Posts Tagged “rainbow”

Hole Sale and Rainbow Birthday Spectacular

Dear glorious second-hand shoes, I shall miss you! I hope you’ve heard by now: this Saturday on my thirty-second birthday, I’m getting rid of over 400 items from my wardrobe! As challenging as it might be, it’s got to happen if I want to get down to the 100-items-or-less closet. I felt I needed to find a way to let go while also celebrating my birthday, and true to my nature, the whole thing has turned into a crazy, hopefully wonderful production.

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100 Items or Less

On March 15, my friend and Studiomate Chris Shiflett put out a call for his readers to write the Ideas of March as a commitment to substantive blog posts. I asked him what I should write about. I don’t usually tackle what others in our webby community would consider stimulating, educational or controversial (although if you knew what actually went on in my head, you’d agree that everything I write is actually all three for me on a personal level). He said, “You have lots of ideas. Just write one of them down.” I decided to choose a subject I’ve been avoiding for a long time and see if I could come up with any fresh ideas worth sharing. True, I had a few drinks, but I must have been inspired because I ended up envisioning what amounts to a major overhaul of important yet neglected area of my life. So without further ado, here’s my contribution to the Ideas of March, and true to my nature, I’ve posted it without a day to spare. 1 hour to imagine; 5 hours to distill and write; an estimated 50 hours of action required.

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Week’s Worth of Undies

It seemed simple enough… I’ll go on a trip, and the only thing I’ll pack in a tiny suitcase is the underwear I’ll need. All other clothing will be procured at thrift stores once I arrive at my destination. I’ll wear it, photograph it and have a grand ole time with it, but then I’ve got to give it away, returning home with only my original undies.

But what ensued was awesomeness on a level I’m not even sure I’m capable of processing. Let’s just say, short of every person I love having landed next to me in a giant rainbow-colored hot air balloon, I don’t see how life could have gotten any better.

In Summary:
10 Thrift Stores + $275 + A Week in the California Desert + 600 Incredible Folks + 1 Three-Minute Talk = AWESOMENESS OVERLOAD!

I have to attribute much of the magic of the week to where I chose to carry out this project for the first time: TEDActive in Palm Springs. That’s a yearly gathering of more than 600 uniquely intense and beautiful people out in the California desert. We watch TED2011 as it’s simulcast from Long Beach, meet one another, go on field trips, swim, bike, eat, dance and have a generally amazing time. What made this TED truly special was that we (WORKSHOP) actually worked with TED to create the visual identity for this year’s conference, The Rediscovery of Wonder. So as we were walking about, we got to see our design on posters, guide books, signage, iPad apps and more.

The most exciting yet nerve-wracking part of the week was that I was selected to give a TEDYou Talk about the Undies Project. Yippie and yikes at the same time! It was a lot of work for me and Josh to get up at 6:30 every morning to take photos of the outfits before each day got started. Plus I agonized over the words, the slides, pretty much every aspect of the presentation; you name it, I second-guessed myself. But in the end, the Talk felt like a huge triumph! So many people showered me with love, and I started to realize for the first time that my outfit obsession and quest to be true to myself could actually inspire others, particularly those brave souls known as teenage girls. 

Giving TEDYou Talk
On stage at TEDActive! photo credit: Michael Brands / TED

Get ready, because I’m about to post the 7 outfits (plus the set of pajamas) I found to wear during this unforgettable week.

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Rainbow Rosie Sushi for Amy

My sister Amy lives in Starkville, Mississippi, so I don’t get to see her nearly as often as I’d like. But whenever I’m home, we always have the best time. She and her husband own Starkville’s best restaurant, and we like to close down its bar with a slightly intoxicated style all our own… She commandeers the sound system, we play our favorites for each other, then we end up dancing like idiots who don’t care who’s watching.

Here’s to my sister on her birthday. I love you and the person you’ve grown up to be. The best is yet to come!

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Postcard Love

Carolyn Sewell sent a hand-drawn typographic postcard to her parents every day for a year. Reading them, I find myself trying to figure out the circumstances under which they were drawn… was Carolyn in a good mood that day? An angry, bad or silly one? Where did she find the inspiration for her phrase of the day? I also imagine her parents, walking to the mailbox to find their daily candid phrase. How happy it must have made them to have this special daily glimpse into their creative daughter’s life? “Pants Status: On” especially cracks me up, because I believe that comes from an illicit Tweet sent from my account.

HUZAHH! I arrived at my office this morning to learn Carolyn is now extending the postcard love “to her peeps.” Being one such peep, I can officially report first hand, getting a hand drawn piece of mail totally brightens your day! Especially when it reads “DOUBLE ROYGBIV” in every color of the rainbow.

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Stairway to Color Heaven

This house rocks my world for reasons that go way beyond color (storage, light, terrace, rotating bed!), but let’s be honest, the rainbow theme doesn’t hurt. Watch the video to see what I mean.

I’m pretty sure my body has some sort of physiological response to this staircase. My pulse actually quickened the first time I saw it. Growing up, there was a house in my neighborhood that stood apart from the rest because the back staircase was painted rainbow (each step was a different color, and they were arranged chromatically). I was obsessed with this house long before I was conscious of my love for color. If it looked like that on the outside, what must it be like inside!? Adults used to tell me the lady who lived there was really crazy. It turns out, now that I’m an adult and have actually met her, she is simply an artist. HA! Way to go, adults.

If I ever have my own set of stairs, the first thing I’ll do is paint them.

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Double Rainbow Meaning

This is my rainbow scarf. It’s my favorite scarf, not only because… well, it’s a rainbow, but because it reminds me of who I was with when I found it: one of my dearest and oldest friends, Laura Howell McQueen.

For me, the sight of this scarf always evokes the mental image of Laura and her daughter Anne Parks as we giggled through the Fondren, Mississippi thrift store that summer day trying on hats and purses. That’s where I came upon this scarf. And what more could I ask for on a dreary winter day? Wearing this is like wrapping myself in a hug from one of my favorite people. All my second-hand items have extra meaning to me. I always remember exactly where I was and who I was with when each one came into my life.

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How a Rainbow Princess Says Thank You

Who needs all those other silly colors when you’ve got pink and purple at hand? And adding smiley faces to the clouds? That’s nothing less than a touch of genius! This resplendent example of rainbowdom was created for me by the four-year-old Ella Joy as a thank you for helping her live her wish to be a Rainbow Princess for Halloween. As if seeing her excitement upon delivery of the costume wasn’t enough! Every time I look at this my heart becomes a puddle.

I also, totally unnecessarily, received a very generous Amazon thank you gift certificate, with which I almost immediately purchased this. Now I just need Kelli to come over and show me how to work it! Thank you, Ella (and Tina).

Winter Bash!

Admittedly this post is a bit late for a party that took place on December 14, but my head still spins just thinking about it! AIGA/NY, James Victore, LIVE Karaoke, Mint Juleps and a Rainbow Skirt!!!! Where do I even start?

A tad bit of back story… In June I became a board member of the New York Chapter of the AIGA. That in and of itself is pretty awesome because it means I get to hang with the rest of the board (all amazing designers and people) and help plan some great events for our 3,000 members: Printmaking at Etsy, Designer Bowling, you get the picture.

For our December event at Galapagos Art Space, our President, Jennifer Kinon, set a specific directive: we’ve been working hard ALL year, and now it’s time to have some fun! So we decided we’d throw a Winter Bash. We asked the talented and always entertaining James Victore to come talk to us about what he’s been up to (spoiler alert: it involves shot guns), and then hired the fabulous Crash Course Karaoke to give our members an opportunity to be the rock stars they’ve always dreamed of. Mint juleps ensured everyone was feeling festive, and a fun photo booth filled with fake snow brought out everyone’s wacky side. As if all that wasn’t enough, my mom made a special skirt for me… and it’s a RAINBOW! This is the grown up (and I use that word lightly) version of the Rainbow Princess costume I made for Ella at Halloween. (Photos of the two of us together are coming soon!)

My own personal highlights from the evening included…

Seeing our board members cut loose (see the photo above). I’m hanging with Jason Santa Maria, Jennifer Kinon, Chris Rubino, Willy Wong, Julia Hoffmann, Matteo Bologna and Doug Filiak.

Winter Bash Victore + Kick Line
James Victore doing Neil Diamond with a Santa kick line behind him.

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My Go-To Rainbow

If we’ve met, it’s likely you’ve seen me wear this dress. A favorite of mine for obvious reasons (hello rainbow stripes!), it’s extremely easy to wear due to its t-shirt-like top, elastic waist and full skirt. I love the buttons on the shoulder, the puff sleeves, and the fact that it leaves no direction of stripe stone unturned; it’s got vertical, horizontal and diagonal!

  • rainbow-stripe dress - $20, Jelly Roll at Brooklyn Flea
  • wooden beads - borrowed from Creighton, Maui Salvation Army
  • red tights - $10, The Sock Man on St. Marks
  • buckle pumps - $25, Alameda Swap Meet
  • TOTAL - $65

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Where Do Rainbow Princesses Come From?

When a Daddy Rainbow loves a Mommy Rainbow very much, their creativity has the special power to form a Double Rainbow! Add just the right amount of time and magic, and that’s how you get a Rainbow Princess. And maybe, just maybe, if all the circumstances are right, you might even wind up with an adorable Pot of Gold on your hands.

How amazing are my friends the Rainbow Family? Thank you, Tina, Gary, Ella and Tilo, for being such a colorful role model for how wonderfully fun a family can be. Thank you, Ella (and Tina) for asking me to help create this Rainbow Princess costume. And thank you, Erin Sparling, for photographing what I think amounts to the coolest family portrait ever.

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The Rainbow Princess Experiment

When I first heard that 4-year-old Ella Joy wanted to be a “Rainbow Princess” for Halloween, my heart skipped a beat. A whole holiday based on candy and costumes is already almost more than I can bear. Adding rainbows to the mix? I actually had a moment where I wondered if there might be too much beauty in the world. (Cue floating plastic bag.) I was so honored that Tina asked me to help bring her daughter’s incredibly insightful concept to life. But I’d never made a costume for anyone other than myself, and I’d never attempted a sewing project without my mom by my side providing step-by-step, dummy-proof instructions that I still sometimes manage to screw up. Would this be a disaster? How could I live with myself if I disappointed such a special little lady!?

Ella as the Rainbow Princess

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When Rainbows Come A’Knocking

Rainbow as seen from my DUMBO Brooklyn studio: 5:22 p.m. EST

Rainbow hunter’s tip: if it’s raining and you’re looking at the sun, turn around because there may be a rainbow sneaking up behind you! When this one landed right on my doorstep today, I started screaming, “Rainbow! Rainbow!” even though my studiomate Jason was on a conference call. After all, rainbows are rare and impressive beasts in New York City. I ran next door to tell everyone, and then the double rainbow appeared! I yelled, “DOUBLE RAINBOW!!” so loud the whole floor could hear. Then Tina and I did the rainbow dance. Good times.

What does it mean? Since I’ve been spending all my non-work time sewing a Rainbow Princess dress as a Halloween costume for Tina’s four-year-old Ella, I thought it must mean the rainbow gods are giving me a thumbs up. Tina and Gary are going to be dressed as a double rainbow, so she took a moment to channel the rainbow and its energy. I’m sure this will make her embodiment more authentic. Look closely at the base of the rainbow, and you can almost see her baby boy Tilo sparkeling as the pot o’ gold!

Speaking of Candy

Halloween is right around the corner, which means Candygrams are BACK! Candygrams are odes to candy by guest authors during the month of October on Jason Santa Maria‘s blog. I loved these posts last year, so I was thrilled when Jason asked me to participate this go ‘round, but I had trouble choosing a single candy to write about because I’m actually excessively fond of ALL candy. (Remember when I couldn’t choose a single color for my Rainbow Birthday so I decided to wear every color? It’s a lot like that.)

When I love something, I really love something. I think that’s called obsession, right? Well in this case, the thing I’m obsessed with actually has the power to make me physically ill. Hence the title of my Candygram: Love Sick. I basically challenged myself to keep a diary about my love of candy for a week and then share the results with the world. Luckily, my friends Courtney Martin and Mandy Brown were kind enough to offer constructive criticism and their crackerjack editing skills.

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Head Fully Exploded

Tina‘s right. The thought of turning our studio floor into a rainbow has officially blown my mind. Chances my studiomate Josh will go for this? Zero. Although he’d possibly be into a greyscale version.

Read more about the DLA Piper Office by Hofman Dujardin Architects over at Tina’s Rainbow Office post.

DLA Piper Office Carpet Rainbow

What do they do in this office? It had better be something amazingly awesome, or they’re letting this carpet rainbow down.

Smoking Rainbow Pipe for Cameron

I’m so thankful for the inspiring setup we’ve got here at work. Sure, the view is phenomenal, but what makes it truly special is the camaraderie shared by all the studiomates. Coming to work is like showing up to hang out with friends, and by friends I mean amazingly talented, creative, motivated people I somehow get to collaborate with. Every day is an adventure in smart people and projects, and somewhere at the center of it all, you’ll usually find this guy. He’s an instigator who pushes everyone to “do something.” He’s got a zero bullshit policy, so you have to be willing to back up anything and everything you say. He’s also a warm, fuzzy heart who calls himself a “sad panda” if he has to miss out on any group fun. You can count on him for either honest perspective or pee-your-pants humor, depending on his mood. Actually, a lot of the time it’s both. Everyone should be so lucky to have Cameron Koczon, lover of pipes, music, scotch, westerns and awesomeness, in their lives. So today on his birthday, this thank you reads…

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Rainbow Song and Dance for Mom

The numbers five, six, seven and eight, in that order, are very special to me. They evoke the sound of a needle crackling as it drops onto a record, the scent of sweaty lycra in a gym bag, and the sight of my mom front and center in a packed auditorium using her right hand to balance some sort of massive recording device and her left to point towards an exaggerated smile on her face.

Between the ages of 18 months and 18 years, I attended weekly dance classes. According to my rough calculations, that’s more than 1,000 hours of ballet, jazz, and tap, but more to the point, that’s more than FIFTY recital costumes. Sure, the teachers got to choose the costumes for the group numbers, but if you signed up for a solo or duet, which of course my sister and I always did, you got to choose your own attire. Somehow I talked the teachers into letting me borrow the costume catalogs so I could take my time contemplating exactly what concoction of spandex and sequins truly embodied Billy Ocean’s Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car. If I couldn’t find a ready-made match, my mom and I would set to work, and after a few magical evenings in her sewing room, we’d emerge with a perfectly customized costume.

For an Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini routine, when Wal-Mart failed to yield suitable dotted fabric, my mom and I painted our own dots onto yellow satin. Then there were leotards, ears and tails, all made out of pink faux fur, so my sister and I could realize our vision of the Pink Panther theme song. And in case you’re wondering, for Billy Ocean, I decided on a shiny magenta unitard with royal blue leg warmers, briefs and a headband. There were many, many others, and I remember each and every one. The little voice inside my head is saying, “Wait a minute, this is all making perfect sense!” Maybe I love costumes like Billy loves the lady drivers because more than simple self expression, devising a costume reminds me of a special time in my life when I got to collaborate with my mom.

Not all kids get to go to dance lessons. Not all moms are willing to carpool to them, and pay for them, and sew costumes only to have to sit through four-hour recitals because of them. Mine was. For that and about a million other reasons, I’m thankful. So this note reads…

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We’re Going to Rio and Eating Gelato When We Get There

When I met Creighton, I knew he was special. One of the ways I could tell was by how much his friends care about him. I mean, they seriously go-out-in-the-rain-to-see-you, do-just-about-anything-you-ask-even-help-you-move, can’t-get-enough-of-this-guy care. The reason for this is probably how much he cares back. Maybe it’s a function of being an only child, but he truly treats his friends like family. I’m such a sucker for that.

Case in point is Creighton’s long time friend Scott. Scott is based out of Florida but travels around the globe for his job as a tennis coach. Scott never misses an opportunity to spend time with Creighton, even if it’s just in his mind. When we opened a package the other day to find this bright red 2010 FIFA World Cup hat (that Creighton looks quite fetching in, right?) and a note reading…

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I Want To Go To There

If the setting for a Dr. Suess story came to life and mated with a candy store, its offspring would be this town square in Rio. Glorious, right? I’d love to make a point by saying, “what a difference a little color can make,” but this isn’t a little color. It’s gigantic, outlandish, amazing color. For comparison, here’s what the square of Santa Marta looked like before its technicolor transformation…

Favela before the painting

Bright colors and bold stripes are known to attract attention, and that’s exactly the point. The Dutch art duo Haas & Hahn have been using their work to draw international awareness to some of the most impoverished areas, or favelas, of Brazil since 2005, and this is their latest endeavor. Local townspeople received training on different types of paint and safety measures (think massive amounts of scaffolding) along with much needed paychecks for the month this project lasted. Now, they’re left with a sense of pride and a potential national landmark.

But the project doesn’t end here…

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