The making of “Where I Used To Live”

We – mom Diana, and daughters Liz and Kate – a family of secondhand treasure hunters.  Diana and Kate are also amateur fiction writers who have always been fond of the J. Peterman catalog!  When Diana, who manages a thrift shop, started picking up some great vintage finds, we started playing around with the idea of putting up serial vignettes on Etsy using the items.

So, we created this fictional character, Johanna, who can sense the histories of physical objects by touching them, and created an Etsy account for her.

“My name is Johanna, and I’m a psychometrist.  When I touch objects, I can sense their history.  Often, it’s little more than a vague impression — a face, a few seconds of emotion.  But sometimes, especially when the thing is made of metal, I can see whole scenes unfolding in my mind.

“Some people wonder if this ability is traumatic.  After all, doesn’t it happen every time I touch anything?  What if I touched a car that had been in a terrible accident?

“Over the years, I’ve learned to be careful what I touch, of course.  Some things, like city buses, are so full of historic traces that it all blurs together.

“But the most important thing is that like any sense, you have to pay attention to it.  Otherwise, the brain just ignores it, right along with the sounds of traffic on the street and the smells you just get used to.

“Anyway, since I was little, I became a master of not paying attention, right along with developing selective hearing.  I actually believe that anyone can do this, but they just never learned to “tune in.”

“The things I’ve had my friends list are everyday items with the richest, most detailed, and most positive histories.  They are generally durable, and well-made items, mostly from people’s homes or offices.

“If you don’t believe me about the psychic ability, it doesn’t matter.  I know what I know.  Even if you think I’m simply someone with an uncontrollable imagination, the positive histories from these items are still there, and will still bring you joy… whether you’re tuned in or not.


Obviously, not every chapter will be up forever.  As people buy the items, they will disappear into the sold archives.  For your convenience, this blog presents the listings in chronological order.