Archive | January, 2013

The Story of the Variety Store

26 Jan

I recently found myself in a small town in northern Virginia. In this small town I visited a genuine old-fashioned Variety Store. Sadly, today it is uncommon that small shops will offer you a good-sized selection as they can’t compete with larger stores that can offer lower prices and a larger variety. This shop was a true delight! It had many items which one would “need” — such as suction cups, nails, cleaning products, office supplies, etc. However, it also offered a wide selection of gifts for people of all ages and unique arts and crafts difficult to find in larger stores that sell specific name-brand crafts.

There was even a bell to ring in the back corner of the shop if you wanted ribbon to be cut! My personal favorite was the selection of penny candy lined up in jars. The customer service was lovely and customers in the shop were chatting with each other.

Not far from the Variety Store was a small cafe where I ordered lunch. I could not stop admiring a vintage toy displayed in the shop and I asked the cafe owner the story behind the piece. It was an old fashioned Japanese Pachinko Pin-Ball game/machine… great condition, framed in solid wood, and bright colors throughout. The neatest part of this story is that many people in the area grew up in military families and had spent part of their childhood in Japan, which means they instantly recognize the toy/game and love seeing a piece of their childhood along with their lunch sandwich.

This story helps summarize why I love VINTAGE items….do you have a story to share? I would love to hear it!


The Story of the Paper Bead

26 Jan

After many, many months of trying to get a new batch of handmade paper-beads from Rwanda to my house in DC — I finally have them! A volunteer coming back to the states, having been in Rwanda, ended up visiting family in the area in which I live before heading back to her home. So I was able to drive a few hours and pick them up in person (shipping over 5,000 beads would be very costly). When I got home and opened the box of beads my breath was taken away–there were lovely blues I had not yet seen before, and bright solid green and solid pink beads which I had brought back last year from Rwanda, and NEW deep red, garnet paper-beads—-the red beads are STUNNING and will also speak to you….I wonder what emotions they will evoke? In addition to being high quality and beautiful beads, the money from the sale of these beads goes directly to the women in Rwanda who made them! The women and their work space are featured in the bead listing — found at

Off to dream of garnet red paper-beads………….


20 Jan

All of these listing are $5 or under (lots of items $5.40 or $6, etc)

Thanks for looking!

Don’t Forget: Several Celebrations Coming Up!

19 Jan

In a few days we will honor Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. ……. while segregation and oppression is still present in the USA and the world (especially segregation as to where people live), we have come a long way in the past 50 years and MLK was a major catalyst for this change. Thank you to everyone who keeps his fight for peace and justice alive!

In February the Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, and Valentines Day will celebrated. Each of these celebrations/ holidays are unique and wonderful. If you are looking for gifts, decorations, or inspiration to mark these ETSY.COM is the place for you!

Before we know it St. Patrick’s Day and Easter will be upon us….let’s enjoy the aforementioned celebrations.


Opps, I did it again!

12 Jan

I recently wrote about how I was going to try to limit the coupons, deals, etc I create for my etsy shop– because they folks don’t take advantage of them. Instead, I encourage folks to please contact me “to make a deal.” However, I just couldn’t help myself, looking at all of the handmade and vintage treasures in the shop and wanting them to find a home I made a  “1.12.13 ONLY 40% OFF WITH COUPON “VALENTINE12″ (excludes items which read coupons do not apply on the top of the listing)” coupon. Oy. If you are reading this within the next several hours, please feel free to use the coupon code!

In other news, I have FINALLY made an ETSY Facebook page. Please visit me here:

Have a productive, restful, creative, lovely, sweet, adventurous, warm — whatever you want, rest of your weekend!

🙂 Amanda

Let’s Make a Deal + Pinterest

7 Jan

If you have ever read a blog post here or visited my etsy shop you know I am always offering “deals,” “coupons,” “promotions,” etc! And, other than keeping my brain cranking and creative juices flowing thinking of “deals” they don’t draw in customers. For example, current deals are 10% off handmade necklaces and buy 2 bead lots, get 1 free.

So, amazing blog readers, I try to price things very fairly but  if you see anything in my shop ( you want a deal on–CONVO me via ETSY. PLEASE–don’t be shy. I especially love to offer discounts when purchasing 2 or more items , offering a free listing item when purchasing 1 or more at regular price, and offering deals if you referred someone to my shop. I look forward to hearing from you!

In other news, I have JUST discovered the world of Pinterest! I think I held off so long because my mind and soul were already full of so many ideas. However, now that the door of Pinterest is opened, I am glad it is! Please be on the look out for me in the “world of Pinterest.”

Thanks so much for reading,

Amanda, the eclecticnester

2013 + de-commercialized valentines day

1 Jan

It’s a new calendar year. For some of us, it’s a new weather season. What does this time of year mean to you? I hope it brings you whatever you are seeking!

My mind is on Valentines Day. Despite my negative feelings towards commercialism, I feel deeply that one can have a “de- commercialized valentines day.” ……my vision:  handmade cards, gifts from handmade or local business, small sweet notions for those you care about, baked goods, vintage and re-used valentine items, paper garlands in pinks, purples, whites, and reds dancing through the house, goodie bags, adorning handmade jewelry, heart confetti……

I would be deeply grateful if you would swing by and consider purchasing some goodies for yourself or others in your life from there. Specific valentines-day related items can be found throughout the shop and more will be added through the end of the month!

There is also a pair of lampwork snowman earrings in great need of a home for sale!

As always, thank you for reading!