Saturday, December 17, 2011

Real Girl DIY Guest Post!

Hey Guys!
Sorry for the hiatus, some family stuff came up that kept me pretty occupied. I'm excited to be back though, and especially excited about this guest post from Deb of Real Girl Runway . We did a blog swap so you can check out my thrifting tips and secondhand outfit on her page too!

Hi, I’m Deb from Real Girl Runway. Thanks so much to Kati for hosting me here today. I love Kati’s blog and her style, especially her thrifted outfits. She asked me to share a DIY creation with you. I hope you like the clutch. It was super easy and inexpensive.

There are so many cute little bags in my closet that I love but rarely use. They make appearances at
parties and dressy events. On a daily basis I need a big bag. I love the look of a clutch for day but it
has to be a large one. Several years ago, I got a Louis Vuitton zipper file portfolio at a flea market for
$20. I use it as a large day clutch. A stand-out, day clutch in a larger size is a fun alternative to a tote or
shoulder bag. I’m in love with the Large Leather Carry All Pouch that American Apparel is selling right
now. It’s on the must list and arms of many fashion bloggers. Some of them are even using the bag to
make their own with DIY projects. The $68 price tag makes it a little more expensive than I like for my
own DIY projects.

I’m always looking for new inspiration and the other day while walking through Target I spotted Duck
Tape in lots of colors and patterns. The plaid tape was so much fun in blue and purple that it inspired an idea for a day clutch DIY of my own. Originally my idea included using a padded mailing envelope as the base. While I was looking around, I found a large vinyl pouch that was perfect and only about $1 more than a padded envelope!

Supply List
  • Vinyl Zipper Pouch $3.24
  • Plaid Duck Tape $3.99
  • Chrome Duck Tape $3.99
  • Beaded Tassel $0.50
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Marking Tape
I decided to use Chrome tape, in addition to the plaid, to give the clutch a little visual interest.  I started by measuring and marking the bag with tape to ensure the top and bottom were lined up correctly.  I created tape marks on both sides of the clutch. 

I measured a piece of chrome tape for the top and a piece of plaid tape for the bottom of the clutch.
Using the tape marks, I applied the chrome tape across the top. I applied the bottom piece of tape using the marks and folded the tape along the bottom of the envelope and folded it over to the other side of the clutch.

I continued the process by lining up the plaid. Then I trimmed the tape on each end and folded it into the seam.

I repeated the process on the other side of the clutch.  Then I attached the beaded tassel.  I got this tassel in a grab bag from the fabric store.  I paid $5 for a large zip loc bag full of buttons, buckles, and other items (including the tassel).  

I couldn’t wait to use my new clutch. I paired it with jeans, boots, a thin sweater, a moto jacket and hat
for a casual weekend look.

The finally tally on supplies for the clutch was just $11.72! I have even have enough tape left over
to make a few more clutches for friends. I definitely achieved my goal of a fun day clutch that fit my
bargain budget.

Happy DIY Real Girls!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cry Baby

Welcome to another addition of Fash Math! This outfit is kind of my mash up of the opposite ends of the style spectrum in the 60s. I'm drawn to both the classic style of Betty Draper on Mad Men, for the architectural shapes, the soft colors and ladylike details. On the other hand, I love the bohemian freeness that Janis Joplin was known for and I always find it creeping into my outfits. Check it out, do you think the math works out? Everything in this outfit was thrifted from The Arc. Isn't the vest adorable? It was only $3.99 and it's Nicole Miller.

The skirt is definitely my favorite recent purchase and it was only $6.50. The pleats give it such a nice shape and the colors are so unexpected for a plaid pattern. It's also great for the colder weather we've been getting because it's made out of this really nice, thick wool.

Mixing and matching pieces inspired by figures from different decades is one of my favorite ways to communicate a vibe with my clothes. I want this particular outfit to say, I'm classic and stylish with a rebellious heart. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Beginner's Guide to Thrifting

In today's economy, spending a lot of money on new clothes isn't really an option for most people. Personally, I shop pretty much exclusively at thrift and secondhand stores like Goodwill. Some might find the idea of wearing someone else's clothes unappealing, but I mean, just wash it before you wear it and everything will be fine. Also, ethically, shopping at thrift stores is kind of the only way to guarantee you're not giving money to companies who use sweat shop labor or are just overall super corrupt. Anyway, as awesome and fun as thrifting is, it can be pretty overwhelming if you're just starting out. If you're like me and find yourself having sensory overload in big department stores or any shopping experience really, thrifting can be a welcome relief from the pushy salespeople and flashy advertisements, but it can also be tricky to find the treasures amidst the inevitable trash. NEVER FEAR, I'll get you through it.

Top 10 Thrift Tips

How to Have the Best Thrift Shopping Experience

thrift haul1. If you're new to thrifting, start out going on weekdays and earlier on in the day:
It's a jungle out there, especially on weekends which can often be when stores like Goodwill and The Arc have specials (50% off day at The Arc is my JAM but it can get crazy).

2. Learn the lay of the land:
Most secondhand stores are split into sections based on gender and clothing type. Secondarily, the racks will be roughly organized by size and if you're lucky, color. If you're new to a store, take a few laps around it before you dig in to the racks so you can map out a game plan.

3. Don't miss out on the accessories:
I personally get everything from shoes to sunglasses at thrift stores, but if you're a beginner, start with the belts and jewelry sections. They're usually set off pretty distinctly from the clutter (jewelry often in a case by the checkout counter, belts typically to the side of the clothes racks).

4. If you're shopping to save, avoid the more selective "vintage boutiques":
While they'll have an undoubtedly tempting selection, they're also charging for the service of picking out the clothes. That means an item that would normally be $6.99 can go for upwards of $30.

5. Don't be afraid to trust your eye/gut:
A lot of times a pattern or color will jump out at you but the shape/fit is all wrong once you take a second look. I like to pick up that stuff anyway because you never know how you can DIY it into something awesome. I've made dresses into shirts, shirts into scarves, the possibilities are endless.

6. Keep your options open:
I've found some of my favorite items in the men's section, maternity section, you name it! Don't be afraid to branch out and see what's out there.

7. Check out the book section:
I've found countless treasures for my bookshelf, but also a ton of children's books with amazing illustrations that I like to use to collage.

8.Take your time:
Thrifting is about the experience. Half the fun is that every item you find will be a diamond in the rough.

9. Get creative and the magic will come:
A thrift store is all about the endless possibilities. One time I found an entire collection of Gustav Klimt prints for ten bucks and a couple antique looking frames. Now my sister's apartment is beautifully decorated! Open yourself up to all the possibilities and all sorts of amazingness will come.

10. Know when to call it a day:
If your feet are achey and you can feel the grump coming on, get yourself to the checkout register, you're experiencing thrift overload.

Check out the rest of my lens on Squidoo for links and more!

Postcard Art and Accidental Inspiration

So I have a confession you guys, I'm addicted to collaging. I seriously can't stop. Every piece of paper I get my hands on can fall victim to my relentless scissors. I have an entire drawer of my tiny, cramped dorm room dedicated to the art of collaging. And yes, my friends, it certainly is an art. I may not be very good at that art, but it doesn't matter, I still make awesome stuff! My most recent endeavor has been making post cards for friends and family, a whole host of which I sent off too soon to scan :(. I've also gotten into collaging on pages in this floppy moleskine I accidentally bought because I thought it had lines. Luckily this error came right at the time when I discovered my obsession with collaging. You guys should seriously try it, it's such an awesome, mindless release of creative energy. I've found myself wanting to do it every night before I go to sleep to wind down. Anyway here's a sample of what I've been up to:

Ben I will give you this eventually! It's one of my faves cause I mix-matched pictures from this skater magazine with 1960s National Geographics and of course, a fair helping of GLITTER~!

This is just a page from my accidental moleskine. I also accidentally spilled nail polish polish on this page, inspiring me to trace my hand and 'make it work' as they say, around it. 

So this one has a whole other spectrum of awesomeness going on. The center image is from this children's book about the Circus that I got at The Arc. The caption underneath reads, "O Mr. Lion, don't you wish you could climb like this?" The whole book is filled with accidentally hilarious captions and hyperbolic stories, and also CATZ R AWESUM! Hence my other obsession of late: my leopard print duct tape. Yeah, it's as awesome as it sounds...

This one's mostly from those old National Geographics

As is this one, but I added a picture from Wired and some commentary with the help of my Circus Animals book. Notice "The Man" giving cheers to the hetero-normative behavior...PUPPETS I SAY! eh hem...moving on.

This one's a postcard for my Rayanne Graff <3 
The feline theme running throughout all this stuff all started with this postcard to my friend Zanny who's abroad for the semester!

This one's mostly pictures from Nylon with a few additions by moi. Notice the money sign stickers  $$$! If only that were real money cause I'm livin' the broke lyffff.

And another post card!

Okay so this one's a combination between Nylon and Martha Stewart Halloween Special. That bottom image is make-up instructions for an 11 year old! Umm what?!! This one's like a comment on media pressures to conform in order to please the male gaze and shit.

Some text and a drawing from the Circus Animals book. Good lesson guys, moms are the best! Oh and more pics from old National Geographics. They really are just so visually pleasing.

Monday, November 7, 2011

FASH MATH: Grungy Prep School Edition



(Eloise + Margot Tenenbaum) ÷ Angela Chase = 

Coat: Goodwill (buttons from Michael's)
Corduroy dress: The Arc Thrift
White Shirt: Sierra Trading Post
Belt: The Arc Thrift
Tights: Delia's
Combat Booties: The Arc Thrift
I'm pretty much obsessed with this outfit and want to be buried in it. First of all, CHECK OUT DAT COAT! It's faux fur and super snuggly, and you can't really tell from this picture, but I sewed the sparkly buttons on myself. I had Xander (the boif) take pics for me as we were walking around campus on our way to lunch. I think the field with the fall colors and mountains in the background kind of captures that boarding school rebel vibe I got going on. Now that I've died my hair red, I kind of channel Angela Chase in everything that I do, but I was really feeling her today with those shoes and the corduroy dress. Have you guys ever seen anything as cute/tough/awesome as these combat booties??

For a height-challenged gal like myself, a little lift is always appreciated, especially when it's a clunky, easy to walk in lift. I really don't know if I'll ever take these off. They go with literally everything. 

I definitely swiped my color scheme from Eloise with the white on black jumper/dress thing. I used to read those books all the time and fantasize about hiding in elevators and of course those mary-janes! I was originally gonna rock a pair of my own for this outfit, but my closet is an abyss and I came across these, which tickled me even more since they definitely rough up the look a bit.

Here I am trying to look snooty, a la Eloise and chilling in my trippy dorm room.

I think the Margot inspiration kind of speaks for itself with the coat. When I saw it in Goodwill over the summer, I almost died right there between the mom jeans and the wedding dresses. I had been looking for a Margot coat forever and this one is just too spot on to be real! The original buttons were uggo-tastic and I knew they had to go, so I picked up some way appealing sparkly ones (I can never say no to sparkle) and remedied the situation super easily. Living in Colorado, you learn to never turn down an awesome/warm coat for $9.99 because real stores charge way (I mean WAAAYYY) more for stuff that's only a fraction as cool.

Check out the rest of the pics. What do you guys think of my math skills? Does it add up to you too?

RA! school spirit...

Please excuse my blank stare.

Friday, October 7, 2011

And Nothing Makes Me Happy, Not Even T.V. or a Bunch of Weed

Gahhh I'm just in a foul mood right now and I just need to vent. Is that okay for all of my like 2 readers?? Ha. Sorry.
This is how I feel about pretty much every aspect of life right now. I feel like I've just been frantically running around trying to please everyone in my life and then they just sort of don't do the same in return. My boyfriend and my sister have been all bickery and passive aggressive with each other and I'm so over it. I just want them both caring about me to be enough for them to make the effort. When they don't, I'm constantly being pulled in two different directions and while it might be fine for them to just pass me around like a rag doll, it's exhausting for me. And it keeps me from being able to do what I want or even KNOW what I want for that matter because I'm constantly worried about upsetting them. So honestly, FUCK THAT. I know at the end of the day it's really just up to me to be strong enough to piss them off, but hopefully they'll realize how hard they're making it on me.
Until then I'll just cuddle this ridiculously perfect pup and cry like a drama queen baby loser...

On the upside, I did just turn 21 on Wednesday and had a pretty fab entrance into adulthood.

Top and Bottom from The Arc Thrift Store
Belt from Goodwill

Here I am being a model before class on the big day. The whole outfit just says "BIRTHDAY," doesn't it??

Left to Right: My Boulder babe, Lily; My southern belle, Woogie; My twinsicle, Dani
Jumpsuit from a stand on Venice Beach, CA
Also note the Rips in my hand. I certainly enjoyed them for the ten minutes they took to consume them and the hour or so they remained in my stomach...

One from the beginning of the night and one from the end, equally sloppy and adorable.

I also started my Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop this week... It's such an incredible opportunity to be able to take this class early and with such an amazing visiting professor (if you haven't heard of Jim Moore, look up his stuff immediately, he's a genius) and GAH it's var var intimidating. I'm trying to just shut myself up and not over-criticize and whatnot, but it's soSO hard not to think that my stuff just doesn't measure up. Maybe I'll post some poems on here soon or maybe I'll just be a coward 4eva?! Only time will tell my friends.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Secondhand Fantasy Land: Zine Edition

So for those of you who look at this blog that AREN'T my mom and my sister and therefore don't know everything about me, I'm a junior at Colorado College where we're on the block plan (as opposed to the semester plan). That basically just means that we take one class at a time, for three and a half weeks each. There are upsides and downsides, but it's definitely my preferred way to learn just because you can get so in depth into the class and just in time for you to get totally sick of it, you get to move on. Anyway, the point of all this is that my first block of the semester was pretty much the most amazing thing evereverEVER and it led to the creation of my first zine! The class was called, "Creativity: Theory and Practice" and it was taught by two amazing professors, one from sociology and one from poetry. It was basically all about the creative process and how it fits in (or doesn't really fit in) to society. Every day we would do some sort of creative exercise and have class discussions about all the different texts we read. In lieu of a final we all wrote research papers on some aspect of the creative process and complete our own creative project of our choosing. The best part about the whole thing was how open-ended it was so we could really make it into whatever we wanted. Creative projects ranged from interpretive cupcakes to postcard puzzles to defiant graffiti - it was just unlimited awesomeness. I wish I could show you guys all the incredible things people came up with! I can't do that, but I CAN share my project :). This blog has been a great place for me to express myself creatively and also a big part of me developing my own style philosophy, hence it was the perfect inspiration for my final project. It sucks because I feel like clothes can be the greatest form of expression, but a lot of the time we just buy the shit that stores or brands want to sell us. Anywayyy this zine is just my answer to that and hopefully it'll be the first of many! So without further adieu, here is Secondhand Fantasy Land - The Zine:

I hope you enjoy and if you want to contribute to any future zines, please let me know!!! And if you want to see the pages bigger, click HERE!