Wednesday, July 31, 2013

room tour part 1: my office

I've been talking about doing a room tour for so long I decided to make this one super duper jumbo-sized! I broke it up into a few posts, each focusing on one specific area. I thought that would be fun and also help the posts to load a little quicker :)

First up, my office! If you can call it that... it's actually a closet with a table in it. But it works perfectly and the size is just right for me. When I think about my ideal "forever home" I picture something pretty tiny. I've just become so accustomed to living and working in tight quarters that I can't even imagine living any other way. I like my cramped, cluttered space. It's so cozy!

The collage above my closet is by my friend Vivienne and the painting was a birthday gift from my  brother. I was upset that Turner Classic Movies was changing their nighttime intro so he painted me a stylized screenshot of the old one (you can watch it here at 0:31)

This screensaver is probably cliche now but I use it as my clock when I'm packing orders on the other side of my room (I'm always racing against time to finish & make it to the post office before they close!) I hate wearing my glasses so the huge text is perfect lol.

The die-cut jumbo ice cream print is one of my favorite things I own! I bought it from Everyday is a Holiday (Jenny and Aaron are also the super talented dynamic duo behind the cute apple pie print that's to my right in all of my outfit posts!) The cross-stitch of "That's What She Said" was a Christmas gift from my mom. I love having subtle Office references sprinkled around my room (...and not-so-subtle ones. The trophy on my desk is a Dundie award!)

To free-up desk space for my tablet and planner, I got a keyboard tray from Ikea. It came with a black foam insert which I promptly covered in vintage fabric. So much prettier - and equally functional :) My keyboard seems to be biting the dust now.. I'm having a heck of a time getting the letter "k" to show up on my screen without pounding the key as hard as possible. argh!

The clear plastic purse was from forever 21 (last year, I think) and I use it to hold extra notebooks. The Hibernate pennant is from Stay Home Club. The photo is a still of Dirk Bogarde and Julie Christie from one of my all-time favorite movies, Darling.  If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend it! Mandi recently posted a nice review with some great screenshots ... you can take a peek here :)

Somehow I've been acquiring a little stuffed animal collection (and a stuffed person.. they had a Mary Poppins stuffed doll at the Disney Store in Times Square last year. It's pretty awesome!) so they all reside under my table at the moment. Even though he's much too small to actually be one of my cats, I always think the Tramp doll is Arrietty when I see him out of the corner of my eye.

I recently downloaded Danielle's happy face decals (available at Kitschy Digitals, here!) to cute-ify my printer! Isn't it just adorable?! The kit includes so many cute decals, I keep looking around my house trying to find more things to apply them to :)

Sidenote: This is my new printer (my old one broke about 2 weeks ago) It's a Canon Pixma MG6320 and so far I really love it. I think the print quality is top-notch and it has a smaller footprint than my old one. And of course I'm definitely smitten with the fact that it's white instead of black. My only complaint so far is that it doesn't always detect when I have paper in the tray, and sometimes the rollers leave marks so I've had to reprint. When I have some free time I'll call Canon to see if that can be fixed. I had so many issues with my old Lexmark though that so far this has really been a walk in the park :)

A little perspective so you can see where the closet/office is! And I had to sneak an Arrietty photo in here somewhere ;D

Part 2 will be up tomorrow! yay! :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

despicable me

I went to see Despicable Me 2 a couple weeks ago and loved it so much I went back again yesterday! Me and my mom are both a little obsessed with the minions (if you're unfamiliar with the movie you can meet the minions here.) We probably got a little too excited when we saw that McDonalds happy meals had minion toys. I don't even eat meat and yet I've ordered three kids meals in the last week. I gave the food to my brother, but still...

And of course I had to dress up like a minion when I went to the movies! If theme-dressing can be considered a hobby I think it might be my favorite one ;)

shirt - forever 21 | denim jumper - miss selfridge | shoes - asos

Sunday, July 28, 2013

give me a break

I took a little unexpected break the last few days and it was so nice. I've been on the brink of getting sick for a week or two and thought a couple days of relaxation might nip it in the bud. I definitely feel on the upswing now but I'm still a teensy bit run down. I have so much to do though, I really need to just get at it! On top of regular things like packing orders, answering emails (horribly behind again, argh!) and doing laundry, it's that time of year when I need to start drawing my 2014 calendar for Flapper Doodle (I actually have THREE calendar ideas in mind! I want to draw all of them even though I don't know how I'll manage to find time for even one) and etsy is revamping their listing pages in about a week, so I need to adjust all of my item descriptions and photos. And my dad is launching a new website so I have been forced volunteered to design it. Phew!

Oh, also for anyone interested in the room tour (and closet tour!) that I've been promising for ages, I FINALLY took pictures and have it scheduled for this week. I decided to break it up into a couple of posts so it's not too photo-heavy :) I've made a lot of subtle changes to my room over the last few months and I'm really just so happy with how everything looks.

ps. I just started watching Call the Midwife and I love it so far! Does anyone else watch?

dress- le bomb shop | sweater - c/o romwe (old) | shoes - modcloth

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

treasure hunt

I've been searching for some items for my closet for years -- the perfect black and white striped dress, the perfect sleeveless black dress (which I have yet to find, strangely enough), a white Roxy purse with strawberries on it that I had in middle school, a full-length pink quilted robe with a peter pan collar (some of these items are super specific), transparent knee-high rain boots... just to name a few. Two of the items I've been looking for have been found and they're in this outfit!

The white bell-sleeved lace blouse was on my list for a while. I was obsessed with bell-sleeves in high school, probably because I went through a bit of a Shakespeare phase and thought they looked kind of Romeo and Juliet-ish (even though it's probably more 1970's than 1300's.) I finally found this one on etsy, from a vintage shop in Riga, Latvia! I thought that was pretty cool because my dad's grandmother was born there :)

Non-leather tan loafers have been on my list for about a year or so. I'm not actually sure what caused my obsessive compulsion to own them, but I've been skimming new listings on all my favorite shopping sites for them like my life depended on it. And then I saw these cuties from Le Bunny Bleu and all was right with the world. Who needs tan loafers when you can have PINK?! Right?!

dress (which I now realize is a wee bit too short!) - h&m | blouse - vintage
tights - target | loafers - c/o le bunny bleu | necklace - handmade

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

recipe: taco salad

It's time for another installment of "recipe that came about because Kate was lazy."

I've been on a bit of a taco kick lately, but I always seem to face a shortage of taco shells. This problem paired with my unwillingness to drive out and buy shells resulted in this amazing new salad recipe that I can't stop eating. As usual, it's super easy and perfect for lazy people who don't like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, like me!

Just combine a can of dark kidney beans (rinsed), one cucumber (cut into little pieces), two small tomatoes (cut into little pieces) and one pre-cooked ear of corn. Combine with a generous drizzle of flavored olive oil (I used garlic olive oil and it was delicious!!)

I took my last remaining taco shells (and any little broken bits that were stuck at the bottom of the package) and crushed them to make taco croutons. Sprinkle some croutons on top of each serving and you're done! I didn't mix the croutons into the salad because I didn't want them to get soggy while they were sitting in the fridge, but if you're planning on eating the whole salad immediately then, by all means, mix away! :)

I actually normally just make rice and bean tacos (see: laziness) but now that I tried salad-ifying tacos I want to include veggies in them more often!

Monday, July 22, 2013

long sleeves in the summertime

I've had a few comments lately asking how I could wear long sleeves or tights or sweaters in the middle of summer. Well, the answer is simple -- I spend about 99% of my time in air conditioning. I wake up in a cool house, work in a cool room, shop in freezing cold grocery stores and visit chilly restaurants. Except for the five minute walk to-and-from the car I'm usually in a completely climate controlled universe. I do go outside now and then (I do love the beach!) and in those instances I can assure you, I don't wear heavy sweaters or tons of layers. I'm not desensitized to heat, if anything I'm too sensitive to it and can't stand to be outside! So hopefully that will clear up any mystery as to why I seem to dress for winter in July, haha!

Anyway, how cute is this dress? It's from Heavenly Couture, where everything is (I am not kidding) $16 or under. This perfectly scalloped little number is exactly $16, not bad for one of the sweetest frocks I've ever seen ;) You can tell I must like it because I'm also wearing a really goofy smile.

dress- c/o heavenly couture | shoes and blouse - forever 21 | black tie - asos

Saturday, July 20, 2013

heat wave

Aside from this awesomeness, and seeing Despicable Me 2 (which was fantastic!!) it's been a rough week. My printer broke on Monday and the replacement I bought was defective. I pinched my skin between the printer box and the Staples shopping cart (OUCH!) and I literally stepped in gum. Then me and my brother got in an argument and haven't been speaking :\ The whole printer episode set me back way too much with work, and on top of all that I've been running a high fever during the worst heat wave of the summer. All I want right now is to set up a pillow fort near the a/c vent and watch Supernatural between naps.

Today is my mom's birthday so no matter how much work I have piling up on my desk, I'm just going to relax and spend the day with her. Whenever we ask her what she wants for her birthday she always says Bounty paper towels (seriously) since we go through them so quickly. So me and my dad bought twenty four 8 packs and piled them outside her bedroom door last night as a surprise. It was SO funny to see her reaction when she opened the door, with this giant wall of paper towels in front of her!! Things like that really make bad-luck weeks not so bad after all :)

pinafore - c/o dahlia | collar - vintage | belt - asos

Thursday, July 18, 2013

something awesome happened yesterday...

First let me rewind to April when I got a message in my Puns Intended etsy shop from Mental Floss asking for wholesale pricing for my prints. I almost had a heart attack right then and there. I *love* Mental Floss. It's actually the only magazine that I read regularly... I even have the Mental Floss board game. For the last three months I was sure something would fall through and it wouldn't actually happen. It was just way too good to be true! When exciting opportunities are presented to me they hardly ever seem to work out.

Anyway! Yesterday morning my Mental Floss store newsletter hit my inbox and what did I see at the top of the message?! My paintings!! And an incredibly glowing write-up that makes me sound at least 200x more awesome than I actually am :D I'm still pinching myself because this just has to be a dream, right? There's no way my artwork is being sold on the Mental Floss website, right??

Oh, but it is. IT IS!!

ps. I'm sure some of you might be like "wait.. I thought you did Flapper Doodle and Sweet and Lovely? What is this?" because I don't usually mention this artwork as much on my blog. But yup, I have a third shop where I sell prints of my punny paintings! You can check out the other paintings (including my favorite, "Jackson 5" with five Andrew Jacksons) here! :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

fit for a princess

This skirt has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever laid eyes on. I dressed it down a bit with a button-up shirt and kitten heels but that didn't stop me from feeling like a princess the entire time I wore it. Any girl who has ever played dress up as a child knows that feeling when you put on something elegant and immediately feel like a character in a storybook. It doesn't matter if you're prancing around the house doing pirouettes, going out to the movies, or actually attending a fancy ball... for that moment, you're royalty.

This skirt is currently on loan to me as part of a really awesome project put together by its designer, Kellie Falconer. Me and a few other girls got to style the skirt however we liked and all of our posts are published today! You can check out the other posts here:

Alexandra of Into the Woods
Christen of Two Happy Hearts
Kellie of Accordion to Kellie
Kenzie of Kenzie Faith
Lauren of Someone Like You

Also! Kellie gave me a special discount to share with you. yay! From now through July 31st you can take $20 off any order with the code SCATHINGLYBRILLIANT. She has quite a few beautiful pieces (I love this little chevron skirt!) but honestly I'd go with the tulle skirt... how can anybody pass up the opportunity to feel like a princess? ;)

skirt- kellie falconer design | shoes - bait footwear | brooch - vintage
blouse - vintage | belt - from another dress

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

DIY television cozy (my favorite project ever!)

Ever since I got my first tv when I was a teenager, I've had a hard time striking a balance between how much I love watching it when it's on and how much I hate seeing it when it's off. Unless you have a monochrome bachelor pad or enough money to make your tv disappear into a dresser, it's kind of difficult to fit these big dark behemoths into your decor.

It probably wasn't super safe, but I covered my first tv in faux concrete acrylic medium so it looked like a big slab of cement. For my last tv I covered the frame in vintage contact paper. Neither of those were perfect (and neither of them covered the screen, which still looked awful when it was turned off) but they definitely helped.

I recently upgraded to a pretty big television (42") and in my tiny pastel room, it just stuck out like a sore thumb. I finally came up with a way to hide it when it's not on, and I wish I had thought of this sooner! It was SO easy to whip this up, and it's equally easy to take it on and off of my tv. And I love it!!

I also spray painted the base light blue (Valspar satin "Encounter") and decided to hang one of my favorite Bette Davis photos from the top when its not in use. It's just on a skirt hanger, so it literally takes 2 seconds to hang it up or take it down and it's lightweight enough to not be doing any damage to my television. Just another simple way to make the tv blend into my room a little more ;)

To make your own tv cozy, first you have to measure your television. Make sure you get exact measurements so that the fabric will fit snug. Also, make sure you actually measure it, don't go by the size of your screen. The advertised screen size is measured diagonally, so my 42" screen is actually 38" across.

Next you want to measure your fabric. Draw out a rectangle that measures the width of the tv by the height of the tv. Then you want to add the depth + 1 inch to each side.

Hem the edges and then sew the corners to create a box. It's kind of like you're making a fitted sheet for your tv! If you're confused at all about what I mean just take a peek at your bed sheet lol :)

Now sew elastic right above the hem. You want to be stretching out the elastic while you're sewing so that it bunches the fabric. Once the elastic is in place, you're done! Just slip the cover over the front of the tv and you're all set.

I found that on my tv the fabric was sagging a tiny bit in the middle (not entirely sure if it's because I wasn't pulling the elastic tight enough while I was sewing or because my tv screen is so big) so I devised a little elastic suspender. I just threaded elastic through small alligator clips (I got mine on etsy) and knotted them tight. One clip at the top and bottom of the cozy helps keep it nice and snug on my tv screen!

When I showed my brother he said "you must be the only person on the planet who would buy a 42" HD television and want to HIDE it!" lol! I just can't stand the way modern tvs look, and don't think we should have to sacrifice the prettiness of our rooms at the altar of entertainment :)

Also, an added bonus to using a cozy -- it also functions as a dust cover! yay!

Monday, July 15, 2013

cats in disguise

As you know I'm a sucker for cat-print anything and this dress is no exception! It's actually even cuter than most of my other cat dresses because these little kitties are wearing little disguises like bandanas and masks. It's so adorable! And I've basically given up on any notion of trying to tone-down the cat-lady-ness, I just naturally pair cat shoes with cat dresses now. My outfits are a big hit when I visit Pet Smart though lol ;)

Speaking of cats, I think I need to share some pictures of mine soon. They're always cute but lately they've just been hitting it out of the ballpark in the photo department. They seem to go through spurts where they won't sit still for one second and I don't get a good pictures for months, then all of a sudden they're just hamming up for the camera nonstop! Even Chloe, my elusive hermit, has been letting me snap a few photos!

dress- c/o sourpuss clothing | cardigan - old navy
shoes - ebay | brooch - vintage | belt - forever 21

Sunday, July 14, 2013

10 things you might not know about me

Mandy from Miss Indie started a '10 things you don't know about me' tag and tagged yours truly! After 3+ years of blogging I honestly don't really remember what I've shared here and what I haven't but here are 10 things that I *think* you don't know about me...

1. I've never had alcohol or coffee. Not for any religious reasons, I just don't care to try it. I'm perfectly happy with grapefruit juice, fruit smoothies, and iced tea, thank you ;)

2. My natural hair color is dark brown. This September will be 10 years since the first time I dyed it and I haven't stopped since. Even the few times I've gone back to dark hair I've still dyed it some other shade than the one I was born with.

3. The first time I dyed my hair I was feeling very emotional about a boy-related-issue and asked one of my best friends to go in the drug store and buy any hair color and dye my hair. I didn't know until I got out of the shower that I was blonde. (And so begins my lifelong habit of dying my hair when I'm feeling emotional.)

4. I go through spurts where I don't draw or paint for a while, and when I get the urge to start again, I'm literally terrified that my abilities* will have completely vanished. I mean I seriously panic. I end up finding it's like riding a bicycle, it always comes back. But nevertheless, I still get petrified every single time. *There has to be a better word than abilities. That makes it sound like I'm an art superhero, which I'm definitely not.

5. I'm allergic to cats! I have a chronically stuffy nose and if I skip my allergy medication for one day I turn into an itchy disaster, but it's totally worth it. I can't even imagine a life without cats in it.

6. My biggest fear is being autopsied. Even after I'm dead and wouldn't know it was happening, the whole idea of it just freaks me out so much I can't even think about it. I've even looked into medical bracelets that say "Do not autopsy." Somehow I can sit and watch Scully cut people open on The X-Files with no problem though?

7. Speaking of The X-Files, I was such a big fan in middle school that I regularly published my own alien newsletter. I think I had three subscribers and two of them were my parents.

8. I get ridiculously excited about mail. I basically spend 11am-3pm every weekday anxiously looking out my front window to see if the mail truck came yet.

9. My three biggest pet peeves are: impatience, women wearing their coats over their shoulders (coats have sleeves for a reason!) and when your nailpolish has chipped off a bit and you run your hand through your hair and it gets caught on your nail. ugh!!

10. I just discovered that I like ice cream! My whole life I thought I hated it because I had only tried chocolate and vanilla (which I didn't like) but last year I tried coconut and that changed everything. So far some of my favorites I've tried have been winter squash, orange pineapple, black sesame and apple!

I'm going to tag Millie, Kailey, Jenny, Chiaki and Kati! And if you haven't been tagged formally but would like to do one of these posts, then tag, you're it! :)