September 27, 2008


Lately my frustrations with not having an Etsy shop are really mounting. Soon I'll done with school, and then I can become a working girl! Recently I decided that in addition to opening a shop for my photography, I want to sell vintage, too. Though who knows at this point if I will sell on Etsy versus my own e-commerce site.

It's still too early for me to begin to think about that process, but whenever I start a project, it has to have a name. My photography is easy enough, I just use my full name. But the vintage shop has to sound great. And like when I'm writing a fictional story, and I cannot begin writing until I think of the names of the characters, I can't even start fantasizing about my shop until I have at least a working name. Does anyone else have this sort of problem?

So now I bring to you my three favorite vintage shops on Etsy. What I recognize as great about them really comes down to presentation. Great photography all around and very professionally run shops. It's so hard to look through pages and pages of ill-lit goods to find something you like. But if it looks good, I'll buy (or at least drool!)

White Elephant Vintage
Vintage electric sign, $40; 1960's letter G flash card, $15; glass flour and sugar jars, $30; and art deco globe, $65, from White Elephant Vintage.

Bouquet Vintage
Porcelain lotus bowls, $18; framed owl print, $19; set of 20 postcards, $9; and frosted glass owl paperweight, $9, from Bouquet Thrift.

A Touch of Vintage
Three piece red Birkdale suitcase set, $120; classic rotary phone, $30; pyrex mixing bowls trio, $36; and classic onestep land camera, $18, from A Touch of Vintage.

September 26, 2008

new favorite blogs

I've added thirteen of my new favorite blogs (well, one is a shop) to my sidebar, but I wanted to tell you about them, too!

Clockwise from top, left: Little Brown Pen also has the sweetest Etsy shop for notecards, but on her blog she features loads of other items found on Etsy.
Kate's Blog is brought to you by the designer of all the Renegade Craft Fair adverts (among other things.) She is amazing!
Laurie at Liquid Paper blogs about decorating her home, which is my favorite kind of blog!
And over at Ink & Spindle, three ladies are getting their own studio space up and running.

A Field Journal recently covered a trip to San Francisco with gorgeous photos.
Ez has perhaps one of my all time favorite Etsy shops, Wren & Chickadee, and over at Creature Comforts, she blogs her favorite finds from all over the web.
I never loved quilting more than when I started reading Sweet Jessie.
Drawing in the Back Room showcases Janice's awesome drawings of buildings and cityscapes.

PHM Studio Spaces is full of photos of just that -- artists' studio spaces. So inspirational.
Allyson Hill is also great with photography, she blogs about her shop.

A Girl and a Dog Blog follows Bella and Lulu, two of the funniest dogs around.
I gave up on food blogs long ago because they had a bad effect on my hips, but Cake Wrecks is all about horribly decorated cakes, so at least I'm burning calories laughing while I read.
Stuff White People Like is a little crass, but I love the humor in this blog, too.

And last, but certainly not least, Three Potato Four, which sells such an amazing mix of papr goods, prints and homewares, it's overwhelming!

September 23, 2008

a fresh start

Jolly is finally back at the dog run! I haven't covered her ordeal too much here on my blog, but the short story is that exactly a year ago, Jolly and I were walking home from the dog run when suddenly she yelped and began to limp. Our vet discovered that Jolly had a genetic deformity in both of her front legs that caused one bone to grow longer than the other. It made her look like she was always standing in a ballerina's first position. Since then, she hasn't been allowed to run.

In January, she underwent her first surgery to correct the right leg. For eight weeks, she had titanium external fixators and pins in her leg. It's hard to imagine if you didn't see it, but you can channel the braces Forrest Gump wore on his legs as a child. Jolly's were much thinner, and there was a flat metal ring around her leg anchoring it all. It was not a pretty sight underneath the bandages, and she had to wear an Elizabethan collar. A few months later, she had the same surgery on her left leg. Everything was removed at the beginning of August, and it's now been nearly two months. So on Saturday, we brought Jolly back to the dog run, and she's been doing really well!

I'll post more pictures of the dog run later in the week. It's super fun for her. On another note, a few days ago I was eating soup after class, staring out the window when I saw a... blimp? A Zeppelin of some sort? I snapped a picture, but it was flying past the small window space so fast I hardly caught it! Weird!

September 22, 2008

new prints at good shape design

Wayne Pate of Good Shape Design has released four new 16x20 prints! They are all $30, except for the third print, Reforestation Now, which is $35.

I adore Good Shape Design. I have the Flock print prominently hanging in my living room. If I could, I would get nearly every print they sell.

September 20, 2008

the final season

Today I went to my first ever baseball game and my first Yankees game! One of the boy's clients works at a radio station, and he gave him loge box seats (495) for free! The best part is, today was the second to last game ever to be played at this Yankee Stadium. Next season they will open a new stadium across the street. I felt lucky to be a part of history. Here's the view from our seats.

One great thing about the Yankees is that the stadium is a convenient 20 minute subway ride from our apartment. We got there late, so we avoided all of the crowds. Even the food lines weren't that long.

The game was tied 0-0 for the entire game, until the Yankees batted in a run with 2 outs at the bottom of the 9th inning! How suspenseful. I'm also lucky to have attended a game when that Yankees won! Everyone was excited and in good spirits afterwards.

After the game, we were in no rush to get home, so we walked down to the main level and took some more pictures. It definitely feels a lot closer from down there. To me, each player was about a centimeter tall, though I could see the entire game being played out extremely well and comfortably.

(I do not know the person who happened to be in the photo!) Overall, great day. Too bad I discovered I liked baseball games at the end of the season, but there's always next year.

September 19, 2008

a simple solution

I got a request for a blog entry last night, and it wasn't exactly from a reader. It was from the boy, who had helped me out with something great!

As you're all well aware, I got an iPhone on Monday. Though I had a nifty clear, hard case for it to protect it, I quickly found something I didn't have -- a way to carry it around with me when I'm on walks with Jolly, sans purse. We used to have this not so attractive leash bag from Outward Hound, but come on, we are sophisticated, stylish people here (plus it's old and tarnished and wouldn't fit.)
leashplus I tried making my own case, but that was doomed to fail from the start because I can't sew. I put a word out on Etsy that I was looking to buy, but I needed something fast! Yesterday when I woke up, I tossed my phone into the front chest pocket of my shirt (it's really the boy's, but I hijacked it.) We went outside, and Jolly pooed, so when I bent down to pick it up, out popped my phone onto the pavement, luckily not in the poo, but it was enough to fear for my pretty phone's life! That's when I decided something had to be done!

I went to Radio Shack, and I found a camera case that fit perfectly. Perfectly, as though it were made for it, except not. For only $6.99. Score.

I went home and I was like, gee, how am I going to attach this thing to the leash? I called the boy, who didn't pick up, to ask if we had any carabiners laying around, and I found several, but I attached it in this weird knotty position, not good at all. So when the boy came home, I asked him to reconfigure it, and of course he did it way more efficiently than I, in half the time, with half the supplies. He used the S-Biner I found burried in a junk bin (a purchase, he told me to tell you, that I had once scowled at because I didn't see its purpose for a boy who never went backpacking anymore.)

There you have it, my custom (sort of) iPhone leash bag. (And you can also see my DIY-ed poo bag holder, using simply a hair tie to keep it in place on the leash! [Edit: I was also instructed to add that the hair tie was also the boy's doing, not mine.])

September 18, 2008

becoming fall

It was a gorgeous day today, sunny and not too hot or cold. In the evening, Jolly and I walked to the esplanade, but before we got going, I had to run back upstairs to grab a sweatshirt. It was freezing! I sat down on a bench overlooking the East River, but we had to go before too long because my nose started tingling. At least Jolly got some exercise, and she is now asleep beside me on the couch. I'm exhausted, too! Here are a few pictures from today.

September 16, 2008

speaking of apple

Wait until you read this crazy story that happened the other day about my service with Apple and the Genius who wasn't!

I have an old iBook G4. The power adapter is a prong that fits into the side of the computer. Apple has since replaced this type with a magnetic adapter, and for a good reason. I have had my adapter break three times. Usually I pony up the $79 plus tax to get a new one because I always lose the receipt, but when I bought charger number three, the associate told me that she could e-mail me my receipt. That way, if it breaks, I can just print out the receipt. Sure enough, it broke again. This time I was armed and ready to get the part replaced under warranty.

I live closest to the Fifth Avenue Apple store and it's open 24/7, 365 days. On Sunday night when my adapter wouldn't produce a charge at all (usually I replace it before it gets to this point), I knew I had to get a replacement fast (before this story ends, both of my batteries will be completely dead.) The boy and I get to the store at about 12:30 am, and I am directed to the Genius Bar to exchange my part. Even at midnight, there was an hour wait on standby to speak to a Genius. We happily spent the time playing on the iPhones and comparing cases (see my previous post.)

Genius Bar
Finally, it was my turn. I explained to the Genius what happened and he completely understood. He examined the adapter thoroughly for several minutes, explaining to me why the break had happened. He was very helpful and nice. He went to get the part, handed it to me, and I signed a piece of paper that said I had made the exchange. We left the store and went back home, stopping for a late dinner at the diner.

I come in the apartment and whip out my brand new adapter to get a-chargin'. I only had an hour left of juice on my battery. But when I unwrapped the plastic, to my horror, I saw the magnetic 60 watt adapter, not my prong, 65 watt one! I had come all the way home without the right item. How could the Genius have done this to me?

I called up the store right away. I told an associate what had happened, and he responded by saying there was "nothing he could do." Of course there was. I asked, can you please let the Genius' supervisor know what happened. Also, I would like to come in tomorrow, and I would like them to be expecting me, so I can just walk up to the Genius Bar and get my item replaced right away. The associate had no problem with either request. He entered my name in the computer, and all I would have to do was let the concierge know when I arrived tomorrow. After I hung up with him, it was 3:30 am, so I went to bed.

At 5:51 am, the boy is still awake doing work on his laptop in the living room. I am awoken to hear him yelling to me that my cell phone is ringing. By the time I reach it in my grogginess, there is already a voicemail. Who is it from, you ask? It is from the Genius who had given me the wrong adapter. At 5:51 am. He said in the message that he was so very sorry, and here is the case number so that I can give it to the concierge tomorrow to get this all settled (even though I had already handled this on the phone earlier.) Fine.

At 6:15 am, the same Genius sends me an e-mail saying, word for word, the same exact things he said to me in the voicemail. I did not see this e-mail until the afternoon on Monday, though.

At 8:00 am, I am again asleep. My cell phone is now on my bedside table after claiming it from the living room after the first call. The phone rings again. I am half asleep, but I answer anyway. It is the Genius. Again. "I am so, so sorry about what happened earlier and I am sorry for calling so early," he said. "Yeah, it's ok--" I try to reply, "I'm sorry for calling so early, but I wanted to tell you--" he interrupted. "Yes, it is too early, and don't call me again," I said and hung up.

At 7:10 pm after class, I went to the Apple store as planned. I headed up to the concierge. He told me that I would be helped as soon as possible, but at maximum 30 minutes. Hardly the "walk right up" I had expected as payback for having waited an hour the night before, but I was in no rush, and I played with my new iPhone the whole time.

But by 7:45 pm, I was getting a little antsy. That's when I remembered that I wanted to speak to a supervisor to make sure that my story was heard and that this could not happen again to me or anyone else. I asked a concierge if I could please speak to any supervisor. "Why? What's wrong?" He asked me, worried. "No, no, I just wanted to speak to someone to tell him about what's gone on in the past day, that's all." A supervisor was quickly brought to me, and I began to recount the events of the past day. I'll spare you the details of the conversation, but here are some things I learned about Apple, its employees and practices:

-- Genius Bar staff do call customers. That is, when Apple is in possession of the customer's items. They call to report what's wrong and when to pick it up, but rarely do they call after the fact.
-- Apple has a policy that they do not place phone calls to customers before 9 am. I was called two times before 9 am.
-- Two phone calls was extremely excessive, especially after a voicemail and an e-mail.
-- He agreed with me that it was awkward to be called by the employee that made the mistake. It should have been a supervisor who called, if at all.

Trees at Central Park
[the trees on fifth avenue walking back to the Apple store, taken with my iPhone]

Supervisors take these issues very seriously. He immediately took me up to the Genius Bar where in about 5 minutes he had made the exchange. He even offered to give me the entire contents of the power adapter set, which I declined because I had plenty of extras from previous sets. But I appreciated his generosity and his sincerity, and I had to keep reassuring him that I was ok, that I wasn't upset, and that he didn't need to feel that I was in a rush. But he explained that he was personally upset that such a thing had happened and he was going to do whatever it took to rectify it. Apple, he said, rarely drops the ball like this, even at a store of this size.

So in all, I returned home yesterday with my adapter, and I felt good about how everything had been resolved. This isn't an entry about the evils of Apple. All of my computer electronics are theirs and I wouldn't have it any other way. On the contrary, it is an example of how well issues are taken care of there, and I wanted to share it with you all. And the supervisor even gave me his card just incase the Genius called me again! Luckily nothing so far.

September 14, 2008

collection: iPhone cases

I got an iPhone yesterday! Over the weekend I was looking at different cases online, so I gathered up a collection of some of the best cases and wallets out there.

iPhone cases
Clockwise from left: 1. Crystal 2 by Vaja, starts at $220. 2. ivolution Top SP by Vaja, starts at $85. 3. Applebaum iSockit by Bly the King, $10. 4. iWood padouk by Miniot, EUR 80.

Top row: 5. Elan Form pink by Griffin, $29.99. 6. Crystal hard shell case, $9.95. 7. Zebra Padded Gadget Keeper Case by Janine King Designs, $19. 8. Black/orange leather case by Covertec, $39. Middle row: 9. Itsy Bitsy Polka Dot Quilted Universal Pouch by Stitch*n*Tyme, $18. 10. Croc embossed pink patent leather case, $15.95. 11. Green Ultra Slim Pouch by Sena, $29.99 12. White/brown leather case, $11.98. Bottom row: 13. Red snap case by Piel Frama, EUR 70. 14. Orange protective case by Incase, $29.95. 15. Chocolate Pox Custom Case by Gurley's Goods, $18.99


Of course, I was too impatient (and I needed to protect the phone from my purse) to buy a case online, so I bought the Contour iSee, $29.95. I love the translucent style and how you can see the black underneath. I also love that there is a piece of plastic over the earpiece, so my ear doesn't come in direct contact with the screen. But no matter which case you get, I highly recommend the Power Support anti-glare film set, $14.95, which is applied to the screen for protection. It gives better traction and no glare, but best of all if you keep that clean and one day remove the film, voila, flawless screen underneath. Enjoy!

oh, no!

I was sitting on the couch, typing away on my laptop when I heard a dripping sound. The bathtub was clogged this morning and the boy has been working it with Drain-O, so I thought perhaps the faucet was dripping by accident. But when I got up, I followed the sound not to the bathroom, but to the kitchen, where I saw a huge leak in our ceiling.


The management has begun renovating the apartment above us, so I immediately knew that was the reason for the leak. At first the water was dripping ever so slightly through the ceiling onto the kitchen rug, but then the boy poked a hole in the sagging paint and water poured through. We thought it wasn't going to stop! But it did. It's a good thing he did that, though, or else the water would have continued to spread throughout the ceiling. Then I ran to our super, who is calling the contractor right now to come fix everthing, luckily, but I can tell this is going to be a huge ordeal. The ceiling paint is ruined, as is the light fixture (which I didn't dare turn on to take a picture of, but basically the light bulb is a dim yellow now due to damage and you can see how the glass is almost black), and on the wall outside the kitchen, the paint has puckered, too.


Not too much water, luckily, though a good deal of it is on the floor, too. I apologize for the low-light and grainy pictures, but as I said, I couldn't turn the light on in the kitchen!

Has this ever happened to you?

September 13, 2008

blast from the past

I have so enjoyed reading my old blog entries that I imported from last year. Today I remembered a blog I had kept even earlier, in 2006. I started a travelog from May-July while I was preparing for and taking a trip alone to the Czech Republic and Italy after I graduated from high school.


I had such flashbacks while rereading my entries! And I realized, they aren't bad at all. In fact, the writing is on par with (if not sometimes better than) my current writing, so why not import those entries? So I have. Here are the archives from May, June and July 2006, for a total of 12 entries.

Florence, Italy

Unfortunately, they are text-only, but here are some pictures from the trip, and more can be seen on my Flickr, here.

September 12, 2008

etsy sixteen

I decided to make a quilt of sorts of photos from Etsy shops. Here are sixteen great stores, some of them are brand new and some are quite established. You can click on each photo and it will lead you to the respective shop, or click on the links below.

First row: Afterlife of Argyle Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm Azurine Matou en Peluche Second row: SilverMade Studio Simply Shell Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen Winklepots Third row: Flying Rabbit Studio My Cozy Creations Kimberly Monaco Designs Say Your Piece Fourth row: Wendy Conrad Art Second Sister The Painted Lily Hammelman Art

note: each image is copyright its individual store.

another new layout

Ta-da! I was getting so sick of the other layout, I really wanted to see some color on here. I have been forever inspired by Colleen of Fresh Vintage and her simple blog layout that allows for easy interchanging of both headers and patterned backgrounds, so I finally implemented a similar style. Now I can change the pattern whenever I feel like it!

imported posts

Back in 2007, I started a blog called On the 6th. I maintained it for about five months before I stopped posting. I don't even remember why I stopped. Today I was thinking about that blog, so I went back and reread some of the entries. I realized they were relevant to this blog, so I found out how to import entries from old blogspot blogs into new ones. Now on the sidebar, there are archives from April - August 2007.

All of those posts were made when I lived in a different apartment, my first apartment in New York City, so don't be alarmed if you are looking through and the scenery looks different or like you've never seen before!

And finally, welcome to anyone who has followed a link from On the 6th. Mostly this will be people from Ikea Hacker, when my hacks were featured there last year. Gee, I really love Ikea Hacker, don't I, I've been mentioning them all the time lately!

September 11, 2008

it's the little things

I love submitting hacks to Ikea Hacker, so I snapped a few pictures to show off our 'recycling center.'

Recycle Nook

We use a Bjuron plant stand, with a Fibbe bin underneath to hold plastic bags that we recycle at the grocery store, and a clear bin (I couldn't find the name of it, but it's like the Slugis) to hold recyclables ready to be put out for collection in the building. I covered the flap of the Fibbe bin with some wood grain contact paper because it was getting a little grimey looking, but now it's much better!


We used to just pile stuff up in the corner, or hope that we had a big paper shopping bag laying around to keep everything in, but it was always very messy. Also, we needed to put the recyclables up high because our dog used to always steal things from the pile and chew them up! Now she can't reach, so it's prefect.