Change = Happiness?

Over the last few weeks I have been going through some personal struggles which have prevented me from blogging. Actually, I’ve barely been online aside from occasionally checking twitter on my phone. The events that have transpired away from the keyboard have lead me to make a few big decisions, one of which will affect you guys so I thought I’d better share it with you…

I quit my day job.

Without going into the ins and outs of it, I have been really unhappy. I found myself working back late every night, going into the office on weekends and working through my lunch breaks. I felt like no matter how hard I worked I never seemed to get ahead. It was affecting my friends, eating into my blogging time and worst of all, it was starting to affect my physical and mental well being. I chose to put my happiness first and after weighing up the negatives and positives I decided that it wasn’t worth the trouble anymore.

There is this misconception in the blogging community that all bloggers are portraying these perfect lives of DIY projects, cupcakes and dressing up. Sure, these may be things that most of us share on a daily basis, but do readers really think this is the way life is all the time? I for one, don’t think you guys aren’t that naive. While it would be nice to think that there are people out there living these glamorous, super fun lives all day every day, the reality we know that’s not true. No one wants to hear about my crappy day at work, the fight I had with my best friend or the time I tripped down the stairs and hurt my ankle. It doesn’t make good reading. So generally when these things happen to me, I don’t write about them. And I think that’s okay.

Blogging is a strange commitment. It is a passion and a labour of love, but it is also a commitment in which you give a lot of yourself without any tangible rewards most of the time. It’s amazing and fun but it also comes with an expectation from your readers that you will always have time to put out content, so I’m sorry that  this hasn’t been the case the last few weeks.

But anyway; I’m sure you’re wondering how my decision will impact you guys? Well, once I finish up and my job (and hopefully find something new) it will mean that I will be back, more focused and with more time to create quality content -  hooray! I have 2 weeks left until  my final day at work, so between now and then my posting may be slightly sporadic, but it will be there. I have some fantastic contributor writers who are coming on board and I can’t wait to introduce them to you!

Thank you for putting up with me during this down time. Being unemployed will not be easy, I know that, but with all the facts weighed against each other I am happy with my decision.

A Brand New Day

“Where am I?” You might be wondering. “I popped over to see if had posted today and I ended up here instead! Whats going on?!”

First of all, don’t worry - you haven’t gotten lost along the information highways; you are looking at the brand new home of Kittenbear!

Things are set out a little differently in our new home, our menu is now located on the left hand side (which I’m sure you already noticed) Here you can find a brand new About section, and more places you can Contact me. As well as this you might have noticed the new blog is now open for sponsorship and advertising. If you have a blog or shop and you would like to promote your brand on High Walls check out the Sponsor page or email me for more details.

While the blog is now for profit, all revenue from sponsorship will be going towards more DIY projects and recipes as well as an exciting brand new feature; Monthly Giveaways! Don’t worry, I still maintain control over what products and companies advertise through High Walls and I will only allow things that I truly love and think would be relevant to my readers.

You’ll also see links to a few of the regular feature posts. The new layout now has DIY and Recipe Post Archives so you can find that project or recipe you’re looking for without having to scroll through all the posts (although you can still do that if you’re in the mood to browse.)

You can also check out some of my other external work, like my monthly Craft DIY column at the wonderful blog Drifter & the Gypsy and various posts contributed to the Frankie Magazine website.

“That’s all very pretty and everything,” I hear you saying, “But what can I expect from the blog under the new name? Is this a totally different site now?”

Well, All of the regular feature posts you’ve come to know and love will continue. With the new format, posts will be published under an editorial style calendar. There will be a renewed focus on both the quality and quantity of content for this year. So while things may not always adhere strictly to this format, generally here’s what you can expect on any given day:

So that’s it! I hope you love the new blog as much as I do. I’m super excited and inspired for 2013 to be the biggest and best year yet! I hope you’ll stick around to see what we have in store for you :)

CLICK HERE to return to the main page and browse the whole blog!

Blogshop Sydney

So things have been a little quiet around here the last few days (okay, more like the last week), but I have the best of  reasons for my absence: Imagine a beautiful studio, two of the most knowledgeable ladies in their field and 28 creatives in a together for a weekend of photography, design and Photoshop (not to mention, an awful lot of Instagram). No, I didn’t die and go to blogger heaven, I actually had the privilege of attending first Blogshop held in Australia!

Blogshop, if you’re not familiar, are Photoshop workshops run by the crazy talented (and super lovely) Bri Emery and Angela Kohler. A ‘bootcamp’ for bloggers of all levels; from beginners to those little more experienced. 2 days of Photoshop tricks and techniques as well as guidance and advice on design and layouts.  I headed down to Sydney for the weekend to learn as much as I could and hopefully make some new friends.

It was amazing how much we learnt in just two days! It was especially wonderful to see those  in our class who had barely used photoshop before the class, able to use masking techniques,  alter pictures and even make animated GIF’s with confidence by the end of the weekend.  There was a great feeling of community in the class, with everyone helping and encouraging each other throughout both days. Bri and Angela are so knowledgeable and explain everything in a clear and concise way so that everyone can keep up, no matter their skill level. As well as learning so much, I came to realize over the days that my Photoshop knowledge was better than I had previously thought. It was a huge confidence boost to find that not only did I have the skills to build upon, but I was able to learn so many new skills in such a short amount of time.

The whole weekend was so inspiring. The combination of being able to meet not only Bri and Angela who I would count as some of my blogging/photography heroes, but also having the opportunity to meet so many talented, like minded individuals at once! And as if this wasn’t enough, the classes were held in Studio Neon, an amazingly eclectic studio nestled in Sydney’s Waterloo. For 25 aspiring bloggers, there was almost too much to photograph (and pose with!) The rooms are jam packed with old cameras, speakers, lights and an amazing collection of vintage and modern chairs.

Check out my Instagram (#blogshopsydney) for all the photos from the weekend.

Thank you to Bri and Angela for travelling all the way over to Australia to teach us! Thank you to  Luisa and Jaclyn and all the helpers who made the weekend run so smoothly! Thank you to  Studio Neon for the amazing space (and food!) Last but not least, thank you to all my fellow Sydney Blogshop-ers. It was fantastic to meet you all, I hope we can keep in touch and collaborate in the future.

Zombie March

Over the weekend my friends and I attended the annual Zombie March to raise money for the Brain Council of Australia. We haven’t been in a couple of years, but as always the masses did not disappoint! There were some amazing costumes, including some that I’m fairly sure were actual zombies… I wish I could have gotten photos of all of them! It’s a whole lot of fun to roam the streets with a hoard of ‘zombies’, freaking out passers by and generally causing a commotion. It’s for a great cause and everybody gets so into involved, it’s impossible not to have fun!
In honour of our great weekend, this whole week is Zombie Week here at kittenbear! I thought it was fitting what with Halloween coming up, plus I’ve been looking up Zombies for the last couple of weeks looking for ideas for my own costume, so I have a whole bunch of cool things to share :)

Sweater Cat

I’ve never been that person to dress my animals up in clothes. This is less about my wants and more about my pets being stubbornly opposed to having any kind of anything wrapped around them. That said, I decided to give it a try with Loki.

Being a Devon Rex, he is a little lacking in the fur department. Poor little guy gets so cold during winter. He basically doesn’t get out from under my blanket for the whole season!

I didn’t think he would be too happy about his new snazzy sweater, but after getting used to it, he is now the happiest warmest kitten in the world! As an added bonus, he gets super placid and cuddly when he wears it, which is always fun for me as he can usually be a big hyperactive! Everybody wins!

Mailbox Love

I won’t be offended if you don’t remember my Mailbox Love posts. I think its been at least a year since the last time I posted one… I should explain:

Mailbox Love was a term I coined a few years ago. I was trying to explain to one of my friends that they should send me physical mail when I moved interstate because ‘I love receiving mailbox love’. It ended up being a term I use a lot once I started shopping online and eventually became a semi-regular feature when I first started Kittenbear, where I would share items I bought as I received them.

Anyway, over the weekend I received a little ‘mailbox love’ so I thought it might just be time to start sharing my purchases again.

This beautiful necklace from Plastique arrived a few days ago. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know, a couple of weeks ago I shared this ring in this collection. I bought this necklace around then, I couldn’t help but snap up a bargain while so many of the amazing designs were on sale. In my usual fashion, I had forgotten that it was coming so I was super stoked when it arrived.

The necklace is everything I hoped it would be. It’s a great statement piece but it’s not too overstated that it dominates the outfit. I can’t wait to wear it out so I can snap a couple of photos to show you.

I love receiving an item and finding that it is great quality and beautifully packaged, as this one was. Especially with online shopping, there’s nothing worse than receiving your purchase and feeling disappointed with the product you receive.

PS. As I was setting up to take these photos, Loki came over and sat down in my shots- obviously fascinated by my actions. I didn’t have the heart to move the inquisitive little guy.

A Sunday Stroll….

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I had nothing to do, but rather than stick to my usual boredom buster (read: pinterest and trawling for new blogs) I decided to get out and about and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Something that I don’t do enough is go exploring.  I took my camera with me and snapped a few photos so you could see where my feet had been…

There’s something nice about aimlessly wandering around with no other goal than to simply see what I could see. Do you ever go exploring around your urban jungle?

In my Bag:

I just bought a new wallet to replace my old tatty one that was falling to bits. So today when I was swapping over all my cards, I started cleaning out my bag. Well, everything was laying out on my bed already, so what better time to do a ‘what’s in my bag’ post?
Normally I’m one of those girls who carry around a GIANT bag full of junk. No really. Even when I’m heading out for a night on the town I wills till lug my huge bag with me. My friends like to make fun of me when I’m the only one with a big heavy bag and they all have dainty little purses and clutches, but I just love being able to have everything I could possibly need. I got a new bag just before Christmas and it is half the size of my normal bags, so I no longer can carry around anything I want. It feels a bit weird but at least I had managed to fit in the following items:
  • Camera Lens - I always seem to have a spare lens floating around my bag- even if I don’t have my camera with me! It’s actually a really bag habit. I am so lucky that I haven’t broken one yet.
  • Notebook - I got this notebook from the Melbourne Art Gallery & Museum and I bought it simply because I loved the title on the cover ‘Another Day Cloudy Memory - At this moment I am drawing to remember or to erase’ Beautiful!
  • Keys - Boooooooorrrrriiiiiinnnnggg. Everybody has keys.
  • iPod with Society9 skin - I love my owl skin for my iPod touch. I take my tunes everywhere, even though I constantly forget to charge the battery…
  • Phone - You know. For talkin’ n stuff.
  • Oroton Wallet - I love my new wallet! Normally I choose wallets that are in more vibrant colours, but this Oroton wallet was such a steal I couldn’t resist. Makes me feel rich and fancy to have it heehee. My favourite thing about it is that my mini instax photos fit perfectly in the photo pocket :)
  • Lipstick - This is a new lipstick I have started wearing. I’m constantly on the hunt for the perfect nude lipstick, and I’m kind of digging this ChiChi Viva La Diva in Centerfold. It’s not bad for a fairly inexpensive product.
  • Necklace - I always seem to have random items of jewelery floating around my bag. I’m notoriously bad for grabbing a necklace or earrings when running out the door with the intention of putting on on my way to work. Then I forget. And then said item lives in my bag for months on end.
  • Nail file - I lose nail files so often it’s not funny. Honestly, I’m impressed this one is still in my bag!
  • Compact Mirror - My nana bought this for me years ago and I think it’s one of the most useful items I carry around with me. You never know when you might need a mirror!
  • Perfume - I like to have a perfume that is ‘me’, so I tend to stick with one sent for a couple of years until I move onto a new one. I like the idea that people can associate a particular smell with me personally. Currently my smell of choice is David Beckham Signature ‘Story for Her’. I don’t normally like celebrity perfumes, but I picked this one up on sale and really liked it!
  • Umbrella - I found this compact umbrella from a supermarket one day when it was pouring with rain. I love it because it has this lovely sky print on it. It is definitely a necessity at this time of year, rain seems to come out of nowhere!
  • NOT PICTURED: Countless receipts, rubbish and bobby pins.


Today is the boy and my anniversary, and as he does every year, the lovely kid bought me flowers and chocolates! He split the bunch into two so we have some on the head of our bed (above) and some over our fire place in the lounge room. As a result most of the house smells lovely :)

On a side note, I thought I’d share the silouettes we had done at Disneyland in Japan. The man who did these was amazing! He cut these free hand just from looking at you! I’m so glad we had the time to stop in and get them made up.