Saturday, August 30, 2014

saturday night movie: libel

I'm like to think I'm a pretty smart person, but when it comes to movies I hardly ever figure out the twists before they occur. I know if I put my mind to it, I could.. but I'm usually so caught up in the story that I don't try to figure out what's going to happen while the movie is playing. Such was the case with Libel. I'd imagine some people out there might guess the ending before it happens or figure out all the twists before the movie is halfway finished... but I was surprised every step of the way, as confused and shocked as the screenwriters hoped their audience would be.

The film is about a wealthy British aristocrat, Sir Mark Sebastian Loddon, who sues a newspaper for libel after they print an accusation that he is an imposter. What seems like a simple case of slander actually turns into a case of stolen identity when it's revealed that there were two men -- almost identical -- who escaped from a POW camp together, Sir Mark Loddon and the scoundrel Frank Welney. Only one of them returned, and said he was Sir Mark.

As soon as they introduce the character of Frank Welney into the proceedings, you the viewer and all of the characters in the film are suddenly thrown into a sea of doubt. Is Sir Mark actually Frank Welney? If so, whatever happened to the real Sir Mark?

Dirk Bogarde plays Sir Mark Loddon in the present setting, Sir Mark in the prison camp flashbacks, and Frank Welney. Dirk Bogarde is one of those people who sometimes looks completely different from one photo to the next, so while his Sir Mark does look remarkably like Frank Welney, you don't for a minute doubt that these are two different people- not twins or one person playing dual roles. And his present-day Sir Mark looks even different still! It's really impossible to tell just from appearances which man is calling himself Sir Mark Loddon.

Libel has an outstanding supporting cast, including one of my favorite character actors, Robert Morley and Wilfrid Hyde-White (who is always, in my mind, Col. Pickering) and features a pretty impressive performance by Olivia de Havilland as Dirk Bogarde's wife. In a way, her role is connected to the audience in that what she feels, we feel. Close-ups of her reactions to developments in the case are used as hints as to what she is thinking, and what we should think. When she has complete faith in her husband, so do we. And when she doubts her husband, so do we.

If you're looking for an edge-of-your-seat courtroom thriller, I highly suggest Libel! And if you're just looking for a Dirk Bogarde film to enjoy, look no further than Libel, where you get two Dirk's for the price of one!

Libel is available to rent on Amazon here.

This post was originally published on my movie blog, Silents and Talkies.

Friday, August 29, 2014

summer sponsorship discount extended!

I'm getting excited about pumpkin everything (although I'm probably the only person in blogland who doesn't drink lattes!) Halloween costume planning, sweaters and crisp autumn air... but I'm still hanging onto summer pretty tight this year.

Well, at Scathingly Brilliant, summer is being extended through the end of September ;) My summer sponsorship discounts can be used for one more month. You can take 10% off all ad sizes with code SUMMER *or* take advantage of an even bigger discount by booking 3 months in advance. When you add the ad to your cart, just adjust the quantity to "3" in your shopping cart and enter code ALLSUMMERLONG for a whopping 20% off. These discounts apply to all ad sizes. With the use of the discounts, ads start at just $12 a month! If you're interested you can check out my rates & statistics and purchase an ad right here.

Happy summer! ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

notes to my younger self

Notes To My Younger Self is a series of posts by bloggers helping spread the word about The Post College Survival Kit, by Sarah from Yes and Yes. We learned the hard way so you don’t have to! You don’t have to wait till your thirties for a better job, a cuter apartment, financial stability, better relationships + friendships.

When Sarah asked if I'd participate in her "notes to my younger self" blog crawl, in which bloggers lend advice to their 22 year old selves, I immediately said yes. But then I realized that I'm almost just as clueless about life at 27 as I was at 22. So my main advice to 22 year old me is to take chances, be adventurous, make mistakes, jump at opportunities and live life so fully that at 27 I'd be a wise old soul who could dispense sage advice and smile fondly at her past foibles.

Dear 22 Year Old Kate,

Oh, Kate. You need to stop being so horribly shy and scared to live. It's a lot easier to break that mold now, it's a lot harder when we're getting closer to (gasp!) thirty. Talk to other humans, it's not that bad. Go outside more. Learn to drive and then drive somewhere far away. Take day trips alone, make friends and take day trips with them, too. Go to the movies once in a while. Try new foods. Find a cute, smart guy and ask him out. It won't be the end of the world if he says no.

Don't drop out of college. Yes, art shows are starting to take off and it looks like a college degree won't be necessary but believe you me, it is. Even if we got lucky & art supported us forever (sorry to break it to you, it won't) it wouldn't hurt to have that degree under our belt. You were SO close to finishing! Just do it!

Be happy with what you have. You'll spend most of your twenties wishing for something better, but in reality you're a pretty lucky duck. You have a family that loves you, a roof over your head, food on the table, adorable cats, and basically all of your favorite shows are available to watch instantly on Netflix, so what on earth are you moping about?

Try fruit flavored ice creams. It's a crying shame that I didn't get to discover their gloriousness until I was 26. Fix that immediately! Turn on NBC on Thursday and watch The Office. It's going to be your favorite show when you discover it years from now. It's one of the few things in this world that makes us smile no matter how bad the day is -- so it should really be a part of your life much sooner.

Learn the correct way to address your former self in a letter, and which tenses to use when talking about our life, your life or my life. Trust me, it'll come in handy in about five years.

It takes us a while to get to the point where I can say this but... I kind of love you.

xo Kate

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

tattoo talk

Sarah from The Laughing Medusa interviewed me about my tattoo on her blog yesterday. Click here to read why I got it, what I'd do differently and my plans for future tattoos :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I thought it would be fun to do a little remix post, I haven't done one in ages! I think it's partially because when an item in my closet gets worn a lot I tend to wear it in a similar way every time. If I get something brand new I might find an interesting way to incorporate it into an outfit but my tried and true favorites end up getting worn in a similar fashion each and every time. This dress is one of my absolute favorites.. I've only taken photos a handful of the times I've worn it (I think it's neat that I have at least one from each of my rooms though!) It's covered in tiny little plastic beads (they remind me of those dot candies that come attached to strips of paper) and I've worn it so much that they're starting to fall off!

Outfit one: April 2013 - a new chapter
Outfit two: September 2013 - candy dots
Outfit three: April 2014 - happy easter!
Outfit four: August 2014 - if the shoe fits

This is a really good example of how I do a variation on the same outfit when I really love a dress, lol. It's basically white/offwhite shirt / belt / matching shoes every time lol. Strangely though I feel like they are actually a little different - the first and last ones are my favorites. I love how the orange looks against the beige sheer blouse in the first outfit and the contrast against the minty green tights in the last one!

Outfit one: November 2013 - christmasitis
Outfit two: August 2013 - ears looking at you
Outfit three: September 2013 - the hypatia dress, take three
Outfit four: December 2012 - a new favorite

Last but not least is one of my favorite cardigans. Honestly sometimes it's hard not to add this cardigan on top of every dress and call it a day. Whenever I have to quickly get dressed and run out the door, I'll usually grab one of my favorite solid-color dresses and throw on this cardigan for an outfit that feels put-together and fun without putting much thought into it ;)

Outfit one: November 2013 - trousers and cats
Outfit two: February 2014 - let the rain pitter patter
Outfit three: May 2014 - on a roll
Outfit four: July 2014 - copycat

Monday, August 25, 2014

holiday dreaming

I'm still having a hard time shaking off this cold, blergh! I don't know about you but whenever I get sick in the summer I get really disoriented about what season it is. Colds just feel like winter. You take up a steady diet of tea and soup, bundle yourself in bed with a hundred blankets and watch feel-good movies in between coughing fits. You're stuck inside so as far as your body knows, it's snowing and the temperature is hovering just above zero.

So maybe that's why when I saw this ASOS holiday preview on Refinery29 I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. Or maybe it was just the sudafed taking effect. Either way, some of these pieces are so pretty I really can't wait until they're available. The one in the top left corner looks like one of those rare seems-like-vintage-but-is-actually-new dresses, and the one in the right corner is a dream come true -- an all-over photographic print dress that *isn't* bodycon. Hooray!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

saturday night movie: jules et jim

"They could have been beautiful"

"The yearnings of two hearts create such heavenly pain"

This morning I woke up thinking about the movie I had watched last night, Jules et Jim. It's my new favorite.

If the movie that I watch tonight is any good, it will also be my new favorite. It will not push aside Jules et Jim.. it will just squeeze in beside it at first place. My favorite film is 1000 films.

I have about three or four go-to movies when people ask my favorite (usually Sunday in New York, Sullivan's Travels, Hot Enough for June and Le Notti Bianche) but really those few movies are tied with hundreds more.

My favorite films stick with me. My love for Jules et Jim will not fade when a movie I watch next week hits me like a ton of bricks. Like all of my favorites, Jules et Jim will stick with me forever. But even if you are the kind of person with only two favorites, or ten... if you watch Jules et Jim I guarantee you will count it among them.

Jules et Jim is the story of two men -- one German, one French -- who remain best friends during the Great War and when one friend loves the other's wife. It is a breathtaking film; absolutely beautiful and wistful and heartbreaking. It stars Jeanne Moreau and one of my new favorite actors, (not pushing anyone aside, just saying "hello" and keeping all the others company) Oskar Werner.

It's not really the kind of film you can describe (or at least not the kind I can describe) so I recommend just watching it to see what I mean when I say that once you see it you will never forget it. It's available on hulu plus here or on amazon here.

One of the highlights of the film is Jeanne Moreau singing a pretty song Le Tourbillon:

This post was originally published on my movie blog, Silents and Talkies.
Artwork is acrylic & mixed media, available in my society6 shop here and here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Giveaway: $40 store credit to Belle Hibou

Belle Hibou is giving away $40 in store credit to one lucky lady! The shop is chock-full of dreamy jewelry, beautiful photos and even adorable dresses for toddlers if you have a little one! My personal favorite is the man in the moon necklace pictured above :)

What you'll win: One person will win $40 in store credit to Belle Hibou

How to enter: Visit Belle Hibou and let us know what your favorite item is using the Rafflecopter widget below. You can also gain extra entries by tweeting about the giveaway, following Belle Hibou on Facebook and following Belle Hibou on instagram. 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!) This giveaway is open to everyone on planet earth.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway ends August 29th at 11:59PM EST.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

playing dress up

Still sick but I'm at that point where I'm so tired of seeing an exhausted, bed-headed, dark-circled face with breathe right strips staring back at me in the mirror, so I decided to remind myself that I am not, in fact, a zombie, but an actual human girl. Unfortunately that requires a wig and sunglasses right now, haha! But darn if I don't feel a little better already.

Yesterday, one of my best friends asked if a pair of shoes were her style or not (they were) and it kind of got me thinking about how we define our own style and whether or not I make purchasing decisions based on whether or not something is Kate-ish. This dress had my kind of sleeves, but it's a little shorter than I normally wear (actually a lot shorter) and, well, it's black. But truth be told I don't just like pastel colors -- I do actually have a substantial amount of black in my wardrobe. I don't seem to wear it as often, but I'm apparently attracted to it when I'm shopping. And while you could pry my pink hair dye from my cold dead hands, I actually fancy having regular hair every now and then.

When it comes down to it, as I've said here numerous times, I really just love playing dress up. On a day to day basis that usually means that I have fun getting dressed in the morning but every so often it means putting on something entirely un-Kate-like and having fun with it. And sometimes it means dolling myself up to make my achy, congested body look a little less shabby.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I beg of you not to look at me directly

Well, I think I caught something on vacation because I am super sick at the moment :\ I hate that day right before you're full-blown sick when you just KNOW what's coming. We went down the shore Friday night and the whole day I could feel it brewing, so I tried really hard to enjoy my last night of moderate wellness before all heck broke loose the next day. It's just a stubborn head cold but man, I still hate it.

It's been a while since I did a sick day outfit post (this is my all-time favorite) For a while I was thinking about doing a pajama outfit post every Sunday (hopefully I wouldn't be sick every Sunday, haha, just wearing pjs!) and I think I might finally follow through. Maybe combined with a revived slumber party sunday sort of thing? We'll see.

By the way, the title is a quote from Bones, does anyone else watch it? I'm so hooked! I plowed through six seasons pretty fast, but when my favorite character, Vincent Nigel-Murray, left the show (I'm not saying how, because spoilers) my interest waned a bit. I love him so much! I've been re-watching his episodes... he has so many good lines, a perfect British accent, his inflection and mannerisms are adorable, and he's just ridiculously cute.

pajama pants - old navy | sweatshirt - forever 21 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

saturday night movie: breakfast at tiffany's

Alternate title: How normal people watch Breakfast at Tiffany's vs. How crazy cat ladies watch Breakfast at Tiffany's. (Also please be aware this post contains spoilers!)

Breakfast at Tiffany's was on tv last week, and so I watched it for the bazillionth time, as usual. However, during this particular viewing I realized something that I hadn't before. I could care less if Audrey and George Peppard end up together at the end. To me, the film reaches its emotional climax not because George and Audrey embrace, but because they have Cat between them.

From the moment that the cab scene starts, my stomach is filled with wasps. I know that any moment she'll be tossing Cat out into the rain. When Cat grabs onto the car, trying desperately and hopelessly to stay in the warm dry cab, the tears start to flow. I don't think I've ever really paid attention to any dialogue that occurs after Cat is thrown out, because I'm screaming at my tv "STOP THE CAR! YOU NEED TO SAVE CAT!" If I could, I'd jump into my tv and look for him myself.

If I have one of my cats nearby whilst watching, they are at this point being hugged tightly while I anxiously await the moment when Cat is found.

Normal people are relieved when Audrey shows up in the alley calling for her cat -- but not for the same reasons I am. They believe she's seen the error of her ways; she's going to let George love her; a happy ending is on the horizon for our newly minted couple. But for me, and crazy cat ladies across the globe, it's ALL ABOUT THE CAT.

Honestly, this is the whole movie. Holly's husband, brother, fiance? All totally inconsequential to Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's about the cat. Sally Tomato, the 5 and dime robbery, Patricia Neal? They mean squat. It's all about the cat. It's all just leading up to that one super-charged emotional moment when Audrey scoops Cat up in her arms and gives her a "I should never have tossed you out of the cab, you wonderful feline" gigantic smooshy hug.

And THAT makes it a happy ending. George could have slipped and fell in the rain, got hit by a cab and ended up in the ER right before the credits rolled. As long as Cat is out of the rain, and reunited with Audrey Hepburn, I'm a happy camper.

This post was originally published on my movie blog, Silents & Talkies.

Friday, August 15, 2014

if the shoe fits

Thank you for all the sweet emails and tweets about my post yesterday -- it's so nice to know I'm not alone in feeling that way (although I do wish I was alone in feeling that way because then it would mean nobody else would be feeling blue!)

Switching to a much more frivolous note -- I'm super obsessed with these shoes from asos. They're the perfect mint color and I'm always a sucker for a t-strap. I ordered a different pair of asos brand shoes last month and thought they sent me a size too small, so I returned them & reordered and got the small size again. So I decided to just order one size up, and finally I got the right size. I figured it was a fluke with that one design, so when I ordered these I purchased my normal size. And I got a size too small again! I think their sizing must be seriously messed up -- I can't be the only one it's happening to, and it's not like my feet magically grew a size overnight lol. I tried telling them but they were kind of really horrible about the whole situation. Blergh! I guess whenever I order their shoes from now on I'll just order an 8 when I want a 7. Just thought I'd give a heads up in case anyone else is eying these shoes (or any asos brand shoes, I guess) too!

dress - modcloth | shoes - asos | shirt - asos | belt - from another dress

Thursday, August 14, 2014

it's okay to fail

I've been thinking about writing this for a while because I feel like it's something that needs to be said. As a blog *reader* I end up feeling like I can't relate to a lot of my favorite bloggers because they never seem to fail at anything they do. But maybe they're just like me and don't really talk about the failure part of life quite so much. I want my own blog readers to know that I fail CONSTANTLY and sometimes I feel like I'm suffocating in it. I've had a moderate level of success with this blog and my etsy shops, but overall I feel the failure much more. Hopefully this post will help somebody relate and feel like they're not alone in their struggles.

Professionally, I used to do outdoor art fairs full time. Then the recession hit in 2008 and I could barely make back my booth fee at most of the shows. So I switched to Etsy. My Flapper Doodle shop became my sole source of income, making over $100 a day. I have absolutely no idea how it happened, but I felt so ridiculously lucky!! At some point over the last two years though it started to decline, to the point that this whole week so far I've made $50. I've been trying to come up with new ideas all the time - starting Sweet and Lovely, The Book Fair, Your Fan Club, etc. I've managed to make up for the loss in income with my extra shops, wholesale orders and freelance work, but Flapper Doodle's downward spiral keeps me up almost every night. Every so often I have a good week where things seem back on track, but they always inevitably trickle back to my new normal. This week has seen the most drastic decline yet, but on average I'm making about 30% less than I did in 2012.

Personally, my shyness is so crippling that I haven't had a boyfriend yet. I'm on the late end of my mid-twenties and it's really hard not to feel like I've flunked life. I see people my age or much younger getting married and starting families, and it's like there's a little voice whispering in my ear "failure!"

Here's the thing though -- I'm not a failure. I think that I grew up to be a very kind, considerate human being. I'm confident in my appearance and my intellect. I'm responsible, a hard worker, and dedicated to my family, friends and animals. As a person, I don't think I've done too bad. I've had projects that have failed, I've failed in the romance department, and I've experienced constant little failures on a day-to-day basis -- but *I* am not a failure. I'm not defined by the things that have gone wrong in my life.

I am not a success story and I don't know if I'll ever be one -- and that's okay. Failure isn't always a preface to success, sometimes it's part of the story and continues to be part of it until the end. But just because it's included doesn't mean it's the main plot.  I think if you try really hard, or even if you have really good intentions (hi, nonexistent boyfriend!) that's really all that matters. My friends and family don't discount me as a person because my etsy shop is on rocky ground. You guys (I hope?) don't think any less of me because I'm ridiculously shy.

So if you've been facing any failures in your life or work, just know that I totally get it. It's okay to fail, and it doesn't make you a failure. xo

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

just one more

Last photo from Disney! Sad face! Nicole had to catch a really early flight on Friday morning, so I went to The Magic Kingdom alone to fill out my postcards and walk around a bit before I had to head to the airport myself. It's funny, every time I've ever asked a Disney photographer to take a photo with my iphone they always come out SUPER dark. I don't think they know about the whole tap-to-lighten thing? It's not a big deal since Photoshop exists but it always amuses me anyway.

Me and Kyle are going back in September for Dapper Day, and I'm already planning my outfit! I think I might actually try to sew my own dress -- I haven't sewn a dress in like two years though so I'm not sure if I'm up for the challenge. eek! I have a bunch of dresses sitting in my mending pile so maybe I'll just tackle those first to get reacquainted with my sewing machine and then see what I can do ;)

dress- asos | cardigan - pin up girl | shoes - h&m | bag - forever 21

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

creative blog hop!

I was recently tagged by Mary from Inside My Hideaway and Laura from I Love Crafty for two separate creativity-themed blog hops and decided to combine them into one post. I love both of their shops so much, so I'm really honored that they tagged me! I'm actually going through a little blue spurt with regards to my art and shops so maybe this will cheer me up a bit!

1. What have been the doings/makings/scribblings at your desk this week?

Last week I was in Disney World so I didn't get too much making done! But before I left I was knee-deep in projects. I just finished a custom flip book for a customer, something I don't normally do but I was too excited about working on it to say no! I took a lot of progress video so I'll probably be sharing that on my art blog this week.

I also just finished 20 new fan club designs last night. I included a few where I'm pretty sure I'm the only one on the planet who will want them, but I guess that's the benefit of being someone who makes things - sometimes you're allowed to just make things for yourself! :)

I'm also trying desperately to get my 2015 calendars done in a timely manner this year. All of my previous designs are available with 2015 dates in my store but I like to release a brand new set of illustrations every year as well. I'm also working on a sweet and lovely one that I'm really excited about, too! There just aren't enough hours in the day, haha!

2. Where are you currently finding your inspiration? (Influences, heroes, sources of inspiration, paths exploring)?

Right now I'm working on a project inspired by the suffragette movement, and one inspired by Busby Berkeley movies (the first drawing in that series is right here.) I'm basically always inspired by classic movies in some form or another --

And then there are some artists and people who inspire me but I've never found a way to channel that inspiration into my own creations. I am and will always be in awe of Mary Blair's work -- she designed the It's a Small World attraction at Disney World, did the concept art for numerous Disney films, illustrated timeless children's books and more. Her style is so classic and modern at the same time, and her work never ceases to make me happy.

3. How does your writing/creating process work?

When I get an idea one of two things happen - either I need to work on it IMMEDIATELY and then within a few hours I have the makings of a new shop/product/drawing, or I write it down as a future project and don't get around to it for months or years. My fan club shop came to fruition within hours after the idea struck me in the shower. In one night I already had the shop name, the basic design for the pins and ideas for my first 20-30 fan clubs.

My 90's time machine was one of the long-time-in-the-making ideas. It was shuffled around between numerous to-do-lists over the last year before I finally buckled down and designed the kit in February. It was another few months before I finally got around to even listing it in my shop!  It's funny because it's one of my favorite products and, I think, one of my most fun & creative ideas, but it just didn't have the same sense of urgency that some of my other ideas have.

4. Why do I write/create what I do?

This is going to sound so corny, but I feel like I have to. When I get an idea, it's almost like the same feeling as when you really have to pee in the middle of the night. You might want to just lay in bed and keep sleeping, but your body is like, "NOPE! We're getting out of bed and working on this bladder issue RIGHT NOW." It's an urge, something I literally cannot ignore.

When an idea shows up in my brain, I just feel compelled to bring that idea to life. It's part of who I am, and I don't think that will ever change. Ideally I don't want to be working as a freelance artist/shop owner for my whole life, but I can't imagine a life in which I'm not constantly creating things and testing out my ideas. Even if there comes a time when I no longer share everything that I make with the internet or try to make a living off of my creations, I still want to create -- I'll still need to create.

I know so many super talented ladies that it's really hard to choose who to pick for the blog hop next, but I'm going to go with Bianca from Goodnight Little Spoon and Polly from Paulie Antiques. They're both so creative and brilliant, I'd love to see what they have up their sleeve at the moment! :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

saturday night movie: charly

Charly is a full-grown man with the mental capacity of a child. But with the help of his night school teacher, played by Claire Bloom, he gets to participate in a trial operation to improve his capacity for learning. While the initial operation is a success, it has a huge side effect that Charly never saw coming.

This film is definitely a heartbreaker. But while the overarching storyline is sad, it's a few poignant scenes and Cliff Robertson's earnest portrayal of Charly that will make your eyes well up.

In the beginning, Charly never understands when he is the butt of a joke, because it's beyond his comprehension. When his co-workers fill his locker with bread dough, then gather around laughing when Charly can't figure out what's going on, he laughs too.. not understanding that they are laughing AT him, not with him. But after his surgery, when his intelligence begins to grow, he says, "I was wondering why the people who would never dream of laughing at a blind or a crippled man would laugh at a moron." His realization that his "friends" were actually making fun of him all these years is one of the saddest moments in the whole film. Sure, intelligence enables him to understand physics, chemistry and history.. but it also opens up a world of hurt that he never even knew existed.

Cliff Robertson does such an outstanding job of portraying Charly throughout all of his mental stages in the film. His progression from innocent childlike wonder to mature, adult understanding is so natural you hardly notice it's happening at first. Even his facial expressions and body movements reflect his current intellect. I'm not the least bit surprised that Cliff Robertson won best actor for this role.

You can get Charly on Amazon here, or it's also on youtube here.

This post was orginally published on my movie blog, Silents & Talkies.