Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back in Arizona for a Spell

My eBay inventory, organized by whether it's been listed yet or not

When I last wrote, it was the beginning of the new year, and I'd just quit my part-time job in order to devote all of my time and energy to self-employment as an eBay seller, artist, and antique dealer.  

At first I worked hard to get a bunch of scarves and Western shirts listed on eBay in anticipation of backing off a little while my son Sly came to visit me from Seattle.  Sly came for about a week and it was the best visit we've had together since I left the Pacific Northwest two years ago.  He is really growing up.  After a scary time when he was homeless and hopeless, he now has a job, a place to live, and over a half-year of being clean and sober.  He's been patiently (well, sometimes patiently) waiting to get into a halfway house that's specifically for transgendered young adults, and it looks like there will be an opening for him very soon.  Spending time with Sly was pleasant.  He took responsibility for himself in so many ways and even bought me a lot of groceries, which I'm still enjoying over a month later.  

 Sly enjoying being away from the Pacific NorthWET

While Sly was here, he helped me hang the "Art from the Heart" show at January's.  This is a really nice mix of work from about a half-dozen artists.  There is fiber art, quilting, sculpture, and collage, in addition to drawing and painting.  I had intended to take a bunch of photos which would look really nice right about here, but that hasn't happened.   

After Sly left, I worked hard at eBay again, plus I had the opportunity to add a little more work to the "Treasures of Truth or Consequences" show which is still on display at Grapes Gallery.  Two of my pieces had sold, so my portion of the wall space was getting kind of bleak.  

I decided to brighten it up with a tribute to chihuahuas, which are very popular dogs down here near the border.  I had never seen so many chihuahuas in my life until I moved here.  I've heard several people who own them say, "I never really liked chihuahuas before, but now that I have one, I love them!" 

One time shortly after I moved to TorC, I mentioned to a friend that I was lonely, and she said, "You need a chihuahua puppy."  Evidently chihuahuas are therapeutic, but I did not bite.  

Did you know that Aztecs and Toltecs believed that chihuahuas were holy little critters who should be sent into the afterworld as guides and to carry the sins of their human owners?   Anyway, here is my "Ai Chihuahua Mandala!," based on the Aztec calendar.

After I got the chihuahua piece done and there were some art-related social events to attend and so on, I decided to go to Arizona to visit Steve for a month or so.  My eBay work is completely portable, and my RV is set up to serve as a mobile eBay office, so off I went, in time to spend Valentine's Day with my sweetheart in Why, Arizona.

We've been having a very nice time.  I usually spend a good part of the day in The Guppy, working on the computer, and then I come back into Steve's 5th wheel for afternoon coffee and a little drawing.  We've shared some really great meals and enjoyed watching some movies in the evenings.  We went into Ajo one night expecting to hear the Tucson Symphony, but the concert was canceled due to a weather-related power outage.  The weather hasn't been great while I've been here, but it's improving.  This morning it was well below freezing when I got up, but it's probably in the 70s this afternoon.  Windy, though, so it's kind of challenging to spend time outside in a quiet activity such as reading or meditation.  

Sunset from The Guppy, Coyote Howls RV Park, Why, Arizona

This place is relaxing.  After I got here, I thought about all of my social and other activities in Truth or Consequences, and I realized that I probably usually spend at least 20 hours a week outside of my home.  No wonder I have trouble finding time to do artwork.  Here it is another story.  I draw something every day.  Besides Steve, I have maybe two friends, and I only see them if I make a point of going into Ajo.  Mostly I stay in Why to work, read, beat Steve's butt at cribbage, stuff like that.  There are no coffee shops here like there are in TorC, and, as much as I enjoy my social life there and miss both Passion Pie and the Black Cat, it's a great break to be here and have a different focus.

Colored pencil drawing of Sonja, asleep in Steve's 5th wheel

I have some excellent new inventory to sell on eBay.  A former eBay seller who was known online as "The Scarf Lady" has moved on to a new career in fashion design.  She was recently selling off some of her inventory in lots of 20 or 30 scarves, and I asked her if I could buy her entire inventory.  Fortunately she lives in Sarasota, where my sister also lives, so my sister went and picked up all 1000 scarves and will ship them to me.  I am currently working on a box of 200 that I purchased as a preview to the remaining 1000, and it is really fun to be working with such great scarves!  

Here is a gorgeous pure silk scarf, vintage but with the London shop tags still attached, never worn--flying dragons on a silvery gray background.  Fabulous!

I'm unclear as to when I'll be heading back to New Mexico.  I qualify for inexpensive health and dental care at a clinic in Ajo, so I'm getting medical and dental check ups within the next week, and I'll see if there is any follow-up care indicatedThen Steve has to report for jury duty in Tucson (120 miles away--Pima is a big county!) next week, and we'll see if he gets selected for a case and how long that lasts.  I will probably try to get back to TorC in time for an April art show at Grapes that I've been invited to participate in.  So I just keep working on my eBay sales and my daily drawings and see what develops.

Obligatory cat picture.  What is my blog without one of these?





  1. You are an amazing person and I totally admire your work. I look forward to reading more of the blog.

    1. Thank you, Peggi. I am enjoying getting to know you, too. We resonate, don't we?

  2. Do you have an ebay store? I have started selling on ebay and wondered what is the difference between lisitng and having a store? I hope you have great luck with your stuff!!

    1. Good question, Sondra. I start out by listing my items at auction for seven days. If something hasn't sold when the auction closes, I look back and see how many hits it got and whether there were any "watchers." (eBay's Sales Manager program allows you to see whether there are watchers.) Then, if there seemed to be sufficient interest to warrant it, I re-list the item in my eBay store, which means I offer it for a longer term at a fixed price.

      I think it costs me around $15 a month to have an eBay store--I have the lowest level one. The advantage of having the store is that it costs less to list items for a fixed price, and I can keep them listed for as long as I want. To me, it's worth the $15 a month because I consistently have people buying stuff from my store, especially when I run a sale. You can use a Markdown Manager to put everything in your store, or certain categories of stuff in your store, on sale. I always sell a lot when I do a markdown.

      From a logistical standpoint, I simply put the stuff that's no longer listed at auction into a different box when I re-list it in my store. That way it's easy to find when it sells. I keep a list of contents on the outside of the store inventory boxes. For my scarves, I actually file them by eBay number in shoe boxes. It's kind of time-consuming to manage the store inventory, but it is worthwhile for me.

      I guess the main point is, when I've put all that time into photographing something and writing up a description, it's kind of nice to just move it over to my store and keep it available for sale.

  3. This is the first picture of Sly that I noticed how much he looks like you.

  4. Just finished reading your ENTIRE blog from back to front -- it sounds like your last couple of years have been as exciting as mine have! I'm saving up for an RV and hope to be on the road soon, and I suspect I'll be visiting TorC when I finally get on the road. Heck, I'm even thinking about maybe trying art stuff again. So I think you've inspired me?