Martha Stewart Halloween Magazine 2014

Every year, I wait anxiously for the Halloween issue of Martha Stewart Living.  Well, here it is, at last.

The magazine this year is two sided with one side representing the regular monthly issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. It's done in grays and oranges with ornate pumpkins and a handsome owl and really is a lovely image, don't you think? Kudos to those fabulous photographers and of course to those who give the photographers some pretty great props to photograph.

The flip side of this issue, called Martha Stewart Living A Special Section, features Martha looking pretty amazing in silvery white and blue. Her turquoise eyes (or maybe that color really is Martha's robin's egg blue) really pop. When you look at that picture for more than a moment you see more and more levels of detail. I expect it must have been difficult for the costume designers to know when to stop.

If you were looking for a Martha Stewart Living special edition for 2014, I think it is safe to say that you can stop looking.  The presence of the words "A Special Section" on the backside of this October issue confirms at least in my mind that there will not be a dedicated special this year.

If you'd like to add this year's issue to your collection, you can find it at Amazon by clicking right here.

I'm off now to add this page to my Martha Stewart Living Halloween magazine index page. If you would like to take a peek at most of the Martha Stewart Living Halloween themed magazines and special editions produced since 1997, you will find them there.

Happy Haunting


Quick Links:

Buy Martha Stewart's Halloween 2014 issue on Amazon.
Martha Stewart Halloween Magazine Index

How To Replace A Broken Coffee Mug

Broken Coffee Mug
Mug Emergency! I often receive a question about how to locate a specific mug, especially after a much beloved mug has been broken. 

In June, I received a message from a desperate man. He was in the middle of a just such a mug emergency and he said:

"Help! I've just chipped my fiancée's favourite Whittards mug. She's had it for maybe eight or nine years. It has stars on it, it is blue on the inside... If you could find said mug - I can send a picture - I would be willing to pay... If not, any advice would be gratefully appreciated."

I sell a lot of mugs on eBay, have quite a few pages about coffee mugs on Squidoo and a Facebook page called I LOVE COFFEE MUGS so I guess that is why people turn to me for help. In this case, Thomas found my page about Whittard of Chelsea mugs on Squidoo and wrote to me hopeful that I might actually have a replacement coffee mug to sell to him.

Unfortunately for both Thomas and his fiancée, I do not have any Whittard mugs in my eBay store. Truth be told, I have three in my cupboard including a replacement for the broken one shown here in this image.  Whittard of Chelsea mugs really are so nice that any that I find to sell usually wind-up taking up home in my personal coffee mug collection.

So I told Thomas what I often tell others, and that is to set up a saved search on eBay. Once you have done so, eBay will search every day for the item you are looking for and send you a notification when one becomes available.  For this to be a reasonable option, you have to be able to narrow down your search so that eBay doesn't turn up hundreds of mugs every day.  

Here's what I told Thomas to do. You can do the same, changing the search words to words related to the mug that you are searching for.

  1. Start by searching for the mug that you are looking for -- in Thomas' case, I would use "whittard mug blue stars" -- without the quotation marks.  
  2. Then you will see a button called "Follow this search." Click on that button and check the little box to have eBay send you an email if one becomes available.  
It really is that simple. The hardest part is manipulating eBay's search to turn up a reasonable (small) number of results.  Try the most important search words first and, if that brings too many eBay results, add another one.  I do not recommend using the word coffee because some sellers sell mugs without actually saying coffee mug.

When I broke my mug, it took me about six months to replace it.  That is because there are not many Whittard mugs available in North America. They are sold in the United Kingdom and few find there way to North America. In the end I paid a bit of a premium for my replacement mug because it was located in England and I live in Canada and because shipping is expensive but it was worth it because I really do love my Whittard of Chelsea coffee mug.  If you have a mug that you love as much as I love mine, you might even consider buying a replacement before you break it, which is what I wish I had done! 

Good luck replacing your broken coffee mug! Of course, this method would work for any coffee mug you have seen and want to add to your collection and for almost any product that you are trying to find. 


Who collects coffee mugs?
My coffee mug collection in my eBay store.
Learn more about Whittard of Chelsea coffee mugs.
I LOVE COFFEE MUGS on Facebook. Join the fun!

Christmas in July Sale!

There is nothing I love better in the summer than a turkey grilled on the BBQ. Cooking it on the barbecue makes it easy, makes clean up swift, does NOT heat up your kitchen and provides leftovers for many meals yet to come.

If you have not tried grilling a turkey, you should and if you would like to see how it is done, simply visit my Squidoo page, The Best-Ever Easy BBQ Turkey Recipe.

Meanwhile, on eBay, I thought I would celebrate with a Christmas in July sale. For a very limited time, you will find my Christmas items on sale. Of course, if you are visiting here and my sale is over, you will still find a wonderful assortment of Christmas items in my eBay store all year long!

Hope you are having a great summer!

Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

Christmas items in my eBay store.
My Best-Ever Easy BBQ Turkey Recipe.

How To Clean Your Gremlin Gizmo Plush Toy Pillow

I'm not sure why the Gremlins Gizmo or "Giz" as he is sometimes called is eternally popular but he is. I guess it might be because he's furry and cute, he's not wicked and he's quite smart being very talented with electrical devices and weaponry. Of course, that makes sense because a "gizmo" is actually another word for a gadget...

Anyway, I digress. This page wasn't meant to be a biography of Gizmo but rather a helpful page about how to wash your giant stuffed plush Gizmo.  He's pretty big, measuring about 20 inches across, which adds another complication when you're trying to figure out how to clean him. 

Those who own this Gizmo, love him a lot, which means he is often in desperate need of being cleaned. Mine was actually in very good condition and clean but I washed him anyway since I like knowing that all of the plush toys in my home and in my eBay store are clean and fresh.  

Anyway, a friendly query arrived in my email last month from Amanda in the United Kingdom. She called her question cheeky but I did not really consider it so. Besides, I am always happy to answer any friendly cheeky question! 

Amanda said that she has a Gizmo pillow desperately in need of a cleaning so I shared my experience with her of how I cleaned my Gizmo. My answer is shown below but please don't take it as a guarantee. It is what I did with my Gizmo and what I have done with countless other plush toys but of course there is no telling what might happen when you wash yours... 

If Gizmo will fit in your washing machine, you should be able to wash him in there.  I washed my Gizmo in my slightly-oversized washer with hot water. Choose a gentle cycle, if you can, though I cannot remember if that is what I did and throw something in like a towel or two to counter the weight. If Gizmo doesn't fit in your machine, I would take him to a laundromat (a coin-operated laundry facility) where they usually have an oversized washer.  

I air dried him in my dryer which has actually has a setting called 'air' that is perfect for stuffed animals when you don't know how their fur will react to the heat of a dryer.  I actually may have dried him with heat because I often forget to use the air cycle, though I cannot really remember. I do know that some plush fur, particularly long, fluffy fur, like that around Gizmo's eye sometimes cannot tolerate the heat of a dryer so I recommend using an air cycle if you can.

If you're washing your Gizmo, I wish you luck! If you're interested in buying this one, you can visit my eBay store by clicking here to see if he is still available. Finally, you can check out all of my plush toys by clicking here.

Treasures By Brenda

Click here to read more about my Gremlin Gizmo plush pillow.

How To Clean Your Gremlin Gizmo Plush Toy Pillow

The Great Glebe Garage Sale

Another year, another wonderful day at the Great Glebe Garage Sale in Ottawa. This year my husband went with me. We were there bright and early and had found a cart full of treasures for my eBay store by 10 a.m.

A cart is a must since the Glebe sale is a huge neighborhood sale at which you must park your car and walk and, if you are really going to shop and not just to soak in the atmosphere or people watch, you definitely should take something to help you carry around your treasures.

This year I was thrilled to find a Big Hug Mug. It's a mug that I have written about on this blog before and one that was, just a few months ago, selling for up to $100 on eBay. However, due to the natural laws of supply and demand, this mug is now more readily available on eBay and therefore, much less expensive.  If you are curious about what all the fuss is about this particular coffee mug, you can read my original post about the Big Hug Mug here or if you are looking to buy one, you can check this one out on eBay by clicking here.

The items I found included a vintage talking Garfield that has never been removed from the box, a couple of new Lego sets and a new pair of leather Reebok hi top sneakers that, if they fit, are destined for the feet of my grown son rather than my eBay store.

We loaded our finds into the car and headed for the FarmTeam Cookhouse & Bar where we were early enough to choose a wonderful street-side table on the patio from which to enjoy breakfast and do a bit of people watching ourselves.  The fact that the cookhouse created a special menu for the day is testament to just how crazy busy the Great Glebe Garage Sale is. 

What a wonderful day out! I hope you did something fun this weekend, too!

You Never Know What I Might
Have In Store For You!
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy this Big Hug Mug on eBay.
Visit Treasures By Brenda on eBay.

Vintage Pink Rotary Phones

How cool are vintage phones?

It was author and artist Sandra Boynton's picture of her pink pig rotary phone as shown here that made me wonder if you can still buy a pink rotary phone. It turns out, of course, that you can.

I think rotary phones are pretty cool though you will not find one with a pink pig mounted on it like Ms. Boynton's phone, which was created for her by Frank Grusauskaws.

(You can find more information about Ms. Boynton's piggyphone here on her page on Facebook.)

In my opinion, pink phones are perfect for anyone who has a pig obsession.

They're also perfect for someone with a very pink room.

Or for someone wanting a singular stand-out pink accessory.

Or for someone with a love of vintage phones or things vintage in general.

Maybe a Mary Kay consultant, LOL?

It turns out that rotary phones in general are a sought-after collectible and a quick and unscientific look at the pink ones seems to show that sell well on eBay.

As I write this, the highest priced sale of a pink rotary phone on eBay is a pink desktop version made by Western Electric that sold for $517 plus shipping. The most unusual one, surpassing even the very interesting and rare Pink Panther telephone, might just be the Stromberg pay phone that sold for $149 plus shipping, which you can buy new or used.

Here's a selection of pink rotary phones that eBay is sharing today via this eBay widget:

What do you think? Would you like to add a pink phone to your decor? Perhaps not a pink one but a vintage rotary phone?  Do you know if they even work with today's phone systems?

You never know
what I might have in store for you!
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

See eBay's selection of vintage pink rotary phones.
Find Treasures By Brenda on eBay.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Video Game: Pop Culture Myth Proven True

Made for the Atari 2600, the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial video game, unlike the movie, was a horrendous flop for Atari.

The video game was created in a short time period instead of the normal four months it took to develop a video game. It was rushed out to be ready for the Christmas market and it was a total disaster.

As a matter of fact, the game is considered to be the worst video game ever made and eventually, Atari decided to cut its losses and dumped the huge remaining stock of plastic video game cartridges in the desert in New Mexico.

That action lived on and became a pop culture myth that was only proven true this week when a Canadian studio from Ottawa named Fuel Industries quite literally (and deliberately) unearthed the stash of video games. If you are interested, you will want to stay tuned for a documentary movie on the subject.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering if the cult status of the movie or even the news of its existence in a dump in the middle of the dessert has caused it to be a good seller on eBay.

I looked and I see that there are quite a few listed...the lowest priced one a used copy listed for $3.99 plus shipping. If it is a new copy you are after, you will find a new one with an opening bid of $50 and I can see that this item, when new, has sold for up to $150.

Here's what my eBay widget reveals today:

The news reports say that people want to buy a video game from the dump.  They want to own a piece of the legend of Atari burying E.T. in the desert. I guess we will have to wait and see if those video games make an appearance on eBay.

And now for confession time. When I was a high school-er, I saved my dollars and cents and my first big purchase was for a used Atari console. It was most likely the one associated with this game though I do not actually remember.  I do not recall owning the E.T. the Extra Terrestrial video game but I did own Space Invaders and Pac Man.

Do you have any 'vintage' video game memories?

Treasures By Brenda
You never know what I might
have in store for you!

Quick Links:

See eBay's complete collection of Atari E.T. video games.
See Amazon's availability of Atari's E.T.

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