Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's Up Doc?

I called my mother's cancer doctor the other day to get some verification on her condition and he informed me that the doctor who told her she was not going to live another six months was wrong. He said that he doesn't know how long she will be with us but he believes she will be here at 6 months and pretty sure about 1 year and who knows after that. Can you believe it? I don't even know what to think. for now, I think I'll take it and run.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Life Changes in a Split Second

We got word today that my mom has lung cancer and that there is nothing they can do for her. She is 88 years old and only has one lung. She had TB when she was young and the treatments ruined one of her lungs. She has led a wonderful, full life and has been living without my dad for five years now.

I now that I feel worse for myself than I do for her. She is a strong Christian woman who has lived her faith to the letter and knows where she is going once she leaves here. I think she is anxious to get there. I, of course, don't want her suffer but I think it is inevitable.

I'm going to use my blog as therapy for me while I go through this. I live in California and my mom is in Maine. I'm going home to be with her until she passes. I want to be with her every day I can. My husband understands and agrees that this sacrifice will help me move on from this in a positive way. I don't want to spend my life wishing I had left CA and gone home.

I'm going to try to keep my Etsy shop open. It will give me something to do while my mom sleeps so many hours a day but she will come first and if I need to close it for awhile and start again, then so be it.

I hope that people will follow the blog and will comment. I will need help from those who have gone before me and maybe I can be a help to someone who is heading in that direction.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Sales

With Holiday EtsyFest over, now it's time to restock the shop and sell for Christmas. I have lots of new fabric and new style bags to try. I'm anxious to see new listings online. It's my first Christmas on Etsy so I'm not sure what to expect but I have high hopes. I'm working hard to promote and pick up my pace. Check out the shop and let me know what you think. Of course your suggetions are always welcome.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday EtsyFest Begins

Here we go! Holiday EtsyFest begins at 12:01 AM on November 27 and runs through Dec. 2 at 11:59 PM Come on in and check out the savings. Two Options to save: 1) $5.00 off $45.00; or 2) free shipping on the purchase of 2 bags of more. Make sure that you check out but do not pay until I send you an adjusted invoice. Payments must be made by 11:59 PM on December 3 in order to take advantage of the savingsl. Many Etsy sellers are participating and I have a partial list on the right.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday Etsy Fest Update

Come One ~ Come All

Holiday Etsy Fest ~ A partial list of participants is to the right. For my discounts, look below at my previous blog entry. Come on and join the fun while you save a load of cash!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Etsy Fest

Thanksgiving Weekend ~ Cyber Monday

12:01 Am on November 27 through 11:59 pm on December 1. A huge group of wonderful Etsians have joined forces and are participating in the Holiday Etsy fest. Each of us are offering our own specials for the weekend and these are mine.

Option 1 and 2 Offer:

Option 1: $5.00 off the purchase of $45.00 or more (not including shipping); OR
Option 2: Free shipping with the purchase of 2 or more items.

Just check-out and wait for an invoice for me before paying through paypal. All invoices must be paid by mid-night December 2, 2008.

Come join the fun and shop the list of crafters/artisans on the list I will provide by November 15. Let the shopping begin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Filling Up The Shop

I'm busy filling up my shop for Thanksgiving weekend when I'm offering a couple of discount options (Please check my 11/7/08 post). Trying new fabrics and styles to keep things interesting and I may even discount some bag styles I won't be making any more. Check out my shop frequently for new items. Thanks and enjoy the view.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend/Cyber Monday Discount

Starting at 12:01 AM on November 28, 2008 and continuing until December 1, 2008 at 11:59 PM, Bag Lady Bags has two discount offers for you to choose from:

1. $5.00 off any order of $45.00 or more (discount on merchadise only, not shipping); or

2. Free shipping when you purchase 2 or more bags.

You must select one of the above options prior to paying for your items and wait for me to send you an Invoice for the adjusted amount. Simply, type in "Option 1" or "Option 2" in the note field during check-out. Thank you and enjoy your bags!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Back to California

In a few days, I'll be back in California replenishing my shop for the holidays. I was fortunate to have some good sales while I was gone and thanks to my daughter, all the orders will filled quickly and the bags were on their way in record time. I have some fun ideas for Thanksgiving Weekend sales and Cyber Monday so stay tuned and check out my shop announcement. Until then, shop on!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A True Appreciation For The Pink Ribbon

Who knew that Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2008 would mean more to me than 2007. My 88 year old mother, Maxine, is a breast cancer survivor of one year. Last Sunday afternoon, out of the blue, she had a seizer and I immediately called 911. They took a CT scan and found a (very) small mass in her brain. How was I going to tell this wonderful woman that she was going to have to endure 10 radiation treatments and that she would lose all her hair (because they are using radiation on her entire head). She had already gone through so much and thought she was through the worst of it.

She has been very blessed because of her age and the type of cancer that she has (breast), she can take a little pill every day and it keeps the cancer from growing. That's it. That's all...and it seemed that life would go on as usual until last Sunday.

The wonderful doctors at the Cancer Center in Augusta, Maine told her that one cell must have gotten into her brain before they put her on the pill and it has taken all this time to get big enough to see (she had a CT scan in July and nothing showed up). Dr. Healey tells her that 90% of all people with this type of cancer in this location, at this size, never have a problem again after the radiation. I pray that he is correct.

When I told her she would lose her hair, her little eyes filled with tears but she was strong. It amazes me that even at 88 years old, women still care about such things. She said, "At least it's winter and I would wear a hat anyway when I go out."

Yesterday, after her treatment, we went to the Cancer Center Boutique and purchased three hats for her upcoming hair loss. My sister-in-law is coming tomorrow to give her a very short haircut so that it won't be quite so shocking for her. She will no longer be alone (although she insists on being in her own home, my two sisters and I take turns staying with her) and she will no longer be as independent as she once was, but we are praying that her strength will return and that she will be able to do some cooking...she loves to cook for her neighbors!

When I made 4 little pink ribbon knitting bags this month and listed them in honor of my mom and sister, who has just finished 6 1/2 weeks of radiation treatement, I never dreamed that they would end up meaning so much to me.

For those of you out there who have loved ones stricken with cancer of any kind or if you yourself are going through an ordeal like this one, know that there are people out there, like me, praying for you and wishing you well. I do pray every night for those who suffer from this disease and pray as well that a cure will soon follow.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thanks and Good Luck

Thanks to everyone who partiticpated in my questionnaire! Your participation will help me more than you know in designing a new knitting bag for my shop. I hope to have it done before Thanksgiving and I may put out a new questionnaire to name the bag (I like to name my bags!!).

Also, I would be interested in finding out what, if anything, everyone is doing for Thanksgiving weekend to drive traffic to our shops. I was in a forum on Etsy last week and people had some interesting ideas. Everything from free shipping to give aways was mentioned in order to get customers. There was even talk of banning together to create some sort of buzz. Someone else was going to print out some fliers and pass them out as well as offering coupons and discounts to previous buyers. All good ideas but I would be interested in hearing more if you would like to share.

In the meantime, keep creating, posting, and relisting...always going after the next sale. Thanks!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Heading to Maine

Well, it's that time again. Time to go back to Maine to relieve my sisters and take care of my mom for three weeks. I've been really trying to get my Etsy shop up and running and I don't want to put an away message up so my daughter, Hillary, is holding down the fort for me. I don't think she will have much to do because sales have been way down. The economy is so bad and people are really being serious about how they spend their money. I can't blame them, I'm doing the same thing. I see lots and lots of things I would like to purchase, but I'm holding back until somebody figures out what is going on.

In the meantime, I'm going home and enjoying the cool weather. The leaves will have probably already turned and fallen off for the most part but the California weather has been brutal here. It is supposed to be cooling down. Maybe by the time I get back things will have cooled down weatherwise and heated up on Etsy.

Good luck to all my fellow shop owners. Hang in there ~ better days are always ahead.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month - October

Well, it's here again ~ Breast Cancer Awareness Month ~ and I'm offering a great little Pink Ribbon Knitting Bag that includes a $2.00 donation (in your name) to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This is in honor of my mother and sister, Rae, both breast cancer survivors. I'm so happy and amazed to see so many pink ribbon products on It is great to see that so many great craftspeople, artists and designers getting involved in the cause. It only means that a cure will be found that much sooner. Leave a note telling me about your Pink Ribbon product. I'd love to hear how you participate in the effort to raise breast cancer awareness!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bichon Frise Fans

Hi all you Bichon owners:

I've been wondering what to do about my beautiful bichon's dirty face. Some say that it is the Iams food he is eating but I can't change his food at this point. There has to be something else I can do. I don't like the idea of using chemicals and/or medications but I have heard that there is some sort of liquid you can put on the food but I don't know the name or it or what is in it. Any ideas, suggestions, advice? Thanks.

Shipping Internationally

What a dilemma! I just can't seem to get a handle on international shipping. I don't know if I'm just shipping challenged or "plain stupid". I've done my homework ~ at least I think I have. I've gone onto; filled out the exact information for weight and content and then when I sell something and go to mail it ~ it costs me twice as much. The markup on my items is very small so I lose money every time I sell something abroad.

Fellow "Etsiers" tell me I'm losing out by not selling internationally but it is just too costly. I'd love to have comments by others on what they think. Let me know, share your stories, give me some discouragement or encouragement. Just post!!! Thanks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wonderful World of Etsy

Hi Guys, just a quick post to let everyone know that I have lots of new bags listed on The holidays are coming up and now is a great time to pick up gifts for those knitters/crocheters in your life who need a really cute bag to put their projects in.

I'm now offering gift certificates for those of you who just can't choose the right bag and for those of you who can decide and don't want to bother with wrapping and mailing, I'll do that as well. Just let me know when you check out and I'll fix you right up.

Have fun looking at my listings on Etsy and don't forget to check Ebay as well. I occasionally list different items on Ebay. Just go to, click on the "Community" icon and type in lrichmond3 to see what I have listed.

Have fun, check back often and buy, buy, buy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Trying to Reorganize

Wow, this Etsy stuff is fabulous, fun and frustrating all at once. I find that I'm wearing myself out sewing with little results. So, I've decided to give myself a shop makeover. I am doing the following things:

1. Purchased a new banner, 3 avatars, and business card graphics.
2. I'm going to offer holiday gift wrapping and shipping to an alternative address; and
3. Gift certificates.
4. I'm also making up thank you cards to include in my orders. (I already wrap my items in tissue and secure them with a gold label with "Bag Lady Bags" on it - along with my Etsy address, Ebay ID and e-mail address).

I convo people immediately and give feedback as soon as I am paid.

I find; however, that people don't like to return feedback. I guess it doesn't mean as much to them as an Ebay feedback so they don't feel compelled to do it. I have received many e-mails from people but not through the feedback channels.\

If anyone has any other ideas for me, let me know. I'd love to hear them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the Road

Finding it tough to run an Etsy business while out of town so much. I travel to Maine to care form my Mom every two months and, even though my daughter is in California holding down the fort so to speak, nothing seems to happen. I know that everyone says list, list and relist but while I am up here I only have dial-up internet access and it is incredibly slow! So, I'll just have to be patient and work like a beast when I am in California. Anyone with any other suggestions?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And It Begins

Well, here I am. I'm putting myself out there to promote my small (very small) business of making bags and totes for all occasions with an emphasis on knitting.
As far back as I can remember, I have loved crafts and crafting. I learned to knit when I was in the third grade. My sister taught me shortly after she learned to knit. She made one item and quit but I continued to teach myself and never stopped. Even when it was unpopular for young people to knit I kept "clacking" away.
I learned to sew in junior high school. My mother and father both helped me learn to sew to make the items we couldn't afford to buy. I made tops in the 70's that I could wear today if I still had them. "What goes around comes around."
I have had different craft businesses throughout my life that worked for awhile but we moved around a lot (my husband was in the miliary and now the company he works for keeps us moving) so just when I got things going, I had to leave my customer base. Then, came the internet and I thought I would try it again. Years ago, I wove baskets and made handsowen items to help display the baskets. When I sold more handsowen items than baskets, I switched over to country dolls and christmas ornaments. That was great until we left the northeast and moved to the southeast where country isn't "the thing".
I stopped selling crafts for a number of years and then started again recently when I needed an outlet while staying at home ~ alone a lot with nothing to do. My daughter is now 21 and has an active life and my husband travels. I am unable to get a "real" job because I take turns with my sisters taking care of my mom so I have to travel myself. Every two months, I travel from California to Maine for three weeks to give my sisters a break from caring for my mom. If I could find an employer who would hire me and still allow me to go home (Maine) every few months, I'd get a job in a minute.
I take great pride in the items that I make and I have been trying hard to promote them on Ebay and Etsy.
My addresses are: http:/; my user ID on Ebay is lrichmond3 and I have several of my bags pictured on
I hope you will check out my sites and maybe find something that you would like for yourself or to give as a gift. My prices are extremely reasonable. And, wish me luck in my new venture.