Monday, April 30, 2012

Life on Mars - Supporting my Friends

Life as usual is crazy here. Luna is growing. She's a wee kid now (well actually she's a giant baby). Poppy is fighting with her kids school, because like us, her kids are not "normal". Who'd have thought. They're also giving her a hard time about Dink's absence because of his eye injury. 

Nearly a month after the injury they ask for a medical excuse, now that he's not seeing the Dr. They could have asked the first day. His teacher yelled at him for not getting his mountains of homework finished when he was out. Uh, he couldn't see for the first week. They didn't give him the time he should be allowed to complete it. And they act like Poppy is lying about is injury. Like we want him home for 3 weeks straight. lol! Maybe they thought we beat him. 

The young man next door, who was in a coma a week ago came home and is just the same as he was before. Amazing. My son is getting tests at Mayo Clinic today and tomorrow and they will decide soon, I hope, how they will treat him. Our Cat's eye virus spread to the other eye and another cat. I'm spending my days medicating cats. And they hate me. Life is good. 

I've also wrapped up my Four Months Blog I have one more post. But because my intention was to share what I did to increase business, and I didn't complete all my goals. I will post once a week until my goals are finished. So I'm not quite done yet.

Here is the supporting friends bit. Even though I am no longer selling on Etsy, I have a lot of friends who do. For the past few years, I've disliked the direction that Etsy was headed. They are getting more corporate (greed) minded and thinking less about the little guy. The little indie shop, that makes a small mistake is just shut down without a second thought. The big shops that violate rules are promoted to featured sellers. Read this  Little Bird Told Me blog post for more on that. 

There is a protest going on over at against resellers. After I posted my blog I reread their site and I realized that it kind of excludes vintage sellers, who have every right to sell on Etsy. As a matter of fact, supply sellers do too, as long as they mark their supplies as such. But I would encourage the  entire community to support each other. I would encourage every single one of you who have ever voiced a complaint about the things that Etsy pulls on their community. Put your money where your mouth is and put your shop on vacation May 10th. Even if you don't sign up for the protest.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bizz Buzz - A Little Bird Told Me

I've been hearing a lot about how unhappy Etsy sellers are about resellers on their site. I think that it's bad enough that Etsy promotes shops that blatantly break rules like this recent Star Wars Pez Dispenser find in Etsy Dudes (check the "vintage" dates).  It's bad enough that Etsy is kicking off honest hardworking crafters and leaving on resellers, but to add insult to injury, they've been promoting a lot of the resellers, like their featured seller EcologicaMalibu You can read more about who this seller really is in The Etsy Featured Reseller: Ecologica Malibu at Regretsy

I've been reading a lot of posts and blogs about this and it seems that everyone is upset, because they think the resellers are misrepresenting what they are selling as "handmade". After working with and in Chinese, Mexican and Filipino factories for several year, I can guarantee that most of the merchandise is hand made, not machine made. Humans are far cheaper to use than machines in those countries. So are you buying handmade? Even the   reclaimed wood furniture is, I'm sure, made by hand.

I think the point is that Etsy should be a place for self representing artists who also make their own craft of their own design. There are too many blatant abuses of this term to post here. And honestly, Etsy should be ashamed of promoting and featuring resellers, when there are so many wonderfully talented artists who have never been promoted.

So here is what a little twitter bird told me. I heard that there will be a silent protest against Etsy on May 10th. If you would like to learn more and join in on the silence, check out and join the protest. I'm all about the protesting and radical behavior and stuff like that. But I bet you know that about me. I'd be doing this too if I hadn't already been quietly removed from Etsy late one Friday night (you know what I'm talking about).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shops I Like - Polarity - HautTotes - JulianBean

This week the shops I like are all about inspiration and how it creates your craft. Three very different mediums, three very different lives, three very wonderful artists, and three great women and mothers.

The first shop is You will find the coolest lockets, rings, magnets and bracelets at Cat's shop. The images are magnetic, so you can have several looks and one great price. There are a few things I love about Cat and her product. First, she repurposes materials (auto parts), and she showcases amazing artists. The artwork is wonderful and features every genre and style you can imagine. See for yourself.

The next shop is Melissa is another seller who features great artwork on her purses and bags. I love the rich and often dark themes of her original fabrics. Her bags are incredibly well made too, and for the quality and uniqueness, the price is amazing. The bags are great, but the selection of artwork is even more wonderful. I love every artist Melissa chose to work with. Take your time browsing.

Finally there's Erin is just the cleverest with a crochet hook. She makes Hats and accessories that are just adorable. Every time I look at her shop, she has something new. I absolutely adore her owl hats, and the other animals, monkeys, lions, giraffe, kitty, monkey, bees and bears are too fantastic. I think she must have been inspired by the zoo. The great thing is that she can make those awesome hats from tiny newborn size to adult.  I really love her slouch hats too, great big buttons on the side and great colors too. Please Stop by JulianBean to see what Erin has for you.

I couldn't give a better recommendation to these shops or the lovely sellers. Such unique and well crafted product. Fun, wonderful, and you will definitely have a treasure that's as unique as you are.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Poppy's Soap Box - LilyBugBabyThings Review

Last Tuesday was package day and in rummaging through the packages I received Inside of one marked SunflowerRadiantLove was a package from LilyBugBabyThings (they live in the same town so if you order together you can save on shipping too, I will review their packages later) Today I'll review the little crib Shoes I bought from an auction I was involved in.

First looks-these are totally adorable I mean how can you not love little baby shoesies that are handmade!

Construction- These are very high quality! Nicely made with serged seams on the inside and little encased elastic at the ankle. There are no uncomfortable edges to irritate little feet.

Wearability- I have to tell you, Luna has about 20 pairs of shoes and a 50 socks, most of which she has tossed of one of and lost at one point. These were easy to get on her fat little feet and lasted a day long journey through the mall and Thrift store shopping!

Value- For $12 I would have to say these are an incredible price for these little shoes that actually stay put!

Some of the images are fuzzy, because Luna was so delighted with the booties, she couldn't sit still.

Poppy's shop is She sells wonderful clothing, costumes and accessories. Poppy loves to shop, so she will be doing reviews of product regularly here on Wednesdays. If you would like to have Poppy review something of yours, please contact her through her shop.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What Evah - Poppy's Soap Box

I've been trying to get SOMEONE - ANYONE to guest blog on my site to no avail. I don't care, you can blog about your own shop, or the weather in your town, anything. But so far I've had no taker.

My Darling Daughter (DD) has decided that blogging, posting, and all that nonsense is just too much for her to do with everything else she does, but still she has a lot on her mind. So for most of the upcoming Wednesdays, My DD Poppy will be on her Soap Box speaking her mind. She can be controversial sometimes, but when she is, she's usually speaking up for the underdog. She loves to protect and support others, even if she can be a little in your face about it. I think that makes it a little more fun.

Most of Poppy's posts are going to be reviews of some of the wonderful Product she's purchased or received from Sellers on Etsy and Artfire, or even some who sell through their Facebook pages. Tomorrow she had a good one for you, already written. Thanks Poppy!

Oh and by the way, I don't mute here, so if she gets out of hand, remember, it's her opinion, not mine (unless I happen to agree with her)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shops I Like - LittleBugJewelry - TwillyPop - Lumafina

Today I'm featuring jewelry shops again. I'm going to have to do this often, because there are way more jewelry shops than anything else. And because I'm a jeweler (although some may say a fiber artist) I have a lot of friends in the jewelry trade. Don't worry if you're not here, you will be eventually. There are lots of shops to love.

Actually two of the shops are friends, whose work I love, the other shop I just adore, and do not know the artist personally. As usual, I feel that these shops offer a fairly different style product, even though they are all jewelry.

I'll Start with What a delightful shop. Jane makes the sweetest bezel set stacking ring sets. Someday I have to get one of those. I really love her bezel set druzy and petoskey pieces best though. There is such a wonderful variety in this shop. There are wire wrapped jemstone earrings, freshwater pearl, rough stones, smooth stones, original and unique mixed metal settings. The variety is so amazing that you just have to find something you like there.

The next shop is Sara had this great idea of weaving beads and ribbon together. She started out simple, but it's expanded into some pretty wonderful creations. You really have to browse through her shop to see just exactly what I'm talking about. Like myself, Sara took what she had available to work with and made her art. Her modeled photography is wonderful too, mostly done by her daughter standing on a chair to be tall enough. Very clever and creative. I just love her brooches too.

Finally, a shop I just adore from afar There is something so calming about the elegant simplicity of this jewelry. It's like nature put on a simple white pedestal. Settings are simple and the features are like they were plucked from nature. A slab of antler, a Herkimer diamond, glass bead or quarts crystal are featured in these simple, mostly silver, settings. I've been really drawn to the simplicity of these designs since I first saw them, while searching for Herimer diamonds. I love the idea of using antler too, as this is naturally shed, and eco friendly. Please stop in and take a look.

Those are my shops for the week. I think you'll really be surprised at what you find in them. Stop in and see for yourself.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Putting it Together - Four Months - A Diary of Progress

Some of you may know that I've  been writing a blog called Four Months - A Diary of Progress for ... well ... almost 4 months now. I started to write it to keep me honest about making a plan to improve my income by either selling my jewelry wholesale or going back to product design. See, my daughter Poppy, is sick and tired of sharing her tiny house with me and wants me out of her living room, so I feel inclined to oblige.

My plan is to prepare my jewelry business for wholesale by:

  • Increasing my product line
  • Rethinking my current product and approach
  • Calculating profit by spreadsheet to get a better handle on worth
  • Making a Website geared toward wholesale clients including wedding
  • Revising packaging for retail stores
  • Creating a brochure for wholesale
  • Making a Press Kit
  • Reading Posts on improving my business
  • Utilizing social networking 
I planed to work on my potential Product Design business by:

  • Designing a Portfolio website for potential clients
  • Improving my Design skills
  • Adding new Open Designs to my portfolio
  • Making updates and adding contacts on linkedin
  • Contacting potential Clients

I've been working very hard on both plans and the idea was to decide between the two businesses. It turns out that my work has increased my business already, And I hadn't planned to put it all into action until May. I just added product to my jewelry, that has attracted attention, and I updated my linkedin account and that got clients calling.

In March my total income (not profit) increased by $800. $400 was for product design, and nearly $300 was for jewelry. I think I didn't sell that much in jewelry in 2011 altogether. I reinvested a lot of that profit into my plan. I sold more on Etsy, but since the move to Artfire, I haven't had that much traffic. Now with the boost from sales increases and the extra promotion (wanelo and pinterest) I rank higher and get much more traffic there.

I made daily posts on the blog, so there are a lot of posts, but there is a lot of ideas and links to where I got my ideas. If you are really interested in improving your business, you might get some great tips there.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shops I Like - PoppysWickedGarden - BrookeVanGory - TinyBully

This week I'm going to do shops I like twice because I missed last week. Today's post is about 3 of my favorite Artfire shops. One is my daughter, one is a wonderful talented person I know, and the third is just the most talented and delightful seller I have not has the pleasure of meeting, but her work is great.

I'll start with, because Poppy is my daughter. One of the reasons I am featuring her, is that she promised to be a regular guest blogger here. The other reason is that I happen to think that she is pretty talented.

Poppy makes Clothing and Costumes for kids and adults. Most are genre or band and most are rare, unique and awesome. Many of her items were customer requests. So give her a challenge, she will rise to the occasion.

The next shop is Brooke makes the most awesome Diaper bags I have ever seen. They are sturdy, cute, and ever so practical. Everything you could possibly want in a diaper bag. She also makes wetbags, changing pads, blankies, and the most wonderful assortment of bags and purses. She will be happy to custom make anything your heart desires.

Brooke is a delightful person with a big heart. She recently sponsored an auction for Autism Speaks and if you look around her shop, you'll see a way you can help spread the Rainbow too.

My last shop of the day is I do not personally know the seller, but she has a link to her portfolio and she is a very talented artist as well as a phenomenal knitter. I have never seen such clever (mostly genre) hats and gloves.

Although I love everything in the shop, I particularly LOVE the Tardis Hat and the Zombie Wounded Flesh fingerless gloves. Such Geeky Goodness in this shop. You have to visit.

Please take a minute to stop by these wonderful shops. These items are fantastic and their main shops are at

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life on Mars - Senior Moments

I haven't posted here in over a week. Sorry friends. I've had interesting events, shops I like, recipes, and tips to give, but no motivation to write about them. I don't even feel funny. I guess I've been working too hard and needed another break.

Yesterday was such an event filled day, and I could make it funny, but I only had a few hours sleep, and I'm not in a humorous mood. The GS (Dink) has been watching this movie, Mary and Mas all weekend and trying to get me to watch it. I'm not doing a good job. It looks wonderful, he's 8 and loves it. It's a claymation, about a young girl with life problems in Australia, who become pen pals with a 300 lb man with Aspergers in NYC. It's a bit mature for most young kids, but really wonderful.

So yesterday, I decided to attack the kitchen table area. We have a kitchen the size of a pea and Poppy insisted in having the round table that I made here there even though it sits out too far into the kitchen and caused many other problems. I finally convinced her to use a long, counter type table that we can actually push against the windows, to the cats won't knock things on the floor behind, and actually push our chairs under. It took me several hours to rearrange and clean up under the table where I couldn't reach, but I got it done.

Then, exhausted and sweaty, I heard cats screaming. The cat next door was fighting with our little girl and scratched her eye. Took Poppy a while to get her in the house, and she wouldn't open her eye, It was a bloody mess and we thought she lost it. We spent a long time calling everyone in the neighborhood to find a place to take her on Sunday, the only places were too far, as we didn't have a car. Stress Stress Stress. I finally got her to look at me and saw her eye and it looked like just the extra lid got hit. Very swollen, but eye OK. I got her an appointment today.

Then Poppy's DH called her. His brother collapsed and went to the hospital in a coma. Turns out he wasn't really in a coma, just that his father doesn't know what he's talking about and he scared the crap out of everyone saying the wrong thing. Poppy's BIL was moving and semi conscious, just not talking coherently. He's been having problems the past few days. He is on a lot of meds and it's possible he got confused and took the wrong doses. Whatever happened, he collapsed and possibly hit his head or possibly was knocked out by the strangers his father left him with. He is also not in a very good hospital so we all hope things improve for him. So after stressing about our cat, I had to go over and try to comfort BILs mother.

I finally got a shower at 11:30 pm and as Mad Men was on at midnight and I missed it earlier, I stayed up and watched it. Fell asleep about 1:30. The girl kitty woke me looking for love and padding me with her claws, then the oldest boy at 6 am getting ready for school.

The best part of the weekend was getting makeup on to go to the vet, I found 2 huge malted milk balls at the bottom of my purse. Purse being fairly clean, I dusted them off and ate them. I know, I needed chocolate. What can I say?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What's Cooking? - Deviled Eggs

Happy Easter Peeps! Today my recipe is my very famous deviled eggs. And to celebrate, I decided to post linky pictures of some cute handmade eggs from other sellers (I have to do this more often. Please click on the pics to follow through to the merchandise.

This recipe is going to be a little different. I'm not giving you the exact proportions. Well kind of, you need to mix it to taste like we do. You have to do a little of the work.

Bacon and Egg Deviled Eggs

Halved Hard Boiled Eggs (use only half the yolks)
Real Mayonnaise
crushed Corn Flakes (about 1 cup per dozen)
Liquid Smoke

I made this recipe to cut calories in the eggs, not sure it really does though. And now they say yolks are healthy fat. Oh well.

Mix yolks with enough mayo to make it pretty creamy. Add crushed corn flakes and liquid smoke to taste. This makes a yummy bacon and egg flavored filling. The corn flakes stay crispy and give extra flavor and a bit of bacony crunch.

Stop by ajsweetsoap and cattoy4 to get the yummy eggs pictured.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bizz Buzz - Shipping Part One

If you sell and use PayPal shipping, like I do, you probably received an email from PayPal about the new eBay shipping. If you often receive PayPal spam like I do, you probably don't want to even follow through and check the links. And of course there is no information on the PayPal site about this either.

Here's what I know. I sell on eBay (some of you do, most of you don't) I started selling there years ago, before Etsy or any of the other Handmade sites. It was a fantastic place to sell handmade and supplies back then. Back then we used PayPal shipping. In the past few years eBay has improved their own shipping. Which is odd, because eBay and PayPal are the same company and why they didn't work together in the first place is confusing to me. EBay shipping is directly linked to your product information, and it would not have access to all of your other sites information. They might have been working on that issus.

The thing I love about eBay shipping, is international shipping. You can ship first class and print labels online. Love that. I also love that the information you need, is automatically put into your forms. You don't have to guess what you need to add. The only thing you have to do is check the box n the customs form othat says you aren't shipping hazardous materials and that you agree....blah blah blah. Everything else is added for you.

Recently I haven't been able to get any International labels to work on PayPal, not even priority, so I print them on They are a big pain too, but I want to offer International shipping at my Artfire shop. I only offer Priority shipping, because for now, that's the only way I have a viable trail to prove that I shipped if anything happens. If the new PaPal shipping really works like eBay, we will be able to ship first class and have proof of shipment and easy custom forms.

For those of you afraid to ship International, I have a few pointers. I know many of you have heard horror stories about certain countries. Italy probably has the absolute worst Post Office in the world. Also, some countries charge a very high tax on the merchandise received. I'll address this issue first.

People who live in countries that are taxed on the value of the merchandise from other countries will often ask you to lie on your customs forms. I wouldn't do it. It is breaking the law in both countries and you know what that can lead to. I would recommend saying that your shipping is automatically linked to your product information, or just say no. I'd rather loose a sale, than my freedom for a year or two. 

The other issue is Italy, or any other bad post office. I was told not to ship to Italy a long time ago, so I did a little research. eBay has horrible information for sellers, but they have a wonderful community of sellers that they rely on completely to give information. I found a seller that ships to Italy regularly with no problem. They said that the issue is always, having enough information on the customs forms. Since I took their advice, I have never had any problems shipping to any countries (so far, knock wood).

This is what you should be doing on all International customs forms. When shipping jewelry, don't just list for example, earrings. You need to list - New Silver and Crystal earrings. Don't just list dress, list - New Cotton Girls Dress. I would not put handmade on the form and I would put vintage over used on the forms.  The important thing is to list as much detail about the actual content of the package. Foreign customs don't care if it's Mario Brothers or Blue, they want to know the material content and the type of merchandise. 

I hope this helps you a bit. I will be posting Part Two if and when PayPal ever gets eBay shipping going. I can't advise on a service that isn't working yet, but I will when it's fully functional. Until then, have fun with shipping. 

Please feel free to add any advice you may have in comments.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Shops I Like - Renathe Schneider - The Joy of Color - Hippie Kingdom

This week is all about COLOR glorious color. Bright, vibrant, sunny, wake you up and make you smile color. These are three of my absolute favorite shops and I might add that the sellers are not only phenomenally talented, but particularly nice too.

The first shop is Renathe Schneider. Renathe makes the most awesome resin jewelry. Her specialty is resin that holds insects. Creepy to some, very cool to me. Don't worry, the insects are already dead when she harvests them. You know the kind you find in your windowsill and such. I'm sure Renathe could find quite a few in my kitchen light fixture at Summers end. How about yours? She also makes some very cool recycled jewelry too.

The next shop is The Joy of Color. Yael's watercolors, just bring a smile to my face. What a simple and fresh style she has. I think those Pomegranites are my favorite. I love the pattern the leaves make. Wouldn't it be fantastic fabric? Fruit, Animals, Birds, even People - Yael does it beautifully and full of color color color!! 

Finally I have loved Hippie Kingdom for such a very long time. Such wonderfully creative jewelry made of recycled paper. Beautiful Bright fiber and cardboard delight. There are even some subtle neutrals for those of us who need a little calm now and then. I think those rainbow earrings might be the first thing I fell in love with. Oh and those paper bead necklaces are to die for. I wouldn't care if I had to wait a bit to get them from India. I just love everything from this very special shop. 

Such bright and delightful work my friends make. Please stop by and visit them. They can even brighten a cloudy Summer day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Traveling in China - Guilin Part Three

Our Trip to Guilin was the most interesting and fun time I've ever had in China. I usually worked in the South of China, which is closer to the Hong Kong shipping ports and airports. Factories were built there because of ease of shipping and foreign travelers coming into the country to work on their projects. There are also factories in the North of China, but it does take time to reach them, and sometimes trucks on Chinese roads to get to ports can damage product. The roads in the South are pretty good now, because of the money brought there by foreign trade.

The cities in the South of China, are modern and well, pretty dirty because of the factories and no pollution control. They remind me very much of what the US was like back in the 60's, or at least where I grew up in Cleveland. Back in the 60's and early 70's you would get a face full of soot from the steel mills, just walking around downtown. It's very much like that now in the South of China. You can't ever even see the full sun, because of the pollution haze.

Guilin is different. The air is clear and the scenery is vibrant. Instead of tall modern buildings, there are pagodas and huts. There are a few modern hotels and restaurants, but mostly Guilin is full of history and a sense of what China really was in the past.

The Chinese treasure their past, so much more than we do. I think that may be, because their history is so much longer than ours is. Even their soap operas on TV are based in historic times, not the present. If' you've seen "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and thought it was kind of odd, that's the sort of show they have on TV every day. It's not unusual in China to see that period of costuming and magics. It might have seemed strange to us, but to the Chinese who see it every day, it's a beautiful part of their culture. I'm sure they think our westerns are quite odd too. 

One of the days on our trip to Guilin, we went to see the sights. We climbed mountains and saw the view of the city from up high, went into the vast caves, and saw an art exhibit at a local school. The mountains are tall and it's pretty tiring climbing, but the view was spectacular and the caves were amazing. One was natural with glittering minerals and rock formations. It was vast. I wish I had pictures, but the camera didn't really work well there. The other cave was a cave of Buddhas It was filled with all shapes and sizes of Buddha, carved in rock or other materials and placed there. It had, in the past, been a place of worship.

Modern Chinese don't openly worship, but because religion was so much a part of their history, it has been transformed to mean luck and prosperity. Many traditions are still held, but more as ceremony that faith.

This last picture is hard to see, because of the rock colors, but if you click on it, you can see many figures carved into the recesses of the rock.

This will be my last post on Guilin. I am going to have a hard time letting go of it. As I said in the first post, Guilin is where I fell in love with China. It's where I could see how the Chinese could love their country so much. There was so much more to my trip, and it was for only 3 days. I've never been so saturated with a culture in such a short time. I haven't been to Beijing, or the Great Wall, or the Stone Soldiers, which are famous tourist areas, but I don't think that I could have learned as much about China there, as I did in beautiful Guilin. 

There was a show on the river. It was at night. The show depicted the famous movie of the young lovers of the area and their life on the River Li. There were literally thousands of performers on the river, in boats and rafts and pontoons. All carrying lanterns, or with lit costumes. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. I would recommend that you visit Guilin, if you ever find yourself in China.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Life on Mars - Holidays and Restless Nights

I had so much design work to do this week it was just NUTS. I had a birthday too. There was so much going on this week that I almost forgot I had one. I didn't get to enjoy it much. I worked for 14 hours to complete one project. Then I worked another 14 hours straight on Thursday to complete another project. I did, at least get to have a very nice dinner my daughter made me for my birthday. Lamb chops and my favorite "cake". A meringue torte with whipped cream frosting.

The sun was out a lot, and with the sun comes the neighbors. Poppy's MIL is feeling better and out and about working in the yard and not getting any sleep. After 14 hours of work Thursday, I had to watch some videos to unwind. Just after I fell asleep around 1 am, apparently she needed to go out and look for her cat. Of course she forgot to check the lock on the door (again) and pounded, screamed and cried at the door, until someone let her in. I would have called over there, but they don't answer their individual cell phones, in case it's a collection agent (at 1 in the morning).

Saturday, she decided to decorate for Easter. OK, so it's her yard and she can crap it up as much as she wants, right? But did she have to hang those plastic Easter eggs from twine and a big ugly bow on Our Fence post? Technically it's her fence post too, but they seem to not know that their property is not theirs when they are renting it out. BTW this fence post is just in the middle of the yard with no fence. When we first moved here, there was a piece of wood making a step that stuck out above the ground about 3 inches and it made a nice pond of ice. I slipped on it and caught my wrist on the post and almost impaled it.

So out in the front yard in her planted old tire that is cut, turned inside out, and painted, she put some kind of green fabric, and some stuffed rabbits. The rabbits didn't stand, so she grabbed one of my tomato cages to stand them up. Again, anything that's in the yard is hers, like my shovel that I finally got her to return after she uses it, after two years.

And there's the Basket on the lamp post. That's her knitting basket. I'm not even sure what's in it, because she hung it to high for anyone to see. She must really love her decorations, because she takes that knitting basket everywhere with her. That's some nasty old wooden cross tied over the basket.

We don't let her decorate for Halloween, and I think that annoys her.

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