I Do Not Drink Coke

Coca Cola Stain Glass Tulip Glass a

Today I was listing some glasses that were in a box I recently purchased at an auction.  This set of Coca Cola Stain Glass with Red Tulip are so pretty.  It got me thinking….when was the last time I drank a Coke?

I told you back in 2011 that I was a die-hard Coke fan.  I used to drink a regular Coca Cola or a Diet Coke with Lime almost every afternoon.

I dramatically reduced my Coke intact in late 2012 and early 2013 as I mentioned in this post.  It is amazing that I no longer eat any of those snacks in that photo.  I still would love to eat the Nature Valley Sweet and Sour Almond Nut Bar, but haven’t had one since late August.  Not sure how it would taste if I did eat one.  All of them are loaded with sugar. After a lot of research, I realize how bad sugar is for me.

Coca Cola  Pine Glasses d

I also listed these White Evergreen Pine Coca Cola glasses today.

Then I reduced my sugar intake in February of this year.  Do I still eat sugar?  Yes, but not nearly as often.  My sugar mostly comes from the fruit I eat, but I will sometimes eat it when I am outside my home.  I rarely eat it when I am home.  That is a good thing. I still love sweet things, but it is amazing how things are tasting sweeter and sweeter to me.

So when was the last time I had a Coke?  I have had only a handful of Coca Cola’s this year, with my last one that I shared with my Mom at an auction sale in Jun or July.  The funny thing is it didn’t taste right at all.  I would say that I have broke my Coca Cola habit.  I am not a fool, and therefore, I know that if I started to drink it again for a few days, the habit would probably come back quickly.

Part of my process in breaking the habit was making sure I was drinking plenty of water a day, drinking green tea, and finding a healthy substitute if I really need something besides water.  My current favorite is a tall glass of water with about a tablespoon of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a drop or two of Stevia. Something about the bite of the ACV cures my craving for a soda pop.

Now that I have broken my habit, I tell myself, “I don’t drink Coke.”  For some reason saying that instead of “I can’t drink a Coke” gives me the control and the power not to feel sorry for myself. It is my choice, and a choice that I know is so good for my health.

How about you have you given up a food or habit that is bad for you?  Do tell.

Follow My It’s Still Life Facebook Page

Coca Cola Clock a

I have not been as good showing my thrifting and auction finds on this blog, but I am still out there looking for treasures.  I am still listing and selling my finds in my ItsStillLife Etsy Shop.  If you want to keep up with what I am listing, just check out my ItsStillLife Facebook Page and follow.  I will be posting my listings on my page.

The Sprite Boy Coca Cola Clock is my latest listing.

Keep on junkin’.



Melmac or Melamine

White Melmac Cups b


Recently I have added some tableware to my shop, specifically cups and sugar bowl and creamer sets that are melamine.  As I was listing them, I wasn’t sure if the plastic for these products was called melmac or melamine. This is important because at Etsy we list keywords for which we think someone might search.

I learned that melamine is the type of material used to make these dishes and melmac is the brand name.  Since where I live every one seems to know it as melmac, I listed both keywords.

Above is a cup from the Lenox Ware coffee cup set I listed.

Lennox Sugar Bowl Creamer bThis sugar bowl and creamer is also a Lenox Ware set.  Love the handles on these, but really the handles on all of these dishes are gorgeous.

Melmac Sugar Bowl Creamer aLook at the mod sugar and cream set here.  The handle is sleep and angular.

Green Thermo Cups aI also added Thermo Serv.  Look at this coffee cup set that is white with green base and silver removable handles.

Thermo Serve Gold Cups bThese Thermo Serve Gold and Black with Gold Removable Handles are retro late 60’s, early 70’s.

The retro cups were usually 6-8 ounces. That was back before the TV show, Friends. Remember the gang sitting in the coffee shop drinking out of ginormous cups.  It started a trend, and we all started drinking from large cups that hold 12-16 or more ounces.  To me these have such awesome lines.  I am hopeful that there are people out there that want to go back to gorgeous lines in their dinnerware.

Melmac Coffee Cups a


I have more Melamine dishes to list.  Like these brown coffee cups.

Sugar Bowl a


This mod sugar bowl.

White Plastic Saucer Plate a


Or these saucers.  My shop is a little slow right now.  Just not putting the time into listing. The boys’ basketball and swimming seasons have about 4-5 weeks left.  Then life will change again.  However, I am enjoying the season and not looking forward to it being over.

Do you remember melamine or melmac dishes, cups and other dinnerware?







Bicentennial Rocking Chair

Wood Rocking Chair

The other morning I was greeted to a “Sold” on Etsy.  I couldn’t have been more pleased.  First, sales have slowed down slightly.  I like to try to average one sale a day.  Since Christmas, sales have slowed from that.  Second, this was one of my more pricier items.

Last summer I found this awesome Bicentennial Wood Rocking Chair at a garage sale.  It was in great condition, and I just loved the cushions.  I was 8 years old when 1976 rolled around.  I remember the big deal that it was.  The USA was 200 years old.  Wow.  Yes, I know that is young for some of my overseas readers, but to us, it was a big deal.  I still remember watching TV that night with all of the pageantry and fireworks.

I listed the chair last September and waited.  I knew that the right person had to find it.  But just after 4 months, the chair sold.  The best part it that is going to MN, so the shipping price really decreased. This was a large package.  It only weighed 18 pounds, but the over-sized box would have cost $30 to ship it Parcel Select to most places.  I was glad to be able to send the buyer a refund.

I really try not to purchase and then sell this large of an item, but sometimes the item just calls to me.  This was one of them.  The hardest part about shipping something this large is finding a box big enough. All worked out and I have more space in my storage area.

By evening I had 3 more sales.  4 in one day…that isn’t a record, but definitely a great sales day.

Life of Jesus

I sold these Illustrations of Jesus.  I had listed them in July 2012, 1.5 years ago.  I would have pulled them after Easter, but sometimes it pays to wait.

Recipe Book Ecko

I sold this Ekco Cookbook. The illustrations were wonderful.  This one I listed January 2013 a year ago.  Glad to have that one sold.

Black Bolo Hat

Finally a sold this Men’s Bowler Hat with orange feather.  I just listed it around noon, and it sold within 4 hours.

So you see, one never knows how long something will take to sell.  Sometimes I am simply surprised how quickly something sells, and the next time I surprised because something I expected to sell quickly, is still sitting.  Online selling takes a lot of work, but it also takes patience.

After that great sales day I am now at about 20 sales out of 24 days.  Not too bad, close to my one sale-a-day average.  I know part of the reason is that I have been making time to list some items.  It really seems that if I don’t list, I sell less. It must make my shop active, so listing are more easily found. Really not sure why, but I know I have a few days left this month; a sale a day sound doable.

Do you have sales goals?

A Renewed Perspective

Mens Black Fedora

Ok, I admit it, I have been having one of those weeks.  The type of week where I was just blah, feeling yuck, just not myself.  Nothing was as joyful.  I was being petty about things that normally just slide right by me.  I hate when I get into that kind of funk, but a funk I was in.

This morning I woke to a sale of a men’s fedora hat.  It is going to the United Kingdom.  My customer left me this message, “- for my Dad who’s just starting radiotherapy and is going to lose his hair. This should be just the job!”

That statement just hit me.  What did I have to be in a funky mood about?  I am not facing a life threatening illness.  I am happily married and have two awesome boys.  Just get over it.

The fact that one of the items I have is going to someone to help them get through a tough time in their life simply makes me happy.  Every time I think of it, it makes me smile.

So goodbye funk, hello thankfulness.

Are you in a funk?  Find something to be grateful for in your life?  It will help.


Mickey Mouse Musical Toy


Mickey Mouse Peekaboo a

This spring I showed you about a Mickey Mouse Musical Wind-up Toy.  I listed it.  In October it sold to someone in the United Kingdom.  Recently I received this awesome feedback…

“I got this item within a week from USA to UK, so quick I couldn’t review it when I got it — impressive. Brilliant condition, too. This was a toy me and my sister shared, and it’s now something to share with my baby son and he loves it also. Carefully packaged — thank you.”

That made my day.  Someone purchased a toy that he remembered playing with as a child.  Now his child will also create memories with it. That is why I love to make items available, so they can go where they are supposed to be.

I was also pleased with his comments about my customer service.  I do ship 99% of my items within 24 hours, and many are the same day.  I do package my items carefully.  I use recycled boxes and packing materials, so they aren’t always the “prettiest”, but they are well wrapped, so they safely make it to their new owner.  Love that he recognized that I try hard to satisfy my customer.

I sent him a thank you message for his kind review and he responded.  One of the things he said was this, “I love the idea that you’re making people happy in a sustainable way.”  Yes, that is what I hope…to bring a little joy into a life.  Our joy doesn’t come from things, but things can help us remember or help us place our priorities in order.  Yes, life is good.

That Doesn’t Happen Often

Tulip Doorstop a

Life continues to just plug along speed by at a rapid rate.  School has started again.  I have a Senior and a Freshman this year.  Hard to believe that both my boys are in high school.  My freshman started working on classes at the end of July, but my Senior started this Tuesday.

I continue to work my vintage resale business as much as I can.  This Sunday I saw there was an estate sale in town.  Those don’t happen too often. Many times people call a garage sale an estate sale, but true, sell everything because a family member passed away, sale doesn’t happen too often.  I decided to enjoy my Sunday afternoon by going to the sale.  I saw three cast iron tulip bouquets for sale for $2 each.  I wasn’t sure about them, so I left them.

When I got home I did research and found they were doorstops, but some people use them as bookends.  There were a couple of individual ones for sale on Etsy.  So on Monday, when my son and I were doing errands to get him ready for the two classes he is taking at the high school, we drove nearby the same sale. We stopped, and I bought two of them for a set.

I listed the set in my Etsy shop late on Wednesday afternoon and by midnight they were sold.  Now THAT doesn’t happen very often, but I love it when it does.

2 Years – It’s Still Life Shop

Happy 2 Years

Today is my 2 year anniversary selling on Etsy.  My It’s Still Life shop went live on July 12, 2011.  I remember how scared I was to start selling online. The most intimidating aspect was the shipping.  Some day I will do a post on how I ship.  I have found it easier than I ever imagined it would be.

I have had a wonderful time selling in my shop. In those 2 years I have had 399 sales.  Many of my customers communicate very little with me.  They purchase an item.  I send them a note to thank them and let them know when I will be shipping the product.  Sometimes I don’t hear from them again.  Sometimes I receive feedback through the formal Etsy system.  So far it all has been good feedback.

Some awesome feedback I received just this year:

“Thanks Karen.  The casserole arrived in perfect condition, as was to be expected with your excellent packaging.  Its gorgeous, and I’m looking forward to using it.  Thanks.”

“Great item, great seller! Shipped super fast. Would definitely buy from again in the future!”

“Fast shipping, suitcases as described, and the seller was really helpful and nice. Can’t recommend enough!”

“Lovely and attentive shop owner–great product.”

Yes, those kind of comments really can make my day, and on my down days can get me motivated to get listing.

However, sometimes a customer will communicate with me as to why they made the purchase.  For example these brass pigs.

Brass Pigs a

I listed the pigs on May 22, and they sold on June 3.  The customer left me this note on the order.  “I am going to use these in my wedding on June 16th, if you can send them out ASAP I would really appreciate it. Thanks.”  Brass pigs in a wedding….hmm I wish I could see that wedding. Of course I rushed them out my door.  Believe it or not the post office messed up.  But the customer communicated with me about it.  It all ended up working out.  He left me this feedback, “Above and beyond. Karen helped me get through a mess up by the post office so I could get my brass pigs I ordered form her in time for my wedding. The best customer service I have ever received. Thanks!!” Wow, made my week.

After the wedding I received this note from my wonderful customer.  “The pigs turned out great. I took them to a silver-smith and had them turned into our wedding cake knives (it’s a long story).”  Don’t you just love that. I love that my customer told me what happened to those pigs and how they were used. He even sent me a photo of them. I asked if I could show you the photo, but never got permission, so I am not adding that photo.  I would love to know the whole story, but this just “tickles me pink”.  Ha.  Really I love hearing how the vintage items I rescue are being used.

Selling on Etsy is a lot of work.  The time it takes to find the items, clean them, take photos of them, research the item, write a description, estimate postage, mail the package and keep track of the information for tax purposes can really add up.  However, it fits well with my life as a stay at home Mom and homeschooler.  I love the “rush of remembering” when I find items I had when I was a kid.  I love that items are being saved, reused, recycled, enjoyed.  I really enjoy the people I am able to “meet” at my shop.

So if you have even considered selling items, vintage or hand-crafted, check out Etsy.  It has been an awesome place to sell.

Today I am celebrating and thinking of all the happy things over the past 2 years.  If you sell online, I would love to hear how you have enjoyed it?  If you don’t sell, but think you might enjoy it, why not?  What are you waiting for?

Up and Down Days


You know I love my It’s Still Life business.  Most days I really enjoy all of it.  I totally enjoy the shopping, like the customer contact, actually like the packing and shipping, and if I have the right light, I do like taking the photos.  However there are days that my piles of treasures become piles of crap.  Last Friday I had three not so great issues with customers.  I have also been so busy with activities this summer.  So lately I have been feeling like the ecard above. I find I just need to keep working through it, and the love comes back, but in the meantime I want to just junk everything.

Do you ever feel like this?