Monday, September 7, 2020

Happy Labor Day

I hope that everyone has a good Labor Day.

 I walked this morning. Not where I want to be with walking, but I'm working on it. Right now, the goal is to do a 25-30 minute walk 3 times a week. 

My weight is holding. I'm almost out of Coke, and have gone to having one every other day. This week, I made a chicken "detox" soup (recipe came from Food Network magazine). I've made it before, and it's good. A bowl fills me up at lunch-time. It's got chicken, spinach, carrots, ginger, and onions. It's a yummy soup. It's funny in that I've never been too big on soups, but I really like the ones that I make.

Work continues on. My eBay and eBid sites have Labor Day sales that end tomorrow. So far, no takers. I've been trying to figure out how to get my eBid listings to show up on Google Shopping, and so far no luck. I can't seem to toggle the switch on eBid that would allow for it, and I'm confused by what Google Marketplace wants. Hopefully I can figure it out soon.

Another project I have is converting some of my art for masks. These will be on Etsy. If you haven't done so, please check out my Etsy store: There's lots of art, jewelry, t-shirts, socks, etc... there.

Nothing else to tell at the moment. I'm spending today working on various online projects, as well as cleaning my physical space a bit. My room has way too much stuff in it, so I need to organize, as well as get stuff packed up and into my storage unit. 

Take Care!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

I'm 51 now!

That's right! This past Wednesday (26th August) was my 51rst birthday. Woo woo! It was a quiet day. I saw my best friend for brunch. I got take-out dinner with my parents. Ate cake. Read 'Spy Spy Again' by Mercedes Lackey (a gift from my brother). Woo woo!


The day before my birthday, I placed an order for a bracelet and photo book from the Thai BL series, Sotus The Series. I discovered Sotus on Netflix this past month, and thoroughly enjoyed watching it. I really liked Arthit (played by Krist Perawat) and was very taken with him. Oh, to be twenty-something again! I guess part of the appeal is that I've never even remotely had anything like that happen in my life. >sigh< Anyway, the series was awesome, and I hope that Netflix will get season two of it! In the meantime, I've had my little celebrity crush on Krist and went looking for merchandise of some sort from the series. Being in the USA, there's really nothing. I found a Thailand site that had some photobooks, and decided that I'd order one instead of the Cameo video I had been thinking about.


 Fast forward to today (Sunday). The doorbell rang at 9:15am. My book and bracelet had been delivered. YAY! The book is gorgeous, and I was pleased to see that it had English and Thai text in it. 


 On Monday, I had gone to the lab to get blood drawn for an A1C test. No results yet, and I'm gonna take no news as good news. I still need to make an appointment with a GP, and I'll tackle that this week.

I was supposed to have been walking last week, and it got away from me... again. I did drop a few pounds, and have kept my soda consumption down to 1 a day. I only have about 10 or so left, and once they're gone, I'm not going to buy any more to have at the house. I will be working on walking this week. 

My neuroma is doing okay. It's calmed down a lot. I still have that sensation of stepping on something, but it's not a constant feeling now. The walking shoes I found help out a lot.

In creative news, I've started work on a short story. I don't know if it'll be any good, but it's been a while since I've written anything so it's good to be writing some. I also have a new t-shirt design up for voting on Threadless. I'd appreciate it if you could head over there and vote for my tee. Thanks!

That's about it for now. I'll keep you posted with my progress. Take Care and have a Groovy Week!




Sunday, August 23, 2020

Morton's Neuroma, walking, and my upcoming birthday...

So, I walked this morning. Yippee.


I'm working on weight loss, and being more serious about it. This morning, I weighed it right at 250lbs. My goal is to lose 10%, or 25lbs. After that, I'll adjust the goal and work on that. Hopefully, I can do this by Thanksgiving. Here's what 250lbs and almost 51 looks like...


 While I'm not concerned about looks, I am concerned about my health and how I feel. I am heavier than I care for, though I am not repelled when I look in the mirror. I long ago accepted that this is what I look like... and I mean waaaaay back when I was a skinny thing in my 20s! I think that's important for all of us to do! Look in the mirror and accept and love yourself as you are! 

So, what's inspiring my efforts? Last week I went to the podiatrist because I have a pain/discomfort on the bottom of my foot. It feels like I'm stepping on something, with bouts of tingling.  The tingling is like my foot wants to fall asleep but just can't quite make it there. I looked online for my symptoms, and the podiatrist confirmed that it was Morton's Neuroma. I understand it to be a thickening of tissue around your nerves, usually around the middle toes. I got a shot of cortisone which has helped a little. Online reading says the shot is the treatment and it can take days to weeks to go away. The pain is described as stepping on a stone in your shoe. I feel like what I'm stepping on is liquid somewhat. It has "flattened" since the shot, but is still there. 

I'm often barefoot or in sandals. An adjustment I have to make is wearing shoes, as well as support in the shoes. I work from home and I'm often barefoot in the house, but I'm going to have to start wearing shoes for part of the day at least. Being overweight can cause the Neuroma. So can diabetes, and the doc has ordered blood work. I go to do that this week. Oh, I have no insurance (working artist, little money), so this ain't cheap. >sigh<

Last week I started on my goals. They are currently: walk, at least 3 times this week and next. I drink 1.5-2 sodas a day (the morning soda, I might only have half of). I've replaced that morning soda with sparkling water. Haven't found any I really like yet, but I'm drinking it. I'm also replacing some of the bottled tea I drink with water. There are plenty of low-calorie mix-ins I can use if I don't want to drink plain water. Also working on reducing my snacking, and what I snack on. I'm also trying to make my lunches veggie-oriented, which I've managed to do so far. Down the road, I plan to only have soda if I'm eating out. I have a limited amount of sodas left to drink up, and when they're gone, I ain't buying no more.

My plan isn't perfect, but I will make adjustments as needed. If I can keep up the walking, that will be a big component in my journey.

This all comes right before my birthday. Woo woo! I turn 51 this week, on Wednesday. With Covid-19 going on, this will be a quiet birthday. No going out to dinner, though my parents and I will get a take-out. I probably won't be seeing my brother and nephew. I will see my best friend for a bit though. Sadly, no Disney trip this year. I love going to Disney as a birthday treat. Instead, I ordered a few t-shirts from the Disney online store. I've also bought some other things for myself, both big and small, as this year's birthday celebration. This is fairly normal, though I usually stick to smaller things.

Here I am in the Donal Duck tee I bought! 

That's all for now. It's back to work for me. I will continue to post about my weight loss, my art, and any other thing that pops into my head. Take Care!





Friday, August 14, 2020

Grandma wearing some FIERCE gowns!

So, a little history... my maternal grandfather was Mayor of Jacksonville in the 1950's, and for a couple of years, Governor of Florida in the 1960's. These photos of Grandma were of her wearing the different gowns she wore to different inaugural balls. She looks so beautiful in these gowns, and I'm glad that we have these photos. Somewhere there's a photo of Mom in her gown, but it's not in these batch of pictures. We do have a lot of family photos that need to be scanned in, including more of Papa's political career.

Haydon Burns was my grandfather. His political career was all before my time, so I don't know much about it. I know he negotiated with Walt Disney to bring DisneyWorld to FL. I've heard that he cleaned up some seedy areas of downtown Jax and made them business or government buildings. I'm sure he was loved by some and hated by others. It was long ago. One of the things I remember about Papa is how he knew everybody's name. When my brothers and I were kids, and we were out with Grandma and Papa for dinner, people would approach the table, and often Papa knew their names, when they met, etc... even if it had been twenty years ago. 

I was always close with Grandma as a kid and teen-ager. She had a stroke when I was 16-17, and while she survived that, she wasn't the same. She passed away in 2000. She had always wanted to live to see the year 2000, and she did. Grandma was a special, wonder-full lady and I still miss her! 


Saturday, July 25, 2020

video from Ralph Attanasia

I got my Cameo video from Ralph Attanasia (from Cake Boss) today. Yay! This is an early birthday present to myself. I turn 51 on August 26th, and if you can't start celebrating early...  I enjoy seeing Ralph on tv, but since following him on Twitter and Instagram, he has become one of my favourite human beings!

I drew him not too long ago, as a sketch card - it is referenced in the video...

Anyway, this made my day, so I thought I would share. Take it easy!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

How to sell on Amazon, eBay, etc...

I just followed one of those "How to sell on Amazon" links and was shocked! They wanted $1,000 (more or less) to "teach" you how to sell on Amazon! To hell with that. I can tell you how to do this, and I'll do it for free!

So, before I start, I'll tell you that I got started on eBay not long after eBay got started. I'm thinking this was sometime in the mid to late 1990's. I'll admit that I'm terrible at remembering the "when" of something, so if I'm off a little bit, it's still a long time. Since I'm a photographer and artist, that's mostly what I sell, but I have been known to sell other items as well. I have sold on Amazon, but I'll admit that it's been a while.

So, here it is... 

First, you have to go to the site you want to sell on and create a seller account. On sites like eBay and eBid, this is free. I believe Amazon will allow you to sell a few items without paying for a seller account, but they want you to have an account if you're going to sell more than 2 or 3 items. Last time I looked, it was around $40 a month. I have a store subscription on both eBay and eBid. With the subscriptions I have for both sites, I pay less than $30 a month to sell. On eBid, this allows me to have a store-front and use the buy-it-now feature. On eBay, I get 500 free listings a month, divided between auctions and buy-it-now. I know the free listings are good for select categories, so you might want to check if what you're selling falls into those categories. 

Once you have your account set up, it's time to start listing items. You need to take some good photos of your items to post to the listing. Make sure you use a plain background. Take photos of any flaws or defects. For example, I recently listed a couple of old 1950's sci-fi story magazines, and I made sure to take photos of the spines and edges (which had a lot of wear). 

Next thing to do is to research your item. See what it's selling for. Factor in how much you paid for it. You obviously want to make a profit. If you bought an action figure on clearance for $5, the packaging is still in great (like new) shape, and the going rate for it is say $10-$20, you might consider listing it for $12.50. Why did I choose this price? It's low enough to attract buyers, but not so low that they are suspicious. It's also not too high, where you might not get any interest. That's for an auction. For a "buy it now", I might list it for $16, and much for the same reasons. With an auction, you have the chance of earning more for the item. With "buy it now", what you set the price at is what you get. Both have good points and bad. Don't be discouraged if an item doesn't sell during it's first, or even second, go-round on listings. 

When writing your item description, make sure you describe the item well. Describe the condition of the item and the packaging if appropriate. Learn some of the terms that apply and use them. If a buyer asks a question about the item, consider adding that information to future listings. Answer buyer questions politely and quickly. You should answer within 24 hours. Remember that customer service is key. Think of how you want to be treated when you buy, and then treat your customers that way.

As for shipping, you want to charge a reasonable price. Invest in a postage or kitchen scale. You can get one for around $20 on Wal-Mart's web-site. Use to look up postage prices, but be warned that you will have some difficulty finding first class prices as you can't mail first class via USPS (but you can via PayPal). Invest in the proper mailers and packaging for your items as well. eBay store subscriptions have a quarterly coupon that helps with shipping supplies. Don't over-price your postage, but watch out for under-pricing as well.

Finally, sign up for payment options. PayPal is great. I hear people complain about it from time to time, but I've never had any trouble. There are also other payment options like Venmo and Google Pay. Check out what the site you're selling on allows and go from there.

Feedback is important too. If you have low feedback, on eBay for example, consider buying some stuff (like your supplies) there so you can get some feedbacks. I leave positive feedback for my buyers after they have paid and I am packing up their items. 

Where do I find items to sell? That's a good question, and one I work at answering for myself since I'm wanting to branch out a bit. Clearance aisles, and stores like Ollies / Big Lots are good places to start. Start looking for places to buy from where you can flip the items for a profit. It may take some time, but you will find your sources. 

There is obviously more to this, but honestly, experience is the best teacher. Some of what works for me might not work will for you, and vice versa. I encourage you to read the "how to" guides on any site you want to sell on, and look for the selling forums as well.

I hope this has helped, and hey! You didn't have to spend any money for the advice! There are always links to sites where I sell my art, so I would appreciate you going and taking a look (and maybe sharing a link). 

Take Care! Happy Selling!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Raise Money for Trans Youth and Annoy JK Rowling

This morning, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see that Ralph from Cake Boss has started a Go Fund Me to support trans youth in response to JK Rowling's comments. YAY!

Ms. Rowling has recently been in "hot water" over some comments that are seen as anti-Trans. Personally, I take them as uninformed, but she has made anti-Trans comments before this recent scandal. Shame on her! She should educate herself! She should also remember that there are times to keep silent. 

I urge you to donate to this cause, even if it's only a few bucks. Trans kids are often at risk and anything would be a big help.

Ralph has come onto my radar recently, mainly because I'm a Food Network junkie and I've seen him on Buddy vs Duff show. I like him there, and started following him on Twitter and Instagram. Now, I think he's an awesome guy! I drew him, in my quasi-Archie style, as a sketch card a while back, and I wish I could have the chance to photograph this beautiful, wonder-full man! The more I see of Ralph, the more I like him. I'm glad that he's an ally. Thank You, Ralph, for being such an awesome person!

Take Care everyone! Have a Groovy Day and Be Excellent To Each Other!