Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan Relief Efforts: Direct Donations

Important note about Japan relief effort donations!

Obviously, there are different chapters for these organizations. So direct donations should go to the Japan chapters of the Red Cross (NOT the American or wherever else Red Cross) and Save The Children.

I don't think Tzu Chi is in Japan since it's a Taiwanese thing, but I'm fairly certain any of their pages is okay.

Or, if you want to be sure about it going to Japan efforts, even if it's through the UCSD JSA, there's this page. Like I mentioned before, they're in contact with the governor of the Miyagi prefecture, so they're trying to send the money directly to them.

[And now if you will excuse me, I need to go write a post about a terribad UCLA student-written article about that "Asians in the Library" video controversy, in which they make uninformed judgments about UCSD. Those jerks.]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan Relief Efforts: Donations

Short list of stores I know currently donating part or all of the proceeds from sales to Japan relief efforts! [Will be adding as I find out about more.]

This and That from Japan (who I believe is located in Japan) is donating 15% of total sales to Save The Children Japan as well! Lots of Japanese fabrics, trims, and other fun craft-related things in the shop. They're all soooo kawaii! And my experience with Japanese fabrics is that they're high quality and nice weights. :3 This donation project seems to be ongoing.

Ykonna is donating 100% of proceeds (your total purchase, minus shipping) to Save The Children, up until the end of the month. I already bought two necklaces, and she donated the money the next day (almost immediately ^^). This is a really good opportunity to snatch up her Link and epic Mario Bros. necklaces!

Steppie is giving 50% of proceeds to the Red Cross in Japan, but this ends tomorrow (Tuesday) night, Pacific time. She screens her artwork onto tees, sweaters/hoodies, and tote bags! Also some Scrabble tile rings, cards, and mugs. Ninjas and pandas, oh my! I'm a huge fan of her Panda Bums couple mug set, 8-bit "NINJA" windbreaker, and nerdy panda tank. I also own her "I'm A Ninja" charcoal hoodie and black mug :] More info here.

Amy/Shrinkle mentioned a "Pray for Japan" event in LA this Saturday, and there will be a pop-up shop for Sugarpill Cosmetics there! 100% of sales will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross as well. Her makeup has really good color payoff, so if you're in the area (or know anyone who is!), it's worth checking out, and it's for a good cause. They're also looking for volunteers for the show, so that's another way to help out! As far as I know, purchases from the Sugarpill store online don't count though.

Ann from handmadekpopgoods on Tumblr is giving people until the 18th to get in DIY charms orders. 50% of total price + shipping will be donated, and the custom charms do NOT have to be kpop members! I believe someone ordered Evanescence, Paramore, and Anberlin charms to help donate. They're super cute, and you can order them by themselves or as necklaces, key chains, rings, phone charms, car/mirror charms, or bracelets (pricing and other info). She's also known as Destination Design on Etsy, but I don't think her Etsy store will be included in a donation project. Oh! Forgot to add that everyone who participates in her donation project will also be entered in a raffle for a towel lollipop :D

Lisa of kpopbracelets, also on Tumblr, is planning on ordering a few hundred HOPE bracelets, selling for $8 each (including shipping), and 100% of proceeds will be donated. Her goal is to order and sell 325 of them, so she can donate $2000 total. They're white 1" silicone bracelets, the O in HOPE is a red circle like on the Japan flag, and the other side features the date of the earthquake as well as "Japan" in Kanji/Chinese characters. More info here. [I know Gaga is doing them too, but it bothers me that you're paying $5 for the bracelet and THEN you choose whether or not to donate on TOP of that :/]



You can also make a direct donation. I know Red Cross, Save The Children (link above), and Tzu Chi (a Taiwanese charity, the first on the scene after the earthquake struck) are legit. I think the Red Cross requires a minimum of $10? The Tzu Chi link is to the US donation page, and I get the feeling if I link the actual Taiwan one, it'll be in Chinese. So... Yeah. I've actually done service with Tzu Chi before though, and I love them.

Another way is donating through this page, which was created by the JSA (Japanese Student Association) from my alma mater, UCSD. The org's president is in contact with the governor of the Miyagi prefecture, so they're trying to get the money directly to them, in order to achieve the best allocation. (No minimum.) They're keeping the page updated with progress and where exactly the money will go.

Most, if not all, of these sellers are posting updates about how much they've raised, and some are even going to screencap the donation when they send it.

This earthquake and tsunami hit a little close to home for me, and I'm just thankful that my close family friend was back in California for their school break when it happened. I'm also glad that everyone else I know in Japan is safe and sound, and Taiwan wasn't really hit. But seriously, every little bit helps! If you can donate, please do ^^

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Featured Seller: ykonna

[note: I started this post a month ago... and then didn't finish it :x until now! In honor of this seller, I shall say it is because Papa YG distracted me with all the comebacks happening ^^]

[note 2: I really need to learn to use the Preview button instead of editing and then publishing over and over again -_- And sorry this one is so long ><]

Okay, so this girl deserves more sales. How did I find her? On a whim, I decided to do a search on Etsy for some kpop artists I'm into, because hey, you never know, right? Surprisingly, I found about 5 results for one group, and maybe 4 for another. All from two or three sellers. Including ykonna (or G)!

Needless to say, I was pretty excited. Upon clicking on one of the necklaces, I decided to browse ykonna's shop and found like 8 more kpop-related pieces. So of course I had my eye on a few of them, and wound up messaging her about how excited I was to have found an Etsy seller who was into the kpop scene (yeah I can be a dork like that). Sadly, a couple of the necklaces I wanted sold before I could buy them, but I still got a super cute Super Junior one! Along with a Kirby necklace set and a pair of earrings.

Here's where I wish (again) that I had working camera here in the middle of nowhere with me, but it's way back in California. And old. But functional! So maybe one of these days... Point is, I wish I could show you pics of G's packaging. Totally gift-ready, totally compact, AND comes with some candies, business card/note, and some of those kawaii little Japanese die-cut stickers!

Each item comes wrapped in a colored tissue cloth thing (I don't know the technical name for it, sorry ><), which is then placed in a little gauzy gift pouch printed with foil patterns. Sooo cute! And I can tell you right now that she wraps them up really neatly, I couldn't even replicate it after opening mine ._. If it's a set, like two necklaces, each is individually wrapped in the tissue cloth thing, then both are placed in the same pouch. Earrings are wrapped in a single piece, but are placed such that they won't get tangled or damage each other :) I also got another little extra, a matching SuJu phone/bag charm!

G ships from Greece, and it's all registered (just under $7 no matter how much jewelry you buy), so you can be sure it'll arrive safely and in 1-2 weeks, unless your post office is a butt like mine is. (But my order still arrived in a week!) She also sells OOAK cyberlox hair falls, which are pretty cute, but I don't wear falls so I can't tell you how they are... As for her jewelry, it's not just colored chains and some beads hanging from them--which I also love!--but she'll literally put those metal joiners between beads to make a necklace or any attachments. You can definitely tell G puts a lot of work into it.

You can also find a lot of unique charms in her shop, a lot of them are Japan- or Korea-imported, like rare anime or Hello Kitty charms. (And hello, she had Kirby!!!) From single- and multi-layer chokers to dangly earrings, statement necklaces to chunky bracelets, and a ton of things in between, EVERYTHING is OOAK. Errrrrrthing! She also takes custom orders and will shorten or lengthen necklaces if you so desire.

We still talk to each other about kpop too! Spazzing out about all the new releases, it's good times. She's a total sweetheart, and her shop is so cute to browse through, and she makes quality stuff! But I've had my eye on this scissors necklace ever since she listed it (it's in my fave colors! :D and it's scissors :]) aaand on the steampunk princess set, not to mention I'm still considering this classy Hello Kitty set (I'm so bad T_T), so hopefully no one buys them while I try to figure out if my PO will be stupid about my registered post again >.> Boy I abuse emoticons. Sorry!

Anyway, on to some of my current favorites in her shop!
[Ball chain necklaces] Super Mario Bullet Bill stress toy necklace
[Rings] Hello Kitty, always a no-brainer (hahaaa I'm such an Asian girl xD)
[Bracelets] BIGBANG (love! but teeny wrist QQ); white chunky bracelet
[Phone/Bag Charms] a different Hello Kitty; rainbow Cinnamoroll
[Hair Falls] metallic black/blue; I'm such a sucker for teal and purple...
[Necklaces] b/w One Piece; feminine statement necklace; cute 2PM choker

She also had some Sailor Moon long necklaces up but they all sold (not surprising). Sailor Scouts were Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus--besides Meatball Head herself, I've always loved Mercury :3 though a lot of my friends were partial to Mars and Jupiter... Anyway, you should check her out! :]

[Embedding a song also for her xP GD&TOP! But it's seriously a nice groove. More hip hop, and not your typical kpop]

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pet Peeve: Copycats

Not a DIY update (I will do one soon, for a super sweet Etsy seller from Greece! And by soon, I may mean right after this post, we'll see...) but I'm always bothered when brands/designers copy other brands/designers. And they do it blatantly.

Most recent example: Tokidoki Moofia hoodie from 2007 vs. Paul Frank hoodie from 2009.

Do I even have to point out how obviously similar these are?

Okay, I get that a lot of hoodies now have the contrast hood lining (especially with signature brand print). It's a cool look. Same with the contrast pull-string. But what really bothers me are the following:
1) heart-stitched pockets (which look IDENTICAL, btw)
2) striped cuffs and waistband (sure, the Paul Frank one is the same color as the body, but still)
3) signature zipper pull (again, lots of people are doing it now, but Tokidoki was doing it way before Paul Frank)

I will admit having more of a bias to Tokidoki (especially since I own that specific hoodie), but I was a huge fan of Paul Frank when I was younger and I have to admit I'm disappointed in their lack of creativity. It's just... SIGH.

(Song below is Brown Eyed Girls member Ga-In's "Bad Temper." I rediscovered my love for kpop and as such, felt like sharing xD)

[side note] Chrome is making me use the "edit HTML" option a lot more than Firefox ever did. Hm. [/side note]

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Vivifromage Contest

Hi my name is Vivian and I'm really bad at updating blogs (including my personal -_-). I guess you could say I was recovering from almost getting run over by a minivan, but really I've just been on a giant kpop kick lately, and there's so much out there that it takes a significant amount of time to get through even just a small portion of it. But I love it! :)

But anyway, I figured what better way to kick off my slightly less sporadic blogging (again) with Vivifromage! Virginie (or Vivi) is one of my most favorite independent designers, as everything she makes is of impeccable quality, her packages get from France to the US in like a week, and she's a super cute French girl! Have I mentioned she's super nice? Oh, and I consider her the queen of Threadless (and other t-shirt) reconstructions.

She's holding a contest right now, which runs until December 4th (should be Saturday) at 8pm CET. I've no idea what the CE stands for, but that's where the internet comes in :) At any rate, why not just do it now?? The prize:
50€ (about US $70 / £45) credit to her shop! Off the top of my head, that's a little more than one of her dresses (in general). Good deal! So how do you enter? Post the link to her Facebook page (which is hyperlinked in "Vivifromage," above) and leave a comment saying you did here. Have Twitter? For another entry, tweet her page and something about her work/why you like it, and leave another comment under your original comment. Blog posts count too!

Personally, I've lost count of how many Vivifromage pieces I own... But I can honestly say I've never been disappointed (unless I lost an auction or missed out on something by an hour :p) and I love every single oneeee. From all the photos, I know it looks like I only buy her dresses (well they are amazing), but I have multiple skirts and shirts, a vest, a shrug, and a purse! In fact, one of my absolute favorite DIY pieces EVER (and which I get compliments on all the time, aside from her purse) is this Dark Mario ruffle collar w/bow shirt. <3

[edit] OMG I forgot to add that she makes COATS! Like, legit overcoats. Freals. Check it! [/edit]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lipgloss and Black Contest!

There's a ton of independent designers that I love and follow, and found through dozens of About Me pages on eBay (on dial-up, no less!) years ago, and thankfully Lipgloss & Black was one of them! Er... Two of them? Since they're sisters?

I remember I kept clicking on their site, to see if it had been updated from their hiatus page, and then bam! One day, they were back! And on Etsy! Oh Etsy, I love you so. But I have to take a break from you because I just bought a bunch of kpop imports. D:

Anyway, they JUST launched their brand spankin' new website (Emphasis on the spankin', I was seriously happy with the design and I'm not even a graphic designer! More of a graphic observer, maybe.). And to celebrate, they're doing a giveaway contest!

It's really easy, all you gotta do is leave a comment on this photo, saying which item(s) is(are) your favorite in their store, and that's your entry!

Of course, since there are so many networking sites today, you get one extra entry for each re-post/linkback to their photo. Which means, your Twitter, your blog, and your Facebook link post thingie. Another comment for each one, and that's four entries total! It wasn't really clarified, but I *think* you get an entry for each "sharing" you do, so if you Tweet about it like once a day, and comment about it, you get another entry for each? Not too positive, but it didn't say NOT to do it, so I'm guessing it's all good.

I myself have been a huge fan of their suspender skirts (I own a slightly pleated purple one, and I've been eyeing the teal!) and I immediately fell in love with their Motodress that they debuted on the new site. It comes in black and gray and I'm pretty sure it's way better quality than the Forever 21 version I saw a couple months ago. Based on the L&B pieces I own, they use reallllllllllly high quality cotton knit--it's pretty thick, so it's durable (and sucks you in if you need it), and warm enough you can wear the skirts in cooler weather with tights and boots! And of course, it's cotton, so it's totally breathable.

They also use bamboo fabric for some of their designs! I haven't tried bamboo fabric yet, but I love eating bamboo shoots, so it's probably amazing. Even better? They use their fabric scraps to make reusable totes, and include one with every order! The bags not only keep your goodies together and protected in the envelope, but they're also usable forever! They're the perfect size for grocery shopping in Asian countries, I should know, I took mine to Taiwan :)

Oh wait! I forgot the most important detail! The prize is a $50 credit for their store! Meaning... that $70 suspender skirt would wind up being $20 + S/H. OR you could get a bunch of accessories (omg the zipper bow headband in purple! leave me one, k guys?) or any other combination. If you win, you've gotta use it all at once though... Which is literally no problem, because their store is full of amazing, including a tank that has a skull cut-out in the back. (Check it!)

(Psst! If you use coupon code LBFB10 to get 10% off, good now through Oct 4th at midnight! I know y'all have Facebook, don't try and deny it :D) The contest runs for a week, so get on it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Copyright Issues?

Uh oh... I was browsing one of my fave DIY jewelry designers because she recently put up a lot of new stuff, and I just realized that the cupcake/crossbones design is actually from Johnny Cupcakes :x

Granted, I think I've seen the cupcake/crossbones in other shops as well, but I'm worried the guy who started Johnny Cupcakes (he's like Mark from Glamour Kills, randomly started designing shirts) is going to find out and then there will be trouble. He seems like a reasonable guy, but with all the copyright laws now, who knowsssss?

The only reason I'm even questioning this is because he's an independent designer as well; obviously I'm pretty whatever about using images from films and whatnot (that's what the internet is for), but it's his company's logo. :\ And then people might be all "oh does Johnny Cupcakes make jewelry now?" and yeah. I'm probably thinking too much into this because it's Friday and I'm EXHAUSTED, but it's really bothering me. I don't want her to get into trouble because she's so nice! Ahhh...

What to do, what to do...