I'm a big fan of the barter system, and I often barter or trade with other shop owners on Etsy. This is a great way to get things you want without having to pay for them. Obviously you pay in supplies and/or time with whatever you trade, but no money changes hands. Now I would like to share what the barter system has done for me!
I recently contacted Liz from the Etsy shop Flamethrowerluv13 (which is one of my favorites) to see if she would be interested in bartering. Her store, called "Creepy Creations," is full of just that... everything from serial killer pendants to horror movie jewelry to gothy accessories.
(UPDATE 8/19/15: Etsy store no longer exists. https://www.etsy.com/people/flamethrowerluv13 And go to new store here: http://www.storenvy.com/Creepycreations)
I traded her 12 hatchet-styled axe charms (perfect for her store!) for a custom-made Scrabble tile pendant of Edgar Allan Poe. Check it out:
I added the chain myself, and the picture isn't all that, but the pendant is awesome! I'm a huge Poe fan, by the way. In fact, here is an interesting story for you.
The brick that the pendant is resting on in the picture is one of only about 400 in circulation that was taken from the house that Poe lived in when he wrote "The Raven." It was bought as a birthday present for me about 10 years ago when I discovered that NYU was tearing down the house and that the bricks were being collected and made available for purchase.
Here's another picture, showing the brass plaque on it, which reads: "Salvaged from the last Manhattan residence of Edgar Allan Poe, 85 Amity Street, Greenwich Village. Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia, and the Mystery Writers of America. Number 339."
Along with the brick, I received a "certificate" (just a letter, really) of authentication, which describes how the Mystery Writers of America obtained the bricks, how they prepared them, a little about the history of the house and when Poe, his wife, and his mother-in-law lived there, etc. I have that in a frame hanging near where I keep my "Poe brick." Here is some information from the Poe Museum website about the bricks: http://www.poemuseum.org/collection-details.php?id=63
Now, I don't think I have any talent for psychometry, but I will admit that a tiny part of me wanted the Poe brick because I'm hoping that a bit of his energy (however small) still resides with it. I have several other objects (such as a large, rough rose quartz specimen) that I also collected because they had come into contact with certain people or spirits, but my Poe brick is by far the most impressive item in that vein. I'll have to tell you the story about the rose quartz another time...
Thanks again to Liz and Jordan of Creepy Creations for my beautiful pendant!