Friday, July 29, 2011


BlindIrishPirate's wonderful blog, A Human Attempt at Flight, chronicles the life of a woman and her work and her family and her musings. She's pretty cute in person, too. This week, while she is out of town, she is having a "Blog-a-Thon" featuring guests posts, and one of them is mine! The other posts from this week are great too, so check them all out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

LET IT BE KNOWN: KittyMarie does not wear shorts. She does not like shorts. Her thighs reject shorts. She owns exactly two pairs, and if you see her wearing one of those two pairs, then the sun must be scorching the earth with the fire of a thousand..umm...err...suns!

Today my friend gasped when I showed up in long pants for our lunch date, but she should have known better. These legs haven't seen UV rays in many moons (there's some kind of mixed metaphor there...).

I do own one pair of capris, which I almost consider shorts, but Husband doesn't like them for frump-related reasons, so I don't wear them as often as I used to (the things I do for love).

But, BUT! If we were in another time and another land and I was another girl, I would be all over these Lucca Couture Scallop Shorts ($49) from Urban Outfitters, because CUTE.

My abs would also look like that.
Discovered through Oh Joy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

This weekend my wonderful sistercousin took me to The Big City to find a little black dress (LBD) for an October wedding I am in. I had printed off several ideas from online searches, and the last store we went to had my top online pick! I loved it on, too, though they didn't have the proper color/size combination in the store. I ordered the dress online that night, and I can't wait for it to arrive!

I won't look as good as this lovely model, but I won't look too terrible (ruching is my friend)!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

Husband just turned me on to Ript Apparel, which offers a different daily T-shirt for just $10, among other items. These are limited-edition, never to be printed again! Here are two past designs, which are my favorites for Shaun of the Dead and Firefly themes. So cool!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The things I do for money love (continued again)

For the second wedding for which I created invitations, the bride knew that the ceremony room would be quite small and the reception room quite large, so she wanted two invitations to send out to guests earmarked to attend both the ceremony and reception or only the reception. She is an incredibly laid back person, so I mocked up a few designs, she picked one she liked, and a few tweaks later we had the finished product! Her colors were yellow and raspberry. The raspberry looks terribly purple on the screen, but it is actually a lovely, deep, rich color.

Ceremony and reception invitation
Reception invitation exclusively
If you have any questions about my work or would like an estimate for a project, please do not hesitate to contact me at kittymarieblogs AT gmail DOT com. My rates are reasonable and my work is fast. Freelance graphic design is not only a way for me to supplement my meager publisher's income, but also as a creative outlet personally. I would love to design something for you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The things I do for money love (continued)

I've recently branched into some new design territory: wedding invitations. The first matching invitation, reception card, and RSVP card that I created were for my cousin and his fiancee. She was very particular about what she wanted to see, and we went through many stages of revisions, finally landing on something that (I hope) she loved! Her colors were pink and green, and she wanted a beautiful, traditional motif with cherry blossoms, birds, and script font.

Note all names and identifying information have been changed.

Reception card
RSVP card
If you have any questions about my work or would like an estimate for a project, please do not hesitate to contact me at kittymarieblogs AT gmail DOT com. My rates are reasonable and my work is fast. Freelance graphic design is not only a way for me to supplement my meager publisher's income, but also as a creative outlet personally. I would love to design something for you!

More invitation designs to come soon!

Daily Eye Candy

I have a friend who is working on an art project in honor of endangered owls, and since learning that, I keep seeing owl jewelry everywhere. This may be the sweetest owl I've found yet!
Owl necklace (small), $85. Comes in white or yellow gold. LOVE!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The things I do for money love

When I'm not busy with the duties of my "day job" as Lead Production Editor at a university press (duties that often bleed into my nights and weekends), I do freelance graphic design work. I took the only graphic design class offered at my college while pursuing my degree, and I am mostly self-taught.

I got my start in graphic design my last two years in high school, in yearbook class, working on antiquated machines with PageMaker. I graduated to InDesign, and even got into Quark for an internship at a newspaper during college. I now work in Adobe Creative Suite 5, having learned all the ins-and-outs of InDesign, and most of the abilities of Photoshop and Illustrator.

I have designed newspapers, advertisements, entire books, book covers, bookmarks, brochures, flyers, business cards, invitations, billboards...the list goes on and on.

I would love to begin using this blog a bit more dynamically, so I am going to begin showcasing a few (personal) projects that I have completed in the past. I have several clients for whom I am paid for my freelance graphic design skills, but all of what follows were on a pro bono basis, either for friends, family, acquaintances, or for my own events. Note all names and identifying information have been changed.

The things I do for love!

Bridal Shower Invitation
I created this double-sided invitation for a kitchen-themed bridal shower. I was a bridesmaid in the wedding and helped throw the shower, so I wanted to come up with a clever "recipe" card to invite female guests to the event. I thought I was being pretty cute with the "without nuts" works on so many levels! The "coffee cup stains" are, of course, intentional.

Baby Shower Invitation
I created this baby shower invitation for a friend who was pregnant with her second child. I had never thrown a baby shower before, and it was great fun to come up with a simple but sweet and impactful invitation.
Business Card
I created this business card for my mother. She paints ordinary rocks to look like animals, butterflies, flower motifs, among many other designs. She sells these works of art in local venues and then donates all proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. She hasn't kept track of her many years of sales and subsequent donations, but it is certainly thousands of dollars by now. What can I say, creativity must run in the family!

I should probably say something biblically clever here about "building your house upon stone..."
If you have any questions about my work or would like an estimate for a project, please do not hesitate to contact me at kittymarieblogs AT gmail DOT com. My rates are reasonable and my work is fast. Freelance graphic design is not only a way for me to supplement my meager publisher's income, but also as a creative outlet personally. I would love to design something for you!

More designs to come soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

This weekend was filled with friends and food and the final Harry Potter, but I promise that the magic of the world will never die. At least not so long as creatives like J.K. Rowling and Kate Spade continue to draw breath and create beauty in the world, however impermanent.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fourth Anniversary

I think that my heart cannot grow to love you any more than it already does, and then I am surprised when I discover a deeper commitment than ever before.
Happy fourth anniversary, my One and Only.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


On Sunday afternoon we got word that my classmate, whom I was good friends with in high school, was killed Sunday morning. He was riding on his motorcycle when an elderly woman driving home from church carelessly failed to yield and hit him head on. He was wearing a helmet, but it didn't matter. One of his last posts on Facebook in May read "Bought a Harley today. It's gonna be a crazy summer."

He's the second person from my graduating class to have died so far, following another young man a few years ago. He was 25.

During high school, we spent a lot of time together toiling in French and yearbook class, he came to my church often and sat with my family, and he dated one of my best friends for a long time. He came to our wedding, too. I hadn't talked to him in quite awhile, thanks to the usual excuses of time and distance and opportunity, and for that I am regretful.

I wish I possessed the eloquence to state the big things that should be stated at a time like this. Grand overtures about our fleeting time on earth and the fragility of life and the tragedy of death, especially young death, but I don't have the words. All I can say is, he will be missed by a lot of people, and I wish it didn't have to turn out this way. It's incomprehensible.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

I might have forgotten to blog one of the most exciting moments during my four part vacation series.

While Husband and I explored the depths of Rockefeller, we came across an Anthropologie store. This was beyond exciting to me, since I had long pined for items from their Web site but had never had the opportunity to step foot in an actual brick and mortar store!

Husband played on his iPhone while I wandered around in a state of bliss. I didn't want to take time to try on outfits (thereby also trying the limits of Husband's patience), but I did find a pair of lovely earrings! These Druzy Rounds are agate set in gold or silver bezels.

They come in green:

And I purchased this set in white with silver bezel! I wore them for the first time to Phantom on Broadway! Love!

Friday, July 1, 2011

New York Chicago State of Mind: Part 4, The Second Wedding

We left for home on Thursday through what I can only adequately describe as the asshole of New York. Also known as LaGuardia. I've been through a lot of airports in my time, and it was the dirtiest and most claustrophobic. The airport horrors were magnified when our plane was delayed for an hour. Finally, we escaped to a layover (*cough* four hour layover *cough*) in Milwaukee, which was bright and clean and had a Chili's where we wasted time by ordering dessert. We arrived home around 2 a.m. Friday morning and were gone twelve hours later, this time by car, headed to our second wedding in two weekends, located near Chicago.

The drive, though long, wasn't bad, the hotel was nice, and we got to see many college friends.
The handsome groom.
The gorgeous bride.
Unfortunately, unlike the wedding a week prior, this was not Catholic Lite but rather Full Monty Catholic. Maybe even Sadomasochistic Catholic, because the bride and groom didn't even get to sit, they pretty much had to kneel the whole time. It was a really neat wedding, because the priest who married the couple is the bride's brother. Awww!
They, too, done got hitched.
We were mercifully shuttled to the reception site, which was quite lovely. Check out this beautiful couple, and the bridesmaid's bouquet!
The cake was red velvet - delicious!
Pretty Gerbera daisy centerpieces.
The gentleman on the right once puked on my shoes. I still love him. Surprisingly, the gentleman on the left has never puked on my shoes. I'm sure it's only a matter of time. I still love him, too.
The favors were hockey pucks engraved with the bride and groom's names and wedding date - so unique! The groom was in my Freshman Orientation class in college. I couldn't remember his name at the time, so I called him "Hockey Boy." I'm sure this favor makes a little more sense to you now.
Sweet and playful couple.
Sweet and playful trio.
So glad to see them happily wed!
Husband, as per regular wedding tradition, got down with his bad self with the bride.
She was too cute throwing her bouquet.
It was a wonderful wedding, and we got to spend time with so many great people that we only see once in a great while. The celebration was a perfect way to end our vacation. We drove home the next morning and then spent the day after that recuperating before returning to work. It wasn't a relaxing trip like our vacation to Michigan last summer, but it was an unforgettable trip.

New York State of Mind: Part 3, The City (Tuesday and Wednesday)

We got a late start Tuesday, having been out very late the previous night at the comedy show. We decided to "mack on some cupcakes" at Magnolia's Bakery. The icing was particularly spectacular.

After that, because our digestive systems hadn't been punished enough, we set off to have lunch at Katz's Deli. Upon entrance to Katz', you are given a ticket, on which everything you order is tallied. You pay at a cashier right before leaving (note: they only accept cash!). Word to the wise: Losing this ticket means a $50 minimum payment to get out the door. Do not lose the ticket!
Remember this from When Harry Met Sally?
Husband had a corned beef and I had turkey. The best turkey I've ever eaten in my whole entire twenty-five years on this planet. And, believe me, I've eaten a lot of turkey. Eventually, I abandoned the bread. The pickles were also amazing (the dill, at least. I didn't have the sweet pickles thanks to a personal aversion and also my stomach at a near-bursting point). Everything is cooked/sliced/made fresh on-site. *Drools*
The owner, who appears with various celebrities in pictures covering the walls, even stopped by our table. That was so unexpected and nice that, even though he owns this famous (and rightfully so) deli, he still cares about the everyday customers that come in.
Next we went to the Rockefeller area. This is a chapel directly across the street.
The Lego Store is also nearby. Husband had to get a picture with the biggest Lego set he's coveting - the Death Star.
The Lego Store is decorated with - surprise - Lego. This is a dragon created from Lego suspended from the ceiling.
We also visited the Nintendo Store. Husband decided against the backpack purchase. Ah, at least he'll have the picture to remember it by.
Then we went to the "Top of the Rock" observation tower. This is a view of Radio City Music Hall on our way up.
It was a little rainy, but the views from the top of Rockefeller were amazing. This is where I learned that Husband has a real aversion to heights. It was an interesting revelation. I guess in the decade we've been together, we've never been to the top of something really, really high. You learn something new about your partner every day!
Awesome, right?
You can even see the tiny Statue of Liberty in this picture. She's located in the middle of the bay on the right side of the picture.
After leaving Rockefeller, we made our way to Grand Central Station to meet up with our friend, getting thoroughly drenched in the process. It was the only bad weather we experienced during our entire vacation!
The next day, Wednesday, we began the morning with a crepe from a tiny Creperie (I swooned over strawberry, and Husband went nuts for nutella/banana). *Additional drooling*
We walked by the NBC studios on our way to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
MoMa was my main sightseeing pick for our trip. It didn't disappoint. And, for the record, it was acceptable to take pictures without flash! Does this look familiar?
Monet's Water Lillies. The scale of this painting is incredible. It spans a room.
Another famous piece I'm sure you'll recognize!
No, not a kindergartner...Pollack! The scale of this painting was also massive in person.
Girl power!
There was a helicopter suspended from the ceiling...for some reason...
This might have been one of my favorites - a typography exhibit!
After MoMa, we joined our friend and went to a Broadway Show, my other must-do for our trip.
We saw The Phantom of the Opera, a true classic (and now Broadway's longest running show), at The Majestic Theatre.
We had front row seats, which we purchased that day through TKTS. If you ever want to see a Broadway show, purchase tickets from a TKTS booth...up to 50% off incredible shows! I was so pleased with our seats. We could look right down into the orchestra pit, and I could watch the Phantom spit as he sang to my heart's content!
I expected the theatre to be massive, but it was actually pretty intimate, around the size of Elliott Hall on Purdue campus, if not a bit smaller even. Incredible! The large chandelier at the top of this picture is part of the set. If you know Phantom, then you know it is movable. It came swooping down right over the audience and onto the stage. So cool!
Thank you so much, Husband, for taking me.
We walked home from the show through Times Square.We had such a wonderful time in New York City. I would have loved to have a few more days to see some more sites and eat some more amazing food, but I don't know that we ever would have had enough time to see and do everything. It gives us a reason to return someday.