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!

letter

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!

pinboard

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

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! 

ImageSo Fetch!

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

 

Sometimes I Think Things: The ‘P’ Word

Occasionally, I like to write serious things.. that are maybe a little bit challenging, funny, thought provoking etc (or maybe I THINK they are!) 

I thought I would share this article I wrote a while back as it is about being yourself, both in personality and style. It’s just a short one, it’s not fancy!

I originally wrote this piece for the zine I co-edit with my good friend Charli of Ruby Valentine. Our zine is called ‘Slimeball’ and is totally free. We explore monthly themes through creativity and regularly accept submissions from others. We love seeing how everyone else interprets the themes! 

If you would like any current/ back issues of Slimeball or if you would like to submit work please get in touch with us via our facebook page!

Here’s my article: The ‘P’ Word

The dreaded four words of my teenage years, the sentence which often solidified feelings of being misunderstood.

IT’S JUST A ‘PHASE’.

It’s the kind of comment that’s made by a parent in front of family friends at some kind of awkwardly enforced get-together, a comment which serves more to make the parent feel better than to actually explain anything. During my teens this little gem was whipped out to laugh away various risky subjects such as whichever bright colour I had chosen to dye my hair that week, why I insisted on wearing neon trousers or why I was being a complete bitch to my little brother.

I always felt like the ‘phase’ bomb was a way of making excuses for what I now know just to be teenage curiosity. Parents eager to tell the world I wouldn’t be like this forever.. it’s a temporary thing, i’m not a delinquent just yet.

Whenever ‘It’s Just A Phase’ was used, It would only serve to make me more determined to be that way forever, just to show them. Often I would verbally respond ‘We’ll see about that’ and argue that it would last. I wanted to be forever the rebel girl, with my ripped fishnets, terrible punk band, green hair and sulky face.

When I hit my twenties, I realised somewhere along the lines my aesthetic didn’t fit. I had morphed for years, moving organically from the 70’s tribute punk, to a less high maintenance punk look, to a jeans and t-shirt student, then a faux rockabilly style influenced only by a desire to be ‘cool’ before finally settling into this very eclectic mix of 1960’s vintage and ridiculous Harajuku inspired fashion, which is totally cool with me.

In that moment of realisation I also felt a swell of pride. Sure, the way I look might have changed, but my pride came from knowing that really… none of it was a ‘phase’. It was all me, It IS all me,and I still FEEL the same, I’d still describe myself as a rebellious individual, someone who challenges life, expectations and confines. I am still determined to ‘show them’, whoever ‘they’ present themselves to be.

What outwardly may be seen as others as a ‘phase’, I believe was integral to shaping me as a person. I look back and think, ‘But it was only my appearance’. I become genuinely baffled by the ‘phase’ excuse and why it even needed to be said. If a young person doesn’t experiment, or experience, or express then what kind of person will they grown into? And why are some appearances seen as ‘the norm’ while others have to be explained away with the P-word? Would it not be healthier to encourage transitions between styles, subcultures and interests instead of pigeon-holing everything into a ‘phase’ just for five minutes of a vague, self indulgent but totally imaginary, ‘grown up’ feeling?

Because finally, and this is another epiphany I have had in my twenties, let’s face it. Nobody ‘grows up’. We just get taller, sometimes fatter, and maybe a little better informed. Inside we are the same being as that teenager who was eternally jumping from one thing to another. That continuity of our personality and self is why really, there were never any ‘phases’.

© Kate Rosanne Johnson 2012

 

Kate xx

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

 

 

 

 

What I’m Going To Blog About..

Here is a non-exhaustive list of things I’d like to blog about. Please tell me if any ideas grab your attention or if some are steaming piles of pap..

 

Etsy Picks – I’ll show you my favourite things for sale on Etsy. 

Japan Facts – Stuff i’ve learnt about japan. Weird stuff, interesting stuff, everyday stuff. 

My Harajuku Shopping Guide – my guide to the best shops in the best shopping district in the world!

Stuff We Forgot – Terrible and awesome things from the past/ my childhood that most people forgot about  but are well worth writing at least a paragraph of garbage about now. 

If I Owned This.. – Examples of how I would wear something im lusting after using the glory of polyvore collages

Geek Out – Something I am geeking out on. Let me clarify… I become momentarily obsessed with things on a regular basis. These obsessions usually last a week at best. I will blog about them in the vain attempt to make them more valid.

Outfit posts – go on then, if I have to!

This Lives In My House – I will choose a thing in my house, and tell you a story of where its from, what it does, how I came to own it.

Someone Got Paid To Design That – A suggestion from an Instagram follower… Photos of truly horrific clothes, objects and more that people actually got paid to design.

Terrific Textiles – Another Instagram suggestion.. photos of beautiful textiles, modern and vintage.

 

Please, Please, PLEASE do tell me if you have an idea for anything you want to see! 

katykamikaze@gmail.com

I’m on instagram and twitter as katykamikaze