small changes can lead to big differences.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Vintage Bazaar

Sunday was the 2nd Vintage Bazaar, and I am so excited I was able to take part in it! I shared a booth with Juli, and we sold our vintage goods for 7 hours. 

Our space 

The turnout was amazing. As soon as the doors opened, people came pouring in! Since our booth was so packed full of clothes and items, there was hardly any room to sit! 

Juli sits on suitcases

I did amazingly well. My goal was to get rid of as many vintage blocks as I could (I had way, way too many!) and I did just that. I am now down to a fraction of the amount I had when I began! I also sold many items that I had posted on Etsy. It feels great to be free of some of the "bulk" - items I have had for months, even years, that I never got around to posting. And it's always refreshing to know that people like my sense of style and the things I pick out! 

people enjoying blocks!

I can't wait for the next one! Now that I know what to expect, I will be even more prepared than I was this time! Men's section, use of more vertical space, and definitely room to sit! 



Save the books!

I have a very soft spot for vintage books, especially ones with great subjects and covers. I have my own collection of books that I can't part with. (Recently added: Sam and the Firefly. I was about to list it, then I read it, and then I realized I couldn't let it go!!)

I'm beginning to get more into finding books that I think other people would like to have. From mathematics to oceans to stories about red-headed orphans (that are not Annie!), they are all ending up in my shop. Check it out! I think some of these books make great graduation gifts (Math book for a math major or a future math teacher?) or just great books to have in your own library. Enjoy - many more to come!

Sensible Kate from 1943 - $6 

Amy and Laura from 1966 - $6

You and the Oceans from 1965 - $8

Walt Disney's Worlds of Natures from 1964 - $12

Mathematics for Elementary Teachers - $11

Saturday, August 21, 2010

new handmade item!

as you all know, i am a vintage seller and have been for longer than you probably think - almost 7 years! (I started early, when I was 16!) 

I am always trying to find something I can make and sell - but nothing ever really seems right. I'm still learning to sew and I know I'll end up making a bunch of clothes and other cool items, but for now I just want something simple but cute and fun to make. and I found it! my new hello designs, made by cross-stitching. 

While these are fairly easy (I've been cross-stitching forever!) they are time consuming. Each takes at least 3 hours to make believe it or not. I made this one while en route to California on the Amtrak, and it kept me busy for half the time since that's when I created the design. I love it though, and I hope to make many more in the future with different color combinations and fabrics on the back. 

Each piece uses thrifted materials. The woven canvas was thrifted (unused and vintage!), the wooden holder as well (fairly new, but thrifted nonetheless) and the embroidery floss was my moms from back when I was little. I don't think it's necessary to go out to Joann Fabrics every 2 weeks and buy supplies when I know for a fact I can ride my bike to the thrift store and pick is all up, thus saving room in a landfill and giving used (and unused) items a second chance. don't you agree?

anyway, I hope you enjoy them! I really enjoy making these and as soon as the vintage bazaar is over, I hope I can get more listed. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

blue island.

My mom grew up in Blue Island, Il - which is right on the edge of chicago. My grandma and aunt still live in the house they were raised in, and when I was little, trips there were frequent. I have many memories there - nature walks, picking up garbage with my aunt, the park right across the way, being afraid of the upstairs, halloween parties/christmas parties etc, and of course, the large amount of cats my aunt and grandma had.

Blue Island has (or should I say had?) a plethora of stray cats in the neighborhood. My aunt started taking them in, getting them fixed/rabies, and giving them a home. Since most were already feral, she knew it would be cruel to confine them to a house, so she lets them be free and do what they like outside. For a few years of my teen life, I didn't understand that this was probably the best option for the cats that ended up at her house. Cats, unlike dogs, enjoy being free & they come to you when they feel like it. Not only that, but how many thousands of cats are in shelters, waiting for a home? It is slightly unreal to think that every single cat that isn't 100% feral has a chance of being in a safe, confined home. So giving these cats their freedom to roam (and I must add, there are no busy streets for blocks. They live right on the edge of a canal) and always welcoming them inside is probably one of the most ideal options out there. Sure, there have been a few cats that have never come back and my heart still hurts when I think of that (especially being told that they went to kitty heaven when you're 10) but cats are, in my opinion, capable of being almost wild animals if you let them, and we all know they can take care of themselves! But the fact that they have a human, someone who feeds them and will keep them healthy (because of course, none of these almost-feral cats are afraid of my aunt or grandma!) is probably a win-win situation. And the cats that don't want to go outside, who want to be around people and stay indoors, are always welcome to do so.

The reason I used to have a big problem with this is because I was in full-fledged animal rescue mode for a few years of my late-teen life. I didn't understand that it was completely unrealistic to think that every cat should be domesticated and adopted into a home. The fact that my aunt is fixing these cats is probably the reason why no cats in Blue Island are ever put down. She never brings a cat to a shelter, if a cat winds up on her doorstop, she will take care of it for however long that cat lets her, no matter what. And I know you're probably wondering what the inside of the house looks like - you would be surprised! Since, like I mentioned before, these cats have their freedom, it's rare to see more than 3 cats in the house at any given time. My aunt is definitely not a cat hoarder. Trust me, I've been in a hoarders house, and I have pics. If you want to see them let me know, but it's pretty disgusting.

I am curious to know if anyone agrees or disagrees with me. Is it better that my aunt is fixing these cats/taking them to the vet/getting their shots, etc. and then letting them be free? Even the kittens and friendly cats? Or should she always give the friendly cats and kittens up to shelters to give them a chance, even though there are thousands of great cats waiting for homes already? And keep in mind again, if the cats want to stay inside they do. My grandma is always home and she probably loves the attention just as much as the cats do!

Suzy jumping over the fence.

This also brings me to another point - TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) is so, so important in getting the cat population down. Since not everyone are cat angels like my aunt and grandma, the number of kittens being born without homes is always on the rise. TNR traps feral cats (feral cats are wild cats), gets them fixed and their rabies, tests them for deadly, contagious diseases, and if they're good to go, then they are released back into the wild. I think this is the most effective way and it's so cheap to do as well. PAWS Chicago will do it for $20! If anyone wants more info on TNR, please let me know and I can direct you to some great websites and organizations.

On a side note, this entire post was supposed to be about my memories and some cool photos of my grandma's backyard. See how sidetracked I get? Insane! I guess I still have a lot of animal-rescue left in me! I will post that one later I guess!

Three friendly cats. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

shopping day

 There are days when I just really need some retail therapy. (I'm sure I'm not alone there!!) In my increasing effort to support small businesses and buy eco friendly, I think today I'll buy some soap! Weird, I know..

I have done a lot of research on cosmetics, soaps, detergents, and the like. So many things I use have harsh chemicals, parabens (which have been linked to cancer), have been tested on animals, etc. I have watched the Story of Stuff - Cosmetics more than once and have taken a vow to change out all of my Neutrogenia, Dove, Secret, etc. products as soon as I can. It's not easy and it's not cheap, but I'm starting small with vegan, handmade soap right on .  Not only can I have peace of mind by knowing that I'm using soaps and other items that haven't been tested on animals/have harsh, cancer-related chemicals, I can support small businesses.. people like me! It's a win, win, win, win situation. I love you, Etsy.

Here are some I've picked out - not sure which ones I'll get yet, but it's a start!

Peppermint, Cocoa Butter, Dark Chocolate, Handmade Soap Vegan by RoseandRoot 

Brown Sugar, a Smooth Vegan Hand and Body Soap by DaisyCakesSoap 

A Drunken Holiday Cocoa Butter Soap (VEGAN FRIENDLY) by MyNaturesArt 

Luc del sol little Shea butter soap (VEGAN FRIENDLY) by Dennisanderson 

Soap is so addicting and fun and I don't know why!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

photo-shoot 14.8.10

Photo shoot day!

 We had fun with this one. Since my previous background (the grey brick wall) was the porch of my old apartment which I moved out of in May, we haven't had time to find a suitable place to take photos of our stuff until now! I call it the vortex wall, and it has so many options! I also was able to get Dan to model some of my men's stuff. Dan = hilarious. 

It's this woman again, I like making her hold things. 

We were lucky to have Jess model for us again. She makes life so much easier! I really do admire her willingness to put on whatever we give her, no matter how weird. 

Plus, she had no problem changing in the over-heated Hyundai that we called the changing room. 

So exciting! I feel like a big burst of my favorite colors popped in my shop tonight. I can't wait to list the rest. You'll be able to find all of these items (minus the clutch that I'm making that woman hold - that'll be in Juli's shop!) in the next week posted in my shop: 

Friday, August 13, 2010


So it's been a hectic week over here - travel is very busy this month so it feels like I've been working nonstop. However, I had some time this week to head over to Warren Dunes with a group of my friends and the boyfriend. It was a blast! My boyfriend has never been so I was very excited to show him the amazing dunes. We went to the clay pits, hiked all around the park, got eaten up by mosquitos, ran up/down the dunes and of course, swam :). We also made a detour to go pick blueberries which we later devoured while watching Futurama. I love those kinds of days, where you do so much that by bedtime, all you have to do is close your eyes and you're asleep.

It was a blast! I want to go back and pick more berries - they're only $1.62 a lb! Tonight, after work, Catch A Tiger is playing a show at Ronnie's. It's right off of the California Blue Line - come if you have nothing better to do! I'll be there and CAT is always a fun time!