Category Archives: Random Musings

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Cleaning Cross Stitch & Stamped Embroidery

Cleaning Cross Stitch and Stamped Cross Stitch: Needlepoint and Crewel is a different technique:

1. Fill up a sink or cake pan with coldish water and some dawn dish soap. I really really prefer Dawn over anything else. Take the needlework and move it up and down, up and down in the water. You will start to see the water get dirty. If it is really dirty do this twice. Do it a few times. I tend to really go up and down many many times. Then fill the cake pan or the sink with cold water and do the same thing for rinsing. I always say I want it rinsed so well I would drink the water so it might take a few times to get the residue out. ROLL and Do not Wring. After you roll it, then take you fingers of one hand, holding with the other hand, and use the fingers to get out excess water. So for me hold in right hand and use the two fingers closest to the thumb and put the rolled fabric between those two fingers and move down… it will get the water out. Lay out and let dry for awhile then iron with a piece of fabric (preferably white). I use a cotton dish towel that no one in the house touches. I put one towel down, then the project design work face down, then another towel and iron.


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Sin City Meetup Thursday September 19th in Las Vegas Join Me

http://www.meetup.com/Sin-City-Ebay-Meetup-Party-by-Thrifting-With-The-Boys/

 

  • Thursday, September 19, 2013

    6:30 PM

  • Doc Holliday’s Saloon

    9821 S Eastern Ave, Las Vegas, NV (map)

     

    ThriftingWithTheBoys.com
  • Please join us for our inaugural meet-up where we will discuss all things thrifting and give you a chance to get to know us.

    Learn from eBay entrepreneur Cindy Sorley as she talks about her use of eBay mobile for listing, buying and selling. She will teach you how to get spectacular prices for needlework and items you mighty typically pass on while thrifting. Learn how Cindy is the voice of sellers at eBay.

    Our location features both food (awesome Mexican food) and cocktails, with easy access from the 215.

    **PLEASE NOTE** – There are two Doc Holidays on Eastern, almost across the street from each other. We are in the Target Plaza parking lot on the west side of the street.


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Cindy’s Online Selling Tips on Facebook

For any new eBay sellers or those who want to gain how to be better sellers on eBay join our online selling tips forum. We are a small group that is fun and has a good time.  No drama… We do hand pick the members so email me at Cindy@cindysorley.com if you want to join us.

Cindy’s Online Selling Tips

 

 


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eBay Radio Party in Las Vegas 2013

Cindy and Jason of Thrifting with the Boys.

Cindy and Jason of Thrifting with the Boys.

I had a great time at the eBay Radio Party as Bally’s last week.  A great talk by Thrifting with the Boys, Jason Smith and Bryan Goodman.  The eBay Mobile team of Jonathan Chard, Mark Appolito and Kenric Russell were excellent.

Since it seems that eBay on Location events are gone I would recommend the Radio Party next June in Vegas.

 


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My New Webstore for BubbaCanDance and Stitchery X-Press

Scott Henshaw told me about a new feature for eBay sellers you can subscribe to.  Webstore by 3D. I looked it up tonight and decided to give it a try.  We will see how it goes.  At $5.00 I will try it for six months and see what happens.  Thanks Scott.   

My New Webstore

Webstore by 3D for eBay stores

Webstore by 3D for eBay stores


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eBay Inc Blog Cindy Sorley Story

EBAY: STITCHING THE FAMILY TOGETHER  Taken for eBay Blog at eBay Inc … So excited to be a part of this.

AUGUST 3, 2011 / EBAY MARKETPLACES

When I am teaching eBay classes to stay at home moms, I always seem to get asked the same question, “Why eBay?” I tell them that after years of having a brick and mortar specialty needlework store where customers would come in and work on their projects, socialize and bring their lunch, I wanted a place where there was a sense of a community and I found it on eBay.

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My husband and I were shocked to find out around our 19th Anniversary that we would be blessed with another child. My husband Jim, an airline pilot, and I decided our son Thomas would go to work with me at the store. At 4 days old, he made his debut at Stitchery X-Press and became the store mascot for over three years. As he grew older, it became more unmanageable as he pulled linens off shelves and tried to run our hemstitching machine. Some big decisions needed to be made when every time a customer opened the door little Thomas would run for the parking lot and street.

We received notice that our already high rent would be going up, so I needed to make a quick decision if we were going to stay open or close. I wanted to give eBay a try by selling my existing inventory before having a clearance sale. I had been a buyer on eBay for a number of years so I took the selling plunge and jumped right in. It was surprising how fast bids came in right after listing them.

Within a month my eBay sales were more than my physical store. eBay became a logical choice to sell my inventory. It gave me an opportunity to be at home and have my own work hours instead of being tied to the shop 24/7, six days a week. I had already had the username BubbaCanDance as a buyer from the country music group Shenandoah’s hit song (whom I worked for). When it came time to open an eBay store I decided on Stitchery X-Press, our established name since 1982. After a few months I was going to change my eBay ID to the store name but my customers said no. Seven years later, Stitchery X-Press is one of the largest needlework stores on eBay with customers from all over the world.

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I knew I needed more space and looked into renting. One of the reasons I closed the store was to stay at home so we decided to build a warehouse and office in the back yard. We now walk a few feet to work each day.

eBay is part of our family and I feel at home. eBay has allowed me to home school Thomas who has become part of the business team. He is the shipping manager and makes sure all packages get the labels on them. Our other son Steven delivers all packages daily to the post office. Steven is headed to join the Marines to be a pilot next year (we hope) and Thomas is trying to figure out how to get his driver’s license by age 11 to take over that job. Jim will move into a job here when he retires from the airlines soon.

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My journey with eBay continues to grow as do the personal relationships that cultivate along the way. One of my favorite sayings is “like what you do, do what you like!” This is who I am and it has shaped the fabric of our family business! I am eBay!


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Types of Needlework – How to Recognize

Eli asked me to make a post about the different types of needlework so when you are out thrifting you can recognize what to buy and what keywords to use when listing to sell on the different platforms. I have done better on eBay with selling needlework kits of every type because of the international buyers.

I will also cover in another post the best types of needlework kits or patterns to buy.

First I will cover what is used with what looks like a sewing needle. This leaves out Crochet, Knitting and other forms using other needles.  I will cover those in another post.

1 Counted Cross Stitch – Counted Cross stitch today is known mostly as cross stitch.  Cross stitch is done on a fabric with squares.  The pattern is on a piece of paper and you count the squares from the pattern to the fabric. (sounds hard but it is really easy).  Kits come with different counts of fabric.  Aida is from 10 to 18 count (squares per lineal inch)  Hardanger is 22 count.  Linen is used in cross stitch and most of the time is stitched over two threads (example 28 count linen stitched over two threads would make the stitch count 14). I love the look of Linen over aida because you don’t see the squares.  NOTE: Make sure you read our next blog about buying completed finished needlework and what to look for.  

2. Stamped Cross Stitch – Stamped is cross stitch that is traced onto fabric, usually a cotton poly blend nowadays.  There are squares you that you cross over with the floss.  These squares are normally mixed in with lines to embroidery.  You can do fancy stitches or straight stitches.

3. Embroidery – Embroidery is stitched on fabric that has had the design traced onto it.  You can do a number of fancy stitches. This is what you see on dish towels. My grandmother had towels for every day of the week.  I always checked to see if she changed them daily….. and SHE DID.  Embroidery is stitched with six stand floss. You separate the threads into one or two strands depending on the look you want.

4. Crewel Embroidery  or Crewelwork –, is a decorative form of surface embroidery that uses wool yarn (acrylic is used sometimes) and a variety of different fancy stitches that follows a design on the fabric.  Crewel is usually stitched on a linen or canvas so that the wool does not pucker.  Make sure if you have kits that have part of the canvas silkscreened that you point this out.  (Photo 3 is silkscreened partially)

5. Hardanger – this has been called Hardanger embroidery but it is a counted form since you are still working in the blocks of the fabric.  Traditionally is it worked on white cloth with white thread but today I see it in all colors. It is worked on even blocks counting and using drawn thread techniques.  If you see any finished … just grab and send to me.. I collect it.   You will see this in doiles, tablecloths, runners etc.  It is really elaborate and if you find patterns they usually are good sellers but not big money.  The art is still so limited on who has the patience to do it.

6. Needlepoint – Needlepoint is stitched on a mesh canvas that is painted on the canvas.  You will be doing a half cross. There is also counted needlepoint where you would have an empty canvas and use patterns on paper to count similar to cross stitch.   You will see Mesh 12 or Mesh 14. This is how many squares are in a lineal inch.  (Needlepoint is my least favorite of any of the needle arts.) It is usually done with yarn.  Many new designers are using smaller mesh like 18 (squares per inch) and using floss for a different look.  I like the smoother look as it is not as bulky.

7. Petit (Petite) Point – Petit Point and Needlepoint are very similar in that they use canvas to stitch on and the same format but they are very different.   Petit point is just that…. you make tiny tiny stitches and usually stitch on single threads of Penelope Canvas or fine needlepoint canvas or Congress cloth which is 24 squares per inch.  Many people use Petit point to describe very fine cross stitch but since you are not crossing the full cross the term is used incorrectly.

petitpoint

8. Plastic Canvas – Plastic canvas is basically needlepoint done on plastic mesh.  You will see this used to make 3-d type items such as doll houses, magnets, photo frames etc. You cut out the designs after you have stitched and either attach to the edges to sew them together or finish off and cut the plastic so it i is not seen.

9. Smocking – I am covering smocking here because there are a lot of kits out there to make pillows with smocking. It is basically pleating and can be seen in the tops of dresses and on bonnets. There are two different types, English and Modern.

10. Brazilian  Embroidery – This is the one art I cannot tackle well. It is stunning and gorgeous but I don’t have the patience.  It is mostly flowers done in silk or Rayon Threads.


NO COUNT CROSS STITCH is the design silk screened on aida or linen with openings to do stitching to embellish the design.  This is different from Stamped Cross stitch where on stamped you have the design on the plain fabric in little blue squares and you stitch those squares.

No Count Cross Stitch Kit example

No Count Cross Stitch Kit example

 

No count example

No count example

 

 

There are other forms of needlework that include drawn thread, schwalm, blackwork etc but the above types are what you are going to see the most of in kits when you are shopping.


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Why I left GoDaddy?

As many of you know I was down for about five days last week as I transitioned from one company to another to host my blogs and my websites.  I left GoDaddy and moved to Hostgator at the recommendation of Scott Henshaw.  I already had issues with GoDaddy about how hard it was to work in the C-Panel & FTP.

The main reason I switched 18 URL’s that I own was because of the horrible television and internet ads that GoDaddy felt was necessary to get customers.  I was watching the Super Bowl with my 11 year old son when the commercial came on with the Model kissing the geek for 18 full seconds as they sucked each other’s faces off.  My son was disgusted and turned to me and said, “Mom, why do you have Godaddy?”  Right then and there as a mother, I started the process to start transferring all domains from GoDaddy and free myself of belonging to a company that I felt was promoting porn.

So I am back up and Running with the awesome customer support @hostgator and I could not be more pleased.  I had the best best best service in the transition even though it took longer than expected.  Houston who did this websites transfer apologized and said that hostgator had been swamped.  GOOD FOR HOSTGATOR.  I know why you were swamped because other people felt the same way about goDaddy.   Thank you.

So off to start talking about all things from selling online, to selling and listing on eBay and what to look for when you thrift.

I will be doing a few posts this week to catch up before I head to San Jose, California for meetings with eBay and PayPal.

If you are considering a company for your URL or Hosting. I do recommend Hostgator.

Here is a link to their site. 

 


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Internet Sales Tax for 50 States?

Internet Sales Tax  for all 50 States?  Are you like me and don’t want to fill out 50 tax forms every month and keep records for the sales tax you have gathered from sales in every state?  

Do you have a physical store or building in those 50 states?   You should not have to pay sales tax to those states you do not have a physical presence in.

Amazon has caved to this ridiculous law and I am closing my 3000 items and moving them to eBay.  

eBay has been a fighter in not allowing sales tax be collected for online businesses that do not have a physical presence in a state.  

Help me in the fight,  if you agree,  by writing your congressmen and senators.  eBay makes it easy for you by just filling out the form.  They will get the form mailed, faxed or emailed.

Visit eBay Main Street here 

ebaymainstreet

 

 



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Why I sell on eBay!

Tonight I received a message from Crystal asking if I liked selling on eBay and being an eBay business owner.  This gave me a great chance to tell my story why I sell on eBay. 

My story in the needlework business started after I married my Marine Corps pilot husband. I was always doing counted cross stitch and the wives of the other officers would ask where I bought my supplies. I was getting them from my favorite store in Mississippi, where I had gone to college.  I decided to start ordering for the wives and Stitchery X-Press started in 1982.  Over the years we had a shop outside of Denver, Colorado and a store here in Layton, Utah.   We also had a mail order business before the internet was huge and I worked as a needlework buyer for a large chain of stores in New Jersey.  

In early 2001 I found out I was pregnant right before my 40th birthday. We had a 14 year old son Steven.  I had the needlework store and figured I could bring the baby to work with me daily.  It worked until he became a rambunctious toddler and ran for the door anytime a customer came in the store. 

We were notified our rent was going up. We had a lot of problems with shop lifting and bounced checks we couldn’t recover the money from.  I decided that I would try eBay since I was buying on the site.  Well…. Well… Well… I was selling more after 30 days on eBay than I had done the prior month in my store.  I talked to my husband about closing the store and moving the business home.  I have never looked back.  

My world of sales opened up.  I was selling all over the world instantly (if you do not sell internationally you are really missing some great opportunities).  I had amazing return customers and I wanted our customer service to be awesome so we would get those customers back.  We are approaching 25,000 feedback and I could not have done it without loving what I do.  I love cross stitch so it was only fitting to sell the inventory from my shop.  The customers wanted current patterns in addition to the out of print classics I had in stock.  I contacted my favorite wholesales and told them what I was doing. I let them know I was not marking down the prices. I was selling at full retail so that I did not compete against brick and mortar stores. I had some wholesalers and designers that were wonderful about it and other designers that had the attitude of “I don’t want my stuff sold on eBay, that is a garage sale”. Let’s just say. I don’t need those designers and I refuse to carry their designs.  

You have to sell a lot of patterns to make money after the eBay fees, the PayPal fees, etc and so I started adding threads, fabrics and other items.  

I also started searching for old kits that my customers were requesting.  Since most were out of print, I would resort to eBay, garage sales and thrift stores.  I found some but along the way I also found other items I knew I could flip and make money on.  I was worried about selling the items in my specialty needlework store and wondering what my customers would think when I added coffee cups, shirts, ornaments, rubber stamps, home school books, aviation collectibles, etc.  I realized that with store categories, it didn’t matter. My customers could go to the categories they wanted and shop.  

I branched out two years ago when I was given 1200 books from a church I had taught a selling class to stay at home moms.  The books fit Amazon but not so much eBay. I did the Amazon platform for two years and after much frustration, astronomical fees, Amazon being my biggest competitor and the policy that customers can return an item at anytime made me decide to leave Amazon. I am closing my merchant fulfilled account this month.  

Why eBay works for me!  

1 It is easy to list and to sell.  I use mobile to list all items and I can correspond with customers and answer emails from my phone.

2. Sellers complain about the fees.  Have you ever had a brick and mortar, utilities, employees etc?  The “rent” I pay eBay is a lot less than I would pay in those fees to a landlord. Plus, I am selling globally, not just to my local customers. 

3. I can have my own hours.   I get up in the morning and check all emails for questions and sales.  My post office closes at 5:30 everyday. My husband drops everything off. We have a policy that if you buy by 4 PM that day it will go out if we are in the shoppe. I can arrange my schedule around how many packages I have to ship to know how my day will go. 

4. We have turned this into a family based business with my husband helping when I travel (I speak at conferences a few times a year about selling and buying) and he has the shipping part down pretty good.  Thanks Stamp.com for that.  

5. I love the community of eBay and PayPal. I love meeting sellers, buyers, and employees at eBay on Locations and when I speak.  I love having friends on Facebook who are sellers and buyers and understand that aspect of my life. I feel like I am part of eBay and PayPal.  

Devin Wenig, Cindy Sorley, John Donohoe.

Devin Wenig, Cindy Sorley, John Donohoe.


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