Kate the Flower Fairy

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Here I am as a flower fairy as promised! I am wearing the flower crown I made yesterday in my video tutorial and also a wig by geishawigs.bigcartel.com

Please share your DIY flower crown photos through my Facebook page or by hash tagging ‘igetdressedinthemorning’ on Instagram!

Kate xx

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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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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

 

Etsy Cute 1/12/12 – Party Time

Here’s my selection of items to inject cute into the festive party season!!

Click the pictures to view the items on Etsy!

Mini Mouse Dress!! ^_^

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Become a fully fledged member of the Disney Club!

I discovered Devowevo a while ago, but back then I think they had a different name. They do all kinds of adorable dresses with ponies, owls, rainbows and all sorts on them! This dress with Minnie’s grinning face is perfect for a night out! I would wear it with nice thick black tights and maybe some crazy sculptural heels like these.

Pastel Bow Goodness!

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Sugar sweeten your hair!

For all you pastel lovers out there! (me!) I’ve found this amazing crochet hairbow complete with sugary sweet inspired heart decorations! It’s from a seller I have just discovered, Sugar Junkie Shop, and their name doesn’t disappoint . If you want all things candified you’ll want to check them out! I would wear this with a pastel dress and white tights! 

Rainbow Tights! ❤

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Wear the rainbow!

Okay, I’m obsessed with tights… just think of all the possibilities! Like these wonderful pastel rainbow tights by Virivee. Hand dyed and 50 Dernier means they are truly unique and will last for a fair while. These would be perfect for anyone keen to pop a little bit of subtle cute into an outfit. Why not whip out a cute black dress and doll it up with these? How about this one?!

Yum Yum Nails! 🙂

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Kawaii Claws! 

One thing that might not be obvious to buy from Etsy are nails… But they ARE essential in looking adorable over the festive season! These Yum Yums nails are handpainted by nail artist Mkittynails in Japan! So you will be buying genuine kawaii goodness from the land that invented cute! There are more than just these to choose from, and jazzing up your nails will last longer than just one night, why not treat yourself to this sugar sweet manicure for Christmas day and get out of doing the washing up! ^_^

Sweet Snuggly Sweater!

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Boys need some ‘cute’ too this Christmas!

Who said that lovely things were just for girls? Any fun loving fella would appreciate this sweet sweater from Rogue Retro! On the other hand, any gorgeous girly could wear this too in a casual big-n-baggy sort of way with leggings and heels for cosy drinks with friends. Everyone needs a Christmas jumper so why not make it a wonderfully adorable one?! I would wear this with a big red bow, like this one!

 

If you have any suggestions for Etsy sellers you think I would like, please don’t hesitate to email me.. katykamikaze@gmail.com

This Lives In My House – Paper Toy Monsters

Here is a picture of the thing:

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Hey look I got a little better at taking a picture! Go me.

I MADE THESE MYSELF!! I know, I’m a genius huh? No really… I did fold and stick these myself, but they are from an awesome book I bought from my local ‘Travelling Man’ comic book shop in Leeds.

I don’t know what compelled me to buy it.. I have never been particularly interested in paper toys before, but I DO like vinyl and collectible toys, so I guess my inner child (so all of me then) couldn’t resist!

Here is the book they are from..

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Jam packed with awesome paper toys!

If you want it too, you can buy it HERE. I can’t tell you just how fun they are to make! Some of the expressions on them are amazing. Like the little bed guy… he’s my fave! 

I have made roughly a third of the toys in this book (more than I have shown on the photo). Some were really hard and not fit for anyone to see by the time I finished mangling them all up! In the back of the book they have blank templates for you to draw, paint, collage or whatever your own designs onto!

I keep my little fellas in my display cabinet with all my other toys.. which you will probably see in a future ‘This Lives In My House’ post!

Kate x

Etsy Cute 16/11/12 – Gift Ideas

Since Christmas is going to be upon us sooner than we think, I’m going to focus today’s Etsy Cute around incorporating kawaii into other peoples Christmas gifts! Because cute is meant to be shared!

(Click pictures for links to Etsy stores!)

 

For Baby:

You can’t really justify spending a fortune on kids until they are old enough to appreciate it properly/ not grow out of everything within a week! So baby gifts have to have longevity and take them through to toddlerhood or be very reasonably priced if they will only be used for a few months. Oh, and if you’re me… they have to be CUTE!

I found the solution!

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Is there ANYTHING cuter than baby dino feet?

These awesome knitted booties are perfect for any little monster at Christmas! Adorable and toasty warm! They are available from the wonderful ‘Lemonade and Magnolia‘ run by Kylie Mustapic. I have been lucky enough to see more of Kylie’s work than is available on her Etsy as she is a Leeds based children’s wear designer. She does craft fairs and maintains a sale space in Bird’s Yard in Leeds. This talented miss also creates hairclips, homewares and grown-up’s accessories! 

 

For Grandma:

It could be fairly difficult to explain the concept of Kawaii to granny.. so why not just show her by giving her an awesome handmade gift this Christmas?

Here you go..

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50’s Chic for Grandma on Christmas Day!

Now, I am well aware that not all Grandmas enjoy baking, cooking, knitting and coffee mornings, but this is MY Etsy Cute post and I am imagining MY Grandma. She very much loves all of the aforementioned things. Last Christmas I made my Grandma a half apron, as she wears one most of the time around the house. If I was short on time however, I would have bought a handmade apron instead and supported a small business. Let’s just stop to admire this one from ‘Boojiboo‘ shall we?

There are many, many, many apron sellers on Etsy.. And since my favourite (Dot’s Diner) have ceased trading, Boojiboo have quickly taken the ‘adorable apron’ space in my heart. JUST LOOK AT IT!! It brings a chic 50’s skirt vibe to Grannies look whilst still being super practical AND adorable! It’s subtle enough to be classy and still fun. A+ for Boojiboo I think!

 

For Workmates:

I bet you guys did a secret santa huh? And now you might be going ‘Aaargghhhhh, what do I get this person? They are into everything I am not! How do I please them HHHEEEELP!’ no? Just me then…

Incorporating cute and still keeping it mysterious as to who have supplied said gift to the bulging pile at the Christmas do may be pretty hard but oh well, everyone figures out who got who anyway!

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Guys, thats a cat hiding in a mug..

I obviously don’t know what your budget is… at my work, it’s ridiculously low….this makes for funny gifts from the pound shop and some great giggles. If you work in a more conservative office environment, or take your Secret Santa more seriously then these mugs by Spademan Pottery are so perfect!

They do SO MANY different ones and finding out someones favourite animal isn’t hard at all! You can order these mugs plain on the outside so the little critter is a true surprise, or have the animal paw prints on the outside, if you know your colleague wants to show off their adoration! The items from Spademan Pottery are such good value for money.. remember.. you are buying HANDMADE! for under £20!

 

For Best Friends:

Honestly, you really should know what to buy your best friend.. but okaaaaayy, i’ll do some of the work for you!

Chances are if YOU like cute things, your best friend does too.. so you can go all out on the sugar sweet factor here! 

How about this:

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Pens at the ready! Make your best friend your PENPAL! cute factor? 100!

Me and my best friend write letters to each other! She lives in a different city, talking and texting is fine, but just seeing her handwriting, drawings and little posted gifts makes me do a little cry from pure joy! You should try it with your bestie even if you live next door to each other!

People often forget there are some amazing sellers on Etsy who specialise in expertly picked vintage items, and not just handmade. I am a lover of all things vintage.. my favourite eras being the 50’s and 60’s (and some cute 70’s too!). ‘Tinsel and Trinkets‘ sell paper ephemera, plastic trinkets and retro holiday decorations. My favourite item in their store is this pack of wonderful letter writing paper! Obviously giving writing paper means you may eventually receive it yourself with a lovingly written message on it! But I would encourage my bestie to use these in her scrapbook and enjoy them every day! 

(Hint to bestie: I didn’t get you this.. that would be ruining the surprise! I got you something just as cute though!)

 

Just the four for today! I tried to pick gift idea for people who aren’t ‘mum, dad, brother, sister’ etc. Something a bit different! Hope you enjoy browsing Etsy! 

Kate xx

 

 

 

 

Harajuku Shopping Guide – 2. Beyond The Main Street

So… let’s continue our Harajuku shopping guide shall we? Last time, I told you all about Takeshita Dori and the many awesome shops that line the busy main street. Today i’ll take you across Meiji Dori and down the street signposted ‘Harajuku St’.

When you got to the bottom of Takeshita Dori last time, I forgot to mention the shop ‘Bowl O Rama’. This is pretty much right next to you on the right hand side at the bottom of the street. It sells all kinds of vintage and reproduction vintage items, the guys stuff consists of levi jeans, retro bowling shirts and work boots and the girls stuff includes cute bandana inspired print dresses, cat shaped handbags and accessories galore!

Now you need to cross the street that cuts off Takeshita Dori (it’s called Meiji Dori) and head towards the narrow street directly opposite called ‘Harajuku St’. Just before you start to go down this street you will notice that there is a kind of side street immediately to your right. There are some awesome shops down here, you could check them out now before heading down Harajuku St or later, once you retrace your steps!

As you walk down Harajuku St you will already notice that the atmosphere is different to that of Takeshita Dori.. none of your tacky tourist junk here! Instead, this street is lined with more niche shops, there’s an ethical clothing store, a couple of really good vintage shops, and loads more! Look up and just a little way down the street you will see a shop called ‘G2?’. This place is a really good vintage shop if you are looking for a mixture of specialist and everyday items.. They have awesome blouses and t-shirts snuggled up next to full 50’s ballgowns! If super rare handbags from the 40’s,50’s and 60’s are your thing, they have a whole room for them!!

I *think* down this street there should also be a shop with a carousel horse lamp in the window.. now the lamp is, unfortunately, not for sale.. but the store is pretty cool. I always forget what it’s called though. They sell those crazy platform converse, printed tights, weird almost 90’s looking clothes and kitschy jewellery.. It’s SO worth a look!

Eventually, if you keep going down Harajuku St, you will get to a poochie fashion shop. Now, i’m not a fan of dogs myself.. but I LOVE that this place exists! On a Saturday you will usually see rich housewives with their Chihuahuas in baskets buying gilt collars or velvet doggie beds. It’s definitely fascinating to someone like me.. I am always interested in the lengths people go to to feed obsession!

The dog shop is on a corner, and the road that creates the corner with Harajuku St is a pretty good one to veer off and explore too! If you imagine you are standing facing away from Meiji Dori on Harajuku St you want to go down this new street by turning left. Going right is good too, but maybe explore that later! As you head down this new street you wil see shops dedicated to selling Alice in Wonderland themed Gothic Lolita clothing, new designers opening pop-up shops, more vintage clothing stores, a shop selling nothing but hawaiian goods, super swanky menswear shops and a little boutique selling re-worked clothing (i’m talking Rainbow Brite bedsheets turned into dresses, you guys!) Heck, if you walk even further down this street you will find a huge toy store selling everything from Marvel action figures to super rare and collectible film props! Oh, and if coffee is your thing, just a tiny bit further down you will find a minuscule three story corrugated iron structure which houses a coffee shop specialising in latte art! (Top tip: buy your coffee at ground level then head up to the top floor for a super cosy break from shopping!).

The good stuff on this street kinda ends at the coffee shop, so you want to turn around and walk back to where the doggie shop is. Once you get back there, continue walking down Harajuku St, away from Meiji Dori. It will feel like you are walking into a residential area, the road sort of ramps up, towards a wall, but then curves round. If you followed the road you should see a building with steps at the side of it that lead up to the 1st floor. All the ground floor shops are accessible from the front of the building, you will be looking at the side from this angle. For all you designer toy and streetwear geeks, this is where Bounty Hunter is! At street level and closest to the road. Go in here for a glimpse of the mega successful designer toy company… they now mainly seem to do streetwear and accessories, but there should be a few cabinets with vinyl toys too!

If you come out of Bounty Hunter and head towards the building opposite (it looks like someones house!) You will find an awesome antiques shop. You usually have to squeeze yourself between the wall and the owners car (I swear it’s just his house!) and you’re in! They sell all sorts… metal printing press letters, antique bridles, clothing, lace handkerchiefs, vintage signage.. pretty much EVERYTHING!

Back over the road and up the stairs of the first building here and you will find my two all time favourite shops in Harajuku.. Erostika and Secret Base. Erostika is the Harajuku based store of the insanely talented, totally cool ‘Rockin’ Jellybean’. RJB is a mysterious lowbrow artist who creates eye popping illustrations and prints which he then puts on T-Shirts, underwear, stickers, badges, phone cases and more! He famously never shows his face and wears wrestling masks to oscure his identity! You can buy high quality hand screenprinted editions of his works to put on your wall (me and boyfriend have four now), Vinyl toy representations of the characters he created (we have one, signed!), merchandise such as lighters, ashtrays and other bits and bobs and records he has done the artwork for (including the 5,6,7,8’s).

The second time I went to Tokyo, I had the fortune of visiting when RJB would be signing stuff in Erostika. I went with boyfriend, our friend who was holidaying with us and my Japanese friend Toy (she runs BAPSjapon). RJB was such a nice guy, spoke to us in English quite well and was happy to pose and sign things for us! Just in case you were thinking this is a long and wordy post… here’s a picture Toy took of the event in question. You can see how awesome the shop is!

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All Credit for the image goes to Toy of BAPS JAPON, RJB and EROSTIKA

Boyfriend, me and RJB!

It’s worth having a chat to the guy who works at the Erostika store. His name is Wild Ox and his English is really good. He can usually point out some good gigs to go to, or events that might be on while you’re around. He is always happy to help with sizing too so if you can’t see a T-Shirt in your size he will look for you!

If you come out of Erostika (I know, it’s hard) and go to the metal door across the corridor directly opposite you will find Secret Base. Secret Base is probably my favourite designer toy company I have encountered. The inside of their store houses little works of vinyl art behind metal bars and on high shelves. It feels a little like a secret club, and can be somewhat overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking at. SB create new collections and editions of toys quite regularly, I bought boyfriend a fat Ronald McDonald they created in cahoots with Ron English, based on his paintings.

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Secret Base McHumberger X-Ray Version Toy

As well as all the awesome toys, Secret Base sell T-Shirts and other collectibles too, including toys from other distributors they collaborate with. If you see something in here you like, I would say buy it. Chances are it won’t be here for long as SB toys are sought after.

Well, thats about it for this entry. I know it was a lot of words and not much to look at, maybe i should find some of my Tokyo photos and give you a visual feast next time!

In Part 3 I will tell you all about LaForet and Tokyu Plaza malls!

Kate xx