Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to spot a fake Hermes bag on Ebay

Lately we've been slinking around the web in search of used Birkin, which can cost anywhere from $6800 to $18,000 if you're not looking for exotic skins, and we came across this great guide on eBay written by a former Hermès employee:

First and foremost: You will NEVER get an authentic Birkin on eBay (or anywhere else) for an unreal price. Most of the authentic ones are selling well into the $10,000 range simply because that is what they are WORTH. Even a well-used Birkin generally sells for approximately $7,000 and up!

Some basic hints to help you determine if the listing you are viewing is authentic:

1) Hermes bags NEVER come with a paper hangtag on them. If you see this in a listing, it's a fake.

2) An authentic Hermes Birkin or Kelly has an engraved lock and key set. The lock will say "Hermes" on the bottom and the keys will be numbered to match the number of the lock and some sets with vintage bags also say Hermes on the reverse side.

3) Hermes uses a very specific series of embossed markings on their bags. They will NEVER use a metal nameplate inside the bag. If you see this, it's a fake.

4) Current Hermes dustbags as of mid-2007 are tan herringbone toile. Previously, the dustbags were orange heavyweight cotton flannel, however older bags (vintage) may come with a tan velour dustbag of a slightly different design. There is NO such thing as a "vintage Birkin" as this style of bag has only been around since 1984.

6) A legitimate seller should be able to send you additional pictures of the bag at various angles, including closeups of the blind stamp, the embossing, the hardware and the feet. Pay careful attention to the accents over the e in Hermes, as well as the placement of the feet. Also, be aware of the background shown in the pics; beware of stolen images!!! If a seller will steal pictures of someone else's item, there's a good chance they are dishonest about other things too. Image theft is against eBay rules and may in some cases be illegal as well. In addition, plenty of listings feature images that look authentic, but the seller sends you a horrible knockoff.

7) Take a careful look at all of the stitching, the quality of the leather, and the finishing details. Remember that Birkins sell for $10,000 and up. Does the bag you are looking at look like a ten thousand dollar handbag? If not, don't buy it.

Read more Hermes Goddess tips on eBay here:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday sales and coupon codes

For those of you looking for some good Cyber Monday sales, here are a few that I know of.  The first is my own, 20% off everything in my Etsy shop, and an extra 7 % for anyone who follows my blog and writes a comment telling me how to contact them with a code.

Next, for all of you vintage lovers, is having a great sale with 25% off of all merchandise at checkout using code CyberM.  Crazy Hot Clothes isn't just any old vintage, it's carefully selected quality clothes at great prices.

The third is KIST Boutique, a Facebook site that is offering free shipping for everything on their site.  Look them up on Facebook.

If I find other good fashion sales I'll post again.  I don't want to cram too many into 1 post.  Happy shopping!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Extra sales discounts for Blog followers!

Click the word "Follow" on this blog or my beadingcat blog and receive a coupon code for an extra 7% off of anything in my Etsy shop.  That makes your total discount 27%.  These offers are for today, 11/26/10 and Monday 11/29/10.  Both days the sales start at 4 am Pacific Time and end at 12 am Pacific Time (that converts to7 am ET and 3 am ET). 
Also, blog followers that use these codes can get 7% off  the regular prices Saturday and Sunday as well.  After you click to Follow, please write a comment to this post giving me a way to contact you so that I'm notified and I can send you the coupon code.
**Please note, following my blog doesn't mean you're going to get emails every time I write a post (unless you want to, in which case you can subscribe to my posts).  Following simply means that when you go to your blog or your iGoogle page, you'll see the name of my blog on the list of blogs you follow.  If anyone would like more info about how that works, put that in your comment as well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Use the right jewelry to match your outfit

I usually pick jewelry that matches my outfit's color.  Lately, though, I've been noticing what a big difference it makes when I take a little extra time to be sure the outfit and the jewelry play well, especially if I'm wearing a jacket.  Some of the little things I've discovered are listed below.

1.  If I'm wearing a long necklace, I usually don't want to wear it with a shirt that has a plunging neckline.  It's like having an arrow pointing right to my cleavage.  (of course, sometimes that IS what I want, but usually not.  See picture C below)  I find long necklaces look best with a shirt that's neckline is close to my collarbone and turtlenecks. 

2.  Short necklaces don't look very good over a turtleneck (see picture D. below), and they can be tricky with higher necklines because they sometimes disappear under your shirt.

3.  Even the color of your shirt and/or jacket matters when it comes to necklaces.  See the pictures of the gold necklace with the purple jacket (A) vs. the light green jacket (B).  The light green one shows off the necklace more.

A.  Nice look

B.  Better look

C.  Cleavage arrow!

D.  Necklace is too short to wear with a turtleneck

4. The most obvious tip is to have a shirt color that complements or contrasts with your jewelry.  If everything is the same color it will all blend together & no one will know you have that fabulous jewelry!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to buy jewelry for someone else

Jewelry is something almost every woman can always use more of.  I don't think I've EVER thought "I have too much jewelry".  However, I have gotten jewelry gifts that weren't my style that I never wore.  That's a little like not getting a gift at all.  With that in mind, I've thought of a few tips that I wish people who I know would read.

1.  Don't get jewelry that YOU like if you don't have the same taste as the person that you're buying for.  Do they wear the same clothes that you wear?  If not, they probably won't like the same jewelry.  So....

2.  Observe what they already have and wear.  Do they wear earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, or all of them?  I wear earrings, necklaces, rings and only occasionally bracelets.  I type on a computer almost all day, and I can't stand bracelets jangling against the keyboard.

3.  Once you see what they wear, take note of what style of jewelry they favor. 
a)  Do they wear simple, small chains with a small pendant?  If so, silver or gold?
b)  Do they wear gemstone or beaded jewelry?  If so, what colors do they seem to like? Any repetition as to what gems?  Pearls?  Turquoise?  If you're not sure what the beads/stones are, just note what colors.  Are they bright and sparkly?  Neutral colors?  Shiny or flat for a finish?

c)  Do they wear long, dangly, sparkly earrings or small studs? 

d) Trendy looking or classic?  Hint:  the trend now is several of the same thing - bangles and bracelets, or large chain necklaces. Classic is generally either silver or gold, and understated.

4.  Consider where you normally see the person.  If you always see them at work, you're seeing their business jewelry. If you only see them once or twice a month when you go clubbing, you're only seeing their evening jewelry.  If you know them well, then you can probably guess their style for any occasion.  If you don't, stick with the type of jewelry that you see them wearing.

5.  Make sure that they can return the jewelry if they don't like it.  You don't have to give them a receipt unless it's required by the seller, but at least make sure that they can see where you got their gift.

6.  Give jewelry that's personalized in some way.  A necklace or bracelet with space for/photos of their children, pets, etc. or a charm with hand stamping or engraving.  Even when the jewelry wasn't my style I've always cherished & kept jewelry with these kind of things on it.

I hope these tips help you to breathe a little easier when choosing gifts of jewelry.  You will probably pick something that they love, and even if not, they'll appreciate the thought and effort.  Showing people that we chose something with them in mind is one of the most cherished gifts we can give, in my opinion.

Friday, November 12, 2010

There are contests for us creative types

I haven't entered an art contest since high school, but I'm thinking of doing it again simply to make myself stretch my imagination.  So as I find contests I share them here.  For this post it's a contest sponsored by Fire Mountain, with a deadline of Jan. 10, 2011.  It's for items made with metal clay, metal beads, wirework, and chain.  The categories are 1. necklaces, 2. Bracelets, 3. Earrings, 4. Home Decor and Dolls, 5. Wedding and holiday and 6. Fashion accessories.  The "gold medal" winner gets a 1,000.00 Gift certificate for Fire Mountain.  There are 6 winners, with the last receiving a 50.00 gift certificate for Fire Mountain.  click the link for this post to read more details at Fire Mountain's web site.
If any of you read this and end up winning, please let me know.  I'd love to feature winner's work on here.
And if anyone wants to post a comment to share other contests, click the hyperlink that says 0 comments (or if I'm lucky, 1 comment).  That will take you to a box where you can write a comment.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tired of being frugal but still don't have much money?

Many of us cut back our spending in 2008 when the economy went down the drain.  A lot of us did it because we had to, not because we really wanted to.  It's been TWO YEARS.  Two years of not buying anything extra, two years of stretching our existing wardrobe, not going into clothing stores, reading articles trying to convince ourselves that not buying luxuries made life simpler and more enjoyable.  I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I'm SO tired of not buying things.  I want new clothes.  And unfortunately since I've gained a lot of weight this year, I even NEED new clothes.  But I can't afford them. 
Lucky for me, I can give myself jewelry.  I can afford to buy a few supplies and make myself necklaces that can make old clothes look fresh.  I draw attention to my collar bone, or to a pretty pendant in the middle of my chest (one place that has benefited from weight gain).  I can make a gorgeous pair of earrings and pull my hair back on the sides to show them off.  I'm betting that most of you can do the same.  It doesn't cost much, but it can make you feel almost brand new.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New motivation for working out at the gym

I have many REASONS to work out.  I'm taking a medication for insomnia which has a nasty side effect of weight gain.  I've blown up to my highest weight ever since I've been taking these meds.  I hate the way I look and feel.  That is a motivation, but it doesn't always work.  I can distract myself from those feelings in many ways.  Another reason to work out is that the extra weight is hard on my body.  My back hurts more, and yoga has gotten more difficult.  In revolved poses my stomach gets in the way.  And plank is more of a bitch than ever, since my arms have to hold much more weight up.  Again, reasons, but not necessarily enough motivation.
But being able to wear sexy boots and look hot in them?  THAT is motivation (see boots below).  And the best thing I've found yet... staying on the elliptical for an entire hour of my favorite show each week.  For a blissful hour I walk off calories while watching the gorgeous guys on Criminal Minds.  The only time I notice how tired I'm getting is during commercials.  And when that happens I switch my headset to my iPod for some fast-paced music.  At the end of the hour I've burned 300+ calories, used my mind to figure out who the unsub is, and got my eye candy.  That's an hour well spent!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where is your favorite place to shop for the holidays?

I'm guessing that as soon as the annoying, ubiquitous political ads go away, the holiday shopping ads are going to start.  For the past few years, I've been one of those people who say "No!  It's too soon!  I'm not ready for Christmas!"  For one thing, when the ads start so early, they lose their charm way before the holidays.  Second, not having money to shop definitely takes some of the fun out of the season.  And last, not having anyone special or fun to shop for makes the holidays seem more an obligation than an enjoyment.

Despite these negative things, there are a few things that I almost always enjoy during the holiday season.  A big one is the decorations.  I love sparkly things, so it's no surprise that I'd love holiday decorations - the lights, the silver and gold, the smell of pine trees, red bows, etc.  I grew up in the Northeast, where almost everyone decorates their homes.  When I moved to Atlanta, GA, there weren't as many decorations and no snow.  When I moved to Southern California, there were even less homes lit up, and barely even chilly weather.  But no matter where I lived, I could always go to the malls & see beautiful decorations and feel that holiday spirit.  In California I could go to Fashion Island, an outdoor mall a few miles from the ocean, to see the lighting of their giant tree.  And always, always, there was Macy's.  Every Macy's I've ever been in during the holidays has had gorgeous decorations and that intangible spirit of the holidays.  At least for the time I spent in there, I'd feel the magic.

Do any of you have one special place that always puts you in a holiday spirit?  I hope so.  They come around whether we want them to or not, so it's nice to have at least one place where you can feel the specialness that they're supposed to bring.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gotta love Marshall's

For years I've loved shopping at Marshall's.  No matter where I've lived - Pennsylvania, Georgia, or California, there's always been a Marshalls close by.  They have EVERYTHING - clothes, shoes, hair care, housewares, handbags, jewelry, even some electronics.  My favorite spots are the clothes, handbags, shoes, hair care, bath & body, & things for the home.  Yes, just about everything.  As much as I love them, I don't totally believe their commercials about getting inventory from stores who've accidentally overbought.  Yes that happens occasionally - I bought a handbag there that I had just seen at Macy's the week before.  I got it at Marshall's for exactly 50% less than Macy's.  I examined that bag inside and out, and found nothing wrong with it.  Happy, happy day!  I do think alot of their clothes ARE last season's (or last, last season's).  The thing is, I don't care.  If I like it, I can afford it, it meets my needs, and there's nothing wrong with it, I'm happy as can be.

Take, for example, this wonderful Miss Sixty coat I found there a few weeks ago.  I used to go into the Miss Sixty store in California, so I know their prices.  I could never afford them.  But I could definitely afford this!  It will keep me warm & I'll look fabulous.  That's good enough for me.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More pictures from Pittsburgh Fashion Week's eco-chic shows

If you were a clothing designer and you had to design a line that was environmentally "friendly", how would you do it?  Would you use recycleable fabric?  Take old clothes and make them into something new and different?  Use recycled materials that weren't normally used for clothing?  The designers in the eco-chic shows used all of these techniques and came up with some beautiful things.  Take a look!  I've uploaded the rest of my pictures from the eco-chic shows to my Facebook page. 
The designers behind the clothes are Aimee Bedoy from Second Stitch, MJ Whalen, Lana Neumeyer, and Keith Bloom II.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pittsburgh Fashion Week's Eco chic shows

Before I start writing about Paris's fashion week, I have to say something about the fashion week in that other city that starts with a "P" - Pittsburgh, of course!  I went to the Saturday night runway show that featured several designers all creating with an eye toward the environment.  Otherwise known as eco-fashion, eco-chic, green design, sustainable fashion, upcycled fashion, etc.  They were all surprisingly different.  The pictures that I'm posting today are from local designer Lana Neumeyer.  Brazil was her inspiration, and it showed in the bright, fun colors and the tropical vibe of the clothes.  To make the show even more enjoyable, Brazilian music played while the models literally danced down the runway.  As they danced, they threw little burlap bags filled with coffee beans into the crowd.  It was truly an entertaining show with many beautiful outfits.  I only wish that my camera was as good as the show!  Unfortunately some of the shots are blurred and/or dark on the edges due to the lighting for the runway.  More pictures will be available on my Facebook page this weekend.  I'll post a link as soon as I get them all uploaded.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Isabel Marant's boots for spring

Vogue Gallery
Isabel Marant is best known for her boots. Initially they were made in limited amounts, but were so popular that they quickly had a wait list. Her boot for the spring collection looks similar to the others from a front view - a folded over top, slouchy, and mid-calf height.  The toe is more pointed, however, and the heel is thinner. Personally I find it easier to walk on thicker, chunkier heels, but I'm sure these will be popular with many of her fans. What do you think - yay or nay?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are there any fall trends that you LOVE?

I've heard that a few things are popular for fall, among them, military jackets, menswear, lace, plaid, and the color camel.  I think I read short boots, too.  I've gotta say, the only one of these that I'm lovin' are the boots.  I love boots of all types, though, so that's a given for me.  Normally fall is my favorite season for fashion.  Maybe as I read more magazines I'll see some other things that I love.  If I do, I'll post pictures. 

One thing that I do know I love is fall make-up.  Lipstick in shades of berry, red, and this year's orangy-coral - I have them all and LOVE them all!!  Can't wait to dig out my MAC Red, MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Wild 'Bout You, and several others (yes, all MAC).

Are any of you excited about a particular look for fall?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pittsburgh Fashion Week starts tomorrow!!

For the first time, Pittsburgh is hosting it's own fashion week.  Runway shows, vendors, various locations...  Let's help Pittsburgh become more involved in the fashion and design industry.  Event times, ticket prices, and other information are all listed on the web site.  I'll be attending the runway show for Crazy Hot Clothes - a Pittsburgh-based site selling quality unique vintage fashions.  The people at Crazy Hot Clothes search to find high-quality fashions at great prices.  Visit their site at  The picture is a sample from their site.  A steal for 35.50!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fashion Week begins in New York, Fall Fashion

This week New York City will showcase designer's spring 2011 collections.  That's a little far in advance for most of us to be thinking, though.  I've just started thinking about getting out some of my warmer clothes, and wondering how many of them will fit.  (not enjoying those thoughts.)  But I do love fall fashion - it's always been my favorite.  I can't wait to wear boots!  I just bought a pair of grey suede over the knee boots.  I realize that they were last season's trend, but I've always loved that height and couldn't resist them.
Is there anything that you're craving in fall fashion?  Is it something that you already own or something that you want to buy?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Who do you dress for?

Do you know why you like the styles you wear?  Sometimes it is just an unknown, "This rocks and I've got to wear it", and other times we wear things that we think will affect specific people.  For example, once I had an office job with a conservative company, and because I had so few ways to express myself, I gravitated toward unusual, rebellious-looking accessories.  These rings, earrings, dark lipstick, etc. were possibly never noticed by anyone else, but I felt better when I wore them. 
Likewise, I've often dressed to appeal to a man that I was interested in.  At one point I switched from wearing ankle-length skirts and dresses with flats to short dresses with high heels because I was interested in a guy at work.  My co-workers were startled to find out that I actually had legs!
Do you dress to make a statement to someone?  If you immediately say "no, just to please myself", are you sure? 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pretty goth things

Today I'm featuring an Etsy shop that specializes in silk scarves and tops with spider web designs on them.  Kteis has beautiful things in their shop, whether you like goth or just want something unique.  I hate real spiders, but have always loved clothes and jewelry with spider webs as part of the design.  (I used to have panty hose with a spider web design - loved wearing those to clubs!)  Kteis also has unique photographs of their merchandise. Looking through their shop is like looking through an art gallery exhibit.
If any of you are craving something different for fall, take a look at these one of a kind items.  You definitely won't show up at any event wearing the same thing as something else!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I listed the wrong dates for Pittsburgh Fashion Week

In my previous post I wrote that the dates were August 27th - September 3rd.  The correct dates are September 27th - October 3rd.  There are different themes for each evening's shows, including petite and plus size fashions, menswear, international fashion, and a fundraising runway show.  I will post a copy of the schedule from their web site soon. 
I've volunteered for several committees and am considering applying to be a vendor on Friday and/or Saturday.  I'm so excited that they're doing this!  I can't wait to see fashions by local designers, and hopefully to get to know some great people.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pittsburgh's first Fashion Week!

I'm really excited about the upcoming fashion week in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa.  Since I've moved back here I've been trying to find local designers and people in the fashion industry.  Finally, after finding Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine on Facebook, I found out that there will be a fashion week here August 27th through Sept 3rd.  I'm hoping that they still need volunteers, and I'm checking into the cost of being a vendor.
My hope is to increase fashion awareness in the city, as well as help improve it's overall image.  People think of Pittsburgh as an industrial city, a sports-town, and some know that it was voted most liveable city in 2007, but few see it as a fashion-forward city.  I hope that it's first fashion week will be the first step toward making it a better place for all of us in the fashion industry.

Thank you to for the information!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Christmas in July Sale!!!

All first-time buyers, get 20% off of your total purchase price.  Visit my shop on Etsy ( or my regular web site (  Due to the way check out is structured on both sites, there isn't an option for discount codes, so I will refund 20% of your purchase price after you pay (price before shipping, if applicable).
You're welcome to pass this information on to anyone else who is interested.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tour of clothing boutiques in Pittsburgh

I've been back in my hometown for 2 years now, and have hardly done any shopping.  'Cause I haven't been able to find a job.  (Bion I do technical support, training, and server administration.)  But I'm tired of waiting to check out the cute boutiques in Pittsburgh.  So I'm going to start checking them out just for window shopping purposes.  That can be fun, too (I try to convince myself).  I'm going to post my findings here along with pictures, if the store owners are okay with that.  I'm not doing chain stores, big discount stores or anything like that, just small stores, preferably owned by locals. 
If you own a boutique in the 'burgh, let me know where you are and what your hours are so that I can come visit!  I promise that sooner or later I'll buy something!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Resort 2011 oufit by Naeem Khan

Resort 2011
LOVE this outfit! Now if I only had the money to buy it AND go on vacation! But that is partly what fashion is about for me - dreaming.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

who is the hottest guy on Criminal Minds?

My current television obsession is the show Criminal Minds (Wed. on CBS).   If you don't watch the show, you should, unless you're very sensitive to blood or stories about disturbed people.  If that's the case just google the name. For those who watch, who do you think is the best-looking guy?  I can't decide between Agent Hotchner or Agent Morgan.  And I think Dr. Reid is cute in a geeky way.
Aaron Hotchner always looks sophisticated and impeccable, wearing suits in almost every scene.  Derek Morgan is the opposite - jeans and t-shirts, rugged and sexy.  Which look do you like best on a man?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


If you want to meet some new people, or do things with people who have the same interests as you, is a great site to look at.  I've joined LOTS of groups.  I've only been to three meetups so far although I've been a member of most groups for over a year now.  The biggest issue, imo, is that most of the ones I'm interested in are an hour away.  Usually they're in an area that I'm unfamiliar with.  I used to drive all over the place without anxiety about knowing where I was (and this was before GPS!)  Now I really don't like driving to unfamiliar places at night.  It doesn't help that the first time I went to a meetup no one else showed up.  So that's always a concern.  And the next two times I went, I got lost, despite having GPS.  (It seems that you have to update those things yourself!)  Once I finally found the meetups I had a nice time, but it hasn't done much for my motivation.  And I didn't meet people that I exchanged information with to keep in contact.  Guess I need to go more than twice for that.
Has anyone tried meetup & had great success?  Hearing about that might make me more motivated.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Meet my cats

I realized that I didn't have any pics of my cats on here.  So this is a quick post to show you my babies.  They're getting old - Buddy is 15, and Scully is 12 and will soon be 13.  Buddy was diagnosed with kidney failure almost 2 years ago.  I've read that by the time people see symptoms of kidney failure most cats only have a quarter of their kidney function left.  As soon as we received that diagnosis I changed her food to kidney diet for cats.  Supposedly it makes it easier for her kidneys to get the toxins out of her food, and therefore they don't have to work as hard and will last longer.  She doesn't like the food, but if that's what I have to do to keep her as healthy as possible, that's what I'll do.  I can't imagine not having my cats with me.  We've been through a lot together!  Btw, if any of you want information about kidney disease in cats, let me know.  I've done a lot of research and would be happy to share.
Budddy is the grey one on the left and Scully is the torty.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My web site and Etsy store

I've finally gotten a web site published, and a store on Etsy.  I'm selling various creative items - jewelry, photos, and eventually embellished clothing and mosaic tile objects. Doing all of this has kept me very busy, but I have made some time to do some social things in an attempt to meet some new people.  This never seems to go very well for me.  I'm not big on meeting strange people to begin with, and when I have to drive an hour to unfamiliar places it's even harder for me to do.  But since I haven't met many people since I moved to Pittsburgh (PA) I've made it a goal to do more this year.  So I force myself to go out, and when I get home I reward myself by creating things, which is like comfort food for me.
So check out my creations, and next post I'm going to (hopefully) amuse you with stories about my experiments in meeting people and making new friends.  :-)
Don't forget to set your clocks forward an hour.  Ugh - I lose an hour of precious time and will be getting up even later every day!