There is a learning curve to all this blogging software. And I have not even upgraded to a more sophisticated template that I know about called Thesis. I figure I will learn the ins and outs of this simpler version here before I know what more I need.
My newest blog tweak is the links section. I figured out how to get them on my blog but not in the way I want. They are there at the bottom of the main page on the right but I would rather have them in a separate page that I already created up at the top right that is nice and homey and chatty, instead of just a list on the main page. Up to now people have been clicking onto this page and finding only a little blurb instead of something interesting.
Sometimes I wish I had a photographic memory with perfect recall. Not only would it help with learning all the little commands and keystrokes here, but perhaps it would mean I only have to make a mistake once instead of twice before I change my ways. Once is bad enough but it seems that my brain really needs the emphasis of a second go to really get the picture. Like the time in college when I ate waaaaaaay too many potato chips…and then lived to do it again! Without any gory details let me just say that after much nausea, a salt scarred palate and many burps (for the second time), I have never done it ever again. (Patting myself on the back now)
That was one of those times I bring out one of my favorite quotes “Brain and brain. What is brain?!” from an old Star Trek episode. If you don’t know it go look it up here.
Hee hee. I will remember that quote forever! As for blogging, I see an instructional book purchase in my future. ‘Book and book. What is book?!”
Whew, first item out the door and in the mail. Filled out customs form and shipped it via First Class International Mail in a nice soft envelope to keep costs down for my customer. I am putting my faith in the USPS and the entire country of Greece to get this package where it’s going.
One small step for Model J Vintage. Yay! I am looking forward to divesting myself of many of the larger items around the house now that I know what I am doing. These clothing items are great practice as they are easy to photograph and ship and don’t take up that much space. But, big items, I am coming to get you! And get rid of you! (maniacal laughter)
I just put a two lovely tops up for sale on eBay. My first item, the purple dress, sold to a woman in Greece. Figuring the shipping was a bit complicated and I sized down the packaging to keep the cost down. Every ounce counts for those international options. I am a little nervous about the package arriving safe and sound due to other sellers reports about international shipping but we shall see. The buyer has an excellent rating on ebay so I will trust her judgment on her choice of the shipping options I provided.
The first new item up on eBay is a lovely black silk top with nice details around the neck and at mid-shoulder. A little gathering and some tiny square lace openings around the flattering v-neck. Some gathering under the bust give it a vintage flair but it isn’t cut on the bias or form hugging for that true 1930’s style. I brought this top to Jam Circle a couple of months ago and had some interest but no takers. If you’d like another look here is the eBay link.
The second item is a cute button down in red and white check that has a 1950’s feel to it. I love the shirt sleeve edging with its slight curve and flare, as well as the hidden button front closures. I learned that this is called a “fly front” but that term is mostly in use in reference to pants. More commonly the term “hidden placket” is used to describe hidden button fronts. The “placket” is the fabric section that is underneath the buttons, hooks, zipper, etc. I learned a lot about plackets. A simple folded over piece of fabric with button holes sewn into it is called a french front. This gives a very flat and clean look. A regular placket front us usually two pieces of fabric with some interfacing in between to reinforce the closure area as it gets a lot of wear and tear. Interesting. This top also debuted at Jam Circle and now can be seen here.
I am getting pretty good at putting items up for sale on ebay but am still a bit slower than I would like. There was quite a lot of futzing about with photos but that is now sorted out. I have created a nice workflow that needs just a bit more tweaking but I am pretty satisfied right now.
Turns out eBay wants my pictures to be larger. I am going to go with this size for the first listing but will increase it for the next ones. Turns out there has been a change since the advice listed in my second edition eBay Bible which is from 2005. That’s when I first started thinking about selling all my collections. I assume the increase in storage capabilities and in processor speed are accounting for the increased size recommendation. At least 1,000 pixels on the longest side of each photo. No problem…for the next items. Not re-doing the current listing.
Picked up a new male dress form yesterday! Although it is unfortunately too large for the men’s shirt I want to sell currently, it is quite nicely shaped with a silver color metal plate atop the neck. It is a bit more elegant than the female forms I bought and I look forward to using it.
After much experimentation I figured out how to make some great shots of clothing. I experimented with a Donna Karan silk purple dress I picked up at a thrift store that will be my first item I place on ebay. I tried a ton of settings on the camera and different lighting angles, also playing with varying amounts of lights. I finally settled on four lights, two clip lights from the front but off to the side and two larger photography lights from my light box on the sides but slightly in front. Ebay’s book on selling is a great reference filled with tips and guidelines for photography. I am using my Nikon Coolpix 4500, a great little camera I originally purchased for its wonderful macro lens. It has quite a lot of manual and semi-manual settings, as well as automatic and scene settings. All the advice I read about not using a flash is completely true. It really washes everything out. Despite all my maneuverings I still had to do some editing in iPhoto. Mainly cropping, but also on the color. I was pretty happy to find that I could easily adjust the saturation to get rid of some pink tones and show the true purple tones of the dress. I am still not 100% happy with the results but I think it is good for my first listing.
From there I took two of the main photos into Photoshop (I have CS2) in order to create my main ebay image. I put both images side by side to show a full-length and a close-up view in one image, and then layered my logo on top of them.
Donna Karan Purple Silk Dress
I am pleased with the way it came out. The next step is for a better backdrop than my homemade version. This is on order and should arrive soon! I think a little more fiddling with camera settings and color correcting is all that is needed. Overall, I am pleased.
A large folding table I brought with me in the move from Chicago is now the base for my photography area. I have a light box, two taable lamps and some small backdrops that fit inside the box. It’s a pretty handy unit that I purchased in Chicago for under $100 and works well. I have used it for many items in other pursuits and know it will work well for all the small items I have for sale. That is one side of the table. The other side is for weighing the items and packaging to determine shipping costs. I have a nice Pelouze platform scale that can weigh up to 50 lbs. I hope this will be enough for most of my items. I guess I can use my bathroom scale for anything heavier or awkwardly large.
It took some doing to rearrange my living space in order to set this up. An old table that needs refinishing is now upside down on top of cabinets and my gorgeous steel 20’s side table stands w/glass table tops are broken down and stacked, as are many other things. It is worth having my own furnishings stored away in order to begin this process of divesting myself of my overabundance of collections and various unneeded items that have built up in mine and my family’s lifetimes.