Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fall Fashion: 4 Igneous Inspirations

I've never been real big on jewel tones. That term has always brought to mind images of generic office supplies and the worst of 1990's fashion, rather than glittering minerals. Or maybe it's because the jewels that saying refers to are usually totally out of my price range. My inspiration is more semi-precious, but just as gorgeous.

You know, I've also hated on puffer vests so much, my sister questioned whether I was the real Catie when I bought one at Value Village this summer. It's a gorgeously rich forest green. Just the type of thing I'm into right now. Anyway, my point is, never say never. Blah blah blah. Read on for my Fall picks. All in luscious, straight-from-the earth, jewel tones.

1. Malachite & Peridot

Luxe greens are at the top of my list. I've been wearing a silk blouse, similar to this one, all summer. It drapes beautifully and is such a refreshing color. My wardrobe is so full of basics and navy blue, a bright, emerald green has made it a lot more fun to get dressed. I'm also dying for a pair of these French Terry Stockholm Pants from the new Love, Hanna line. The whole collection is right on trend and features the comfortable, relaxed silhouettes that are so hot right now. 

Or if you straight-up wanna look like a giant hunk of malachite you can splurge on this jumpsuit from whit® ann for madewell.

2. Amethyst

stone, semi-precious, purple, gem, amethyst, necklace, tocca jewelry
And now we come to another thing I thought I'd never like: purple! For years I've had lukewarm feelings about pretty much any shade of purple. I wouldn't ever say I hated it, but it certainly wasn't a top choice. Now, I own the Tocca Jewelry amethsyt necklace seen above and a top very similar to the gorgeous Rachel Comey for Madewell blouse you see below. Very pale shades are my favorite, but I wouldn't say no to this Amethyst Druzy Bracelet. Hopefully they'll get them back in stock!

3. Lapis Lazuli

You just can't go wrong with blue. Especially one as electric as this one. Many languages even derive their word for blue from the name of this stone. If you want a real piece, Kei Jewelry has a beautiful lapis point necklace on Etsy. If jewelry isn't in the budget this season, I would go for these these comfy cinched pants from Old Navy. I bought a pair and can't stop wearing them. They're surprisingly flattering.

4. Marble & Agate

If you're still more a fan of neutrals, but want to add some texture and detail to your wardrobe, go for marbled pieces. Etsy seems to have about a million faux marble iPhone cases. The one I'm really into is the faux agate one pictured above. For a marbled look you can wear, this Oasap blouse is a steal. I just bought one for myself. It's pretty long, but looks awesome with the blue pants I mentioned above! Outfit post coming soon, I promise.

For more of my picks, visit Jewel Tones pinboard.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Snail Mail Fun Pack

pin to win, neon, envelopes, coral, stickers, confetti, gold

Oh hello again! Come back for more have you? Well, if you're in a crafty mood, thanks to this post on making your envelopes très fabuleux, then I've got a giveaway just for you!!

pin to win, neon, envelopes, coral, stickers, confetti, gold

One winner will get a fancy little starter pack chock full of fun goodies to make their snail mail stand out.

4 Coral flag labels
3 envelopes & flat cards (one is hand-bordered in gold)
2 gel pens
1 A2 clear envelope & 1 4bar clear envelope
A tiny envelope of confetti
Seals, labels, & neon stickers

pin to win, neon, envelopes, coral, stickers, confetti, gold, #pintowin

We have a winner!
#28 Caryn!

Giveaway ends 9/7/14
US Residents Only (sorry)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

DIY: Fun with Envelopes

coral, yellow, paper source, hand lettering, fun fonts, gel pen, polka dot, glitter
 Enough with the boring envelopes. As someone who loves envelopes, possibly even more than cards, I think it's high time we start making our mail as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. Oh, also, you need to start sending more mail. Your grandma would appreciate it.

coral, yellow, paper source, hand lettering, fun fonts, gel pen, polka dot, glitter, washi tape
Besides envelopes and a reason to write, you'll need to gather a few fun tools & decorative bits.

Suggested Bits:

Now, what should we do with all this stuff? Pile it all on? Sure, I guess. If you really like that sort of look... I'm not sure the post office will appreciate the mess, though.

Instead, here are some ideas to try! (In order of trickiness)

1. Fun with pens & shapes

You'll need: Envelopes, washi tape, gel pens, & a paper punch.

I love this flag punch. I use it for a lot of things; tiny banners, cards, gift tags, etc. Turns out it also makes super cute address labels. You can either trace it or glue it on. If you glue it, make sure you get all the edges so it doesn't peel off in the post. On dark envelopes, metallic, white, and any opaque gel pen make addresses easier to read. Neon pens are fun and so are these Souffle Puffy Pens. They're similar to heat embossing, except require no heat or messing embossing powder.

2. Circles Labels

You'll need: Circle stickers, a pencil & a pen

This involves a little more handlettering. That may sound daunting, but handlettering is really just all about practice. A pencil helps immensely, as does a good eraser. For this font, I curved it to sort of fit into the top of the circle. To give it a distinct look, I made all the letters narrow with a low center of gravity. Another fun way to use the circle labels is to cut them in half and use one half for the destination and the other for the return address.

3. Filling up big envelopes (or small ones)

 You'll need: A pencil, a good eraser & a Faber Castell Brush Pen

Do not, I repeat, do not buy a calligraphy pen. They always make your handwriting ugly. Maybe I just don't understand how they work or haven't practiced enough, but whatever. The trick is the brush pen! The nib is soft, like a paint brush. Duh. It's also much finer at the tip which means finer lines. We use them all the time at Paper Source for the handlettering classes we teach. We do not even bother with all those calligraphy pens we carry.

Anyway, pencil, brush pen, and a bit of instruction are all you need. Here is a video. Watch at least the first two minutes.

Done? Ok. Notice how on the down stroke the lines are thicker? That's because he's pressing harder. On the upstroke, there is very little pressure. That's how you get that style. Pretty simple, huh? You can use those rules to write in cursive or print! Also notice that his stuff is not perfect. It is OKAY to not be "perfect". Now go practice, and use the pencil to sketch things out beforehand. When you feel confident in your handlettering you can use it to write big, loopy, ridiculous addresses on your envelopes. But don't show it to your engaged friends. They will ask that you address all 200 of their wedding invites. As a favor.

4. Time to get crazy

coral, yellow, paper source, hand lettering, fun fonts, gel pen, polka dot, glitter

Right now you're probably going "But Catie, I don't have any of these crazy-colorful envelopes you have because I live in Hawaii & we don't have a Paper Source here." Ugh, your life is so hard, is what I would say. Then you say "All I have is this boring white envelope that came with the Hallmark card I bought." Snoozeville! Gawd, they will probably just throw it out with the Amex bill.

Let's put this cattiness behind us. I have an idea. 

Here's what you'll need: Stamps, ink, glitter & confetti, brush pen, & a fun label. I like these labels from the Flourish Collection. They're based in Seattle. Stamps are also a great way to add color and pattern to an otherwise plain envelope. I used a simple circle stamp. For smaller polka dots, use a pencil eraser!

Now, let's put those handlettering skills to work! This time I wrote really fast, so the letters are a little lopsided and messy. This is the style I wanted. Imperfections always make things a little more fun.

Did you know? If you run out of space on the front of an envelope, you can put the return address on the back. Super high-class, right?

For the final touch, I slipped the everything into a cellophane envelope & added confetti! I used the cello envelope that fits a 4bar (tiny) card, but they come in a variety of sizes, all available through Clearbags. This has been my favorite way to send mail all year. An important note, though. Make sure you affix the stamp to the outside of the clear envelope. If the post office can't cancel the stamp, because, say, it's covered in shiny plastic, they may send it back to you!

Well, this has been fun! Now to send all of these off to my imaginary friends. If you have real friends you'd like to send some love to, I'm giving away a snail mail fun pack! 

coral, yellow, paper source, hand lettering, fun fonts, gel pen

For more ideas, visit my Pinterest board.

Also check out all these hand lettering tutorials on YouTube!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Second Annual 29th Birthday

hipsters, vintage, fashion, summer, golden gardens,dinosaur, neon pink, cupcake, apricot, gold,

I've been "planning" for it all year, and now it's come and gone. My 30th birthday, that is. Bye, bye twenties! It's been swell!

apricot, blackberry, cake, cupcake, gold, dinosaur, glitter, neon pink
 The whole theme was rocks and dinosaurs.You know, old stuff. I was first inspired by these cupcakes and eventually ended up sending out these geode invitations.

 I didn't feel like tracking down rock candy for my cupcakes (plus, it doesn't seem like it'd be too pleasant to eat a whole cupcake coated in the stuff). Instead, I spray painted little plastic dinosaurs! I found everything at Fred Meyers! Even the little star sprinkles are from the baking section. What flavors you ask? The yellow cupcakes are apricot and the mauve ones are fig-blackberry. Not my most impressive, but still pretty delicious.

golden gardens, seattle, summer, party, leopard print, fleur d'elise, fashion
I had high hopes of finding a table, but who knew people like to go to the beach on Sundays in the summertime?

stripes, hexagon, paper plates, gold, neon pink, cupcakes, dinosaurs, gems
The hexagonal plates are from Paper Source. I've been waiting like 3 months for a reason to buy them.

 My mom and sister came up, and of course, my niece, Tilly. She helped me get dressed! I would try things on and she would tell me either "Umm, no, not special enough" or "Yes, that's special!" The dress she's wearing is actually one of mine. So is the bracelet.

pink, vintage, summer, leopard print

Such a perfect place to celebrate being alive.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fleur d'Elise at the Beach

Last week I spent the day at Golden Gardens with my cousins. It's something I aim to do every summer, but being an adult makes it tricky. The summer here just isn't long enough either.

We all made it at least up to our waists in the water (it's freezing). Of course, I was the one that wimped out at the end. Josiah dunked a couple times, though! After swimming, we sat in the sun and ate cookies & popcorn and I got to use my mega awesome new beach towel from 9th & Elm

They approached me last month to see if I was interested in reviewing something from the site. They specialize in handmade and independent designs, so of course I was on board. It took me a while to pick something out, though. They have a lot of neat stuff! In the end, I opted for these embroidered striped cabana beach towels. They're half price right now and there's no extra charge to have your name stitched into one of the corners! I really love the bold stripes and soft terry, but the towel I ordered for Trevor has some imperfections I am less than impressed with. Probably just a lemon, since mine is in tip-top shape.

Molly is gonna be a foot taller than me by next summer.

9th & Elm, stripes, beach, towel, sand, Tarboo, tote bagbeach, sandy,, travel cup, black, white, summer
My accessories are from two of my favorite brands right now: Tarboo and Everything at Tarboo is designed and made right here in Seattle! They're all about sturdy construction and long-lasting materials, like canvas, felted wool & leather. 

We carry a lot of stuff at Paper Source, and for good reason. Everything they come up with is bold, colorful and tons of fun. Look! They even make shoe clips!

beach, towel, summer, golden gardens, catie beatty,, sun hat

stripes, golden gardens, beach, sun, summer, swimming, tarboo, tote bag, seattle
GAP sun hat - Sip Sip Tumbler - vintage sunglasses - Custom Embroidered Towel - Tarboo tote bag

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Look of the Day: Head to Toe JCP

Well, this is embarrassing. If you'd have asked me in May if I owned anything from JCPenney I probably would have given you a confused look and said "What? No." If it hadn't been for this whole Redbook bonanza  I don't think I would have ever figured out how majorly awesome and affordable they are. You see, JCPenney was the sponsor of the Real Women Style Awards, so we all were given generous gift cards to said department store. So, basically, I can now sport entire outfits made up of stuff from JCPenney.

This is one of those outfits. Except for the necklace and sunglasses, everything else is off the sale racks at JCP. I've been living in this convertible skirt from Bisou Bisou. The blouse is by Joe Fresh and is perfectly gauzy, with the cutest flocked dots. The black slingback sandals by Arizona rival my Birkenstocks when it comes to comfort. They're on super clearance right now, so hurry if you want a pair!

If your size is no longer available, I highly recommend checking out anything made by Call It Spring. Everything is surprisingly on-trend and affordable, of course. I bought these, in both colors, and I'm dying for a reason to wear them! Remind me to style them one of these days!

American Deadstock sunglasses - Necklace from some store in the Olympia Mall

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Redbook's Real Women Style Awards

 You know that trip I took to New York in June? Well, it was kind of a huge deal. I thought I was gonna explode, because they wouldn't let me announce it, but I got to be part of Redbook's first ever Real Women Style Awards!

The team at Redbook chose nine other winners. All terribly stylish and well-deserving of the award. Really, they couldn't have picked a better group. I had such a wonderful time getting to know them all. It was a good thing we got along so well, since we had to spend nearly 9 straight hours together for the photo shoot!

We packed a lot into 3 days. On our first day, we had fittings and a cocktail party to meet the Redbook team & each other. I spent a good portion of the cocktail party staring out windows of Hearst Tower at this view. I also got the chance to have an in-depth conversation about thrift shopping, short hair, and shoes with Jayne Jamison, the VP, and Heidi Edelstein the associate publisher of Redbook.

We spent our second day in the West Village at Industria Studios. That's where we had the photo shoot (duh), and hours of make-up. It was fully catered (my favorite part) and air-conditioned. Outside, it was 92 degrees and completely gross. The make-up team came with us for the outside shots because, well, our faces melted instantly.

On the third day, we got up extra early to meet the team at JCPenney in Manhattan. There was more make-up, a lovely breakfast, an introduction the Fall line, and shopping!

The free food and professional make-up alone were worth the trip. If I learned anything, it's that I want to have my own make-up team.

Ok, I learned some other things, too. Like "modeling" tips! If you have to look in the direction of the sun or anything really bright, close your eyes and stare directly at the sun 10 seconds before you take the picture. It'll help you avoid squinty eyes. If you're taking close up photos of your hands, hold your hands above your heart before taking the photos. It'll prevent big veins from forming.

Let me introduce to the other winners!

Karla Reed
So tall, so gorgeous, so nice and has the sweetest baby girl.

Maria McNamara of The Style Letters
If you're petite, this lovely lady is your style icon. Also, she's really awesome in person.

Caroline of House of Harper
A blogging powerhouse and another style inspiration for anyone with a small frame.

Victoria of It's A Versayce
Funny, nice, and amazingly disciplined. She hasn't bought anything new in almost a year!

Brittany of The Brilliance of B
She's so easy to talk to and just exudes confidence. I was so nervous at the cocktail party until I talked to her.

Kimberly of Penny Pincher Fashion
So proud another PNW native made it on the list! She is drop-dead gorgeous, but you can tell that from her pics.

Kendi of Kendi Everyday
It was cool actually recognizing her from the blogs I peruse! She's so well-spoken and always impeccably dressed.

Georgette of Grown & Curvy Woman
An amazing woman with a sense of style to match. And so much fun to talk to!

Marisa of A Lovely Living
Charming and so well dressed. Always. Plus, she has two adorable kids!

I'm wearing a Land's End top (of course) and the Audrey skirt from Imbue (made in the USA!). Maria's dress is by Alice & Trixie. For more info and coupon codes, you'll just have to go get yourself a copy of the magazine!

Some 'thank yous' are in order:

All the wonderful people at Redbook. Thanks for doing such a fabulous job finding clothes that both fit my style and my figure. Thanks for organizing this whole thing and making us all feel so welcome!

The on-set tailor. How does anyone learn to sew that fast? Thanks for blowing my mind and making stuff fit me.

The amazing make-up team, especially Nicole Elle, for opening my eyes to concealer and pro make-up tools (I've since bought a bunch at the Sephora in JCPenney). 

Nick Onken, our photographer and a Seattle native. It's hard to get me to relax in front of someone else's camera and he managed to do it.

This next one makes me sound so fancy, but a big thanks to the drivers. I was so impressed that we didn't get into any accidents. New York is crazy.

Thank you to JCPenney, the sponsors. Another group of welcoming, kind, generous people!

Thank you to my readers and everyone who voted for me!
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