Monthly Archives: April 2012

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Happy Anniversary Will & Kate!

Has it been a year already since I woke my ass up at 4 in the morning to watch the royal nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton on live TV along with the rest of the world? My how time flies! Just yesterday I found myself rapt by the E! channel’s retrospective: “Kate & Will: Happily Ever After”– sappily remembering the day along with Giuliana Rancic and company. It was amazing— I almost cried like I did the first time (I blame lack of sleep for that time– I’m usually not the type to cry at weddings).  I just loved this special so much; and it reminded me I have to give the royal couple a shout out on their first anniversary! After all, they have inspired so many— including myself!

Source: flickr.com via Camilyn on Pinterest

 

Special as the occasion was for the Prince and Duchess it was special for me as well— it being the first time I laid eyes on the amazing Philip Treacy fascinator that adorned Princess Beatrice’s head that morning. This hat would become a famous internet meme; covetable auction item (sold on ebay for charity ~$130k); halloween knock-off on the Today Show; and FINALLY one of the first hats I designed for the Notso Kitty Shop in October of 2011! This cat hat has so far been my best seller in the Notso Kitty Shop!  I love that people still seem to love the hat even a year later— just the other day I received the nicest facebook shout-out from the owner of Pearls & Swine— a handmade fascinator store (for humans) all the way over in England.

 

Fluffy cats make lovely princess-wannabes!

Happy Anniversary Kate & Will! May you have many more years of healthy happiness!  And  may you continue to have crazy relatives showing up at your shindigs to provide pop-culture fodder for us commoners! The Notso Kitty Shop is forever in your debt 🙂

 

The Notso Kitty Shop : “On Vacation”

Well hello there readers. I have some sad news— my “real” job is calling me away from my cat hat studio for the next two weeks. Booooooooooo! Because of this I have had to put the Notso Kitty Shop on temporary “vacation mode” until probably May 12th. How ironic since my “real” job is quite the opposite of a vacation! But anyhoo, never fear dear Notso Kitty fans— I will be back with a vengeance (this is a hint towards my next little kitty project) in a few weeks time! I hope you’ll bear with me.

 
 

In the meantime, hopefully I’ll be able to sneak in a few blog posts and training hours from my creative bucket list over the next few weeks so all progress isn’t lost. This trip serves as an important reminder for me: sometimes to be motivated to keep going on the course towards my own personal happiness, I have to remember what makes me so unhappy through some temporary suffering. I’m hoping my temporary discomfort (and lack of Kitty world) will build further resolve to move forward with my kitty world plans when I return. That’s called looking on the bright side 🙂

 

Book Review #9) Roy Lichtenstein by Lawrence Alloway

Sometimes it is very tempting to judge a book by it’s cover—never has this temptation been so great for me as when I first saw biography on “Roy Lichtenstein” by Lawrence Alloway. You see, the cover of this book has a very covetable art work by Lichtenstein pictured on it entitled “Oh Jeff I love you too…. But”. I have long wanted to get a reproduction of this painting for my own home to compliment the “Ohhh Alright”  I have hanging in the living room (courtesy of my parents— thanks parents :)). Alas, I have yet to find a quality (and *AHEM* licenensed) “Oh Jeff” aside from the one on this book cover.  But I did get to know a bit more about one of my favorite artists in the meantime by reading the book’s contents. Who says it’s wrong to judge a book by it’s cover anyways?

Source: google.com via Lan on Pinterest

 

I have been a huge Roy Lichtensteinfan ever since my 6th grade art teacher made us do a lesson on his comic paintings from the 1960s when I was a little kid. Over the years my love for  Lichtenstein has only grown— I must admit that when I first saw his paintings of fryers and balls of twine when I was little I was not so impressed, but now their stark simplicity and spot-on execution really speak to me.  It was his comic paintings that sucked me in though— and that’s what I still love the most until this day.

 

Lawrence Alloway’s book on Lichtenstein is by no means comprehensive— he aims to cover Lichtenstein only in his famous years (not his art school roots or anything like that). Still, I think this book offers more on Lichtenstein than any average fan would want to know— tracing his career beginnings in the comic pop-art paintings all the way to his abstract expressionist work in his later years. It is very interesting to see how Lichtenstein’s style evolved over the course of this time period—in ways that weren’t always so linear– for example he had a couple of periods of painting single objects– and a couple which he dabbled in abstract expressionism– not necessarily concurrently.

Source: art.com via Heather on Interest

 

Lichtenstein by Alloway has many wonderful examples of Lichtenstein’s work as it spanned his career. It was not always easy to follow along with the text and find the picture the author might have been referring to (my one small peeve with the book), but otherwise the paintings and pictures are arranged in a nice asthetic design that allows the reader to enjoy them thoroughly. The high-quality printing of this book ensures that the vivacity of Lichtenstein’s original paintings is somewhat preserved in print—a task that is probably not as easily done as said.

Source: all-art.org via Rafael on Pinterest

 

I recommend this book to any pop-art or Lichtenstein fan. Even if all you did was look at the pictures in it,  I still would think this book is well worth it. Hell, for the cover image alone, I think this book is well worth the asking price 🙂 Perhaps I’m just a biased Lichtenstein fan, but at least I’m pleased with my purchase. Notso gives it two paws up!

Disclaimer: This review contains affiliate links, though I am not paid by anyone to write about this particular book. Just in case you needed to know 😉

Code Year: Almost 5 Months Down!

It’s been a little less than 5 months since I first embarked upon the challenge of learning how to code via Codecademy’s Code Year program. In that time I have learned several things:

  • Starting with Javascript is probably ill-advisable
  • HTML and CSS are much easier than I would have thought
  • I actually am retaining things— even if the format is much different than anything I tried before
  • Some other people that are following the Code Year program remind me of the people I went to engineering school with

That last point is pretty funny to me— there are an abundance of people on Codecademy’s question/answer forums that feel the need to yell at people for struggling or put people down that can’t get the answer fast enough for their liking…… Oddly this behavior makes me feel at home since it is so familiar to me in the engineering world 🙂 I don’t take part in any put downs (I believe in karma for those people), but I don’t need to be coddled to learn either. I like the no-nonsense atmosphere very much!

My Codecademy Dashboard

Oh, and you might have noticed my little list above is FORMATTED nicely. I learned that in Codecademy— among many other things! And the fact that I didn’t have to look it up (or copy from another web page)  is proof that this information might be being retained. Whoo hoo!

I’m so excited to keep learning a little bit  of the world of programming at a time in the manageable chunks that the Code Year program  feeds me each week.  If you’ve ever thought about learning how to code yourself, I highly recommend this program. It has managed to inspire and teach me— all the while being free. Not many resources available quite like that!

Cat Fashion Kindred Spirits

Do you know why I love Etsy so much? It’s not because I’m making lots of money from cat hat sales over there— I wish, though not yet…. And it’s not because I love  my shop’s overall design— this I have only done half-ass for the time-being. It’s because there are so many other inspiring cat crazies over there doing their thing as only cat crazies can! 🙂 I wasn’t the first cat accessory seller on Etsy and I certainly won’t be the last— for today’s blog post I’m giving a shout out to some of my fellow kitty-craft creators. I love how everybody is so different— and this shows in the different ways they approach their kitty looks. The Notso Kitty Shop is in very good cat-look company!

Snoop Catty Cat

Snoop Catty Catt

Snoop Catty Catt is a shop that focuses on neck ware for kitties. Ties, bow ties, and tuxedo fronts all can be found for you favorite feline. The shop owner has a degree in fashion design— she definitely puts it to good use here!

Pampered Whiskers

Snoop Catty Catt

I imagine if your cat were a southern belle it would want you to buy all her outfits at Pampered Whiskers. Carolyn Cooling from Houston, Texas has many designs– among them; a pimp, a flower, Uncle Sam, a bunny rabbit, etc etc. Her cats and dogs seem well-clothed for any occasion 🙂

SarabiRose

Sarabirose

Cat hats– crocheted edition 🙂 SarabiRose is a little kitty boutique hailing all the way from Australia! She specializes in crocheted mini-hats for cats— some with pop culture references (like Mario and Luigi and the Cat in the Hat). I always love the intersection of pop culture, cats, and crafts so SarabiRose is right up my ally.

To Scarborough Fair

Sarabirose

I love the little felt cat hat “photo props” that To Scarborough Fair has been peddling for quite some time. And the fact that she was once featured on “Good Morning America”— I love it when anybody in the cat fashion industry is recognized by mainstream media outlets— Legitimizes the cat crazy in all of us 🙂

CatAtelier

CatAtelier

CatAtelier is definitely at the higher end of cat fashion options. The designs in this shop have a sophistication and seriousness that any discerning feline is sure to appreciate (unlike my store…. that’s the opposite of sophistication and seriousness 🙂 ). French kitty berets, bow ties, James Bond looks, etc.

I love how I was able to discover all of these great cat fashion designers all in one place: Etsy! They have definitely helped further inspire my own Notso Kitty Shop and have served as a wonderful reminder that cat people are out there— and a some of them make really awesome hats!

 

 

 

 

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