It’s coming, it’s coming

Hello,

I didn’t write your part 3 of the tattoo guide yet, and for that I am truly sorry. It IS coming though. And here is a list of other things that I intend to write about at some point in the future….

-Living positively!
-DIYs and tutorials
-More outfit posts
-Body positivity
-My personal creative challenge
-TONNES OF OTHER STUFFFFF

I am actually deactivating my FB page, so I am going to be posting life updates on my blog (all good, all positive, all lovely) and I will hopefully have more time since I won’t be moping on FB all evening anymore!

Stay radicoooolll

Kate x

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New Project: The Paperchain Pen Pal Club

Hi all!

It’s been a while, and for that I apologise! I’m certainly not made of the right stuff to be a full time professional blogger, that’s for sure! But I will try my best to keep this more up to date now.. starting with my latest project!!

I have loved writing letters, ever since I was a tiny girl, and I still adore the postman bringing me lovingly hand written goodies.

I had been writing to my best friend on and off for a while, since she lives in another city, but recently wanted to collect an assortment of pen pals from all over the globe. I thought how cool would it be to have a service that would match up awesome letter-writing creative types from a carefully curated database? Then I thought, there’s no point waiting around for someone to do it… I SHOULD DO IT! Ans so… The Paperchain Pen Pal Club is born!

It’s in its very early stages now, and currently I need to collect as many members as possible, so there is lots of variety to choose from.

If you are interested in joining The Paperchain Pen Pal Club, please email thepaperchainclub@gmail.com and supply your address for post, some details about yourself (likes, dislikes, hobbies etc), a brief description of what you are looking for in a pen pal (e.g. similar, opposite, specific hobbies etc) and how many pen pals you would like to be writing to as a maximum.

To start with I will be capping membership at 50, to make it a little more special and close knit, but if it is a success, then who knows!

I have 8 pen pals personally, and tonight I wrote my first letter to my most recent pen pal!

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With all this correspondence coming through, I thought it would be a good idea to arrange a system so I would know when it was my turn to send, and when I would be waiting for a reply. I took an old corkboard that I had painted bright pink from a previous project, and added some decorative elements to the top (favourite postcards, paper letter banner and a photograph of me and a maid from a maid cafe in Tokyo). I then created headers of ‘sent’ and ‘received’, so I would know when I should be replying and when I have already sent out, and little markers for each of my pen pals (Japanese patterned papers with their names written on). My mum bought me the awesome button themed push pins, and they really tie the whole thing together!

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Stay tuned for more on my letter writing adventures, such as how I organise addresses, and my letter writing supplies, and also keep your eyes peeled for the fashion posts starting back up again alongside some craft items and articles!

Kate x

Happy New Year!!

Hello lovely readers! And happy happy new year to you all!

I know I neglected the blog a little last year, but my resolution is to do better this year and I have lots planned!

Keep your eyes peeled for the slight change in direction of my blog.. I will be focusing more on items you can make yourself, and aspects of my life not just related to style and fashion too! 

As always, if there is anything specific you would like to see, please let me know.

I am hoping to start up my own YouTube channel at some point this year too, so if any wonderful readers have any experience with that, please do let me know any tips or suggestions you may have.

That’s all for now folks, I am a busy girl, planning and organising future posts for now! 

Kate xx

The 2013 Dream Summer Wardrobe!

Hey all,

I’ve been shit again haven’t I? Not to worry though, it’s all for a good cause. I have been taking time off the blog to focus on my NEW CLOTHING LINE!!!! I will tell you all more about that next week! 

For now though, I have gathered together a billion things I wish I owned this summer, so I can show you all and secretly hope one of you love me enough to buy it all for me! 

My Summer 2013 vibe is SLIMEBABE! Think yukky toys, 90’s cartoons, girl gangs, junk food and punk rock! (and there will be more on the Slimebabe movement next week also!)

LETS GO!!! I made some messy polyvore collages to keep everything in once place! 

Tonight I am sharing tops, a couple of dresses and leggings! 

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That’s just a taster for now folks! Keep checking back as I add more collages, write about my NEW CLOTHING BRAND, and share my picks of Etsy favourites!

Kate x

My Super Stylish Birthday Blowout!

Hey all,

I know I haven’t posted anything for a while, but I was mega busy and also had a few technical hitches which (hopefully) should be sorted out now!

So… On with today’s update!

IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY ON SATURDAAAYY!

The celebrations started on Friday when I went out for food with my best friend Samantha, the boyfriend, my brother, my dad and mys stepmum. We had amazing Japanese food and talked far too much!

Saturday morning saw me and Samantha up early to watch some Aquabats and get ready for a busy day organising my party! We went for food at Primo’s hotdog joint in the Corn Exchange in Leeds (a wonderful shopping spot, containing some real independent gems such as Candy Candy, Mad Elizabeth and much more!) This particular Saturday, The Corn Exchange was playing host to one of Leeds’ main vintage shopping fairs, Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. We had a browse and I bought myself a super kitsch glow in the dark retro toy!

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The rest of the day was spent shopping for things for my fancy dress party! We buzzed around town, found a costume for Samantha, bought far too much kids party food and even found time to go home and drink some tea and do our makeup! I tried my hand at some green makeup on Samantha to go with her crocodile costume!

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I used Illamasqua eyeshadows to create both the eye look and lip look, I didn’t really have a plan and just got creative! I’m super pleased with how it came out!

The party was held at Mrs Athas and everyone made a real effort with their costumes! It was so lovely to see everyone there to celebrate with me! I dressed as my favourite film character, Enid, from Ghost World! Here are some highlights..

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The next morning, me and the boyfriend headed to London for a couple of days!! I decided to have myself a Disney outfit weekend and started with this little number…

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My playsuit is vintage and from Pop Boutique, I have had the shirt for years and years (It was bought in Disneyland Florida when I was 6!!!), the vampire necklace was a Primark find and my docs are vintage too! Most of my makeup is Illamasqua, as usual!

We checked into The Hoxton Hotel to discover we had been given the Cabin room!!! The Hoxton has designer rooms on it’s top floor which are all styled and themed differently. I had always wanted to stay in the cabin room! It has a giant bed, a shower in the middle of the room and lots of lovely details in the soft furnishings! They provide design books for you to browse and you even get a free Pret breakfast in the morning! Check out their website for more information!

After this we headed to Somerset House to check out ‘Pick Me Up‘, a graphic design exhibition. We were lucky to catch it as it was the last day! We wandered around gazing at some beautiful work, my favourite was Rob Flowers’ Japanese inspired monsters and prints! I also bought a cute eyeball brooch and an eyeball print! (which I will show you all once I get a frame for it!)

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The next day was spent SHOPPING MY SOCKS OFF!!!! I had already planned to stop off at Lazy Oaf and Johnny Cupcakes but we also hit up Uniqlo and Topshop! I wore my second Disney themed outfit of the trip too! Just take a look!

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The dress was on sale at Topshop! I wore a vintage Mickey crew neck over the top which I customised myself and turned into a crop top, I also wore my new necklace by Sugar and Vice that my wonderful friend Charli got me for my birthday!

Check out my shopping haul!!

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I bought: the Lazy Oaf slime tee I had been lusting after, a little Lazy Oaf skeleton pin, some banana print leggings from Topshop, a Johnny Cupcakes breakfast tee (in the box!), a book about Nintendo, Lulu Guinness cat face tee, Leopard jeans and My Melody tee from Uniqlo and also pictured are the badge and (rolled up) print i bought at Pick Me Up!

Overall it was a super busy and fun weekend! Over the next few days you’ll probably see me uploading outfit posts of all my new things!!

Does anyone have recommendations on where to go in London next time I take a trip down there?

Kate xx

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An Opinion – The Problem With Shiny Shopping Centres

There is a new shopping centre just opened in Leeds, where I live, called the Trinity Centre. It has been in progress for a very long time. One of it’s entrances is on Briggate, which until now has been Leeds’ main and perfectly adequate High Street. In this blog post I am going to air my views on this new shopping centre and also our habits on spending our money on the High Street, elaborating on a brief ranty Facebook status I posted earlier today..

So I went to visit the Trinity Centre yesterday, and all I can say is that it’s pretty soulless, clinical, and not very groundbreaking.

From what I could see, there were only a handful of independent shops, maybe four, tops.. and some of them were ‘pop-ups’. Independent businesses are what make each town or city different and they inject personality to town centres and high streets. Because of this they are very important to the identity of a place. It is disappointing to see that developers of these huge shopping centres cannot see this simple fact. Apparently smaller businesses were offered rent free periods to encourage them to take up spaces in the Trinity Centre, which is a great idea in principle.. but what happens when the rent free period runs out and they can’t afford the astronomical rent like Primark and Next can because these shopping centres with huge chains encourage people to think that they should only be spending their money on brands, and huge corporations?

I am sick and tired of seeing shop after shop of the same thing. I am not against High Street shops, I sometimes buy basics from H&M, food from Yo Sushi, etc.. but does Leeds really need two Primarks, two H&Ms, two large cinemas and a tonne of empty units on the street where brands have moved into the shiny new shopping centre? I think not. I believe shoppers are perfectly able to walk a few extra metres to get to the original Primark. If we are not careful, we will create a town centre with what I call the ‘Starbucks’ problem.. multiple carbon copies of stores along each street!

I understand these stores create much needed jobs (but with a majority of the stores just moving from the high street I have to wonder just how many jobs it has actually ‘created’) and I am glad that people who were looking for work now have steady incomes, but I have to wonder how many of these people would prefer to work for themselves, or in a different line of work entirely? Offering jobs doesn’t mean they’ve sorted peoples lives out, it’ll probably mean they will work themselves to misery in a huge chain store where their individual needs and personalities don’t really matter, maybe for decades.

It’s up to shoppers and normal everyday people to change the way the High Street works, and i’m disappointed that the general population are veering towards these big shiny stores because they think it’s progress. It is not progress… Progression would be realising the brainwashing abilities of these big brands and instead choosing to support businesses run by families, individuals, craftspeople.. vote with your feet people! If spending our money on products and services from independent traders becomes normal, we may encourage those who are longing to start a business, create a product or offer a service to do just that! It is hard to see the positives in starting your own business when you have to constantly and rather dishearteningly observe a society who will gladly ignore the little businesses.

Why is it the ‘norm’ to pay pennies for something we know will fall apart after we’ve washed it a few times, or eat food we know has arrived pre prepared in a truck from who-knows-where? It strikes me as far more ‘normal’ to pay a decent price for something that will last me forever, or eat food prepared fresh and pay a fair price for it, all the while knowing my money is going directly to the people that have actually earned it and not to a boardroom of decision makers with no connection to the average shopper, or you know.. that PERSON, whose hard earned money is being spent, which by the way, is YOU.. 

In conclusion, I don’t hate Trinity… I hate the way it’s been done, and I hate the way people have glorified it.. but most of all I hate what places like Trinity are doing to hard-working, independent businesses. 

A lot of people will disagree with me, and that’s okay.. I might be wrong about some things, but these are my opinions right now.

Kate x

OMG! Nailgasm!

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Picture by Nailgasm/BRASS

So I had been hearing about this documentary someone had made about Nail Art for a long time… and I finally had a spare five minutes which coincided with me remembering said documentary and BOOM! I bought and downloaded it!

‘Nailgasm’ was created by filmmaker and photographer, Brass. It is a down-to-earth, realistic and honest film about the nail art world, documenting it’s early days, it’s transition into the fashion world, and it’s current trend explosion! 

As you’re all aware.. I am a great fan of nail art, so it was cool to see the names of some artists I recognised such as The Illustrated Nail, Britney Tokyo and Nancy MC (all of whom I only know of through trawling Tumblr and Instagram) It was also great to find out about new talented nail artists to follow, and the film is full of eye candy to really inspire you to go crazy on your claws! The only bad thing about this film is that it wasn’t long enough… I could have happily sat through another hour of mesmerising nail porn!

I’ll let the film speak for itself now, you can buy real life disc versions of the film, badges and stickers HERE. If you are impatient like me you can buy and download it from HERE.

Here is the trailer!

 

An Introduction to Slimeball Zine

A slight break from style theme posts today.. I thought I would share with you all my experience co-creating and co-running an independent zine!

Slimeball Zine was dreamt up by myself and the wonderful Charli (of ValentineXO). We realised that we like a lot of the same things, we like to draw, write and be creative just for the sake of it and we like to share fun stuff with the world! 

The concept behind Slimeball Zine is that we wanted to create a fully independent publication that was completely free, unpretentious, inclusive and really good fun. Our choice to set a theme each month was brought about to provide inspiration for any creative types to base submissions around and also to ensure some variety in our issues. 

Me and Charli meet every Thursday evening to plan, draw, cut, stick and more for each months issue! We never wanted to rely on computers too much in the creation of each issue so you will usually find us slumped over the table physically writing out our editors letter or drawing little pictures to decorate the pages. There is something incredibly satisfying about making things with your hands and getting stuck in. When I draw, or type something on my typewriter, or cut out bits from magazines to collage together, or take photos for Slimeball, I feel part of a movement (okay maybe a movement of two for now) with the intention of getting back to true creativity, the bit in our brains that say ‘pick up the crayon and scribble’ when we are kids.

We work super hard on each issue and we do hope that shows! Details for how to be involved are at the end of my post, but for now.. onto the zine!

We launched with the ‘Teen Angst’ issue..

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We figured a launch issue about the awkwardness of your teenage years was perfect, and we brought it out in September which coincides perfectly with ‘back 2 skool’ vibes and fresh starts. Included in this issue were angsty playlists and film suggestions, reviews, an article, plenty of art and illustration, DIY tutorials, collages and more. This issue set the tone for what we wanted Slimeball to be about. There’s no minimalist pages, no posey posh paper and probably plenty of mistakes. It’s honest, it’s creative and it exists because we just wanted it to!

 

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We’re suckers for any kind of seasonal event so out October issue was obviously going to be vaguely Halloween themed! Charli did an AMAZING job of the cover, dragging Buffy back from the 90’s and planting her as our star! We had submissions for the first time in this one as we had invited all creative types to submit work! There were more tutorials, a whole story and photos too!

 

We decided to go with ‘Voyeurism’ as our November theme. This wasn’t a mistake, as we had some submissions which were great.. But this was definitely a pointer that we maybe shouldn’t make our themes so vague or cryptic. The issue itself was great but it didn’t seem to grab as much attention as previous months..

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I drew the cover for November, which I was happy with, and it made me want to draw more! As time goes on and we produce more issues, It’s becoming obvious that working on Slimeball has really encouraged the creative side of me to make stuff without needing a real reason, and without having to justify my creative choices through a sketchbook full of mistakes or a 1000 word essay, like you would if you were in school!

 

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December was all about things that make us feel good. We wanted the issue to be about ‘Comfort and Joy’, extending beyond Christmas too! We had a DIY den building article, a feel-good film list and a Yorkshire Pudding how-to! 

 

We decided to have a break in January, as things were manic after Christmas. We needed to wind down and plan.. We decided that our February issue would celebrate things that come in pairs and settled on the theme of ‘Just the Two of Us’. Choosing a theme is something we do quite impulsively. We try not to think too much about it as I wouldn’t want to find myself expecting certain types of submissions because I’ve chosen a very specific theme, but then also we don’t want the problem of too vague a theme cropping up again. I always love hearing feedback from people, so if you feel like you have come up with a killer theme for us don’t be shy to let us know!!

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To date, February is the latest issue we have created.. I drew this cover too, and thought the image of Sid and Nancy says so much about partnerships and pairings, the fun and spontaneity but also the destructive element that can sometimes arise too from being bound and linked to a person.

You may have noticed that the covers alternate in style, we take it in turns to create the front covers with me thinking up the September, November and February ones so far and Charli making the amazing October and December covers! I’m super excited to see Charli’s ‘Out of This World’ cover for March!

The latest (Just the Two of Us) issue has lots of submissions, which we love to see. The future of Slimeball now is in the submissions. It is a platform for all you creative people to make some art in any form to be shared! 

If you would like to be involved and be a Slimekid, please ‘like’ our page on facebook, which should appear if you search for ‘Slimeball Zine’. We would urge you to try get your hands on a copy too! Each month we only print 100 copies so the key is to get in there quick! Slimeball is stocked in Travelling Man, Pop Boutique, Mad Elizabeth, OK Comics, Birds Yard and Black Crown Tattoo in Leeds for free, but we are happy to post issues within the UK for 50p (just to cover postage!) and for a little bit more we will even send them to exotic lands!

To submit to Slimeball be sure to keep your eye on the Facebook page as that’s how we communicate to the Slimekids.. We are also on twitter too @slimeballzine. Once you know what the theme is and the deadline date you can get busy creating whatever it is you create which could be (but is not limited to) poetry, art, illustration, tutorials, articles, photos, collage, prose, stories, lists, reviews and whatever else you can think of!! We then ask that whatever you create be viewable in Black and White and make sense in A6 format. We don’t mind shrinking down A4 or A5 pieces on our copier, but please don’t write tiny or put teeny details in the original bigger drawing as this will get lost when we shrink it!

Once we receive submissions we decide which ones go in the issue based on whether they have the Slimeball feel to them. We are working on a way to showcase any submissions that we unfortunately don’t have room for in the zine by putting them online. We are also working on ways we can show off the work of video makers and other digital format artists online too!

All submissions must be sent to slimeballzine@gmail.com and we would love it if you could say whether you would like to be credited or not! You always get a copy posted to you if you submit too so please include your address in the email!

I hope I have given you a little glimpse inside what goes on at Slimeball HQ. We love the response we get from people who have experienced our little zine. Please.. spread the word and be a Slimekid 4 Life!

Kate xx

PS: March’s theme is ‘Out of This World’!