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

DIY Delight: Flamboyant Flower Crown

I recently went to Topshop in leeds to have a nosey and get some inspiration to make some bits and pieces.

I discovered these two flower crowns in their accessories section for £20!!! TWENTY POUNDS!! Just no, really.. that is so extortionately priced.. since they are actually super easy to make!

Flower crowns have been fairly ‘in’ for a while now, probably kicked off by the whole Lana Del Rey fad.. they now seem to be here to stay. This is a good thing in my book.. flower crowns scream 1990’s fairy punk to me.. an obviously smashing look for Spring!

Here are the Topshop £20 offenders…

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I had made a flower crown some time ago (it is the one shown at the beginning of the video below) and had great fun creating it! I can’t stress how easy this little project is, and I know lots of you will already have most of the bits lying around! All it takes is a few fake flowers, a hairband and some DIY glue!

So here you go, my first ever video post.. please excuse my funny sounding voice (I’m from Huddersfield, I’m afraid I can’t help it!) and the shaky camera! I will get better, I promise!

I’ll be posting photos tomorrow of me in my new flower crown! Be sure to post up pics on FB, instagram and your own blogs and tag ‘igetdressedinthemorning’ if you decide to make your own flower crown!

Kate xx

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Etsy Cute 01/04/13 – Sugar Rush

I’m guessing you’re all full of chocolate eggs and Easter sweets? Well i’ve been a sweetie fan from the second I could talk, and todays Etsy Cute is all about sweet things, candy, sugar and confections!

Sweet Insults!

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Plz Die

I’ve had my eye on this for a while… there are some things I find on Etsy and don’t post straight away because I feel like I want them all to myself, but this sweater is perfect for the sweet theme we’ve got going on.

Created by fASHLIN, this super cool sweater is adorable at first but look closer, it’s covered with insults! It appeals to my juvenile brat perfectly and is definitely on my birthday wishlist!

Their products are totally 90’s influenced, with Daria T-shirts, head jewellery and slime effect everything! Check them out and re-live the days of Goosebumps, bindis and The Craft!

Cosmic Lollipops!

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I wanna lick Uranus.. teehee! 

Much like the sweater, I had seen these amazing space-pops a while ago on Tumblr, and since found the creator ‘Vintage Confections’ on Etsy.

Being a huge science and space fanatic, I desperately want to shove them all in my mouth in one go… but I think i’ll wait and save them for a special treat purchase one day! My favourite planet is Saturn, but my favourite of these lollies is the Sun, I think the ones that take up the whole lolly and look globe-like are amazing! Guys… It’s a planet, in sugar form, ON A STICK! *drool*.

Vintage Confections sell other amazing candy too! Loads of designs and flavours! You can even order flavour samples, in case you’re not sure which to go for. This is true gourmet candy at it’s finest, expertly made and unique!

Jelly Beanie Bow!

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Sweet hair bow, bro!

I can never get enough of bows, I do worry I’m getting a bit old to rock them now without looking ridiculous, but then I remember that I DON’T CARE!

The pastel dreaminess mixed with sugary perfection of this little treat have me practically thrusting at my computer screen. Made by the aptly named Super Kawaii Bows, it’s also a total steal at only £3.40 (not including shipping).

They have a TONNE of amazing bows in their store, including ‘starter packs’ of 11 solid coloured bows and multipacks of different metallics! Perfect to bulk out your bow collection!

Crotchet Cupcake!

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Swirly cupcake confection perfection!

Yes I know it’s Twinkie Chan again!! WOOOH! (love that girl so hard!). I’m also loving this swirly cute cupcake slouch hat currently for sale on her Etsy! It’s a custom listing, so the colours can be changed and as with all her masterpieces, it’s really reasonably priced at just over £30.. remember guys, that’s all crocheted by hand!

You’ve probably heard (read?) me bang on about Twinkie Chan before.. but just in case you haven’t.. she’s a wonderfully inspiring crafter based in San Francisco! She learnt to crochet from a friends Grandma and now runs a food themed crochet empire!

Check her out, it’s pretty amazing stuff!

Just four for today.. Unfortunately I am a human and my head is killing me! What I would give to be a sexy android robo-babe who never gets ill… 

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have an Etsy Cute theme to suggest!

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

Etsy Cute 10/02/13 – Be Mine

We don’t celebrate Valentines in our household (boo! hiss! something about Boyfriend not needing an excuse to lavish me with attention!), but I know a lot of people love this Hallmark holiday (myself secretly included). Here I have picked out some cute valentines alternatives… because any kawaii lover would be disappointed by a bunch of flowers and some chocolate.

Valentine Monster!

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Grumble Cave Monsters create and sell super cute furry pals for you to squish and cuddle!  They are UK based, so the shipping won’t be ridiculous, and at £25 this piece of adorableness is very reasonably priced! This particular little fella is one of only six of this valentines design! I love his huuuge eyes and soft plushie heart!

There is even a little description about the monsters and where they live! It’s too cute for words. The listing states only one left though so hurry!

Rocket Card!

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It’s not a secret that I love cute things, nor is it a secret that I love space and science. This card is basically PERFECT! I love the retro feel to the graphics and the little heart touches everywhere! It’s pretty pricey shipping on this item but if it’s for the one you love, it’s worth it!

It is designed and made by Emily Kuznar of Captain’s Print Co. She’s a graphic designer based in Minnesota some times and Wisconsin the rest of the time.

Check out her other designs as there are loads that will appeal to pop culture fans!

Heart Crayons!

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Now, these are advertised as a child’s valentine present but HELLO.. what about the big kid in all of us! Just imagine what a cute date you could have building a den and colouring in together!

We don’t get ‘Conversation Hearts’ sweets in the UK, but we do get ‘Love Hearts’ and they are very similar! (also in my top 10 favourite sweets… hmm, possible future blog post!?)

I love how seller Merrill of Ivy Lane Designs re-cycles old crayons to make them into something adorable and far more appealing. I’m a great fan of using everything up so as not to pollute this lovely planet so A+ for Merrill! She also makes notebooks re-cycled from packaging, record covers and paint charts, and little matchbox party favours!

They come in sets of five, and I gather you can pick your colours, but I may be wrong. If you buy two sets you could have all 10 colours anyway! And they are a steal at only £10.50 (that’s with me including the international shipping!)

Cat Lady Shirt!

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 If you are destined to be a lonely cat lady this valentines (or even if you are not, and just love cats), why not embrace it and don this cute tee by Courtney Wyman of Wider Awake?!

I love the simplicity of the typography and the sweet little whiskers and heart nose! Perfect for injecting a hint of subtle valentines into an outfit! It’s only £19.50 (again I included shipping for you guys), so there’s no real reason not to go for this beauty!

Her other items are super simple but equally adorable, there’s more tees, cards and prints!

Also, this would look cute with some skinny jeans and some kitty shoes from Em & Sprout!!

Vintage Hankies!

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Nobody seems to use handkerchiefs anymore, and that’s a real shame since there are so many adorable ones kicking around on Etsy right now! They are so useful.. as decoration tied around a bag handle, in your hair, poking out of a pocket, as a little table decoration under a bowl or plant and for blowing your nose with!

This set of two vintage valentines hankies is being sold by Pixie Dust Linens who have loads of amazing vintage textile items and clothing patterns in their Etsy shop!

If you love the idea of giving a little hankie to a loved one do check out all of Etsy as there are literally HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS to choose from!

That’s all for now folks! Kate xx

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’!

Etsy Cute 17/01/13 – Study Hard

So my school and college days are over! But I still enjoy burying my head in a book and learning! On top of that I work hard on practising my writing, publishing my zine (Slimeball), sewing and working on this blog! 

I thought it fitting then, that I write an Etsy Cute post dedicated to injecting the adorable into our office and work spaces! 

Mean Girls Pencils! 

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I know, I know.. Mean Girls.. the ultimate tacky American bimbo film.. but I LOVE it! These innocent looking pencils have the movie’s most famous quotes on them, including my favourite, ‘Boo, You Whore’.

They are by The Common Grade, who do all sorts of famous movie quote pencils, pins and notebooks and the full set is only about £5.00!

 

Mountain Monster Notebook!

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Look at his adorable little monstery face! Eeee!

This super cute little monster notebook is by the very talented Kim Lawler of Finest Imaginary. Kim is based in my hometown of Huddersfield, and I have been aware of her work for a while now, after meeting her at a few craft fairs. 

This handy pocket notebook can be made lined or plain (you just make your note on checkout) and features a screen printed original Mountain Monster design (seriously guys, I cannot get over how ADORABLE he is!!) It’s a steal at only £4.00!!

 

Retro TV Pencil Case!

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Mary had a super cute retro little lamb!

Nongjianu sells all kinds of retro and kawaii stationery! My favourite of their retro pencil cases is this ‘Mary and her Little Lamb’ one. I love the fact it looks like a vintage TV set, and the inside is super roomy and boxy, to prevent pesky snapped leads. It’s well worth the £13 price tag as you could use it as a quirky clutch bag on nights out or a super sweet makeup case!

 

Bunny Corner Bookmark!

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Sleepy Bookmark Bunny

I actually did a squeee when I saw this! This little fella is so cute and happy looking! He slots over the corner of the page you want to keep and his little ears stick out of your book! This would be perfect for all of you with lots of heavy reading to do for uni… it’ll make opening that text far more enjoyable! 

Book bunny is only around £4.00 from ‘So Cute Things‘ on Etsy! 

 

Rainbow Kitty iPad Cover!

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I died.

I saved the best til last for you guys!! Another amazing piece from a seller I have featured before, Sugar Junkie Shop! I mentioned her crochet bow in my Etsy Cute Party Time post!

I just love the pastel rainbow effect, the neatness of the stitches, the blank little kitty expression and THOSE EARS!!! I died, I totally died from the cuteness.. I am now a blogging ghost, thats how much I died.

This version is an iPad case, but it also comes as a Kindle Fire case and an iPad Mini case. I just wish she did a Macbook version and I would have a reason to get one! If you want a slice of kawaii kitty action you can nab one for only £25!!

 

So there is my round up of must have items to motivate you to do more work! But don’t get so lost in a book you forget to read igetdressedinthemorning! 

Kate xx

 

DIY Delight : Super Easy Strawberry Nails!

Hello all,

As promised, here is a quick nail tutorial for all you laquer lovers! This is one of the first designs I got the hang of when I first started painting my nails with little designs on them, I now incorporate these into ‘Fruit Salad’ manicures along with watermelon and pineapple nails. 

The strawberries are the easiest, please forgive me if you feel you can already do these with your eyes closed but I wanted to go with a simple one for my first nail tutorial! 

So here goes!

1. Gather together your polishes.

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I always, ALWAYS use a base coat and top coat. The best I’ve found are Seche Base Ridge Filling Base and Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat both available from many beauty websites online!

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For the design itself, you need a bright red (or pink if you want girly strawbs!), leafy bright green and a pale yellow. You can see which ones I used above!

2. Apply base coat. Apply red (or pink!)

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I would recommend doing a few coats to prevent the colour from looking streaky. Also, can I just apologise for the blurriness of the picture and the fact I’m doing it on a nail wheel.. My nails are not in great condition at the moment!

3. Create your leaves!

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I use a cocktail stick for this bit! Dip your cocktail stick into your green and dab a blob at the top of the nail, drag the polish down and shape it into a triangle pointing downwards, then do two more either side and finally, drag the polish around the edges using the cocktail stick. You may need to do two coats of this if you are using a really runny polish, but always let the layers dry in between, otherwise the red underneath might come through and leave a marbly effect in the green.. and nobody wants mouldy strawberries!

4. Add pips/seeds!

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Wow this is not the best picture! SORRY.. I’ll get better at this I promise! So next you want to add your little yellow thingummys.. I don’t know whether the right word is pips, or seeds or what. Either way.. you need ’em! Dip a clean cocktail stick in your light yellow, making sure you have a little glob on the end, then lightly touch it to the nail in the middle of the red. Use this middle dot to radiate outwards until you have a nice little dotty pattern. Try to make the dots a little elongated and not too uniform in size!

5. Top it off!

Finally, once all of your layers are dry, paint over your whole design with top coat! Even if your top coat is fast dry and will dry your other polish, it is important to let your other polish dry first as applying the topcoat on sticky polish might cause your yummy strawberry to run, and all your hard work will be ruined!

Here’s some I did a while ago!

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These ones were my first attempt from about a year ago! They’re a bit messy and I am by no means a super great nail artist but practise makes perfect!

Have fun strawberrying up your nails! I’d love to see photos! 

Enjoy! Kate x