Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I hope you all are having a nice holiday break... and bracing yourself for the year to come! That's the rub with December-- the pacing's all wrong. Consumer hubris for 24 days, a 3-day stint of inertia, followed by the greased laundry chute of New Year preparations.
Starting tomorrow, this year will be one of the most milestoned of my life!
1) We're having a huge New Year's Eve party... I can't wait!
2) My sweety surprised me with a trip to Florida for my birthday (in a couple weeks!) Damn, yo!
3) I'll be graduating in March. Kaloo-kalay!
4) There are rumblings of us taking a trip to Belize shortly thereafter.
5) We're getting a dog!
6) I'll be getting my first grown-up style job.
7) I'm moving in with my sweet-tart-- and marrying him. If you could see me now, I'm sighing with bluebirds flying around my head.
In all the hubbub, I nearly forgot my blog's year anniversary! You can check out my first post here. Aww!!! I'd like to thank everyone who gives Spandexpony a read, and an extra special thank you to those of you who leave your comments and make a gal feel heard.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Lovely, lovely, lovely. If only it had turned out more like this!
I was recently interviewed by the style editor of the Columbus, OH version of Time Out New York, which was terribly flattering and exciting, especially so because the issue comes out today, on Christmas Eve! Let it be known that both the interviewer and the photographer were lovely people. Having taken a few photos of myself, I gave the photog a few fashion-y poses, before I was told that they wanted a picture of me responding to questions. I became worried. And frozen-- answering questions thoughtfully under hot lights while someone snaps all around you is uhh--- not the way to be photographed. Especially when the photographer is on her knees the entire time, photographing you from the --- dunh dunh dunh, dreaded below-angle.
I hope I'm not over-reacting, but when I went to their website this morning to see how it turned out, I died a little bit inside.
This paper is going to be all over town. I felt like I was being punished by the gods for my self-importance. Or that, out of the hundreds of pictures they took, if this was the best one, I must be fooling myself like drunken Baby Jane, trying to revive her act.
Even though I'd like to report that I definitely didn't, I dissolved into tears (well, I got a touch of the PMS and I've been deathly ill for about a week now, too... sigh!). I gotta hand it to my sweety. He said to me, "Do you still have that oufit?" "Yes, --sob-- no, the tights ripped and I threw them away." "You've got other tights. C'mon. Get outta bed, put that outfit on, and we'll take a proper picture of you. Everyone knows you never photograph a woman from below." My darlin' sweety. I may not have a good, expensive camera, but I do have a wonderful man.
The interview's pretty good, though-- pasted below!
OFF THE RACK
Job: OSU student and salesperson at Buy Backs
Neighborhood: Victorian Village
Label your style: "Pre-posh-terous"
What's your favorite store?
I'd say about 90 percent of my clothes are from the thrift store. I just really don't see any point in spending a lot of money on clothes.
What's your favorite thrift store?
The Volunteers of America on Indianola.
What's your favorite non-thrift store?
Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie.
What are you loving right now?
I'm really into the '20s right now, so the short hair and the short skirts and the T-straps.
What about shoes?
I sell vintage shoes online on Etsy; that helps me get rid of some of them. Because I have about 78 pairs. Which is bad. I love BCBG and BCBGirls; I like Seychelles.
What inspires your style?
I do a blog, spandexpony.blogspot.com. When I'd just moved to Columbus, I wanted to scout street style, so I was taking out my camera and taking pictures of people. And even though it might not be in the same way or with the same loudness, people are always trying to do their own thing.
Skirt: actually a long-sleeve figure-skating dress from a Cincinnati thrift store. "It's a little ridiculous, but I was like, 'I'm going to find a way to make that work.'"
Tights: from Macy's. "I love colorful tights. I have them in every color. And the best way to show them off is with a short skirt."
Shoes: BCBGirls from Loehmann's in New York. "It's kind of like a TJ Maxx."
Sweater: from Volunteers of America
Earrings: a wolf design handmade by MissChicBoutique, an Etsy vendor.
Ring: from Filene's Basement. "I wear it all the time. I like jewelry that's slightly ridiculous."
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Directions: In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add them to the creamed mixture. Stir in the crushed candies. Then, EITHER shape into a 15" roll and wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerating for 4 hours or until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/8" slices. OR roll your dough out flat, and, with a greased cookie cutter, cut out shapes, carefully pulling the excess dough away from the outside of the cookie cutter before removing it from the dough. Place each cookie 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-8 minutes, until the edges brown (I find that, with my gas oven, 5:45 exactly is perfect). After they cool, ice them (sometimes I like to dye it pink) and dust the icing with any remaining candy pieces. MM! This makes, like, infinity cookies.
BUT--- I've come down with 5,000 bugs, and been told to stay home and do nothing or go to the hospital. This clip courtesy of my brother's saying, "You sweat that shite out of your system, or I'll fuckin' kick it out."
So... not being able to do anything outside of look at stuff, I decided to collect some of my favorite Christmas images from Flickr and make a very involved Christmas Card-- to be debuted soon! In my searching for images, I found this lovely from Lala a Gogo--
A caramel apple covered with festive sprinkles... easy-peasy, beautiful, delicious, somewhat healthful! ... and at this point I could use all the health I can get!
***it seems now that the economy is taking a downturn, that the popularity of and taste for the "rich guy" staple of monograms is tanking, big-time. I am unwittingly following suit with my plan to decorate cookies with a "goodwill toward men" message in lieu of monograms this year...
Sunday, December 21, 2008
And speaking of all you're wanting for Christmas, I may lose a few points with some of you now, but all I want is to hear this damn song-- but it must be out of style this season; I haven't heard it once! The shame...
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Today I drew, from a vintage, black satin, turban-style hat this contest's winner: Drew Majoulet! Congratulations, Drew! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address and a copy of "Beavis and Butthead Do Christmas" will soon be yours!
Thanks to everyone who participated-- have a lovely weekend!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
If you've never seen "The Warriors" and you love fashion, you must watch-- the whole thing is on Youtube (the same way I caught Britney Spears' "Crossroads"-- ha!)
I especially love the purple-lame vested gang at 3:30, the American Apparel gang at 4:22, and the "Qui, moi?" gang at 8:08.
So... we're gonna have to bop if you don't enter the contest! (Some call me The Master of Segueways, but I'll settle for "A" Master).
It ends TOMORROW, December 19 at MIDNIGHT! All you have to do to enter is leave a little comment on the Contest Post about your favorite holiday doin' and one winner will be drawn at random to receive your very own keepsake copy of Beavis and Butthead Do Christmas, retailing used for $45 on Amazon, mailed just in time (I hope, but you never know this time of year) for you to enjoy it with the family (or probably not) come Kwanzaa.
Come out to plaayyyy!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Now, one of my favorite holiday things to do (in addition to egg nog and parties) is to go to antique stores and browse their Christmas wares...
Now I pose this question to all of you--- what is your favorite thing about the holiday season? Leave your answer in the comments. The drawn-at-random winner will receive the kind of holiday cheer which can only be delivered by a copy of Beavis and Butthead Do Christmas. It is a used copy of it, because I find myself gainfully employed at a used DVD place, but it is nonetheless in perfect, hilarious condition, and looking for a place on your shelf next to "A Christmas Story" and "The Santa Clause" (or next to "Baseketball" and "Bewitched", depending on how your organize your stuff)! I can't wait to hear what you come up with! Contest ends at 12am EST on December 19!
Here now, I'll share with you a bit of the "smoke" from that fire-- my final group design project.
Here are a few of our sketches... each group member contributed 10 designs, then cut them down to 2 apiece. On the right of each grouping (named after songs in the "Anastasia" movie) are our Romanov-eagle styled color palettes.
We had to do a few Corel Painter renderings of our sketches; this purple dress with the ermine stole was one of my favorites. In addition, technical flats, sizing specs and construction details needed to be drawn up as well. Luckily, there are people in the world who, unlike me, love to do these. Even luckier, two of these talented people were in my group!
I devoted a big chunk of my time designing some accessories... I especially like the Maltese Cross Mary Janes and the Faberge Minauderie. You can't really tell, but the pattern I made for the luggage features little Romanov eagles inside of the argyle-style diamonds.
At the last minute, we decided we needed something to divide the artistic portion of the collection from the "nuts and bolts" portion of the project, so I searched for images of a Russian passport and emblazoned the front with "Czarina", the name of the collection. On the opposite page was the "inside" of the passport, complete with our Girl's name and job description-- a way of describing our target market. You might recognize the photo inside from our project's coverpage!
...And lastly of all, the outfit I wore to do the presentation:
...next up... the contest!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Here's the DVD cover (we did a lot based off of her "moppet" look early in the movie, and some evening wear based on the blue gown in this image, as well):
Here's the title page for our portfolio:
We got a lot of inspiration for the movie, but we filled in the blanks with a bit of research into what the Romanovs were wearing during the first World War -- isn't Anastasia smart in her little sailor outfit?
We (like they) used lots and lots of Battenburg lace, sashes and other military touches like Maltese cross pins and trousers tucked into high boots. Our colors are principally white, black, gold and red, and we even have a Faberge egg bag and Romanov eagle-print set of luggage...
When what to our wondering --and slightly disappointed-- eyes should appear on the home page of Style.com on Friday, but Karl Lagerfeld's Pre-Fall 2009 collection:
Ah well... there is nothing new under the sun. But for sure, that Karl's put together something really stunning here; not as predictable as his recent collections have been.
Friday, December 5, 2008
And now I'm wanting a giant, glitzy parure, jodhpurs, sexy gloves and a mustache.
This next week heralds the end of the quarter but the beginning of... dunh dunh dunh, exams! I'll probably make myself scarce, but I'll be back in due time to tell you all about the upcoming contest!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Few know that bats are one of my favorite animals. One of my Life Plans is to research the most bat-populous places in the country (or the world, sheeit, think big!), go there, and then write a magazine article about it. This lil' chocolate-mouthed guy is a "microbat".
Albino deer are not too rare, but would be a seriously spiritual view in real life, no? Sadly, it seems that "bagging" an albino deer has some degree of cache in the hunting world. I left a few... "dissenting" comments on gloating blogs.
Another one of my Life Plans is to have a living room with aubergine walls; clear, lucite furniture and a pet albino lion.
Although (or maybe because) squirrels simultaneously have the power to make me go giddy or completely terrify me, I consider them my totem animal. I love nuts and am somewhat darty-- it seemed a good fit.
ALSO--- there is another contest brewing!!! Stay tuned!
[image via arbroath.blogspot.com, animals.desktopnexus.com, wyomingoutdoorsradio.com, dalesdesigns.net]
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Speaking of blessings, I hope you all have abundant sweet potato casserole, a seat next to the relative that criticizes your tube dress/lace bib statement necklace outfit the least, and safe and happy travels!
Here to follow, for your palate-cleansing pleasure, a helping of travel-related music videos:
Sadly, there's no video for this one (maybe this'll cue my first foray into making a one?), but it is a righteous sexy slow jam about planes, and you gotta hear it:
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
If I were going gigantic, I'd keep the dress pairing minimal, and in Puritan Brown. This vintage 1920's lace bib-style collar seems wildly modern to me in this context...
I love how "structured black dress" plus "lace necklace" brings to mind utter marm-ery, but with lace that is delicate, off-color and whimsically chained like these necklaces, the effect is of subtle "flirting" above the neckline of a rather assertive, Neo-like dress (which is, as of this moment, at the very top of my "black dress lust" list).
[images: shopbop.com, etsy.com]
Monday, November 24, 2008
Stalactites always remind me of pipe organs, and pipe organs remind me of churches, and churches remind me of... weddings. When I went to Mammoth caves, they actually had a huge cavern where weddings were often held. However, my cave tastes lean towards the icy and sparkling...
These are called Popcorn Formations, I think, and I imagine little crystalline balls connected together as abstract centerpieces... or maybe they could be edible, like Snoballs. Or--- maybe have jars of clear rock candy around...
Spider worms create these sticky strings to catch their meals in... Wouldn't it be fantastic to have clear beads and little LED lights draping from the cieling?
Friday, November 21, 2008
Usually, things go peachily-- I put something on my favorites list until I'm absolutely panicked that someone will buy it in the next hour if I don't first, and then a few days later, I get a friendly little package from a somebody in Bangor or Denver with the object of my foamy-mouthed obsession inside.
Lately, I've encountered a few unfortunate snags--- packages that were never sent, damaged items... and while (I hope!) no one would purposefully sabotoge their shipments, it is so important to be a responsible, thoughtful seller on Etsy because there are still a great big lot of people who distrust shopping online, and especially distrust an individual seller over a bigger company, like say, Best Buy. Being a great seller is an important part of bolstering the Trust at Large in Internet Commerce, which helps everyone in the end.
As someone with lots of selling experience, Internet and otherwise, I would like to present this little guide to you out there; thinking of starting a little something up on Etsy, and for those of you out there who sell, but are maybe a little unconfident on how things are going. I speak mostly from my experiences selling vintage online, but these pointers transfer easily to the crafting ones of ya as well.
What to Sell.
1) Would you like to receive this item? When I'm out scouring thrifts, flea markets, and other sacred vintage burial places, I throw everything that looks awesome into the cart, straight off the bat. When I get dispairing looks from the employees who "just know" I'll be one of "them", who dumps the unwanteds where they don't go, it's time to do some narrowing down. Although some items are fabulous in person, it's better to frame your potential buys from the viewpoint of whoever might be receiving the item. Would I want to receive this in the mail? You might buy something that looks crappier in person because you're there to "choose" it, but when it is mailed to you, the loss of control in choosing your item can lead to greater dissatisfaction with comparable, in-person crappiness. When it arrives in an envelope, expectations (and standards) are higher. And hopefully "crap" does not even enter the equation.
2) Can you accurately represent this item? The second most important aspect in choosing an item to sell is to consider whether you have the skill and equipment necessary to accurately photograph an item. I frequently pass over things with odd shapes, complicated dimensions and details and shiny surfaces, simply because they cannot be accurately represented in photos, especially with my camera. My tip: bring your camera with you to the thrift store and take a couple of test photos of a potential store item.
Can you accurately describe with words what this item is? Remember, your customer knows nothing about this product except for a photo you took of it; so if there is something about the item that is too weird to describe, better leave it aside. Can you measure the item easily? Accurate measurements are essential in aiding your customers' decision as to whether or not they should purchase an item.
3) Does the item have defects? Especially in vintage clothing, most people expect defects. Perfect items are typically the exception to the rule, after all, most vintage items are older than you are and have already been worn. But there are certain defects to rule out automatically. Any defect that affects the structure or function of an item should automatically ring your "reject" alarm. Things like purses that won't close, or shoes with loose heels or missing insoles are prime rejects.
Defects that can easily be fixed (like a missing heel cap) can still be sold at a very low price if the overall shoe is in great condition, but selling defective items gives your "brand" a lower intrinsic value. You don't want to be known as the Etsy seller that sells cheap, broken stuff! There are so many terrific vintage items out there in great condition, that it always mystifies me when I see items with stains-- however imperceptible, or holes, no matter how on-the-seam they are. Why would I want to pay money to receive something in an envelope that has an irremovable stain?
How to Sell.
1) Be Accurate. It's okay if the item is not perfect, as long as you are accurate with your description. Best case scenario-- the customer is surprised with how much better the thing looks in real life. Be sure to get pictures of your item from all angles, so that there are no questions about the item that can't be answered by viewing your post. There is no such thing as being too thorough with your descriptions!
2) Edit your photos oh-so-sparingly! It's important to use Photoshop, if you do, extremely discriminately. I use Photoshop for help with my backgrounds, if I happen to shoot an item against a grimy wall (in my super-old place there are many), and to fix my camera's overexposure problem. It is never okay to Photoshop defects off of the item, enhance the item, or in any way, even slightly, misrepresent your item. It's about instilling trust, not just in you, but in Internet commerce.
3) Be clear about sizes. When it comes to sizing something, make sure you are very clear. I sell a lot of vintage shoes. As a size 8 1/2, I can accurately tell if a shoe is going to fit like an 8, 8 1/2, or 9. Other than that, if a shoe is a size 7 or 10, I usually just measure out the sole, or better yet, have a friend with that size shoe try them on to let me know of the size marked is accurate or not.
After a Sale.
1) Acknowledge your sale! It is a courtesy to acknowledge every sale you make personally, just so that your buyer becomes confident that "someone is there" and is taking care of them. Now would be a good time to ask your buyer if they would like insurance, priority shipping or giftwrapping, if they did not specify before. It's always good to anticipate a buyer's need.
2) A note about delivery confirmations. I highly recommend (and am just now getting into) including delivery confirmations for every buyer. Yes, it does incur an extra cost, but the peace of mind to both seller and buyer is invaluable.
3) DO, DO, DO package your item carefully, and with common sense! If you are selling a pair of leather boots, find a box that is big enough to lay them out, full length inside the box. Stuffing the shafts with a bit of paper is good, too. Not only does it protect the older leather from cracking and flaking from being folded and scrunched up, but is shows whoever is receiving it that you care about the safety of their item. If you are selling a delicate item, make sure that you have appropriate packaging for it, so that it arrives intact. If you have any doubts, don't sell it. If you are a crafter, you might do very well to test your packaging on one of your items first; wrap it up and throw it around --- like what will actually happen at the post office--- to make sure your packaging method keeps your item intact.
4) Notify your customer when you have shipped the item. Also, if there will be a delay in shipping their item. Most buyers expect that their order will be shipped within a couple of days of purchasing. But as most Etsy sellers are individuals, life sometimes gets in the way. It is always to your -- and their -- benefit to drop them a short line about any delays.
... and there you have it! Get selling! And for those of you buyers out there looking for trust-worthy sellers, every item pictured is from an Etsy seller I have bought something from, and had a wonderful experience with.
... and now, your musical snack of the day (epileptics beware!):
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Usually winter is really not my bag, but I've got a wedding to plan and winter is the most -- bridal -- of seasons. I've always wanted to get married in the fall, but this spring, I worked this vintage wedding gown show at the Art Museum and fell in love with this gown from the 1970s--- full length, and instead of a veil or headpiece-type thing, it came with a long, hooded cape that was trimmed in white fur and designed to tie at the neck. Sigh!
My sugah and I want this wedding to be the first of many beautiful parties that we'll put on as a married twosome. I'd like to elope first (Vegas? Paris? Burning Man?), to take the pressure off of the day-- let it serve one purpose (multi-family gala) instead of too many.
Below, a collage I've put together of some of my wintry wedding inspirations...
And also, you have to hear this song (if you haven't yet) by the Fleet Foxes that I first heard a couple of days ago, and just about had a winter-gasm...