Etsy Seller Imposter Syndrome – Tackling Self-Doubt

This is kind of a hard post for me to make public on my blog since I do have an active Etsy shop, but I am going to make it public for the sake of other people who may be struggling.

Recently, I’ve been struggling with a flare-up of self-doubt – Especially when it comes to the creations I make for my Etsy shop.

Maybe it’s because I can see myself getting better at what I do, but I’ve been so tempted to remove some items from my shop completely, or lower the price of them because, in my mind, they just aren’t as good as some of my more recent creations.

And then there are days where I wonder if I’m even good enough to be selling any of them at all.

I’ve heard from a few different artists that this is a common problem that they have.

Artists have a tendency to under-value their work, and also tend to be overly-critical of themselves. I really have been needing to keep this in mind, and it’s a thing that I constantly need to remind myself of.

I do believe that I do good work, and need to remember that everybody can improve their crafts. Even the artists who I look up to.

Last year I bought a book to help me tackle my own self-doubt. It’s called “Playing Big – Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead” – By Tara Mohr. I heard about it a while back when I heard a podcast in which Tara was a guest. I wish I could remember what Podcast it was. If I can find it, I’ll update this post with a link to it, but I digress. 🙂

I never finished reading this book, but I’m going to start reading it again as my self-doubt is creeping back. The bit I did read was inspiring, and I need to rekindle that feeling in myself. In case you struggle with self-image issues and seeing your own potential, this is a fantastic book.

Anyway, I’d love to hear what you have to say on the subject. I don’t think I’m the only one. It’s a topic that isn’t discussed often at all. For a while I thought that maybe I was the only one, but I was relieved to find that people who I consider experts at their craft even struggle with it.

So in case you haven’t heard this yet, you are not alone in feeling self doubt when it comes to the work you make and share with the public. For some people these feelings keep them from putting their work out there. I think it takes a lot of bravery to start an Etsy shop, or to post your work for the public to see, but it is so worth it.

Edit: I wrote about my self-doubt last year as well. In this blog post, I mentioned this exact same book and the podcast in case you’re interested. It’s been over a year and I still remember it, so it obviously made a pretty big impact. 🙂



Howls Moving Castle Cosplay on a Budget

Every year I tell myself that I will not make a new costume, and every year I dream something up! This year, it was Howl from Howls Moving Castle – specifically the early movie version of Howl where he has blond hair. He is a mysterious wizard in one of my favorite Miyazaki movies.

The costume is a pretty simple one, and if I wanted to, I could have purchased all the supplies online, but didn’t want to spend $50.

My husband did find this awesome cape that I kind of wish I’d bought instead, but that was after I had already bought all the material, so, oh well!

Also hot topic had one on clearance but I already have the material, so challenge accepted!

I found this vintage blouse at a thrift store that was a pretty good match for what he wears. It has shoulder pads, which I’d normally remove, but I kept them in since Howl has a tall, slim physique, and I do not. 😣😏

The pants were ones that I already owned – some plain high waisted skinny jeggings from Fashion Nova.

I bought this wig on AliExpress for $10 and it is perfect. It is by the seller AIW.

I wore my most comfortable pair of shoes with the costume, which were an Oxford style pair of black Clark’s with a chunky heel. The heel helped with the height thing, so that’s good!

I did not buy this ring as part of this costume specifically, but it just so happens to be a similar style to one he wears in the movie, so I used it as such. The ring is by Etsy seller Moonkist Designs, and I bought mine with a labradorite stone.

Lastly, was the coat, and it is what I made from scratch.

I do not love pattern drafting, so I kept an eye out at the thrift store for a jacket in a similar shape that I could take apart to use as a pattern. I settled on this boxy looking brown and orange polyester tweed coat that looked like it was made for a scarecrow – I definitely didn’t feel bad about taking it apart! Below is a picture of it laid out waiting for my seam ripper – (please excuse my feet! :p).

I didn’t take it completely apart. I removed one sleeve, one side of the front, and  for the back cut down the middle since it would be folded in a seam. I used the outer portion as the pattern for the lining and the Shell of the cosplay jacket.

On my pattern, I made the bust slightly smaller, but kept it mostly as is when I cut the pattern out.

I cut a full lining in red cotton, and then made the outside of the jacket using pink and purple cotton.

The front of the jacket was the most challenging to recreate, because it required a quilting technique. I wanted the size and placement of the diamonds to be accurate to the picture, so that required some math. I also had to make sure that the other side was symmetrical.

Below is in image of the diamonds laid out over my pattern. I think I ended up having to add more diamonds because I didn’t make it long enough, but I can’t remember if this picture was taken before or after that. 🙂

Once that was done, I sewed on the sleeves – I did this part before I sewed up the sides because I hate having to sew in a circle… I’d much rather sew the sleeves, and then sew the side body and under sleeve up.

Here is a progress picture after that point.   I think the outside of the jacket turned out okay, although I’m not entirely happy with how some of the corners of the diamonds lined up, but that’s me being nit-picky. (Sidenote: my mannequin’s dress is pinned up because my cats like to play under it when I let them in. Normally it’s a pretty free flowing vintage dress.😏)

After that was done, I attached the collar to each piece and attached some stiff interfacing to the inside of one since Howl has his collar sticking up and it needs structure… I wish I had added more, however, because in the end it was not stiff enough to stick up. It ended up folding, which is unfortunate.

Once that was done, I sandwiched gold bias tape between the lining and the outer shell of the coat, right sides together starting from the lower end of one side, up the collar, and all the way to the other side. After sewing, once I turn the jacket the correct way, the jacket looks neatly finished. From there, I ironed the collar up, and hem the bottom of the jacket.

Since Howl wears the jacket as a cape, with his arms underneath the jacket, I attached hook & eyes to the front bodice of my shirt, and to the inside lining of my new jacket so it would stay in place.

Here’s the completed jacket and hair, and me not channeling Howl’s cool aloofness! I am pretty happy with how it turned out for the price!


Price breakdown:

Wig: $10

Pants: Already owned

3 colors of Material and bias tape: $12

Jacket for pattern: $6

Stones for jewelery: $ 3

Hardware for jewelery: already had at home

Vintage blouse: $4

Shoes: had at home

Time spent on jacket: 5 hours

Total Amount spent: $35!!! Well under my $50 budget!


All The Pretty Dresses

One of my all-time favorite things is fancy dresses with lots of detail. I try not to, but I have a tendency to collect them, regardless of whether they fit or not. My justification is that I can put them on my mannequin in my craft room as decoration. I wanted to share some of my favorites. Some of them are in my own personal collection, but some of them are available to purchase on my Poshmark shop!

First, I’ll share the ones in my collection:

  1. 1970s Wedding Dress: I found this beautiful wedding dress at an estate sale, and I couldn’t pass it up. It will never fit me being a size 0-2, but it fits my mannequin well enough (as long as you don’t zip it up all the way) and fit my sister perfectly! I managed to get some pictures of her wearing it.

  • Blue and Lace Bell Sleeved Dress: This dress is also vintage. I just love the color, and textures of the lace, and the bell sleeves are very unique.
  • This gold dress by Sue Wong, also modeled by my sister here, has really elegant beaded and embroidered details and is 100% silk. It is cut on the bias so it drapes beautifully. I may eventually sell it, but I love having it on my mannequin during the holidays!

These next dresses are available for purchase! The link will take you to the listing in case you’re interested!

4. Jenny Yoo Juliette Dress in Seaglass: This dress was originally sold on Anthropologie’s BHLDN site. The straps can be worn multiple ways, and it is very dainty and airy.

5. Bergdorf Goodman Black Lace Dress: This dress is the ultimate classic black lace dress. It reminds me of Dita Von Teese, and the lace is extremely high quality. I’ve had it listed a while, and I can’t wait for it to sell, because I know its buyer is going to adore it.

6. Bill Blass Polka Dotted Dress: This one is so, so tempting to keep. I’m almost positive it’s one of his highest tiered designs due to the quality. The gold polka dots are embroidered on and the material is thick and quilted. It is stunning, classic, and extremely unique!

7. Monique Lhuillier One Shoulder Blue Dress: Last but not least, is this really beautiful Monique Lhuillier dress. It’s one of my favorite colors and the material is metallic and stunning.

I have many more dresses listed for sale in my Poshmark shop, but these are my favorites and the ones I’m most proud of. I hope you enjoyed! 🙂

Generic Brand vs Winsor & Newton Gouache Paints – Side by side comparison

Have you ever wondered how the cheap brand of paint compares to the artist quality brand?

A while back, I bought a cheap brand of gouache paint to try. It was a 12 pack by mbgi-wap (from hobby lobby at the time). I’ve used it enough to justify splurging on the 10 pack Winsor and Newton paint.
Because I was curious, I swatched my new Winsor and Newton paint (left) next to my cheap starter set (right). I used the colors from Windsor and Newton, and swatched them next to the comparable cheap brand color. (Sidenote: In case you’re wondering, I also swatched the Liquitex Basics Acrylics Medium Set on the right hand side. The paint swatches to the right of each color are acrylic paint all the same color, but mixed in with each medium.)


There is no contest.
The Winsor and Newton paints are much more pigmented, smooth, and blendable. I think they are also easier to work with.

Below is a close-up of the Windsor and Newton paints

And then here’s a close-up of my generic paints. See how the white if the paper shows through more, and how the color does not distribute as evenly?


So, ultimately, you get what you pay for.

Still, the mbgi-wap for artist gouache color is a great set for the money if you want to see if you like working with the medium. Also, it did come with more colors for 1/5 of the price.

But I do wish I’d bought the Windsor and Newton paints earlier! They are amazing! Here is the first picture I painted with them.


They were so much fun to work with and I can’t wait to use them again!

2 Steps Back, 1 Step Forward

Today, I’m going to get a bit personal.

I have been having a hard time with work/life balance and it’s taken a toll on my body.

Yesterday I went to the doctor, and as always, I asked them not to tell me if I gained or lost weight… I ask them to do this because I don’t want to know my weight, and I know that if I lost weight they would comment on it, and if I gained weight they would not… So in order to keep from picking up on any type of hints, I just ask them not to comment altogether.

But I looked at the sheet where, in big numbers was my weight, and I found myself asking, is that right? It seemed so high.

When I got home I had a bit of a meltdown. I threw out all of my sugary snacks and expired food (there was more expired food than sugary snacks, to be honest). I did a cardio workout. I didn’t cry – Honestly I just felt like screaming. I was and am so angry at myself for letting my body go.

It’s hard, though… I work in an office during the day and am usually too tired to make breakfast and lunch. I don’t move around a lot while I’m at work. I’ve started skipping meals and am starving by the end of the day. There are days when I eat hardly anything, and days where I eat a lot… I don’t think about it anymore. Before I started Etsy and Poshmark, exercise was one of my main hobbies, but now that I’m trying to maintain my side jobs that are my passion, it has been extremely hard to find time to exercise.

Honestly, I feel like I’m working nonstop. Whether it’s at my day job, on my passion jobs, or just running errands or cleaning. I feel like with that it’s hard enough to even get enough rest.

But I need to try to find time… I need to at least start eating healthy again. Today I’m going to get stuff to make smoothies again. I had been doing Herbalife at my peak fitness a few years ago, but it’s full of artificial stuff, and I can do better. I will be picking up spinach, fruit, almond milk, and maybe some protein powder instead… I used to make smoothies consistently, and I know that even I can do this. (I hate to cook).

Maybe in a way I needed to see that number… I personally feel as though I cannot continue with my life knowing how far I’ve fallen in terms of my body. I know that this is an unhealthy way to look at it, but I’m going to make my solution healthy and start eating more naturally and being more conscious of it. I will always struggle with self image, but I know that there’s something I can do about it without starving myself… And I can train myself to take 40 minutes a day to exercise even if it means spending a bit less time on my passion projects.

Anyway, I may or may not keep this post public for long, but if you see this and have any ideas of how I can stick with this plan and not backslide, please let me know. Today I’m very committed to my plan, but I know from experience that not every day will be like this. Any help would be appreciated.


All Black Paper Velvet & Lace Moonlight Themed Journal Finished and Listed!

I’m excited to announce that this Moonlight themed journal is complete!

It’s different from my others in that all the paper inside is dark – so either black or dark shades. As mentioned, this was moonlight themed, so rich blues, silvers, and black was the general color scheme.

The front, side and spine are covered in plush blue velvet fabric recycled from a second hand cushion I bought. Lace applique with beading accent the front of the book and the bottom part of the spine. The lace was purchased as a scrap from a huge fabric store in houston. I couldnt pass it up!

I put some charms through a silver eyelet – one is an owl resting on a blue velvet pillow and the others are 2 antique looking silver and brass medallions with a crystal center. I used a bead from Etsy Seller Beads and Honey. It hangs above the owl. The bead is made of magkuno wood with abelone shell inlays. It is really beautiful.

The majority of the paper inside is black drawing paper- Thicker than print paper but thinner than cardstock.

 There are smaller sheets and different textured paper interspersed throughout the journal. As with my others, I put in foldouts, pockets, and tuckspots throughout the book. This one is a bit lighter on the embellishments on the inside because I wanted to keep it more simple and elegant.

If you’re interested in purchasing this journal, you can find it here!

If you want to see a flipthrough of this journal, that can be found here!



Sneak Peek: Moonlight Themed Blue Velvet & Black Beaded Lace Journal

Hey everyone! I just wanted to share with you all a picture of a journal that I am currently working on. It will be finished and listed on my Etsy shop this upcoming weekend!

As you can see, it’s made of a dark grayish blue velvet with a thin layer of batting underneath to give it a plush look. I used lace and bead appliques on top and on part of the spine.

The paper inside is exclusively dark tones – mostly black. Silver and gold Gel pen works beautifully if you want to write inside it. 🙂


The corners are accented with gold book corners.

So far I’m very happy with how it turns out!