Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Anarchy Street - Store Review

I mean to do this really spiffy OTD post but all I could muster was a picture of my boot.  They are riding boots from Steve Madden about 2 years old but they have lasted me well.  The rest of what I am wearing is pretty classy except for my sickly face...... I can't stop sneezing and my head feels as foggy as the weather entering Hogwarts.
The rest of the outfit included black skinny jeans, nude cami underneath a sheer white silk blouse tunic recently bought,and my Billy Would necklace which I did manage to take a photo of also.

Since you can only imagine let me tell you about an online store that I tried for the first time Anarchy Street which is where I got my wonderful blouse.

It was one of my goals this year is to branch out and go to other online stores besides UO and affiliates.  I had been coveting some things from Anarchy Street and finally I just pulled the trigger.  The prices are reasonable and the quality of garment is comparable to what you are paying for.  It's not top of the line but it's not shabby either.  I would say the quality is better then UO but not up to Madewell.  I'm happy with my purchase though.

Pro: Great pricing, trend merchandise but no trendy, easy to navigate store, Pay Pal Friendly, Limited Merchandise for originaltiy

Cons: No tracking, shipping took full 10 days (stated it would take 7-10 days), Limited Merchandise not so many choices.

All in all I will order from them, I was very satisfied and I like to know no one else around my neck of the woods will have this shirt, especially since it is now sold out.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Keep with the Times

Hello Friends!   How is this blustery cold week making you feel?  For me it's all about the warm weather items such a gloves, mittens, scarves, cowls, Neckwarmers, and Wristlets.  Yes I know you think my life is a little excessive but there is a reason! 

That reason being that I have been very diligently (moreso then ever before) updating my Etsy website!  Usually I don't have the need of this but with the wonky Indian Summer we had here in Ohio I needed to unload my cold weather gear into the general masses. 

This has been a long lesson in Photography, lighting, photo editing and most importantly patience.  It is very awkward and uncomfortable for me who is in fiber and fashion to switch gears to a nearly alien art form of photography.  Don't make any misconceptions that there "simple" etsy photos are not using the same skills as any other trained photographer.  If I had better skills you know I wouldn't be spending so much time editing my photos.  Nearly all of them are too dark.  Then as I lighten the exposure I find some that are completely out of focus.  There is much sighing.

Here are a few of my amateur tips for taking your photos to display.

1. Use the MACRO function on your camera, doesn't matter if you aren't even that close you never know what details the camera might bring out in a stitch or detail or even mistake.  Yes, I said mistake.  The Macro has saved me from several potentially embarassing and angry comments by showing me that thread pulling or stitch that didn't quite get covered into the waistband as my meticulate 1/2" seam allowance told me it would.  Since I can see it then I can fix it, cutting off one less potential reason for a buyer to complain.

2. Lighting, good natural lighting or close to it.  I never use the Flash on my camera for product photos.  I find that it usually adds unseenly colors or makes the background look like crap.  If it's sunny I take it outside or by a window. 
Look how harsh and terrible it looks even after trying to do some touch ups. Then next to it is without flash and just some exposure lightness.

3.  Knowing your editing program.  I know a lot of people default with PhotoShop but all those bells and whistles can be overwhelming to the newbie or lazy person (like me).  It also takes up a lot of running memory on your computer while you are using so depending what else you are doing at the same time it could make everything run slower.  My current favorite to use right now is Picnik.com .  It is web based so it will be wherever you are, connects to facebook, flickr, picasa and other various photo dumping places you might use.  It is very simple to use with the Silder bars and explainations of each option

4. Set up- yep the set up is just as important if not one of the most important things to worry about when putting your items out there to sell.  Just like the window displays at the mall, the way your photo looks will determine the traffic to the rest of your inventory.  When you look at the photos on the Etsy front page they aren't always the greatest most exciting items but they are visually stunning in the photos.  Some of them are just a detail shot of that lace fringe to a skirt or Soap set up in a pretty victorian sink.  

If you can master these very few skills then you my friend are in a good place.  If you are still having troubles consider getting a better camera (borrow and test them from friends), taking a class at a local college or art school of digital photography (I know CCAD's Continuing Education has one), or if all else fails hire someone.

If hiring someone it doesn't have to break the bank,  you can simply put up an Ad with a local college or Art School to find a student to help hone their craft for a minimal fee or even as an intern to do it for you. 

These are the a few of the things I've learned since my journey with Etsy and the Craft Scene started about 3 years ago.  I'll be giving a few other tips and tricks that I've learned over the years in some up coming posts!  Good luck out there!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Things Collected

Do you remember that first time you purchased an original designer item?  That newness and feeling of exclusiveness?  Such fond memories.  Saving up every dollar just to have it even if you bought it on Discount from TJ Maxx or Filene's basement it was still of designer quality and name.

I'm getting those same happy feelings everytime I look at my successful purchase of my first Vivienne Westwood Rocking Horse, Anglomania/Melissa shoes.  For months I had been hunting down the coveted shoes which I first glanced at Style Bubble.  But I wanted them even more when she got her own pair here.
At the time of course I could buy it right from the site but I put it off not thinking it would be so popular because they are this silly jelly heavy things.  I forgot how obsessed asians (especially Japanese) could be over Vivienne Westwood anything and at $190 it really wasn't bad.  Finally they came out with this beautiful red pair.
They had to be mine but I couldn't afford it at the time.  Carefully I saved my pennies and then they were sold out.  Don't you just hate that?!  I spent the next 3 months scouring the interwebs to find them at any price.  But I had no luck.  Every single day I went to Hervia.com to put my e.mail down for notification when they would be back in stock.  The unsaid answer was never.   Just as I was about to throw in the towel and cry in my kitties belly, Endless.com had them and in my SIZE!  If you don't quite know me I am petite with a size 5 foot so finding any designer shoe in my size is near a miracle on it's own.

"Forget the carpayment, it will just have to be late this month" is what I told myself and quickly added it to my electronic shopping cart and without even looking I went to "Check out".  I was done even better was the free overnight shipping.  It was a Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving but my shipping confirmation said I would have it by Friday.  By Golly I did!

As soon as I came home from work I immediately slipped them on with no regard to my ultra conservative khaki's and dress shirt.  I might of even taken a nap in them, I'm not totally sure because I was in a euphoria of happiness.
It really is a shame that it is snowing outside so these beauties have only been worn around the house.  It makes me feel like a 50's housewive doing the vacumming in her pumps.
Photo from here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Purpose without Pattern

An odd phenomenon that I never thought of is how a large majority of knitter's can only do so using patterns.  I almost never use patterns for knitting.  Sure I can write them (check out this earlier post) and make them up to use a pattern to make something is extremely rare for me.  Perhaps this is one of the things that set's me apart from conventional knitter's and why I can easily transpose back and forth from Knitting and crocheting.  The difference between knitting and crocheting for people is another interesting phenomenon.

Currently I am working on a pair of long knitting gloves for myself to go with my cropped black rabbit fur jacket.  It just happened to be a stripe pattern as I knit out this sock yarn.  I like it though.  Happy accidents are all over my knitting projects and that gives them character.

It was interesting to work on this as I have never done fingers before.  Trying to gauge that and work around 9 different needle points was frustrating.  There were quite a few times I needed to tear out and re-work.  Right now it is coming along just dandy.  Below you can see a complete thumb!

What I really need to do is get back to sewing.  I have two clients and a friend that I need to get some work done for.  One involves revamping a 70's jumpsuit that is 4 sizes too big.  Another is making a fencer inspired jacket with stays and out of patent vinyl.  The last is taking approx 2 yards of hand felted wool into a winter coat.  Not to mention the two skirts I had planned for myself, and winter coat.

My Favorite Grey Wedges

I Must not forget these shoes.  I found them once at the BCBG outlet in a size 5.  I thought I could find them easily, boy was I wrong.   Don't you hate when you find that most perfect thing and then you didn't buy it for whatever reason.  Then it eats at you.  You start to obsess and pedestal this thing and it evolves and sometimes it turns into something completely different then what you originally saw.  That very nearly happened to me but I was blessed to find them again at another BCBG outlet unfortunately not my size.  Who knew that an outlet item could actually end up being a current trend Item that is still selling for full price at the real store!  I had spent probably 3-4 months searching for these online and I found a close and more expensive doppelganger but not what I was looking for.  The problem was I was only search BCBG and Max Azria but NOT BCBGeneration the lower little sister line of theirs.  I was mistaken since I had seen it on a runway show that it would be on the higher line.

Here she is so I will not forget and I can get her a bit later now at my leisure unless I pick her up at the Outlet first. "BCBGENERATION GRYFFEN PLATFORM WEDGE HEEL"  it comes in black also but like I said I died when I saw the Grey and tried on the perfect little size 5 for my freakishly tiny feet.

The more Expensive Doppelganger from Joe's Jeans called The Lilly

Monday, November 29, 2010

Silk and Me

Silk and me are generally not friends but I refuse to give up.  Most recent it was with Silk Charmeuse that I was attempting to tame.  This lovely light olive green swathe of 2 yards into a dress for a Burda Style challenge called Party Through the Decades .   I did once again a flapper style dress.  I had a party coming up anyways and I wanted to pratice making the handkerchief hemline.  Of course it couldn't be simple bodice top I had to split it diagonally to add some seaming for pattern.  Why I always want to make my life more difficult is beyond me.  Each individual piece wanted to swerve to the Bias and stretch forever!  There was a lot of paper and masking tape involved in keeping the shape as I sewed this beast together.  I finished and I am happy with it but the photos don't do the details justice.  The other thing that bothered me is the shaplessness but I have to keep reminding myself that is the style of the 20's to be shapeless.  Later I styled it with a cincher belt and I was much more pleased but this is not the weather to be wearing the dress either way right now.

Here are a few Inspiration photos that I worked with.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Local News

Hey friends!  Today was a bit of a surprise this morning.  I found out my name was promoted as part of an article about the wonderful show ViewFinder I am doing this weekend.  It was from our local paper the Columbus Alive!

It's funny how people precieve you, I guess I should be flattered but instead I'm pretty embarassed.  I was referred to as the "knit goddess Esther Myong Chung of Torn Angel", none of my other friends mentioned had weird titles put in front of their names nor the use of both their name and store name.  So odd.....

Not to mention they make more work for me!  They featured a lovely photo from my Etsy of the Mohawk Hunter hat which I had no intentions of making for this show but alas..... I must.  People want what they see pretty pictures of.

You can read the Article for youself right HERE!
Most Importantly you should come out and see what I have worked tiredlessly to produce for yourselves.  Cowls, fingerless wristlets, neck warmers, kanashi flower Hair pins and Cat's Bane yarn Guards!
Here's an amusing photo of me at work.  Being creative and using both my swift and ball winder sideways since I had no other ledges to attach them to the other night.

Monday, November 15, 2010

ViewFinder Show!

Coming up this weekend ViewFinder at Junctionview Studios
Saturday & Sunday from 11 am-7pm

Yet another Wonderful Craft show that I am honored to participate in.  It maybe the first year for this but it won't be the last and we have a wonderful team of people spearheading this event.  It is not only a craft show but also open art studios from the Junctionview folks and other local artists showing their works on various wall spaces.

For my part I have helped in the Sponsorship organizaition and Volunteer organization.  This year has been eventful (quite literally) for me with my first taste in Independence day and now this event.  I feel good about it though and very appreciated when all is said and done.  That is one great thing about Columbus the people here are very appreciative (or at least the ones I surround myself with) of any and all efforts for the participation of events.

I've been working very diligently on re-stocking my fabric and felt hair pins, swag bag goods and Cowls.  Here is a peek of some of the things I will have.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Makes Scents to me

A little off the beaten path yet still beauty related I've realized that I am death to scents.  Every Single perfume I have fallen in love with has been discontinued or made but uncomfrotably attainable to my laziness or my points card at Sephora.

My first Perfume love was Contradiction by Calvin Klein I wore that my entire High School career.
Which is still findable but there was a period of time when it was difficult and now that it is at Meijier's no thank you!  I honestly couldn't even tell you what it smells like anymore.

In college I was all about smelling like things I wanted to eat so I was obsessed with Demeter's Cinnamon Buns. Which I could easily pick up at Sephora, or Anthropologie.  Then suddenly it was gone from common sight.

Sure there were a few in betweeners such as Curve and Pleasures but they just didn't suit me.  I have my "bitch"  or Business is going down perfume FF by Givency.  But that is much too strong for an every day perfume.

Most recently I was in love with Fiji Flower from Sephora's own exclusive line. Which is so obscure that I can't find a picture.  There was also Le Petit Prince Body splash that was wonderfully light and just a pinch of flower.   Also spend a limited time on the shelves at Sephora.

In between these has been gifts of Burberry and Harajuku Lover's Lil Angel.  Neither of which I have been crazy about.

My latest love has been Masaki Masaki which I of course discovered 2 months before Sephora stopped carrying it.  I didn't even have the forutne of buying a full sized bottle while in stock.  It was a total  fluke purchase to up my free gift or something and it was AMAZING.  I got the little rollerball tester version.

My new found love is TOKYO MILK and I hope they don't disappointment and suddenly disappear out of my convenience range as all the other's have.  I am so thrilled that I can pick it up locally at "On Paper" and the new store next to Basil on High Street.
The scent I have newly chosen for myself is Song in D Minor
I love the super simple bottle and vintage desgins for their graphics.  Even better it is only $20 a pop!  I know the website says $28 so that's probably a larger size then what I saw locally.

Hope you enjoyed my little scents history.  I know if I REALLY wanted to I could find them all but as I said previously I'm a bit lazy when it comes to scents as opposed to shoes, or clothes or makeup.
Has there been a particular perfume that left you hanging?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Blog the Holiday!

It's amazing to me how much fame fashion bloggers have been getting lately.  In the past half hour I have seen 4 bloggers that I normally read being used in Holiday Campaigns for Fossil and Coach.
Song of Style
Keiko Lynn
Gala Darling

I love how this Coach Promo Video just catches so many of them off their element and you can see they are real people.  They smile, make quirky awkward comments and breath.  It amazes me and makes me happy that Bloggers are getting such recognition.  There are even conferences now for bloggers.  It's been going on for a few years but still it grows and grows.  Blogging is pretty damn near common place it seems. 

What I love about Fashion bloggers is getting to see things from their side and watching them progress in their writing styles, design and tastes.  How each personality has a different opininion or take on a particular season or trends or how they even rebel and make their own trends.  There are a million and one bloggers out there myself included but it is just a great addition of information out there.

Currently my favorite holiday looks and accessories are from BCBG. They are also having a fabulous sale on some items till November 8th for 30% off of a good number of selected Items.  BCBG is one of the very few not so common retail stores that we happen to have at one of our Malls in Columbus.  I love the overabundance and decadence that the holiday trends bring!  Below are my favorite (and there are alot) picks from BCBG

Seriously?! The Hinged long rings are to die for!  Prices are not breaking the bank either considering what BCBG Jewelry usually goes for.  Majority of those Rings are under $100.