Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Charleston Update

Hey y'all. I'm getting into the swing of things in Charleston, but am still finding some time between shows and shooting pictures to do some walking around and hanging out. I basically love walking around because the city is SO beautiful and full of history. I'd love to do a huge photodump for the place... maybe once I'm back home.

Today, I saw some ballroom dance and went to a one-women play. I wasn't terribly impressed by either, but I'm not a huge theatre person and the venue for the style of dance wasn't in their favor. I'm excited to see more of the College of Charleston's young artist series tomorrow, which I wrote about the other day (read here). I know a bit about 2 of the piano players, one of whom is extremely young and talented. So that'll be amazing.

Here's a picture of my new bright dress:



And because it matched my dress so perfectly, giant macaroon!!


If you would like to read my biggest feature article that printed, you can find that HERE. It's about dance costumes, specifically for Alvin Ailey and The Radio Show by Abraham.In.Motion. I even got the skybar on the front page! And in other news... I have an interview with the Joffrey Ballet on Friday for being a summer chaperone... oh yeeeah.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beard and Mustache Competition

See, I knew I'd neglect this while I'm churning out photos and stories in Charleston. I just got back from watching Alvin Ailey perform (which was amazing), and I'm taking time out to photodump these pictures because they're too rad NOT to be seen. The possible best use of my press pass ever came last night when I attended a beard and mustache competition at Music Farm.

Best. Photo opp. Ever. No one denied me a photo, but the lighting was terrible, so the photos are mostly out of focus. But these guys were the friendliest people ever, and I only wish I didn't look like a lame journalist while they looked super badass (I can picture what I'd want to wear: my black pinupy romper and that sheer overdress, yeah? It's in the Chicago closet, boohoo.). Anyway, here are some of the most fabulous beards of the evening.

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WELCOME TO THE SOUTH!!!! (more after the break)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

DIY: Bleach Splatter Tank

I'm sneaking in one last DIY before I leave for Charleston tomorrow (!). I always end up with a pile of Hanes beaters that my brother doesn't want, so I basically experiment on them. I dyed one black but it came out a charcoal gray color and wasn't evenly dyed at all.


Since it looked a little grungey already, I decided to bleach splatter it and make it look like a complete hot mess instead of half a hot mess. All you need is a shirt, liquid bleach, a cup to put it in, and a paintbrush you're willing to destroy.


The best advice I can give for bleaching technique is swish and flick. Wingardium Leviosa, baby. Load up your paint brush dripping with bleach and fling it. It's best to work outside or on some newspapers so you don't speckle everything within a 10 foot radius.


I now know what it's like to be Jackson Pollock. It's not as easy as it looks and there is a slight technique to it, unless you just want bleach globs everywhere. Make sure you do the sides of your top as well as the front and back. You want the whole garment to be evenly splattered.  


Here's the finished product!


I wasn't kidding about bleach destroying paintbrushes. Bleach is dangerous stuff; it ate most of the bristles off of my beautiful bamboo calligraphy brushes (not that I ever used it...). Be careful!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

'Cuse Graduation

I officially have a master's degree! Actually, not officially yet, I still have the next 3 weeks in Charleston, SC as my capstone. Forgive me as this blog gets shoved to the back burner for that time; I'll be busy with that and this past week I moved from Syracuse back to the Chicago burbs... you never really realize how much stuff you have until it has to be packed in boxes and loaded into the back of a truck.


But can we talk about the ridiculous design of my grad robes for a second? Look at that stupid, hanging, square sleeve! If anything, it should be hanging off the bottom of the whole sleeve, but it isn't, it's actually hanging from the top. Dumb. 


And the hood had a point on the but that hung right above the butt. I dubbed us the Dinosaur Crew.


The many ways to wear a master's hood, neither of which are correct.


On the drive home, we stopped at this huge gorge with 3 waterfalls in the Finger Lakes, this one was on Cayuga. And notice I'm wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants. That will never happen again in public. I had a 13 hour drive ahead of me, real clothes were not going to happen. 


Upstate NY can be pretty sometimes!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kate Middleton + HATS

It's the eve of my grad school graduation and I find myself... cruising through a Kate Middleton lookbook from Nylon Magazine. I ignored the whole royal wedding when it was actually occurring, which is surprising, given my involvement in the bridal industry. It was on a Friday (I think?) and started like something like 5am. No, thank you.

But I finally caved and checked out her style. She dresses how I'd expect British royalty to dress: preppy, classy, and generally fabulous. But the one thing that struck me about her coords were her hats! She wears a ton of them, and they're not boring either. Maybe it's just a British thing, but I would loooooove to see people incorporating hats back into evening looks or when attending events. They just make an outfit twice as interesting. Hats in America have basically evolved into baseball caps and knitted winter berets. Pretty unfortunate, compared to what hats used to mean back in the early twentieth century.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DIY Newspaper Clutch

And a very happy rainy spring day to y'all! Yesterday I took my last final ever (EVER), and while it was not my finest academic moment, it was my last formal academic moment so yay to that. I just realized I haven't posted a DIY in a long time so let me scroll the depths of my super secret blog photos archive and see what's lurking around unpublished...



I've had this obnoxious  fuchsia clutch from UO hiding out in the back of my closet for years. I've never actually used it because it's a really awkward size and I honestly don't even like clutches that much. But I saw this awesome tutorial on I SPY DIY for modpodging a clutch. As any former Girl Scout should, I love mod podge. And this project looked very journalistic to me, so I decided to revamp the little pink box.


I conveniently made this project on daylight saving time day so the Chicago Tribune was full of pictures of famous clocks and very proper noun heavy with famous city landmarks. Perfect!


You can't go wrong with mod podge. If you think something looks dumb, just paint more glue and slap a different section of newsprint over it. I coated my clutch with the glue, stuck a chopped piece of newspaper over it, and layered with more glue. 


I left pieces of print hanging over the sides of the clutch until they dried, then trimmed them off using an exacto blade. 


Each of the two sides look a little different. For the "Chicago" side, I glued my main piece down first and then overlapped it with print. For the "Tribune" side, I glued the main piece over the others. Which side do you think looks better? I think I like the "Chicago" side better... and it has a picture of the Marshall Fields clock!


Friday, May 4, 2012

5 Essentials for Spring (In the South)

For my grad school capstone, I'll be going to Charleston, SC to cover the Spoleto Festival for The Post and Courier. There are many things about Charleston that I'm a bit apprehensive about...
  1. It's in the South. I'm unfamiliar with that part of the country. I'm super Northern. That'll be interesting.
  2. It's HOT there. I'm used to weather being in the 50s until halfway through June. Spring barely exists in Illinois. I prefer colder seasons because I like layering. You can only take so many layers off in the summer.
  3. Along with the weather comes the wardrobe. I wondered outloud how many pairs of pants to bring and I was instructed by a colleague not to bring any. My summer wardrobe is very short on the bottom half... not exactly professional. Time to make that work.
  4. It's near the ocean. I don't even understand. That's like a big lake, right?
SO here are my 5 items that I'd like to acquire in preparation for my Southern exposure. Hopefully I won't stick out like a sore thumb. And if I do... well, I don't like to blend in anyway!


Ok, this is cheating a little. I bought this already. Maxi dresses have been trendy for the past few years or so but I've been avoiding them like the plague. I tried on a plain black one and I looked like a witch about to dance around a fire in the woods. Not that that's a bad thing... but I wasn't sold on the look yet. Luckily, I'm tall and can decently pull off a long dress. I bought this in the taupe color since it'd be cooler than black in the hot sun. And also, it's half sheer, giving it a more interesting detail than a plain knit. I even like the styling here which is really casual for a floor length dress. It's pretty versatile for dressed up or dressed down.


Dress from: Forever21

I barely have any sandals that I actually like. I'm a boot-girl. But I need comfy sandals to romp around the streets in. Most sandals are usually brown or white, black being the negetive winter color. I don't care, I want some black sandals. And a bit of platform is ok too; platforms are way less painful that heels.


Wedge sandals: Anthropologie


Hats are so underrated. I honestly think Britney Spears ruined any prospect of wearing a hat and looking cute in the early 2000s. But there's nothing more classy that a huge floppy hat at the beach.

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I need a medium sized bag, one that I can throw a notebook and a big camera in. I hate bags in general (What?! Yes, they're usually shiny and gaudy.) and I usually judge them on if I can fit school books and my laptop in them. Well, I'm about to no longer tote around school textbooks, so I need something smaller. Since I dress in neutrals frequently, I'm allowing myself to go all out on a colorful bag. I'm thinking something in an obnoxious yellow would be nice!

Bag: Chole (...I can dream, can't I?)


Yes, I struggle with buying appropriate length dresses. Usually it isn't a problem, but if I've got my professional face on, I need to have something a bit more conservative. This season sheer chiffon is everywhere, which is a good thing, because it's a breathable and flowy fabric in comparison to say, jersey material.

Photobucket Dresses: (BLAST. These are both soft neutral colors, aren't they? I'm hopeless.)