Saturday, December 31, 2011

In 2011

2011 started off with a new addition to my life — Kitty. Early in the year, Geoff and I adopted a five month old kitten from a nearby shelter, causing my heart to be filled with an indescribable amount of love for this little furry creature.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Post-Holidaze Sale!

Merry Xmas, Minis! I'm getting my sale started a little early — meaning now! Everything in my shop is 25% off when you use the code HOLIDAZE at checkout. Shop now!

What did you lovelies get for the holidays? Check out mine after the jump!

Friday, December 23, 2011

ModCloth Spread the Cheer Event

A few years ago I stumbled upon a little website called ModCloth. Of course, of course, I fell in love. I watched over a bit of time as they grew and had more exciting product and collaborations with bloggers. Fast forward to just a few short weeks ago when I discovered that the amazing Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky had selected me to share ModCloth's Spread the Cheer Celebration with her and other wonderful bloggers. What is Spread the Cheer, you ask?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Tis the Season

Around the holidays, I always see an explosion of festive projects popping up all around the internet. Oh, if only I had the time to make them all! And what better way to celebrate this year than to share some of my favorites with you?

My one proud crafty accomplishment this winter season has been these amazing Star Wars paper snowflakes! The instructions make them [almost] a cinch. Just grab your tiny scissors and cutting knife! See more after the jump.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New to the Mini Penny Sweater Collection

The Mini Penny Sweater Collection has been a success so far! And the great news is that I have seven new additions for you tonight.

The Ralphie, $22

The Rudolph, $22

The Wet Bandit SOLD

The Abominable, SOLD

The Skellington, $22

The Scrooge, $22

The Clarence, $22

So what are you waiting for? Hop over to the Mini Penny Shop and get them before they're gone. And you always get 10% off when you use the code BLOGSPOT at checkout!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Buckle Up

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I cannot even express how happy I am that the weekend is here! Retail during the holidays is so hectic and I spent nine hours on my feet (in these shoes!) today at work. Yikes! Some people may think I'm crazy, but there is a bit of charm in working retail during this time of year. While it's happening, it feels like borderline overload — but after the fact I always find myself romanticizing it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giveaway // Kate Sutton Write Every Day Planner

A couple weeks ago I posted an image on my Instagram of my planner and got tons of inquiries about what planner it was and where my readers could pick it up. Of course I love to share my Kate Sutton Write Every Day Planner — because, heck, it's the cutest planner ever!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sticking Point

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A quick update this evening! I'm still somehow managing to be sick — that sore throat that developed right around my birthday is just not leaving. Yuck! I think my dry apartment is playing a big role in it sticking around. Now all I need is a humidifier!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slippery Slope

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Happy Tuesday, Minis! I don't have much to update on today, but wanted to share an outfit with you! It's pretty simple and basic, but the temperatures hit 40° today, so I figured that I would take advantage with some fancy tights. Oh, and of course I had to break in the other pair of Jeffrey Campbells that came in form yesterday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

One O One

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Mark your calendars! December 12th is the day that I got my first pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes. And let me tell you — I'm in love!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Introducing the Mini Penny Sweater Collection

Happy Saturday! I've finally added new stock to the Mini Penny Shop! I'm also very excited to announce the new Mini Penny Sweater Collection.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Love and Death

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I have been a bad blogger lately!

Between my now-full time job, getting enough sleep to function, and making runs to the post office, I feel like my time is super cramped. I dislike this feeling so much. Let's face it — taking my own outfit photos is tough. Sure, I have the tripod and remote, but I long for those days when Geoff and I would go on a walk to find a perfect location. Nowadays I'm just shooting against my living room wall. It's not bad, it's just not the same.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


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Today Geoff and I wandered down to the Pulaski Park Field House for the Renegade Craft Show Holiday Sale. It was wonderful regardless of the heavy crowds. Being there and seeing all of those awesome vendors made me miss doing craft shows! Maybe I can kick start that again soon...?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mint Julep

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TGIF! Geoff and I started out the day by sleeping in — something I haven't done in a long, long time. Being a bit lazy was nice and relaxing. We all need those types of mornings, right?

Friday, December 2, 2011


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For starters, from the bottom of my heart I must thank each and every one of you who sent me happy birthday wishes via Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and email. Yesterday was a really wonderful day and you all gave it that extra amazing push! Thank you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review // Lime Crime Carousel Lipgloss

Oh, happy Saturday! Today I got the great surprise of the all-new Lime Crime Carousel Lip Gloss in the mail. I was pretty excited to see that LC was coming out with a new product line. I adore their lip sticks, so I knew that the announcement of lip glosses was great news.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hair Repair Product Reviews: Ion, Zotos, and Hask

Obviously I have some concerns with my hair's health. I color regularly — well, not as regularly as I used to — with harsh bleach. I also blow dry, straighten, and curl on a daily basis. On top of all this, I live in a cold, windy city that sucks the moisture out of my skin and hair.

Upon moving to Chicago I decided to go on a quest for some really amazing hair restoring products. I had been using the Hask Placenta leave in conditioner after reading The Dainty Squid talk about it a bit. I really enjoyed it. The price is right and the result is very nice. But while it works for me, it doesn't work for everyone — especially considering that it's made of, well, placenta. See the full review after the jump.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Magnificent Mile

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I spent the chilly day with my mom! We went down to the Magnificent Mile for some shopping and touristy goodness.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Items for Sale!

Slowly but surely I am adding new items to the Mini Penny Shop.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Local Firm + Miista

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Cheers, Minis! I don't have a terrible amount to update you with today, but certainly wanted to share my absolutely amazing finds with you. Consider this a "haul" of sorts — except with only two items.

Monday, November 14, 2011


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The weather has really been quite splendid the past few days here in Chicago. Yesterday it hit 70° (according to my phone) and today was in the high 50°s. Love it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bombshell Mini Art Show at Uprise Skateshop

Photo courtesy of Bombshell Skateboards
If you're in Chicago, try and stop by Uprise Skateshop today for the Bombshell Mini Art Show! I will be there for the first hour or so before I have to head into work, so stop by and say hello! My friend Sage makes these really awesome skate decks and I did a little bit of modeling for them on Friday. Come see 'em! More details and photos after the jump.

Wicker Park

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Hope your weekend has been as great as mine! Yesterday my friend Josh and I went to Cemitas Puebla for our free cemitas (Thanks ScoutMob!) and they were absolutely divine.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bicycle FIlm Festival Chicago

Photo courtesy of Heritage Bicycles General Store. Click to enlarge.
I wanna share this awesome little photo with you guys and give a big thanks to Heritage Bicycles General Store. They paired up with Alan Gagne from FourEyePhoto (assisted by Chris Rios) during the Sunday portion of the Bicycle Film Festival in Chicago. Click to enlarge the photo — it's really great!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No Laughing Matter

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Just kidding, laugh it up.

I came to realize that I don't have many photos on my blog of smiling. I look so... serious. Frankly, I'm not a terribly serious person — I giggle, I'm awkward, and I make bad jokes. So here. This is me smiling and being me.

More reasons for smiles after the jump.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Kind of Town

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Okay, I know. It's been almost two weeks since my last outfit post. Everything with the move and the unpacking was so hectic that I just haven't had the time. Well, tonight it's rainy and blustery in Chicago, I'm off work for the night, so I figured I'd share.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A preview...

I've been really awful about keeping you all up to date on my Chicago move. Like I said yesterday, I'm here! I've been so wrapped up with unpacking (and I had my first day at work today) that I haven't been able to do anything for the blog...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween... Excellent!

It's finally here! Halloween!

I don't know about you Minis, but I adore this holiday. Sure, candy is nice and I love pumpkins, but there is just something so awesome about making costumes and admiring others' creations, don't you think?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Round Town

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I can go on and on about how I love autumn — but it's never officially fall-time until I visit my hometown of Circleville, Ohio, for the Circleville Pumpkin Show.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review // October Birchbox

Image via
After three months of Birchboxing, I'm content with my decision to cancel today. Although I did find Befine facial scrub through this program, I think that overall my boxes have been pretty unexciting and filled with items that I would never buy. I'll start with what came in this month's box.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Silver Screen

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Oh shucks! I forgot to post my outfit from yesterday!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cream of the Crop + Pinhole Book Winner

Click to buy this dress
Recently on Instagram, I've been having lots of beautiful ladies requesting larger sizes in my shop. Well, I've been on the lookout for some vintage clothing with larger measurements and have picked up a an item or two so far. This dress is the first I have to offer — a beautiful 1960s cream and red dress in perfect condition.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two Weeks

Click to buy this duster
Today was a real nice wrap up to the weekend — the weather was nice, although windy, so we went to Easton Mall to window shop. The mall ended up being very crowded. Either way, we picked up one more piece for my Halloween costume from H&M and are only one step away from completion! I'm excited!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Given the Green Light

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TGIF! This week has flown by for me and I have to apologize for not doing as many outfit posts as normal. I've been so wrapped up in this process of finding an apartment in Chicago, packing, photographing, and listing for sale items that my days are packed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tall Tails

Click to Buy this skirt
Oh, such a relaxing Tuesday! The weather today was great, the leaves are changing, and Chicago plans are moving along nicely. While things don't seem to be settling from this weekend's issue concerning HighBall (stay tuned), it has quieted a little and now other artists are coming out of the woodwork to share their bad experiences with the organizers as well (!!). Since there isn't a lot to update everyone on today, I thought I'd share a couple of the new items for sale in my shop.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Flea

Click to buy this dress
Oh, what a weekend. I must say that today's adventure was much needed — I swear I haven't been "shopping" in quite some time. I've been so wrapped up with apartment searching, closet-cleaning, and everything else that comes with re-locating that I've neglected "me time" a little bit.

The Highball Halloween Resolution

Readers: I think that my heart was feeling quite overwhelmed yesterday when I returned home and saw the explosion of support via Twitter, Facebook, and comments. Many of you shared my post about Highball Halloween's unauthorized usage of my image with the community and I'm beyond grateful.

When writing the article, I felt a bit like David fighting Goliath. Would the folks at Short North Arts District hear my voice? With all of you, they did, and John Angelo contacted me yesterday in hopes to resolve the distress caused by my discovery on Friday.

Of course, this issue doesn't only concern me. It's not only about Highball. It's about all of us — the artists, the organizers, and the community. Yesterday proved to me that when we band together, good things happen. The process by which Highball filed and used images is now forever changed so that this will never again happen to another artist.

I met with John last night in person to discuss that matter and properly sell him the rights to use my photograph in their web and print advertising. This means that you will continue to see the ad during the next three weeks in Columbus — so if you get a mailer or see a flyer, don't fret, as the usage rights have been mended.

John also expressed his desire to share his voice on the issue with my readers and the community and asked for me to share the following letter with you:
Dear Jess,

I want to start by saying that I am very sorry for the issues related to the use of your photo in HighBall’s promotional campaign. I am completely at fault for having missed the credit of your image. We must make 100% sure we always recognize the sources of our materials. I will also take the blame for the confusion regarding which of your images we were authorized to use and which we were not. Though I am not sure how your Dead-Circus image came to be in our collection of authorized Jessie Barber images, the issue is that our system needs to be tightened to make sure such an incident does not happen again.

We value the contribution of all our artists: Fashion Designers, Costume Designers, Makeup Artists, Photographers, Visual Artists and Performing Artists. As a fundraiser to help further the initiatives of the Short North Arts District, it is at the core of HighBall’s mission to serve as a vibrant forum to expose the innovators and creators of Columbus and to celebrate their contributions to the city’s quality of life. For this reason we bestow many stipends to help the artists bring their visions to reality, and we give special preference to our photographers at the event by reserving space with the best views and by granting access to behind the scenes subject matter.

Thank you for working with me to resolve this issue.


John Angelo
I left my meeting with John last night feeling accomplished. This was a victory for everyone involved — and I started a small fire that you all helped fan. In less than 24 hours we had the attention and the ability to change something that will continue to help artists here in Columbus.

Again, I couldn't have done this without all of you. And I may only have three weeks left as being a Columbus resident, but I can assure you that this is probably one of the best goodbyes I could have asked for — proof that I have the support of my peers and that I've spent the past six years in a truly amazing community. Thank you, Columbus. You'll always have a special place in my heart.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Loading Zone

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I swear that every day, Geoffrey gets better and better at snapping my little outfit pictures. I'm pretty smitten with how today's turned out — I think it is a combo of the colors and lighting and, well, linen shorts.

When Artists Steal from Artists

I suppose I should preface this by saying that I am extremely frustrated. Not at anyone, of course, except the persons who have so distastefully stolen my work — Highball Halloween and the folks involved in the Short North art council.

The backstory: During Halloween of 2009 I had a press pass for this new annual event. The press pass meant that I was able to get right by the catwalk to shoot the costume contest and fashion show. No pay, no big deal, and it was a good time. I shared my images via Flickr with the Highball folks (and each image was watermarked). That night I also took many personal photos of my friends who also attended the event. These pictures were for myself and my friends/family to enjoy and share the night with each other. They were in no way, shape, or form part of the special catwalk area for press.

I know that I have mentioned my good friends Bob and Jer before, and that year they teamed up with some other folks for this amazing dead circus group. Their costumes were amazing and detailed — so I snapped a photo of them in front of my apartment (at the time I lived right on the main strip).

Fast forward to today. I was walking up High Street when I looked at a sign in the window of a vacant storefront. It was a giant ad for this year's Highball Halloween celebration (maybe 3x5 feet foam core?). I was really shocked to see my image, pixelated and poorly altered (because it was stolen from Flickr), on their ad. I scoured for my name and it was nowhere to be found. In the corner the ad read "Banner design by Sevell+Sevell." To the left of my image was another image of Bob and company in the exact same poses but in every day clothing. I was really confused at how this ad had come to be.

Sorry for the reflection, but it was behind glass! Roughly near Warren & High
The first thing I did was call Bob. He informed me that the group got together and shot the street clothes version after the people behind Highball requested for him to do a few months back. He sent in the image and didn't hear anything from them. I told him about the sign and we both agreed that it was royally f'ked — on top of everything else they neglected to give Bob and the other characters any credit as well.

I was pretty much fuming the entire ride home — how dare this "arts council" and a group that places such a strong focus on local arts steal one of my photographs? Had they called me up a few months back and asked me, heck, I wouldn't have held any issue with it (and I could have sent them a high resolution so that they wouldn't have a gross and pixelated advertisement...). It makes me bloody angry that they took this without asking, chopped it up, and tried to pass it off as their own.

When I got home, the first thing I did was go to their website searching for an email address, Twitter, or another way of contact. I should have been surprised to find that there was no way to contact them on their website, and had to find them on Facebook to find a phone number.

In the meantime I did the math — they publicly posted that their "VIP packages" had sold out. With 250 VIP packages at $65 a pop, they had already banked $16k. Please also realize that they charge vendors, have a boatload of sponsors, and charge everyday people $5 just to walk down the street (which has always been ridiculous). This means that Highball is making a huge profit and not paying artists a dime.

I called the number half expecting to not have anyone pick up. I was wrong and a man answered — at this point I was livid and went on to tell him about how wrong it was for them to steal my image. Right off the bat this guy knew what I was speaking about — almost as if he had planned for this phone call to happen. "Oh yes," he said, "we just loved your image so much."

Excuse me? Just because you love something means you can steal it?!

I continued to tell him that the image was not his to use, especially for an advertising campaign (which in turn makes PROFIT for them). I noted that had Highball asked, I probably would have been okay with it. But now that the deed was done and no credit was thrown my way, I was extremely unhappy. His next statement infuriated me.

"Oh right, I remember. Your photo had a little signature in the bottom corner, right? Oh, we must have accidentally cropped it out!" I'm almost positive that at that moment, either his pants were on fire or his nose has grown to epic lengths. He was telling me that he knew my image was watermarked, yet they didn't care enough to keep it, contact me, or even add a little "photo by" caption. This guy was very familiar (or directly involved) with this little marketing campaign.

To any artist, obviously the correct way to handle this would be pay. When I made mention of this being the solution to his infringement, he replied that paying the artists "isn't in the spirit of Highball."

Paying the artists isn't in the spirit of Highball. Think about that coming from an arts council.

So now I ask Highball, what is in your spirit? "Artists" stealing from artists?

Eventually he agreed to take the poster down (which I will be checking thoroughly tomorrow). Still, I can't shake the fact that this was extremely low and shady, especially coming from a group of people who like to pretend like they give any cares about the local community.

This year's Highball is scheduled on the 28th, which is my last night in Columbus before moving to Chicago on the morning of the 29th. I had planned on attending. Now, I most certainly am not and imploring other Columbusites (-ians? -oans?) to do the same. And I'm obviously not planning on keeping quiet about this issue either.

Edit // They do have a twitter after all! Tweet @highballcbus and let them know that this is not okay!

Screenshot taken 10/8/2011 at 10am — 13 hours after I contacted them.
Edit #2 // Also, I've come to find out their they are also using my image on the Short North Arts District's website. They apparently do not think that internet and print advertising are the same thing.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Leather and Lace

Click to buy this top
Thankfully, our weather here in Ohio has jumped up a bit. Not too long ago we were at 45° and today it was almost 80°. Strange, right? It's pretty standard around here, though, for our weather to act totally random and bizarre.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

And Your Skull T-Shirt

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Hello, Minis! Sorry for the lack of outfit posts — you've probably noticed that I've been extra busy listing lots of goodies for sale. It also didn't help that I was fighting a cold. I'm still getting over it a little, plus my allergies are all screwy from the drastic weather change. Talk about a crazy weekend!

Monday, October 3, 2011

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