Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

May 5, 2015

Shop Talk: What's New

Speaking of our ambitious shop goals, I'm pleased to report that we've had the shop stocked non-stop (say that ten times fast), since re-opening last September!  I joked on Monday about what a feat that is.  When we first opened, about three years ago, we got into this terrible habit of running it for a few months, making a few sales, then shutting down for a year or more, then re-opening and running it for a few months, then shuttering it again.  We've been closed more than we've been open!  It wasn't lack of interest - when we closed corresponded with time I spent in Budapest for my PhD research, first a month long language course, then a four month research stint.  Then Hubs and I moved across the province, so the shop was put on the back burner again.  It's made it decidedly less fun because getting started is usually the hardest part of any task, so this system was really terrible.  But we've now been open steadily eight months or so.  Yay!  I know we should be embarrassed by celebrating this incredibly small feat, but for us - me especially - it feels like a really big deal.

In addition to our shop sales, we've held a few successful Instagram sales, sold some larger vintage items locally, and we took part in a great flea market recently - which was surprisingly lucrative.  We're actually thinking of doing more vintage shows/flea markets, and the pop-up shop I've casually mentioned is looking even better now (we have the perfect venue, but it means performing a Herculean task in 36 hours).  We've even decided to dabble with eBay!  Have any of you listed items on eBay?  It took forever - simply because everything was new to me -  but we put up our first listing the other day.

I have no idea how to eBay, but I'm determined to keep trying.  It's just easier using Etsy, because it's so familiar.  I listed a bunch of new items, actually, and wanted to share my currents favorites...

This gorgeous bowl is West German pottery.   It caught our eyes because it boasts a gleaming green glaze coupled with a brown, faux bois exterior.  Both my Mom and I wanted to keep it, and we might still, but neither of us has the room (if we're being honest).

I had barely reached for these quirky solid wood egg cups when Hubby said, "No."  Wet blanket.  I think they are adorable and they will brighten someone's brunch.  I'm spreading joy, here.

You know me, brass isn't my thing, but that doesn't stop me from loving it in other people's homes!  This brass wall pocket, made in Italy, is a sturdy little guy, ready to hold a small cactus or air plant.  I'm probably going to bite it on the shipping because he's a beast. 

Similarly, "Western," is not how one would describe my style, but when I'm picking for the shop I try to narrow in on things that are unusual, beautiful, or on trend.  Certainly leather is having a moment.  Even if it wasn't, these Western glasses are awesome.

They need to be paired with these bakelite steak knives.  Or this whole bakelite cutlery set.  I have had a number of International folks want to buy them, but I am avoiding shipping to Europe for the time being.  Last time around I spent weeks chasing down a parcel to Italy, although other International shipments went smoothly - now I am a bit nervous.  But I guess this bakelite set speaks to Europeans...

Much more my speed, this Rosenthal vase (designed by Bjørn Wiinblad) has been super difficult to part with, but since moving to a smaller home I've already had to make some tough choices and sell some of my own vintage collection, so I can't really be adding anything new.  Seems counter-productive.  Can't say I'll be bummed if this doesn't sell, though.  This polka dot coffee pot is from Germany, too.  So is this Bareuther Waldsassen vase, which is really striking - like it was sliced from a glacier.  Those Germans have style!

Speaking of vases from my own collection for sale, this teal glass vase was originally for the shop but I scooped it, petted it for a bit, and have decided to set it free.  Hope it finds a loving home, because it's such a substantial piece.  I'm feeling good about it, because my aqua cased glass vase already sold, and so did these aqua shot glasses and these ones

Oh, and this teal one is for sale too.  It's identical to a swatch of paint in Bert's painting - but I have one the same size in a more blue teal and, frankly, I'm not much of a gardener so there's no way I'll ever produce multiple vases worth of blooms.

We're in agreement that the "atomic flower" on this Federal Glass luncheon set is a pot leaf, right?

But this is just a puppy.  Well, he's not just a puppy, he's a puppy with a polka dot shoe.  I bought him last summer but I stashed him with the Etsy stuff and only recently listed him.

I WANT these glasses, but I cannot commit to two new colours in the kitchen.  Orange was a big enough step for me.  Baby steps.

Quatrefoil is a fun word.  I've been enjoying typing it again and again.  But the longer I look at it, the more incorrectly it seems spelled.  This pottery piece was made in California - it just feels sunny, doesn't it?

I have reluctantly listed some Iittala - you know my passion for it!  I am still waiting for the right buyer for the whole Kastehelmi set, but I also found a matching ashtray, small plate, and I listed the solid glass polar bear.  I know, he is adorable.  

How could I not buy this milk glass silhouette vase?  It's got everything.  Speaking of milk glass, I love that this Federal Glass set is a full set of six

In the wake of my rock casualties, you can understand why I kind of want to keep this hunk of gorgeousness.  But my desk is so littered with junk, you'd never see it, anyway.  Seriously, within reach I've got a pirate pencil sharpener, a camera battery charger, a mason jar, holiday cards (holiday cards) I haven't put away, a book on hat making, a garbage bag tag for the dump, a huge pile or receipts and bills, and a swipe card from when I worked at the University of Ottawa.  Was I supposed to return that?  More importantly, where the heck did it come from?

I have an eerily similar round box on my nightstand, filled with dog treats for Szuka.  Mine is Hungarian Kalocsa, but I think the familiar shape and ethnic handpainted floral design of this sweet box lured me in.  Plus the lacquer is so shiny.

It's been awhile since I shared my shop favorites (February? Where does the time go??), so thanks for indulging me - there are 110 items for sale right now, so it was tough to choose.  Although it's so much more work than I ever imagined, I really enjoy our Etsy shop.  Connecting with people who finally found what they were looking for is the most fun part, and I especially love getting feedback from people who have bought items as gifts.  I've got some fun stories, for sure. 


  1. We had a Etsy shop and we list on on Ebay, prefer the Ebay. It's mostly for my husband's paintings though the odd bit of this and that gets put in there too.

    1. Do you mind me asking what you prefer about eBay? I'm finding it a bit intimidating and scary - listing something for 99 cents and seeing where it goes is a bit much for a control freak like me. I like the longer list time with Etsy, and the set price. BUT I have heard from a lot of people that eBay is superior. I'm definitely interested in trying it with more items.

  2. Omg, I want the typewriter!! The chain mail purse (reminds me of earrings my mom had back in the 80's), strawberry pot, the turquoise tear drop shaped dish, and aqua food chopper are also catching my eye.

    1. Isn't that typewriter insane?? It's so, so cool. You and I have such eerily similar taste! I have reluctantly listed the strawberry pot (it's Finnish!), the turquoise dish and the aqua food chopper! I just have zip room. But they are among my faves too.

    2. I have no space either but I'd still snatch em up if I had the money lol

  3. Some beautiful stuff - ESPECIALLY that pen holder made of gem!! Like how gorgeous is that? Thanks for sharing these!


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