.
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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a perfect little universe


Can you believe these were made out of cereal boxes?! The images are from A Field Journal, where the author has created what I think is a completely perfect universe made from vellum, cardboard and paint. Pink trees, pink houses, glittery snow... sigh... as long as the family in the yellow house doesn't have a noisy lawnmower, can I move in immediately? ;-D

cool cats go tanning


My fat cat Chloe using my work table as a tanning bed, and my light as a heat lamp. I swear, live with cats and you will never find yourself bored! :)

sunshine on a cloudy day


dress - modcloth
turtleneck - kohls
shoes - target
necklace - modcloth

I'm currently living in the weekend from Hell and thought if I got dressed and did my makeup it might make me feel a bit happier. It's working a little so far, except for the fact that I don't like how my eyeliner came out today.. oh well! I think it doesn't help that it's been miserable outside all week. Afternoon is almost as dark as night, it's so cloudy!

On the bright side, I'm wearing one of my very favorite dresses .. the puddle jumping dress from Modcloth. I didn't expect it to work on me since I'm a bit top-heavy, but I really like it! I think with the turtleneck it has a bit of a 70's look to it, something I've actually been liking a bit more lately! I never thought I'd say that, but certain aspects of 1970's fashion have been appealing to me. Don't get me wrong.. the polyester suits, awful sideburns and bright orange crocheted jumpers are still repulsive to me, but some things like trenches with fur collars, big floppy hats and mini dresses with tall suede boots, seem pretty cool..

dream list #2


a. It's named after one of my favorite movies
b. that stars Dirk Bogarde, no less!
c. The amazing sixtiesness of it gives me goosebumps
d. just, wow.

The only problem is that it's about $50 more than I can spend on a dress that I couldn't wear all the time, and I'm carrying about 20 pounds too many to pull it off properly. However, I kind of think that taping a photo of this dress to my fridge would be incentive enough to finally shed the extra weight ;-D

ps. the lovely tape clipart is from Pugly Pixel

dream list #1


My dream list is comprised of things that I will not be getting for Christmas. My parents' budget for me and my brother is $100, so a $135 camera is not going to show up under our tree, lol. But nevertheless I love window shopping online, and I'm bound to come across some pretty awesome stuff that I desperately want but either can't afford or don't want to buy because it would just be unnecessary clutter when we're downsizing to move -- so I'm sharing those things with you :)

This camera is just beyond amazing! It's called the Spinner 360', and although I first saw it on Fred Flare, it's actually cheaper on Amazon (of course.) I've become a lot more interested in photography since I got my own point and shoot last year, and yet the more I use it, the more I long for the good old days of film and unexpected shots. As a kid I always loved the excitement of going to pick up our processed photos. And now when I look through our old photos, the candid ones that we shot on real film are always much more endearing and interesting than the ones that we had to set up 8 times before finally getting the perfect shot on our digital cameras. This particular camera, I think, would be a nice first step back into the world of film. It's not a conventional 35mm, so my shots wouldn't even be remotely simliar to the ones I'd be taking with my digital camera. And I think that the panoramic ratio makes you feel like you're back in the moment when you look at the photo.

Ok, I actually better stop there.. I need to stop talking myself into buying this! That wasn't the point ;-D

ps. the lovely tape clipart is from Pugly Pixel

black friday discount round-up


I'm sure you already know I'm a big shopper & a sucker for sales & deals. SO I really ❥ Black Friday! Here's a list of some of the deals I either couldn't pass up, or had a very hard time passing up! But skip to it if you want to do some purchasing, a lot of these deals end when the clock strikes 12! :)

The Oatmeal - 50% off posters and prints (I got the "How to Pet a Cat" poster)
Fred Flare - Free shipping on any size order w/code GIFTED
Modcloth - a 25% off sale section & free shipping over $75
She Draws - 29% off with code 29DAYS (I got the Cedric card set)
The Blue Balloon - 10% off with code NOVEMBER2010
Forever 21 - Mark-downs & free shipping over $50 (I got.. a lot)
Charlotte Russe - 25-50% off everything!
Miniature Rhino - 20% off with code PUMPKIN
TopShop - 20% off selected jeans, dresses, jackets & coats
Perpetual Kid - 15% off everything!
Tickette - 10% off with code HOLIDAY2010
Karmaloop - 25% off + free shipping over $60 w/code BLACKOUT
Target - lots of sales, but my favorite are the cute rainboots, 40% off!
Ruche - Mark downs, up to 50% off
Tulle - 50% off entire site + free shipping!
Spotted Moth - 25% off your entire order w/code BLACK
ASOS- free worldwide shipping & mark-downs up to 70% off

And please excuse the horn-tooting here but there's one more awesome Black Friday sale -- mine! Everything in my Flapper Doodle shop is 50% off with the code HALFOFF.

Happy shopping!! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!


^Awesome postcard that came in my Tofurky box this year :)

I hope everyone's having a fantastic Thanksgiving! Mine is pretty :-p this year, mainly just because I had to work my behind off getting my shop ready for Black Friday, and partially because in my home Thanksgiving just means lots of food & bickering relatives. My great aunt & my grandmother do not get along, and spend the entire afternoon arguing about the price of bananas, what street a distant relative grew up on, or whether or not my aunt's slight cough is a sure sign of impending death. It's not very fun.

However, I am thankful to have a home to eat in, a family to eat with and food on the table. Bickering relatives might annoy me, but I'm still thankful I have them. And I'd much rather be home preparing my online shop for Black Friday than working at a convenience store that stayed open today. My life isn't much fun, and I usually have a pretty sour disposition, but especially today I'm reminded that things could always be worse, and I'm lucky to have what I have.

Happy Birthday Raquelle!!


Happy Birthday to a fellow girl-of-many-blogs, Raquelle of Out of the Past-A Classic Film Blog, Thoughtful Eating and Quelle's Thoughts! Many happy returns of the day! :-)

my name is kate...



...and I am a shopaholic. I think it's pretty much a fact. I went on Modcloth's website today to print a return label for a dress I ordered with my birthday money last week, and somehow I ended up buying 4 other dresses in the process! I had a good weekend on etsy, and I'm pretty much caught up on my bills (cough.. don't ask me about my income taxes.. cough) so I thought, what the heck? Who cares if I only leave the house like once a week, usually to go to the post office or grocery store.. of course I need four more dresses!

Anyway, as long as I'm keeping Modcloth in business I thought it could work both ways -- I signed up as an affiliate now, so if you're ever in the mood to peruse their site (with an intention to buy!) I'd super duper appreciate it if you'd use the link over there on the right sidebar -----> so that they know I sent you their way! :-)

ps. the lovely tape clipart is from Pugly Pixel

messy



dress - my closet (no idea about it's original origin!)
cardigan - old navy
tights - k-mart

Thanks to the etsy finds email on Saturday, which featured a print set from my flapper doodle shop, I was completely swamped with orders this weekend! :D It was my most successful weekend since I opened my shop in May 2009, with more orders than my tiny brain can even comprehend!! I am tickled pink about it! It also accounts for why my room is so awfully messy... I'm not exactly the most organized person (although the pictures I've posted of my clean room might suggest otherwise) especially when it comes to packing orders. I'm a total mess!! I have so much paper to cut down, labels to peel off and envelopes to seal that my room just turns into a certified disaster area!

Anyway, since I really have to buckle down & work today like I haven't worked any day before, I decided to get dressed and treat it like a real job. It's not exactly my most flattering outfit, and makes me look a bit dumpy, but it's the most comfortable dress I own and it's actually a lot cuter in person.

So.. lunch break in 20 minutes, and then it's non-stop shipping until my work is finished! Thanks to everyone who sent me messages to let me know I was in the e-mail, and to everyone who ordered this weekend! It was seriously like a little entrepreneurial fairy tale :)

grapefruit jackpot



Last night my dad did the grocery shopping late, and got home around 10:30pm. While we were all putting away the groceries, he happened to mention in passing that my grapefruit juice had been on sale 40% off.

It was like one of those moments on tv when you can hear the screeching halt of a record, as everything comes to a standstill. FORTY PERCENT OFF??? And here's the rub: it was a Saturday night -- the night that all weekly sales END.

With scarcely 40 minutes until closing time and my grandmom's Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket, we sped off to the grocery store to buy up their remaining stock of grapefruit juice before it climbed back up to it's outrageous price of $4.99 per bottle. They only had six bottles left on the shelf, so we loaded those into the cart & got rain checks for 16 more. But that, my friends, was not enough.

With now 15 minutes until closing, we got in line at the store behind a lady with a jam-packed cart who wanted to pay for her order with two separate cards, but couldn't find either in her purse. When we finally got back in the car, we had a mere 10 minutes to get to the other grocery store down the street.

My dad pulled up in front of the store at 11:58PM, I hopped out, grabbed a cart and zoomed over to the doors, only to find they had locked them two minutes early! As I stood there, I stared in disbelief, recounting the small things I could have done differently to have made it in time. Getting in line BEFORE the slow lady, checking out on my own while my dad got the rain checks instead of standing there with him, even putting on the shoes that were laying near the front door instead of running upstairs to my room to grab my favorite pair .. any of these things could have guaranteed me more grapefruit juice.

Just as I was about to give up all hope, a man came out the store and let me squeeze my cart in through the exit door! I WAS IN! I rushed past the manager who yelled "we're closing in two minutes!", skidded into the juice aisle and threw nine more bottles into the cart before leaving, the last customer in the store.

If anyone has ever doubted my commitment to, and obsession with grapefruit juice, I dare you to continue your disbelief. DARE YOU! ;-D

ps. When you work from home and live in a boring suburban town, this is the height of adventure!

christmas dress


Despite the fact that everyone else in my family wears either comfy pajamas and socks or leisure suit pants with a Christmas themed sweatshirt on December 25th, I always see it as a day to dress up. I'm totally out of place, but I enjoy getting to wear something spiffy instead of my normal boring around-the-house clothes. And yesterday when I saw this dress at Forever 21, I just had to get it for Christmas Day! It's perfect. If it fits, I'll post pictures when it arrives :)

carnaby street


Definitely not my best treasury, but I think it's fun anyway :) Dedicated to the-place-to-be in 60's swinging London! The whole time I was making it, I couldn't get the song from Smashing Time out of my head..

optimism


I just bought this print from one of my very favorite etsy artists, Heidi Burton. Her work is incredibly playful and optimistic, but not in that cheeky, annoying way that a lot of optimistic artwork is (I'm looking at you, Keep Calm posters.) I already own a few of her prints, and they never fail to make me smile! This one is my favorite :) And as someone who tends to be on the glass-half-empty side of things, I think that looking at this new print each morning will help me to actually be excited about getting out of bed and starting another day.

warm and toasty


I was feeling particularly freezing tonight, bundled up in two sweatshirts with fingerless mittens in front of my computer, so I decided to put together a little treasury to make me think warm thoughts. If you're feeling particularly chilly as well, perhaps this will help you too! :)

you'll need no castles in Spain



It's autumn in New York.. and New Jersey. I opened my front door this morning and WHAM! our tree seemed to have magically turned bright orange overnight! I still need my castles in Spain, because New Jersey isn't exactly paradise, but autumn does make the garbage/sewage scent a little bit sweeter ;-p

Julie Christie

Last one for now, I promise. I've been under the weather the last week (yup, even on my birthday) and sitting on my bed with my laptop making tribute videos is a great way to while away the time and take my mind off of my stupid stuffy nose. Anyway... I've been making this one in my head for a long time and finally put it together yesterday. It's a wee bit long, but I think it's my best one yet. I've been wanting to do a video set to "If There is Something" for ages. I just love how it has three distinct parts and really wanted to choreograph a video to match. I think it came out pretty nice :)

Julie Christie is totally amazing, and I think that even if you hit the play button with the intention of only watching a few seconds, you'll find yourself watching the whole thing, just because she is so mesmerizing.

Whenever I look up, there you will be. And whenever you look up, there I shall be.

My tribute to Far From the Madding Crowd, one of the most beautiful, poetic movies ever filmed. Set to Marianne Faithfull's "Fare Thee Well."

ode to stany

Barbara Stanwyck --Stany-- is my all-time favorite actress. I love all of her films, but especially her early 1930's roles when she was just overflowing with emotion and energy, and her late 30's/early 40's masterpieces like Meet John Doe, Christmas in Connecticut, The Lady Eve and My Reputation. She was completely natural, and yet slides so easily into different characters that you forget that she's playing a part. She was a favorite among directors for delivering practically perfect scenes in the first take, and for always being prompt and totally up to speed on her lines. She was skilled, but made it seem spontaneous -- able to drop a tear on cue, jump and slide into a perfect split or perfect the art of flapjack flipping on camera. You may not call her your number one favorite, as I do, but there's no denying the girl had talent.

So here's my tribute to my favorite actress, set to Goldfrapp's tune "Happiness."

The ballad of Lucy Jordan

New etsy treasury I put together, inspired by the Marianne Faithfull song "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan." It's an incredibly wonderful, (and heartbreaking) song.. if you haven't heard it, here's the link to listen on youtube.

I also made this one today, with no theme whatsoever except for the colors and awesomeness of each individual photo/drawing.

my birthday, part II



For my costume party, I dressed up as Scully from The X-Files. My mom was "Kate's Mummy" and wrapped herself up in toilet paper to look like a mummy, lol! My dad was "asleep" and came with a blanket wrapped around himself, and a pillow attached to the back of his head! My brother was a crippled railfanning Santa (don't ask) and my grandmom was a zombie. Here's how I decorated:


We had SOOO much food! I made two kinds of potato salad (German and normal with mayo), two bean salad, celery sticks with dip & peanut butter and fruit salad that I served inside carved-out grapefruits made to look like Jack-O-Lanterns!


And for lunch I made a recipe that I saw in Parade the week before Halloween, for hot dogs wrapped up in crescent dough to look like mummies! Most of my family had turkey dogs, and me and my dad had Smart Dogs. I usually can't stand vegetarian hot dogs, but these actually came out surprisingly good! Since they were cooked in the oven they weren't as mushy as they usually are.


The day started off kind of bad, with my dad having to do some spur-of-the-moment work to pay a last minute bill, and my grandmom & mom getting VERY hungry and anxious waiting for him to finish so we could eat. But once we started eating & playing games, all was well :)

my birthday, part I


dress- modcloth
olive tights- target
cardigan- f21
belt- old navy
coat- diane von furstenberg

So, to begin with, this is what I wore today! I bought the dress from Modcloth a few months ago, and haven't worn it yet. But everytime I went into my closet I looked at it and thought "birthday dress!" Just look at how amazingly intricate the top is!


That's all embroidered & cut out. I adore it! Also, it was pretty chilly today so I got to wear my new favorite coat :)


We drove into Princeton and got Panera for lunch. I got my favorite, a tomato & mozzarella on ciabatta, without the cheese, and an iced green tea. Stupendous!


Then my parents stayed at Panera for a while & me and my brother walked over to Princeton Record Exchange where I spent a good two hours sitting on the floor going through their discount albums. I ended up getting 24 records! They were all $1 each with one exception, and I just couldn't narrow it down. Some Dean Martin, Nancy Wilson, Pete Seeger, Cleo Laine, lots of soundtrack albums, and a really neat Warner Brothers collection. Also a really cool 60's dance album that I bought just because the cover was so pretty (that'll have to be another post.. I forgot to take a photo)


When we were paying the guy behind the counter complimented my hairdo which kind of made my day ;-D

Then I really just wanted to go home and nap (see, I'm getting old.) so we came home for about two hours before going out for dinner. I got to lay down for a while and get cozy with my cat, which at my age is kind of a pathetic favorite pastime but we'll just let that slide.

After cat nap time (haha.. get it?) we went to Olive Garden for dinner. I swear they have the nicest waiters there! Every time we go we get the nicest people! Anyway, I got capellini pomodoro and chocolate mousse with zeppoli for dessert, and a vanilla Italian soda as the drink. Although, it was too syrupy so I gave it to my brother who could eat raw sugar for breakfast lunch and dinner & not think it was too sweet.


I love that every year I spend a day out with my family. We rarely go out anymore because my parents' finances are kind of on the down-swing, so it's nice to get one day each year to just be extravagant (yes, my definition of extravagant is record shopping, Panera and Olive Garden.) Now my real birthday is tomorrow, and I've got one more tradition up my sleeve. Every year since I was 18 we've been having a kids birthday party with my mom, dad, brother and grandmom. We wear our pajamas and play board games, pin the tail on the unicorn (yup, not donkey), have balloon floating contests and more. We each paint a picture on my birthday, too, always on an 11x14 canvas so that eventually I can have an entire wall filled with artwork from my family on each of my birthdays.

This year I'm having a Halloween costume party, and I can't wait to see what everyone is dressing up as! I'm going as Scully from The X-Files. I made an FBI badge, bought a blazer & white button up shirt & painted a water gun black for effect. I already have the red hair, so it should be pretty cool. I'll take pictures and share that tomorrow! :D

day dreaming


No theme to this one except that I love everything in it :) A lot of the items came from my etsy favorites and if I had the extra $$ it'd all be MINE! :-D

these booties were made for walking


60's mod dresses for little girls. *dies*

Kids aren't in my plans for another 10 years or so, but my goodness I hope this etsy seller is still around then to help me fashion a little twiggy-esque daughter :)

we are star stuff


I can't even begin to describe how much I adore Carl Sagan. I'm a huge fan of his Cosmos series, and probably learned more from watching it than I did during my 12 years of science classes in school. He had such a passion for science and history that you couldn't help but be fascinated by the subjects yourself. In fact, if I wasn't so awfully backwards when it comes to math I'd be ditching the pencils & brushes and picking up a telescope this instant. I wish so badly I could spend my life contemplating the universe, looking at the stars and following in Carl Sagan's footsteps.

come september


New etsy treasury :) This one is inspired by the Rock Hudson & Gina Lollobrigida film Come September. (if you haven't seen it yet you're totally missing out!) That wedding dress in the top left corner makes me rethink my dreams of elopement ;-) Or maybe I'll just elope in a gorgeous white wiggle wedding dress! hmm..

3 minutes of awesomeness



After I rediscovered the song Ooh La La yesterday, and kept playing it on repeat over and over, images of the coolness that is Dirk Bogarde started running through my mind to the beat of the tune. Soooo I made a new tribute video! I'll be the first to admit the song & subject seem like an odd match but I think it works. And I know I usually don't cross-post things from my film blogs here but I was so darn excited about this that I just had to. Forgive? ;-)

*The awesomeness in my title refers to Dirk Bogarde, not the video.. although I'm not saying the video itself isn't awesome as well ;-)

ooh la la



In love with this song.. It reminds me a bit of T-Rex, who I actually don't really like, but mainly because their sound is kind of high pitched and Goldfrapp has more bass, so it's like a T-Rex that my ears approve of ;-)

creative self confidence in the internet age


Artists are notoriously either super-confident and egotistical (hi, there Dali!) or painfully insecure in their work and talent.

For those of us in the latter category, the internet can be remarkably encouraging or dreadfully soul-crushing. First you have the fact that there are definitely going to be at least 1,000 artists who are 1,000 times more talented and creative than you are (see the above illustration by the 1,000-times-more-talented-than-I artist Gemma Correll) who get 1,000 comments and favorites on every new drawing they post. They'll have fan bases and powerful bloggers who drool over their latest work. You won't be jealous, but you'll ogle at their greatness and wish that you had one inkling of the talent and raw creative magnetism that they hold.

Putting that aside, though, there's also the fact that almost every single website on which you can post the fruits of your creative labor will have some sort of feedback system. Below your post, viewers will have the option to favorite, comment, retweet, reblog, like, digg, stumble, unlike and heart. There's a world of feedback just waiting to be tapped into each time you decide to share your creations with the world. Knowing of those possibilities makes the dead silence ache even more. Of all the websites, Flickr, to me, is the worst because it tallies up the views for you whether you want them there or not (believe me, I've tried to get rid of them.) One, twenty, forty, two hundred. Two hundred people have viewed, and not one has offered an inkling of support. To the perpetually insecure person with the active imagination you can literally see these phantom viewers in your mind's eye, turning their noses up at you and shaking their heads in disbelief that someone as untalented, as horribly unsuited to the creative professions as YOU would dare to post their artwork in public. They click on, presumably hoping to find a picture of a fluffy cat in a funny situation that will help rid their memory of your appalling creation.

Twitter and facebook aren't quite as bad because you can imagine that every single person who follows you is out to dinner at the exact moment that you post your tweet or status update. They aren't snubbing you or ignoring your desperate pleas for someone, anyone!, to click and view your product of hours and hours of painstaking work. They're simply not there to see it. And by the time they do return, hundreds of other people have tweeted or updated and pushed your cries out of the way. But nevertheless, the silence hurts. You could have had all the confidence in the world before hitting that publish button, but once the damage is done you find yourself over-analyzing your work and questioning whether or not it was ever good to begin with.

If Van Gogh were around today, he'd suffer from the same ignorance as he did in his time, only now he would be ignored by the typing masses instead of the art critics. Or maybe both. Painting at least once a day, he'd upload painting after painting -- probably joining the daily painters group on flickr in an attempt to get noticed -- but the comments would not come. In a fit of desperation, he'd tape himself cutting off his ear, and post the video on youtube, with a link to his etsy shop, just in case. But his reckless attempt to get attention would still go unnoticed. He'd watch in horror as the view count went up on his video, but still nobody commented!

Wallowing in despair and self pity, he'd check himself into a mental institution and spend the rest of his days creating wild, vibrant paintings of the facebook like button.

good life polaroid commercials





I was searching on youtube for Peter Dawson's recording of The Bandolero (don't ask) and saw one of these in the related video list on the side. They're Polaroid commercials featuring Felicity Kendall & Richard Briers from The Good Life (aka Good Neighbors). It's like getting 60 extra seconds of my favorite tv show! And the fact that they're promoting one of the most awesome products ever just makes it that much cooler.

the truth is out there


When I was a teenager, I was *obsessed* with The X-Files. I had the "I Want to Believe" poster in my bedroom, Scully & Mulder action figures and I published an alien newsletter that my friends pretended to read. It wasn't until last month that it dawned on me that I could re-watch the entire series on dvd now. (I know, sometimes things take a little while to click.) So a few weeks ago I started Season 1, and I've been plowing through at least 2 episodes a day ever since -- sometimes 6 or 7 if I have a lot of work to do at my computer one day, and I can keep the episodes going repeatedly in the corner of my screen.

While it's totally revived my obsession, watching the show does have its drawbacks. Each little noise at night is definitely an animal/human mutant stalking me from behind a door. The raccoons that cross my path on my nightly walk are genetically engineered in the preschool nearby (that's just posing as a preschool, it's really a secret military hospital for strange experiments), and my irritating cough is actually an alien virus transmitted through my tainted tap water. The show can really get into your brain!!

Anyway, I put together this etsy treasury as an ode to the show. And yes, I was watching The X-Files while I made it ;-D

our daughters' daughters will adore us



They didn't fight so we could sit at home on Election Day. Go vote! :)

pleasant surprises


Surprises don't happen to me very often, much less pleasant ones. I plan my own birthday parties because I'm always afraid my family would forget to do something for me. I rarely win when I play the lottery, and I hardly ever find an extra bottle of grapefruit juice hiding in the back of the cabinet when rummaging through our pantry in a fit of desperation. And so -- when I do get a surprise -- it tends to make me 10x happier than your average surprised person.

This was the case when I got the mail yesterday. I'd ordered "Don't Look Now" on Amazon in September after seeing the movie & loving it. I purchased the cheapest copy I could find, then sat back patiently and waited for it to arrive.. which it didn't. After a month and a half had passed, I contacted the seller and they shipped me a replacement. Lo and behold when it finally arrived I found that it's the movie copy of the book! My favorite film related thing to collect is movie-tie-in-books. Honestly! And I didn't even know that that's what this was! GAH! I'm so giddy about this it's kind of ridiculous, but really.. what a fantastic surprise! :D

would you like a pretzel too? - november's playlist



My birthday is this month, so I had to include my family's favorite birthday song, by Altered Images. It's a family tradition that someone in the house has to have the record playing when the birthday person is coming downstairs in the morning. None of us have ever missed a birthday, ever! When I was little I always thought they said "would you like a pretzel too" in the lyrics, so that's the way we sing it now :)