Looking Out My Back Door – October 20, 2014

We’re almost mid-way through Fall 2014.  The days are getting shorter and I’m going to bed earlier.  My internal clock seems to tell me that if it’s dark out it’s time to go to bed.  However, once I’ve had enough sleep, it doesn’t matter if it’s dark out or not, I’m awake and I get up.  Some mornings that’s as early as 4 a.m.  I’m a morning person and I don’t mind.  And Graycie is delighted to have her breakfast a little early.

Colors of Autumn

Colors of Autumn

The last several weeks have been dry.  We’ve had a few rainy days but we are in a rain deficit, which I guess you could call a drought.  The grass hasn’t really grown much and I haven’t had to mow much over these last few weeks. Rain is forecasted for the next couple of days, and that’s a good thing.  Although we haven’t yet had frost, we’ve had some cold days and nights.  My pole beans are still producing and I picked a nice handful this afternoon which I had for dinner tonight.  The basil is still growing in the planters. 

We’ve had lots of windy days, though.  The leaves were just beginning to turn brilliant fall colors and then the wind came along and blew a good portion of them off.  I took the photo below before many were blown away.  It was beautiful for a short while.

Fall Color

Fall Color

 I managed to catch the following photo during one of the rainy days that we have had recently.  Know what it is?

Drop In the Bucket

Drop In the Bucket

It’s a drop in the rain barrel.  That’s how exciting it is around here….I’m standing there, camera in hand, trying to catch a drop of water hitting the surface of the water in the bucket. 

My Etsy shop provided a little excitement recently.  I had a child’s transferware tea set that had been listed for quite a while.  There was not that much interest in it and then, wham, all of a sudden there were views and people favoriting it to beat the band (favoriting is an Etsy term for liking something; you click on the little heart next to the item, the heart turns red and it is now officially your favorite) .  This went on for days.  Why?  I had to unravel this mystery.  As it turns out, the woman who was the first to favorite it at the beginning of the mad rush had over 1,000,000 followers on Etsy…no shop, just a hoard of followers.   For those of you who don’t know the Etsy lingo, a “follower” is someone who watches everything you do on Etsy (they actually get an electronic feed of all your Etsy activity).  I think it’s kind of asinine myself.  I don’t follow anyone on Etsy.  What do I care what someone else is doing or liking?   I’ve got enough problems just keeping track of what I’m doing, or supposed to be doing.

So it was this person with over a million followers who started the whole thing.  Some of her multitude of followers just mindlessly jump on the bandwagon and follow what she follows and one of those things was my listing.  No one probably really liked it and certainly no one was remotely interested in buying it.  It’s just an Etsy game and a waste of time in my opinion. 

So, then I did a Google search for this person’s Etsy name.  And I saw that name connected with something called “Polyvore”.  What the heck was Polyvore?  Well, it’s a site that’s something like Pinterest (if you don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s a site where you create “boards” that contain pictures of things you like and links to those websites.  Things like recipes, or wedding dresses, on souvenir spoons or whatever).  But this Polyvore thing had a twist to it.  You didn’t create boards, you created sets.  And a set is a collage.  You add photos to your set in a certain order…you layer one on top of another, you can move them around and resize them but the layering part is really the most important part (or at least so I think). 

And this woman who had over 1,000,000 followers on Etsy had over 1,000,000 set views on Polyvore.  I found it interesting.  It had basically a fashion theme to the sets but there was a home decor and art twist as well.  So what the heck, I joined Polyvore.  I thought maybe I could load some of the photos of my Etsy listings on Polyvore and use them in sets and maybe someone would be interested, click on the item and end up at my shop.  Couldn’t hurt.  Right?  Well, then I got addicted.



The ashtray, map of China, no smoking sign, chopsticks and Kent cigarette boxes shown in the set above are all listed for sale in my Etsy shop.  I came up with a Chinese take out theme, added other photos and produced this set shown above. I produced several sets with my items in it as an attempt to promote my shop.

And then I caught on to the Polyvore contest thing.  They routinely have contests where you have to incorporate a certain thing, say a pair of boots, or hand lotion or whatever into the set.  The sets are judged and winners picked.  If you win you get an electronic trophy displayed on your Polyvore profile.  Sometimes you even get an actual prize.  So, in any case I figured I’d try my hand at this contest thing.  It was sponsored by a furniture manufacturer called Aerin and the theme was fall entertaining.

Polyvore Contest Entry

Polyvore Contest Entry

I picked a light beige background and white rug.  Then I chose a photo taken from the movie “Far From Heaven” with Julianne Moore.  It showed a late 1950s station wagon in a fall residential setting.  I created a window with that photo and put drapes around it and a table and lamp in front of it.  I placed a mirror on the wall, two chairs in the foreground with a coffee table between them.  Put a pillow on one chair and a dog on the other.  Put a small bowl and a picture on the coffee table.  I even found a nice photo of Julianne Moore to put in the picture frame.  Would anyone get the connection between the scene out the window and Julianne Moore’s photo?  I doubted it.  But I found it entertaining.

It has since dawned on me that this is an enormous waste of time.  Creating sets with my own items is one thing but entering contests to promote someone else is ridiculous.  I joined Polyvore two weeks ago.  I’ve had 7,600 set views and only one view to my Etsy shop via Polyvore (I know this thanks to the great stats that Etsy provides).  My fascination with Polyvore is over…it was fun while it lasted.

Fried Egg on Roasted Vegetables and Greens

Fried Egg on Roasted Vegetables and Greens

I’ve touted the wonders of roasted vegetables and listed a myriad of things you can do with them in earlier posts.  My latest culinary treat is a fresh greens and tomato salad with roasted vegetables topped with a fried egg.  Serve that with a few toast fingers to dip into the yolk and you have a marvelous lunch!

Kerry's White Chocolate Bark with Cherries, Apricots and Cashews

Kerry’s White Chocolate Bark with Cherries, Apricots and Cashews

And talk about culinary treats…the photo above shows a box full of white chocolate bark studded with dried cherries, apricots and cashews.  This is magnificent!  The white chocolate is creamy and luscious, the dried fruit is tart yet sweet and the cashews provide a buttery crunch.  I don’t know which I like better, this or the spicy dark chocolate bark with cherries and pepitas.  And now I see that Kerry has added a spicy nut mix (with chocolate or without) to her Etsy shop offerings. 

You can find Kerry’s shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KerryCan


One thought on “Looking Out My Back Door – October 20, 2014

  1. KerryCan

    I was loving everything about this post, even before I saw my candy! Your fall sounds so much like ours but we’ve had frosts and it has even snowed in the mountains already! The whole story about your Etsy shop and Polyvore is very interesting–I didn’t know a thing about Polyvore! It looks like fun but it does sound like it has the potential, like Pinterest (and treasuries on Etsy), of being kind of a time suck, with limited payoff. I bet a person would have to devote a LOT of time to getting a million followers! And, again, I’m so glad you liked the white chocolate!


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