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I've decided to take an indefinite break from Scathingly Brilliant, twitter and instagram. If you're interested in keeping up with my art & projects, I'll still be blogging regularly on my portfolio blog here. Otherwise, thank you for a super fun almost-five years!

xo Kate


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Posh Frock Friday!


dress- charlotte russe
headband - f21
shoes - charlotte russe
coat - h&m
bag - modcloth

Posh Frock Friday has arrived! :D You know, I first posted about this almost three weeks ago, and yet I only decided what I'd wear last night! I'm so horrible at planning outfits in advance. I'm sure when the next Posh Frock Friday rolls around I'll be doing the same last-minute rampage through my closet ;-D

So, let's see what everyone else wore!! Thanks to Raquelle's suggestion, I've added a Mister Linky widget in this post, so you can leave your link (to the PFF post, not to your blog URL) and it will appear right away. If you didn't participate this time around, don't fret -- you can join in any time! Just get spiffied up on the last Friday of the month & snap some photos! :D



posh frock friday reminder!


Don't forget to get all dolled up tomorrow, because it's Posh Frock Friday!! :D Jeans and sneakers need not apply, because it's the last Friday of the month, time for pearls, silk, lace and chiffon!

If you participate (please please do!!) be sure to leave a link to your outfit post in my comments so I can include you in the Posh Frock Friday round up post! :-) Happy Dressing!

newfangled contraption


I really didn't expect to stop blogging once Christmas rolled around, but it just happened! I've been terribly sleepy, napping like mad, and doing my fair share of eating as well (one new years resolution will definitely be to shed extra holiday pounds!)

I hope everyone had a marvelous holiday, though! Mine was pretty spectacular, actually. We got up a little late for once (when my brother was little we'd have to wake up at 6am to open presents, but now that we're both tired lazy bums we waited until 9am) and despite the fact that we were all warning each other that the presents wouldn't be good, money was tight and this would be a pretty disappointing Christmas, we actually had a lot of fun & I got some really neat stuff! One of my favorite gifts was this retro tv case for your ipod from Urban Outfitters.

The review on UO complains "it's a box. a cardboard box." well, um, yes, that's why it's only $4. But it's incredibly awesome, and way more fun than any fancy plastic/leather/wooden thing you could use instead. You slide a little compartment out, place your ipod or iphone inside, and slide it back in place. And if you have earbuds (the large jack for my good headphones wouldn't fit) you can even fit your cord in through the side and listen on your headphones. It REALLY is like watching a little retro tv!

I made a little video of it in action if you want to look -- in retrospect I should have copied something like The Donna Reed Show or Leave it to Beaver onto my ipod in advance (which would have looked really neat in my example, right?!) but the only video I had on there was my Dirk Bogarde tribute, so you make do ;-)

nestled all snug in her bed


Hypatia's already cozy & ready for Santa to come tonight. She's actually sleeping in her Christmas present from me .. I really couldn't see any point in waiting for the 25th to give it to her when she could be enjoying it a few weeks beforehand too!

My favorite thing about Christmas is that my cat Chloe (aka The Assassin) comes into the living room and keeps us company. I swear, she does it this one day only! I think all the fuss with the wrapping paper and boxes is what lures her in, but I like to pretend that she's in the Christmas spirit and enjoys spending time with us once a year ;-)

For some reason I'm only just now starting to feel like it's really Christmastime. It's taken a while to sink in this year but I'm glad it's finally happening. I was afraid I'd wake up in the morning still feeling like it was the middle of October. Believe it or not, cookies, the house smelling of Christmas food, Christmas Eve presents and last minute shopping with my dad did nothing to put me in the mood. But when I started playing The Pogues "Fairytale of New York" on repeat it finally kicked in. It's not even a legit Christmas song (I think.) Go figure! lol..

Hope everyone who celebrates has a fantastic Christmas, and if you don't, I hope you have a great weekend! :)
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where's my corsage? where's my chapeau?


dress - modcloth
cardigan - old navy
tights - we love colors

Not the best fitting dress in the world, but I love the print & neck detail so I'm in love with it regardless ;-) This is also my first attempt at a French twist. How the heck do people do this using less than 100 bobby pins?! My head was tiled in metal by the time I was finished, and even then it still didn't really look like a twist .. more like a lump. Ah well, I'll keep trying!

Thank you for all the kind comments on the post about my Aunt! Her birthday party was so much fun! Honestly, she's a riot! At one point during dinner she said she had a flask of alcohol tucked in her girdle! LOL! My mom whispered to me "I wouldn't be surprised if she's actually telling the truth!" She also mentioned that her favorite drink is grapefruit juice, so I think this bodes well for my longevity ;-D


happy birthday, aunt annie!


My great-aunt is turning 99 years old today! It's so amazing to think she was already an adult during the Great Depression, or when talking pictures started! Although, she doesn't actually remember either of those things .. not because she's lost her memory but because she just wasn't paying attention. She didn't care to go to the movies, and if you mention the Great Depression she says "I wonder if that's why I lost my job!" lol!

I made a video interview with her last year for my Documentary film class -- if you have a few minutes, it's really fun to see what a spunky lady she is! The person asking the questions is my mom, so you're not getting to hear my voice just yet ;-D


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my riches can't buy everything


You know in Now and Then when Christina Ricci duct-tapes her chest so it'll look flat? I'd totally do that to be able to pull off this dress without looking pregnant. It's gorgeous, isn't it?! From ASOS. Now if it also came in my size & I had the money to buy it...

In other news, I absolutely hate coming up with titles for my posts. So I decided I'd just post random words from lyrics or books when I can't come up with anything clever. This one is from As Tears Go By. Actually it's a bit appropriate for the post, but in the future I promise they'll be totally random and make no sense.

outtakes


I've been taking pictures of a lot of my outfits, but only posting my favorites. I was just cleaning out my photobooth folder tonight and thought I'd post some of the outtakes that weren't too bad :) Oh, and the last photo is my new pink wig! I've been waiting for this one to come in the mail for a month or so -- it's from Japan -- and the long pink wig I wore a few weeks ago was ordered while I was waiting. I like that one too, but this one is just exactly what I had in mind. I think the shorter length suits me better, and the cut is fabulous!

The outfit details, clockwise -- 1. coat - f21 / hat - f21 / scarf - old navy / jeans - old navy 2. sweater -old navy / scarf - old navy / jeans - old navy / hat - f21 3. hat - target / scarf - NYC street vendor / coat - diane von furstenberg / bag - modcloth / stockings - asos 4. dress - vintage / belt - old navy 5 & 6 - dress - f21 / pearls - grandmother's (it's a candy cigarette..)

a trip to the moon on gossamer wings


Did anyone brave the cold to catch the eclipse last night? I went out periodically from 1:30am - 3:30am to see it in progress .. around quarter to 3 I decided to just stay outside for a while. I set up the cot in the backyard, bundled myself up in blankets, grabbed my ipod and laid down to just stare at the moon and the stars for about 20 minutes. It was so wonderful! At first I wasn't even cold, and with my music on I couldn't hear the cars (I live on a pretty busy street) so the world seemed very still. I don't know if I've ever felt as serene as I did last night. There's something so majestic about outer space. To stare up and know that it just goes on forever.


You could say I was a tad bit bundled up ;-)
I even had on earmuffs under my hat!
hat-f21 / scarf-uo / coat - h&M

If you missed the eclipse, or like my dad you were just too tired to roll out of bed and look, (he's as gaga about astronomy as I am, so I think that one day he's definitely going to regret choosing sleep over science..) here's a time-lapse from vimeo. It's really incredible!



ps. The photo of the moon was taken by my brother. He actually made me promise I'd give him credit before he'd send me the file :p

it doesn't bug me


dress - modcloth
cardigan - f21
belt - f21
backseam stockings - asos
shoes - target

How awesome is this dress? I'm a sucker for unique prints, and I kind of think unique is an understatement for this one. I love bugs, as long as they aren't crawling on me or my bedroom ceiling ;-)

I closed my etsy shop this week for the holidays, and every pending order has been shipped. This is my first real holiday in over two years (in 2009 I left my shop open over Christmas) so I'm really excited! I'm planning on getting caught up on all the movies I've been recording off tv all year but never got a chance to see, maybe doing some painting just for fun and (don't judge me. I really enjoy doing this.) organizing my closet! woo hoo! I have at least a dozen recipes I want to try out, and a drawer full of pajamas just calling my name. What are your holiday plans? :)

ps. Don't forget, next Friday is Posh Frock Friday!! I hope you'll join in! :)

english is cuh-ray-zee

Just discovered this song by Pete Seeger, and it's hilarious (and so true!) It's all about the funny ways that English makes no sense :)

English is the most widely spoken language in the history of the planet.
One out of every seven human beings can speak or read it.
Half the world's books, 3/4 of the international mail are in English.
It has the largest vocabulary, perhaps two million words,
And a noble body of literature. But face it:
English is cuh-ray-zee!

Just a few examples: There's no egg in eggplant, no pine or apple in pineapple.
Quicksand works slowly; boxing rings are square.
A writer writes, but do fingers fing?
Hammers don't ham, grocers don't groce. Haberdashers don't haberdash.
English is cuh-ray-zee!

If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?
It's one goose, two geese. Why not one moose, two meese?
If it's one index, two indices; why not one Kleenex,two Kleenices?
English is cuh-ray-zee!

You can comb through the annals of history, but not just one annal.
You can make amends, but not just one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one, is it an odd or an end?
If the teacher taught, why isn't it true that a preacher praught?
If you wrote a letter, did you also bote your tongue?
And if a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
English is cuh-ray-zee!

Why is it that night falls but never breaks and day breaks but never falls?
In what other language do people drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?
Ship by truck but send cargo by ship? Recite at a play but play at a recital?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
English is cuh-ray-zee!

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same
When a wise man and a wise guy are very different?
To overlook something and to oversee something are very different,
But quite a lot and quite a few are the same.
How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell the next?
English is cuh-ray-zee!

You have to marvel at the lunacy of a language in which your house can burn down
While it is burning up. You fill out a form by filling it in.
In which your alarm clock goes off by going on.
If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of progress?

Well, English was invented by people, not computers
And reflects the creativity of the human race.
So that's why when the stars are out, they're visible,
But when the lights are out, they're invisible.
When I wind up my watch I start it, but when I wind up this rap,
I end it. English is cuh-ray-zee!

rum pum pum pum



This has to be the best version of Little Drummer Boy I've ever heard ..
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a trip down music memory lane


I think my parents are pretty awesome. There's a hundred reasons why, but one of the biggies is the music they introduced me to as a kid. My dad owned a record shop for the 1st decade or so my parents were married, then they opened a music t-shirt/poster mail order business around the time I was born. Music is super important to both of them, and they made sure it would be to me, too. I could probably buy one record a day for my entire life, and wouldn't come close to matching my dad's collection.

I remember when I was around 8 or 9 I was singing along to a Peter Murphy song (the lyrics of which I only understand now, as a grown up) and my mom apologized to me in advance for exposing me to that kind of stuff. "When you're an adult, you are going to hate us," she said. That might have been true if they hadn't also been busy making me into a progressive open-minded person who'd totally play the same music for her own kids.

When I was about 13 I became interested in older music (Sinatra, Crosby, etc.) and never really listened to the songs I'd loved as a kid, except on road trips when my parents would make mix-tapes for the car. It was only recently, within the last six months or so, that I finally started listening and appreciating their tastes in music again. Not only are the songs little trips down memory lane, but I'm really enjoying exchanging youtube links with my dad, who, needless to say, is beyond thrilled that I'm listening to his favorite music again (except T-Rex. I just can't get into them..) and keeps sending me songs I might like! :)

When I have kids, they're going to be little music aficionados who sing inappropriate lyrics and hopefully they won't grow up to hate me for it ;-D

overloaded

My little usb hub has reached its limit, so I'm on the hunt for a new one again. I'll be needing an extra port for my fourth (yup, fourth) external hard drive. I swear, I don't know how I use these up so quickly.

I'm smitten with all the cute usb hubs out there, but I think the sixth one -- ugly but useful -- will probably be the one I end up with.


Aphrodite hub (Fred Flare) / Tulip hub (Fred Flare)


Cassette hub (Perpetual Kid) / Flexible hub (Perpetual Kid)


Tardis hub (ThinkGeek) / 24 port hub (ThinkGeek)
Not actually a Dr. Who fan, but I threw that in for anyone who is ;-)


While I was searching "USB" everywhere, I came across these two gadgets that aren't ports, but deserved a mention nonetheless... that microphone is a usb radio (!!!!) and the wooden block is a 500GB external hard drive -- so much more appealing than the black or silver plastic ones hiding behind my monitor! They're from funUSB and etsy, respectively :)

sprinkled with sweetness


Modcloth is at it again, making me surrender huge chunks of my ever-dwindling savings in exchange for the most precious dresses I'll ever see with my own two eyes. Their selection is kind of like the clothing equivalent of unicorns. Rare, beautiful, majestic -- usually gone in the blink of an eye, leaving you to wonder if that beauty was real or just your imagination.

The latest addition that has my heart-a-racing is their Sprinkled with Sweetness collection. I already caved (seriously, my willpower is no match to beautiful frocks) on the navy blue & cream colored dresses, and I'm doing all I can to keep myself from snatching up the coat as well.

By the way, this batch was made by a British designer named Darling. Is that appropriate or what?

for he's a jolly good fellow


I don't seem to mention this much online, for some reason, but I've been a HUGE Frank Sinatra fan since I was 13 years old. He and Audrey Hepburn were the two people who triggered my larger fascination with old Hollywood & vintage/classic things in general. Most of my family would probably say I was obsessed (when you can riddle off facts about someone like their birth weight I think that may be an accurate description) and until quite recently he was pretty much the only singer I'd listen to.

Each year on Frank Sinatra's birthday, I watch a double feature and a concert -- two of his films & one of his live concerts -- and make pasta with his signature sauce recipe. If you're interested in snatching the recipe for yourself and honoring Sinatra spaghetti-style tonight, here's the link to my post from last year :)

posh frock friday


Yesterday on twitter I was bemoaning the lack of reasons to get really dressed up, when suddenly an idea sprung! Me, Elizabeth, Sarah and Millie came up with the scathingly brilliant idea of getting dressed up once a month, even if we have nowhere special to go. And so, Posh Frock Friday was born.

On the last Friday of each month, we're putting on our best duds and enjoying the decadence, even if we're simply staying home and watching cartoons. If you'd like to join in on the fun, PLEASE do!! We'd love to share the poshness with like-minded girls who love playing dress up! If you have a blog where you post outfit photos we'd love to see the evidence, too! On each Posh Frock Friday post, I'll have a Mister Linky widget so you can add a link to your Posh Frock post as well! :D And feel free to use the logo above as a button or in one of your posts -- whatever you'd like :)

Technically it's Saturday, but I just wouldn't feel right if I didn't make myself all snazzy to write the post. Sooo...


The background image for the Posh Frock Friday button/logo is from the stupendous fashion archive website, My Vintage Vogue.

cat in the box



I saw this on twitter today and HAD to share it. I think the last one is my favorite.

stockings, not of the fireplace variety


I love love love tights and stockings! Colorful, patterned, seamed and plain old black. And this time of year, when the temperature is hovering around freezing, they are the difference between having icicles for legs or just being chilly.

I have tons of them, in almost every color I can think of, but the one kind I'm missing (and really really want) are sweater tights .. the cable knit design just screams "warm and toasty" to me! Not sure where to find them though.. I've looked all over the place and the only ones I found (at Kmart of all places) were just plain black. I really want gray or brown or maybe cream... suggestions are very welcome! :)


^ that was an outtake when my self timer went off before I was ready, but I think it looks pretty cool! :)

my co-star


dress - modcloth
cardigan - old navy
coat - vintage
collar - asos
shoes - target
bag - handmade by casey!
cat - hypatia

Someone wanted to be in on the pictures today! :) Isn't she just the cutest thing EVER?! I swear, sometimes I just stare at my cats in awe of how beautiful they are. They're like little fluffy, breathing works of art.

One of the reasons I love this time of year is that I seem to get out of the house more often than I do in the summer. There's lots of Christmas shopping to be done, errands to run, supplies to pick up and a bit more post office trips than I care to count. It's all wonderful, though, because it gives me an excuse to get out of my pajamas and into real clothing. I hoard dresses, coats and sweaters like there's no tomorrow but hardly ever have a chance to test them out in the world!

bombshell vintage


So, I was procrastinating (as usual) and decided to take a peek at an ebay shop that I used to frequent VERY often a couple years ago, but hadn't in a long time. The shop is Le Bomb Shop (or bombshellvintage) and I have always been in love with their brand new clothing that looks vintage. I seem to have better luck with fit when I order new, and I have never been disappointed with an order from them.

About a year or so they started selling exclusively real vintage, and I eventually stopped perusing as often as I had before. So imagine my surprise (and I'm not kidding when I say squeal-with-happiness-delight) when I dropped in on them today and found pages & pages of brand new vintage style clothes, almost every one being totally drool-worthy! If you haven't checked them out before, I highly recommend you do so now! The styles are a lot like Modcloth, only they tend to be a tad bit cheaper in price and right now all of the fixed price items include free shipping! :D

And I swear, I was not paid to write this post lol ;-D
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curves ahead (unfortunately)


I was hesitant to upload the photos of myself earlier today wearing that blue polka dotted dress, because I just felt like I looked (there's no nice way to put this) so trampy in it. Having curves can be a great thing.. sometimes. But honestly, as far as attire goes, sexy lingerie is just about the only thing I can think of where curves help you out. In most other categories, it's an epic fail.

Take for example, the trapeze dress. If you're not curvy, you look like Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby, pre-devil child. If you're curvy, you look like you're 9 months into carrying Satan's spawn.

How about cute girly dresses -- particularly ones with cute little collars, frilly sleeves or gingham. On someone who isn't blessed with hips the size of Mt. Everest, this style comes off as sweet and adorable. On me, I look like I'm sending submission photos for plus-sized playmate of the month.

What about pencil skirts? On the non-curvy girl, this is a very suitable choice of clothing for the office. You'd look sophisticated and professional. On Miss 40-28-40, you look more like Joan from Mad Men, and I think you know what I mean. We can't pull off the pencil skirt without looking like we not-so-secretly want to bed our boss.

And then there's the spaghetti-strap, my offense that sparked this post. It's a delightful, dainty detail that looks summery & peachy keen on a girl who isn't curvy. But add a set of DD's and it looks like those little dainty straps are doing everything they can to keep you from bursting out of your dress.

All in all, this makes getting dressed each day kind of hard, at least for me. If I don't look like a late night call girl, then I look like I'm with-child. I want to join in the fight against sloppiness, pj's at the grocery store and track suits at the bank ... but when your figure doesn't seem to look presentable or respectable in normal clothing, sweatpants start to look very appealing.

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UPDATE -- I just want to clarify a few things -- I'm very happy with my body, and my self-image -- this isn't about me wanting to be skinny or thinking I'm fat. This is merely about wanting to be able to wear certain fashions that wouldn't look flattering on my shape. I *know* that there are clothes that flatter curvy bodies, I'm just saying that sometimes I'm watching Rosemary's Baby and I'd do anything to be able to wear her wardrobe without looking like I have a basketball for a stomach. It's almost like how I can crave meat even though I'm a vegetarian. I know that I can't eat it, but I desire to sometimes. I still eat my fake chicken and tofu, but look on enviously at the turkey platter on the table. Sometimes you just want what you can't have, and for me that is trapeze dresses and cute girly outfits.

Being curvy is a great thing -- and if you are curvy, you should be proud! I did not mean to say otherwise. Everyone should be happy with their bodies! My only point was that certain fashions just aren't made for hourglass girls, and when I love said fashions, that makes me sad.

cotton candy pink


hat - handmade by Casey!
hair - Miss Violet Lace
Dress - Modcloth

My new pink wig came in the mail today, and it is a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I've been looking for a good one for almost a year now, and when I saw this post on Little Chief Honeybee I knew I'd found what I was looking for! It's a light pink, with darker and lighter pink highlights. I'm glad I went the wig route instead of deciding to dye it, just because I really do love my red hair, and I think pink is a more of a "put it on in the morning, take it off at night" color for me! :) But YAY! I'm kind of hooked now.. I think I might be back in her shop soon buying another color!

3-23-11: *UPDATE!* It turns out that Miss Violet Lace was actually a reseller! They were buying cheap wigs, and saying they were "handmade" to jack up the price. If you bought a wig from them, you can get a partial refund by convoing them on etsy. Since the wigs are actually only like $20 on ebay (or even less -- Kaelah from Little Chief Honeybee found one for fifty cents!!!) she owes all of her customers the balance, in my opinion. I'm really upset that people use etsy to sell mass produced items under the guise of "handmade" in order to get more money. I actually do make my items handmade, and I feel guilty charging what they're actually worth. For instance, my planners take me hours and hours to put together, and yet I feel awful charging any more than $40 (which even then I feel is still too much) which means I earn less than minimum wage for my time. But someone who orders a fifty cent wig can charge $50 by saying it's handmade?! I don't know how you can have a clear conscience doing that :(

christmas shopping!


Dress - Modcloth
Sweater - F21
Tights - H&M
Bag - Modcloth
Belt - Old Navy
Ring - F21
Coat - Diane Von Furstenberg
shoes - Target

Today me and my brother went for our annual Christmas shopping spree! We both managed to spend almost all of the money our parents & grandmother gave us, but found hardly anything to buy as presents for our family.. they are SO hard to buy for! So far I got my dad the complete Zorro series (the Disney Guy Williams version), a shirt that says "Epic" for my brother (it's his favorite word) and some dried fruit for my grandmom. The last two are kind of pathetic... as for my mom, I'm planning on getting her her favorite chocolate & a gift certificate to her favorite fried chicken restaurant. I'm usually so good at gift-giving but this year I'm completely drawing a blank ..

Luckily, I have access to the internet and a debit card so I don't have to be hindered by the lack of my-family-appropriate gifts at the mall! :) How is everyone else's shopping going?

me and my date


Call me crazy, but I think having a date night with yourself can be pretty darn fun. That's what I'm up to tonight! I went to the grocery store earlier and stocked up on my favorite goodies -- natural popcorn (trust me, soo much better than buttered!), mandarin oranges, chips and hummus and, of course, grapefruit juice -- and I'm all ready to get cozy with my cat and a stack of dvds. Does anyone else do this? I even put my makeup on so that when I walk by mirrors I don't think my date is hideously ugly ;-D

ps. I know I don't flip my photo booth pictures.. I look better this way :)

christmas playlist



Here's the playlist for December -- all Christmasey tunes :) This one was actually really hard to put together because almost none of my favorite seasonal songs were in the Playlist.com directory, I had to upload them to my server & add them by url. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy, and maybe find a new favorite! :)