Drama, Romance, Intrigue...

Love. Early American Style.

Friday, March 28, 2008

We now Carry Mercantile Gatherings Primtivie Magazine!

I am so pleased to announce that we are now carrying in both our online webshoppe and our retail shoppe Mercantile Gatherings Magazine. This print magazine is well known within the primitive community online as being THE resource to go to for decorating ideas, free recipes, free PATTERNS, featured homes, featured shoppes, primitive craft and folk art shows across the country, and so much more!




I have only had this available for sale for a few days, and it is nearly sold out. I was shocked at how well received this was, and will plan on continuing to offer this to both my customers online and in our store.

Here's two more pictures of what you can expect from this great print magazine.








We have just a few of these available for sale, so stop by www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com to purchase it and get some great ideas for your primitive home!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ebay update, better check this out!

Okay, I've been spending wayyyyy too much time on this today, but it's got me all riled up!

I was just cruising through the sellers discussion forum, and found out that if you currently have a listing for a digital product (i.e. e-pattern) and it runs PAST March 31, the cut off date, Trust and Safety can remove the listing for you AND hit you with an ebay violation. But if you end your listing early, you will be saved from that violation, but lose your listing fees that you paid....no refunds given.

So....

Ebay sets new rules effective March 31, but are not allowing you to list them now. They are also pulling some of these listings early. AND if you do not voluntarily remove your listings that run past the March 31 deadline, you will be in violation of ebays rules and it will affect your account (which you may not care at this point anyway).

Yep, they are real winners over there, aren't they?

ALSO, there are many many many sellers over there that aren't aware that this is even going on. You know, not all sellers belong to ebay groups, so word may not be spreading to everyone. Be sure to let your friends out there know what is going on.

Such a shame, I feel for those that rely on ebay for their income.

Blessings,
MJ

Ebay's done it again...no E-Patterns!

Well folks, ebay has put another nail in the coffin of us small sellers on ebay, and some of the big ones too.

In case you haven't heard, effective March 31, ebay will no longer allow any digitally delivered items to be sold on ebay. They can only be sold on their classified ads section, and guess what, that's a fee of $9.95 for 30 days for EACH item!

What does this mean? Well, digitally delivered items are e-books, e-recipes (like your beloved prim recipes), auction templates, graphics, e-manuals (like I just bought for my antique Singer), AND E-PATTERNS! Anything that you ship to a customer via electronic format is under this new rule.

The kicker, they are already stopping sellers from listing these items and are pulling listings that sell these items, BEFORE their effective date. Sellers are being given a warning by ebay that they are in violation of ebay policies and stand the chance to have their seller status revoked.

I rarely sell on ebay anymore, so this will not affect me as a seller too much. As a buyer, it may hurt me a little more. Most of all, I am angered for those work at home mom's, people who have quit their day jobs, those just trying to earn a little extra cash to get buy, ebay is destroying their cash flow, and it's just not right. The least they could do is give notice of 60 or 90 days so that people can at least make other arrangements, but of course, when you are ebay, and you are making more than you can count, why should you care about the people out there trying to earn a little so their kids can go to camp, or to be able to sock away enough extra money to be able to afford the gas money this summer to take their kids to zoo?

What about those that have done well on ebay, and were finally able to leave that stressful day job, or the working moms that could finally stay home with their kids instead of placing them in daycare? What about those people?

Enough is enough, I say. This is getting out of hand. What is next? Will ebay now decide that ebay groups are nothing more than gripe sessions and **poof** they will suddenly disappear with members only finding out when they can no longer log on? Will they suddenly decide that ebay is only for designer handbags, shoes and ebay motors and push folk artists and crafters out completely?

Do I sound outraged? You bet I am! As I said, this hardly affects me at all business wise, but personally, I am devistated for my friends and colleagues that are suddenly left up a creek without a paddle.

Let's all band together and do something....spread the word about other forums and let's SUPPORT THEM. Think of not only selling on these, but trying to buy on them as well. I've bought a few things from Etsy, and have been very pleased, and happy to know that I am supporting a handcrafted selling site.

I'm going to list just a couple of those that I know of here, and please leave comments on other avenues that I have missed.

For e-patterns (and paper too):
Lemonpoppyseeds.com (both finished dolls and there is a pattern section too, awesome site!)
Etsy
Patternmart.com (you can instantly download e-patterns and buy paper patterns too...also there are e-classes which are fantastic!)
Patternpage.com (directory of websites that sell patterns)

Gosh, I know there's more, but I'm drawing a blank (I am so stinkin' mad!)....come on girls, let's list some more and also try to post something on your blogs as well to spread the word!

Bloggers, let's start exchanging links vigorously....I sell my e-patterns directly from my blog (thanks to patternmart.com) and many of you do too....we can all support each other in this!

Many blessings, and may God help us all!
Mary Jo

Friday, March 14, 2008

A sure sign of Spring (finally!)...

On my way to my shoppe this morning, I was thrilled to hear the sound of geese returning from their warm Winter home! *sigh* What a relief! I know that it hasn't been a harsh winter, but why did it still seem so long? In a way, I'm a bit sad, but only because I truly enjoy getting in my flannel pj's at 6 p.m.! With warm weather approaching, and now that the clocks were turned forward and it stays lighter longer, those early evening pj wardrobe changes are soon coming to an end.

I look forward now to seeing the first few sprouts of Spring flowers and plants to emerge. It's a surprise every year, since I have such a poor memory of what I have planted and where I have put it!

Enjoy the new Spring weather, and I'm hoping you hear geese where you are also!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

On this day in 1870....

The gentlement wrote the following on March 12, 1870:

3 Meals at home

work on Brafires trestle

Chilly all day

veal .60
salts .12
candy .10
__________
.82



Not exciting, but always fun to read! I have read most of the journal, and there are many references to trestles and the Erie train, so he must have been a railroad worker. This will be a very special keepsake for my 5 year old son, Seth, who is a true railfan. He knows more about steam engines than most adults, and amazes volunteers at Steamtown and Strasburg railroads on how he can name the engine classes and knows every little detail! What a wonderful find this journal was!

Here in Pennsylvania on this day in 2008, it also was chilly all day!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Monday, March 10, 2008

Technical difficulties....

Just to let you all know that my website hosting company must be experiencing some technical problems. I cannot access my website, which means you can't either! Don't worry, these issues are normally resoved VERY quickly, many times within an hour or two, so just check back in again!

Sorry for any inconvenience, I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't gone anywhere!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

This day in 1870.....

A few years ago, my husband Russ found a small leather bound book with a one flap folding over the front. The back has the remnants of what used to be a strip of fabric that must have been used to wrap around the book and tied into a bow to keep it secure.

This book is the Excelsior Diary for 1870 and has an interesting first few pages. There is a calendar, but it's on it's side which is very unusual to me. There are listings of "church days" for that year that include spiritual holidays that I've never heard of....Quadragesima Sunday is just one of them. There is a section of Stamp Duties which I don't quite understand. It looks almost like they are rates for which you would have to pay to become power of attorney, etc. Oh, maybe like a Notary Public? hmmm....I'll have to read that one some more.

There are pages listing the differences of times with New York City being the "current time" and then lists places as far as Mexico, and what their time would be. Distances from New York to "Important Places In North America" is another good read. For instance, from New York City to Philadelphia via train would take you 4 1/2 hours! And the longest, from New York to St. Paul, would take you 132 hours....hope they had a good book, or two, to read!

Last, but not least, is a page listing the Presidents of the United States. It lists their dates of birth, inauguration dates, how many years in office, the date they died, and their "native state". Just to put in perspective how very old this diary is, the last President listed is Ulysses S. Grant and his inauguration date was March 4, 1869, and years in office is blank. Imagine, Grant was President when this diary was printed, and my own home was already 43 years old! Amazing find!

We can't remember where we found this diary. Russ and I have attended so many auctions over the years, so maybe it came from one of the many box lots we purchased. It is in beautiful shape, and all entries are in pencil, so I hope that, somehow, it lasts for another 138 years. Unfortunately, no one's name is written inside, so we don't even know to whom it belonged. But it must have been a man, because once in a while you will see that he bought a beer at the tavern! LOL!

I'm hoping to share the entries with you on this blog, so be on the look out for "On this day in 1870" posts and I hope you enjoy reading the daily life of someone from so long ago!





Monday, March 3, 2008

Olde Prairie Register First Edition is ready for you!

I am so proud of my dear friend, Michele, of Holly Tree Primitives. She started her very own online magazine called Olde Prairie Register and launched the first edition this past weekend. I am honored to be a part of this first edition, and cannot wait to continue to contribute to such a professional online resource for crafters, artists, and plain ol' primitive lovers!

Visit www.oldeprairieregister.blogspot.com and see for yourself what it holds for you. There are free downloads and patterns, and even a contest and giveaway!

Blessings and enjoy!
Mary Jo

Loch's Maple Syrup Open House!

Our neighbors, Randy and Jamie Loch, have a wonderful maple syrup business. Each year they have an annual open house, and this year the dates are Saturday March 15, and Sunday March 16, 2008.

The Loch family has also recently opened a fiber mill where they process your fleeces into beautiful fibers. There is much to see at the open house besides how to make maple syrup. I am thrilled to be a part of Saturday's open house and will have a display of my dolls available along with demonstrating how I create them and use raw sheeps wool as hair for many of them. Our shoppe will be open both days of the open house, so we'd love for you to stop in either before or after visiting Loch's Maple Syrup. There also will be other artists and crafters as well.....a quilting demonstration, soap making, candle making, a blacksmith, spinning demonstrations, and more!

For more information on Loch's, visit their website at www.lochsmaple.com. You don't have to be local to enjoy their products, they sell online too! Please be sure to tell them that their neighbor, Mary Jo, sent you!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Saturday, March 1, 2008

My latest auction find!

I am so glad that I decided to stay to the end of the last auction I attended this past week! At the end of the auction rainbow was my little pot of gold....an antique Singer sewing machine!



This little beauty is in a portable case and came with a box of attachments. I was bidding against an antique dealer who wanted it only for the foot controller, so I knew I was going to have some competition, but I felt confident feeling that she would not be willing to pay too much for it just for the foot control.

Well, I was right, and ended up bidding against someone else that night instead, but came home with this old girl for only $15!!!!!!

The next day I carried her up from my minivan to the house, and was surprised to get another gift with purchasing this machine...a pulled muscle in my shoulder! She is so heavy that I pulled muscles in my shoulder and neck by carrying her. But she's worth it!

I grunted as I lifted her up on my kitchen table and was giddy with excitement! I was hoping beyond all hope that she would work. The only issue was a little note that the previous owner had in the attachment's box...the thread keeps breaking. It was written on an old and brittle piece of paper, meaning it has been a VERY long time that it has been in working order, and it made me a bit nervous.

I did some research online and by looking up the serial number on Singer's website, found out that it was made in 1950 and is a model 201. I refused to pay $15 for a replacement manual from Singer, so off to ebay I went and found a pdf version for only $4.99! It was a Godsend! I now had the instructions on how to tear this baby apart (I just love this kind of thing!).

I read up on the thread tension for both the spool thread and the bobbin thread. I carefully took apart the thread assembly, cleaned each and every little part while I was at it, and re-assembled it in order to "reset" the tension settings.

It worked like a charm and she is off and running, and she hums like a dream! I am shocked at how quiet she is, much more quiet than my 5 year old Singer, and much prettier too, although I'm not in favor of judging people, or machines, by their beauty alone.

I'd like to name her, but nothing has come to me yet. Maybe I will wait and create my very first doll with her and name both of them the same so that both can share in this moment.

And who said only boys can have toys?

Blessings,
Mary Jo