When I stumbled upon Katie’s Pencil Box, I hadn’t heard of the blog before, but I wish I’d been following it for a long time. Her dreamy, color-rich photos of time spent with her family, snapshots of her enchanting home, and peeks at her pretty, classic outfits are the things a girl dreams of when looking for a new blog to read.
In our interview, this Ohio local shares what she loves about her home (she says the state runs through her blood) and tells us about her art. She also shared some exclusive photos with us, including a special peek into her colorful closet. She’s an expecting mommy, and we did our best to pick a namesake dress that she can wear while pregnant, and continue to rock once the baby is born. (She’s challenging herself to style up clothes from her closet while pregnant, rather than wearing maternity styles.) You’ll also want to see which ModCloth items Katie most loves!
Besides running your blog, you’re also a teacher. What do you teach?
I was teaching an art class for adults with disabilities. It was such an amazing and fun experience. The clients I worked with were the most creative people, and they were a hoot — lots of dancing and laughing in that class! I’ve gone back to working from home and doing freelance work now. As much as I loved my class, I love being able to be home!
As an artist, what medium do you work in?
I paint…mostly acrylic. Most of my blog readers are surprised by this side of me! It’s something I keep kind of quiet. I’ve always been a little shy about showing off my work. But I’ve known this is what I wanted to be and do most of my life…I decided at seven I wanted to be an artist (even though I didn’t know what that really meant). I started a small mural painting business in my early twenties and branched into doing commissioned pieces at home from there. Business aside, having that artistic side in me is really hard to shut off. It sneaks out in almost everything I do, whether it’s getting dressed, decorating, taking pictures, cooking and baking, or even being a mama. It all is affected by that part of myself!
What would you say is your favorite thing about being a mom?
Oh, there’s so much! But I think the one thing that is the most fun is getting to be a kid again. I realized that I make a lot of my parenting decisions, or at least the small and simple ones, based on what my younger self would do. I had a great childhood, and an amazing mother! My goal is to be and do the same for my little guy! I tap into my childhood self a lot for inspiration. So much so that I have a hard time being a stickler with some things, like food! Just last night my son, Max, asked me why I never give him green beans for dinner…”I like green beans,” he says. Little Katie hated green beans with much passion! Haha. I still have so much to learn, but being a mama has been the greatest joy of a journey I’ve ever been on!
You’re visibly preggo these days—any tips for maintaining your style while you have a baby bump?
It’s been fun taking a look at my closet and trying to see what still works and what I have to say goodbye to for a few more months. My goal is to not buy much maternity clothes…and so far a lot of my vintage-cut dresses, stretchy or high-waisted skirts and blouses have been perfect for me and my growing baby bump!
Your doggy is adorable—can you tell us a little bit about her?
Mimi! She got dropped off at our house almost a year ago. She was a lost puppy and was going to get taken to the pound. We took her in and tried to find her home, but never had any luck. She is a sweet little thing, part pit bull and part mystery (we’re not quite sure what she’s mixed with). It’s been pretty great seeing the bond between a little boy and a dog…Max is definitely smitten with her!
Are you from Ohio originally? What’s the best thing about living there?
I’m an Ohio girl through and through. I’ve been here all of my life and still am in love! I live in Dayton, which is such a great city! There is a lot of culture and history here, great music and art, and restaurants and vintage shops. Plus, you’re never more than a few minutes away from cornfields and woods and beautiful country. It’s eclectic here…and I’ve learned that I’m made up of a little bit of all of it!
What are your favorite blogs?
Ack! I have too many! My current favorites are The Style-Files, Note to Self, Angela Hardison, and Amanda Jane Jones. I love reading A Beautiful Mess and all of the Red Velvet Girls’ blogs. I have a growing list of favorites in the “inspiration” section of my blog!
When asked, Katie said her namesake dress was the perfect piece to wear while admiring art. See how she styled it below.
How would you have styled it?