mannequin and know it is me.  

What to bump?  Now that is a good question.  I notice that some folks bump the same item over and over again on every bump site. I suspect for some that is the only listings they have and that is great. It is so nice to see them helping themselves.

I like to put different items on every site in order to give a broad overview of my offerings. Here's how I do it - I go to the list of all my listings and then sort by whatever - never by best match or ending soonest.  (Don't want to bump something that is ending today.)

It depends on my mood and what is happening - some days I will do a color like pink in Oct.for breast cancer awareness, another time highest price 1st, or just Christmas items, only scarves or rubber ducks or I follow a theme or holiday. Somedays I will do one of each of my largest category items per bump site. So it is really up to each seller to decide what they want to promote.  

How do we know results? - When you go to My eBay page on the right side near the bottom there is a link to traffic reports. Click on it (doesn't work all the time), go to finding methods and referring web sites.  It is really interesting to see how the report changes from month to month. 

Can I say an item I bumped today sold?  For the most part no.  Have I made sales within a category and 24 hours of bumping? Yes! Does it matter if an item that is bumped sells or not?  It would be nice but as long as people visit my store and buy something or know what I have so when they need it they can come back, I am satisfied.  

I can go through that whole list in 10 minutes.  Who can't afford 10 minutes a day to promote themselves and drive their own traffic? 

In the end we all have to be responsible for our own business and not totally rely on someone else to bring us customers.  

And we have to be so grateful to the owners of the bump sites for allowing us to promote ourselves on their page / blog.  Thank you bump site owners!!  

(If you like what you read please leave a comment, or Like on Facebook or Retweet - thanks.)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Sale and Gift Ideas

Here are some ideas from our eBay store for Holiday gift giving and stocking stuffers.
 Many of our items make great gifts for teachers, helpers, grab bags and so many more - Scarves, visors, shoelaces. Priority shipping is available on the majority of our listings.

Scarf Clips to go with all our long scarves.
35+ Fun, Clean Gag and Survival Kits
Many Antique and modern Christmas Tree Ornaments
And our own creations- Louise's String Scarves - so soft and so warm.
Both Gene and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you visit our store often because we are always adding new merchandise.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Parking Space for an Electric Car

 OK I know I don't get out much - but who knew?  This was in Chicago the end of Sept. 2011.

This is in a parking lot for a Walgreen store on Fullerton near Central Park St. in Logan Square area
Looks like a parking meter.  I was so enthralled I didn't even look to see if it was free.
Well we don't have anything like this YET in Colorado Springs.  (At least I don't think so). 

 WIth Chicago traffic what it is this is such a great idea for a store to entice customers to come to that location so they can charge up while shopping.  Very clever indeed!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reflections back as we approach Thanksgiving Day 2011

I just did a status update in Facebook and thought that would make a good blog.

It started off by saying I was grateful I was born when I was.  I don't think there was a time in any of our lives that was simple or uncomplicated by those things around us like war and prejudice and the daily struggles of living. But growing up and while we were still in school, most of that was a non issue for us.

But we all survive by doing the best we can.   Last week we were at a craft show and the fire alarm went off.  We had to go outside and wait for the fire department to do a check of the high school and turn the alarm off.  One woman was just beside herself.  Pacing and mumbling that this was ridiculous and it will be at least 1/2 hour before we can go back in because they will have to check the whole school and on and on.  

I said "hey lady, it is what it s and better safe than sorry".  But isn't that is a true testament of the world we live in?  She was inconvenienced.  She was going to maybe make a sale, and it was all about her.  How did we ever get to such a self centered place? 

When I was growing up we had a telephone and lay on the floor in the evening listening to the radio.  We got a TV in the early 50's - a Dumont with a tiny little screen, but oh how it was so precious. 

There was no air conditioning in houses (for regular folks anyhow) and I remember sleeping downstairs on a sheet on the living room floor in June 1958 in NY when it was too hot and sticky to sleep upstairs in our beds.  

When we went to church we dressed up - a hat, gloves and even stockings  (with seams that we had to constantly check to see if they were straight.).  And there were corsages for special occasions.

When there was a birthday, anniversary or even if someone was sick, we sent a card and / or actually called on the phone. 

Cars didn't have turn signals - we had to stick our arm out the window and no seat belts either.  A baby car seat hooked over the front seat facing front.  The kids played with the little horn that was attached to the seat.

Our music is what is now called the Oldies but Goodies - the very beginning of rock and roll.  There were sock hops every Friday night and I won a dance contest and got to go New York City and be on Ted Steele's T.V. Dance show.  (That was before Dick Clark!).  We listened to Alan Freed on WINS radio. 

People were respectful of themselves and others.  Adults were addressed as Mr. or Mrs.  In-laws were Mom or Dad (out of respect to our spouses),

So like so many, I am thinking back to what it was and what it is today and thinking I would not change any of those early experiences.  They have given me the attitude that things are what they are and not much I can do about it, except live my life. 

I really like living in Colorado, I love our home and being close to my son and his family.  The crafts shows and eBay keep our minds and bodies active and hope we can continue doing it all for many more years. (Someone inferred the other day that 69 and being a grandma was old - really!?  I am 69 and certainly don't feel or think I am decrepit and need special handling!)

Please take time to be grateful for the all things that made you who you are and share them with your family and friends this Thanksgiving Day. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Homemade Cranberry Relish - Cooked

The best way to start making cranberry relish is to wash then sort through the cranberries removing any soft or shriveled ones.
 I usually follow the recipe on the bag - 2 oranges, 2 cups of sugar and 1 bag of cranberries. I put the cranberries into the pot whole and either grind or grate the oranges in the salad shooter.  Stir in sugar.

Cook until the cranberries start to burst and the liquid thickens.  

Serve in a crystal bowl on your Thanksgiving Dinner table where the rich red color shine through!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blogging Challenge at Virtual Online Learning

Twice a month VOL sponsors a blogging challenge.  We write about anything and then promote it on the Private VOL membership site, their Facebook Fan page and wherever else we promote ourselves and blog.  

Virtual Online Learning is a mentoring group started by Danna Crawford -  Lifetime membership includes free webinars and help and advice or members from each other or Danna.  There are all levels of expertise.  As an experienced seller, I think that sometimes it is good to answer newby questions to help keep my knowledge fresh and currant. 

Our Traditional Thanksgiving Day & Dinner Menu

Thanksgiving at the Sanchez Home

 Thanksgiving is the most important family gathering meal of the year for Gene and I.  All other holidays seems to have distractions like Christmas being for the kids and their new toys or Easter with the egg hunt and Easter Bunny.  

Thanksgiving is the time to reflect on how lucky we are.  Some years it has been just the 2 of us, other years a houseful and the remaining years just a few family and friends.  No matter how many there are at the table there is always enough food to feed alot more people  LOL.

I try to get a head start on alot of the meal on Wed. so there is not too much too do and I can enjoy the day too. The cornucopia is done the day before if I don't have any help.  Otherwise one of our kids do it Thanksgiving morning with at least 10 different fruits and nuts. . 

We start the day with watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and eating fried bread dough - a reminder of my grandmother who set bread to rise the night before and made the loaves in the morning.  She always had leftover dough to fry and serve just dripping with melted butter.  
Next is getting the turkey in the oven.  I make 2 stuffings (just bread, celery and onions, s&p with alittle broth) - in the cavity is the sage and thyme and in the neck, our family favorite, with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.  It perfumes the bird and makes the house smell awesome.  

The turkey is covered with sliced salt pork.  No other seasoning on the bird.  Again a throw back to Grandma. The salt pork makes a great basting liquid and it is basted every 30 - 45 minutes. 

I remove the salt pork when the salt pork starts looking done and baste really good after is is removed and alittle more often to give the turkey a great color and crispness.  

Notice rubber ducks on the dinner plates that I used as place card holders.  hee hee! 
2 Stuffings;
Gravy - using drippings and browned flour;
Mashed Potatoes;
Sweet Potatoes;
Cranberry Relish - also home made cooked with oranges;        
Yellow Turnip (Rutabagas) - chopped coarsely with some salt pork;
Creamed onions - little boiling ones;
Green Beans - sometimes pain sometimes the casserole;
"Crunchies" - Celery, radishes (cut fancy), carrots, scallions;
Bread or rolls - always homemade.

Apple Cider

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie - made from fresh pumpkin
After Dinner Mints

After dinner brandy or?


String Scarves Scarf

I posted about these last year and have been making them ever since.  They are made of polyester yarn and no wool, which makes them totally washable.  Even though they are light weight the yarns are soft, cozy and warm. Each one is at least 25 strands of a minimum of 4 -6 different yarns. 

We are selling them on eBay and at craft shows.  I will consider special orders of various colors or team colors too. 

Rainbow - light pastels
Camo - greens

Red Hat - Red, Purple, Lavender
Denim colors - Shades of Blues

Black and white

These exact scarves may not still be available but check out the current listings.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rubber Ducks

Oh! my goodness these are great fun.  So many folks collect them to put on their desk, work station, to put in the hot tub or just to line up on a shelf. 

Most everyone (of all ages) who sees them have to look at all of them and play with them.  They are 2" squirters, not floaters. Because they are made in China we do not recommend them for littler children because of the paint and the soft plastic.

We have them all listed on eBay individually because most folks want only 1, not 4 not 12 of each theme.  We do offer bulk pricing too for party favors or?? 

There are over 100 but here are a few of the newest ones. 

Bride.  Groom too

6 different wizards

Brown rooster and all farm animals with the farmer
Marine and all military, plus patriotic holding the American flag.
Construction workers, Fireman, Police, Nurse
4 different reading ducks as per a request of a teacher at our last craft show.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

50th Anniversary WEST SIDE STORY

Turner  Classic Movie (TCM) advertised on their cable channel that they has remastered West Side Story for the movies 50th anniversary and were having the release in movie theaters on Wed. 11/9 with release on Blu Ray on 11/11.

This movie is Gene's all time favorite movie and I surprised him with a date night.  Finally told him where we were going about 4 days before the event and he was walking around giggling because he was so looking forward to it.

50th Anniversary of.....

TCM Presents
West Side Story

Robert Osborne host of TCM did some interviews before the movie
Also Marni Nixon (who sang for Natalie Wood)  and George Charkis (Bernardo).  They revealed that when Natalie Wood was told her singing voice was going to be replaced she had a hissy fit and made life miserable for all of them. 

Russ Tamblyn as Riff / Jets

 Sorry these photos are not so good because I used my phone off the movie screen.

P.S. - And he absolutely loved seeing it on the big screen again. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Apple Harvest, Fish Creek, Door County, WI

Door County is know for their Cherries and we did bring home 5 pounds of frozen cherries.  I intend to do jam and pie with them.  

But while we were there the apples were being harvested. 

The day before we were there there was a very bad wind storm   (See my other blogs about that.) What a shame - can you see all the apples on the ground?  Just awful.

Those Honey Crisp Apples are delicious.  Great for eating and cooking too.

A few were still on the trees.  This is a pick it yourself orchard too.

Or you can get them already bagged!!

It was pumpkin time too.  I really like the pure white ones. 

And my Apple Kuchen cake.  There is another blog with the recipe too. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Funny Gag Survival Kits for Stocking Stuffers or a thoughtful Gift

We have created these survival kits for several years now.  Each one contains 10 items with a card explaining what each item means.  There are many different titles and no 2 are the same.  

They are clean and intended just to be funny and bring a smile to a recipients face.

For any age.  We also have Old Age Pills

Also Grandmother, Grandparents, Mother, Father and Parents

Also Coach, Karate Instructor, Karate (student), Teacher, Student & School Bus Driver

Friday, November 4, 2011

Green Tomato Relish Recipe

Green Tomato Relish 
48 small tomatoes (2 - 2 1/2" diameter) (I used about 10 large) to = 2 qt.ground
8 green bell peppers (medium size)  I used 2 very large 
2 red bell peppers (optional) (I used 1 very large)
10 medium onions (I used 5 large)
2 tsp salt
5 cup sugar
5 cups cider vinegar
3 Tbs celery seed*
2 Tbs dry mustard* (I used mustard seed*)
2 Tbs turmeric
1 Tbs minced garlic

Grind all the veggies. (I used the medium blade)
(I put them into a strainer to drain the juice because there is enough juice from the vinegar and cooking.  But if you like alot of juice then leave it in).
Combine sugar, vinegar and spices, bring to a boil.
Add ground veggies and garlic. Simmer 20 minutes.

Seal in sterilized pint jars and process in hot water bath for 5 minutes.  

Recipe says it makes 10 pints - 
With what I used and draining the liquid it made 8+ pints.  (my canner will only hold 8 pints so I reduced the amount of veggies so I would not have to do 2 batches!) 

Uses - I like it in place of 'store bought' pickle relish, or poured over a block of cream cheese and to serve with crackers for a buffet table or appetizer. 

* Available from Herbs Crafts Gifts - email us for more info

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fish Boil, in Door County WI

Wow? Who knew??!!  I never heard of a Fish Boil until I started reading about Door County.  I suppose they are done other places but it is a tradition on this peninsula that lies between Lake Michigan and Green Bay. 

We were in Sturgeon Bay at the Comfort Inn and this restaurant was just down the road.  Fantastic bakery too.
The fish boil starts with a large kettle on a wood fire. 

At the right time the boilmaster puts in the carrots, little red potatoes and onions. The veggies cook for awhile and then the white fish is put in.  Because the fish is oily, an ugly foam and scum form at the top of the water
Just before the meal is finished cooking, the boilmaster and his helpers throw kerosene onto the fire (only).  It flames up, makes the water boil over and the scum and oil flow out of the pot over the sides. The remaining broth is clear and flavorful.

The flames settle down and the cooking process is complete.
The inner pot is carried into the kitchen for serving.

The white fish is from Lake Michigan.  They serve the steaks because the fillets would just fall apart in the boiling water.  There is also a side of coleslaw and bread. 

 We have eaten in alot of restaurants and alot of different food, but I have to say this meal is very close to the top of favorites.  Not at all fishy since none of the oil remained.  For folks who know me - Gene usually gets to share what I can't eat.  He didn't get any of this meal tho'!!