Doin’ Work.

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This has been the landscape of my nights and weekends since we got back from vacation. For once in my life, I’m trying to build up a big stockpile of handmade stuff rather than have stressful rushes of work the week before a big show. I’m adding all kind of new goodies to my shop this month–coin purses, tote bags, pillows, and new jewelry! It’s so fun and exciting to try new things and freshen up my displays.

I’m hoping that getting all my sewing and really hands-on work out of the way will give me longer stretches of times to concentrate on adding more paper goods to the shop. More designs for prints, postcards, and greeting cards. Will this be the year I finally get my shit together and make some Christmas cards? I can only hope. 0:) Wish me luck! xo

100 Etsy Sales!

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This week I finally reached the exciting milestone of 100 sales on Etsy! To celebrate and say thanks to everyone who has ever bought anything from my little ol’ shop, you can use the code “YAY100″ through September for 25% off any order! :) Click here to shop!

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In 2008 I opened my Etsy shop with a single postcard on sale for $2. Haha, my shop stayed pretty vacant until 2012, but traffic and sales have been growing steadily over the past year. I’m really proud of my progress and it’s a goal of mine to really ramp up my activity on Etsy in 2015. I’ve never had more than 20 listings at one time and I have a few new prints that I just haven’t gotten around to photographing. Also, it can be difficult for me to stay organized enough to realize which pieces of jewelry I have listed and which I’ve already accidentally sold at a craft show. Oops!

OOTD: Late Summer

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Shirt: Target | Shorts: Thrifted | Kimono Shawl: Victrola Designs | Boots: Shoe Mint | Bag: Vintage Coach| Necklace: H&M

I really dislike that these sheer, drapey shawl-like jackets that everyone is so into lately have been dubbed “kimonos”. Sure, you can’t deny the shape is a bit kimono-inspired, but they are not kimonos. I’m sure this is just the curmudgeonly complain of a nerd who’s a little too passionate about Japanese things, but still. Grumble grumble.

Although I cringe every time I refer to it as such, I’m obsessed with this “kimono”. I picked it up from Blue Bird Apparel a few months ago and it’s made by the local Victrola Designs. It’s the perfect fabric, print, length, weight, and even has some fun fringe! It’s a great light jacket to throw on now that we’re experiencing some chilly late-summer nights. How bittersweet!

And how fucking fantastic are these boots?! I won a Shoe Mint giveaway last month and knew immediately that these babies would be mine. I have a feeling they’ll be my new go-to this autumn. :)

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Voting is officially underway for the St. Louis Fashion Blogger Awards! Thanks to you guys, I scored four nominations this year! Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read my blog at all, not to mention go out of their way to be so supportive! If you’d like to vote for me or any other fabulous STL ladies and gents, you can vote here! xo

What I ate(and drank) in Portland that I loved

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For me, food is such an important part of vacation. I basically wander around the place I’m staying until I don’t feel full anymore and then think “Ok, what should we try next?!” I’m constantly scouring Yelp, local publications, and blogs for stand-out dishes. A mix of high and low brow is ideal!

Burgerville | burgerville.com
40+ locations
Burgerville is a fast food chain local to the Oregon and Washington area. It was one of Andrew’s favorite places when he lived in Oregon, so it was immediately on the itinerary. They’re all about using fresh, seasonal ingredients from local, ethical sources as much as possible. We were lucky enough to have both the Walla Walla onion rings(pictured) and blackberry milkshake in season during our trip. Delicious!

Portland_Insta_02Salt & Straw | saltandstraw.com
838 NW 23rd Ave.
3345 SE Division St.
This trendy, boutique ice cream shop immediately caught my attention–ice cream is my favorite! We braved the long lines twice and tried coconut & salted caramel bar(pictured), sweet corn(!!!), coffee & bourbon, honey lavender, balsamic strawberry, and olive oil. The energy inside was so much fun and the playlist that was blasting aimed straight to my heart–a mix of 90s/00s hip hop and current dance and pop bangers. It was like a party each visit, plus ice cream, so it was the best.

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Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade | groundkontrol.com
511 NW Couch St.
Another one of Andrew’s old haunts, therefore a must. We actually spent three nights hanging out at Ground Kontrol–it’s that good. They have the perfect selection of classic cabinets(Pac Man, Tetris, Centipede), new favorites(DDR, Mario Kart), plenty of pinball, and Andrew’s ultimate necessity–Street Fighter. Add their full bar, fun DJ, trivia nights, and monthly special of $5 cover for free play all night and you’ve got the best barcade EVER. Why can’t we have one in our neighborhood? We might never leave.

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Pok Pok | pokpokpdx.com
3226 SE Division St.
If you ask for Portland restaurant suggestions, I guarantee Pok Pok will be in the top 3 most suggested. A chef with a James Beard Award will do that to a place. I’ll keep my comments short since others have said it many times before and much better than I–It’s worth the trip, worth the wait, and god damn, y’all, those fish sauce chicken wings(pictured)… I’ll forever dream of them!

L&L Hawaiian Barbeque | hawaiianbarbecue.com
200+ locations
L&L is a national chain, but we don’t have anything like it around my neck of the woods. Hawaiian cuisine is such a fun, eclectic mix of Asian and American flavors and this fast food style joint has it all! Musubi(spam sushi), Loco Moco, and of course macaroni salad are all present on the menu, but my favorite was the tonkatsu curry rice. The perfect comfort food!

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Fifty Licks | fifty-licks.com
2021 SE Clinton St. #101
I caught Fifty Licks’ truck by chance–who could resist that cutie? But their handmade, small batch ice cream is definitely worth a trip to the storefront! The carmelized honey ice cream I had was so dense and creamy with such a refreshing, unique flavor.

Little Bird Bistro | littlebirdbistro.com
219 SW 6th Ave.
Little Bird is the cozy sister restaurant to the popular Le Pigeon. We had a lovely, dimly-lit dinner at the bar and shared a killer charcuterie board and the daily fish special. The bartender recommended a perfect wine and wowed us with great cocktails.

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Marinepolis Sushiland | sushilandusa.com
138 NW 10th Ave.
You guys. This place. This is another small chain and might not wow all visitors, but as a habitually disappointed midwest sushi enthusiast, I was in love. Their sushi and appetizer selection is served conveyer belt style and each plate is only $1, $1.50, $2, or $3. I ate until I was super full each of the three(!!!) times we visited and never spent more than $12. Insane! And the fish wasn’t garbage! Haha, if the cheap stuff in the Pacific Northwest is this good, I can’t image what the more upscale places are like! We were so happy with Sushiland though, we never felt the need to try another place.

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Little Big Burger | littlebigburger.com
Multiple Locations
Little Big Burger is the perfect little burger spot. Super simple and straight forward. The burgers are just the right size–a bit bigger than a slider, but not quite full size. Their truffle fries and fry sauce are so amazing, we stopped in one evening just to grab sodas and snack on some. That’s what vacation is for, right?

Portland, Oregon

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Here’s a little collection of snapshots from our Portland trip. We had such a great time! I really loved Portland and having a whole week to wander around eating, shopping, and getting to know the city.

1-3 We were lucky enough to get to stay in Andrew’s uncle’s stunning condo in the Pearl district. Look at that view!
4-6 I loved visiting the local Zoo! My favorite was the bat exhibit. Such cute and strange little creatures.
7-14 Amy and Tyler’s wedding was simple, lovely, tucked away in the middle of the woods, and completely perfect for them. They’re both biologists and ignited a “unity volcano” during the ceremony rather than a cheesy candle. So perfect. <3
16-20 On Sunday, we checked out the Flea at Rejuvenation. It was pretty magical in there.
21-22 I had to stop into Crafty Wonderland! It’s an adorable store. I bought a cute brooch from The Paper Mama. :)

Strangefolk Jamberry Nails Available Now!

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My friend Melissa and I have teamed up to make the coolest accessory ever in honor of Strange Folk Festival–custom nail wraps from Jamberry Nails!

Have you guys heard of Jamberry Nails before? They’re vinyl wraps that adhere to your nails with a combination of heat and pressure–no glue, stickyness, or top coats needed! They don’t chip, are non-toxic, won’t damage your natural nails and best of all, have no dry time. I’ve been trying them out for the past few months and really love them! I just use a blow dryer, cuticle pusher, and pair of small, curved scissors to apply and finish them and they always last at least a full week. Some people even get 2-3 weeks on fingers and 4-6 weeks on toes!

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Melissa is a certified Jamberry consultant and first fell in love with Jamberry Nails because she finally found a way to have cute nails that stood up to all her jewelry making and crafting wear-and-tear.

When I heard that you could design custom Jamberry wraps, I totally fell in love with the idea of putting my cute little Strangefolk characters on nails! Melissa helped me figure it all out and now you can order your own set here!

Here’s all the important info, straight from Melissa:

All orders AND payment for the Strange Folk nail design are due by Wednesday, Sept 3, 2014. Cost for each Strange Folk wrap will be $20 each via PayPal, no matter the quantity.

The order will be placed with Jamberry, Thursday, Sept 4, 2014, no exceptions. We need plenty of time to print & ship! Once we receive the wraps, they will then be shipped to YOU so you can wear them proudly at the Strange Folk Festival, happening Sept 27-28, 2014, in O’Fallon Community Park!

To find out more about Jamberry: http://melissavilladiego.jamberrynails.net

To order other custom Jamberry Nails by Melissa: http://www.pinterest.com/TwentyThree/jamberry-nails/

I had SO much fun designing (and obsessing) over each unique nail design. I think the colors look so bright and fun and can’t wait to see all the cute, matching fingers at Strange Folk! :)

Up and Away

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Andrew and I leave for Portland, Oregon, bright and early tomorrow morning–a little too early for my liking but whatever! We’ll be hanging out in a beautiful condo in the Pearl District, exploring the city and eating our way through for a whole week! Not to mention getting to see one of my old college roomates get hitched. I am psyched. :)

I did a little blog refresh over the weekend. I love using WordPress, but am never happy working on layouts/themes. The WP coding is too complicated for my poor little brain and I can never seem to find the right theme for me. Whenever I go to mess with the CCS, I always seem to break something else. :/ I like the way this one looks for now, but it’s awful on mobile. Sigh.

If anyone has some Portland favorites–food, shopping, whatever–please share! xo

FF35: Street Style

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Style Chic 360 | Photo by Fashion Bomb Daily

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The Print Fiend

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Romeo’s Fashion Fix

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Style Story | Superficial Girls

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Keiko Lynn | Ivory Jinelle

As transitional seasons creep up, I love collecting inspiring outfits to keep me excited about getting dressed. I’ve been thinking about wide-brimmed, black hats a lot lately. I always rule out hats because I have the fortunate combination of big head + big hair, but I just keep thinking about how cool a big black hat would look with some of my flowy, witchy looks I’ve been rocking lately… we’ll see. ;)

St. Louis Fashion Blog Awards 2014: Nominations Are Open!

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Nominate Creature Type in the 2014 STL Fashion Blogger Awards!

Alive Magazine adds some extra fun to Fashion Week by organizing the St. Louis Fashion Blog Awards! I was lucky enough to be nominated in a couple categories last year and had such a blast at the Fashion Week kick-off party where they announced the winners. I’m just as excited for this year to catch up with my blogging buddies and meet all the newbies I haven’t hung out with yet. You know we all love any excuse to dress up. ;)

The official website for Fashion Week launched last week and you can check out the bloggers page here. Visit all the awesome fashion bloggers of STL and nominate your favorites!

How to Design Repeating Patterns

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I’ve never really done a “How to” or DIY post before, mostly because I just don’t feel like enough of an expert on anything to clog up the internet with yet another DIY. However, making patterns is something that differs enough artist-to-artist that I thought it would be fun to share my favorite technique and maybe inspire someone to try something new. :)

This is a pretty well-known technique for designing a seamless, repeating pattern. I remember how much it totally blew my mind the first time I learned it! In my opinion, this is the easiest way to design a really complicated pattern–although what I’m sharing today is pretty simple.

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Start out with a drawing or shape you want to use in your pattern.

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Once you have your starting image, you want to divide it in half horizontally and flip each half upside down. You can do this digitally or on a good old fashioned piece of paper. It’s important to make sure both halves touch the edge of your canvas exactly.

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Now we’re going to repeat that step, but vertically. So select each half and flip it vertically. If you’re working with paper, you’ll need to first tape together the pieces you cut in the previous step. Make sure you line up the edges exactly.

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Now you have this kind of scary looking, sliced up image. The next step is to just fill in that empty space with the rest of the drawings/designs you want. I love this technique because you can kind of make up a pattern as you go. Since you’re filling in blank space, you can kind of see where the drawing takes you and add things organically.

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I went with this simple, easy diamond pattern.

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Voila! You can save your pattern and tile it to see how it looks in action.

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I love that you can flip it in either direction. So fun!

If you’d like to see another artist apply this technique, check out this amazing tutorial on Design*Sponge by Julia Rothman! Hers is a great example of just how intense and detailed you can get.

Do you have a different method you like to use when designing patterns? I love seeing what others make!