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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Opening An Etsy Account

The actual opening of my Etsy account was a simple process for me.  I followed the instructions on the seller's page on the Etsy website.  Okay, okay the last time I will mention how important it is to choose a user name that is the same as the shop name.  The shop name that you want your shop to be identified with your product line, whether homemade, vintage or supplies.

I filled out the needed online forms following the prompts.  I quickly realized that I needed just a few items filled out to actually open the account.  This is why my shop is listed as starting on October 9, 2010 and in reality, it started on October 26, 2010 when I applied for and received my DBA with my county deeds office.

Of course, I then had the option to buy or sell on Etsy.  My Pay Pal account has been a great asset in facilitating purchases and sales.  I had the option to choose payment methods and sales tax charts. 

It was interesting to me to see how equipped I found the Etsy tools to be.  I would have taken much more time to get started if Etsy had not given so many simplified steps in opening my account.

I encourage again any of my blog readers who make homemade crafts, or have an interest in selling vintage items (20 years or older), to visit to learn more about the opportunities.

I have not sold on Ebay as yet although I have friends and relatives who have accounts with varying degrees of success.  I like Etsy in that a price can be set and there is no waiting period to close a sale past the time it takes to have an interested buyer make a purchase.

I listed my first items last November and had my first sale at the end of the month.  Regrettably, the first sale was canceled due to mutual agreement on my part with the buyer.  However, another sale came two weeks later.  In the past year, I have had 67 sales with 5 refunded purchases. 

I again encourage readers of this post who either make homemade crafts, or sell vintage items, to consider as an additional resource.  I have discussed a few items that will be needed to open your own shop.  The best way to learn more about the opportunities on is to visit the website at and read the information for sellers.  There is a plethora of information for greenhorns such as I was last year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Your Etsy Shop Name

Today, I would like to continue with discussion on Your Etsy Shop Name.  It is important.  It is a name that should represent what items are being sold in your shop.

Many people might want to use adjectives which are near and dear to their hearts and personal preferences.  I was going to originally name my shop in conjunction with my dear dog Red.

I have seen Big Red in many genres including books, tobacco, vintage, soft drinks, Hondas, sports and more.  So, I decided to leave my big red dog, Red to my literary pursuits.  i.e. Jeanne's Travels which is a column I contribute to The Wilkes Gazette.  This column highlights pet-friendly places in and around Wilkes County.  I sign the column Jeanne Armonk and Red.

So, after some further consideration and the big blunder that I made initially with my user name, I put Wilkes Vintage Finds to the test.  I liked it immediately.  I do not know if my customers and site visitors feel the same.

If you are selling vintage items, then the following words may be useful in putting together your shop name: collectible, collectibles, rare, find, finds, antiques and vintage.  I decided to add the word Wilkes because Wilkes County is now my home.  The word Finds was an easy one for any bargain hunter and antique shop frequenter.

Of course, many of the items for sale currently listed on my shop for sale were not found in Wilkes.  However, if they were not originally, then they are now residents same as me for having been transported here.

I will discuss the first step to setting up an Etsy account in my next post.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Importance of Your Etsy Shop Name

The importance of your Etsy shop name cannot be stressed enough.  So I learned the hard way last year when I was completing the online forms to start a new account.

I learned too late that the user name that I chose was also to be my shop name.  Of course, the name that I chose was a combination of letters and numbers that bore no resemblance to a vintage shop, whatsoever!

I set up the account.  I made my choices in my personal settings options and was ready to chose the shop name when I realized the incoherent user name was now my shop's name.  I thought I will just edit it.  Nothing doing. 

So, I went through the email process of contacting Etsy to deactivate the first shop.  Then, I was able to open a new account with the name for my shop.  This time I made certain that my account user name was also the name of my shop.

On October 9, 2010, Wilkes Vintage Finds was born.  At least, the Etsy account.  The shop did not list any items for sale until November 2010.  I was in need of a DBA (Doing Business As) certificate with my local county for an Internet shop.  I obtained the DBA near the end of October.  The cost here was $19 which included the cost for the notary republic.

I had needed to do some extensive research to ascertain if the name I wanted for my shop was already taken.  I found other names with Vintage and Wilkes but not together.  I also contacted the IRS regarding my business tax id number which I already had for Jeanne Armonk Enterprises.  I learned that the IRS said that I was too use the same ID number for the new business as well.  Both of my businesses are sole proprietorships. 

I will post more on naming your shop and opening a new Etsy account in my next blog post.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Freelance Writer Hones Copywriting Skills on Etsy

This freelance writer of 2 1/2 years has been honing her copywriting skills on Etsy.  I should say more specifically that I have honed my skills on my online shop's web page found at

When someone says starting a business involves hours of work, then I have to agree completely.  One of the most important skills that I have needed to muster, in order to develop my shop's website more fully, has been that of copywriter. 

It has been fun, exhausting, challenging, competitive and mind sharpening to say the least!  I currently have 124 items for sale on Wilkes Vintage Finds.  I have sold 61 items to date.

It has taken me hours of researching, copywriting, and editing to develop a web page for each of the items currently for sale.

I have found with time that whatever information that I include on a listing often needs to be updated.  I will reassess the measurements or quality of the photos in order that my customers can get a clearer understanding of the size, weight, color, wear and tear regarding a particular item for sale.

These hours have come and gone.  However, I have grown in knowledge as a freelance writer and as a copywriter.  The better a listing is written as far as description, history, value, dimensions, etc., then  hopefully the more an item will attract a potential customer.

It is important to be accurate.  It also is very important to be honest in one's assessment of an item's condition.  There are certain terminologies that pertain to various items whether scientific, literary, NASCAR related, vintage jewelry or the Carte de Visites Photographs that I have for sale on my shop.

I will discuss more about the importance of copywriting for an Etsy shop in my next post.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Deciding What Vintage Items To List On My Etsy Shop

Here we are already into the 3rd day of November 2011.  I am going to be highlighting my Etsy shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds this month in my blog posts.

Again, it has been a rewarding experience owning an online shop.  I have learned much in regards to marketing, copy writing, photography, and shipping these past 12 months.

I originally thought Wilkes Vintage Finds would be kept separate from my freelance writing.  However, I began to realize that the success of my shop would hinge partially on my writing, editing and researching abilities.  Hours and hours have been spent on my item listings.  Currently, I have 124 items for sale in the shop.

I have 61 sales showing, however, I had refunded and subsequently canceled 4 other sales transactions.  I watched my listings like a hen hovering over her eggs.  I learned that like some eggs, some of my item listings would not be successful.  I told myself it was okay to let some listings become expired without renewing them.  This allowed me to focus on newer items that seemed to gain more page views for one reason or another.

I have been amazed that some vintage items that had cracks, paint chips and missing parts were still very desirable to some buyers.  One example was a 1989 Barrel of Monkeys game.  It happened to contain 12 red plastic monkeys along with a yellow barrel.  This is like the game depicted in Toy Story.

However, the barrel had sustained a long crack on one side.  I hesitated to even list the item.  I was a new shop owner and in need of items to list.  So, I decided to list the game.  I made certain to take pictures of the cracked side along with the monkeys, the Milton Bradley trademark and the year.

On Etsy, vintage items for sale are to be at least 20 years old.  This game was 22 years old.  I listed the item for the Etsy listing fee of $0.20.  I was amazed to see the page views mounting and one day, a customer did indeed purchase the game. 

She gave very favorable feedback.  She wrote to me the very morning she received the Barrel of Monkeys game.  I learned from her positive feedback that she had in mind to use the game for projects (she did not elaborate.)

So, I have listed some items on my store that are showing wear and tear from age and use.  It is certainly true that "one man's trash is another man's treasure."  With this in mind, I now have to say that my criteria to list a vintage item is very broad-minded!

Over the past year, the items that have sold have gone out to customers across the US.  At this point, I do not ship outside the USA.  As I can more knowledge and confidence, especially with needed customs forms and requirements, I may reconsider my shipping policy.

Today, I have also added to this blog site a link to my Etsy shop.  The items pictured under Wilke Vintage Finds Vintage Items for Sale are part of Etsy marketing tools for sellers.  This is an Etsy Mini to assist my readers who may wish to visit the online shop by providing links via the item photos. 

In my next post, I will begin outlining and discussing the steps needed to open a shop on Etsy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wilkes Vintage Finds Has Reached 60 Sales

Today I am reflecting on this past year of business my online shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds on  I am pleased to say that the store has now reached 60 sales in its first year of being open for business.  This exceeded my goal of 50 sales for one year.  This year I plan to double my goal to 100 sales for the second year.

I have learned so much over these past 12 months.  Still, I can see that I have much more to learn about online shop keeping.  In fact, I have no retail experience at all!

I have mentioned my shop here in this blog as I have grown in sales experience.

I first learned about while reading a Woman's Day magazine.  One of the articles highlighted 10 ways to make money at home.  As I perused the various suggestions and ideas for home-based businesses, I focused my attention on

I have learned that this Brooklyn, NY- based business was started in 2005.  It has more than 800,000 members worldwide.  Etsy offers selling and buying opportunities within the areas of homemade crafts, supplies and vintage items.

It was the vintage items that really caught my eye.  I really do not feel that I have much talent with making homemade crafts.  I have painted some things and crocheted a few things.  That is pretty much the extent of my craft making abilities.

However, vintage items I felt was my niche.  Rather, the selling of vintage items.  I have had a number of vintage items pass through my hands through the years.  In fact, some bona fide antiques with ages of 100 years or more.  I just sold a Canadian Silver Quarter dated 1874.  It has an H located on the reverse side near the bottom of the coin. 

I had lived through some tough times were I found the need to sell family heirlooms and gifts. These items included diamond rings, paintings, Tiffany sterling, Mahogany tables, photos and vintage jewelry. 

Often, the selling experience of antiques is a frustrating experience.  There are markdowns due to various grading systems, commission fees, criticisms, and not much revenue when selling to consignment shops and antique shops.

Now, since I have learned about and opened my own shop, I feel that I have more control over my pricing and sales.  Etsy only charges $0.20 per item to be listed on a shop website.  Also, Etsy only charges 3.5% commission on the sale of an item.  So, an item that sells for $100 would have a commission fee of $3.50.  A refreshing change from the 25% to 50% commissions that I have been charged by others.

The opportunity to increase  shop revenues can be realized with such lower fees currently being charged by Etsy.  Now, aftert one year in business, I am happy to say that Wilkes Vintage Finds had its 60th sale yesterday.  That averages 5 sales per month.  For a new online entrepreneur in a very competitive Internet market, I am pleased with my mild success. 

I am going to redirect this blog for the month of November to discuss how my readers can learn how to open their own Etsy shops.  As someone who has experienced periods of unemployment in the past, I want to share some of my experiences as a sole proprietor. 

Please continue to visit this blog to see how you also may be able to set up an online shop at  It can be a very rewarding endeavor. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another Summer's End

Here we have arrived at another summer's end.  Where do all those warm blissful days disappear to?  I hope that all of my readers have enjoyed a wonderful summer season.

I found my summer was spent mostly on increasing the inventory for my Etsy online shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds.  The summer showed a spurt of increased sales activity. 

This activity was pinnacled by a Summer Clearance Sale offering 50% off selected items.  I chose items within a wide range of items within my shop.

I have found many conveniences by listing my shop with  Etsy has made things very simple and clear to assist online shop keepers with making sales.

One category, in particular, that I have found most helpful has been the photo section included when a new item is listed for sale.  I have not been very adept with the use of digital photography.  However, I have found what a small wonder my Samsung Camera Phone can be in assisting with photos for my listings.

Etsy has many wonderful tips and help features built in to its website.  I have found ease of editing and updating photos for many items that have been of interest to a particular customer's inquiry.  I doubt I would have made as many sales to date without the technical assistance of Etsy and my Samsung Camera Phone.

To date, I have had 48 sales that included 3 refunds.  I have been happy with my shop's progress through the months.  October 9th will be my 1st anniversary of Wilkes Vintage Finds.  Yes, I will definitely be holding an anniversary sale in a few weeks.

I encourage my readers that may be looking to supplement their income through either the sale of homemade crafts or vintage items to go to and take a look at the possibilities.

Until my next post....

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Carte de Visites For Sale

Well, my etsy store, Wilkes Vintage Finds is about to enter its seventh month of items for sale.  It has been quite a learning experience for me.  I have learned a great deal about many types of vintage / antique items.  My first sale was a daguerrotype photo.  It had sustained some damage in storage and the customer decided to cancel the sale.  I, subsequently deleted the photo with half leather case from the inventory.

That photo led to my listing of Antique Carte-de-Visites.  I have 19 for sale at the present time.  I have learned about vintage photography in the process.  All of my Carte-de-Visites, which is a French term, are from the 19th century.  Most seem to be from the Civil War or just after. 

These photographs were made of albumen, which is derived from egg protein.  This process creates a paper-thin consistency with the photographic image.  The albumen print is then attached to a card stock backing.  Most carte-de-visite card stock is 4" X 2 1/2." 

Due to age and display usage, many of these photos may have tears or soil marks.  There were many photographers throughout the US which made these carte-de-visites.  My items are all either from New York or Missouri.  One, in particular, reads Centennial Photo from 1876.

Until my next post...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Freelance Writing Embraces Wilkes Vintage Finds Topics

With the beginning of the seventh month of sales for Wilkes Vintage Finds, I have decided to scrap my blog posts regarding writing a novel.  I have decided to put my novel on hold once more in deference to researching the vintage items I am selling on  These items are for sale on my online shop that I named Wilkes Vintage Finds due to my current residence in Wilkes County, NC,

I have owned numerous vintage and outright antique items through gifts and inheritance.  I would have to recall my first antique gift was a tiny solitaire diamond gold ring that I received as a girl from my late grandmother.  I believe I was six years old and it had belonged to my great grandmother who died in 1967 just 2 days short of her 101st birthday.

I treasured that little ring for many years.  Then, to my great dismay, I was washing my hands and it slipped off my finger and into the drain.  Despite the best parental efforts of opening the pipes and removing the sludge, the ring had disappeared.  I was very, very upset. 

I learned at an early age that tangible things can be lost, damaged and even stolen.  I never told my grandmother what happened to that ring.  I couldn't bear for her to be either disappointed or angry.  So, I learned and was more careful to remove rings when washing my hands so as not to repeat that mistake.

Many years later, when washing my hands at a service area off Rte 95 in Milford, CT I learned another bitter lesson.  I removed a gold-plated watch to wash my hands.  I dried my hands and went to another area of the large restroom.  Then, I was out the door temporarily forgetting my watch on the sink counter.  As I went to the canteen area, I remembered my watch.  Only a minute or two went by, however, by the time I returned to the sink, my watch was gone.

I hoped that someone had turned in the watch to the management.  I went to find someone in charge.  No, noone had turned in a watch.  I had the same sickening dread in my stomach as the watch had been a gift from my husband.  I called him to tell him about the loss.  He was kind about it.  After all, it was only a watch. 

I have put a number of watches for sale on my Etsy store.  All had been mine at one time.  I long ago decided that it is not good to get overly sentimental about things.  So, when I opened Wilkes Vintage Finds I made the decision to offer for sale some of my own personal items that I was no longer using or needing. 

My hope is that any one of the items for sale in my shop will make a happy customer.  It is also hoped that the items will be on display, in use, etc. and not put away in a box or storage room.  I have spent considerable time researching history, prices. models, manufacturers and uses of these vintage items. 

Hopefully, this information will serve to make an item such as a Carte de Visite photo, a Bulova watch or a 1960's Trouble game more interesting and attractive to potential customers.  I have found my research extremely informative and interesting. 

I have also seen that some items have only limited information available.  I wish to do my part and also offer valuable research on the web to assist others.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MerleFest 2011 - Wilkesboro, NC

This is a link to the Visit NC website highlighting events in the Mountains for the month of April. As a resident of Wilkes County, I and many, many others are looking forward to this year's MerleFest 2011. Many area newspapers will be covering the event. Please click on this link to discover all that this music festival has to offer. MerleFest - Wilkesboro, NC

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wilkes County's Upcoming MerleFest 2011

Well, time certainly goes by quickly!  What a success the recent Adopt the Internet Day was for pets needing new homes.  Now, with the approach of April brings the arrival of the upcoming Merlefest 2011 here in Wilkesboro, NC

The Merlefest Mission quoted from pressroom page states,

"MerleFest was founded in 1988 in Memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate traditional plus music."

The lineup for the annual four day event includes over 90 musical acts.  There are many well-known and some relatively unknown talent coming to the event this year.  Headliners such as Randy Travis, Robert Plant, Lyle Lovett and The Doobie Brothers are scheduled to be here on various days of the four day music festival.

It is very exciting for the entire community as many visitors come to Wilkes County for the festival.  There are a number of stages throughout the Wilkes Community College campus that will be hosting these musical entertainers.

Again, the website for the MerleFest is  Information regarding the lineup, the tickets, the volunteer activities are all posted at the website.  There is a press room page with the latest news regarding the festival.

MerleFest 2011 begins on Thursday, April 28th at 2:30 pm and ends on Sunday, May 1st.  Gates will open at 9:00am on Friday, April 29th, Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

200 Followers on Twitter

This is truly an amazing day for Jeanne Armonk.  Jeannearmonk09 just reached 200 followers on her www. web page.  Just amazing!

I wish to thank again all of my followers for the follows.  I attempt to tweet and retweet items of interest regarding my work and the work of others.  Such work includes animal welfare, entertainment, entrepreneurship, films, food, hobbies, and music.

I know, that is quite a few categories.  However, with 365 days per year with many waking hours among them, I feel it is important to tweet highlights as I come across them.  For instance, Petfinder's huge effort to assist adoptable pets get adopted with this past Tuesday's, March 15th's Adopt An Internet Day.  Listed on my site here and on are many blogs that supported the effort by pledging to tell people about adoptable pets found on the Internet, adding Petfinder Badges to their websites, and posting to their own blogs in support of adoptable pets.

I also put a photo of 3 adoptable dogs from our local Humane Society of Wilkes who are in foster care on my Facebook page.  This was in follow-up to instructions found on the site as a means to make more people aware of potential pets waiting for adoption.  Many of these animals hoping to be adopted before their time runs out i.e. being housed in a kill shelter that has more animals than it can support. 

Again, I found two wonderful shepherds via the Petfinder site in 2001 and 2002.  Now, 8 or 9 years later, I hope that many thousands of animals were rescued and adopted into a loving home.  I am a firm believer in spay / neuter clinics and my current dog Red has been neutered since a puppy.  He had the potential to be very aggressive, a chow / rotti cross, however, I believe that neutering him young has lead him to be very friendly with people.  He is now 10 years old, and except for some arthritis, he has been very healthy through the past 10 years.

Red was a stray that I took into my heart and then into my home.  He knew both of my pets.  In fact, he made a 2 hour ride with me to adopt one of them.  So, I encourage as many of you as can, to support's efforts to put people in touch with adoptable pets.  It is a user friendly site where one's zip code can branch out from nearby to far away if you are looking for a certain pet to meet your criteria.  Whether young or old, cat or dog, or turtle, there are many animals waiting for you to discover them.

Many of my tweet's are in support of animal rescue efforts.  In addition, living here in North Carolina for a few years, I have found many area attractions about which to tweet , especially the upcoming Merlefest 2011 and the Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway races.

As with many things, timing is everything as I discovered today.  I have recently begun following Kevin Costner & Modern West on  In fact, they followed jeannearmonk09 first.  Well, I found out when I signed on to my Twitter page today that I was about an hour too late for a special live broadcast at 1pm that Modern West held on the Internet due to having reached 2000 followers on their Twitter site, modernwest.  My hopes is that they will hold another one when they reach 3000 followers.

Again, thank you for all your follows.  I hope that my site will remain both informative and interesting.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Petfinder's Adopt the Internet Day

As happens quite often, I am diverging once again from the steps to completing a novel in deference to another cause close to my heart.  I have recently learned that is organizing an Adopt The Internet Day to be held March 15th

There are several ways for us all to show our support.  I had adopted two of my shepherds while living in Connecticut through  One dog, my Benny, was pet of the month in the Manchester, CT shelter back in September 2001.  One week prior to 9 11.  How can one forget the terrible tragedies that month???

My other shepherd was rescued from abuse and starvation by a young woman on welfare.  I came to learn she had rescued a number of large dogs, yet could not financially keep them.  So, that is how we acquired Maxx.  I kept him for 6 months and I already had 4 large dogs.  I bought him time and then he was adopted by another family.

I believe in the work of Petfinder which has grown so over the past 10 years.  I find the free classifieds sections of great benefit to both owners and pets in finding new homes in a more affordable manner. 

My current situation allows for me to only  keep my 10 year old Red, a chow/rotti cross.  He was not a Petfinder Adoptable Pet, he was a neighborhood stray who walked into my snowy yard at the right moment.  What a joy he has been to me!

I have added the Petfinder Badge today and will post twice to the Petfinder site on March 15th regarding two adoptable pets here in Wilkes county.  I will also tell at least one person on the 15th.  There are so many wonderful pets needing new homes and not euthanasia.  Petfinder is easy to use and allows one to search all zip codes for adoptable pets of all breeds, ages and genders.

If you are a pet lover and have a website, why not join the effort and add a badge to your site?  There are several badges to choose from.  It was appropriate for me to add this dog who resembles a shepherd mix as my two Petfinder dogs were both shepherds.

Let us help Petfinder to assist adoptable pets in finding new loving homes this month!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

JAE : Blogging For Two Years Now ... and Counting

Here we are in March 2011.  I realize that Jeanne Armonk Enterprises is about to celebrate two years in business.  It has been wonderful to realize my dream of being a writer someday.  Time just keeps marching on and we need to march with it.

I thought I would discuss my past two years as a freelance writer.  Of course, this began with an idea that became a dream.  Now, I am a full-fledged freelance writer/reporter/columnist due to a friend of a friend who gave me an opportunity.

She, Teresa Maynor, has been a pillar of strength to me and my crash course education in the media world.  I had author in mind when I decided to write.  After two years, my novel is yet to be completed.  However, my media education has grown by leaps and bounds.

Two years as a blogger has lead to my own Twitter account, JeanneArmonk09 for the year that Jeanne Armonk began to write.  Today, JeanneArmonk09 has 145 followers traversing many walks of life and nationalities.  I hope that I have been able to tweet things that are worth while to be followed. 

My blog and now my Twitter account both endeavor to highlight animal welfare, the arts, the media such as The Wilkes Gazette, entertainment, the arts, travel, Nascar, cooking and decorating.

My next efforts will be concentrated upon completion of my novel and completion of my endeavors to become a syndicated writer.  This will also involve returning to more courses at my local community college.  In addition, I am going to join the book club at the local library.  There is so much to do and so little time it seems to do it all in. 

My hope is that all of my visitors to this blog who are aspiring to become writers, either in books or on the web, may realize their dreams. 

More in my next post...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dedication Page For My Novel

The dedication page for my novel required thought and reflection on my part. There are a number of people during the past several years who have been supportive of my writing. This is so very important to an aspiring writer. It is so very important to me.

As you may guess, time, time and more time is almost demanded to write a great novel. Research is a must. References are a must. Acknowledgements are also a must, especially where copyrights are concerned. The old saying, "give credit where credit is due" holds as true today as ever. I was brought up on this philosophy among others.

I have listed in my notes the people who have been encouraging and downright supportive of my writing endeavors. They know who they are. I appreciate them. They will be acknowledged on my novel's dedication page as I intend to give credit where credit is due...

I have read many, many of these dedication pages in many, many books. The majority of these  dedications list coworkers, publishers, family and friends. A novel is where we can express our gratitude to these individuals. For many writers, if these supportive people had not given support, the books may not have ever been published.

I am referencing a link here to assist with drafting dedication pages. I hope you will view this link to - How to Write a Book Dedication by contributor Isaiah David as inspiration.  I did.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Benefits of Reading Articles

This post is linked to Ehow which is a website that I have grown fond of and from which I receive daily emails.  I have learned more about many subjects at this site than from many other reference sites on the internet.

My outline for my novel is now complete with a dedication page, a table of contents, an introduction, 12 chapters and a conclusion.  This exercise was very valuable to my editing of the content within the novel.  It allows for me to develop my plot.  However, with this being my first novel, I feel that I need to research what types of things contributes to a writer's potential success or failure.  I began with going to Ehow.  I found this article very helpful.

I clicked on the share button and tweeted this on my Jeannearmonk09 Twitter page.  I also decided to share the information here on my blog site.  Here is the link to an article to assist with beginning our novels.  Enjoy

How to Write the Beginning of a Book

Monday, January 31, 2011

Outlining Your Novel (Continued)

It is hard for me to believe that I have not written a new post here since January 6th.  In fact, I have barely had time to work on outlining my novel.  I had the best of intentions at the onset of January.  Then, life kept happening and pointing me in other directions.

In continuation of my last post, I finally made the time to roughly sketch out an outline for my novel.  The outline is the basis for the many chapters in my story.  It involves highlighting the experiences in Red's life, and mine, that have forged a bond between us. 

Especially in the last two years, we have experienced some trying times.  I know we have not been the only ones with our current economy.  The unemployment rate here in Wilkes County runs between 13 and 14 percent.  I was recently told by a staff member of our local Goodwill Connection that there are roughly 4000 people out of work here.  The population in Wilkes County is small compared to many of the counties in North Carolina. 

It was the economy two years ago which prompted me to try something different. I went to school at Wilkes Community College and began Jeanne Armonk Enterprises.  Then, shortly after that, I began this blog.  I have thoroughly enjoyed maintaining and updating this blog.  It is my hope to keep it going for awhile.  I have divided my time between my writing responsibilities for The Wilkes Gazette newspaper that is based in North Wilkesboro, NC, and Wilkes Vintage Finds which is my online vintage shop at  You may now see why my blog posts have been rather sparse of late.

In these past two years, Red and I have traveled and moved a great deal.  I have attempted to keep journal entries of our daily interactions with all of our endeavors.  We have lived between NY and NC for several years now.  We have had the privilege to meet many people.  Many of these people made their way to us, either in or out of our vehicle.  Many times the same comments or questions.  What a beautiful dog or what kind of dog is he? 

When my novel is published, there will hopefully be illustrations and photos to depict how beautiful Red is and what kind of dog.  I will let my readers decide if he is beautiful.  I am too partial on the subject, for I know not just his outward beauty, rather I know his inside beauty as well.

More on outlines in my next post.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Outlining Your Novel

With the passing once again of the November through December holiday season, and with a new year begun, it is time to return to our novels.  We spent some time discussing the plot of our novels in the fall of last year.  Now, it is time to consider the novel's content. 

I will be outlining chapters for my novel over the next month.  I had posted some events that are true-to-life events.  In fact, the events actually happened in my dog Red's life.  As he is approaching 10 years old in the spring, I wish to complete my novel within the next few months.

As so many other dog owners and fanciers have found, there can be a great deal of joy and contentment associated in owning a dog.  This is true of many pets.  However, in reference to my own novel, my focus will be addressing canine pets. 

Red has been a source of joy, contentment and inspiration to me.  Those posters where people credit cats or dogs would life lessons they have learned can be true to an extent.  I believe life is a composite of all of our contacts through our years.  I would be remiss if I did not also credit some of my life lessons to Red.

He is both Chow and Rottweiler.  Both of these breeds can and have received adverse publicity.  I have found my two Rottweilers as both being very loving, loyal and obedient dogs.  Red's older step brother, Ty, was a full-blooded German Rottweiler.  A massive dog who was nearly all heart.  I came to notice Ty's attributes early on.  Unfortunately, I did not credit Red with his own wonderful assets until he was about 6 years old.  He was often overshadowed by the other alpha type dogs in my home.

When Red came to be the last remaining dog in 2007, I came to see what a truly wonderful dog he was and is today.  He is slowing down a bit.  He has been diagnosed with arthritis and on medication.  His grey chin is spreading with each passing month.  Yet the joy I see in him when we go to the park is unmistakable.  He stops and literally smells the roses.  So, I follow suit to notice the small wonders in nature along our walks. 

I pace him to slow down if the walk will be longer.  He always starts out with steam and only I know that about 3/4 of the way, we will need to rest.  Okay, I will need to rest...  It's been nearly two years since our vacation on the Outer Banks in NC.  We traveled along the highway over bridges, past sand dunes and light houses and onto the ferries.  What a wonderful trip.  More in my next post....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Check out

Here we are already 4 days into 2011.  Time just keeps marching on.  Here I stop for a moment thinking back to a warm evening in Massachusetts a few years ago to watch Tracy Lawrence sing Time Marches On.  It does. 

Today, I am diverging from my usual post topics of writing, travel and animal welfare to encourage my readers to check out  This website offers a plethora of online shops to search out, buy and/or sell vintage and homemade products.

I actually learned about this website from A Woman's Day article that I chanced to read earlier in the year.  The article was highlighting ways to make or earn cash from home.  While there were a number of excellent ways for one to make money from the comforts of home, I found this website to be one of great interest.

I decided to check out the site for myself.  I read the home page and surfed through pages of online shops offering a variety of products for sale.  I focused in on the vintage items.  Vintage items for this site are considered items that are at least 20 years old.

I had accumulated a few vintage and outright antique items both from inheritance and purchases.  I have frequented many antique and collectible shops, particularly in New York and Connecticut were I have been a past resident of both.  I do not have enough items to warrant an actual shop, at least not yet.

I decided to sign up for a free Etsy account.  I was amazed that I could begin listing vintage items for sale at the minimal cost of 20 cents each.  I would not even be billed until at least a month later.  I had a camera that could be uploaded to a computer and about 25 vintage items.  I began photographing and researching my items.

Etsy gives a very good outline of steps that I found easy to follow.  I learned the hard way that the name for my new online shop was very important.  I found the need to close out my first store and reopen a new one.  That is how Wilkes Vintage Finds was born. 

I have been very pleased with my decision to open Wilkes Vintage Finds.  No need to pay rent on an actual store.  No store overhead costs.  Simply a good camera, a computer and spell check and I am on my way to being an online entrepreneur. 

I did go to my local government offices to find that I needed a dba (doing business as) certificate.  I also need a resellers permit if I sell to a buyer in NC.  These fees are under $100.

My store has generated some interested buyers already.  I have seen that vintage watches and office equipment are of particular interest.  Also, a signed jewelry piece such as a Warner rhinestone cat pin had a number of viewers. 

So, I wish to credit my avid reading of magazines such as Woman's Day and Southern Living that emboldened me to try something new.  I have 3 sales in just 2 months.  More than I would have if I had not opened my online store.

Etsy requires monthly payments to keep accounts in good standing.  Etsy takes a 3.5 commission on sold orders.  The opportunity to make money from the comforts of home is very real indeed!  If you have vintage items you are considering selling or you are a crafter of homemade goods, then why not check out 

In conclusion, keep up with your reading.  One never knows what gems and tidbits may be waiting in the pages of a magazine, book or newspaper.

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Wilkesboro, NC, United States
My interest with writing began by composing poems about nature in my childhood. I also co-wrote a play in my 4th grade class when I lived in New Rochelle, NY. It generated enough positive feedback that my class put on the play in the school auditorium. I was fortunate to have a lead part. After my high school graduation, I entered the working world. For over 30 years I have been steadily gaining writing, editing and digital publishing skills. I began by composing letters and emails to company clients. I contributed to articles written for The Commuters Register based in Windsor, CT. Since 2009, I have added social media, digital publishing and blogging here in Wilkesboro, NC. Since 2010, I write ad copy for the listing descriptions for each of my 3 Internet shops open at In 2012, I entered a poem about my dog Red in the World Poetry Contest. The poem was chosen for publication. I have written articles for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner and Hub Pages. In 2012, I acquired The Wilkes Gazette digital newspaper that was renamed the Wilkes County Gazette in 2014. I write under both my own name and my pen name, Jeanne Armonk.

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