MINI PENNY: October 2011

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

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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

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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

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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

Saturday, October 1, 2011


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Today was a little alarming. It's the first of October — or so I thought until I stepped outside. Turns out that it was in the 40°s today. And it wasn't really rainy, it was misty instead. Yuck!

DIY Project // Glitter Shoes

I'd be lying if I said that I'm not totally obsessed with glitter shoes — especially loafers and oxfords. There are a few that I've been admiring from afar via Aldo. Not to mention that my friend Daina has the most gorgeous gunmetal glitter loafers that she picked up at Nordstrom Rack. If you've been following for a bit, you may have noticed my gold glitter oxfords that I busted out for our city's Fourth of July celebration. And now, I have made my own custom pair and want to share the steps with you! See the full how-to after the jump.

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