Monday, July 30, 2012

Do Good Things.

This morning I told Nicholas I needed to paint the hallway today, like Brian asked. He said don't do that, do good things. So I started the day off with a Hershey bar for breakfast, and then checked Etsy to find that my Pink Diamond Merit Badge made it to the front page last night! So after adding a little award ribbon to the listing, I decided to catch up on my Vimeo feed. I've been trying to watch more videos lately, in hopes of getting in the right mindset for finishing a screenplay and maybe even starting to storyboard my short film that I'm sure I'll be working on for awhile. So I watched this one. Because the title sounded interesting, and the thumbnail was beautiful. And the piece turned out to be wonderful. So click full screen, because it makes it that much better, and watch.

I love the use of so many different techniques in this piece. I love the muffled voices and crumpled paper. I love the honesty. And I think the idea is something universal. The only part I was a bit disappointed with was the voice of the narrator. The writing didn't bother me, but the way it was read was so bland, that the honesty wasn't as obvious. It reminded me of English classes and reading short stories aloud. Maybe if the narrator just talked instead of reading, it would have been different. Oh well. I still think it's a beautiful piece.

So for the good things to be done today, I think I'll embroider some merit badges, listen to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes (everyday), watch the Flatt & Scruggs Grand Ole Opry show, and make a dope sheet for a short little animation featuring owls and my favorite little artist (that, with any luck, will motivate Nicholas to build a copystand for me to photograph the frames and put it on Vimeo sooner rather than later). And maybe, after lunch and watching some Dawson's Creek (I love the 90s), I'll paint the hallway.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I started blogging on Tumblr again. If you want plenty more photos of handmade items, studio messes, and even more awesome things, follow Golden Cat Studios on Tumblr. Did I mention coupon codes and sale announcements?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Etsy Awards

Ok, ok, we all get it: I love awards. Mostly making them, and giving them. So after having a few of my items appear on Etsy's front page recently, I decided they deserved awards. You may notice, while browsing some awesome items on Etsy, that occasionally sellers will celebrate their front page achievements by uploading this little button. It's a small circle with a bit of text. All you really need. But why be content with just that?

Now, despite Googling to my heart's content, I could not find where the image originated. Maybe it came from the company, or some independent designer. Either way, this is it, just as small, and it is uploaded along with images of the product being sold. There's nothing wrong with it, except that it looks rather puny when the other images are scaled to 570 pixels wide, and this one is, oh, maybe 100. So I decided I would make my own! So when my items make it to the front page, they get an award! How fun is that?
I made two variations, in case one font isn't your style. Oh, didn't I mention? They're free for you to use! If your item makes it to the front page, feel free to tell the world with these award ribbons! If you click the one you want, it will open to its full size, at 570 pixels--exactly the width Etsy scales images to. I did add a watermark with my shop in it, only because awards are kinda my thing; I drew it and designed it, and would like to be credited with that. PLUS, I'm working on a few awards-theme items to add to my own shop soon! So enjoy! And congratulations!

Scouting Inspiration, Part 4

Here are a few more treasures I just had to share with you. Because one day, I'll own most of them. Or at least some. Anyway, click the images for the source!

Scouting Inspiration, Part 3

Of course, the holy grail of scouting: merit badges. Ok, ok, ok, it's not all about the awards. But it's hard not to be excited over these little embroidered tokens. Why do you think I started making my own? Enjoy, and click images for the source!


Scouting Inspiration, Part 2

Back again with more vintage scouting goodness! This time, I've gathered some lovely illustrations, starting with this illustrated charm bracelet that I would LOVE to have on my wrist. By the way, check out that banjo, right next to the typewriter! This needs to be real. Like always, click images for the source.

That's right: a paper doll. Now go and print this. You know you want to.
This adorable handkerchief, which I promise I will one day own, comes in three color combinations! To see the third, or maybe buy it, click here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Scouting Inspiration, Part 1

So where did this merit badge obsession come from?

  1. I was a girl scout, on and off, for a few years. I wasn't exactly in the best troop in my area (you know, the one that always went camping and did awesome crafts). But I was in the one that gave you merit badges for waking up in the morning. Basically. I had plenty of merit badges I didn't earn, at least I don't remember earning, but man, was my vest beautiful. I think my fascination with awards stems from this, and the ubiquitous trophies of the t-ball generation.
  2. Awards. Duh. They're hilarious. They show how awesome you are. Or they show how awesome you want to be, for those of us who didn't earn our badges.
  3. Last summer I found a beautiful 1967 edition of the Girl Scout Handbook in an antique mall in South Carolina. And somewhere between Charleston and Cleveland, it disappeared. I'm convinced airport security stole it. Especially considering I tore through everything I owned--every single storage container--at least three times, plus moved out and again went through everything, and could not find it. And trust me, when I was working on the Whimsy Scout Handbook, I sure missed that thing. And it's nowhere to be seen in Charleston, either. I suppose I could buy a new one, but that one had a name written in pencil and notes for each merit badge. And I love that kind of thing. So I decided I would try to earn each of the merit badges that summer. Until it went missing. Bummer.

Anyway. I frequently browse the interwebz and local flea markets for more vintage scouting goodness. On my most recent trip to North Carolina, I found, in the upper floor of a beautiful antique mall, a collection of girl scout magazines from the 50s and 60s, or so it seemed. Nicholas wouldn't let me get a good look (probably because I would have bought them all). But that aesthetic--old fashioned outdoors--is something that greatly influences all things Whimsy Scouts. You know, scouting before there were badges for video games and iPhones or whatever you kids earn nowadays.

Today I thought I'd share some vintage promotional photos of Girl Scouts in uniforms I'm still envious of. And when you too are jealous, just remember you can head over to my shop and buy a one of a kind Whimsy Scout badge that just might be better than these beauties. As always, click the photos for the source. Oh, and the first few images are from a calendar celebrating 50 years of Girl Scouts...and this year, they're 100 years old!

A Girl Scout band, featuring an accordion. Doesn't get much better than this.

LOVE these uniforms! Like I said, I should've been born in 1936.

These might be my absolute favorite uniforms.

Monday, July 23, 2012

One day we'll all be ghosts.

This weekend, Nicholas and I went camping in the mountains. We traveled by highway through South Carolina and into the Pisgah Forest of North Carolina. Via motorcycle. I'm still a bit sore (taking highways instead of interstates adds a few hours to the trip), but the weather was wonderful, and the wildflowers were beautiful. We hit a bit of rain on the way back, with lightning in the distance, but the wind was nice, and we passed the storm in a few minutes.

I only took my Pentax, and until I finish off the roll and send it away to be developed, I don't have any pictures. And I think I prefer it that way. But I do have this photo to share with you. We stopped in Brevard, which has some adorable little shops, and plenty of antique stores. So Nicholas was nice enough to park and let me stretch, and then ask if I wanted to explore the antique mall. Granted, after I found the stash of old photos and started going through them one by one, he was ready to leave. Still, I walked away with 7 (and it was hard to pick only 7) photos and ideas for animations, embroideries, and more. I don't pick very many color photos, but I love this one of a couple in the mountains. I mean, this guy, he is prepared. Check out those binoculars! And they're wearing their Sunday best! (At least better than what I wore to church while camping.)

I have fresh ideas for today, and a hankering for some coffee. So I think I'll turn on The Head & The Heart (one of my favorite bands to listen to while making art, or anytime really), clear my desk, sort through embroidery floss, and get to work.

(And of course, "Ghosts" would be my favorite song by them. But you have to admit it's catchy.)

Monday, July 16, 2012


As it turns out,

PBR does not sit well with me. No matter how many times I liken the cheap beer to winning awards (every bottle cap comes complete with a blue ribbon!), it doesn't live up to the standards I set for myself. So I'll just stay away from it for a good while (forever).

On the bright side, I managed to get Nicholas to pull over on the motorcycle twice yesterday so I could puke on the median. WITHOUT GETTING ANYTHING IN MY HAIR. (Like a boss.) My hair and my helmet were pristine. Though I can't say the same about my pants. But who wears pants anyway? 

(I still think I deserve those blue ribbons.)

Today will be more productive. On Saturday, after working on the bike, Nicholas was nice enough to build me a bookmaking cradle. So today I'll be making sketchbooks, and maybe a special surprise for Mia.

Stay away from cheap beer, folks. And Happy Monday.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pen Pals

Besides watching History Channel & being in & out of a funk, I've been writing to pen pals a lot lately. I've always been a fan of handwritten letters. Nicholas & I used to write all the time, living several states away from each other. We both have boxes of embarrassing 15 year old ideas of the world, many written in pink gel pen (ok, that parts not embarrassing). But then we got busy, and I was lucky if I had time to reply to emails or Facebook messages. But now that I live states away from everyone else, I requested a few pen pals. Some are friends, some are family. But I love getting mail. And I hope my pen pals do, too.
 See these feathers? Cut with an Xacto by hand and glued into place. Voila, homemade stationary! Obviously I have a thing for feathers, as they appear on dreamcatchers, in merit badges, and throughout my sketchbooks. And my sister McKenna? She likes birds. In fact, as I found out after mailing these, my family just got a cockatoo! It's a rescue bird that needed a new home. Her name? Maggie Lovely Lynch. Yep. In my family, there's Michaela (hey there), McKenna (age high school know-it-all), Mia (teenager in a kindergartener's body), and now Maggie. We keep it confusing.
 I wrote her letter on the back of these feathers before sealing them off in the envelope. I think next time I'll stick with the white pen. At least on the darker kraft paper.
Mia's my other pen pal. So I wrote her this note, and collaged a picture of the ocean and a mermaid on the flip side. She called & thanked me for the "lovely picture of the sea." Now I can't wait for my mail from her!
My friend Amber (who is an AMAZING illustrator and the funniest, charming-est girl you'll ever meet) makes mail art. Just about always. And it's so beautiful. She has a whole Tumblr dedicated to her mail! And a couple weeks ago, I received the most beautiful surprise from her. An 8-track case, collaged with a gold doily and 4 lovely stamps, was left glistening at my doorstep. That's right. Glistening. And when I picked it up, I could hear something inside. I wish everyone could have seen my face when I shouted "IS THAT GLITTER?!!" And indeed. It was. Because as soon as I could, I opened it to find a tiny letter (I love tiny letters), and a cut-out image of a bunny and a couple of chicks NESTLED IN THE GLITTER. Obviously there's still gold glitter all over my desk, making its way into various projects. I don't mind.
So I wanted to send something to Amber. And since she loves mail, and I love tiny letters--and therefore tiny envelopes--I made her this garland, with what has pretty much become my motto. (I'm pretty much known for telling people to make beautiful things or lovely things or marvelous, instead of saying "Ok, see ya later" or "Peace out homies" or "K, bye.") Anyway, I made her this garland of little envelopes that on the other side reads "Make Lovely Things." Oh, and since I'm a fan of recycling, I used the letters I cut out and made the card you saw at the top of this post. Eco-friendly art.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fruit Snacks, Or How I Came Out Of My Funk And Started Making Better Art

I'm not gonna lie; I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I told Nicholas it's because I'm an artist, so every now and then I just have to do a bit of general lamenting. This time, I blamed it on the heat, and the lack of excitement in my life. It's too hot to go anywhere. It's expensive to take the bus anywhere, and buses around here are limited, and a couple miles from where I currently live. I'm worried that my phone (a Dumb Phone, now missing the back cover that goes over the battery) is the reason I haven't heard back from jobs, since it has a tendency to delay voicemails, or just not keep them. 

Blah blah blah first world problems. 

And the worst part of all was that I was frustrated with how mopey I was. I kept begging Nicholas for an adventure, anywhere, somewhere new and exciting. I just need to experience things so that I don't die inside, or whatever. And for the past few days, I haven't felt like making anything. I've read extensive amounts of Wikipedia. And I've been doing research for my eventual trip out west. Oh, and I spent an entire day watching Brad Meltzer's Decoded. I'm tellin' ya--once I start watching History Channel documentaries about conspiracy theories and everything else (especially on stormy days that make them that much more intense), I can't stop. Except for when I stop to read more about a topic on Wikipedia. Anyway.

But today, my funk is gone! 

I had an interview/hiring event for a great company, and it went really well. It was downtown, so after it ended at noon, I wandered around and looked in shops, and had a great lunch. Patat Friet. There's this awesome little food joint called Patat Spot just off of King St. downtown Charleston. If you're in the area, I definitely recommend it, especially if you like delicious, cheap food. They advertise as being a vegetarian place with meat options (awesome), and have all sorts of goodies like falafel and a salad bar. But their big seller are their friet. The first time Nicholas & I wandered in and I saw the words "Belgian style fries," I nearly cried of happiness. See, in Cleveland, there's this amazing place on the west side called Bier Markt. (Go there. Now. If you're in Cleveland, go.) And they also have Belgian style fries, called Pomme Frittes. AMAZING. But if you're in Charleston, you can get fries with your choice of 13 or 14 sauces, for half the price. So I ate fries for lunch. And they gave me an extra big helping and an extra sauce to go when I decided to take the leftovers home.

After lunch, I stopped at the Robot Candy Co. on King Street, where I purchased what was advertised as being the **World's Largest Candy Necklace** and you can bet I'll be wearing that beauty on a date with Nicholas sometime in the near future. I also bought $4 worth of gummy snacks. Because they came in every shape imaginable. And then some. It was hard for me to limit my selection. But look at this. I got a whole gummy garden. I got gummy berries and gummy cherries. Gummy dinosaurs and lobsters and gators and Angry Birds. Yes, Angry Birds. For Nicholas. I'm a swell girlfriend. And an M and an N for the cutest couple ever. D'awwww. Ok, go barf elsewhere now.
After indulging my sweet tooth, I peeked in a few stores, and ended up on a favorite clothes store trying on clothes. And even though I now live in Charleston and every day has a high of 90 or more, I went straight for the cardigans. No matter what. It always happens. Granted, they were floral print, and I do love florals. But I had to remind myself that it doesn't snow here, and I should save my  money for something more practical. Even though I still wear a cardigan. Every day. Including today. Oh well, old habits die hard. I left the store with one very cute, very cheap dress that made me feel like a million bucks. (Ciara, it has a drop waist! I never do drop waists! But this will go great with my Extra Large Candy Necklace.)

And then I explored the city a bit more. I was planning on visiting the library and hopefully finding some Derrida (Lane Cooper would be so proud), but it was hot, my shoes were giving me blisters, and it was almost time to catch the bus home.

I stopped in the Charleston Museum for a minute (mostly to enjoy one last burst of air conditioning before sitting at the bus stop), and talked to someone about their textile room. They have a textile room. With rotating displays. Of textiles. Man, am I gonna have to check that out.

And now I'm home! With a bag full of gummies and a head full of marvelous ideas. The only thing today was missing was a Mocha Coconut Frappuccino from Starbucks, and believe me, it was all I could do to keep myself from getting one of those. (And I ate so many fries that I couldn't consume anything else.)

I'm not saying money buys happiness, but sometimes you just need to take a break and do something for yourself.

Ps. Debbie, if you read this, please don't get mad at me for eating all these fruit snacks. I'm sharing them with Nicholas. And you ate alligator jerky, so there.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Recent Accomplishments

So here's how this phase started. Actually, I think it started with a great work of art made by my best friend (who is currently chilling with Big Foot somewhere in the Pacific Northwest), Debbie Christensen. And this art was so good that I decided it deserved a ribbon. And of course my opinion matters. So I made Debbie an award ribbon. Out of construction paper and her Elmer's glue that I borrowed for about two weeks. Shortly after that, I made her another, constructed entirely out of blue painter's tape. And then another on a Post-It, so she could stick it to any of her arts, because they were all that good. Soon there were awards all over Megastudio, and even a poster-sized one hanging in our window, visible from the parking lot, and one on our door, for passersby to admire. Megastudio was, after all, the best studio ever.
Sometime in February or March (that last semester is one stressful blur), I made a nice little coptic-bound sketchbook with this awesome recycled paper that took very nicely to Micron pens. And I decided the best thing to draw on that first page would be an award. And this was it.
And then I drew some more awards, scanned them, and took them into Photoshop to add some pizazz. Because I had so much time to make awards. (LIES.)  
But I made awards anyway, because they could be for absolutely anything I wanted, and I thought that was funny. I mean, who decides what is award worthy? Why can't I be that person? So I am.

And everyday, in between classes, or when I needed to shut my brain down, I would draw an award that reflected the day so far.  

And so here are a few of what I ended up with. But I think I made about 30 before BFA. And I still draw them occasionally.

And that's because I've been cutting them out of paper. I made a few like this, and cut words out of the center, for Debbie during the spring. But now I've just been making them to make them. Or that's how it started. 
So after cutting out a whole bunch, I remembered I owed some special people some thank you notes. A whole bunch of special people.
So then I went to my trusty Kraft paper and made myself some awesome thank you cards to let people know that they're the best. 
And then I had more cards than people to thank. So I just started writing letters to good people. 
 And then I cut out some more awards this week. You know, while watching Grey's Anatomy. So I decided I should give some awards out.
And that's what I've been doing today. Coming up with awards that are deserved. And, you know, writing to my wonderful pen pals and making lovely things for lovely people. And this is why my life is awesome.