small changes can lead to big differences.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

cyber mondaaaay!

since the internet hates being left out of all the real-life festivities (re: black friday) someone out there created "cyber monday". I'm assuming it's because everyone goes back to work on Monday, but christmas shopping is on the mind so people buy more.. i don't know. haha. but i'm jumping on the bandwagon & i'm having a sale!

25% off (that's the most I've ever had) all items in the shop with the coupon code: cybermondaysaurus
from now until 9pm CST!

Here are some of my favorite items that I'm so surprised haven't been snatched up yet! !!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

School loans are insane.

I recently read about a girl who went into $200,000 worth of debt from school... and she is my age. 23.

Are... you... kidding?

That's a lot of money. She has an explanation - studying abroad, the school is expensive, misc. things.. but $200,000???

But after reading about her, the thoughts of my own debt have kept creeping up into my mind. I honestly don't know anything about my loans. I know I have 3 - Parent Plus, Subsidized & Unsubsidized. I know I'm paying the interest on one of them. I also know they send me lots of mail. I made a $100 payment which included $40 worth of interest and $60 worth of my principle balance a few months ago but I didn't even know what loan that went to.

So tonight I finally started reading about my loans. I owe about $20,000 right now, and I am only at the end of my 3rd quarter. Granted, art school is expensive, but did I really need to take an extra $3,000 out earlier this year to help me with my rent? No.. no I didn't. I just didn't want to work, I wanted to spend time on Etsy and having fun.
This quarter, I actually forgot to pick up my $1,500 check that I planned on "putting away so that I'd  guarantee moving out in the summer". I realized that I didn't need it. I also got a job, and because I don't have many bills, have been spending a lot less money.

I also found out that my Parent Plus loan has interest of about 8% - that's kind of a lot since this is the loan I get most of my money from. The only loan I'm not paying interest on right now is the subsidized, and of course that is the lowest source of funds. It's just so bogus - I'm paying sooo much money, & while I am confident in my abilities to pay it back as fast as possible when I graduate, if I'm already at $20,000 after 3 quarters, then I will be owing almost $70,000 back.. plus interest!!! Holy crap!! and this is without gen eds!

I guess I can also consider that I'll be getting a pell grant of about $700 each quarter so that definitely helps! and I want to take a few days to look at scholarships and grants. I just can't imagine spending so much money, not including art supplies I always have to buy for each quarter - on a degree I'm already halfway done with! It really, really confuses me to see people as freshman taking English classes at my school, because I know that I took them for basically free, but I guess to each their own!

So I counted my money in my little jar labeled "school loans" and it's $16. Not too bad! However, I have a feeling that jar will be getting filled up a little quicker now that I'm starting to see how much I will owe in the future. Kinda crazy!!!!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday

So now that the ad for Target is finally out, I am relieved to see that there are no dvds I want and that I can sleep in!

Last year I bought so many dvds! Weeds, Gossip Girl, $4 movies, etc. - it was fab, but I hate those damn lines, the traffic, the cold, etc. It was worth it though, but this year it would just be a waste of time. I'm glad that I have created this mentality of trying to shop local, buy handmade or buy American (see my rant a few posts down for some explanation). I also don't consider Target or Kohls to be very high quality items, so it's hard for me to justify spending money there when I've had so many things break or rip or fade! In general though, I just don't need anything right now.

One black friday sale i WILL be going to is the Vintage Heaven sale! They decided to open up their gallery on Friday from 12-6! I will be there with a variety of items, all 10% off! Shoes, boots, sweaters, books, dresses, etc! This time I think I'll also be selling some of Individjuli's stuff too - so much vintage! It'll be a great time, and I recommend coming out if you have nothing else to do. Plus it's right across from tons of shopping, including crossroads & buffalo exchange (both are resale shops but of more designer clothing), Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Myopic Books, Reckless Records, tons of food places, and it's right off the Blue line! Spend the day in Wicker Park tomorrow! :)

Of course, if you can't make it, there's always the big sale on December 11th & 12th! I have a holiday party on the 12th so I'll only be there on Saturday.

So anyway, I'm curious to know if anyone else will be attending any black friday early shopping events. What do you want to buy? I will admit there are some great deals on many things out there!


It's shaping up to be a fantastic year for Juli + Dan over at Cordinated Cables! Not only are they mentioned in the 2010 gift pak on, I woke up to find them on the front page of Etsy! Hooray! Oh, and my little bro! Well, sort of.. (he's the model!)

Cordinated Cables make great, unique gifts for the musician in your life. They are cables that complement and are available in a wide variety of colors & color combinations. Of course, "sweet shop" is my favorite one! The color combo makes me so happy!

Go get yours now or shop the Renegade Holiday Market next weekend!

Monday, November 22, 2010

tonnes of trash

From the National Post:
"EU inspectors touring the rubbish-strewn streets of Naples said on Monday that Italy had failed to make good on pledges to solve the city’s chronic garbage crisis and warned EU funds would be frozen until it did.
More than 10,000 tonnes of trash have piled up in and around Italy’s third biggest city as available dumps are near saturation point, and the only existing incinerator is still not working at full capacity.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government was forced to scrap plans for a new landfill near Naples without an alternative solution after a month-long protest by residents complaining an existing site had led to a foul stench and toxic waste being dumped near their houses."

My questions are:

What'll happen to all of the trash? Will they burn it, bury it, throw it in a landfill? What will become of all of the chemicals, and what will happen when all of these chemicals combine?

We all know what's gonna happen - they'll find some way to make it disappear, just like we do here in the states. What else can we really do that is cost effective, quick, and easy?

I don't think we can go on with this much longer. America is running out of space as it is, and we have begun shipping tons of our trash to third world countries. How is that right? Not to mention the mass amounts of air pollution released every day and the large amount of chemicals being leaked into the soil.

While these problems sound like things only scientists can solve, they're really simple, and it begins with people like you and me. For starters, start remembering your reusable bag every time you go to the grocery store. One less bag means one less piece of plastic that will cost money & equipment (and oil) to recycle, one less potential hazard that'll end up in the stomach of animals or flying around trees, etc.
If you forget your bag, try getting paper bags instead.

You can be creative with your reusable bags, too! I've carried things in duffel bags, in my purse, in beach bags.. any bag I have, I use! I don't care, as long as it's not plastic! 

Another great idea is produce bags. You can get any size, color or shape on etsy! They eliminate another use for plastic bags & they make shopping more fun!

This set is only $6! you can't go wrong! 

I always bring my own coffee mug to Starbucks or my local coffee house. Most places will only charge you for a small & they'll fill your mug all the way up to the top! It's a win-win-win situation. Less garbage, less money, more coffee-- kind of essential, especially in the morning!

By packing your own lunch, you eliminate the use for food packaging and you save money (and probably your health, too). Most of the garbage I see on the streets are food wrappers and bags. These things are hard to recycle as well, especially fast food wrappers. Plus, they're bad for you.  Even if you pack just one snack a day in a tupperware container (you can get super fun ones on etsy, mod cloth, etc!) you save money and the environment. It makes a big difference.

No more bottled water. SERIOUSLY. If you haven't already, watch the story of bottled water - it'll shed a lot of light on the bottled water industry. Invest in a reusable water bottle & a brita filter. There is no reason you should have to PAY for water, and the less bottled water there is (because like plastic bags, recycling bottled water isn't very cost effective & uses a lot of energy & resources) the better for all of us.

Now, to begin my rant:

One of my biggest things is when people assume that nothing bad will happen in our lifetime or they think other people will take care of the problem for them. It's sort of like the recession; most people assume the government will fix it but the reality is, if you keep shopping at places like Wal-mart, K-mart, Kohls, etc., you are supporting big corporations, overseas jobs, and hurting our economy even more. I'm not one of those people who says "America is great! Buy American! We are the best, yay yay yay!" but we, as a nation, are completely un-self sustainable (is that the right way of saying that? grammar help?) and un-self reliable that in order for us to actually have a true economy, we have to be able to create jobs. That means people need to start realizing that even though wal-mart has the lowest prices, and they're saving you money, are they (or companies like wal-mart) indirectly related to you or someone you know losing their job? Are they actually the reason you have to save as much money as humanely possible? Something to think about. But anyway, what I was getting at was that you, yourself - you need to step up to the plate. You need to start thinking about the impact you make every day on yourself, the environment and the economy.

I know, ohhh I know how easy it is to take a bag of trash out and poof! it's gone, out of your life, and into someone else's or into the landfill - and you're probably okay with that. But I know for a fact that there's a small part of you - maybe it's very tiny and almost like a whisper, but it's there - that knows you ought to do the right thing, or that you should care just a bit more. It's hard and you're going to be breaking some habits, but in order to save this planet we live on and to even save our dear country, we are all going to have to break some habits because these are the habits that got us into these ruts in the first place. I want you to please just do something. Be part of this change, and inspire other people to do the same. I can't tell you how many people I have directly and indirectly inspired just by doing what I do day in and day out. I even got my die-hard, republican, "I don't think you have an opinion because you're my daughter and how could you even think for yourself and form ideas that are different than mine?" father to start bringing reusable bags to the store. (he even runs out to get them out of the car if they forget!)

You may not think that you, just one person, can make a difference.. but you can. and you will. believe it because it's true. And besides that, just being conscious and doing something different in your life that helps the environment or helps another person or anything! (say, bringing your own coffee mug to work instead of using their styrofoam cups) will probably make you feel better anyway!

I hope you were able to follow that! Or at least some of it!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

waste. nothing.

as you may or may not know, I am 100% devoted to an environmentally conscious lifestyle. I have always been, ever since I can remember- recycling, picking up trash, etc. have always been a huge part of my life.

I want to start a waste.nothing line soon, or more of a collection (not sure) but it'll include several items made from things that I find at thrift stores or things that would've been thrown away. I already had a few of my tote bags for sale on etsy (I have one more left) & they are made from recycled pillow cases! I washed them with eco-friendly laundry detergent and cut them apart to repurpose them into oversized tote bags, perfect for shopping, beach trips, etc.

Pillowcases are an example of something that is mass-produced and sold everywhere and if you go to any resale store, you will see rows and rows of them. I love feeling like I'm giving something a new life while saving something from the landfill.

Stay tuned for more items to come! Also be sure to check out - that's where I work and it has the same mission-  waste nothing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

what i did today

for a few days now, my mind has been racing and thinking nonstop about my ideas for my clothing. I am so sick of taking photos in front of a white wall - so boring. I know that it's the best way to VIEW the clothing if you're going to buy it, but seriously - I've had enough! So I called my friend jen and we went through my clothing, picked a few out and headed over to Bachelor's Grove (about a 2 minute drive away. We would've walked but we were running out of sunlight)

So we played in the graveyard and took pics and jumped around and found teeth on a grave. It was SUCH a nice day out, and I'm very happy I actually went outside and utilized the great weather. Here are the results of our fun photoshoot. Many, many more to come.

From 2010-11-10 grove
From 2010-11-10 grove

From 2010-11-10 grove

From 2010-11-10 grove

From 2010-11-10 grove

From 2010-11-10 grove

Now, I can't help but think that maybe I should stick to the traditional way. That seems to be the best way to sell the items. But then I realize that this is my future, this is my brand, this is ME. I don't want to be normal, boring, bland (no offense, sellers!) I want to be fun, I want my clothing to be fun and I want to be original. I want to have fun while taking photos, I want to incorporate as much creativity and I want my models to have fun, too. (so basically, FUN is what I'm trying to convey here) I want my customers to buy my stuff not only because the products are great, but because they see the message and they get it. I've never consciously tried to be just another vintage seller - I've always done things differently and my way, I just didn't know how or what it was that I was going to do - and now I found it!

so anyway, this concludes possibly another chapter in the "marjie discovering herself and her life path" haha. It's funny how you will be thinking about what you want to do, and you think so much about it and nothing ever seems to click. then you just stop thinking about it and then all of a sudden, a lightbulb goes off and you're on fire! I continue to surprise myself & i'm excited to see where I'll go next!



it's gorgeous outside, like it should be April, but it's the beginning of November. I want to go on an adventure.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I'm still alive, but my computer isn't. The charger, after 4 years, finally died-  the part where you plug it in to the computer sort of unraveled, so it's probably my fault for unplugging it properly. But also, at the same time, the fan in the macbook is LOUD! It's scary. So I'm going to look into getting a new laptop soon. Until then, though, I probably won't be on as much, which could be a good thing, as I am realizing that there aren't as many distractions! Living life is actually.. FUN!!

In other news, I landed a job.. almost! I'm going back in on Friday to see how I like it. I will be sewing, cutting and pinning - perfect! - for a non-profit company called Chicago Lost and Found. I am so excited to start because the owner, Mitch, has almost identical ideals as I do - reusing junk, educating people in the arts, making items from already produced items, giving jobs to people who need them, etc. -- that's EXACTLY what I stand for! So needless to say, I'm pretty excited! However, it's located in Humboldt Park, which is a bit of a commute. I should be fine though, I have a couch to sleep on and it's not too far from the damen blue line (if you don't know anything about transportation in Chicago, ignore that last line) so I'm really not worried. It'll be worth it!

If you have time, check out their website!

Here is the Kaleidoscope tree skirt, what I'll be making. Each piece is hand cut, hand fused, hand pinned, sewn by a sewing machine, put together, etc. etc. - Very labor intensive, but that's what I like! Don't know why, but I don't really challenge it.

Until next time! 


PS- i soon realized, after posting my last post about Snooki, that it wasn't a coincidence - I think MTV was playing all things related to the Jersey Shore that day. Ah well!