75% sale on all Nordstrom brands (repost)

(Screenshot) Presidents day sale…You NEED to take advantage of these prices!
This is a re-post for anyone who may have missed it over the weekend.

Rockabilly in a rural town

For close to 35 years I’ve lived in and around Palm Beach and Broward counties (Florida).  For the majority of those years, through all of the boyfriends, apartments, jobs and cars I’ve been through, the one thing that has remained consistent is my personal style.  I have always been a small town Rockabilly girl in a big city where fashion and personal style says just as much about who you are as a person as does the company you keep.

Rockabilly do rag.

One of my favorite accessories is the do rag.  I like it because for most of my life I’ve only had long hair.  I have a big forehead so bangs of some sort have also been a part of my forever look.  The thing about a do rag is you can never have a bad hair day, and in a city of high humidity, that’s pretty cool.  It’s also pretty cool that I don’t have to take a shower and get all gussied up just to run to the convenience store for a pack of cigarettes.  Dirty hair?  Who cares?  I’ll just tie it up, covering my roots and off I go like a fashion plate!

So anyway…

….. my new rural farming town….

…. the do rag doesn’t mean what it did in the big city….

They know my secrets!


In a small, rural farming town, a woman wearing a do rag is not sending  fashion forward signals and it says nothing about her sense of style.

My rural townies think I must be a seamstress…   I suppose I am, I mean,  I do sew some of the clothing I sell on eBay.

My rural townies think I must be a meat packer…  lets not go there (haha).

My rural townies think I must work in the cane fields…  pftt a day in the sun?  But my skin!!  How does someone whose skin is as flawless as mine survive the hot sun burning the hydration out of their skin cells?

My rural townies know when my hair is dirty.
Click here shop KirstenRaye’s full mix & match wardrobe

There’s a great vintage Ralph Lauren Western Wear Rockabilly skirt I would have kept for myself but it’s a size or two too large.  The link above will take you there.

The right word: Upcycle, Recycle or Restore?

When I bought this Dooney & Bourke bag, it didn’t look like this…


It was a very scuffed up, abused, tan/camel leather that, when I saw it, my heart sank when I could see and feel how well it’s made. It’s a very strong and sturdy bag.  Certainly there must be something I can do to salvage it, right?

When I got the bag home the first thing I did before bringing it into my apartment was to wash down the leather with saddle soap, and bleach the inner lining. Such a pretty, supple leather.

As luck would have it, one of the first people I met in my new, rural, farming town was a leather worker whose job is to keep his employers’ saddles and leather goods in top shape. I gave him a call, he invited me to bring the bag to him, and with a smile he handed me everything I need to “practice a new trade”. I’m very thankful. It was a fun project and I’d like to do it again. The question is, what was I doing? Was I Upcycling? Recycling? Restoring?

Upcycle: Reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original.

Recycle: Convert (waste) into reusable material. Return (material) to a previous stage in a cyclic process. Use again.

Restore: Bring back (a previous right, practice, custom, or situation); reinstate.

Well I guess I didn’t restore it because my Dooney & Bourke bag used to be a tan/camel colored pebbled leather.  I removed some of the pebbling and created new texture in place of it, and also significantly changed the color.  It’s actually much prettier now than it was in it’s previous state, even when it was new.

I’m pretty sure I recycled my Dooney & Bourke bag.  I converted an old, abused bag and returned it to a state where it can be used again.

I’m positive I upcycled it!  To me, this bags appearance is far more attractive than the original.  If I were shopping at Dooney & Bourke, I would place a higher value on the custom red-brown leather bag.

Anyway, with a little guidance from my new friend, I stripped the bag, reconditioned it, treated it, gave it a marbled blend with leather paint and polish, antiqued it, then polished it.  It took about 3 days between drying times and sleep.  Since it was the weekend, I didn’t do much else so it took about 30 hours of actual hands on (manual labor) time.

What do you think?  Is it upcycled, recycled, restored or maybe a little of all of the above?

  •  Side note – whoever programs spellcheck for the world needs to update his dictionary.  “upcycle” does not need to be corrected.  It is correct, in every sense of the word.


75% off Sale on all Nordstrom brands!

(Screenshot) Presidents day sale…You NEED to take advantage of these prices!


I threw a temper tantrum on eBay

Aside from the agony and self torture I put myself through when I know I’ve done something wrong,  after sitting down with myself for some serious self  introspection I’ve come to realize that it’s more than just a tantrum.  It’s that I lost faith in my own self and as a result I allowed myself to succumb to fear which,  turned inward becomes anger.    Anger is never good.  How very self destructive.

Ebay can be very stressful for  small businesses and I wonder how many others experience the same anger in their journey, be it on their way back up from a fall, fighting to find a new niche or just getting started?

If I [we] allow it to become a pattern then I’ll [we’ll] always fail…. even when I [we] don’t.  That’s the outcome of my self introspection following my tantrum,  but what was my tantrum about?  Something so simple.  Lack of patience.  I owe @DevinWenig an apology as well as @AskeBay an apology.  I’m probably being harsh with myself and they’re probably used to it but this doesn’t make it right.  It makes a miserable environment that potentially can get me into trouble with eBay.  If I’m depending on eBay for my livelihood, and if I’m genuinely thankful for the opportunity to be my own boss, work at my own pace, sometimes in my pajamas, have an unlimited earning potential and a bright future, then why am I creating my own roadblocks?

My temper tantrum was this;  I became a snot nosed child throwing puff punches at eBay for no other reason than I can’t control EVERYTHING.  I can micromanage every aspect of my life, I can be a controlling girlfriend, I can be a controlling pet owner, but what I can’t be is controlling of eBay.  It drives CRAZY!!  Crazy lady comin’ through!


In my defense, the bidding didn’t look like this [above] when I threw the tantrum.  It looked something more like this [below]…


..and this is why I lost control of my sanity.  The thing of it is this; when I run auctions, which is mostly what I do as opposed to “Buy it Now”, I know that the bidders will bid the item up (or down) to it’s resale market value.  I may think the end result is wrong, but the truth is,  the buyers/bidders drive the market.  I know this.

I know my product.  I’d like to think I choose my products wisely.  I’d also like to think I know it all.  What’s great about eBay is what’s driving me insane.  It’s that I can control nothing {insert grrrr noise here} in a life where I control everything…. but my temper.  I can be such an asshole… but lets get past that and move on to what I’ve learned.

For home based eBay businesses, especially those with limited storage space, auctions really are the best way to survive and earn a living.  There are variables that come into play, and having to compete with cheap Chinese knockoffs or an over saturated market in a very competitive niche has very little to do with it.

My niche is fashion.  I love fashion.  I know fashion.  I have an entire eBay careers worth of experience with fashion.  While I don’t know everything there is to know about fashion, I’m smart enough to conduct searches through eBay’s completed auctions section to find out what’s selling.   I don’t watch T.V. but I do watch YouTube videos, social media videos around the web and news videos.  All of the women I see in the videos have one important fact in common and that is that they all wear clothing as do the women at the cash register as I’m reading the tag lines of Vogue Magazine, Cosmo and all of the Rag Mags.  If I’m in a long line I’ll grab one and start browsing.  If I see something interesting, I’ll buy the magazine.  One need not be very bright to do this.

What I’m saying is, if you know your product and you proactively seek out new information, it really is impossible to fail.  But then there’s more.  What days do the average, mainstream Americans get paid?  Do their shopping?  Do their browsing and bookmarking?  There’s a synchronicity to it.

…and last but not least (lesson learned), stay… away… from the eBay community message boards.  The majority of the people who post messages are posting them in angst.  They are impatient too.  They are venting, being negative, spreading false information, often insulting to one another, sometimes passively, sometimes aggressively, but most important, they are affecting your psyche.  Misery loves company.  If they are down, they want you to be down too.  If you read it enough, it begins to set in.  Don’t let it set in.  Just don’t read it.  Take it out of your bookmarks.  Forget it exists.  Think of it this way, when is the last time you saw one of the larger, more financially fit businesses hanging out and posting?  They are busy being financially fit what is what the rest of us should be doing.

Yesterday was for learning.  The day before was for practice.  Today is for taking the trophy.  It’s an old saying my gymnastics coach drilled in my head when I was a kid.  It’s stuck with me all my life.

So in the end, my zero bid blouse sold for it’s resale market value.  I allowed myself to forget what I know and I grew impatient.  Bidding usually doesn’t gain momentum daily.  Auctions are awesome and for the most part, if done with forethought, turn out right 🙂

Furla BIG black leather cross body bag

I personally don’t know what I would put in such a big bag.  I was able to stuff two large beach towels inside and there was still room for more. Maybe it’s a travel bag or even just a good bag to travel back and fourth to the gym… but then there are those women who are good have around in any mini crisis situation.  You know the saying about the kitchen sink.  It’s that kind of bag!

It’s a Furla Black Leather Hobo Bag.  The cross body strap is canvas and can be removed.  The hand straps are leather.

Silver tone hardware. Slot for cell phone and one zip closure pocket.

Length: 15″
Width: 40″
Height: 13″

This one is ending today at 8:22 PM EST.   Most recent bid brings it to $52.99 – I’m pretty sure it will probably close there even though, in my opinion, it should have been closer to $150.00 – but alas, this is eBay and bid wars don’t really happen much anymore.  I’m thankful for the outcome either way.    I’m pretty lucky in that I am able to find a lot of nice, reusable tote bags.  The majority is preowned and the thrill is in salvaging something I know someone wants.  It’s good for the environment, it’s a fun past time and it helps to pay the bills during a difficult time in an employers market.  It’s all good 🙂

Hermès Tote Bag: Toil H Canvas

I found this Hermès Tote Bag in the least likely place.  I was actually looking for a new apartment, crisscrossing across all parts of Florida, searching for more bang for my buck.   I’m currently in a studio on the ocean which is nice but, I took it for the location which makes little sense for someone who doesn’t spend any ounce of time outside in the sun. There’s not a bit of storage space either so, I decided it’s time to find something a little more practical.  As it turned out, it was my lucky day!  I located a new apartment less than 15 miles from the most amazing thrift boutique ever.  More space, significantly smaller monthly rental payment and very close to a boutique where I can see myself spending a lot of time in.

Anyway, back to the bag.  I didn’t see it at first.   I flipped through the bags, saw nothing impressive and headed over to the blazers.   I don’t know what made me turn back around and walk back but when I lifted up a retired coach bag  and there, behind the tired old leather was something  very attractive, smiling at me like a potential new lover.   I turned to look over my shoulder as if someone behind me must have been playing a prank.  I giggled to myself and looked back at the bag and smiled shyly.  Approaching with caution, I giggled a little bit more, winked back, smiled from ear to ear and grabbed it with two hands!  It was one of the most exciting days ever.  To find an Hermès bag is the equivalent of a thrill seeker being able to put a check mark next to the adventure of a life time on his bucket list.  I have always wanted to find an Hermès bag, and there it finally was.

It’s an authentic Hermès Toil H Canvas Tote Bag with leather handles and trim.

It’s not in perfect condition.  There’s a bit of damage to two of the corners but it’s still a nice bag!  Yep, I have up for auction on eBay.  The auction will end at 9:05 PM EST, Thursday, January 5th.

As of this post, the bidding is only up to $39.00.  I’m hoping for a last minute bidding war but this is eBay and I’m not so sure those happen anymore.  We’ll see….