small changes can lead to big differences.

Friday, April 30, 2010

tip top tap.

Tip Top Tap Hotel.

Michigan Ave, Chicago.

April, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Today I took my longest bike ride of the year. I rode from Juli's loft in the West loop to my apartment in Logan Square. Luckily it's just one street all the way up that also has a bike lane. However, it was so freaking WINDY. WHYYY must our city actually live up to it's name?!

It was about a 5 mile ride. It was so gorgeous out today, 70 degrees. Riding at night with the smells of the city (some good, some bad) and riding through Wicker Park listening to kids jam out in their apartments actually made me really happy to live here. I also love it when I'm riding past people and I recognize them - it makes it seem like this city isn't so big after all.

Most of the time when you smell those lovely city smells you get grossed out, but for me it always, always reminds me of being in Bangkok walking around Khoa San Road. There was always music being played, people gathering and making new friends, street vendors, dancing... etc. And it almost felt like I relived that a very tiny bit while I was at the Damen/Milwaukee/North intersection. And it made me pretty happy.

That's all!

seal beach.

Seal Beach.

La Jolla, California.

March, 2010

san francisco

San Francisco, California.

April, 2010


April, 2004

London, England


April, 2004

Paris, France

Monday, April 26, 2010

Shipping on ETSY!

I have been selling on Etsy since November, 2007. Combining both of my shops, I have 700+ sales and a ton of experience that came with those sales. Over these 2.5 years, I've made plenty of mistakes and have learned a lot of things along the way, and I'm here to share some of those tips, along with a few other things.

First, I want to say something. I see this in tons and tons and tons of blogs. "How to sell effectively on Etsy" "How to list properly" "How to get the most out of your items" etc. - I am forever being told of ways to do my job better. While I am always open to new ideas (and some are really great!) there are some tips that I feel aren't necessary for my way of doing things. That being said, when you see someone post a blog on how to do something the "correct" way on Etsy but you don't feel the same way, don't feel like you're doing it wrong. For example, say someone says you really should, say, take photos with a model instead of hanging them up on a dress form or plastic mannequin. While I do use models now, I have been selling vintage clothing on plastic dress forms for like 8 years. There are some amazing vintage sellers who only use dress forms, and I've met a lot of people who have told me that they would prefer the clothing to be on a dress form instead of a person. So it just goes to show that you should do what works for you. Photo quality is everything, though. (I'm really surprised this sold as quickly as it did! But sometimes when people want it, they want it!)


So what I'm going to be posting are just things that I've discovered, what works for me, and general tips. I've discovered that my way of doing things + the way my mind works is a lot different from the general population, so hopefully these tips will get you thinking or help you out along the way.


It's true that if you offer international shipping in your listings, you'll most likely see an increase in sales. I have sold to over 20 different countries because of this. For my larger items (suitcases, vinyl bags) I have stopped quoting a charge OR I write in the listing "International shipping is OVER-quoted so please convo me for an accurate price" - if they want the item, trust me, they'll ask. And they'll probably understand that because the suitcase weighs 4 pounds +, I don't want to risk losing a lot of money.
For smaller items (clothing, shoes, purses, etc) it's a really good idea to have a chart + scale to keep on your wall. I made one for myself and my friend Juli and it goes ounce by ounce. The prices go up significantly per ounce when we're shipping international so it's a good idea to keep tabs on that! I try to package the item up and weigh it so that I can get an accurate quote for my listing. It is quite time consuming, but it's very worth it. All of you sellers who sell similar items (jewelry, knitted items) i envy you! It's so hard selling all different items and trying to come up with accurate combined shipping quotes!


Make a separate shipping profile for Canada.

Seriously, do it. Shipping to Canada from the U.S. is sometimes cheaper than it is shipping from the U.S. to the U.S. The reason is that USPS uses a slower shipping method to Canada that is slower than First Class mail and it still gets there in a timely manner. I discovered I was charging those poor Canadians an arm and a leg for shipping, and I'd always have to refund them since I charged them $10 more for shipping than it really was! I have definitely noticed a huge increase in Canadian buyers ever since I started putting an accurate shipping quote in all of my listings. I love you, Canada!

United Kingdom is the only other country who has a smaller shipping charge - the rest (Asia, Australia, Europe, etc) all have been the same price for every country. U.K. doesn't seem to be that much cheaper (only a few cents) so I haven't really changed their shipping charges in my listings.


***Micronesia is part of the United States***
I learned that back in November! I had no idea it was actually part of our postal system. Just so you know! Chances are, your post office teller won't even know where it is but they are definitely under our shipping rates!

Whenever I sell to Russia, Japan, Israel, or any other countries who use an entire different language/alphabet, I ask the buyers to provide me with their name and addresses in their writing. (Do this especially for Russia) I had a buyer from USSR tell me that she wanted me to do that because every other package she bought off of Etsy never got to her, and she thought it was because it was in English. I wrote her address in English and in Russian, and she received it! I have been doing this since with as many packages as I can. Some buyers will be confused, but I think it really does help. And it's not like you're losing anything!


UPS vs USPS Parcel Post
UPS ground takes about a week to get somewhere. USPS Parcel Post takes about a week. They are the same price (except for really large items, then it's USPS all the way)
The only reason I go to UPS is because they have this punch card that once I ship 10 packages, I get $5 off. Good incentive!

Wow, this is long and I haven't even touched any other topic! I think I'll stop here though so you can take all this in! I plan on writing about photos, listing, and policies + a little more. I hope this is helpful!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Week! What have you done?

Ok, so every year I've told myself "I'm going to do something special for Earth day!" and then the day comes around and I don't do anything. LAME!!

This year, I've gone all out. To make up for the past 15 years of not doing anything, I've been able to do something every day to celebrate earth week!

Friday: Chip (my dog) and I went across the street of my parent's house and picked up 1 bag full of garbage and 2 bags of cans/bottles to recycle.
Sunday: Rode my bike (instead of taking the bus) to Target, bought almost ALL natural items, used my reusable bag, rode my bike to Joanne Fabrics and then rode it home. Bought some nice things @ garage sales (reuse!)
Monday: Found and rescued 2 large suitcases, bags and BAGS full of clothing in good shape! The clothing we're not going to use will be donated. I also walked around my Logan Square apartment picking up cans, bottles and plastic to recycle.

Hmm.. what to do today! I will most likely ship out some packages (by taking the bus) and donate items to some thrift stores.. a normal day for me. But hopefully later I can get out and pick up more garbage :)

have you done anything to celebrate earth week!?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Giveaway Winners!

Well, EVERYONE won something! Hooray! I didn't get nearly as many entries as I anticipated, but that's okay! I'm glad I could brighten someone's day with fabric, as well as clear out some fabric!! We all win.

Just a heads up - if you like reading travel blogs or things that revolve around traveling, bookmark this blog:

It's my old travel blog from when I spent 2 months in Asia, and I decided to revive it and use it for all of my travels! So I will keep traveling separate from this one.

New posts coming soon! I have some that I'm working on (why does it take me 4 days to write ONE detailed post?! Blogging is HARD!) and other stuff going on. Hope everyone is well! And thanks for reading!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A vintage Fabric and Trim giveaway!

Here are my lovely items that are in my giveaway! One of these could be yours! Just visit my blog post here to learn how and enter to win! I've disabled comments on this post to avoid confusion !

fun cotton anchor fabric! 1 yard.

absolutely adorable spools of thread vintage fabric! 1 yard.

Pinstripes and Spring Flowers fabric! 1 yard.

Vintage peach flowers on a light blue-green. 1 yard.

Crazy 70's flowers! A felt - like vintage fabric that is stretchy! 1 yard.

Happy flowers on green - vintage fabric. about 1/2 yard.

Pretty red and yellow flower trim. About 1 yard.

My favorite - gorgeous light blue and white vintage trim.

Colorful Zig Zag trim - about 1 yard.

Giveaway will end on Friday, April 16th at 12pm Central time. ENJOY and have fun!!!


I'm doing my first ever GIVEAWAY! I made a video ALL ABOUT IT! Watch here:

So, in case you didn't catch it in the video or don't want to watch it, here are the rules for the giveaway:

To be officially "entered" to win something, you must do 1 of 2 things (or both!)
1) Go to one of my shops ( OR and find something you REALLY like, come back here and post a link! Don't forget to tell my WHY you like it! (And don't worry, I don't expect you to BUY anything!)
2) Post a minimum of THREE things you do frequently to help the Earth! Please be honest, too! Tell my WHY you do them or what inspired you to do them. So they can be "I use reusable bags, drive a Prius, and drink out of the tap instead of buying bottled water!" Feel free to put down more things - I want to learn other ways to change my lifestyle to help the earth. And remember, Earth day is April 20th!

Each person is allowed TWO entries. They don't have to be both options, you can do two of the same! (ex: pick TWO items from my shop, or post two separate comments on eco-friendly things)

Also, this giveaway is NOT limited to U.S. residents- you can be from anywhere! But the packages I will be sending are small, so they will take a little bit longer to ship. Also, please be aware that First Class International Postage cannot be insured, so there is no guarantee you will receive your item. (it's likely you will, though)

Thanks so much! I will be posting the giveaway items shortly, so stay tuned!

Oh yea! I meant to say "Make LESS of an impact on the environment" not "Make an impact!" haha, oops! Sorry about all the rambling!

Nice Quote

"You want to be an individual; can you handle it? Because it's lonesome. That means not running with the pack. The pack don't want you when you're an individual. Pack wants you to be the pack. The phrase 'to thine own self be true': It's real. But it's hard" -Whoopi Goldberg

Monday, April 5, 2010

I love being a girl.

When I was in middle school, I absolutely loved flavored lip gloss.. particularly Bonne Bell. So many flavors and colors! I was in girly heaven when I'd get a new lip-balm, after begging my mom to buy me one.

image courtesy of

Recently, on a trip to my local Walgreens, I noticed a sale on Bonne Bell lip gloss. I was so giddy, because now that I'm 23 and have my OWN money, I could buy as many as I wanted! I bought Vanilla Frosting, Vanilla Cupcake, Chocolate Frosting, and I think another Vanilla Cupcake. (No trend here, right!?)

Ah, sometimes it's fun to feel like I'm 13 again.