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.

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 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.

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

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

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

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 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.