Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photo A Day #99 A Very Special Delivery

I've been waiting for a special package in the mail and it has finally arrived!

I figured since I do animation for my job, I couldn't get up to #100 photo-a-days without having an animated gif! It isn't the best animation I've ever done! But it's making me giggle, so up it goes for the world to see and judge ;)

The contents of the box before Maggie and Nico hopped in was my brand new camera bag from Jo Totes! I've been wanted a 'proper' camera bag for ages, one which eliminate the need for me to carry two bags all the time. So now, I am armed with my camera at all times. Expect photo-taking galore! I've been set free :)

I hope your week is going well, I'm counting the days until my Etsy conference. Hopefully I will see some new faces and meet some nice people there. Oh, and learn lots of good skills for selling on etsy. Two more sleeps!

June Ad Giveaway Winners!

The time has come to announce the winners of the June ad spot giveaway! I'm so excited to share this with you. Utilizing the magic of random number generators, here's the lucky ducks:

Big congratulations guys! I'll email you very soon with instructions, and as I let the competition run a tad longer than I was going to, hopefully you can get your buttons ready soon so we can get them up for the 1st June.

For all those who missed out, I'm sorry! But thanks for entering! My sponsorship program is available at any time if you're super keen to get an ad, so you don't have to wait until July, you can always grab a spot now (pending availability - if the quota is full you can buy in advance for next month, how easy is that?)

love, Kitty

Final Call for June Ad Giveaway

I thought I'd send one final reminder out to you lovelies before I close the competition. You have a really good chance at winning, being that there are currently more prizes than entrants. Which makes me feel a little... sad :( Cheer me up kids!

I know you're all enjoying the northern hemisphere sunshine and all, but just take a few moments and leave a comment on this post! The winner of the large ad will receive the option to take part in a group giveaway (great for your shop) and/or guest post on this here blog. What are you waiting for?

Leave a comment!
Be a winner!

As a bonus for this giveaway, if anyone needs a button designed, I'm happy to throw in the design for the winner(s) for free!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Photo A Day #98 Providence, RI Visiting H.P. Lovecraft

After visiting Newport, we stayed in Rhode Island for a chance to see Providence. I am about to expose a rather high level of geekery right now, so prepare yourselves. Our primary reason for visiting Providence was to explore the city that the author H.P. Lovecraft lived and wrote in. If you don't know about H.P. Lovecraft you can read the wiki here, and if you're really keen, visit the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society page. Fact: My favorite of his stories (so far) is The Color Out of Space.

The weather was overcast, which was perfect considering the subject matter! We stayed at the top of that hill you see below. It was hard work getting down the hill, I won't talk about getting back up!

The architecture in Providence is great, it has a really old mixed with new vibe, a bit industrial and cool Art Deco touches. There are some great bookstores in the CBD too! I love the beautiful typography on this building.

This is the house we stayed in, with a lovely English lass and her gorgeous dog, Lady. We made such good friends that she even let C take Lady for a walk. The whole neighborhood was beautiful, I just love it when a bunch of old houses survive and are cared for by their owners. It's like a time warp.

We met a few interesting characters in Providence, including a goth called Mathew (we were convinced he would have a more goth-y name and told him so) We talked with locals about urban exploring (sounded a tad dangerous in this particular location for my liking) and the history of Providence. Then we went to H.P. Lovecraft's family home.

Yes. They built a Starbucks on his house. {some prior knowledge of H.P. needed to get this joke} You know how the Starbucks logo is a sea creature? Do you think poor Lovey was having premonitions, not about a cosmic entity named Cthulu, but of the tentacled-looking mermaid on the Starbucks logo who was destined to invade his family home? Food for thought people. Food for thought.

It's a bit worn out, but we visited Lovey's grave and left him a little token. Not a sticky candy (he lived on cockroach food - sweets) but I'm keeping it a secret. It is forbidden to take photos in the cemetery and they have security to curb the photo taking. We sneaked a couple in though. I really liked Providence and would have liked to spend more time there. We had a little geeky checklist of places to see that were the subject of his writings, but we hardly saw any. More time in Providence required! I'll add it to my ever growing list of travel to-dos.


Photo A Day #97 Vivid Light Festival in Sydney

Tonight we went on a photo walk through Sydney to take in the sights of the Vivid Festival. There are a tonne of events happening including music events and forums. I'm actually heading to the Etsy Success talk on Saturday, you know, so I can get off on the right foot with my store! I haven't talked much about it yet, but soon all will be revealed :)

This image is from Customs House, the projection was really cute, a little cartoon town going about it's daily business. My favorite parts of this capture are the cartoon windows and the blue Chrysler building-inspired building! So cute! I took loads of photos, so I'll share the best of with you in a proper post soon.

Even though it had been raining and it was all muddy, this light up hopscotch was a hit! Yes, I did take a few turns, I'll share them in the bigger post! The little kids were adorable though, I remember being a kid still and that light up hopscotch would have totally made my day! Wait, it kind of made my day now. I guess I'm still a big kid! I hope you are having a happy Tuesday.

Love, Kitty

P.S. Don't forget to enter my mini-givaway! Click on the picture below to read all about it. Free ad spots in June for your blog or business. Only 24 hours left to enter :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Advertise with Kitty & Buck in June! Plus: Mini-giveaway

I have a huge month ahead for Kitty & Buck, I can't wait to share it with you all. This week I launched my 'official' sponsorship program, so I thought I'd share a little bit of information about it with you guys. I have decided to sell advertising space starting June, at crazy low prices, so it's affordable for everyone. So if you'd like to see your blog, shop or pet cat (or hamster) on the sidebar, just check out my sponsorship page, or send me an email (kittyandbuck {at} gmail {dot} com) for more info. I'm so happy to answer any questions you might have. All money generated from these ad sales will be going directly back into my blog and the blogging world (through my sponsorship of other blogs). What you get for your pocket change:

Oh, I mentioned a giveaway, didn't I? Alright then, here goes. As a special launch offer, I am giving away:
  • ONE large ad space
  • FOUR small ad spaces
for the month of June! I'll be randomly selecting the winners in just a couple of days on May 30th so that you'll have time to upload your ad before the start of June.

All you have to do to enter is be a follower of this blog and leave a comment below with a link to your site that you'll be advertising.

Bonus entries: (please leave an additional comment for each extra entry so they get counted)
  • Follow Kitty & Buck on twitter
  • Tweet about the giveaway (you must mention @KittyAndBuck so I can find your tweet) (example tweet) > I just entered an awesome giveaway to win a free ad space on @KittyAndBuck for the month of June!
I reserve the right to decline any advertising if I feel that it does not fit with my vision for Kitty & Buck. I'm pretty sure you guys will be ok ;)

Good luck my friends! And remember, if you'd rather just purchase an ad, just visit my sponsorship page, it's all ready to go.

Thanks so much for your support so far, there's so much more to come

Photo A Day #96 Rainbows, love and picnics

Lately, life seems to be full of reminders to make the most of the time we have. Sometimes (most of the time?) it's easy to be caught up in the day-to-day stresses and inconsequential details. I started this blog as a way to make myself step outside of that, an attempt to notice the little things that make you smile, and to try and be conscious of my life.

It's easy to forget still, so today I want to talk about rainbows, picnics, love and the beach. Our time together on this earth is precious, cherish these moments and create more of them. All of the other stuff doesn't matter.

Love, Kitty

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fup - Jim Dodge

It's been awhile between book nooks, I apologise! What's funny is, I felt like I needed to re-read books to give an accurate review, which is kinda time consuming. Anyway. We have a new book for your reading list, may I introduce you to FUP.

Grandaddy Jake Santee is a restless soul. He has married 3 times, has a daughter that he's not seen since she was a baby and a grandson, Tiny (who is 6'5") whom he has never met. He has followed a gold rush and made fortunes and lost them again through gambling. One night in Nevada City, he is given the recipe for Ol' Death Whisper moonshine, a gift from a dying Indian, the gift of immortality.

Jake receives news that his daughter has drowned, and after a battle with the authorities, he secures custody of his grandson Tiny. They live on the ranch together, Grandaddy Jake drinking his immortality inducing moonshine whiskey, Tiny building fences.
Tiny, fortunately, was as amiable as his Granddaddy was ornery, as placid and benign as the old man was fierce and belligerent. Tiny enjoyed the open, linear purity of checkers. Granddaddy favored games with hole cards, where your strength was in your secrets and you flew into the eye of chaos riding your ghost.
One day Tiny discovers a baby duck in one of his post holes. He brings the duck home, and it is named Fup. (Fup Duck! get it?) Fup is nursed back to health by Jake and Tiny (with a little drop of Ol' Death Whisper to help him along).

The adventures of Fup are hilarious and sweet. At 60 pages long, you really have no excuse not to read it. It's full of humor, sarcasm and wise words. I wish there were more books by Jim Dodge, but alas, there are only 3 (plus a collection of poetry) This is his first book and I highly recommend it, I loved it!

Have you read Fup? What did you think? If not, get thee to a book store!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Photo A Day #95 Beachy Picnic

Today I overslept by about 3 hours (!), so I felt like I missed out on the best part of the day. But we managed to squeeze in a awesome trip to the beach regardless, and I had some beauty sleep. Win-win! I haven't been to this beach in a really long time, and it is one of my favorites. This is the scene from the road as you descend to the beach itself, and the view I saw when I was small and thought the ocean was a giant bath! After spending time in nature, I always feel recharged. I hope you're having a lovely weekend, and to those Americans, a lovely long weekend, you lucky ducks!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Photo A Day #94 Reaching

Please remember to tell people how much you love them. Especially your older people. If you can, call your grandparents, or visit them and tell them how important they are. In the past six months I have been reminded again and again how lonely, sad and helpless old age can be for people. It doesn't have to be this way. I want to write a detailed post about this soon, but for now, I just want you to reach out and let your friends and family know that they are loved.
Thanks :)

Photo A Day #93 I Fell Over

You know sometimes you have one of those days? Work was busy, meals were delayed so much as to be counted as skipped. I was supposed to go to the VIVID Festival Opening Night, where they light the sails of the Opera House with beautiful projections. I chickened out because it was freezing cold today and I didn't fancy standing around on the open foreshore of Sydney Harbor craning at lights. I opted for the "straight home, order pizza and play Little Big Planet 2" plan.

As I was leaving the train station, I slipped on the sidewalk and flipped a 180, landing on my butt, then flat out on the pavement. A pregnant lady had to help me up. Aside from bruised pride, I managed to scrape the whole side off my shoe, bump and tear my right ankle, left bum and leg, hurt my back and scraped my left hand. So now I'm pretty sore and sorry for myself and thinking that my grand plan of body combat at the gym tomorrow morning may not actually happen. I needed to cheer myself up, so I put on my special socks.

The trick is, you put on the hairy leg socks, and wear your jeans like knickerbockers. After that, everything seems a little silly. I got these socks in Melbourne, but they are from Japan. (of course, just about all quirky awesome things are from Japan) When I bought them, I thought they were just cute pink socks with little sprinkle patterns on them. When I opened the packet, I realised they had toes. THEN I realised that the sprinkles were, in fact, hairy legs!! Just. Awesome.

I hope your Friday is going better than mine. Tread carefully and have a great weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Found #13

How incredible is this photograph? The Atlantic has a beautiful collection of photographs from the NYC Municipal Archives. I love old photographs, and these ones have beautiful lighting and composition. They show an intriguing insight into another time.

More beauty here. Tsuneaki Hiramatsu has taken these beautiful long exposures (and multiple exposures) of fireflies! I was so excited to see my first fireflies in the USA during my trip last year, I wish I had a tripod to take pictures like this! I was proud of capturing my tiny glowing dots, but these are like a fairy land!
These modular shelving systems from J1Studio are great! I usually HATE bookshelves and shelving that is wacky shapes and such, as I have a LOT of books and need them to be as efficient as possible. However, these ones look pretty practical, you could hang things from the bottom (lamps, trinkets, pretty things?), and it looks like they fit a good amount of books. The main selling point for me is that this definitely, 100% would double as a cat jungle gym in my house! How cute!

Oye Modern sells jewellery from independent and emerging designers. I have had my eye on this necklace for about... oh, 2 years now, since I saw it in a magazine. 40% at the moment!! I'm not sure I can justify it, I am trying to be good. Do I really need a pencil shaving necklace. Must. Be. Strong!

I'm going to try and include my favourite blog post from the week in this feature, and this week, the honor goes to Sarah over at SillyGrrl. Her post on escaping her day job was really uplifting for me this week, and it came at the perfect time, just as I was starting to wonder if all the hard work will pay off. Reassuring and inspiring!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photo A Day # 92 Blue Stair Disco

I thought I'd share this picture that C took of me last night when we were stuck in the stairwell after the Etsy Show 'n' Sell Markets! This photo has NO effects. No filter in camera or lens filter. It's just the lighting in the stairwell. It came out so surreal, I love it! I love how the texture came out on my coat and dress the best, they look delicious!

See how calm I am, even though I'm trapped in the stairwell? We found our way out eventually :)
I hope you're having a great week, we are close to the weekend again!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Photo A Day #91 Show 'n' Sell Markets

Hello! I hope you're having a swell day :) My photo (s) (it's rarely just one, now, is it?) today are from the Sydney Etsy Team's Show 'n' Sell Markets that I popped in to see tonight. It was a sardine-can packed an intimate occasion. There were a few really cute stalls, unfortunately it was a bit hard to get a good look without being jostled, but I spotted some sweet pickings while inside!

Also, remember those awesome tights I featured here? Well, I had the pleasure of meeting Penny who designs and creates these lovely tights (she is a sweet gal!) and flipping through her fabric print sample book like a crazy lady! All the designs are so cute... and she has CAT print tights... shhh... I don't want them to sell out... they're ALL MINE!

1. Penny of Uptights (cute sparkly collar!) // 2. (and 3.) Uptights stand amidst hordes of people
3. Browsers (the shopping kind, not the Firefox kind) // 4. The room with the bar that was virtually impossible to enter!

I wish I could have stayed longer for the free BBQ (do you think they had Soysauges?) and lucky door prize (I really wish I could have stayed for the lucky door prize!!) But unfortunately, after driving around for about 30 minutes, I gave up on street parking and opted for the $9 per 30 minute parking station that smelled like a urinal. I did not want to leave my car there too long, and you know, I'm a tightwad and spending that much on parking just KILLS me! But I had a great time, and it looks like the night was a success. I'm imagining next time, there may be a bigger venue, and I'd love to go along again :)

My car was safe n sound right where I left it. Unfortunately C and I got trapped in the blue-light urinal disco stairwell and almost had to axe the door down like Jack Nicholson. We found one door (out of about 15) that opened and burst out into a dodgy dark alley covered in broken glass. We made it back, after many trials and derring-do. Ah Sydney... you're fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photo A Day #90 Works in Progress

I'm sure everyone experiences periods where they don't feel like they are being productive enough. I have quite a few projects on the go at the moment, and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere! But of course I am, it's just getting done a little bit at a time.

This week I bought so now I have a more 'official' website! I also set up my etsy shop (very basically) so it is ready to sell my stock when the stock is ready (more details to come soon). I'm in the process of changing some of the layout of my blog (just some housekeeping) and I've also got some business cards on the way in preparation for some events coming up in the next month or two.

So, you see, things are happening, but sometimes you need to remind yourself of your achievements and not dwell on the 'failures' or works in progress that aren't being finished quickly enough. I have a few projects going on at the moment, as well as my 'commitments':
  • I work full time and commute around 2 1/2 hours 5 days per week. (commitment)
  • I just started my blog (wait, 3 months have passed? Noooo!) & committed to posting EVERY day
  • Trying to be a better musician and commit to getting some work completed on this
  • I'm setting up my Etsy store and I'm brimming with ideas of what to make and create for it
  • I'm a new (ish) home owner and I'm trying to DIY rooms in my house (sooo beige right now)
  • Learning to garden and attempting to grow my own food
  • Learning to sew and make my own clothes
  • Trying to read more!!
I probably should add I need to sleep more, stop and smell the roses and relax sometimes! I just read a great post on Sarah's Blog which has spurred me on! I know I'm working towards more independence and creative freedom, so I'll keep chipping away, and soon... well, I'll let you know ;)

I should explain my picture as well, if you made it to the end of my essay ;) It's another project that is 90% done! I've been making my own jewelry display case using an old letterpress drawer and some hooks. I got the idea from etsy. I'll share the finished product with you, but I won't be doing a DIY.
a) because it's someone else's great idea!
b) It's pretty easy to figure out
c) I wouldn't inflict it on anyone! It's so much work, I highly recommend buying a ready-made one and saving yourself the agony :)

Are you guys bogged down with work right now? Remember to focus on your achievements and keep going! Read Sarah's post too, it's really inspiring :)


Jessica-T Giveaway winner...

I held it over a couple of more hours for all you guys in the Northern slice of this fine Earth... and the winner is....

Drumroll please....

Congratulations Stephanie! I've emailed you with some details.

Thank you everyone for entering! I'll have some more giveaways coming up soon, so keep an eye out :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Photo A Day #89 Newport Rhode Island

The journey southward continues! I loved Newport, RI... We even discussed the possibility of living here, what a great town. It just felt... nice. I suppose on holiday, everywhere feels nice. During our stay in Newport, we lodged in one of the oldest houses we managed to stay at on this trip, built in the 1750's. (The oldest house we've stayed in though, was in the UK, est 1066!)

After we arrived, we went for a walk through town to see the sights. One of the most striking in the town centre is this beautiful church. As we walked by, we took a couple of photographs, and a young man sitting in the park struck up a conversation with us. Firstly, I'll describe him. He was wearing the grunge era flannelette shirt and torn jean shorts. He had long blonde scraggly hair and was weather-beaten in a lovely way that comes from generations of fishermen. He leaned back on his elbows and said to us (and a drawling voice that was a cross between Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Captain Ahab): "Cool church huh guys??... You knoooww. Bruce Willis is up there maaan. And Bill Muurrray. Yeah. It's pretty coool huh? They blew up that steeple today. It fell onto a car, man. But it wasn't really that steeple, you know? Cos they weren't allowed to blow up the real steeple. Nah man, they totally built a fake steeple and blew that one up!! And Bill Murray is up there man. And Bruce Wiiillis! Cool huh?"

As speechless as that rendered me, C managed to smile and say "Neat." We wandered off, wondering exactly what he'd ingested to reach such a state of wonder. Little did we know, Bill Murray and Bruce Willis WERE there. The following day we drove past the church (which was only a block from our B+B) and saw Wes Anderson and his crew filming scenes for his new film "Moonlight Kingdom". Now I am a HUGE Wes Anderson fan, so this pretty much blew my mind! I'm going to the Australian premiere screening for the Sydney Film Festival next month, and trust me, I'm going to be scrutinizing the backgrounds of the film in case I sneaked in!! I will also probably declare loudly "Been Dere" as I am always really excited to be able to say that when I've been to a location in a movie or TV show!

After recovering from all the excitement in the town, we went for a walk along the cliffs, which is a popular attraction in Newport. There are many old mansions perched on these cliffs, which were summer homes for the very wealthy and powerful from the earliest times of European settlement in the USA. The mansions beggar belief, they are so incredibly decadent and grand. I've seen palaces in Europe, and these seemed just as grandiose. We didn't go inside any of the homes, we just wanted to see the coastline. It made me think how amazing it was that in Europe, this was the style of royalty, and in the USA, it was the summer homes of the pioneers of industrialization. Quite amazing, considering the plight of the many small towns we passed through.

We had a hard time figuring out what we wanted to have for dinner in Newport, so I settled for a Ben and Jerry's banana split. About 2 bites in, I was wondering what I had been thinking. Those things are huge! We sat in the grounds of a church with the resident mice and attempted to put a dent in the enormous sundae. A carload of male college students pulled up to the traffic lights, hanging out of their soft top (top down) 4x4, with "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" blaring out of the stereo. They were singing and dancing and it was just like that scene out of Zoolander. I sincerely hope they didn't decide to have a gasoline fight that night. (edit - Cae does!)

Oh Newport. Surreal, beautiful, old, seaside town. I hope I see you again soon.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Photo A Day #88 Time Travel to a Peaceful Place

Today we are time traveling to a trip we took to Canberra last year. For those of you who don't know, Canberra is the capital of Australia, and therefore home to many politicians and public servants. I'd been there before, once to get my visa to work in the UK, and another time for work. My initial impressions: Sheep on the runway at the airport. Many, many roundabouts. Manicured lawns. Boring.

We decided to go back for a visit, and were very pleasantly surprised, there were lots of things to see and do, and a huge selection of galleries, archives and parks. We had a lovely time. Here's some pictures from the National Gallery. (Only outside, we managed to get into an altercation with staff trying to take pictures inside (no flash or anything). This was weird to us as we'd taken pictures everywhere in Europe... including in The Louvre... of the Mona Lisa! I mean.. c'mon Aussies... really? Is your art that precious?)


ALSO!! Don't forget to enter the Jessica-T Operator Please Telephone Necklace giveaway!! We're closing the giveaway in less than 24 hours, so chop chop!

Photo A Day #87 Sayings

Sometimes I wonder why people do the things they do... Do they set out to hurt others, or are they so self centered that it doesn't even occur to them that they are being nasty and hurtful? I don't have the answers to that, but I do wonder why I have relationships with people who act in ways that can only be construed as hurtful. There are a few sayings that I was taught as a child that I still try to live by.
  • Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.
  • If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.
So I guess I'll leave it at that. Sorry to bring the mood down, but that's the best I can do today...