Category Archives: personal

Up and Away

portland14

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

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

stlfbawards14

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!

Meet the STL Craft Mafia

STLCraftMafia_01

During our last St. Louis Craft Mafia meeting–my first as an official member!–Michelle of Green Wall Studio stopped by to take some classy mug shots for us and they turned out a-ma-zing. Can you tell the mafia has been obsessed with Orange is the New Black? We met at Mad Art Gallery, which is located in an old police station. We got all up in that vintage jail cell!

STLCraftMafia_03

We came up with “prison names”… haha, I’m so bad at coming up with witty names! I’ll stick to drawing.

STLCraftMafia_04

STLCraftMafia_05

We did some small group shots–these are the illustrator/photographer folks! Left to right, skipping me (obviously):
Mary of Unicorgi | Evil Little Girls | Jane of Jane Linders Photography | Jeffrey of Handmade Family

STLCraftMafia_12

Elizabeth of Just Liv

STLCraftMafia_11

April of Riley Construction

STLCraftMafia_06

Courtney of My Vintage Addiction

STLCraftMafia_13

Courtney of My Vintage Addiction | Stephanie of Ruby Francis Rags | Holly of South City Studio

STLCraftMafia_10

Renee of Strung Out and Wired (with bad ass tattoos by yours truly ;))

STLCraftMafia_08

Lauren and Renee of Strung Out and Wired | Kara of Irie’ Elements | Shelah of The Foundrie/August Abroad | Melissa of Villa Design

STLCraftMafia_09

Melissa of Villa Design

STLCraftMafia_07

Cristin of Cristin Rae Knitwear

STLCraftMafia_14

Phil of Belle Journee | Kathleen of Buddha Bath and Body | Alecia of Senora Muertos | Beth of Belle Journee | Kayla of Ghost Cat Studios | Amanda of Sprouted Designs

STLCraftMafia_02

Not going to try and ID each pretty face here, but shout-outs to all the other members!

 Beqi of Beqi Clothing | Eleanor of Scarlett and Maria | Andrea of Zenbot Design | Mary of Pairabelles | Rachel of Sew Good and Trendy | Suzanne of Suzanne Shenkman Designs | Amy of Stick to Your Knittin’ Kitten

Just a side-note here that ironically just after blogging about how impressed I’ve been with my cycling skills lately, I got into a bike accident on Friday. :( Haha, figures. I’m a mess. It was totally my fault, but I ended up flying over my handlebars and into the street face-first. Not cute. I’ve been laying low and whimpering and hobbling around ever since. I’m okay–just all scratched up and sore. Still ready for my little roadtrip this weekend and looking forward to partying with my favorites girls even more!

Spring 2014.

042914_01

Hello, dolls! I hope you’re all doing well on this April finale day. :) I don’t often write wordy, life-centric posts–mostly because I’m not much of a wordsmith and I doubt it would be very interesting, but I thought a little catch-up would be nice. I try to remind myself that my favorite posts from other bloggers are often personal ones where I get to know them better, so although I might not personally think my day-to-day is very thrilling, I don’t want to seem aloof and distant either.

Life is good lately, y’all. After that awful, never-ending winter, I’m really trying to make a conscious effort to stop and smell the roses–literally–and appreciate every second of springtime. I’m trying to teach myself to be a gardener this year. Now that we’re homeowners with a lovely little yard, I want to make sure I take good care of it and continue planting some green, leafy goodness. I’m trying to grow sunflowers to line up along our back fence. Everyday I glance nervously at the pots in our sunroom, hoping to see some successful seedlings. I’m thinking about getting a butterfly bush or two for the backyard, too. Wish me luck!

042914_03

Besides digging in the dirt, I’ve been going on walks and riding my bike as often as possible. I’m so so happy to be living in a neighborhood where I can really enjoy those kinds of things. I wanted to love downtown living, but St. Louis’s downtown can be a bit of a ghost town. Our new ‘hood still feels urban and close to the action, but cozy and just far enough off the beaten path. I love it. :)

042914_02

April 27 was my 27th birthday(!!!!) so last weekend was full of celebrations. One of my biggest insecurities is worrying that secretly no one really likes me very much, so planning birthday celebrations for myself always makes me nervous. I don’t want tons of attention or a big blow-out or anything, but I’m always afraid I’ll end up sad and alone on my birthday. Haha, it’s very silly because I have such wonderful friends and family who always pull through. :)

Friday was full of fashion week fun and on Saturday I had a night out with some of my favorite ladies! Sammie and I started the night with a stroll to our neighborhood Mexican restaurant for margs and tacos(Yes, we have a neighborhood Mexican restaurant within walking distance. If you live in the midwest, you know how rare and fantastic that is!) We met some other friends in The Grove for delicious, tropical drinks at STL’s new(ish) tiki bar, then went to Attitudes for more drinking and dancing! As a side note–I didn’t start drinking OR dancing until I was around 23 years old and I’m so happy that I’ve learned to let go and enjoy myself more! I was never morally against either of those things, just terrified to show that much vulnerably in public or even with my close friends. I’m sure it sounds silly to a lot of people who partied hard when they were much younger, but it really makes me proud of myself that I can be more confident and comfortable with myself now and just have so much FUN.

042914_04

On my actual birthday, Andrew and I slept in, got brunch at one of my favorite places, and went to the zoo. The STL Zoo is free, so it really feels like a beautiful park that just has the bonus of awesome animals everywhere. It’s one of my very favorite places, so walking around in 70 degree weather with a big ice cream cone was heaven! When we got back home, Andrew surprised me with Frozen and pizza! Best day ever, right?! I hadn’t seen Frozen yet–I know, who the heck even am I?–but we really enjoyed it! I love Idina Menzel and angsty, bad-ass fictional ladies, so I adored Elsa. I just wish she had more screen time!

042914_05

I’m selling at craft shows for the next two weekends and then we head off to Chicago for Acen! I’m beyond thrilled and so ready for the escape! I know my friends are, too, so it will be a truly epic party weekend. ;)

If you’re local, please come visit me at Urban Chestnut this Sunday or next Saturday at Spring Fling! If you’re a vintage enthusiast, you really can’t miss Spring Fling! xo

event_springfling14

Photo an Hour

I’ve never done a Photo an Hour post before, but I always enjoy looking at them on other blogs. That’s the whole fun of reading personal blogs–getting peeks into other people’s day-to-day lives.

I must admit, I get a little pang of resentment towards people who work from home and share like, “9am Made some french toast! 10am Pet my cat! 11am When to Yoga! 12pm Out to lunch! 1pm Walked my dog 2pm Took photos of my dog!” and then they end it with like, “9pm Going to sleep after a long, busy day!” Like… really? My perfect weekend looks like your “work” day. Haha, but I totally get the flip-side–it’s no fun taking 6 photos of your desk at your day job.

Anyway, here’s what my Thursday, January 30 looked like.

photoanhour1_1

8:30am – I always roll out of bed at the last minute to get ready for work. It’s an awful habit!

9:15am – Got some coffee and sat down at my desk to start going through email–pleasantly surprised to have my conversation heart rings featured in ALIVE Magazine’s St. Louis Weekend Guide email blast! Friday night is their Handmade Happy Hour event and I’m totally stoked!

photoanhour1_2

10:50am – A still life of my desk. Riveting!

11:30am – I work at a local culinary magazine and businesses are always popping in to share goodies with us–a definite perk of the job! I took a photo of these delicious pastries for our company instagram.

photoanhour1_3

12:20pm – Andrew’s been thinking about adopting a dog sometime in the next year or two–probably a poodle mix. We texted back and forth for a while with some of our favorite goofy dogs on PetFinder. My favorite to search for are old, fat chihuahuas. This is Bam Bam and his photo with Santa KILLS me.

1:30pm – Since I’m so rushed in the mornings, I always forget to pack lunch. Our office is close to a grocery store, so I usually just head over there, but it’s been so cold lately, I try to avoid leaving until the end of the day. My coworker was a genius and reminded me that Jimmy John’s delivery is a thing. Brilliant.

photoanhour1_4

2:45pm – Working. Checking out the newest issue of ALIVE.

4:30pm – I usually leave for the day around 4pm. I stopped by an art store on my way home for a few supplies.

photoanhour1_5

5:15pm – I picked up this old jewelry display at a thrift store recently and I’m really excited to give it a fancy make-over for my craft show table! :) I pulled it out from the basement to clean it and start spray painting since it actually wasn’t too painfully cold outside.

6:30pm – Working on a batch of earrings for Handmade Happy Hour.

photoanhour1_6

7:45pm – Leadership meeting for the Show Me Etsy Team at one of my favorite restaurants. They specialize in fancy drinks and dessert. I got a raspberry martini and the world’s best bread pudding for dinner. 8)

9:00pm – I brought in my jewelry display from drying on the back porch. I painted it white and added a little Creature Type sign on top. I think I’m going to put sheets on corkboard inside the panels… still not 100% sure.

photoanhour1_7

10:00pm – Organizing all my prints for Handmade Happy Hour.

11:15pm – Getting some work done at my computer and browsing tumblr while my favorite nerds play games and listen to music.

12am – Bedtime! I was already in bed with the lights off before I remembered to take a photo. Haha, it wasn’t glamorous. No loss. ;)

My life isn’t pretty or interesting enough to do this sort of thing on the regs, but it was fun! If you’re an STL local, you should totally come visit me at Handmade Happy Hour tonight! 5-9pm at the Contemporary Art Museum. :)

Thankful 2013

2013 has been a pretty fantastic year for me. It’s the kind of good year that doesn’t seem too exceptional until you start to tally all the fabulous things that have happened and what I’ve accomplished. I’m going to try to keep this from being too much of an end-of-year round-up and save that for December, but I wanted to do a fun little collection of things–big and small–that have made me super happy and thankful this year. :)

I started off the year right with the Resolving to Make workshop at Light Grey Art Lab in Minneapolis. It was led by one of my favorite contemporary illustrators, Kali Ciesemeier, and from the moment they announced it was happening, I knew I had to make it work and go. I’m so thankful my parents offered to schlep me up to Minneapolis to help support my creative ambitions. I’m thankful that Light Grey is such an amazing group of people and resource for illustrators and other creatives all over the country. It was an amazing, life-changing experience that really helped set the tone for a productive year.

I’m a big Lady Gaga fan and I’m really thankful that this year I not only got a new album of dance jams that I LOVE (Seriously, if y’all like pop/dance music, listen to Artpop. It’s a blast!) but I got to see her live twice before she had to cancel her tour for health reasons and GOT PULLED ON STAGE WITH HER. At the end of the show in St. Louis, I got to go up there with one of my good friends, hug Gaga, smell her, hold her little hand, and scream/sing her lyrics right back in her face. It was glorious. :)

This year I dove head-first into the world of craft shows and the local crafting community. I joined the Show Me Etsy group and have been embraced into the community beyond my expectations. I’ve always felt a little like an onlooker or outsider in most group activities I’ve tried to participate in, but the kindness, friendliness, and openness to share and collaborate I’ve experienced in my short time vending has really blown me away. I’m so thankful for such a wonderful group of people and look forward to becoming even closer with new friends and more shows in 2014!

colby

Of course I’m super thankful for our amazing new house! I’m so lucky to be in a happy, healthy relationship with a guy I’m crazy about and that we both have jobs that aren’t too soul-sucking and allow us to live well and happily. Anytime I get bummed about the low numbers in my savings account or feel like I’m not thrilled with my day job and just want to hurry up and freelance full-time, I try to step back and realize how incredibly lucky I have it and just enjoy life. It’s pretty great so far!

I don’t want to ramble for too long, but I also want you all to know how grateful I am for everyone reading my blog! You guys are always sweet, supportive, and I love getting to know you! You keep blogging fun. :) <3 I’m going to try and get back on track with a more consistent blogging schedule this week, but illustration work for the holidays in piling up–at kind of an alarming rate, to be honest! I’m excited to share new work with you asap! :)

A Shoe Story.

002

A few months ago I was fortuitous enough to win a $200 Nordstrom gift card. That’s pretty much the most exciting thing I’ve ever won, so I sat on it for ages, wanting to make sure I spent every precious penny wisely. My first thought was immediately “KATE SPADE BAG”. Namely, the Pippa bag from my wishlist back in the spring. A beautiful, practical bag from a designer I love that I could never afford full price myself seemed like the perfect treat to use it on. Unfortunately, the bag retails for close to $400, so I’d still have to pay about $200 for the bag, which honestly is still more than I should be spending on a bag right now.

I kept creeping online and in the store, seeing other Kate Spade bags go on sale, but not my beloved Pippa. A Kate Spade outlet just opened in St. Louis and I was so annoyed at all the super sale bags for like $100–but not my bag! And I wouldn’t be able to use my giftcard anyway. My laser focus began to shift and I started considering a nice pair of boots instead.

Fast forward to Wednesday, October 9. After being pestered by my mother again and again to hurry up and buy some shoes to wear to my cousin’s wedding this weekend(!!!), I decided to pop into Nordstrom Rack after getting some supplies at the craft store next door. I don’t usually allow myself into Nordstrom Rack unless I’m prepared to spend some money, so it was a rare treat to even let myself browse those glorious shoe aisles.

001

No heels were catching my eye until I saw the sparkling gold bows on a pair of sling-backs. Gold shoes were the bride’s original request, so I investigated further and they were a Kate Spade return, marked down from $350 to $100. I snatched them up immediately, holding them close while continuing to browse.

$100 is more than I wanted to spend and let’s be real, they’re a bit flashy for bridesmaid shoes. This is what you get when you let Michelle pick whatever shoes she wants! On the other hand, I was expecting to spend at least $50 and wouldn’t it be worth it to spend a bit more–okay, double–on a pair I really loved?

003

Then I saw the game-changers. In an unmarked box, buried in the size 10 section, lay a pair of shiny black flats with bows and a row of big, round crystals around the heels. I was like “Ooohhh, bows” because I’m some weird magpie creature for bow-shaped anything and HOLY SHIT THEY’RE MIU MIU.

004

I love Miu Miu. OF COURSE I love Miu Miu. Could that be any more predictable? Feminine, sparkly, special Miu Miu. I’ve dreamed of one day owning anything from the luxury brand. I even toyed with the idea of spending the gift card on those sunglasses. You know the pair.

005

I obviously decided then and there that this was my gift card’s ultimate destiny. Divine intervention led me into that Nordstrom Rack. I hope this silly little story comes off as a nerdy girl’s excited tale of how she got the best shoe luck of her life–which is what was intended–rather than haughty bragging, but I ended up spending about $115 on $1000 worth of shoes. Amazing, right? I am dead.

The Kate Spade heels are “Charm Slingback Pumps” and can be found on Nordstrom.com here. The Miu Miu flats are “Jeweled Heel Ballerina Flats” and are here.

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.

Autumn Rush

This Fall is going to be the biggest blur ever. Through October, I’m dealing with the most busy, stressful times in recent memory.

Last week was the St. Louis Fashion Week Kick Off Party and STLFB Awards. It was a blast hanging out at the gorgeous rooftop bar at 360 downtown and was so nice to see all the ladies looking their best! I didn’t win my categories, but the ladies I voted for did, so it was totally cool! ;) I got to bring a few close friends–Myra won my blog giveaway! Whoo-hoo! We enjoyed the spread of tasty appetizers and had a lovely evening.

There are Fashion Week events all over town for the next 10 days. I want to get out there and see some shows and meet some of my favorite bloggers who are flying in, but I’m so busy until after this weekend… we’ll see what I actually get to! If you know which events you’ll be at for sure, let me know! I’m not really sure what to prioritize at this point. :/

013

This weekend is Strange Folk Festival(!!!), the biggest, most fun craft show in the STL area! I went last year and had so much fun and I am beyond thrilled to be a vendor there this year.

When I went last year I met so many awesome local crafty ladies and handmade businesses–that was the first time I met Amy and Beth! I felt so inspired there and it really lit the fire in me to get my ass in gear and start vending myself! It immediately became a goal of mine to have a table there in 2013, but I admit I doubted myself a bit. I think if 2012 Michelle knew how much my handmade biz would begin and grow by this time in 2013, I would be super proud of myself. It’s a great feeling!

051013_02

051013_03

After Strange Folk, I’m looking forward to a couple weeks of downtime to work on some commissions and begin packing our life away. We close on the house on October 15 and in the two weeks between then and Halloween I have to move, vend at another craft show, help organize and execute an event for my day job, go to press with the holiday guide issue of the magazine, and be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding. Yeah, not looking forward to that insanity. It’s going to be so hard, but I’m excited to start living in the house. I keep dreaming about the neighborhood and our giant new bedroom and my basement workspace… I’m just looking forward to life there and I’m ready to start!

So obviously, I apologize in advance for some inevitable slowness around here. I always believe in quality over quantity when it comes to blogging, so I’ll be sharing whenever and whatever I can.

strangefolk3

If any of you live close to O’Fallon, Illinois, you should totally try to visit me at Strange Folk! It really is a fun time. 170+ handmade vendors, plus fun activities, and delicious local food vendors! I’m throwing the word “excited” around like a madwoman right now but I’m SO EXCITED! Haha. :) xo

STLFBA

STLFBA

I debated back and forth with myself a bit on whether I should blog about this or not–but here goes. I was lucky enough to be nominated in two categories for the inaugural Alive Magazine St. Louis Fashion Blog Awards! 

Haha, I feel so silly talking about it! I take my blog seriously and really enjoy fashion blogging, but I often stick out like a sore thumb–for a variety of reasons–among the more sleek and high-fashion girls. I don’t think that makes my content any less valuable, just different.

I didn’t know if I wanted to blog about it because I didn’t want to just be like “VOTE FOR ME!” but I also don’t want to seem ungrateful for the nomination! Also, Alive Magazine is doing an AMAZING job this year trying to step up STL’s game for Fashion Week! I’m really excited to go to some events and meet some of my favorite bloggers traveling to STL just for Fashion Week! It’s going to be a blast!

STLFBA2

If anything, you should totally check out the list of nominees just to see the awesome ladies of STL! And if you think I have the “Best Delivery of Personal Style” or the “Best Site Design”, you can vote for me. ;)

If you’re an STL local and want to check out all the incredible Fashion Week events coming up, you can buy tickets here! I’ll see you there! xo

Internet Friends.

082813_instagram2

Once upon a time I was a wee nerdy pre-teen, seeking a safe space to fit in, succeed socially, share my artwork with people who understood my need to make it, and talk about all my weird interests. My parents bought our first computer when I was about 10. For the first year or two, I mostly used it to play games, draw on MS Paint, and write “novels” on MS Word while listening to the Spice Girls repeatedly in the CD drive. When we got the internet, the most exciting thing to me was that I could play the Flash games on the official South Park website, but it didn’t take long until I started participating in forums, chat rooms, and other online communities.

I don’t exactly remember when I first “met” Courtney. When I think of the timeline of my adolescence, I often break it down into what “fandom” I was into at the time. I think Courtney and I crossed internet paths sometime between Pokemon and Harry Potter. It was either through Live Journal or an oekaki board, but most of my memories of her are through LJ. I know that lots of us ladies who are into blogging nowadays started out on the good ol’ LJ. Shout out! ;)

Courtney has always been super cute. She draws really beautiful, cute little illustrations in addition to being very stylish. Hers are some of the very first OOTD photos I remember seeing! She wore–and still does–gorgeous lolita outfits and I looked forward to anything and everything she had to share about her life. She was pretty active on the FRUiTS LJ community, I think, so some of you guys might recognize her, too!

We weren’t close or anything. She was mostly one of those one-way internet friends where I felt like I knew her through reading her blog for years, but we never really had conversations outside of some exchanged comments. I remember being SO excited when she “friended” me on LJ. I’m pretty sure she unfriended me when I linked my twitter to my LJ–THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. Haha, Twitter was new and I didn’t realize how fucking annoying it would be to have my tweets automatically made into a LJ post everyday. I lost a lot of “friends” during that time who I really wish I still had connections with. Big bummer tbh.

082813_instagram3

Flashing forward to today, I recently found Courtney again on instagram. She’s currently embarking on an amazing 30 day train trip across the US(documented on her blog!). I loved following along passively on instagram, but last week I saw her share a photo of a local restaurant in St. Louis! I commented, she emailed, and before I knew it, I had agreed to hang out with her the next day and drop her off and the train station!

I was really excited by this surreal turn of events, but kind of nervous! Did Courtney even know who I was? Would I come off really creepy? Would it be awkwardly quiet? Thankfully, we immediately clicked and had a blast talking about her trip, our lives, our relationships with the internet and driving around St. Louis. I brought her along to a bloggers’ happy hour at a local resale shop and we both enjoyed the oddness of that shared experience. We only got about 2.5 hours together, but I had a blast and thought she was such a lovely, inspirational person.

I don’t know why I felt so compelled to write about this. I usually just share outfits and illustrations on my blog because I don’t always feel like a very good writer, but lately I’ve wanted to share more personal anecdotes because I so enjoy getting to know other bloggers a bit more deeply. I just have such warm fuzzies knowing that some of these random people I felt connected to as a teenager have evolved into meaningful connections later in my life. I’m FB friends with at least 10 women who I met on a Pokemon message board when I was about 13 years old. Isn’t that insane?! We’ve all grown up to be lovely, smart, funny, talented people and I’ve really loved watching everyone grow up and move in different directions.

When people complain about how being too connected to the internet isolates humans from each other, I really can’t help but shake my head and totally disagree. Maybe it’s because I was never the kind of kid who easily connected to others in real life to begin with and needed the help and comfort the anonymity on the internet provided. Now as bad ass adults, we share this wonderful, ridiculous common thread. This shared experience. I love it.

082813_instagram1

Now I have a new(ish) friend in San Francisco! :) I’ll have to couch-surf her way soon. xo