Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Outback adventure week!

Well hi. As I write this, I'm sitting in the desert. Well, not in the desert. I have shelter. But I'm out of town for a few days and posting sporadically from the Northern Territory, otherwise known as 'the outback', 'the red centre' and 'the middle of nowhere'. I'll share some pictures in a post soon, but in the meantime, you can check out my adventures on instagram. I'm so glad we decided to make this trip in winter, it is still 34 degrees here though. I'm getting a hefty dose of sun-induced delusion each day, as evidenced by my sideways video. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What I Wore - And The Moon Shone Bright In The Daytime Sky

 I found this skirt in my old closet at my parents house amongst my old tutus and dancing costumes. My mum had made it for my sister one year for a school dress-up function, something related to Australian history awareness and convicts. My sister had to dress up as a convict, hence this skirt being dubbed the 'convict skirt'. Since I don't own any maxi dresses or skirts, I thought I'd give it a go! It's a little stiff, so I might give it a salt bath to soften it up a little.
The hat is another new thing for me. I have a bunch of hats but I always feel awkward in them. I don't know why, I'm just not a natural hat person. I bought this hat for C but of course, I got the wrong size. I'm hopeless! It fits me though - I promise it wasn't intentional!
skirt // handmade
hat // vintage
shirt // (similar)
book bag // freebie from Berkelouw Books
socks // Tokyo, Japan
Converse // Kyoto, Japan
(they were limited edition, but you can make your own!!)


Monday, August 26, 2013

Meet The Amazing August Sponsors

I hope you enjoy reading a little bit more about my August sponsors today. Aside from asking them to share a little bit about themselves/their blog/shops, I've found out their top three places to visit in the world! I've also hand picked my favourite post and product so you can find out what I love about my sponsors too. Take it away, Melinda!

 blog // shop // twitter // instagram // Google+
I'm a designer, dreamer, and adventure-seeker. By day I design children's clothing, at night I blog & practice Bikram yoga, and on the weekends I travel and have mini-adventures! Melinda's Musings is a lifestyle blog I began in 2012 about the art of living a well-rounded life.
Oh my gosh, I don't know if I could pick just 3. So I'll have to go by continent, haha. I'm not that picky about where I go as long as I get to see something new!
⤱ South America
⤱ Africa
⤱ Australia
My favourite post // I Love Libraries
My favourite product // You Spin Me Right Round
Enter Melinda's Giveaway to win a "Make It Happen" Art Print and Stationary Set

I`m writing about all I love- I love tattoos, piercings, creative life, traveling, and I write about all what is happening in my life. I love to live it interesting. And I try to post in two languages - Russian and English.

⤱ Texas (USA)
⤱ Sardegna (Italy)
⤱ New York (USA)
My favourite post // Old Photos From Latvia

Hey, I'm Z and I blog over at Sometimes Z Takes Pictures. I'm all about gnarly burgers, eccentric travel stories, underground concerts that will ruin my hearing, and trying to stay afloat in the weird world of a college student. 
Agh, I studied abroad last semester so this question is ESPECIALLY hard. I would have to say:
⤱ the Eiffel Tower (completely cliche, but I really did cry when I saw it)
⤱ Cinque Terre (a beautiful collection of towns on the coast of Italy)
⤱ my hometown greasy spoon diner. Best cheese curds in Wisconsin!

Hi, my name is Kelly Rae and I'm a blogger over at Foxes in the Graveyard.  I blog about my illustrative artwork, our little family and things I love.
⤱ Sculpture Falls in Austin
⤱ Cy Twombly Museum in Houston
⤱ Paris is always a good idea
My favourite post // 7/52

Hi guys, my name is Maria and I blog about personal style and my adventures through life. I love fashion, personal style and anything vintage. Stop by and say hello!
⤱ NYC - Love sightseeing anywhere in the city
⤱ Cyprus- My family is Greek and I love the beaches there, it's a huge part of who I am
⤱ Austin - South Congress Street is my favorite to go shopping
My favourite post // Wanderlust

Hi, I'm Kyla, a 24 year old designer/illustrator. I enjoy blogging, drawing pin-ups and drinking chai tea lattes. 
⤱ Barcelona, Spain
⤱ The South of France
⤱ Tokyo, Japan
My favourite post // Happy Friday

Hello, I'm Aubin! I'm the owner and artist behind Unrehearsed Kickline, a new online vintage and handmade accessories store. At Unrehearsed Kickline you'll find pop culture inspired accessories celebrating everything from Twin Peaks to The Monkees as well as a fabulous collection of vintage clothing that's 15% off from now until the beginning of September. So click the shop link, stop on by, and join the Unrehearsed Kickline!
My favourite product // This 1970's LBD!
You can currently score 15% off all vintage clothing in the Unrehearsed Kickline store.

Hi, I'm Meghann of food blog Miss Sweet Nothings. My blog tag line is "A Little bit of what you like" which was inspired by an old saying "A little bit of what you fancy does you good" and finding a balance between being good and indulging. For me this means sharing inspiration, travel stories and of course lots of sweet treats!
⤱ The pyramids in Egypt (it's on the back burner due to the recent upheavals)
⤱ Rome, Italy (next year on our honeymoon!)
⤱ The Fjords in Norway
My favourite post // Pumpkin Butterfly Cupcakes

Hi guys! My name is Chantal and I'm the designer/customiser at PonyChops. I love to blog, bake vegan goodies, and most of all paint fun, one of a kind shoes! I share lots of crafty things and recipes on my blog along with lots of my own illustration and design work.
⤱ The Lake District - I love to go hiking here on summer days.
⤱ New York - I've only been once but I want to live there some day.
⤱ Blackpool - Possibly one of the cheesiest holiday destinations in the UK, full or creepy and outdated awesomeness.
My favourite post // Jake The Dog and Finn The Human
My favourite product // Personalised Brogues (I've always wanted my cats, like the shoes above! One day!)
Enter the code "KITTYANDBUCK" to get 15% off all orders in the Pony Chops shop!

Hello, I'm Lucy, a Somerset farmer's daughter who has moved ooop North to the land of flat caps and whippets. On my blog I share my life and loves in and around Manchester and beyond... Come on over if you'd like to share in my little adventures! 
⤱ Vis - a gorgeous little island just off the coast of Croatia. It's quiet, calm and beautiful.
⤱ Glastonbury Tor - a spiritual place with beautiful views. I can see it from my parent's house so it holds a special place in my heart.
⤱ Cambridge - one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The old buildings are just magnificent and the lazy river winding its way through the city is one of the best places to view it from, sat in the back of a punt.
My favourite post // The Good Things In Life: Agnes

Grits & Moxie // 11 Things
The Pink Fox Designs // Back To The Future Poster
Indica | Wild At Heart // Rings Charm Turquoise
Birds & Oxfords // OOTD
Blythe Ponytail Parades // Swan Lake Style

Thanks for sponsoring Kitty & Buck you guys!
If you're interested in sponsoring, you can check out my advertising page here. Or email me with any questions you might have!


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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Art Print Giveaway with Melinda's Musings

It's giveaway time! Melinda from Melinda's Musings not only has a lovely blog, but also a Society6 store! Today she is offering you the chance to win a "Make It Happen" print set of one 8x10 print, in your choice of white, green, orange, or purple ground color. The winner will also receive a "Make It Happen" stationary card set too. Hands up who needs some inspiration in their home! All you need to do to win is enter using the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
(keep up to date with Kitty & Buck with Bloglovin')

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What I Wore - Pleated Park Gumtree Wedding

I hadn't really planned to shoot outfit pictures on this day, but the lighting was so nice and I was wearing this pretty dress! I bought this dress to wear to my sister's wedding, it worked really well with a nice sparkly gold jacket and my fancy gold and suede Seychelles shoes. Somehow I don't seem to have pictures of the wedding outfit... But here's the dress in a more casual setting :) Coffee and stroll in the park.
The tree I am standing under was covered in crawly spider webs that were stretched over the bark like gauze. Inside each layer was a pocket of eggs. I'm sure they'll hatch soon. I would be half amazed and half-horrified to witness that event! At the base of the tree was a couple of gumtree twigs that had been wrapped together with some sticky tape into the shape of a little posy. I imagine the gum-tree bouquet was the subject of an amazing imagined wedding, or perhaps a grand ball featuring a princess and her prince charming. Discarded and forgotten once the game was finished.
Pink Cherry Earrings // Broadway Mall in Tokyo, Japan
Baby Tooth Brooch // Tokyo, Japan
I am wearing boots, you'll just have to trust me on that one ;)
Urban Outfitters Boots // (similar)


Tutorial - Create Ads on your Sidebar + A Passionfruit Giveaway!

Passionfruit Ads is now offering FIVE annual memberships for Kitty & Buck readers  to win! Just leave a comment below to enter. If you've already purchased your membership, you can still enter for the chance to win, your fee will be refunded if you're one of the randomly selected winners. We'll announce the winners on September 1!

Today I'm going to do a quick tutorial on how to set up your own ad widget on the sidebar of your blog. The instructions are for Blogger, but the HTML code that we use will work on any platform. Since Passionfruit Ads announced their new pricing plans, there's been some questions about whether the new plans are right for 'you'
As a quick intro, up until now, Passionfruit Ads has been 'free'. As in, it's been free to use the service and set up your ad shop. However, whenever you sold an ad, Passionfruit would take a $1 service fee, plus the paypal fees from the cost of your ad. This means, if you sold 20 ads per month you would be paying Passionfruit fee equal to $240 a year. If you choose to subscribe to the new system for a year, you'll be saving $190 in potential fees. As a matter of fact, if you sell just 4-5 ads per month, you will be better off under the new system (with a year subscription, the monthly service costs more and would be equivalent of you selling 9 ads per month under the old system.)

Now, if you're selling ad space on your blog, that's all well and good. You have the numbers to consider and you can choose to sign up with the new system if it will be beneficial to your current sales/projected ad sales. You should also keep in mind the convenience factor.

Before Passionfruit came along, I was conducting my ad swaps (at the time I was not selling ads) manually. There is a lot of emailing back and forth, remembering when you have to put ads up and take them down again, rotating the ad spots manually (if you want to rotate them) and processing payments yourself. When I joined Passionfruit, I weighed up the amount of work I did for one ad, compared with paying them $1 per ad and it made sense. It was a much more effective way for me to manage my advertising.

If you are currently using Passionfruit Ads, you have until September 1 on the current system. Then you need to decide whether you'll pay for the service, or strike out on your own. All new signups receive the first month for free, if you're not currently signed up and would like to try it out.

I understand there are a few alternative as networks out there, but I don't have any experience with them, so I'm just going to show you the way I used to do ads, in case you'd like to do it on your own, with no fees or commissions from an ad service.

❤ You still need a price list/ad shop. It's really important to show ad sizes that you offer and their prices, plus your statistics. Even for an ad swapping blog, potential swappers will probably like to know how many followers and pageviews you have, it's a good way of finding a similar sized blog to swap with. This is not a rule, it's just a great starting point!

❤ Along with your 'ad shop' information, you need to include a contact form or email address for potential buyers/swappers to contact you through.

❤ When someone emails you to enquire about an ad, you'll need to collect from them an image in the correct size for the ad space they want, plus a URL of their site. If you're selling ads, you'll need to send them a paypal invoice or similar so they can send you money.

❤ Once the purchase is complete, you need to upload the ad to your sidebar. You can do this by adding a new gadget to your sidebar in the "Layout" tab of your Blogger account. Use the HTML/Javascript gadget.

❤ The ad image for the ad needs to be hosted online somewhere, I use Photobucket. There are a few options for free and paid image hosting, so have a little poke around the interwebs and see what works for you.

This is the code you will need to display the ad, I've broken it into pieces for you:
This is the advertiser's URL
This will open the link to the advertiser's site in a new window, so that your blog remains open too!
Read more about nofollow tags here, especially important if you are selling ads
This is the URL of your image, which is hosted on Photobucket, Flickr or similar.

You simply need to repeat that same set of code, one after the other, for each ad space. Then, set up a spreadsheet, calendar reminder, or similar system to help you keep track of durations, payments, ad rotations and the like. Unless you have some kind of super-memory!
I hope that helps you out, if you're looking at setting up your own ads from September 1. If you'd like to try Passionfruit, or sign up to the new plan, I have two FIVE (!) one year subscriptions valued at $50 each to give away to some lucky readers! All you need to do is leave a comment below letting us know what will do with all of your spare time saved by using Passionfruit Ads.
Limit one entry per person. If you have already paid for a membership, you can still enter, and if you win, you will be refunded for your paid membership.

(keep up to date with Kitty & Buck with Bloglovin')

Advertise on Kitty & Buck in September

It's already time to consider sponsoring in September! My gosh, I can't believe it... I think it may be time to kick into high gear :) I'll have some lovely posts coming up as I'm spending a week in the Australian outback! I'm looking forward to sharing what I see and hopefully capturing some lovely desert shots, and maybe even some Aussie wildlife? There'll be more photography, inspiration, design and outfits as usual too. If you have a small business, blog or shop, I'd love to share your work in this space. Kitty & Buck has affordable advertising options, you can check them out below. Both of the XL ads are sold for September, but you can purchase in advance if you'd like to get in early for October. I've also updated the stats on my Advertise page, right here. If you're ready to purchase, feel free to do so now. If you need a hand with designing an ad button, or if you have any questions about advertising on Kitty & Buck, just email me, I'm more than happy to have a chat :)

(keep up to date with Kitty & Buck with Bloglovin')

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wordless Weekend #36

All photos by myself and C. Sydney, Australia.
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DIY Japanese Paper Book Cover

When we were in Japan, we managed to find books to buy, even though we don't speak Japanese well enough to read. Of course, there were art books, manga and English-language books too. The first time a book store cashier asked me to choose some paper for my books, I thought he was gift wrapping them for me. But no, he very deftly folded the paper into a perfect protective cover for each book. As we made our way through the country, we realised that this was quite common, and often stores just used brown paper with their logo on it. Today I thought I'd show you the book covering technique, it's a great way to protect your paperbacks and decorate notebooks as well. I found some beautiful double-sided paper at a local bookstore :)
1. Cut a piece of paper so that it's edges extend approximately 2" around every side of the (open) book that you'd like to cover. (This example could have had a little more paper for the top and bottom)
2. Mark the top and bottom of the book by creating a little crease in line with the edges.
3. Take the book off the paper and fold in a straight line, along the crease guides.
4. Check your folds against the book. They should be flush with the top and bottom of your book. If they extend beyond the edges of the book, they will become damaged and rough really quickly.
5. Place the book so that the spine is in the centre of your paper. If you're covering a thicker book, like a paperback, you can mark the width of the spine with the same technique from step 2 and create some crisp folds to go around the spine.
6. Fold in the front and back cover edges firmly around the cover, making a sharp fold.
7. Here's the special part! Tuck the cover into the slit between the folds. You'll need to gently bend it to slot it in. This will hold the cover firmly on your book without the need for adhesives.
8. Admire your handiwork! It's such a nice way to protect your books and pretty them up at the same time. It's a bit of a shame to cover up the illustration and title of "I Am The Cheese" by Robert Cormier, and I have to admit, the cover won't be staying on that one! I just needed a book of the right size for my second piece of paper, and there he was. For me, this is more of a notebook covering thing. Oh, and it was quite handy to cover up my Japanese phrasebook while we were in Japan so I didn't look like a total tourist ;)
I hope you enjoyed this little DIY, feel free to share your handiwork with me in the comments or on social media! @KittyAndBuck will find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
(sorry about the grainy pictures, it's winter here and light isn't the greatest)


Speaking of books, how would you like to win this one?! Giveaway ends tomorrow, so be quick.

(keep up to date with Kitty & Buck with Bloglovin')

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I Wore - Vanilla Bean

I know it's been ages since I posted an outfit, I think it's just been too hard to scrounge those daylight hours during winter! My local florist always pute the prettiest ribbons on my flowers, so I've been collecting them and tying bows in my hair. There's nothing better than fresh flowers and a new hair bow, right? Aside from impromptu dances in the kitchen and snuggles from loved ones, human and furballs alike. I can't believe winter is almost done.
Sweater // Thrifted - Sydney, Australia
Boots // Urban Outfitters (similar)
Jacket // ModCloth (similar)
Belt // Thrifted - Sydney, Australia
Hair Bow // Florist Ribbon

On a more serious note, I should mention that the brooch I am wearing, is an original design from Under The Shade of a Bonsai Tree (I've worn it before here too). Unfortunately it has popped up recently in a wholesale company's stock and copies are being sold on several websites. If you love the brooch, I encourage you to support the designer, her small business and handmade, by purchasing it through the link I have given to the Under The Shade of a Bonsai Tree Etsy store. Sorry to end on that note, but I think it's really important to support handmade and indie business, and stop feeding the fast fashion copies of legitimate designer's work.