DIY inner beauty artwork

I know this DIY isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I personally LOVE it and thought I'd share in case anyone else is equally enchanted with medical imagery.

First a little back story -- In 2005 I was getting crippling migraines, so my doctor ordered an MRI of my brain. After a super scary couple of weeks in between my doctor saying she thought I had a brain tumor and a specialist telling me I didn't (PHEW) I was left with some incredibly cool images of my brain. I've always wanted to find a way to turn them into artwork, but couldn't really figure out how. I also didn't really want to have super dark pictures on my walls, and these images are always mostly black. I finally worked this out a couple weeks ago and now I'm trying to talk my (super reluctant) family to do a really unique family portrait wall. haha!

Okay, so the first thing you need is a medical image. Basically MRIs, X-Rays, CT scans, etc. If you have a printout (like an ultrasound) you can skip this step, which helps to capture the negative image. Just hold it up to a light source, like a window or a lightbox, and take a close-up photo. This highlights all of the details that you normally can't see on the negatives sheet.

When you open the image on your computer, it should look like the first image here, with a dark background. You want to invert the colors, so that the background becomes light. I used photoshop, but you can invert colors in a bunch of different programs, even MS Paint! If you aren't sure how to do it in a specific program, just try googling "invert colors [program name]" :)

Now this is where you can start getting creative! I played around with the hue/saturation controls to get a really bright purple image. You can even do hue/saturation in Preview on a mac. Just drag the controls until you find the colors that you like best. After I settled on hot pink, I used the Fill tool in photoshop to fill in the background with a light pink color. You could always do this part manually, printing out your image, cutting it out, and then mounting it on a colored paper background! Another idea, if you don't have access to photo editing programs, would be to have the image inverted and then printed on bright colored paper at Staples or Kinkos!

I really wanted artwork that showed my whole head, but maybe you want a more discreet way of showing off your inner beauty? ;) Simply crop the image to create a really cool abstract art piece. Here I used a close-up from a CT scan of my sinuses.

If you have photoshop or a similar program that allows you to select specific parts of your image, you can change the colors in sections, instead of the whole image. Here I selected two little areas in the pink and then dragged my hue/saturation control so that the colors would be teal instead.

Like I said, I know it's not for everyone. Personally, I'm absolutely fascinated by images like this. I mean, my brain is processing the fact that I'm looking at a picture of my brain. That's so awesome to me!!

watermelon smoothie

Yesterday was my mom's birthday, and she opted for a nice relaxing day at home instead of doing anything fancy. We stayed in pajamas, played board games and watched a movie. I really love day trips but sometimes it's nice to just stay indoors and take it easy.

This week I'm trying to catch up on absolutely everything because in 12 days I'll be in Disney World! yay! I really can't wait. I say that before every trip but really, I'm looking forward to it so much. I'm also planning a little post about how to pack for a Disney trip, so if that interests you I should have it up this week. Also, that shop my closet update should be coming tomorrow or Wednesday :)

little boxes

The print on this dress is all houses! Isn't that adorable?

I'm having another drawing-a-blank day. I haven't really had the best week so I guess I just have too much on my mind to think of anything to write about. How about pizza? That's a topic that is ALWAYS on my mind when I'm having a bad week. I'm pretty sure that it (and cats and movies) are the only real cures for the blues.

belt - from another dress | lady tie - flapper girl

vacation brain

I have so many exciting trips coming up in the next two months that my brain is already in vacation mode. I just can't wait to be out and about! In about 2 weeks I'll be off to Disney World, then at the end of August my family and I are going to the garlic festival in the Poconos. In late September I'm going back to Disney World for Dapper Day (I started planning my outfit already and I'm so ridiculously excited about it) *and* Kyle asked if I'd want to take a weekend trip to Glacier National Park this fall. Heck, yes! He just got his first job this summer and originally wanted to save up for a truck but he's starting to come around to my way of thinking, that experiences are way more important than tangible items. I obviously love getting dresses but I'd choose a trip over a closet addition any day of the week.

Speaking of closet additions (or I guess subtractions, in this case) I have another shop my closet update coming up soon! I have so many dresses that I've been holding onto for years that I'm really just never going to wear. I've kept them through every shop my closet sale, thinking maybe *someday* I'd wear them. But I just don't. And SO MANY SHOES. I basically live in my bait footwear collection so I don't need the rest, haha. I just need to buckle down and take pictures... probably sometime either by the end of this week or early next week. Stay tuned! :)

dress - c/o oasap | cardigan - forever 21 | shoes - bait footwear
brooch - vintage | scalloped collar - romwe


This month I'm participating in Gala's radical self love july instagram photo challenge, and I'm really enjoying it! I thought I'd share a little round-up of the first two weeks here. I really love some of the pictures I've taken for the challenge - the one of me and Arrietty reading in bed is probably my favorite photo I've ever put on instagram!

day 1 - silly selfie
day 2 - your idol (liz lemon!!)
day 3 - positive grafitti (no grafitti nearby so I chose art instead)
day 4 - your reflection
day 5 - radical self love date
day 6 - your best feature (my brain!)
day 7 - your favorite book
day 8 - draw yourself
day 9 - radical self love meal (fake pizza by everyday is a holiday!)
day 10 - throwback thursday
day 11 - radical self love bible (neil gaiman's make good art speech)
day 12 - what's in your bag
day 13 - no-makeup selfie. I skipped this one because I'm too insecure :\
day 14 - get physical (attempt at a jumping photo)
day 15 - your happy place (I'll be back there in 18 days! wheee!)

It's not too late to join in if you haven't already! I think I might look for some more challenges to do throughout the year, it's really nice to have prompts when you can't think of what to post each day :)

By the way I'm kategabrielle on instagram :)

your fan club shop update!

The first Your Fan Club shop update is live! I added 30 new pins to the shop, most of which were requested on twitter or instagram, so if you requested something take a close look -- it might be in there! :) You can check out all 75+ pins in the store now (!!) here!

polka dots and feathers

Today is one of those days where I really can't think of a thing to write about. The last couple days were wasted on obsessively tracking a lost USPS package (which finally showed up today, hallelujah!) And although it seriously took over my life for a few days, it isn't all that riveting a blog topic. I will say this though -- if you're thinking of starting your own online shop and it involves shipping, be prepared for a TON of shipping related headaches. I swear it's probably the one major cause of stress in my life.

Other than that.. hmm.. I've been watching a ton of Bones while I work. It's in that phase where I've started dreaming about the show because I'm watching it so much. Does that ever happen to you when you binge watch things? It seems to mostly happen to me with dramas, like if I watch a ton of 30 Rock I don't start dreaming about working at NBC (I wish!) but if I'm overdoing it on LOST episodes all of a sudden I'm dreaming about being stuck on an island with a scary smoke monster. Terrific! ;)

sleeve me alone

Look at these sleeves! ahh! I've been obsessed with bell sleeves for a really long time. I remember in middle school I went back to school shopping at Kohls and found this one shirt that I loved so much my mom got it for me in three different colors. It has 3/4 sleeves with big bells on the ends and it came in white, black and red. It's another one of those "why on earth did I get rid of it?!" things. Teenage Kate had no sense of what should be saved and what shouldn't. ugh!

Anyway, this dress more than makes up for losing the shirts. I also recently ordered this one from Emerging Thoughts. It's mint green lace -- be still my heart! I really hope this is a new trend so I can stock up a bit before it disappears into fashion oblivion for another decade.

dress - forever 21 | shoes - asos | necklace - handmade | sunglasses - h&m