December 28, 2009


Not only is Matt Cipov incredibly nice and talented, but he's a Milwaukee local, as well. I've seen his art far and wide and am always excited to see what he comes out with next. My favorite is this gorgeous Sphynx, drawn in detail to the last little wrinkle.

A print from Matt is always a treat since he creatively decorates his portraits of intricately masked figures with his collection of vintage library, classroom, and archival stamps. He also has an excellent series of zombie portraits and a great rendition of a squirrel with a keytar. His extensive collections are available via his Etsy outpost, and be sure to check out his website for even more.

December 23, 2009

"El Gato Elegante"

I made a special trip to Ikea just to find the most fabulous gilded rococco frame to in which to put El General here. El Gato Elegante ("The Elegant Cat") is by Mexico City based rosiemusic, who specializes in gorgeous paintings of historical cats (check out his sister, Lady Kitty!) record-loving modern girls, and fairy-like dreamscapes. Her prints are utterly gorgeous in person. Check out her Etsy shop here- it never fails to amaze.

p.s. El Gato is modeled on rosiemusic's friend the history major's cat, and the original was gifted to her!

Siamese in Pearls

I had the pleasure of finally meeting one of my longtime favorite illustrators, Ryan Berkley of Portland's Ryan Berkley Illustration, at this year's Seattle Urban Craft Uprising. Ryan sells prints of his amazingly intricate and charming anthropomorphic portraits. He told me that this was one of the first he painted. Here's this little lady's bio from his Etsy shop:

This lovely lady put on her best pearls just for you! Meet Victoria Swann, Crafty Cat. She enjoys knitting (she knitted this nice yellow sweater) and she also makes furniture out of salvaged materials. At the end of the day she likes to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.

She sounds like my kind of girl!

The Laser Kitten Tee at The Uniform Project

Have you heard of The Uniform Project? It's a year-long endeavor, started this past spring, in which one New York woman is wearing one dress for 365 days straight to raise money to send 175 children in India to school. She accents her single daily dress with donated and second-hand clothing to produce some simply amazing outfits.

I follow her posts daily, and imagine my surprise to see that awesome, awesome cat shooting lasers out of its eyes! She made it in the Etsy Labs out of an old cat t-shirt!

If you donate to the project now, eBay will match your donation dollar for dollar up to $15,000. It's well worth it to contribute to this great cause!

Not Another Plate of Greasy Latkes!

This is my all-time favorite greeting card, and it will never be topped. He can't eat any more latkes! I think what just gets me is the dinner napkin tied lovingly around his neck and the concerned look on his face.

I'll be continuing my family tradition of Chinese food and a movie this Christmas. Happy holidays!!

November 26, 2009

The Random Cat Project

I can't believe that I've never mentioned The Random Cat Project blog on here before, but it's pretty much my new obsession. They've actually beat me to publishing my lifelong dream of traveling the world and taking pictures of native cats, but I'm not bitter! In fact, I religiously follow this truly sincere and dedicated account of those wonderful times when a strange cat crosses your path.

I've submitted a few pictures of cats that I've found in my travels, and the little tabby dude from Tokushima's cat shrine made the cut! He was quite elusive and had a very mystical air about him, but he had no problem happily eating the offerings of cat food sitting on the altar. Check out his full profile.

November 19, 2009

Night Kitties


This picture is so eerily beautiful. I love moments when I'm walking at night and see two glowing orbs peeking back at me. I can't even imagine seeing thirty-three (yes, I counted) pairs of eyes at once. Found via Palms Out Sounds Remix Sunday #137. Highly recommended for dance parties on rainy days.

November 15, 2009

Cats and Theremins

Hine Mizushima's handmade dolls, plushes, and utilitarian iphone and ipod cases melt my heart. I'm currently obsessing over this photo, a still from a very informative music video she directed for They Might Be Giants.

Not only is this cat playing a theremin, it's in a BERET! Who doesn't love berets, let alone cats wearing them? I, personally, have a beret for every outfit.

If you didn't already know that cats love theremins, may both her work and this Japanese video convince you. Learn more about Hine from her website, Flickr, and store.

August 27, 2009

Notes From The Prairie

I am utterly THRILLED to be living in Seattle again. The Midwest will always have a special place in my heart of hearts, but I've always had the sort of attitude that is apparently better suited towards the Pacific coast. The cool summertime weather, mountains, water, and the entrepreneurial attitude of so many of my acquaintances is very energizing. I now live in a rainforest and couldn't be happier.

Not everyone saw me off with a positive attitude. Upon hearing of my move, my former tailor in my hometown of Milwaukee, whose daughter was spirited away by a dripping-rich IT buff to Mercer Island, quipped, "Seattleites have no style. Everyone there dresses just horribly."

Maybe because for most of the year, we're covered in a fine mist? Clothing in this part of the world takes on a specifically utilitarian function, for commuting and for the climate. As a student in the Pacific Northwest, I quickly gave up my Wisconsin winter wool coats for a windbreaker and Orla Kiely boots. My Washington-native best friend pointed out that only saps carry umbrellas and that the local uniform involves a hoodie and a knit beanie.

It's always hard to pin down a style in a certain locale, what with the perforation of a standard international night chic ("black plus slinky") taking the public opinion of what is considered "fashionable" by the throat. But Prairie Underground hits not just "Seattle" style right on, but conquers the challenge of a commuter wardrobe that is still avant-garde.

Prairie Underground Summer 2009 Collection. Yes, I now own the Long Freebird (top), the Mothette Lite, and the Sailorette.

Co-designed by two talented native Midwesterners based in Seattle, not only does Prairie Underground have the best name ever for a fashion line, but a cult following and a well-applauded commitment to using organic cotton, local resources, and low-impact production as much as possible. The results are a gorgeous, slightly muted color palette and very smart design. I have pretty much lived in the Sailorette dress this summer. You can read more about the ladies behind this current obsession of mine through their profile at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, or visit their stocklist to get in on the retail action.

The Fall 2009 Collection. That Sunflower Yellow is the most gorgeous color. From left: Falcon Dress, Dart Skirt, Belladonna Pants. Cloak Hoodie, New Tube, Dart Skirt. Artist's Smock, Jodhpur. Link here to see all!

My two favorite stores in the Seattle-Tacoma area, Show Pony and Momo, are loyal stockists, in case you're in the area. I dream of wearing their thoughtful, tough-yet-feminine clothing for years.

August 17, 2009

We Say Meow

Hi hi! Sorry for the sporadic updates once again. Things are finally settling down for me with my cross-country move. It's going to take a while to make my new place feel like a real home, but I love the neighborhood and it's fantastic to be back in a city I love. There's even a cat that is constantly stopping by our front step. We called him "Drools" at first since he drools when he purrs. I swear I've heard somewhere that some cats drool when they're happy. It turns out that his real name is actually Beethoven, which makes sense as he's a honker of a cat. Kind of the opposite of my cat, Emma, who is tiny and has very little fur:

I wanted to share a new favorite blog dedicated to artists who feature cats in their work and are cat owners as well. we say meow is so adorable and well-curated. My favorite Etsian, Penguin and Fish, is featured here. Every time I open Google Reader, I scroll down to see if they've updated. I constantly am in kitty-withdrawl!

July 17, 2009

Recent Anthro Thoughts

Anthropologie just added a ton of stuff to their sale section and further slashed prices on already-reduced merchandise, so I finally caved and bought a couple of things that I've had my eye on. I justified this top by the fact that I've had my eye on the "Blossoming Rainfall" top since the fall and it finally went down to $39. Mine's actually in a powder blue color, but you can get the idea. That placket is amazing:

And the "Button Pathway" skirt by Plenty by Tracy Reese just came out only last month and it's already on sale! YES! I guess it was a bit too eighties for the normal Anthro clientele? I love this thing. I'll wear it for years:
I'm super happy with my new clothes, but sometimes I feel like such a tool when I shop at Anthropologie since the store has gotten so incredibly more mainstream than it ever was before. After coming back from abroad after so long, I've been really disappointed to see pretty much everyone wearing their clothes these days. They're not nearly as special as they used to be. But, Anthro, when it comes down to it, is what we call in Japan, a Select Shop; they're really just a monster boutique that picks and chooses from designers in addition to their in-house designs. So, arguably, you could find their clothing in many other smaller businesses across the country and the world, but it's so much easier to have everything picked out for you already than to spend so much time weeding through stores. Their extensive online catalog, current offer of free shipping, plus the fact that there's no sales tax on clothing in Minnesota makes it an easy choice.

Maybe I feel that Anthropologie isn't what it used to be because the closest one to me here in the City of Minneapolis is out in Edina, where things are put it nicely...suburban. Let's just say that the store and the clientele there are pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum from my firsthand experiences with the company at its downtown Seattle store full of international patrons. I'm so spoiled. My mom, who rocks the Anthro girlie look beautifully by combining it with her own traveling gypsy aesthetic, is really upset that there's now a store in Milwaukee's Third Ward since everyone in the suburbs is "stealing her look." It's hard to be a fashion pioneer in the Midwest...

Another reason I may be down on Anthro so much lately is that Minneapolis, sadly, only has a handful of interesting clothing outlets (Design Collective, you've saved me in my short time here!) and it's just an easy go-t0 for anyone who doesn't want to shop at le mall or stock up on gross, overtrendy clubwear at the jokes of stores in the heart of Uptown. Everyone heads to St. Paul for the real goods, or shops online from stores in Chicago, SF, and Seattle. Or buys locally, like they should!

July 11, 2009

decora's Kitten Wristlet

I special ordered this little guy from the adorable decora workshop!

He turned out even better than I could have hoped. The craftsmanship is perfect- I can totally see him roaming the streets of Kyoto, where he's from. I asked to combine two of my favorite colors, mint green and chocolate, to get a mattcha cake kind of palette. Very zakka-esque.

I can't wait to show him off in an upcoming fashion shoot with my friend Lars, along with some of my finds from very talented independent designers. Photos will be featured on my other project, Secret Agent Spygirl.

July 8, 2009

misako mimoko's Doli Leoncita

I got a very special package all the way from Spain a couple of weeks ago:

I'm so sorry for the lack of updates. It's been a crazy few months with lots of changes all for the good. I'll be moving back to Seattle very soon and living in an old print shop! I'm very excited~

I'd like to introduce the very spunky Doli Leoncita (Doli Little Lioness), the loving creation of the very talented and kind Eva of misako mimoko. I've been a big fan of her blog and Etsy shop for quite some time, and when I saw Leoncita I was filled with such happiness! I knew that she just had to come live with me.

Eva's craftsmanship is spectacular- she uses vintage fabrics and findings and hand-embroiders all the details. I love the little bow and her tongue sticking out ever so slightly!

As you can see, Leoncita gets along well with Cha Cha Cat, one of my other resident felines. He finally managed to stick his head out of the box he's been living in ever since I brought him home from Japan just to see what was happening on the sofa.

I think she'll be quite happy with the move out west and all of the lush greenery there. Thanks so much, Eva!

March 7, 2009

Cats in Bras.

I'm loving this. Have you ever seen a cat in a bra before? I haven't. Not unless you count those harness things that look like bras (see below).  Quite the sassy Cornish Rex model there. 

Vintage Transfer Finds has some amazing embroidery patterns, including a matching dog in boxer shorts.

Kamsahamnida, MoMA!

MoMA has a limited release collection of Seoul's cutest and finest highlighting "young, emerging" designers based in the city and "reflecting Korea's cultural interest in color and nature...a modern spin on traditional Korean design and crafting."

My favorites are the bird porcelainwares of Daniel Jo- salt and pepper shakers and a sweet candy bowl:

(ps- they're dishwasher safe!)

And Mi-Jung Ju's Kitty Chalkboard and Dreaming Camera Case:

I actually own the Dreaming Camera Case- I bought it at rEDCLOUDY at the Ssamziegil in Insadong. Half the reason I bought it is for the box it came in, covered in cats and bunnies and monkeys using their bags and taking pictures of random things. It's too pretty to be beaten up by me using it as a purse/camerabag, so it proudly sits on my bookcase instead. I'm glad to see that that little red shop is doing so well!

February 23, 2009

Kittyprism-猫プリズム-and a playlist

Cat Prism necklace from And A, Fukuoka
I just had to have this little wood and plastic guy. I mean, come on, it's hilarious. I love how the cat is just like, "lol...wut?" It was a costly 1200 yen, but well worth it. The store was marketing it as a necklace, but I like him hanging in my living room window as a prism to catch the light reflecting off of the lake down the street. I WOULD wear it as a monocle, if I could. 

Now onto the playlist:
The Rubies- "Stand In A Line (Shinichi Osawa Remix)"
Asobi Seksu- "Thursday (The Twelves Remix)"
Adeyhawke- "To Me"
Theatre of Disco- "YOA (The Twelves Remix)"
Anoraak- "Nightdrive With You"
Yuksek- "Tonight"
The Presets- "This Boy's In Love (Lifelike Remix)
Any and all of The Twelves mixtapes.

The Twelves are a reoccurring pattern here- a lot of their appeal for me, apart from their obvious talent, is their name. I'm such an amateur in electronic music and usually go for anything fun and bang-y and slightly goofy. The above have been looped constantly, especially the Osawa remix (he is and always will be my first musical love).

February 14, 2009

Happy Happy Valentine

I'm obsessed with cards. Greeting cards, postcards, any cards. Anything printed, really. Which is why all I asked for this holiday was a card. My valentine knows me so well!

The left is a book illustration reproduction from the V&A Museum; the right is classically something my boyfriend would get me. He left it intentionally blank so we could frame it and put it up. It just screams, "Hey let's head back to my place in the Mini and put on some records!"