Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Did she or didn't she?

Gwyneth Paltrow made a strong fashion statement in Zac Posen's apricot spider-web tulle-and-chiffon gown at this year's Oscars. Later, she told a reporter that she got the dress off the internet. So Gwyneth...what's your story? I'll never tell.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


With all the buzz and bling of Oscar night I was compelled to tell the story of my Waterman necklace. Bling.Bling.
It was and is a beauty and goes splendidly with my Cathy Waterman rings. I bought this Waterman design necklace via Ebay and then I sold this necklace to a woman on Ebay and then I bought this necklace--as in the very first original necklace I had bought-- from the very same woman on Ebay about a year later (same price...great deal) and then recently sold it once more. Color me crazy. If it's meant to be I will probably buy it back in another year.
But, my relationship first started with Cathy Waterman in my search for an anniversary ring. When I first began my quest for Cathy Waterman jewelry, my husband called an upscale department store to inquire if they carried her line. They answered that they carried a few pieces but he should call Miss Waterman to ask which store would have the best choices for me to look at.
Call Miss Waterman??
To me, this was like calling Julia Roberts or Gwyneth Paltrow. For weeks I was doing research upon research on Waterman rings and necklaces, where to get them, who wears them, and background history on Cathy Waterman herself (feature or flaw...I'm a born researcher). I felt like she was the goddess of Hollywood jewelry.
The store actually gave him Cathy Waterman's phone number!! And, my husband not being the affected one (that would be me...) called up and chatted with Cathy about jewelry stores in the Los Angeles area. How fabulous is that? And perhaps even better is that I did go to the store that Cathy herself recommended and bought my wedding anniversary rings... I love them. And I have kept them .

Friday, February 23, 2007

You never know who you'll meet

Whenever I have the opportunity to meet someone from an auction I jump at the chance. It's exciting, a mystery, and I've already created a whole person in my imagination from a few emails...sometimes, I'm surprised.
A son was selling an antique sofa for his mother in San Francisco and most of my emails and dealings were with him.It was of french design and had "harbor grey" silk upholstery...it was just lovely. It was truly a challenge to have the sofa delivered to my house because the seller lived on Lombard Street (yes, that Lombard street...the most crookedest...) and a huge moving van was going to have problems any way you looked at it. Luckily, it all worked out and arrived safely.
When I told the seller I was going to be traveling to San Francisco, he suggested a lunch with his mother and himself to celebrate the purchase and arrival of the sofa. I thought it was a splendid idea. Although my friends were a bit leery that I would meet a "stranger" in a big city I assured them that things would be fine. After all, his mother was coming along.
From the moment they arrived to pick me up at my hotel in the city I knew this would be one of the more memorable lunches I would ever have. A petite, blond, stylish ,older woman was driving her Mercedes 450SL with her 6 foot 2 inch dread locked native Maori (a New Zealand aboriginal warrior) son beside her. I was told that the son was adopted (ya think??) sometime during lunch. What a trio we must have looked like.
During my San Francisco tour the two took me across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito for lunch, we toured secret spots from a resident's point of view, and ended up in their fabulous home on Lombard.The views were of the San Francisco bay...hence the "harbor grey" on the sofa. It was a most unusual but wonderful day. Although the sofa did not stay at my home (sold it a few months later on Ebay) the memories will always reside.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Project Runway

If every auction tells a story then this dress has a season to go along with it. I won this finale dress by Kara Janx during season 2 of Project Runway (chloe, daniel, santino) and most of you may not even know that Kara Janx (the saucy south african- karajanx.com) was a part of Olympus Fashion Week/2006.
What Project Runway producers didn't tell middle America is that they needed to allow the final four designers to show their designs during fashion week so the press would be fooled while reporting and not spill the beans about who the final three would be.
In reality, Kara knew that her designs would not really be judged and could go creative crazy with her designs. Tim Gunn said "Kara could have won the whole thing with the decoy collection she presented at fashion week." Her outfits ranged from street-chic -- blazers, T-shirts, skinny cropped trousers -- to edgy elegance. We can only wonder what the judges would have told Janx, whose collection flowed like the softest silk charmeuse from one look to the next.
So, where do I come into play on this? During the season there were auctions on the Project Runway website for the designer's clothing and I won this original Kara Janx dress from Olympus Fashion Week. I felt so fabulous when this one actually fit and looked quite smashing-- but reality hit and I said "where in my tiny town of Arizona am I going to ever wear this lovely gown??" So, I sold it on Ebay...to someone from some tiny town in Georgia who I really hope gets to wear it one day and knock the socks off everyone. Auf Wiedersehen

Monday, February 19, 2007

just because....

I've always wanted to be queen.

Those were the days, my friends

I was one of the earlier ebayers. Digital cameras were a novelty and I can remember having to send my pictures to post for an auction to someone in Michigan or thereabouts so then I could post off their website...trust me, it was just as confusing as it sounds.
Those days were such a learning and great time and it was truly the thrill of the hunt. Ebay introduced me to a creative and talented woman who lives in Washington who started out as "salvage gal" and has evolved into "classic-details".
The picture is her house...not a house she wanted her home to look like, but it is HER house. How fabulous is that? And she has kids! She had the COOLEST white pieces, sparkles to add panache, and put it all together so effortlessly. She was definitely the "go-to" girl on Ebay. I was lucky to receive many a package that I had won from her auctions.
I have always encouraged Teri to become the interior designer or photographer (this girl can find the most gentle natural light to capture perfection in her photos).Although not as involved as she once was, Teri has always played the game of Ebay for the joy of it. Those were the days, my friends.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dancing Queen

Sometimes it's hard to let go of certain pieces. I call this an "emotional attachment" and in most cases I always tell people to hold on to that item until the attachment is gone. This dress is one of those things.
Although I never wore this dress I had a dress so similar to it in my dancing queen, disco diva days of the 70's that I just felt the need, the want to remember it once more..so, I bid on and won this dress last year. It's handmade lace, off the runway, a Ralph Lauren collection piece and it's stunning. I knew it would need some adjustments (er...um...that is, I would need some adjustments) but I thought if I threw it on with a t-shirt and a jean jacket it could work.
Okay, so the dress didn't fit (certainly not the way it would have 20 years ago...) so after my "reunited, and it feels so good" moment I put it back on Ebay. I'm glad I sold it to recoup the cash for my misty watercolor memory, but would the woman I sold it to be the right fit for the "you can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life" energy that the dress had to offer?
The buyer lived in Vancouver and here is her story via e-mail messages:
"Sorry for the late reply. We spend all our weekends with our children. Saturday was visit to the Aquarium and Science World. Yesterday was to take advantage of all the final markdowns at the stores. Many things were marked down to 70%, then another 20% off on top of that."
So, she sounds like a bargain hunter...no problem..and hmmm..she's very involved with her children. And then...
"Vancouver is really the best city to raise children in. My daughter is 5, and she already skis, sails, skates, cycles, swims, etc. We don’t have TV at home, but we give our children lots of other activities, and books to stimulate their minds.
After the birth of our 2nd child, I have been riding my exercise bike 45-60 minutes a day, plus 520 abs exercises, and light 3 lb weights to get back into shape. I am down to a size 4/6, and should be a 4 by the end of the summer. It is doable, but takes work, and discipline."
That's when I knew someone needed a little dancing queen in her life. Maybe this dress just might help her find it.


Imagine your favorite pasta presented on these beautiful colors. When I first found Tiziana and her beautiful handmade pottery on ebay (timamagi) I was blown away. It is so beautiful, so vibrant, and I love the story behind it.

Tiziana lives in the Deruta, Italy area and has a passion for pottery that she turned into a business. The first artist in her business portfolio, Eugenio Ricciarelli creates EVERY PIECE by hand . That is; hand shaped on a wheel and brush painted upon firing....no mistakes here. We Americans have a hard enough time making a home cooked meal and this guy creates the plate that it is served on from scratch...gotta love that. Although the shipping is high, Tiziana does her best to keep the costs down and it still is cheaper than flying over to Italy to collect --although most of us would prefer that option if we could.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lady in Red

Every woman needs a red dress. It's sexy, powerful, grabs attention and makes you feel like a million bucks.
I found a beautiful red Roberto Cavalli short flirty dress on ebay from a seller with a stellar feedback rating. She has more than 3000 positive compliments and always has the coolest, up to the moment, hippest designer clothing. She lives in Pacific Palisades, CA area but I know that she must auction off other women's clothes than her own. I mean, who wears size 10 Jimmy Choo sandals along with size 8 Manolo Blahnik mules?
It doesn't really matter to me...I just like her inventory.
I bid on and won an exquisite red dress and the auction did state that there were a couple of spots but the seller was certain that they would come out at the dry cleaners. No problem. The dress arrived, fit perfectly, but true to her word I did see some spots on the skirt of the dress. No problem. I took the dress to my local dry cleaners, explained the problem and was told to pick it up in two days. I went to pick it up in two days. Problem.
I was asked to go to the BACK of the dry cleaners. The back of the dry cleaners? Who goes there?? Where they do the work, the pre-spotting, the pressing? I felt like all eyes were on me as I traveled through racks and bags of clothes. I met Dorothy who is the pre-spot expert and it was then I felt like I was being interrogated by the government's secret service.
"Is this your dress?"
I answered, "Yes"
"Do you know this dress has these stains on the front?"
"Yes, I do...I was hoping you could get them out."
"Do you know how these stains got here or what they are?"
It was then I spilled my guts. No, I didn't know...I had bought the dress on Ebay and the seller told me there were spots but I just assumed it was champagne from a joyous night of celebration by the woman who had worn the dress before me.
Dorothy told me how she had pre-spotted for alcohol, for food products, for make-up, there was only one thing it could be and she didn't know if it would come out.
"What is the stain, Dorothy?" I was more than curious at this point.
"Well.." she began in slow manner, "it's an organic material"
I thought to myself. Organic? That's good, isn't it? Organic is good, right?
Dorothy continued, "I believe there might be grass stains..." (hmmm..the woman must have slipped while wearing the dress? It could happen...) "along with some type of bodily fluids..."

I thought I would die...ewwwwwwwwwwww!
"Dorothy, are you saying that after this woman had a few glasses of champagne she maybe had sex somewhere on a lawn??!!"
Dorothy told me how she had tried spot removers for vomit and other disgusting "organic" fluids but if I knew that it was bodily fluids it would make her job easier.
I again repeated how I had no idea how the stains got there (was she wanting me to take a DNA test??! Did she believe me?!) and perhaps it was best if I just returned the dress to the original seller.
I ran out with the dress, packed it up, shipped it off, completely grossed out the seller of the dress with my story and was immediately refunded my original price, shipping, and dry cleaning bills. She received another positive, perfect, feedback comment from me. I'm not sure what she did with the dress...hmmm.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I just adore a penthouse view

My wardrobe went up a few notches on the designer scale when I bought from Jodi at greatthings4us. Along with being a lovely wife and mother, Jodi has impeccable style and luckily changes her clothes from season to season allowing us "green acres" folks to share in her closet. Chanel, Narciso Rodriguez, Gucci, Michael Kors, Hermes, and so many more are part of her offerings that I have seen, bid on, and sometimes won. New York is where I'd rather stay...I get allergic smelling hay...I just adore a penthouse view.... thanks Jodi for giving us Park Avenue.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Katie do, Katie did

So some of you may balk at the idea of a dog having a painting. But it's ever so much wiser to purchase a dress that doesn't fit?! Did that, done that. You get my point...pets are family and sometimes you may do what others consider crazy things for your family. I found Kimberly Kelly Santini on Ebay when she painted a portrait of our dog, Katie. She's an artist who listens to you and wants to capture the true essence of your pet. She is always working on improving her skills and currently has a gig going where she paints a dog or cat a day (every day...go figure!) on a small canvas. You can even get your favorite pet on the list to have her/him be the star of the day. Come. Sit. Stay. Enjoy the art.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

a spade by any other name

I will write the Dragnet version (short.sweet.to the point) of this auction until the need to embellish ...

Bid and won Kate Spade handbag.
Too small for belongings.
Posted on Ebay to re-sell.
Bumped off EBay by legal team for Kate Spade stating it was a fake. Notified original seller.
Seller requests return and will refund my original payment.

Now this is where the story gets good.
I sent the bag back to the seller in a town near Sacramento, California with delivery confirmation (a note to ebayers--ALWAYS use delivery confirmation) and after she emailed me to let me know she received it she told me that she would refund via Paypal (takes about 60 seconds at the most). For the next 3-5 days I waited for the refund...nothing. I contacted the seller. She writes back and says that her husband has had an accident and was now in the hospital! Oh my gosh! I felt terrible...thinking she was a thief..and here...her husband...in the hospital! The seller also let me know that as soon as she had a free moment she would refund.
I let it go for another week and contacted her once more wishing her husband well in my email (after all, I may want my money back but I am a gracious and caring ebayer...) and again, asking for that dangling refund. I receive another email from her.
Hold on to your seats.
She states that her husband has NOW DIED and she is making preparations for his funeral and the out of town family that will be arriving for the service. Now, color me crazy, but I started thinking something was amiss...a little funny...something was not right in ebay-refund town. So, I did what any curious/suspicious woman would do.
I checked the obituaries.
I checked them in Sacramento, I checked them for all the towns/cities/communities surrounding Sacramento and even into San Francisco. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It was then I remembered an earlier email where it stated this seller's place of employment/address and phone number....yep, I did it. I called up her work and asked if "such and such" worked there and would she be available to accept flowers in regards to her husband's funeral. "I'm sorry, you must be mistaken? Such and such has not had any death in her family".
AHA! GOTCHA! I know...seems a bit obsessive for me to go through all this....but along with taking my money she also had me on an emotional roller coaster with her stories. This is the 1% that makes ebay a bummer and I'm glad I don't run into them all too often.
In conclusion, I confronted her and let her know that there were "facts in her story that were not as they appear..." and received a refund the very next day.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

va va voom girl

So here I am after a hard day at the office. Just kidding...but had you going there now didn't I?

Actually, I own this dress. I bid on and won this dress. This FABULOUS dress in this beautiful color with the mermaid swish fish tail. This dress by none other than Zac Posen. This dress that doesn't fit over my hips??!!@##!!!

So, why did I buy this most splendid frock that doesn't fit? I actually did think it was going to fit...you know, after I lost that 10 pounds... and then I was planning to wear it to my 25th high school reunion and show all of those midwesterners what this girl is made of....that's right. And then I was going to get John Travolta to help me with that bucket of pigs blood and....sorry... flashbacks of that infamous 70's movie. Really...my high school years were great--just like everyone elses :)

So, now it is tucked away for that one day when who knows? Maybe I just may have to slip it on for a night on the town....va va voom.

you light up my life

It's so french and so fabulous! These were the words first uttered from my mouth when I received my most wonderful chandelier from Angelic Antiques (angelicantiques). Two things I remember about this purchase:

1. Angelic antiques was kind enough to let me make payments on this because the pricetag was way over my budget for a dining room light fixture...thank you! (there's a tip, ebayers....ask...and you could receive)

2. Angelic antiques travels to France once a year to do flea market shopping. How fab is that? When Rebecca (the angel of the antiques business) walked into a tucked away antiques shop and saw this yummy chandelier with the sky blue crystal drops (dating from the 1800's...yes, yes, it has been made to hold lightbulbs now...) she immediately knew she would have to bring it to the states.

And there you go....from France, to California, to Arizona...ah, the stories it could tell.

my mother

This has to be one of my favorites. It is a warm, soft, honey color that you can almost taste on the tip of your tongue with the curves of a big, bosomy woman that you want to hug till there's nothing left to hug...perfection.She's designed by Ralph Widdicombe, a nephew of John Widdicomb of the Widdicomb Furniture Company. For 50+ years all Widdicomb furniture was designed by Ralph until his retirement in 1951 and Mr. Widdicombe (who always retained the old English spelling of his name ending with an "e") was the first to introduce the United States to the French Provincial designs of furniture....go Ralph!
I bought this from a wonderful ebayer, Bleu Gardenia (bleugardenia), who also had a store I believe in Newport Beach, CA. I had dropped my dear airedale terrier, Zoe, off at a specialized animal hospital to be operated on for hip dysplasia (long story short...she's great today...full of herself and a fool in general) and stopped by the Bleu Gardenia store to collect the piece and travel back to Arizona. The dresser was at the owner's son's home (the views were fabulous...in the hills) and unfortunately she was too long to fit in the back of my Jeep Cherokee. She would have to be sent.
Shipping furniture is a real drag. It's expensive, takes forever, and you never really know who you're dealing with. In this case, I was lucky. The dresser arrived perfectly, weighs about 200 pounds, and now holds some of my husband's prized possessions of his family history. We call her "mother"...I walk by her everyday and smile...I just want to hug her.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

It's like the Starbucks of the internet...

My hands were sweaty. My heart was racing. My fingers were arched in a ready position over the keyboard. The time had come to place my bid. Anyone that’s been doing EBay long enough knows to wait for the last possible second to type in your bid. At times it can be risky because there is always the other guy doing the same thing as you and you could lose out if you bid too low but it’s a chance you have to take.
You see, I’m an EBayaholic. My friends are always amazed at the things I have bought on this mother of all auction sites. From clothing to clocks to antique leather chairs that fill my house, I have found and bid on them. I find that EBay is much more than just an auction internet house. It truly is an amazing phenomenon in our world and one that nobody could have guessed would be here 10 years ago. It’s like the Starbucks of the internet. It’s easy, quick, and people get addicted.
Every auction tells a story. Naturally most are about the item that is being auctioned off but there are many untold stories about the buyer and seller that we’ll never know. The people that I have become acquainted with and the friendly e-mails we have exchanged all make the winning that much sweeter. I have been fortunate to meet several sellers of items I have bought on Ebay.
Every auction has a story and this one is based on mine .