Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yay for eBay!

I finally sold a pair of shoes on eBay!

I did not make a real profit or if I did it was in cents and not in dollars since eBay charges fees for each listing. However, I did sell those Berne Mev shoes and made back half of my money on them. I'll re-list the other pair in a week or so.

By the way, I returned all of those other shoes too. My goal was a pair of red shoes; funky and retro ones if possible. Since none of those fit that description, back they went.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What is wrong with putting others first?

I saw on Shelterrific that Martha Stewart now has a blog, The Bride's Guide, for her Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. The site's blogger Darcy Miller has been editor of the wedding issues for years and is listed as the site "Wedding Expert."

The site has only been up since August 1 but they already have quite a controversy brewing. It seems Ms. Miller wore WHITE to a friend's wedding and wrote about it on the blog. Her reasons did not go over very well with the readership. Or me.

She told someone at her office about the ivory dress she was going to wear and they told her not to wear it. She polled her office and they all (overwhelmingly, she said) thought she should not wear it. Now, remember, all of these people know and write about weddings every day. However, that was not enough for her. After researching etiquette books with various different views on the subject, she went ahead and wore the dress.

Her conclusion was that if the wearer could handle the scrutiny then it's okay. What about showing the bride respect? What about for one day, just one day, letting your personal wants give way for someone's happiness? Was this white dress the only thing she had to wear? No. Or did she end up wearing it just because she still wanted to wear it? Yes.

I can see no other reason than perhaps selfishness, vanity, or a plain lack of awareness. Her decision had nothing to do with deciding that some wedding rules are outdated. I surely don't believe a bride HAS to wear white, a veil, a long dress, or throw a garter or bouquet. But none of those things affect or show disrespect to anyone else.

In my opinion, Ms. Miller made a mistake making this kind of statement in the guise of a wedding expert when it was obviously a personal decision.

Monday, August 27, 2007

So I did reenroll for the fall semester...

I was still upset that I might not be able to take the Art History department’s Historic Preservation class before I graduate. Using the VCU site's search option I stumbled upon URSP 517 Historic Preservation in Planning offered by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. The great thing about this class is that the textbook, Historic Preservation: An Introduction to its History, Principles, and Practice by Norman Tyler, was written by a professor in this field and has been used as a textbook in preservation programs around the country. This textbook can actually be called an investment, unlike the many others that I have and cannot sell back.

So I have enrolled in this class and it starts this Wednesday at 7PM. The only thing that has me worried is that it is a 500-level class. I still have not taken one of them in my own major.

I still will also try to get into that one Art History class that starts in the evening at 5:30 pm. Because it starts pretty early it might still be an issue for an employer, but as I don't have an employer yet...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What I hope to finish this weekend!

A whole group of Wee Wonderful animals (I have a few pairs of shoes and their smiles to complete. There will be another post on them later) Done!

The accompanying cards created using Denyse Schmidt Quilts' Dis-card instructions right here. Done!

The zipper on this dress from LAST YEAR! (I hope at least to decide on the hem length too.) Done!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I did some sewing with Wendy

Look, a light diversion:

I finally opened up one of my four Wendy Mullin's Built by Wendy sewing patterns and made something. I needed a quick finish project to motivate me for the many other WIP's I have around my living room. This one from Simplicity 3835 was very simple and easy. I highly recommend it. Now back to the sewing grind. I will have more finished projects to show very soon.

I really mean it this time!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Where I am right now

Yesterday I was no longer enrolled at VCU for the Fall semester. But don't panic, because today I am back. Many factors led to that first decision:

Factor 1
In order to graduate I need to complete seven classes: three History classes (in any subject) and four Art History classes (three in specific time periods and one as an elective.) Way back in April, I enrolled for three classes in the Fall; 1 European History and 2 Art History classes.

In the time between then and now, two of those art History classes were

I had specific reasons for those two classes. One I wanted to retake to get a better grade and the other one was a class in Historic Preservation, which is what I want to get into after I graduate. I will either take it in Graduate school or complete a certificate program.

Factor 2
My financial resources are running out and I need to get a job. The classes I had originally signed up for were evening classes so there would have been no problem.

The other classes that I could substitute for the canceled ones are mostly held in the daytime, so not very conducive for a job.

My European History class was not canceled.

However, the class times are 9-9:30 AM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. I don't think an employer or a temp agency will accept that schedule from a new hire.

At this point I just about gave up. My only possible solution is if I can convince the teacher of the one Art History class meeting at night to let me into her already full class. The class does not meet until next Monday so I'll just have to wait and see.

Part 2- Why I enrolled again

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

eBay let me down

The retro Berne Mev shoes did not sell. I received one bid the first day and that was that.

I did had one person offer me $25 dollars for one pair. However, since I paid $30 a pair I turned them down...

I still think that was the right thing to do. However, if it happens again I probably will take them up on it. So, I guess I will wait a while, rewrite the headline, and then post again.

C'est la vie.


In the meantime I am reading this so that I can go to see this on the big screen before it leaves town.

Yes, I know. I am really behind.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Patience is a virtue...

a virtue that I don't have when it comes to fabric, at least.

Yes, I know, there is still fabric unused from last year!

However, I started thinking, what if these designs are discontinued or sell out, which is really possible knowing how popular these designs are? I just couldn't wait any longer.

So I ordered these two from JCaroline Creative last week, knowing full well that they might just sit on a shelf and mock me for the next year or so.

The first one is from Denyse Schmidt's line Katie Jump Rope and the second is Alexander Henry's Mocca in Chocolate

Hopefully though I will be able to finish at least one of these this year. (I'm such a taskmaster, aren't I?)

If not, mock away my pretties, because I OWN you now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

SHELTER - A Study of a Small Space

Months ago, when I came across the home of fellow blog writer Chez Shoes, I was amazed because this lovely space looked very much like my imagined future cottage. She has done an incredible job with this space; though cozy, it seems very bright and airy. Please enjoy this tour in her own words.

"I live in a 400-square-foot studio (or single) apartment in Los Angeles. It’s one of three units in a converted bungalow, built in the 1920s. While my unit looks vintage, it’s actually new – it was built out of the basement and original laundry room just a couple years ago. I’m lucky to have the best of both worlds: vintage charm and modern plumbing!"

Would you consider yourself an artistic person? Is it something that you use in your career or daily life?

I’m not sure that I’d say I’m artistic, as much as creative. As a visual thinker and learner, I’m constantly inspired by what I see around me in my daily life. I work in the stock photography industry, and while not a photographer myself, the colors and images that I am surrounded by daily at work often inspire me in my home life.

What specific difficulties did you have when decorating your space?

Two come to mind. The biggest obstacle, living in a studio, was getting a clear separation of sleeping and living space within one room. Since the space is visually dominated by the bed, I’m still working on this one!

The other was decorating the wall above my bed. Since I have spent my entire life in earthquake country, I have a phobia of having anything hanging over my head! Just this weekend I solved this by hanging a picture wire over the bed, which I use to display lightweight things that pose no danger.

How comfortable are you in your living space?

Very. I moved into my apartment last December, when I was seriously thinking of leaving Los Angeles for good. While a move is still under consideration, I find my apartment to be so pleasing that I’m becoming a bit hesitant to do so.

Is your favorite color represented in your home somewhere?

That was part of the reason I fell for this place while I was apartment-hunting – the colors it was already painted were exactly what I would have chosen myself! The kitchen trim is red, which is my all-time favorite color. The bedroom and bathroom walls are painted a sunny yellow, which I have painted other spaces before and I love. I didn’t need to change a thing!

How would you describe your personal style?

Flea-market modern meets big-box store, with some handmade thrown in for good measure and a little bit of Japanese kawaii.

Do you think your décor style matches your personal style?

Absolutely – my home, like my wardrobe, is a mixture of vintage, handmade, and new, a mixture of purchased, found, and hand-me-downs from friends.

What was your biggest influence in choosing your current décor?

Prosaic though it may be, I’d have to say cost – but along with this goes my personal ethic of using what I have, recycling, and avoiding buying new whenever possible. By being forced to work within budgetary constraints, I think I’m also forced to be more creative than I would be if I had the money, say, to just go to Design Within Reach or Shabby Chic and buy new off the showroom floor.

Well, let's say that you receive $1,000 that you could only spend on your home, what would you do with the money?

I’d probably buy a vintage armoire that I could use to hide the TV in! And since I’d be buying used, there might be enough money left over to score a washer and dryer on Craigslist – then my life would be truly complete. :)

Have you done any of the décor yourself (DIY projects)? What did you do?

Living in a small space, organization is always important. I just made a wall organizer from Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing book, so that I can keep all the little necessities at hand next to my sewing table.

Since you sew, are there any other projects you have planned to make for your home?

Next up will be café curtains for my kitchen. I’ll be using the pattern in Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing, my current favorite source of sewing inspiration.

What changes have you made that make you feel the most proud?

After realizing that my kitchen goes mostly unused, several weeks ago I decided to dedicate my kitchen table to being a full-time sewing space. Since doing so, I’ve had a lot more inspiration and motivation to make little things for the home – things like placemats, napkins, aprons, and those café curtains that I plan to do soon. When my sewing machine was tucked away on a shelf, I was much more of a procrastinator about projects, and far more willing to just go out and buy what I wanted or needed. Now, before buying I consider “Can I make that?” and usually the answer is “YES!

Is there one item in your home that you love the most?

I have two, actually: my 1950s vintage rocker, scored at a thrift store as it was being unloaded from the delivery truck (“Hey, I’ll give you $20 for that chair!” and it went straight from the truck to my car). And my owl eyeglass holder.

What do you plan to do next in your space?

The aforementioned kitchen curtains, and I’d also like to seriously re-do my walk-in closet so that it is organized optimally. The latter will probably not be a DIY project, though – just a matter of finding the right storage system to install.

What kind of homes do you most admire or lust after?

I love small cottages, and trailers too. My dream home would be something from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company with a large plot of land on which I could have a vegetable garden and an Airstream.

Have you seen any homes in movies that you would want to live in?

Oh, so many! The first that comes to mind is Amelie’s apartment, of course. But I also like the décor of Meg Ryan’s apartment in You’ve Got Mail, and Steve Buscemi’s apartment in Ghost World.


Ghost World
How different is your grown-up style from the place in which you grew up?

Very different, but with some remaining influences. My parents’ tastes ran toward the antique side when I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, so things were much more traditional – I remember lots of dark wood, which I don’t especially care for. But my parents were also big thrifters and flea-marketers, so clearly I've been influenced by this.

Doh! I've Been Simpsonized!

Come on, everybody's doing it!

That link is VERY popular so you might have to wait a while and try it again. It's worth it; you'll be amazed at the hairstyle choices alone.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

eBay and Me

Well, I did it.

Those two pair of Berne Mev shoes that I couldn't get my money back on are now available on eBay. They just went up thirty minutes ago but I so want to check my email to see if I have any bids already.

Item 1, size 9
Item 2, size 8

They are both on 10-day auctions, so people probably won't be bidding hard until this time next week. I don't know what I was thinking but unfortunately eBay will not let you change the sale duration after they are up. They only allow you to cancel the sales.

I think I did a good job of listing them, but if you have any suggestions for improvement, let me know. Thanks.