Looking back on 2013

Usually I'm able to look back on a year and conclude if it was a good one or a bad one, but 2013 is a lot harder to define. It was phenomenally wonderful and horribly, horribly bad. I lost Hypatia in February and my business suffered its worst year ever, and both of those things clouded all 12 months for me. But I also adopted Arrietty, got my first apartment, saw Niagara Falls, went to Disney World twice, and met Steve Carell and other cast members at the Office wrap party in Scranton. I finally realized what I want to be when I grow up (an elementary school art teacher) and I started driving again after almost 10 years away from the wheel. 2013 might very well have been the worst year of my life and the best.




Favorite outfits: first outfit of 2013 & everybody pants now
Favorite posts: The slumber party kit & good things that happened in 2012
Moments: I was modcloth's blogger of the moment, and I discovered Yogurtland which started a year-long obsession for me and my dad




Favorite outfits: polkadots and moonbeams & shamrock shake
Favorite post: DIY cat toe shoes
Moments: We celebrated Hubble's 1st anniversary and Chloe's 10th, I said goodbye to Hypatia




Favorite outfits: the happiest place on earth & to distraction
Favorite post: sweet & gentle
Moments: I adopted Arrietty, I read The Hunger Games books and loved them, I celebrated my 3rd blog anniversary




Favorite outfits: lilac ruffles & with a smile and a song
Favorite posts: my disney outfit posts
Moments: my dad turned 60, Jurassic Park 3D came out and I saw it multiple times, I went to Disney World with my mom




Favorite outfits: backwards buttons & daisies
Favorite post: if you like it then you should have put a coat of paint on it
Moments: I went to the Office Wrap party in Scranton, met Steve Carell, and had the best weekend of my entire life, I did my first art show in 2 years, I got my first tattoo




Favorite outfits: posh frock friday & I have no idea
Favorite post: what's old is new again
Moments: I saw Niagara Falls, I met one of my best friends in real life, my bedroom was featured on Teen Vogue, I got a new car and took it on its first road trip




Favorite outfits: fit for a princess & periwinkle and sea foam green
Favorite post: television cozy DIY
Moments: I dressed up like a minion, Mental Floss started carrying my Puns Intended prints in their store, I shared 10 things you might not know about me, Dahlia produced a dress that I designed (inspired by Hypatia!), I finally realized what I want to be when I grow up




Favorite outfits: polkadots and moonbeams & clouds and rainbows
Favorite post: ode to a very sweet cat
Moments: I went 2 straight years with at least 1 sale per day in my etsy shop (that streak has since been broken, but it was lovely while it lasted!), I participated in GISHWHES (the greatest international scavenger hunt the world has ever seen) and had a complete blast




Favorite outfits: paws for thought & summer nights
Favorite posts: the elusive chloe & daisy button restyle
Moments: I dyed my hair purple, ever + mi crush started carrying my Hypatia dress, I went to Disney World again and got to participate in Dapper Day, I celebrated the 20th anniversary of The X-Files pilot, I got to meet up with Polly in New York




Favorite outfits: hearts again & sweatshirt weather
Favorite posts: my hypatia dress outfit posts
Moments: I got my apartment!, I had my first party at my apartment, I dressed up as Princess Unicorn from The Office for Halloween, I went to NYC to attend a lecture with my dad and we had so much fun!




Favorite outfit: trousers and cats & christmasitis
Favorite post: my cat friendly menorah
Moments: I turned one year older, I finally finished my 2014 Flapper Doodle calendar, I officially moved into my apartment (and also bought a bed for my room at home so I can still sleepover!), I passed 9,000 sales in my etsy shop




Favorite outfits: time flies & mirror mirror on the wall
Favorite post: pet name book display & christmas freebie
Moments: I went to The Film Forum's Barbara Stanwyck tribute with Kyle in NYC (we saw The Two Mrs. Carrolls), my Aunt Annie turned 102 (though I sadly missed her party since I was sick), I had my first Christmas with my new apartment & Arrietty. I shared my new private instagram account.



Some things I was absolutely obsessed with in 2013:

TV: Fringe, 30 Rock, The Walking Dead, Ancient Aliens, Supernatural, Derek, Breaking Bad, Terriers. MUSIC: Goldfrapp, Joy Division, New Order, Marianne Faithfull. FOOD: Frozen yogurt, coconut everything, fried green beans, eggs in a basket. BOOKS: The Hunger Games, Where'd You Go Bernadette, GulpIs It Just Me? VINTAGE: The perfect pink robe (found it!), bell-sleeved lace blouses, 60s party dresses, scalloped lamp shades, lace bed jackets. RANDOM OBSESSIONS: decorating my apartment, Greg Kinnear, dinosaurs, finding unique white blouses while thrifting, documentaries about the plague, searching "kitsch" on pinterest, salt and pepper shakers, Disney pin collecting.

merry belated christmas



I'm FINALLY feeling better so I thought I'd stop by and wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas :) We had to postpone some of our holiday festivities since I was so sick, I didn't get to finish my present shopping and I had to miss my Aunt Annie's 102nd birthday party (that was crushing!) but we still had a nice Christmas. I lost my voice so I ended up using a text-to-voice app on my phone and I think that sufficiently lifted everyone's spirits. Just hearing the app try to pronounce 'Arrietty' produced plenty of holiday cheer ;)

Christmas isn't over for me just yet though. I finally just mailed my cards yesterday (you can see them here!) and since I spent so much of December either working or deliriously sick I'm giving myself permission to keep my decorations up through mid-January. I want to enjoy these trees and ornaments, darn it! And I'm going to bake cookies and eat hundreds of them while everyone else is starting their weight loss new years resolutions. It's going to be great.

here's an idea: pet name book display



I thought it would be really cute to make a little display of books where the titles are my cats' names! It was like a scavenger hunt trying to find titles to represent each cat. I really lucked out with Hubble Bubble, since that's Mr. Hubble's nickname and the spine is so cute! I ordered three Chloe books on Amazon before finally finding this perfect one. I picked up the Arrietty book at the Japanese store in Epcot, and I've had the Hypatia book for a long time (my cat was named after her.)

Of course some names are definitely going to be easier than others -- "Chloe" turned up hundreds of results on amazon while my childhood cat "Jaspurr" is proving to be more of a challenge. This would be fun with kids names, too, or one book for each family member (pets included!)

While I'm on the subject of names, every once in a while I get asked where my cats' names came from so here's the backstory on each cat:

Chloe: I was 16 and just really liked the name Chloe. Her name at the shelter was Frosty because she had frostbite on her legs :(
Hypatia: Named after the mathematician, philosopher and last librarian at the Library of Alexandria. Her name at the shelter was Sara.
Hubble: Named after the astronomer and the namesake of the Hubble space telescope, Edwin Hubble. His name at the shelter was Max.
Arrietty: Named after the character from The Borrowers books, my favorite books when I was a kid. Her name at the shelter was Ghost.

sickly dedication



I kind of miss the good old days when I was so dedicated to blogging I even did an outfit post when I was sick. Right now I've been wearing the same sweater and pajama pants for two days and I wouldn't put on a dress and pose for pictures if you paid me a hundred dollars. I'm not sure what changed.. I still love blogging but I guess I've gotten so used to it and have a very blasé "eh, nobody will notice if I don't post for a week" sort of attitude that when I'm under the weather I just let it go. But I miss how every single day of my life was documented in 2011 (and most of 2012)... I think I might add "put more effort into my blog" to the long list of resolutions that are mounting for 2014. Although, honestly, as a very scatterbrained, disorganized person I'm pretty pleased with myself for having maintained my blog -- even if it's no longer updated on such a strict schedule -- for almost four years.

I'm definitely under the weather because I actually just wrote (and promptly deleted) this huge long post about diseases, the black death, funneling technology investments into curing all human ailments, and my general frustration with how many illnesses still have no cures or treatments in 2013. When I get sick I can be a little dramatic. I just hate not feeling good -- I know, who doesn't? I just don't handle it well. As much as I kind of hate my body right now (does anyone else ever feel that way, like as if it's totally separate from your brain? I think it's the sick talking again, sorry) I'm going to pamper the heck out of it and hope this goes away by Christmas. Fingers crossed!!

In the mean time I actually did take some pictures of my workspace for the first part of my apartment tour so I'll edit those tomorrow and post them :) The glamourous sick-day outfit posts, however, are probably a thing of the past lol ;)

oh my love, my darling



If you ever look at the outfit details on my outfit posts, you know that pretty much my entire shoe collection is from bait footwear. I just love their shoes SO much! They have the prettiest, most unique styles in the most beautiful array of colors! They just released my favorite style (Ida) in a bunch of new colors (look at those hot pink ones!!!!) and some new styles that are definitely going to become new favorites, like that coral one with the fan detail at the top. Swoon!

Last Thursday I went to New York and I think walking around in the freezing cold for way too long (I swear every single solitary cab was occupied the whole time we were there) did a number on my immune system, because boy am I sick. Right now the only thing I want for Christmas is to feel better. And maybe some new shoes, too.

everything in its place



I've wanted a place to share my artwork for a while since I always feel silly sharing it here and I wanted a professional blog dedicated solely to my art projects. It feels less like embarrassing self-promotion when you post about your work on your portfolio than when you do it on your personal blog. At least I'm telling myself that to make it easier for me to indulge in self promotion.

It isn't January just yet but I'm already working on my resolution to try harder with my artwork. I enjoy the drawing/painting/creating part but I hate the promotion aspect so much that I usually just forgo it altogether. But I've got a fancy new camera to retake my product pictures (no more iphone photos! ahh!) and this shiny new blog to share them on :)

DIY candy dot cardigan



Modcloth asked four bloggers (including me!) to do a DIY makeover on their charter school cardigan. I went with a really super ridiculously easy project that doesn't even have to be permanent. I used brads from the craft store to create a candy-dot border around the neckline and I love how it turned out! You can view the whole project on the modcloth blog here and watch my little tutorial video below :)



everyday is a holiday (+ a giveaway!) [closed]



If you aren't already familiar with Jenny and Aaron from Everyday is a Holiday you need to scoot over to their blog and shop right this second (well, finish this post, enter the giveaway and *then* scoot over ;) They are a super sweet duo who make pastel art confections on the Jersey shore (I have their artwork sprinkled all over my apartment -- including the apple pie painting in my outfit photos!) and they recently released their first book. I had the pleasure of getting a copy to test out one of their adorable DIY projects and I'm head over heels with how my first project turned out!

I made the Fauxbulous Keepsake Cake -- yup, you read that right. Faux. The cake in the picture above is fake! Doesn't it look delicious? I have to keep reminding myself it's not edible because it just looks so darn yummy. And it was so easy to whip it up! I think I might even make a couple more and have a display of faux cakes in my kitchen at all times. What a perfect kitchen decoration, right?!



All of the projects in the book are perfectly pastel, beautifully photographed and just so, so sweet. Jenny and Aaron did such an amazing job and I have secondhand giddiness, I'm just so excited for them! The book is available on amazon here! You can also try your luck at winning a copy below! :)

If you try out any projects from the book, make sure to post them on instagram with the hashtag #mixedmediamasterpieces so Jenny and Aaron can see your handiwork! :)





What you'll win: A copy of Mixed Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron

How to enter: To enter simply leave a comment letting me know what flavor you'd make your faux cake! And I need some way to contact you (twitter, e-mail, your blog.. whatever floats your boat!) Also, you must be a follower of this blog to enter! This is mandatory, too! (And, please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!)

For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each entry)
1. Tweet this "I just entered to win a copy of Mixed Media Masterpieces on @kategabrielle's blog http://www.scathingly-brilliant.blogspot.com" (Only counts if you use that exact tweet. Entries from twitter accounts used for the sole purpose of entering giveaways will not be counted.)
2. Follow Jenny on instagram
3. Follow Everyday is a Holiday

This giveaway ends on 12/26/13 at 12:01AM EST. Giveaway has ended.

Winner:

time flies



Yesterday was one month since I officially moved into my apartment! I can't believe it's already been that long! It's been so hectic, but I've really enjoyed my first month. Me and the cats have our own little routines.. Hubble has this choreographed dance he does every single time I walk in the bathroom where he stands up at the counter, leans backwards and stretches his left paw towards me. It's so weird and adorable!

I know I keep promising an imminent tour but seriously I'm SO close. There are still a couple things that I need to finish, mostly involving painting furniture (I am so, so tired of painting furniture!) and then I'll finally be ready :)




dress - modcloth | shirt - vintage | lady tie - flapper girl
belt - asos | shoes -  bait footwear | hat - gift from casey

here's an idea: TTFN sign



We're big Winnie the Pooh fans in my family and we each have a character to represent us -- mine is Tigger! I decided to pay homage to my favorite bouncy tiger with this sign above my front door :)

My apartment is on the second floor but you enter at ground level and go up a private staircase to get there, so I thought I'd put a hello sign at the top of the stairs to greet guests when they're arriving (I haven't decided what that one is going to say yet..) and a goodbye sign at the bottom for when they leave.

It was so simple it doesn't even require a DIY post -- I just bought wooden letters at the craft store (already painted white) and attached them with Command strips. The whole project cost like $12. I haven't been super cautious about being renter-friendly (I got a list of how much each thing will cost to replace when I moved in and I'm just planning on owing some money when I move out, lol) but this project is definitely renter-friendly and so fun! :)