Monday, August 8, 2016

I Finally Caved And Bought The Erin Condren Life Planner

I've been a Lilly Pulitzer agenda girl for almost three years now but in the back of my mind, I always knew that I wanted an Erin Condren Life Planner. The Erin Condren Life Planner is essentially the Ferrari of planners and the majority of the planner stickers on the market are made for it. So last night, while shopping for my school supply essentials, I intended to order my new Lilly Pulitzer agenda for the new school year. Well, looking over the patterns offered this year and not totally sold on one like I had been in the past years, I glanced over to the sidebar to see an Erin Condren ad with a FLAMINGO COVER. I took that as a sign that it was time to change my ways.

I got the Erin Condren 18 month planner with a personalized flamingo cover, vertical layout and a neutral color scheme. There were so many options to personalize the planner and that just made me even more excited. While this planner is a little more costly than any planner I have ever owned before, I think it's going to end up being worth it. My finished planner cost $60 with about a $8 shipping fee. Since I registered as a new member, I was sent a coupon for $10 off my first order. I was also given a referral link, so if you want to order a super fancy new planner, you can get $10 off courtesy of me! My referral link is:

The image above shows the two different color schemes available for the 2016/17 planner. I got the one on the right, the neutral tones, so that I'll have a little more choice in customization.

Speaking of customization, I've been looking at the stickers for my new planner which is set to arrive in a few weeks. I've already decided that the best way to do stickers is to print my own onto sticker paper using templates found online. Pinterest was really great to use in helping me find some free sticker printables, I'll be sure to show you how those turn out when I make them.

In addition to the free printables, there were a couple of printable sets that I found on Etsy that I may end up getting because they're just so darn cute! I'm going to make another post soon dedicated to planner stickers, so keep your eyes open for that.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What I'm Binging On Netflix: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Last weekend, I had quite a bit of time to myself while my family was away on college visits. Instead of resuming one of my normal shows that I've been watching for a while, I decided that it was time to start something new. The thumbnail image was a pop of color so it really stood out amongst the other TV shows, and in terms of content, it really sets itself aside from other shows I've watched in the past.

The show stars comedienne Rachel Bloom as Rebecca Bunch, a big-time lawyer in New York City who decides to move cross-country to a tiny LA suburb in pursuit of a guy she dated for two months at summer camp when she was 16. The more you watch the show, the more it makes you question if she's actually the crazy one in comparison to all the people she meets. (Spoiler alert: She's definitely crazy.)

I think the absolute best thing about this show is the musical numbers. They do about 2 musical numbers per episode spanning across every genre you could ever think of and they're hilarious. I've embedded the YouTube video of one of my favorite songs from the show below.

The episodes were about 45 minutes a piece on Netflix and there were 18 episodes in the first season. I was able to watch all the episodes in a two day span with some dedication. The second season is set to come out this Fall and I'm super excited to watch it!

Monday, July 18, 2016

DIY Try: Geometric Animal Embroidery

I've really been a big fan of the resurgence of embroidery, especially as wall art. My roommates and I decided that we're going to do a gallery wall for our dorm room next year, so I'm in need of decorative things for that. The perfect solution to help fill our gallery wall and keep me occupied as I waste away the long days of summer was to start an embroidery project.

I had only done one embroidery project prior to this and it was fairly simple, so this project is definitely an elementary level one. Basically I used straight stitches in varying lengths to create the entire project. One of the best things about embroidery is that all the materials are pretty cheap and that's helpful on my extremely limited budget.

This craft was inspired by an Etsy item I saw on Pinterest. The original was from the Etsy shop Hide The Good Scissors and the item was titled "Doe A Dear Embroidery" but was already sold. Below I've included the photo from the Etsy listing that I was inspired to create my own project from.

Materials I Used:

  • Embroidery Scissors
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Beading Needle
  • Pencil For Marking
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Cloth
  • Embroidery Hoop
  • 6-8 Skeins of Thread in One Color Scheme
  • 6-8 Skeins of Thread in Contrasting Color Scheme
  • Seed Beads That Match The First Color Scheme
  • 1 Skein of Thread Matching the Beads
So I began by picking the silhouette I wanted to use. For those of you who know me, I'm a bit of a dachshund fanatic. I free-handed this silhouette onto the cloth with a pencil which I had already stretched into my embroidery hoop.
Next, I used my pencil to divide the silhouette into roughly the same size triangles. I used my cool colored embroidery floss to fill in the triangles with a straight stitch. Some of the triangles weren't complete because they got cut off by the edge of the silhouette, these triangles will later be completed with my contrast colors. Draw lightly with the pencil when marking off your triangles so that once the project is complete, you won't be able to see the pencil markings in between the triangles.

When I did this, I gradually drew in the triangles as I went, but to get a more even look, I suggest dividing your fabric into triangles once you get it stretched into the embroidery hoop. You want to keep making sure that the fabric is tight in the embroidery hoop. I had issues with the fabric beginning to sag slightly in the middle of the hoop because of all the pressure I was putting on it with drawing and then sewing. For filling in the triangles, I am using 3 stands of the floss instead of the total 6 strands that it comes in.

It took me a good hour and a half to finish the filled in silhouette because I kept stopping to take photos. The second one of these I made went a lot quicker because I had gotten the hang of it. I also kept stopping to make sure that the colors weren't touching triangles of their same shade; the more assorted skeins of thread you have to fill in the silhouette, the less you have to worry about the colors being too close to other triangles of the same color.

This is when it gets to the point where the Etsy embroidery hoops were at. Since I was going for something a little more bold, I decided to create a background in a contrasting color scheme. At this point, I begin to draw triangles surrounding the now completed dachshund. The triangles that got cut off by the silhouette are now sketched in fully so that they can be completed by the contrast colors.

I lightly used my pencil to draw a circle around the edge of the hoop so I could visualize where the design would stop. Since the inner part of the hoop prevents you from stitching all the way to the edge without moving the fabric, there will be about half a centimeter of white fabric around the edge in the final project. 

You can see in this close up that it's pretty hard to distinguish where my dachshund ends and the background begins, I'll clear that up in a little bit.

This is once all the embroidery is done. I really like the colors I chose for this but if I did it again, I would make slight variations to my color schemes so that the colors were more similar within either scheme.

Using these green seed beads in varying sizes and shades of green, I thread my beading needle with one strand of the matching embroidery floss. Threading the beading needles may have been the biggest challenge I faced with this project; I needed to borrow my mom's reading glasses to get the thread through the eye of the needle...

I bead along the outline of my dachshund silhouette. Even after a couple of beads, it becomes more noticeable what the silhouette is supposed to be. I really liked this because not only does it add another texture to the project, but it also helps differentiate the dachshund from its background.

Here's the finished dachshund with the beaded outline. For the tail, which was too thin to bead both sides of without looking weird, I only beaded along the outside of it of it.

To finish up my edges, I take a hot glue gun and glue the left over fabric to the inside of the hoop. Dots of hot glue are also useful to lock in knots on the back that may have come loose as the project progressed.

Here it is, ready to hang! I'm still deciding what the best way to hang them is. They could be hung by a nail at the top of the hoop right under the screw for tension or I might attach some kind of surface to the back so that a command strip will hang them. (I am in a dorm room after all...)

I started making another one soon after and intend to make a few more because they're just so darn cute! Pictures of my future embroidery projects are soon to come. Hope you guys enjoyed this, I definitely had a fun time making it. Any questions can be asked in the comments below and I'll answer them to the best of my abilities.

Friday, July 1, 2016

I'm A Little Obsessed With My New Armadillo Lamp

(Spoiler Alert: This is a no-so-exciting post about a lamp, the photos of it are kinda cute though.)

So, my sister and I were at Target this evening and I stumbled across what I deem the world's greatest lamp. I've been needing a lamp for my dresser since there really isn't much light in my room to begin with. I also wanted a lamp to take back to college with me and since my accent colors for my dorm stuff are gold and white, this will look adorable with my decor.

I haven't had time to take photos of the lamp that I bought, but the ones off the Target website do it more justice than any photo I take could. (Photo credits to the always lovely Target.) The lamp is called the "Armadillo Accent Lamp" and is being sold for $29.99. The online reviews are all positive and so far, I love it to death. It's a wonderfully quirky accent piece that isn't too overwhelming and looks really expensive in person.

I would definitely recommend this lamp to anyone looking for something to liven up an ordinary space. Be warned, the gold spots definitely stand out more in person than they do in the photos from the Target website.

I can't wait to get this little guy set up with a light bulb so the room looks a bit brighter. I didn't think I would ever be as obsessed with armadillos (or a lamp for that matter) until I found this one. If armadillos aren't quite your style, they had some llamas and unicorns when I was at the store as well.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Painting in the Park: My Plein Air Paintings (Part One)

This summer I've been having a lot of fun in downtown Chicago taking a class through the Art Institute's continuing education program. The class is a plein air painting class that takes place in various parks around the city. We start a new painting every class (it meets twice a week for three hours a class) so they're not completely finished works, but I wanted to show off some of the things I've been working on in my class.

I've had a lot of crazy experiences being in the city by myself, but I think it's worth it for the quantity of work I'm creating that I'll be able to go back into and complete later. The painting shown above is one that I'm pretty proud of. It's not very obvious, but this is in Grant Park with the sailboats on Lake Michigan in the background. Since my boyfriend is a little obsessed with sailboats, I want to go back to this spot later on and do a painting that focuses on the sailboats so I can give it to him when I get back up to college.

This painting is also done in Grant Park and the photo was an in progress one, so it's actually a bit further along than shown. A couple that was walking by offered to buy this particular painting, but it wasn't nearly done and I didn't want to part with it yet. My brother is still bothering me about how I gave up a chance to make some money off of my artwork.

These paintings are acrylic paint because I take the train into the city, so carrying solvents for oil paint isn't that convenient and oils don't dry fast enough for me to carry the paintings back home at the end of class. I'm having a good time working with acrylics and while they aren't as traditional as oils, they're working for me at this point in my art career in terms of convenience.

For my painting class, I had to buy a whole bunch of fancy new art supplies that I was super excited about. I may be doing some product reviews of the new supplies in future blog posts, so be on the look out for those. I'm also going to make sure that I take some photos of my other paintings from class to share them with you guys because I'm just having a really fun time painting!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lilly Pulitzer Agendas 2016-17

If you've been reading my blog for a while or if you know me in person, it's quite obvious how much I love my Lilly Pulitzer agenda. Well, it's getting to that point in the year where I still have a few months left in my current agenda but the new ones were just released. Counting all the different sizes and patterns they have 17 choices to pick from including, my go-to, the large agenda.

The Lilly Pulitzer website describes the new agenda collection as follows:
The Lilly Pulitzer Agenda has been a staple in your tote for years. Our printed planners are more than just a place to record your busy social life - they are sources of constant smiles, helpful hints and of course, STICKERS. These agendas are uniquely Lilly and each page is hand painted and special, just like all of our prints. A 2016-2017 Planner is the perfect way to start the year off on the right foot.
The small sized agendas are $18, the medium are  $24, the large are $30 and the jumbo are $35. Something that they may have had in previous years, but I just saw now are the monthly planners which just give a week by week layout instead of a day by day, are $22.

I'm super excited and still debating on which pattern to get! My top choices are Southern Charm (The image on the left) and Lover's Coral (The image on the right). I'm so torn, so help me choose by commenting your favorite below.

If you happen to get yourself one of the new agendas, I'd love to hear which pattern and size you chose!

These agendas are perfect for me while I'm away at college because the large size has enough room for my homework, class times, social schedule and anything else that may pop up. I love accessorizing my planner with stickers on the inside as you may have seen in my previous Lilly Pulitzer agenda review.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hello Again!

Hello again dear readers,

If you hadn't been paying attention, this is my return from a pretty long hiatus from blogging. I want to say that was from a number of things, but to be quite honest with you, the leading cause was probably laziness. Now that it's Summer and I'm realizing how much time I really have on my hands, I've decided to come back with new focus. You'll still be receiving some of my much-needed terrible humor, some questionable outfit pairings and things that I like, but this blog will also be partially shifting over as a place to share the art that I've been working on.

I'm going to keep this post short even though I could likely type you all into oblivion, thanks for stopping by whether this be your first time visiting Constantly Katelyn or your hundredth.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Faves 2.0 (Week 1)

My Friday Faves are back and better than ever, even though nothing has really changed from last time. But, I've figured out how to effectively embed more things, so that's working out in my favor. It's a new year and therefore it's also time for a new post graphic to go along with my Friday Faves, be amazed by all of that themed stock photo amazingness. 

Super Bowl Commercial: With the Super Bowl being on Sunday, the amount of new commercials is sky rocketing. My personal favorite is this commercial for Heinz condiments, because, obviously, a commercial with a stampede of dachshunds is the best kind of commercial. If you didn't already guess, I'm the kind of person who just watches the Super Bowl for commercials and the halftime show. (That is, if I'm not watching the Puppy Bowl.)

Pinterest Find: I found this adorable Out of the Sea Ring from Karolina Bik Jewelry. It's a little pricey, at $160, but absolutely stunning. I really like the combination of media and how the color scheme accents the ocean vibe that it gives off due to shaping. This ring is available in basically any size imaginable, which I figure would be helpful if you actually had an accurate idea of your ring size (Which I don't). The website has it tagged as an engagement ring, but I personally think that it would function just as well as a piece of cocktail jewelry.

Food: This is long overdue, but my most recent food obsession is with Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt. They have a whole bunch of locations which can be seen at their website here. They have a punch card that's buy ten cups of yogurt and get a free one (I believe up to 12 ounces, but don't quote me on that.) and I'm currently at nine of my ten punches so I'm getting excited. I like to justify this yogurt habit because frozen yogurt apparently has a lot of benefits.

My all time favorite yogurt flavor is the raspberry cheesecake frozen yogurt followed closely by pina colada frozen yogurt (which is a combination of the pineapple and coconut flavors). Because of my food allergies, it's kinda hard for me to get toppings on my yogurt due to the cross-contamination factor being much higher with self-serve foods, but the yogurt itself is to die for. I also recommend getting one of their take home yogurts which are cheaper than buying the same amount of yogurt from the dispenser and they store really well in a freezer. The only down side to the take home yogurts is that they don't have toppings, but luckily for me, I don't use toppings in the first place!
Music: I found this Halsey and Panic! at the Disco mash-up while I was looking for a song off of Panic's new album. (I'm thinking about doing a review on this album coming up soon.) This particular mash-up by Annabel Watt is a combination of Halsey's "Gasoline" and Panic! at the Disco's "Casual Affair". I should probably warn all of you out there with sensitive ears that the song "Gasoline" doesn't necessarily have the cleanest lyrics, take that as you will.

Anyway, I'm super excited because I'm going to go see Panic! at the Disco play a show with Weezer at Summerfest in Milwaukee this year with some of my friends. I haven't gotten the tickets yet, so I'm not quite sure where we're going to be sitting or if we're just going to be doing general admission, but it's still really cool!

I hope you guys put up with me as I begin to throw my favorite things in your faces again. I haven't quite decided how many editions to do for this installment, but I'm thinking that 8 was a pretty good number because it's an even two months and then I'll give you another little break before I decide if Friday Faves 3.0 is a thing or not.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Budget Cuts Update

While the programs that have been cut are still gone, people are still upset about it here on campus. Today after my 2:40 class in the communications building, I was having a conversation with a girl I had a class with last semester and I noticed a poster. Someone had made up these extremely passive-aggressive posters about the program cuts and hung them up around campus. I've only been able to find three different ones, but I'm going to assume there are more in the campus center, which I haven't been to today. I just thought I would share.

Happy Monday everyone and sorry for the influx of personal posts. I'm going to be working on some more coloring pages and have them up hopefully in the near future.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Budget Cut Rant

Okay guys, so this is a really personal post that hits close to home. Today at my college we are expecting an email that outlines all the majors and minors that will be cut followed soon by a list of faculty that will leave due to a combination of budget cuts and low enrollment. The more traditional majors are safe, but unfortunately, being a museum studies and art major, my programs aren't a guarantee. Even if the programs stay, I'm expecting to see a large decrease in department faculty which will greatly limit the classes I'm in and also really restrict the faculty that I have access to. Rumor has it that programs that will be cut will only be in affect to students who begin next year and you are guaranteed to be able to finish your major if it is already declared (which I am). The main worry here is that with no more freshmen coming into the programs, people will begin to drop out of the programs because there isn't any fresh blood in the program. I'm just super anxious that my program will be cut and I'll basically be forced to transfer colleges. I feel like I'm on a sinking ship right now. It's really sad watching such a great college go down like this. In case you were looking for more information on the situation, I've attached a news article here.
Thanks for listening to my rant,
Update (4:01 PM): We received the email with the programs being cut. Since I was not a declared German minor in the system, I can no longer get that minor, but that isn't as big of a deal. I've attached screen shots of the email sent to us below.

Update (4:31 PM): I made a really funny tweet regarding this cut and wanted to share. It still bothers me how the museum studies program which is brand new this year is heavily reliant on the classical studies program but then they cut the classical studies department.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Printable Coloring Page: Woodland Creatures

Hey guys, since the first coloring page that I posted went over so well, I decided to take one of my Sharpie and watercolor paintings and remove the color to make it into a coloring page. The painting was titled "Woodland Creatures" and I'll post a picture of what the actual painting looks like below. Please tell me what you think of the coloring page! Also, if you print one out and color it, I'd love to see your end product!

So the first image is the transparency of the painting that I made using the image preview feature on my Macbook. I used the smart lasso tool to crop it so that just the main circle of animals remained, and from there, I zoomed in super closely, and using that smart lasso tool, outlined all the colored areas one by one and deleted them.

The second image is the actual painting that I made last year in my AP art class. It was definitely one of my favorites and my grandparents currently have it hanging in their guest bedroom.