Getting Back into Adobe Illustrator!// Motivational Quotes and Why I Love Graphic Design!

Happy Sunday/Monday and welcome to another better late than never blog post! This past week I was talking with a few people and it made me realize a few things. First I was talking with one of my best friends (she’s pretty much another sister) and after our talk with her I realized (a lot of things…won’t get into all the details) one of the reasons why I wanted to be a graphic designer was because I enjoyed making digital illustrations and hand lettering… or I guess messing around with fonts and pictures in my case. Then I was talking to a co-worker I also realized after listening to his major project he is currently working on and his goals I wanted to get into my big secret project that I stopped working on months ago (maybe one day when it’s finally happening I’ll talk all about why I stopped for a while)! I guess I’ve gotten so used to just getting on my computer, and only opening Adobe Illustrator just to make a “picture” for social media when I have new blog posts I kinda just forgot about why I loved graphic design and Adobe Illustrator to begin with!

All in all after lots of talking about dreams and life and realizing a bunch of things, what better than to have a blog post with some stuff I’ve been working on in the past couple days. I’ve been really loving on Pinterest those Tumblr like motivational quotes in a bulky font in front of a flower picture so watch out… you’ll notice a theme.

These quotes have been very helpful to me these past couple of weeks, they help me get motivated and stay in a good mind space so for anyone who is feeling down or need a little motivation, hopefully these quotes can help you like they helped me! So let’s get to the quotes!

When You Find Something You Are Passionate About…

If You Are Getting Impatient Just Remember…

It’s going to happen.. Just keep working at it :).

Don’t Over Do Things…Take…

Small Steps are still steps… You are still getting somewhere.

Whatever You are Doing…

Because self happiness and self confidence is way better than impressing someone.

Whatever Your Passion Is…

…you or your work with others. Everyone is at a different stepping stage… use them as motivation and inspiration instead of way to get down on yourself.

When Someone Tells You That You Can’t Tell Them…

Because you can.

Something to Ponder on…

This one hit me hard…

And Finally… For all the Strong Women out there…

Let’s empower each other and motivate each other to be the best we can be!

Conclusion

So that’s all of them.. Or at least the ones I had time to do (trust me there are way more I wanted to do)! These photos (as much as I wanted to be the one who took them) were found on Pinterest but I did edit a couple with Adobe Illustrator to make them more interesting to the eye. I really enjoyed getting back into making these kinds of doodles and I hope at least one of these quotes helped you if you were feeling a little down or needed any motivation.

What are you passionate about? What are some of your favorite quotes? Let me know in the comments below as well as what else you would like to see me blog about!

If you haven’t already and you would like to, you should check out my social media to get first notifications on when new blog posts are up or just the random things I do in my daily life!

Facebook: @doodles.by.kat or @katarinastarkinfo (both should work)

Instagram: @doodles.by.kat

Pinterest: Kat Stark or @katstark92

Twitter: @katstark92

I hope you guys are enjoying the start of the week and I will see you in the next post!

XOXO,
Kat

My Favorite Studio Ghibli Quotes

Hey guys and welcome to another blog post! At my last art show I had a lot of people ask me for more Studio Ghibli pieces (I didn’t realize how many Studio Ghibli fans there were in Iowa!). In the midst of making more doodles I started thinking of my favorite Hayao Miyazaki/ Studio quotes, so I wanted to show you guys some of my favorite quotes!

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I’ve always loved Studio Ghibli, ever since I was introduced to the wonderful world of Japanese manga and anime. Actually if I remember correctly, Studio Ghibli helped draw me into manga and anime now that I think about it. I was in middle school and I just started drawing anime characters. On weekends my parents enjoyed going to garage sales and thrift stores, and one day my mom came home with a VHS tape of the movie “Spirited Away”. I watched it and I remember sitting there in such awe not only because of the wonderful characters and story, but how much detail was put into every scene. I didn’t realize back then that “Spirited Away” is in fact a Studio Ghibli movie.

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I wasn’t fully introduced to Studio Ghibli until a few years later, but I always found myself thinking about the art and awe I felt watching “Spirited Away”. I was than introduced to the movie  “Castle in the Sky”. Once again I was left in awe at the detail in every scene and the story line and found myself reminded of “Spirited Away”. That’s when I went looking online and found that these movies were in fact apart of Studio Ghibli.

Since then I have been introduced to some of my all time favorite movies of all time including “Howl’s Moving Castle”, “Princess Mononoke” and “My Neighbor Totoro” and one day I strive to collect and watch all of the wonderful movies Studio Ghibli has created.

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As a child I enjoyed the detail, characters and story line, but it wasn’t until I reached adulthood that I fully understood and loved the themes of each story. From fighting to what you believe is right, or reserving nature, each time I finish a movie I am feeling left wanting to make myself and this thing we called life a little better. Not only are quotes from the movies are powerful, but the people behind Studio Ghibli are powerful as well.. aka my favorite director Hayao Miyazaki. His view on things inspire me to want to become a stronger and more confident person.

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post! If you like this type of post and want more let me know in the comments below! Hope you guys are having a wonderful day and I will see you in the next post!

XOXO

-Kat

Christmas Cards 2016

Happy December and welcome to another blog post!!!

This time around I wanted to show you how I did my Christmas cards for my friends/coworkers! This has been a tradition I’ve done for a few years, and I would usually make little goodie bags (with hot chocolate and a peppermint stick) but this year I have so many wonderful people I work with plus doodlemas (if you don’t know what doodlmas is, you should check out my Instagram @doodles.by.kat wink wink nudge nudge) I decided just to make homemade cards instead.

If out of everything that says “graphic design” if I was forced to choose my favorite aspect, it would be typography. On Youtube, I am always jealous of the handwritten typography videos on bullet journals and such, and what better way to beat the jealousy by doing it yourself. Practice makes perfect!

So without further ado, here are my handwritten Christmas Cards 2016! It is all very easy and fast to make, if you only making a couple, not 15-20 like I did!

Supplies Needed

supplies-needed

The Supplies I used for this project are as followed. Note: You don’t have to have exactly these items, most of these I had lying around my place.

  1. Tan Blank Card and Envelope Set at Target. Perfect because I found them in the Hot Spot so it was only $1 for 20 cards!
  2. 6×6 Christmas Paper Pad at Target. Also found in the Hot Spot!
  3. Christmas Stickers. I thought the Snowflake was a cute touch.
  4. Sharpie Pen
  5. Metallic Marker
  6. White Marker
  7. A Regular Black Sharpie
  8. A Pencil
  9. Prismacolor Premier Marker in “Scarlet Lake”
  10. Prismacolor Premier Marker in “Dark Olive Green”
  11. Scissors
  12. Red and White Yarn (of course when I was taking the photo I forgot to add this in, you will see it in other photos, or have seen it in my first photo…my bad)
  13. Glue (also forgotten in the photo.. But you know what glue is)

Creating the Inside of the Envelope

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The insides of the envelopes are blank and boring so I thought it would be a good idea to add some Christmas color to them!

Out of the Christmas paper, I chose sheets that looked well together, one for the envelope flap and the other for the inside of the envelope. For the flap I tried to cut the same shape as the inside of the flap but for a good majority of them just made rounded triangles (close enough, right?? They get the idea…) Each 6×6 page makes about four rounded triangles so it becomes useful for how many I was making. For the inside of the envelope all I did was just cut rectangles and glued them in. The great thing is that the rectangle doesn’t have to be as big as the envelope because they’re not going to be looking in the whole envelope. Just that part that shows the inside!!

Merry Christmas Typography

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This part took the longest, but my favorite part out of everything…. Writing “Merry Christmas” in cursive typography!!

Before even writing it for real, on extra cards (I bought two packs of the tan card sets in case I messed up, plus they were a dollar) I tested out how I wanted to write it. When I originally planned everything, I wanted “Merry Christmas” to be written in white, but the cheap old white marker was too light to read words. But it made perfect dots for snow! To outline and make the letters stick out I used a black sharpie. I used my red and dark green Prismacolor premier markers (the smaller pen like end) to make a little branch with berries to add some color.

Snowy Background-back side of card

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I must have really liked the snow, because I brought the same technique to the back side of the card around the edges. I left the middle blank so I can write a personal note to the person I was giving it to. I used a sharpie to write their name, than the sharpie pen to write the note.

Putting it all Together

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Aside for writing “Merry Christmas”, seeing the cards coming together was another favorite moment. The best part will be seeing the faces of the wonderful people I am giving these to but that’s besides the point. On the envelope, I wrote the person’s name in the fun cursive typography and inked it with a sharpie, and tied the red and white yarn around it.

Finished Project

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And there you have it!! I’m really proud of how these turned out, and I’m excited to give each of them out. I’ve met a bunch of wonderful people and this way gives me a chance to express how awesome they are and how much I appreciate them!

If you are wondering how I am wrapping my christmas presents it is pretty much the same idea (tan wrapping paper, red and white ribbon/yarn) just picture it on a bigger scale.

Conclusion

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I hope you enjoyed this blog post! I’ve worked really hard this month getting a blog post up every week and a doodle everyday! Some days have been tough and if I skipped a doodle (due to family time or mental stuff), I did two the next day!

Doodlemas may be coming to an end, but I have another blog post planned for next week, and then it will be 2017!!! If you are coming from Instagram, I want to thank you for following along this ride of Doodlemas with me! It was fun getting to make a new doodle everyday and getting a chance to talk to you guys through the comments!!

I hope you are all having a good holiday season, and remember, making homemade cards and buying gifts are fun and everything but what really counts is that person you are giving it to and what they mean to you.

Thank you for reading this post, and I will see you next time!

XOXO

-Kat

Clipping Mask Technique: Why Using the Layers Panel is Important

Happy December!!! Last week I showed you on Adobe Illustrator how I use a Clipping Mask to put texture on text. What I didn’t show you is the importance of layers when using a Clipping Mask.

The Layers Panel is a wonderful way to keep your artwork organized. It lets you move parts of art to the front of the artboard (or the back) as well as hiding aspects of the art to work on other aspects. Pretend your artwork is like you are stacking a sandwich. The bread is the top layer, the cheese meat and other aspects of the sandwich are in the middle and then the bottom piece of bread is on the bottom. What if you want the order of your sandwich to be “Bread, Mayo, Mustard, Cheese, Meat, Lettuce, Bread” but it’s “Bread, Cheese, Meat, Mayo, Mustard, Lettuce, Bread”. With the Layers Panel, you can drag the “Mayo” layer and the “Mustard” Layer in front of the “Cheese” and “Meat” layer to get the order you want… speaking in sandwich term. The same goes with artwork.

Why is the Layers Panel so important when using a Clipping Mask? Well I’m about to show you.

1. The Starting Artwork

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Here is the beginning artwork. With Christmas being a week away (less than a week actually…starts breathing heavily) and recently having a “Ugly” Sweater weekend at work, I went for a Christmas Sweater for this art.

2. Opening up the Layers Panel

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Before doing any changes to my sweater I want to look at my layers to see where everything is at. If the Layers panel icon (it looks like two squares stacked on each other) isn’t already on your tools panel, to open up the Layers Panel go to Window > Layers. As you can see, the “Rudolf” Layer is first followed by “Sweater” layer. So that means the “Rudolf” layer is on top of the art board. If the “Sweater” layer was on top, you wouldn’t be able to see the “Rudolf” layer because it is under the “Sweater”.

3. Hiding Layers You Do not Want to edit

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Let’s say you decide that just having the white sweater isn’t enough, and you want to use the Clipping Mask technique to add a texture to the sweater. Before creating the Clipping Mask, you want to make sure that the only aspect of the art board showing is the one you want to add the Clipping Mask on. In order to do that, click on the eyeball icon next to the “Rudolf” layer to hide it so it doesn’t get touched when messing with the “Sweater” layer.

4. Creating Clipping Mask

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After that, you are ready to create the Clipping Mask! If you read my last blog post, you already know how to create the Clipping Mask, just this time you are creating one on a shape instead of text.

5. Clipping Mask in Layers

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And now you have texture on your sweater! If you look at your layers panel you will notice it will say until you change it to the desired name, in this case I changed it back to “Sweater.” If you click the drop icon (the triangle) it will show the Sweater shape on one sublayer and the image you chose in another.

6. Finishing Art

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Now you can unhide the “Rudolf” layer in the Layers Panel and you have your finished sweater! I went ahead and finished my artboard by adding more Clipping Masks, one to add a plaid texture to the background and another to add the same gold texture to text!

Without using Layers

Now what would have happened if you didn’t hide the “Rudolf” Layer before creating the Clipping Mask? Well let’s see what happens…

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Just like before, I made sure to select everything and then using Object > Clipping Mask > Create, I created my Clipping Mask.

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But instead of creating a Clipping Mask on the “Sweater” layer like I wanted to, when I created the Clipping Mask it was put on the “Rudolf” layer and didn’t even show the texture! So what happened??

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Remember when I said that in the layers panel whatever is first in the layers is the layer on top? Well knowing that is very important. Why the Clipping Mask Technique is called a Clipping Mask is because whatever is on the front asks as a “mask”. The Mask is the base shape and when created, it takes the texture of the artwork or image behind and clips it to the “mask’s” shape. Looking at the Layers panel again you see that the “Rudolf” Layer is on top, so without hiding the “Rudolf” Layer it acts as the mask instead of the “Sweater” acting as the mask.

Why not move the “Sweater” layer to the top instead of having the “Rudolf” layer in front? Well if the “Sweater” layer is in front, when finished Clipping mask or not, it covers the “Rudolf” layer. So by just hiding it keeps the “Rudolf” layer in front when finished, but hides it while making changes to the “Sweater” layer.

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So there you have it! Now you know why the Layers Panel is important in making Clipping Masks!

If you want to see more of these or have any ideas for blog posts let me know! With Christmas being this Sunday and I’ve been posting blog posts on Sundays/Mondays, I’m not sure if next week’s blog post is going to be earlier or after Christmas. I will keep you guys updated though!

But until then, hope you all are enjoying your holiday season! Hopefully you are done with school for break (I just got out for my winter break) and the weather isn’t too cold! See you all in the next blog post!

XOXO

-Kat

How To Make A Clipping Mask on Text

Happy December and welcome to another blog post!

Recently I’ve noticed that a good majority of my doodles I’ve created on Adobe Illustrator revolve around the same technique… Using clipping masks to put textures on text (I’ve been enjoying doing that to make my favorite quotes stand out). Sometimes just having a cool or fancy font alone isn’t enough, so by putting a texture on text it makes the text stand out more. Using a clipping mask is a easy and a very useful technique to make text stand out.

If you want to or have been wondering how I do it, you have come to the right place! Now text isn’t the only thing you can put a clipping mask on (it works on any shapes as well) but for the sake of this blog post I’m going to demonstrate it on text. So let’s get started!

Step 1: Text Type on Art board

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Select the Type tool on the Tools Panel and click anywhere to type and start typing. Since it is the Christmas season I chose a more festive saying.

Step 2: Change Font to Desired Font and Size

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Highlight Text and Change the font to the desired font family and size. I chose two different fonts to highlight each word in a different way.

Step 3: Place Texture

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Under the File Menu select Place and choose the desired texture from your computer. I chose a gold texture that goes well with the saying.

Step 4: Arrange Texture to Back of Text Send to Back.

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When you place the texture onto the art board, it automatically puts it in the front. In order for the Clipping Mask to work, the text has to be in front (think of the text as the “Mask”). To put the texture behind the text under the Object Menu choose Arrange > Send to Back.

Step 5: Create the Clipping Mask

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Now it is finally time to Create the Clipping Mask! Important Note: Make sure BOTH the Text and the Texture are selected, it will not work if one isn’t selected. Under the Object Menu choose Clipping Mask > Make.

Step 6: Editing the Clipping Mask

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If you decide you don’t like the Clipping Mask or decide to only have one word the Clipping Mask, choose Object > Clipping Mask > Release. To Edit the Clipping Mask choose Object > Clipping Mask > Edit Mask.

Step 7: Finishing Your Art

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Now that you have your text created, now it is time to finish your artwork! I added a box around the text and a background photo of my Christmas tree. Or if you really want all the attention to be on the text you don’t have to put any background. It is your art, do whatever makes you happy with it!

Conclusion

I hope this helps you if you want to create your own Clipping Mask Text or just curious to know how I do it. Like I said before using the Clipping Mask technique is an easy and useful way to make text or any shapes stand out. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and I will see you on the next post!

XOXO

Kat

7 tips for a First Time Art Show Vendor

Hello and welcome to another blog post! I know it’s been a long time since my last post… But I am here now!

As you know on October 22, 2016 I took part in my first ever art show where for the first time I displayed and showed my art to the public. Even over a month later I still can’t believe that had the opportunity to be apart of it and is currently working on doodles for the next show in January!

First before I go into this blog post I do want to take this time to thank some people since I wasn’t able to write a whole blog about the show.

First of all I wanted to once again thank my classmate Kate (she has a blog as well, you can follow her here: https://adventurekateblog.wordpress.com/) who got me into the show and answered any questions I had requiring the show or questions on any art pieces.

I want to thank Hailey (you can look at her amazing photography here: http://hgsphotography.weebly.com/) for being an awesome host. Not only did you answer any questions I had requiring the show (let alone taking the time out your busy day) but we have created a new friendship. You are a wonderful person and I admire your work so much and especially your friendship. I can’t wait to see where we go in the future, artistically and friendship wise.

I want to thank is my Mom, mostly for her support in all of this but for just simply letting me use her printer. Without her printer especially so close to the show, I don’t know how I would be able to print out my art prints.

I want to thank my roommate Courtney for helping me setup my little “corner” and being my photographer for the day. Being a vendor I wanted to stay put in my corner so when people came up I could talk to them about my work so I didn’t really have time to get up and look around at other artist’s work or take pictures so I really appreciate Courtney for taking the photos. So the photos you will be seen in this post is taken by her!

I want to thank is my other roommate and my boyfriend David. As well as Courtney he helped me set up, but I really want to thank him just for his support in this whole thing. During the stress of this past week getting prepared for the show he was there to get me back on track with getting art prepared for the show.

I want to thank everyone who came to the show, even if you didn’t buy anything. Even though at the end everything seemed rushed, I felt proud of every piece I had to show and was happy to have my work been seen by the public. I could feel the love and support from them all and I appreciate them all.

Now that I have been able to say that we can move forward with the post!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a vendor in an art show? It may sound exciting, I know I was, but it is a lot more than that. From the stresses of having enough art to sell to getting the setup ready, it can be a lot to handle for a first time vendor. But never fear! Now that I have been through the stresses and emotions of the first show I know what to expect and can easily prepare myself for future shows. And now I am here to share some tips!

So without further ado, I present you “7 tips for a First Time Art Show Vendor”!

Tip #1: Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

Questions are always a good thing! Unless you have been to an art show (which believe it or not, I haven’t until I was in one) you are going into something completely blind. Now that I think about it, even if you have been to a show you are still kind of blind because you are there as a customer not a vendor.

But that’s what your host is there for! I was lucky enough to have not only have a nice host who was happy to answer questions, but a good friend and the founder of “Not Your Average Art Show” was also there to help with questions. Hailey and Kate, I thank you again for answering all my many questions.

If you are scared or nervous to ask questions always remember that once long ago those people you are asking questions to have had to have a first art show themselves. Also by you asking questions, it could be a compliment to them as an artist to be able to answer questions. Remember, we are all artists there to do the same thing… to make art!

Tip #2: Stay Organized

This tip is very important because by staying organized, it will save you from a lot of stress on the day of the show. I became apart of the show three weeks prior to the show date, so I from the very beginning was in a time crunch so one of my top main priorities (other than producing art worthy enough to sell) was to stay organized. Even if you signed up a month and a half like I am with this current show it is always smart to stay organized. Keep a separate folder for finished art and currently working art, keep a journal of what you are selling your art, give yourself reachable goals, it doesn’t matter what method you use, just use one that will help you more than stress you in the long run.

Tip #3: Accept Help

This tip was very hard for me because I see myself as a very independent person who likes to get things done on her own without asking for help. Mix that emotion with a three week deadline and it gives me a lot of stress just thinking about it.

Now when I say help, I am referring to any other aspect than the actual art. The art part can yes be completely yours, it’s your art show, you are selling your art it should be done by you, but how can you concentrate on working on making your art the best it can be when you are too busy concentrating on other things. I know if I didn’t accept the help from my room mates, the day of the show would have turned out way differently than it did.

Tip #4: Stick with what You Know

We as artists like to think we can branch out to different aspects of art. Some can draw and turn around and take beautiful photos. You want to show your customers and the other vendors what you can do. That is all ok, but don’t overdo yourself, stick with what you know. If you do more than what you are comfortable with, than it can become more stressful than fun. Once you have been in a show or two, than start branching out.

Tip #5: Find a Way for Your Name/Brand to Stick Out

You want your name or brand to stick out to customers. If you become memorable during your first show you can create potential loyal customers and they could refer to you to friends and family.

At my first show since it was in the best month of the year (aka Halloween month) instead of just having my business card, I attached mine with all my information to Halloween candy bags to give out. A fellow vendor when walked up to my booth said “Oh you’re the one who gave my daughter that candy bag.” and I knew instantly my idea worked out. Whatever your idea is stick with it and it may be instant or a few shows but you will notice customers or vendors remembering your name/brand.

Tip #6: Practice Your Setup

It is always good to practice your setup before the day of the show for two main reasons.

The first reason is you only have a limited amount of space given. Make sure that you don’t go over that space given and don’t go into other vendor’s space, it’s rude. By practicing it also shows if you have enough room for all of your art. In my setup I had two tables, one for the art and the other for the candy bags. Since my art has grown since then I know for the next show that I may need to get another table.

The second reason is because the day of the show you only have a limited time to get your setup up and ready to go before the show. Life always has a tendency of happening at the worst time so you want to be prepared. What if you stayed up late the night before working on some last minute art and end up waking up late? If you practiced setting up and tearing down your setup when you would get on location it will be faster and less stressful because you have done it before.

Tip #7: Have Fun!

If anything you remember, first and foremost, always remember to have fun! Yes it would be nice if you make profit, but don’t put making a profit in front of everything. This is all an experience. And if you don’t make a profit (I didn’t make much my first show) you gained experience, a new project, and maybe met some fellow artists!

Well that’s all the tips! I hope these were useful to you. Even at times I felt stressed, in the end I still had a blast doing what I loved and I can’t wait for the next show!

Hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and I will see you in the next post!!

XOXO

Kat