Inktober 2014: Part 1

Inktober_05_600wEvery October, artists all over the world participate in Inktober, a drawing challenge that suggests you do one ink drawing a day for the entire month!

Illustrator Jake Parker started Inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits–kind of like my Big Book of Cats Project!

Although I often struggle staying on task with things like this, I’ve decided to give it a whirl this year. I always think daily/weekly challenges are a good thing since consistency is a constant struggle for me. I’m not necessarily a creature of habit, but drawing in ink is my favorite so that makes this extra fun and simple. :)

Make sure to check #inktober on twitter, instagram, and tumblr to see tons of awesome work! It’s my new favorite downtime activity to flick through the hashtag on instagram on my phone.

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I used one of Rebecca‘s photos as a reference for this one!

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OOTD: Kick Off

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Hat: H&M | Shirt: Nordstrom Rack | Dress: Target | Boots: ShoeMint | Necklace: Unkown | Bangles: Kate Spade | Backpack: Forever21 | Beyonce Button: Butt’n Booty

Sometimes my favorite looks come together out of that total desperation, “I don’t know what to weeeaaarrrr” feeling. I had a plan in mind for the STL Fashion Blogger Awards and Fashion Week Kick-Off Party, but it ended up being too warm to rock the statement jacket I was hoping for, so I went digging through my closet 20 minutes before I was supposed to leave.

For an event like this, I enjoy taking risks, but I also think it’s important to stick to my ultimate favorite styles and just concentrate on looking as fab as possible. I wanted something short and sassy and have been seeing a lot of layered skirt-shirt-dress situations on street style sites lately so I gave it a try and threw on my favorite top and a cute lacey dress. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it until I put on the necklace, hat, and boots, but then it all just clicked! I’m into it.

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I had a great time at the party with some of my favorite people. The new Public Media Commons at Grand Center is such a gorgeous venue! Fiber artist Grace Kubilius had her amazing pieces on display in a fashion presentation, DJ Trash Talk was spinning tunes, and the giant screens and projections were playing incredible multimedia presentations. I loved being able to cheer for my favorite winning bloggers in person! Lisa, Myra, and I ended the night with poutine and cocktails at a downtown bar–it was fabulous! I can’t wait for all the other exciting fashion week events coming up this week and next!

*Event photos courtesy ALIVE Magazine

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.

Big Book of Cats: Linda

The Big Book of Cats is a weekly illustration project. In 1998, I was 11 years old and decided to make a 200 page encyclopedia of anthropomorphic cat girls. I’ve made a vow to honor this horrific piece of literature and redraw every cat girl and post a new drawing along with the original for the internet’s amusement. Want to know more? Read my official introduction here and check out all the drawings so far here!

You’re welcome and I’m so so sorry.

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Your eyes are not deceiving you, friend! This is indeed a new Big Book of Cats post! Can you believe it? Honestly, many of you haven’t even been following my blog long enough to remember BBOC. My last one was in November 2013–almost a whole year ago! That really blows my mind. As mentioned in my intro, you can learn more about this project here and see all the other drawings here!

It bums me out that I haven’t kept up on my weekly schedule. I was so consistent for so long! However, the original goal of this project was to make sure I was drawing for fun and sharing my work every week while I was stuck at a less-than-inspiring day job. Since then I’ve taken on so much extra illustration work and started all my handmade adventures, so it’s certainly not a failure. I have no intention of calling it quits, I just never want this project to be another stressful deadline in my life. Hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze them in more than annually, though! Jeez.

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Linda is a sassy bitch and she’s definitely judging you. My muse has apparently always been a girl with attitude who wears crop tops and boots. My favorite part of Linda’s original drawing is the earrings mysteriously dangling from the side of her face while her ears are on top of her head. Haha.

Strange Folk Festival 2014

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strangefolkfestival14_06How amazing is it to see your work on a billboard?!

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#strangedogfestival

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St. Louis Overalls Mafia

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Strange Folk Festival honestly gets better and better every year! I had so much fun and met so many amazing customers and vendors. All my Strange Folk merchandise sold out and my inventory is totally wiped out! Definitely a great problem to have.

Thank you so so much to everyone who stopped by to say hi or buy things. I really had the best time and feel so lucky to be able to sell my silly drawings and handmade stuff, not to mention getting the chance to hang out with the coolest kids in town which also happen to be the most generous, welcoming, and fun. Here’s to an even craftier 2015! xo

P.S. How amazing did those Jamberry nails turn out?! They printed so beautifully and the colors are so bright and saturated. You can still order some for yourself here!

FF36: What to Wear to STLFW

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ALIVE Magazine’s Style Notes blog asked me to style a look for St. Louis Fashion Week in honor of the kick-off party (tonight!!!) and this is what I put together!

I’m so into the silhouette of a cropped top with a pencil skirt lately–especially when the top plays with volume, like a sweatshirt or a fluffy or flowy fabric. You all know my affection for the backpack trend, plus a chunky boot, fun novelty earrings, and a moody shade of lipstick make this look the perfect ensemble for a kick-ass babe hanging out at fashion shows in October.

1. Cropped Sweatshirt by Dimepiece
2. Jalapeno Skirt by Lazy Oaf
3. Beyonce Fabric Button Earrings by O’Darling Designs
4. Platform Boot by Miista Yolanda
5. Vintage Re-Issue Sling by Fossil
6. “Sin” Lipstick by MAC

Check out all the other fabulous looks put together by STL bloggers here!

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.

You’re Invited! Strange Folk Festival / STLFW Kick-Off Party

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It’s that time of year, folks! My favorite event, Strange Folk Festival, is finally THIS WEEKEND! Haha, are you sick of me talking about it yet? ;)

If you live anywhere close to the STL area, I promise you it’s worth the trip! The weather should be really great, too. It’s the perfect weekend to walk around soaking in the autumn awesomeness with delicious food and drink, listen to fun live music, and shop 150 handmade, vintage, and art vendors in a lovely park. It’s a blast and I’m so excited!

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Before the craziness of Saturday and Sunday, the STL Fashion Week Kick-Off Party and Fashion Blogger Awards is Friday night at Grand Center! This event is also a part of STL Design Week and includes the awards, cocktail celebration, shopping, and DJ Trash Talk spinning tunes. It’s going to be a fabulous time! I can’t wait to dress up and see everyone.

Click here for more info and to buy your STLFW tickets!

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?