Illustrations for Clever Darling

clevermag

A few months ago, Zie asked if I’d be interested in contributing an illustration to her senior thesis project, Clever Darling Magazine. I loved her idea of creating a publication for millennial women, by millennial women with a positive, hard working focus and I love the challenge of editorial illustration, so I said yes. :)

girl-power-1

girl-power-2

girl-power-3

I ended up doing a few spot illustrations for a Girl Power Playlist. I wanted to focus on simple, energetic shapes and use colors that are bright and happy, but not over-the-top feminine. I wanted kind of a rock-n-roll edge, so I experimented with additional textures to rough it up a bit. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out!

The first issue of Clever Darling turned out so so lovely and I’m really happy to be a part of it! Zie hopes to release more issues in the future, so if you’re a writer or artist, keep your eye out for contribution opportunities. xo

OOTD: 9th & Elm

120814_01

120814_04

120814_02

120814_03

120814_05

Peacoat: Target | Dress: Thrifted | Boots: ShoeMint | Earrings: Beqi Clothing
Flower Hair Clip ℅ Republic of Pigtails via 9th & Elm | Silver Moon Ring ℅ Lizabettas via 9th & Elm
Necklace: August AbroadCamera Bag: Poler

I was recently contacted by the good folks at 9th & Elm to see if I’d like to try out their site and share my experiences with you guys in exchange for some free product. They describe themselves as a “flash sale site with the best handmade and independent designers” so I was definitely interested in checking them out. You know the words “handmade” and “independent” are my kryptonite! 

Before agreeing  to work with 9th & Elm, I did a bit of googling to make sure the artists who work with them are happy on their end. I’d hate to review a site, give them business and positive reviews, and then hear that they give their artists a raw deal. I found nothing but positive reviews about their commission rates and how it all works.

When you order from 9th & Elm, the artist ships your package themselves, so it felt just as personal and exciting as when you order from Etsy. Each is packaged and shipped in its own unique way. The super cute flower hair clip and full moon ring from this OOTD have been in constant rotation in my wardrobe since I got them! I also got these leather bangles from Distinctively Chic and this beautiful bow bracelet from Laalee. I love that each artist has their own page on 9th & Elm so you can learn a bit about them and never forget that you’re ordering something handmade and/or indepent.

I’ve had a great experience working with the people at 9th & Elm–they’re even a local-ish business from Columbia, Missouri! Go figure! And while I’m happy with what I got and loved the experience, I must mention that I am a bit concerned about the integrity of some of the items on the site. I wish they were choosier with the artists they work with. Searching through the items, I was reminded of my experience on Etsy lately where I have to wonder “Is this really independently produced/handmade or is it cheap goods from China being slightly modified and resold?” I must also note, though, that I’m already seeing much less of this as I write this blog post than when I was picking out my items a month or two ago. Hopefully as they grow, 9th & Elm will be able to be more savvy and picky about who they choose to work with.

I think a new market is definitely opening up since Etsy seems to be opening the doors for more questionably produced items masquerading as “handmade”. I would love to see 9th & Elm step up to fulfill that role in addition to curating a selection of goods matching their aesthetic, which I think they’re already good at. xo

Disclaimer: This post uses affiliate links to some specifically pictured items that I own and love. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for this site.
*I was given free product in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience.

Get a FREE Holiday Postcard from Creature Type!

xmascard_tag

Last year’s holiday card!

It’s that time of year again! I’m going to be mailing holiday postcards featuring a brand new illustration to friends, family, previous customers, and YOU!

If you want a FREE holiday postcard from yours truly–and to be added to my mailing list for any future illustration postcard promos–please fill out this google form with your mailing address. All addresses will be kept confidential and I promise will only be used to be sent free goodies!

Last year I offered this to everyone, international readers included, but this year I’m keeping my international cards for previous customers only. I wish I could mail one to everyone, but international postage really adds up. :(

Small Business Saturday

Small-Business-Saturday-St-Louis

113014_21

Hi guys! I don’t usually like to make excuses for lapses in blogging–I’d rather continue on with good content when it exists to be shared–but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the grand jury decision in the Mike Brown case pretty much zapped any desire I had to share happy thoughts online last week. Blog posts and instagram photos seemed pretty fucking silly and even insensitive at the time, so I just sat back and tried to be a good ally. Listened. Grieved. Shared the smartest opinions and insights I could find and most importantly, spoke up in situations where victims wouldn’t feel safe to.

While I’m reserving my anger for the corrupt police system and the real victims in this situation, I still mourn the losses of local businesses to rioters and want to help rebuild any way I can. This year’s Small Business Saturday felt especially important to me, so I wanted to share the little tour I took of my favorite STL shows and shops.

rock-and-roll-craft-show

113014_01 113014_02 113014_05 113014_06 113014_07 113014_08 113014_09 113014_10

My first stop was the Rock and Roll Craftshow! This local favorite has been rockin’ for 11 years and is the second biggest handmade shopping event in the area after Strange Folk Festival. The show is curated by organizers department store style, so shoppers collect all their goodies at their leisure and check out at the end all in one stop. It’s always a really fun, inspirational show–I feel like I always discover new makers and artists and am constantly seeing things that make me go “OMG! Why didn’t I think of making that?!” Unique items like swings made from old skateboard decks, tea wallets, handmade cat toys, clever upcycled jewelry… the list is miles long.

113014_11 113014_12 113014_13

If you’ve been following the protests and riots in the STL area, the second neighborhood you’ve probably been hearing about (besides Ferguson), is South Grand/Shaw. There was a second shooting there in early October that brought similar feelings and desires to protest, so it’s become another hotspot for protesting activity–this also means that sometimes things get out hand, people get angry, and shit goes down.

I have a few friends with shops on South Grand, so that was my next stop. Thankfully, broken windows were the worst they had to deal with–besides fear of the rowdy crowds on their doorsteps. Wonderful volunteers have been painting and beautifying the boarded up windows all week–how cute is the little dress form mural at Parsimonia?! My favorite vintage shop still looked adorable and lively on the inside, just a little more dark and cozy. :)

113014_14

Autumn at the Upcycle Exchange is a creative genius always and decided to turn her boarded up, broken windows into a faux food truck! You could buy coffee, warm cookies, or make a $10 donation and get one of each, plus a $5 gift card! Is that not the best?

113014_15 113014_16 113014_17 113014_18 113014_19 113014_20

My last shopping stop of the day was West County Mall to finally check out the new Foundrie location! You guys. It is so pretty. And sparkly. You’d never know it used to be a Claire’s. UPGRADE!

I hope you guys are using Cyber Monday to not just score some sweet deals at big box stores, but throwing some love to small businesses, too. Plenty of amazing artists are running promos on Etsy–get out there and try to throw some money at some hard-working people who really deserve it!

Also, I tried to throw in lots of helpful links if you’re interested in learning more about the situation in STL and why people are so riled up. It’s weird to live here right now and I’m feeling so many feelings. I’m frustrated at our present but optimistic for our future and happy so many people are sharing my feelings of anger, but also of generosity and hope. Black lives matter. xo

FF38: EyeglassDiscounter.com

FridayFaves

discount-eyeglasses-ff38

1. Kate Spade Amara/S Jaz Sunglasses $199.00
2. Geek V.O. 2 Red Glasses $80.00
3. Kate Spade Demi/F FB1 Havana/Teal Glasses $199.00
4. U.S. Eyewear Scholar Series Boston Green Glasses $30.00 $15.00!
5. Geek 201 Black/Silver Glasses $80.00
6. Heart-Shaped Sunglasses with Mirror Coated Lenses $15.00
7. Leopard Cateye Glasses $19.99
8. Suzanne Midnight Tortoise Sunglasses $30.00
9. Modern Optical Harper Blue/Purple Glasses $40.00
10. Academic P2031 Leopard Glasses $28.99

I was recently contacted by EyeglassDiscounter.com to see if I’d be interested in sharing their products with you. We all know I have a serious thing for discount glasses and I’m obsessed with hunting for the perfect pairs online. After checking them out, I said yes pretty immediately!

Eyeglass Discounter has been operating as a family owned and operated business since 1982. They have a fantastic inventory of designer eyeglasses and sunglasses including frames from Kate Spade, Ray-Ban, and Tiffany & Co. I love how easy it is to use their drop-down menus to select your prescription, anti-reflective options, lens materials, and more–it makes it easy to track how expensive your glasses will end up being. That’s sometimes a nasty surprise for me after entering my strong prescription!

It was easy for me to pick 10 of my favorite designs! I looove all the colors that are available. They have a great sampling of basically any shade you might want.

They’ve been a great brand to interact and work with! If that’s any indication of their level of customer service, I expect nothing but friendly helpfulness when ordering your frames or sunglasses.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post paid for by EyeglassDiscounter.com

Drawn: Amanda & Will

Amanda_LoRes

I was so happy when my friend Amanda (who blogs at Little Lady Little City), contacted me about making a family portrait for her home. Amanda and Will are a damn fine looking couple with adorable cats, so they were super fun to draw! :)

Amanda was pretty straight forward with what she wanted. Her only design request was that I try to incorporate the stone wall feature from their new home. It ended up making a really fun background texture that was a blast to work on.

Nashville Weekend

Nashville_02

I FINALLY drove down to Nashville, Tennessee for a visit last weekend! Nashville is only about 4.5 hours from St. Louis, so it’s a fairly easy drive and I’ve wanted to check out this fun town with a reputation for good music, good people, and a flourishing local food scene.

I was hoping my first visit would be to sell at Porter Flea, but our schedules just don’t seem to be cooperating. I’ve already had plans on the dates for the last three! This summer, though. I feel it. Summer 2015 is my time!

Nashville_03

I headed down on Friday just in time to meet Lauren and Jenna at Pinewood Social for dinner. This was a total dream come true–Lauren and Jenna aren’t just two of my all-time favorite bloggers, but adorable, lovely humans who I want to be BFF with. They were so sweet and hospitable, willing to meet me wherever and even offered me a place to stay. It felt like chatting with old friends over awesome food and drinks. We had a blast and I can’t wait to hang out again!

Nashville_01

Nashville_05

Nashville_06

For the rest of the weekend, I stayed with Kelsea, my dear friend and former college room mate. She and her boyfriend recently moved to Nashville from Florida and while I was a bit bummed to lose an excuse to fly down to warmer temperatures, Nashville is MUCH closer and a way cooler town, so I’m pretty excited. :) Saturday was her birthday and we went to Localfest, sampled some beer and food trucks, ate hot chicken(duh) and too much birthday cake, and best of all, got to see Jenny Lewis at Marathon Music Works! I’ve loved her and Rilo Kiley for years, but never saw either of them live, so I was completely thrilled. She was amazing and played a fantastic set list.

Nashville_04

It was a perfect weekend. I love taking little road trips across the midwest–is Nashville officially considered the South? Probably. It’s fun to laugh at silly roadside attractions, marvel at the sheer amount of Christian and Country radio stations this country is able to sustain, eat bad road food, learn about local cultural quirks, and visit new friends. xo

Drawn: Girl Gang

girlgang2

I’m sure the whole girl gang thing is quickly approaching “played out” status, but I still can’t seem to get enough. I love the idea of rowdy broads proudly banding together to have fun, cause mischief, and not give 2 fucks what any dude thinks. That’s what it means most to me.

This drawing I made a couple years ago continues to be popular and I wanted to make a kind of valentine card version of it. :)

girlgang-card-1

You can buy one on Etsy here! xo

FF37: Sporty Style

varsity_ff37

I feel like varsity jackets and sports wear inspired pieces show up every few years and I’m always kind of “meh” about the whole thing. I’m not athletic in the least and usually feel like a big phony wearing anything that remotely suggests otherwise. And normcore? Barf.

I see sporty happening in a larger way this year. Lately I’m feeling drawn to simple varsity stripe details on sweatshirts and pants and fun urban-meets-athlete crop tops and pencil skirts. I’ve been feeling less like a phony and more like I’m enjoying a tongue-in-cheek, ironic reference to how un-sporty I am. I was trying to channel those vibes at Fashion Week.

Who knows, but for whatever reason I’ve found myself typing “varsity” into the search bar of my favorite online shops. Ain’t mad about it.

1. Varsity Cropped Sweatshirt // Love Culture
2. Over the Knee Knit Socks // ASOS
3. Scuba Knit Varsity Jacket // Forever 21
4. Sporty Pencil Skirt // Anthology via Shoptiques
5. Buttoned-Back Varsity Sweater // Forever 21
6. Milly Sporty Trim Jogger // BooHoo
7. Mia Zip Front Stripe Trim Bralet // BooHoo
8. Metallic Varsity Striped Leggings // Forever 21
9. Tennis Skirt // American Apparel

Disclaimer: This post uses affiliate links to some specifically pictured items that I love. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for this site.

Review: Bandelettes

Bandelettes_1

I was contacted a few months ago by Bandelettes to see if I’d like to review a pair of their thigh bands. I was really excited for the opportunity–Bandelettes have been on my radar for years! I really took my time putting this post together because I know they’ve gotten a lot of blog coverage and I wanted to make sure I really used them and developed an opinion that was worth sharing.

If you’ve never heard of them, Bandelettes are thigh bands designed to stay put and give you comfort and protection against inner-thigh chafing. I’m always hunting for good ways to thwart the dreaded chub rub and I love their simple, sexy design. They look like the tops of thigh-high stockings (you could even layer them over said stockings to hold them up better!) or the bottoms of lacy shorts, so they can be used to make a fashion statement. I love that Bandelettes take a practical clothing item that might make some people embarrassed to wear and turn them into a daring accessory.

Bandelettes1

I’ve read a few blog reviews of Bandelettes that recommended sizing down because they tend to stretch while wearing. Their sizes break down based on thigh measurement. I decided to go with the smallest size, but unfortunately that was a little too cautious. They did stretch a bit, but this size was too tight on me and the edges rolled up too much. My poor thigh looked like a chunk of meat tied up in butcher’s twine! Haha.

The customer service at Bandelettes has been nothing but super helpful, kind, and attentive through the whole process. They assured me from the get-go that I could exchange for a better size, so I only felt a little guilty sizing up. The next larger size ended up being just what I needed!

Bandelettes_drawing

Here’s my only issue with Bandelettes. I think the practicality of these thigh bands really depend on the shape of your legs and where your thighs touch. I decided to try and illustrate this rather than take super awkward photos haha.

Because I have a large butt, the Bandelettes sit lower on my legs than where my thighs actually rub together. My thighs touch right below my crouch, so in order to cover that area with the thigh bands, I have to hitch them up in a weird way that makes them roll easier than if my thighs touched lower down my legs or if I had a smaller butt. Does this make sense?

Even with this weird positioning, I still enjoyed the Bandelettes and was able to make them work. I just think they weren’t being used totally properly. When I tried to wear them lower–the way I think they’re intended–they stayed put really well, but when I pulled them up to cater to my specific body, I had to do some adjusting.

Bandelettes_2

If worn daily, I’m sure there would be substantial pilling on the fabric. The wear and tear on mine has been minimal and I’m very satisfied with the quality, though. I often wear a pair of tight black shorts (think short leggings) under skirts and dresses during the summer to help with chafing and those poor things are BEAT so it’s only natural to expect that kind of wear on thigh bands. Plus, the grip bands around the top and bottom of the Bandelettes that prevent slipping are very comfortable and easy to ignore while wearing.

Bottom line: I wear my Bandelettes during more formal events or with thigh-high stockings. I like the way they look and make me feel, but they’re not the most practical for my personal day-to-day wear. If you’re interested in way to overcome chub rub, I definitely recommend giving these a try! See how they work for your body, but if you’re shaped like me, be warned of the potential issues.

*I was given free product in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and based on my personal experience.
*Photos courtesy Bandelettes. Illustration by me. :)