Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rain, Rain, Come Again Another Day!

Last week, it rained here and I took advantage of that time to take some shots of the world around me.


{water droplets on my car}


{snails everywhere}


{my porch}


{must be a maze for them}


{i love the look of water on succulents}


{you can almost believe i live in the woods}


{nature's acrobats}

You can see more of these here, on Flickr.

P.S. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shop Sale!

I just found out that I was accepted for a local holiday craft fair in early December! Yay! So now, I need to move my older inventory - which means: A SALE! Through the end of the month (until 12am PST on Sunday, November 1st), all cards - handmade, digital, photo and eensy-weensy - are 20% off! For my blog followers, I'll add an additional 10% off (just leave me that info in your notes to seller)!!

30% off! For 4 days! Go go go go!

It's Really Fall, Isn't It?

(from blurbomat)

Tonight it is really cold. And windy. And cold. And did I mention cold? Jon and I try to leave the windows open all the time so that we keep our air condition bills down, but tonight I may have to close them. Even bundled under the covers, I can feel the chill. Which is great, because I love sleeping with the feeling of weight on me. My mom used to pile blankets and blankets and more blankets on me asking, "Is that enough?" Nope. I want to feel cocooned.

The problem is that I am a super warm sleeper. In fact, I'm a super warm person, but at night it intensifies and I can barely tolerate a sheet usually. With that, hopefully I'm off to get a really great night's sleep! Good night to you all and I wish you lovely Wednesdays! <3

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Change is Afoot!

(me on Saturday night at a Halloween party - see my effort? I'm wearing puppy ears)

I have been playing around with my layout today and have settled on a design that I think I'm happy with. This doesn't mean I'm done, though! Just done for now.

Give me your opinions! Like it? Don't like it? Think it's hard to read, slow to load or just ugly? I'd like to know!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Prairie Girl's Guide To Life Giveaway!!

I recently purchased a slew of super fun books on Amazon and will be posting reviews of them in the next few weeks.

The first one is The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life: How to Sew a Sampler Quilt & 49 Other Pioneer Projects for the Modern Girl, a book I really enjoyed.

The style is reminiscent of an almanac, acting as a compendium of common knowledge. Oh wait, knowledge that was common when my great-grandmother was a prairie girl! The information ranges from how to make rock candy (surprisingly simple) to darning socks, washing livestock, and lacing corsets. Don't forget making your own night cream, predicting the weather, and knitting a shawl!

My favorite would have to be how to braid your own hair. That is something I could never do when I was younger, so I would just jump around behind my mom in the kitchen, saying, "MOM, MOM, MOM, braid my hair!" I tried it using the technique outlined in the book and I did it!

Now for the good part: I'd like to give away a copy of this book to a lucky reader! It's really easy to enter and you even have 5 different ways to do so:

1. Follow my blog or add me to your RSS feed.
2. Fan me on Facebook.
3. Follow me on Twitter and tweet this: "Prairie Girl's Guide To Life Giveaway at Kate & Oli -"
4. Heart my etsy shop.
5. Blog about this giveaway (please leave a link to your post).
6. Any purchases on etsy will get an additional 5 entries! (Leave a comment with your username.)

Please leave a separate comment for each entry. I know that can get tedious, but it's the easiest way to ensure fairness!

On Monday, November 2nd, I will select a winner at random! The deadline for entering is midnight PST November 1st.

Good Luck To All!

Kittens! Cute, Cute Kittens!

Sorry for the lack of substantive posts lately, but I have a good excuse! A few days ago, I found 5 kittens at the new property we're renovating! The tenants below had told me they had seen them when they were babies but had lost track since the mama kitty kept moving them around. We stumbled upon them in the carport while doing some repairs and I knew I couldn't leave them there.

I'm kind of guilty that I took them since the mama was there and they're all healthy, so she was doing a great job. However, no one needs five more feral cats and I can't let un-fixed cats stay un-fixed. So, we're finding good homes for them and they will all get de-wormed and fixed and their starter shots, at least.

I'm working on convincing my roommate to let me have one (Please, Jon?) and I've suggested my boyfriend take one too (Please, Adam?) and I'm using their cuteness to convince other friends (C'mon, Mike and Sarah, you know you want one!) to take one. In the meantime, I am falling in love with all of them. :)

For your viewing pleasure, here they are in all their cuteness:

We put them in the bathroom when we first brought them home and they all hid behind the toilet. They were so scared that when we even looked at them, they hissed. But have you heard kitty hisses? They're so CUTE!

The mama (grey) and the papa (black). We're going to try to catch them this week to get them fixed as well and hopefully find new homes for them. They were abandoned by a previous tenant. Who would do that?

Fluffball. He doesn't have a real name yet. Oh, and please note that my use of gender-specific pronouns are completely random - we've checked them all, but I can't remember who's a boy and who's a girl.

Burton - named by my sister and her boyfriend after the snowboard company. He's got a patch of white fur on his chest.

My baby :) I named him Burrow, because he... burrows. But, it's transitioned into Gopher.

Climbing kitties!

This one's tummy is full of curly, swirly, matted fur. SO soft.

I hope to post more real posts later today! Enjoy the kitties :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Arts and Crafts Finds

Ever since finding that cabinet, I have been interested in finding out more about it. This morning, a similiar piece in Shoestring Chic caught my eye and it was labeled as arts and crafts style. Turns out that those heart cutouts are a distinctive marker of the A & C style! Now, I'm on a mission to find out all I can about this distinctive movement. Of course, in my searching, I found lots of beautiful things that I'd like to share with you!

This is probably my favorite find in my searching. This lovely sign is available from Christopher Vickers' shop based in Frome Somerset, England. I'm a sucker for great fonts and this is definitely a GREAT font. I love how some of the letters fit into the others and how the 'N's are diagonal. The font was designed by CFA Voysey in the late 1800s or early 1900s. One day, when I know for sure name that will come after 'Katie +", I will order one of these. :)

The Broadley font from Fontcraft is based upon Voysey's hand-lettering style above. They have a free demo version available here!

This interesting piece is called the Large Double Gourd Vase and is from the Teco Art Pottery Collection available from Fair Oaks Workshop. These are faithful reproductions of Teco pieces by Prairie Arts.

A C.F.A. Voysey calendar? Count me in! I love buying calendars because they double as such inexpensive and easy art afterwards. Simply tear out and frame the months you're done with! Voila! This one is available from Amazon and showcases an assortment of Voysey's textiles, house sketches and furniture designs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

If You See One Movie This Year, Make It Trucker

Last night, I went to a screening of the movie Trucker in Beverly Hills and was blown away. This might be the best movie I've seen all year. Maybe in multiple years. It's amazing. Michelle Monaghan, Jimmy Bennett, and the writer/director James Mottern were there for a Q & A after the movie. Michelle Monaghan is so cute in person, so full of big laughs and in the movie she plays a tough, unsentimental truck driver.

The synopsis from the website is: Diane Ford (Michelle Monaghan), a vivacious and successful independent truck driver, leads a carefree life of long-haul trucking, one night stands and all-night drinking until the evening her estranged 11-year-old son (Jimmy Bennett) shows up at her door.

Peter hasn’t seen his mother since he was a baby and wants Diane as little as she wants him; but with his father Len (Benjamin Bratt) in the hospital, Diane and Peter are stuck with each other – at least for a while.

Burdened with this new responsibility and seeing the life of freedom she’s fought for jeopardized, Diane steps reluctantly into her past and looks sidelong at a future that is not as simple or straightforward as she had once believed.

Also appearing in Trucker are Nathan Fillion and Joey Lauren Adams.

I was impressed at every point by this movie and in the Q & A, the audience was echoing my thoughts. There were a lot of comments like, "Wow, you got the whole blue-collar thing right on. The clothes, look, the walk, the voices, the way the characters carried themselves was very true to type." The director, James Mottern responded by saying he grew up in the coal country of VA and then lived in Riverside, CA and he based the look on those two locations. As someone who also lived in Riverside, I like that the movie was set there and that it didn't try to romanticize the look and feel.

Michelle Monaghan said that she feels that throughout the movie, the characters continually play against type, doing exactly what you wouldn't expect in another movie, but exactly what is true to character. **Slight spoiler alert**: There is a scene where Michelle's character smells her son while he's sleeping. You expect a character in that situation to kiss him when she leans in close. But this character, Diane Ford, is not sentimental, she doesn't kiss him. She just inhales deeply and moves away.

This is a ridiculously moving, amazing, entertaining, and real movie. I recommend you all go see it, and though I know it has a limited release, it is definitely worth a drive.

One Lovely Blog Award!!!

Justine from Just Nibbles has nominated me for the "One Lovely Blog" Award! First of all, I'd like to congratulate her on HER award! Second, I'd like to thank her for her generosity in nominating me.

Here are the rules for the "One Lovely Blog" Award. To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Nominate 15 other blogs for the award. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
And the nominees are:

4. Jecka
13. Namaste

Congratulations to my nominees! Readers, please go check out their blogs! And thank you again to Justine!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beautiful Fixture For Sale

I'm reposting this because we still have it and maybe you want it? :)

My parents recently remodeled their kitchen. Actually, I designed it and other people built it. They paid for it. They chose a beautiful light fixture over the island, a triple pendant light fixture that I found and purchased for them through an online lighting retailer.
Unfortunately, they sent us this lovely SINGLE pendant fixture. We called to say there was a mistake and they were very nice about it and told us they'd send out the correct one right away. I asked if they were going to send us a UPS label for the single fixture and they said, Nope, you can keep it.
Beautiful as it is, how many of these lights can we fit in the kitchen? So, I'm offering it to you, my loyal readers :)

This retails for $200, we'll sell it to you for $100 including shipping. It's brand-new, still in the box it shipped in. It takes 1 60 watt candelabra base bulb and has a satin nickel finish. The hand-blown glass shade is 11" high and 5" wide.

Please email me or leave a comment if you're interested!

Surprise In The Mail!

Yesterday, I received an unexpected item in the mail. A wedding magazine called GetMarried! I don't recall signing up to receive it, not had I been to the website. But I'm glad I got it!

Just a few pages in, they had a page all about the "Urban Cowgirl" style - my favorite! I saw this PERFECT J.Crew dress and fell in love. This is exactly the style I want. It's so.. prairie, so sweet and innocent, so RUFFLY!

Unfortunately, it's also $2.995. Maybe I can find a similiar one somewhere else when the time comes.

Okay, this is like the perfect conception of my wedding IDEA. If I had a trousseau, I would buy these boot place card holders and store them in my hope chest. They are exactly what I want. Maybe I WILL buy them and keep them with my mason jar stash in my "one-day" box - my version of a hope chest.

These brooch bouquets are really interesting. I like the idea of replacing flower items with others in a wedding in general. Centerpieces of buttons, spools of thread, marbles and jacks - I love those ideas. How much more perfect could this be? Um, how about the fact that they're only $8.95 for a set of 3? OMG.
I'd really like a vintage ring, but I don't think that's in the cards, so something that LOOKS vintage is the next best thing. This engagement ring and wedding band set from Michael M. is just what I had in mind. :)

The fall cupcake and dragonfly cupcake from Jacques Pastries are really sweet and I love the bright, fun colors used in the accents. I like cake, but I don't like $4+ cake0cutting fees. I would love to have pie as dessert, but these would be lovely as favors or even as another option besides pie.

OMG. So cute. That's all. Just so cute. Branded. Rope.

You may order your own complimentary copy of GetMarried here!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Words Necessary

{no idea where this is from, sorry}

I'm A Company Gal

I used to work at Pottery Barn Kids. No, I used to live Pottery Barn Kids. I was one of the original hires before the Manhattan Beach store opened. I was hired July 10, 2002 and the store opened July 20, 2002. I LOVED my store. I would talk about it to anyone - how amazing the management was, what high quality the products were, how MY company, MY store was such a great place to work. I worked there for that summer, then left for college 70 miles away. I knew I was coming back to work the Winter Holidays and so I signed up for the catalog. Sent to my dorm mailbox. Pottery Barn KIDS. Who knows what they thought... But when I went back, I knew all the prices and all the new products and I knew what kind of wood the Kendall bed was made of, too. I knew everything. Which is pretty much the most comfortable position Katie can ever be in. :)

After winter break, I went back to school and then! It was summer! Time to go back to work! Halfway through that summer, I made the decision to NOT go back to UC Riverside and to stay at home for school. So, I kept working. About a year and a half later, I was promoted from sales associate to Customer Service Associate (CSA) and wow, how I loved that power! I'm a power girl, a manager, someone who thrives in inside information and access to the boss. I became incredibly good friends with my managers (technically an inappropriate relationship) but guys, I was also SO good at my job. I knew customers by name, knew their kids' names. I knew their bedding choices! I knew SKUs by heart and if you needed a price, you asked me. If you couldn't find something, you asked me. If you had no idea what you were doing, you asked me.

In late November 2005, a few days before Thanksgiving, I was promoted to manager! It was exactly what I needed then - less time with my family and more at work. I woke up every morning happy and energized! I LOVED meetings and brainstorming, budgeting, making schedules, coaching associates. Somebody once said to me (in spite), "You're a great middle manager." You know what? Middle managers - good ones - are the backbone of an organization. Our moods, our ideas, our designs, all of these things could make or break a day/week/month. If I was excited to be at work, so were my associates. If I came up with an innovative way to inform my team about new products or promotions, we all reaped the benefits - the team, me and the company. PBK is not commision-based, so the joy my associates felt when making a big sale was genuine. They wanted to contribute to their company and I like to think more of it was that they had just helped somebody.

We found great joy in helping someone complete their dream nursery, or finding the perfect gift for their new niece. Sometimes we knew about the baby before Dad did, because Mom stopped in on her way home from the Doctor to buy a silver rattle she was going to put on Dad's dinner plate. Sometimes, we helped divorced dads create new home-y rooms for their daughters and I swear I taught a kid to read. When I worked there, PBK was a fun, amazing place - to shop in and to work. When they partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, I made it MY cause. I bought candy, soda, and snacks at Costco and sold it in the breakroom for a profit. All of that money went to our registers as St. Jude donations. I told my dad I didn't want a Christmas present in 2006 because I'd rather have a donation to my store. He showed up the next week with a check for $2,000. Our store raised over $15,000 alone for St. Jude.

In the summer of 2007, things started changing. Management began leaving, Christine got her teaching degree, Renee moved to the new Apple store, Ricky left to write the great American novel, Amy was on a never-ending maternity leave and Toni was moving to Florida. I didn't like the direction the store was moving in and I didn't think the new management had the same ideals that I associated with MY company.

It's still MY store and I haven't worked there in more than 2 years. I built that store - literally - and I grew up in that store. I was freshly 17 when hired and almost every important thing in my life occurred while I worked within those walls. I rarely go to the Manhattan Beach Mall anymore (it's tiny and geared mostly towards women with small kids), but when I do, I involuntarily glance at the window decorations and notice the quik-ties, the dust, the lopsided banners - all things I would never have let fly. So many mornings of my life were spent right there in front of those big doors, waiting for a manager to show up with a key. So many others were spent there, waiting for my associates to show up so I could let them in.

I still get the catalog, as well as Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma (they're all a part of Williams-Sonoma Inc.) and I leaf through them. Granted, none of it is as exciting without the 40% discount, but I still feel a connection with the company. If they had let me, if they hadn't changed what they stood for, I could have worked for Williams-Sonoma Inc. my whole life.

*Can you find me in each group picture?*
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