.
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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halloween diy



I have a little Halloween DIY post up on Miss Indie today! They're gravestone place settings with zombie arms emerging from the grave... spoooooky! You can check it out here! :)

Happy Halloween!

the melody lingers on




bela lugosi's dead by bauhaus // image via seabelly

I thought this was pretty fitting for Halloween! ;) On the subject of Bauhaus, my dad is a HUGE Peter Murphy fan (like, probably his biggest fan ever) so he's been playing his new ep The Secret Bees of Ninth over and over again non-stop for the last week. Especially the song "Gaslit" which is growing on me. It reminds me a lot of the music from Twin Peaks, although my dad (who, admittedly, has a much more extensive knowledge of music than I do) says it's very Brian Eno-ish. Either way, it's pretty good! I couldn't find the studio version on youtube, but he recorded it for a radio broadcast a couple months ago and it sounds the same (just with a little talking at the beginning) so have a listen! You'll make my dad very happy if you do ;)



not quite twiggy



dress - modcloth/trade with gee
shoes - h&m

First: No, I am not going blonde! Just thought I should get that out of the way since I know it's not the most flattering color on me, lol :) This was just my attempt to be Twiggy for Halloween. Except, not quite...

I'm Stumpy, Twiggy's sister... half as tall, twice as wide. lol!!

It's pretty far-fetched, but I think I at least got the makeup right (closeup here.) As for the hair, I had to bleach my roots so I figured I'd just wait one extra day to add the pink so I could have blonde hair for my costume. It's probably going to be my last time dying it pink though, at least for now (sad face!) My dark roots grow in WAY too fast for me to keep up with the dying process and it's really wearing me (and my hair) out. Going back to brown will be a nice change for a while... although I doubt it will be very long before I get a wild urge to bleach it and dye it again ;)

posh frock friday



dress - c/o speedy girl
shoes - modcloth
hair bow - hive & honey

Does anyone have any exciting plans for Halloween?? I'm hosting a little party for my family on Sunday, since my dad and Grandmom have to work on Halloween day. I sent them invitations in the mail (even though I live with 3 of the 4 guests, haha!) I'm going to do make-your-own candy or caramel apples with all kinds of fun toppings and a pumpkin painting contest! Then at night I'm going to pop The Nightmare Before Christmas in the DVD player and introduce them all to a modern classic. I can't believe I'm the only one in my family who's watched it!!

Speaking of The Nightmare Before Christmas, have you seen this?? It's so amazing! I have no idea how they did it!! :-O


green bonsai




brooch - c/o under the shade of a bonsai tree
dress - modcloth
sweater - forever21
tights - we love colors
shoes - c/o blowfish
hair bow - hive & honey

The brooch I'm wearing in these photos was made by Jacquie from Under the Shade of a Bonsai Tree. I'm not usually much of a jewelry person, but when she asked if I'd be interested in one of her pieces I answered with a resounding "YES!" I'm in love with the bold opaque green, and how it contrasts with the wood. I adore the shape and the dainty, vintage feel. For someone who is very (very!) picky about what goes into my jewelry box, I have to say I'm incredibly pleased to add this to my collection!

Oh, and guess what?! Exactly one week from today I'll be packing my bags to go to Disney World! Well, actually, knowing me I'll have them packed way before that so I can stare at the luggage in the corner of my room for a few days before I leave. I might do a post next week to get some help narrowing down what dresses to take. I'll need 5 days worth of clothes but I want to bring about 20 dresses... I definitely need help lol ;)

ps. If you're submitting a DIY post for while I'm on vacation, please send it to me by Sunday! It doesn't have to be Disney related, any DIY will do! My email is slightlyterrific[at]gmail.com.

wishlist wednesday



1. Feline Fabulous dress from Modcloth // $89.99
2. Cat brooch & earring set from Betsy Johnson // $35.00
3. Cat wall clock from Ashton Sutton // $28.99
4. Two Mews figurine set from Modcloth // $32.99
5. Women's cat mary janes from T.U.K. // $48.95
6. Faux fur cat ear hat from Topshop // $56.00
7. Spread the mews dress from Modcloth // $47.99

paint by number


Saturday night at 2am I got a random urge to paint a mural in my bathroom... so I did! I found a vintage paint by number online for reference, printed it out and then hung out in the loo all night with pencils, paint and a brush! I stopped around 5am, got some sleep, then finished it off Sunday morning. I'm super-duper incredibly happy with how it turned out & so glad I just went ahead and did it!

My bathroom wasn't especially pretty ... the paint was peeling and I had a lot of obvious holes where I'd stuck push pins over the years. So this mural covers up all the uglies! I only did one wall so far, but I'm planning on continuing the scene onto the door & other wall when I have a chance! :) I can't wait until it's all finished.. I'll definitely share photos of the whole room when it's complete!

ps. While working on the mural I finished Felicity on netflix ... [Spoiler alert!!] I never watched it when it was on so this was my first time, and I totally did not expect a time travel storyline! That just came out of left field.. and how was Elena alive at the end? Totally mind-boggling to me. I loved it, but it was just so completely unexpected! Although I was sort of rooting for Noel the whole time, so I wasn't incredibly pleased with how things ended up in that department ;p





oh my gosh!



Elycia did a drawing of me!!! :D I'm so giddy and and thrilled and excited, it's just so perfect! And I'm wearing one of my homemade dresses!!! :D And my wonderful white hair bow that I love ever so much!!! :D

I can't believe I only just noticed ... I read Love Elycia religiously (like, I visit so often it's one of my "top sites" on safari) and this was posted on the day I was at the hospital with my mom (pretty much the one day all year that I didn't read any blogs) ... So today when I was stalking reading her latest posts and saw a little pink bun with a white bow in a related post link, I thought "oh. my. gosh. that looks familiar!" and it was me!! :D eeep!

Thank you so much Elycia!! <3

falling short



coat - forever 21
faux fur collar - h&m
dress - forever 21
tights - we love colors
shoes - h&m
hair bow - hive & honey

I look so short here! I think it's the coat. Anyway, I wore this to go to the thrift store with my dad on Saturday. We got there about 30 minutes before they closed, but I probably managed to scour at least 1/2 the store before we left. The thrift stores in my area seem to have a "1990's or later-only" policy or something because I usually can't even find any old 80's stuff... mostly just cheap mass produced junk from the last 10-15 years. But this time I did manage to find a belt, an old sheet that I'm going to use for a project, a ginormous old 70's cross-stitch with (I think) Hebrew writing, and a grapefruit colored sweater. When I got up to the register, though, I found out when I tried to pay with debit card that it was cash-only, and my dad only had $4 on him. So I had to put back the cross-stitch and the sweater. Then as we were leaving I saw an ATM... super nice of the lady at the counter to tell me about it, right? Oh well. Better luck next time!

vertical turntable giveaway! (closed)



I just got one of these for myself last month and I'm absolutely in love with it! It's a huge space saver, it plays beautifully, it's battery operated so there are no messy wires and (my favorite) if I accidentally leave a record in the player for way too long (which I often do) I don't have to worry about warping because the record is being kept vertical. It's a little gravity-defying wonder! :)

To enter: simply leave a comment letting me know that you're entering, and some way to contact you (email, twitter, blog, whatever floats your boat!) You must be a follower to enter (and, please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!) The winner of the giveaway will receive one record player and a few LPs from my annual birthday visit to Princeton Record Exchange! It's open to readers in the US & Canada only... sorry!

For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each entry)

1. Tweet this "Just entered to win an awesome gravity-defying turntable on @kategabrielle's blog! http://www.scathingly-brilliant.blogspot.com" (Only counts if you use that tweet.)
2. Follow me on facebook
3. Follow me on bloglovin
4. Follow me on tumblr

Giveaway ends on November 21st at 12:01EST
Giveaway is now closed.

ps. If you don't want to wait for the giveaway, you can purchase the record player on Amazon, here! :)

christmas cards






After way too much procrastinating, I finally finished my 2011 Christmas cards and they're up in my etsy shop now!! :) I'm so incredibly happy with how they came out. Last night I think I put off going to sleep for at least 40 minutes because I kept getting out of bed to go look at them again. It's silly, but like I said when I finished my calendar... I've been discontented with my drawings for so long that finally enjoying my own work is pretty much pure glee! :)

The Season's Greetings one is actually based on a vintage 20's Christmas card that I found online here and "Fond wishes for a Happy Christmas" was a saying I found on another vintage card. I thought it was so sweet I had to use it! The two text cards feature lyrics from my personal favorite Christmas song, "Mistletoe and Holly" by Frank Sinatra.

details









//images link back to my original posts

posh frock friday



dress - handmade by me! :D
belt - forever 21
shoes - c/o blowfish
hair bow - hive & honey

This is my latest sewing project, and the first one where I altered the pattern! I used this little diagram to make the armholes smaller. Considering my skill level, I was really excited when I tried it on and it actually fit lol! :D I am *still* trying to figure out what my size is, so once again it's too big in the waist and shoulders. I'm just so nervous that if I keep going down a size, one of these times I'm going to make something that doesn't fit and I'll have wasted a bunch of fabric. I guess I really need to just buy some scrap fabric and test it until I get it right! :)

star stuff



I know I already featured Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot" on star stuff before, but I was listening to the audiobook last night, and when this passage came on I got the biggest the urge to draw it. Something about this quote just moves me so much, and I wanted to create something that visualized what he was talking about. This pale blue dot, suspended in darkness, is home to everything and everyone we've ever known.

It was so sad though... when I was listening to the book, around chapter 4 Carl Sagan stopped talking and a robotic voice took over. I'm assuming it's because he was so sick he couldn't do it anymore, and that just breaks my heart. I couldn't listen after that. The only reason I was reading the audiobook to begin with was to hear Carl Sagan's inflection and measured, deliberate way of speaking, so I'm going to get the paperback copy and pick up where I left off.

ps. the drawing is available in my society6 shop :)

green + grey



dress - modcloth
cardigan - forever 21
shoes - modcloth
hair bow - hive & honey

First, thank you so much for your comments and e-mails yesterday! I was so nervous that nobody would say anything and I'd end up deleting the post out of embarrassment, but instead it seems like I'm really not alone in how I feel, and that is such a great comfort! I really want to reply to everyone individually, so I'm going to try to do that today... but please understand that if my reply isn't elaborate, it's only because of my less than stellar communication skills (this is sort of a catch-22, I guess lol..) But from the bottom of my heart, I just want you to know how much you and your messages mean to me. Knowing that this isn't something unique to me, that so many of you have been through (or are going through) the same thing makes me feel so much less, well... weird.

And, completely (TOTALLY) off topic but I have a question for guardians of long-haired cats. Hypatia absolutely hates to be groomed, but she has long fur and doesn't really do a great job of grooming herself. She's a complete angel 99% of the time, but if I so much as pick up a brush she goes absolutely bonkers! Last year when she started growing her winter coat I had her shaved, but I really don't want to do that to her again this year if I don't have to (she just looked so cold and naked!) so my question is... is there some special technique to making brushing fun for them? Or some special tool I can use to comb out her fur without her freaking out about it? Any tips are very, very much appreciated!

blue heart



shirt - vintage
shoes - c/o blowfish
tights - c/o we love colors
hair bow - hive & honey

I've been having a hard time coming up with what to write lately because it seems like 99% of my brain is consumed with annoying life-examining thoughts. So bear with me, I'm just going to spill it all out here today...

I'm turning 25 in about 3 weeks and to be totally frank I'm just not happy with where I am. I went through this when I turned 16 too (something about "sweet 16" depressed me.) and I hate it. I want to just go about my daily business and not give any thought to whether or not I'm happy, but I can't. 25 seems too ominous to me, and the number just keeps nagging at me all the time.

It's not so much my actual life that bothers me. Honestly, I like living at home. I know I shouldn't since I'm in my mid-twenties, but I really do. I'm close friends with my parents and my brother, so I feel like I'm living with awesome roommates all the time! Also, I have no problem with being single. It used to bother the heck out of me in high school, but over the last year or so I've really come to get used to it and enjoy it. And after spending over a decade hating my body, I've finally become comfortable in my own skin.

But when I was a teenager, I really thought I'd have it together by 25. Not that I'd be married or have a career, nothing that concrete, I just thought that internally I wouldn't struggle with perpetual embarrassment, extreme sensitivity, social awkwardness and generally feeling like nobody likes me. I've felt that way since I was in elementary school, and I always thought it was something I would outgrow. But I haven't. I'm really uncomfortable with people I don't know *really* well. And even when I feel like I'm good friends with someone, I always have an underlying suspicion that they don't actually like me. (Yeah, my grade school "friends" REALLY messed me up.) And for someone who has an etsy shop and a blog, I'm terrible at communication. Seriously, I'm just so bad at this stuff, it's not even funny. I'm terribly envious of bloggers who seem to absolutely ooze friendliness and charm. For me it's a battle to even say "Love your dress!" in a comment without feeling like a troll. And I really didn't think I'd still be like this at 25.

More importantly, though, I didn't realize how fast life would be going by, and how much I'd want to slow it down. When I was younger I desperately wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be in galleries and museums and travel the world. But lately I've realized that that's not what I want at all. Personal success has become completely unimportant to me. To a lot of people mid-life and quarter-life crises are fueled by some kind of dissatisfaction with how far they've come in life... how much or how little they've accomplished. But mine is fueled by a feeling that everything is fleeting, and I want to hold on tight.

About two weeks ago, we had to take my mom to the ER. I wasn't actually going to talk about it here, but it's definitely contributing to my mental unease and I think it bears mentioning in this post. I had just woken up when my dad knocked on my door to tell me that we had to go. I've only seen my dad cry twice in my entire life -- at his uncle's funeral, and that morning. As soon as I looked at him I just burst into tears. I could tell that he was scared to death. When we arrived at the hospital, they had to take my mom in on a stretcher. I don't know how I kept it together, all that I could think was how much I hoped she was okay. I have never in my whole entire life been more terrified than I was that morning. Never. Ever. Ever. Thankfully everything turned out to be okay, and after spending two weeks resting at home she's back at work now and seems to be back to normal (To protect her privacy, I don't want to say what was wrong, but she's really ok now!) However, the incident made me realize just how important my family is to me, and how fragile our little world really is.

It made me realize that my personal goals are inconsequential when it comes to my bigger picture: I like spending time with my family. I like game night, dinners at the kitchen table debating politics and talking about our cats. I like movie nights and listening to my parents talk about their days at work. I like all of these things a heck of a lot more than I like painting or drawing. What is most important to me now is cherishing the time we all have together and enjoying each day. My dad has spent his whole life being a workaholic, often working on holidays and birthdays since he runs his own business (like I do now). And I don't want that to be me. I don't want to miss my life because I'm busy trying to make a success out of it.

So anyway, this is a really awkward post (sorry!!) but I just had to say something because every day for the last week or two when I've been faced with writing, I freeze. This is all I can think about, and it's driving me crazy so hopefully letting it all out today will help me to move on and actually enjoy my birthday! :)

Style Idol - Hayley Mills


//image links back to the source

THE pink outfit.


shirt - handmade for me by Casey!!
jeans - ASOS
shoes - c/o blowfish
hair bow - hive & honey

My friends and I are HUGE fans of the movie The Moon-Spinners starring Hayley Mills. Hayley, the story, the setting and the adorable Peter McEnery all make the movie amazing but without a doubt the stand-out star of the picture is this outfit. We just refer to it as "THE pink outfit." The shirt is absolutely amazing.. a pretty striped, button down top with a belted waist and free-flowing back. Something so unique and original that it can only be found in a movie wardrobe ... until now! Casey (or, as I like to refer to her, The Seamstress Extraordinaire) whipped up exact replicas for me, Millie, Sarah and Nicole!! No question the best surprise EVER! Casey is always amazing me with her sewing skills, but this seriously just knocked my socks off! The attention to detail -- even rounding the button placket at the top to match Hayley's original -- is astonishing! And her craftsmanship puts the store-bought clothes in my closet to shame. I'm just so ridiculously excited to have it, and I love that every time I wear it I'll be reminded of what fantastic friends I have! :)

ps. you can see more photos of the original outfit in my Moon Spinners Style Idol post from March! :)