Friday, August 30, 2013

DIY: Galaxy Nail Art

         Every time I change my nail polish lately, I like to try something different than just a solid color. Last week, I created a galaxy print, as it's one of my favorite patterns for clothing. I'm going to show you how to do it on your nails!

What you'll need:
- black, white, orange, light blue, and purple nail polishes
- a very thin, shimmery nail polish
- clear top coat
- makeup sponge
- pencil 
These are the colors I used: Revlon - "Black Lingerie," Circus by Andrea's Choice - "Reverso," Essie - "Meet Me at Sunset," Essie - "Lilacism," Color Club - "Disco Dress," L'oreal - "The Temptress' Power," NYC - "Extra Shiny Top Coat."
Step 1: Paint nails black. Let dry.
Step 2: Using the makeup sponge, dab small splotches of the blue onto each nail. Let dry.
Step 3: Repeat this dabbing technique with the orange and purple polishes, drying between each color. 
Step 4: Dip the tip of a pencil into the white polish to create small dots that look like stars. Let dry.
Step 5: Paint a light layer of the shimmery polish on top of design.
Step 6: After the polish has dried for a considerable amount of time, apply top coat to finish. 

And voilà! You have nails that are out of this world! 

If you're like me and can't get enough galaxy print, shop some of my choices below:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Trixy Starr Adds Playfulness to Anyone's Jewelry Collection

       There's so much jewelry out there that it can be hard to find a truly unique piece that sets you apart. You can fall in love with a unique turquoise ring in a boutique one day, just to find out there's an identical ring at H&M the next week. Personally, I don't want my jewelry to look like anyone else's. It's one of the most important aspects of my daily style and I'm always on the lookout for imaginative pieces.

        This is why I was so happy to discover Taryn Wittlin's jewelry line, Trixy Starr!  I received a special package from Taryn just in time for an early birthday present! She sent me the "On Tour" necklace from her Rainbow Starr collection. This is one of her many letter pieces that I love. She creates necklaces, earrings, and bracelets using plastic letters to spell out words like, "bite me," "create," and "radical." Other pieces incorporate colorful metals, vintage toys, playful cutouts, pompoms, skull beads, and teddy bear pendants.

         My favorite thing about her brand is the message she conveys about staying young. Her jewelry is meant to add a carefree and lighthearted attitude to your outfit, regardless of how old you are.

"I realize that not everything is for everyone and I never take it personally.  It's more that I just feel sad for them, because they think they're too old to have fun. And to me, age is nothing...we are meant to play, laugh, be silly, enjoy, and have fun forever!  There is no such thing as 'too old.'"

- Taryn

         My boyfriend actually introduced me to Taryn after meeting her during his summer in LA. I didn't get to meet her in person while I was out there, but we corresponded through email and I could tell right away that her fun and bright designs match her upbeat personality. She gave me an exclusive interview about how she started designing and what goes into each piece she creates.

Jenny: You were born in Canada, when did you move to California and why did you decide on a change?

Taryn: I basically followed my brother out here. We have always been bffs and he moved here to pursue a career in music. I would have followed him wherever he went- and I am SUPER grateful that he chose L.A.!!!

J: How did you get started designing jewelry? 

T: I have been passionate about designing jewelry pretty much since I was born!  My birthday parties growing up ALWAYS involved making jewelry with my friends in my parents' backyard.  My mom & I would go to the local craft store and buy tons of candy-colored beads and string for all my friends to make cute stuff with!

J: Where did you go to college and what was your major?

T: I went to Dalhousie university in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Eastern Canada). It's sooooo beautiful there!!!  My major was women's studies. I didn't really know what I wanted to do so I chose something I knew would be interesting.  
J: Is jewelry what you have been pursuing as your career since college, or was it an unexpected route?

T: Honestly I always just made stuff for my friends and I to wear, I never really thought about doing it as a career, but when I was in college, a good friend pushed me to try to sell my stuff to a boutique, and so I did, and it worked!  They bought my styles on the spot, and sold out within a week.  After that I never looked back. I knew this was going to be my life!

J: The style of your jewelry is very unique! Explain the inspiration behind it and how it reflects you and your personal style. 

T: Well, I actually started out doing more vintage style jewelry. I used to take apart vintage stuff and re-work it with modern chains and stones, giving it my own personal flair.  But as I got older, I started returning to my true heart!  I've always LOVED pink and purple, sparkles, hearts, stars, My Little Pony, and anything that had pop colors and 80's flair.  I still mix those two aesthetics together in my one of a kind pieces, but I also have styles that aren't one of a kind, which involve more chains and plastic, and less vintage components.  I'd say my two biggest inspirations are:
1. My Little Pony!!!  The colors, style, and magical energy of these exquisite creatures fuels my creativity.  
2. The band PHISH.  Their music is epic, and their lighting designer, Kris Kuroda, uses all the colors of the rainbow like a ninja... the lights are beyond my wildest dreams!!!  

I was also a rep. for Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers, as well as tokidoki, in my early years living in L.A.-- which definitely added to my affinity for cute pop style!  And then I went to Japan with my husband and literally died of joy when we got to Harajuku.  The rest is history ;)

J: How is your jewelry made? Do you draw out each design first or create it as you go along? Do you handcraft every piece of jewelry or do you have people helping you? Tell me about what goes into the process from start to finish. 

T: I don't usually draw my ideas. I prefer to have raw materials in front of me, and I place them the way they're meant to look.  I often feel like it's not even me designing, more like they design themselves, ie. there is some guided energy from beyond doing all the work!  I just use my hands to put them together.  For my one-of-a-kind pieces, I am the one making them.  For the styles that are reproducible, I make the first sample, and then send it off to my incredible production team in Thailand, who handcrafts the rest.  

J: Where do you get your materials? Many of your pieces include things like cassette tapes, unique charms, animal motifs, and letters. How do you find these in sufficient supply?

T: I have been collecting vintage toys, cassettes, jewelry, etc. for many years.  The one-of-a-kind styles feature these vintage finds.  The rest of the components come from the fashion district in downtown LA.... a very radical and FUN place!!!

J: What is the difference between your Trixy Starr and Rainbow Starr collections?

T: Rainbow Starr is the "fast fashion" sister line to Trixy Starr.  So basically Rainbow Starr retails for $20 and under, and Trixy Starr is usually $28 and up.  

J: How do most people react to your jewelry? What are some negative things people have said and what are some positive things they've said?

T: Usually people comment on how unique and playful my jewelry is.  I've heard people say that is has great energy and that the colors are bright and fun!  People often think it's a kids line, which it isn't- although I do see it as fun for the whole family!!!!  It does get to me, however, when people say it looks like a kids line, and that they could never wear it themselves because it's just too young.  I realize that not everything is for everyone and I never take it personally.  It's more that I just feel sad for them, because they think they're too old to have fun.  And to me, age is nothing... we are meant to play, laugh, be silly, enjoy, and have fun forever!  There is no such thing as "too old.”

J: What has been the biggest challenge starting your business and how have you overcome it? 

T: The biggest challenge for me has definitely been that I didn't have any startup capital, so I haven't had real money for advertising, which is a key component in building a brand.  I've overcome it by continuing to move forward passionately, without fear, and with the knowledge that when there is a will, there is a way!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will just keep going until it pops!  

J: What do you enjoy doing other than designing jewelry?

T: I love fashion. I love styling, I love putting outfits together, and I LOOOOOOVE music ;)  Music is my medicine.

J: Any big future plans for your business, career, or life?

T: I plan on continuing to spread positive love and energy around the planet with these bright, happy styles.  I'd love to one day expand into apparel, shoes, bags, and toys.  I'd also love to have kids, so I can style them up in tons of cute Trixy & Rainbow Starr gear.  And finally, I plan on continuing to see as many Phish shows as I can for the rest of my days in this lifetime, as it such a source of pure love and light-- something this world needs much more of!

Be sure to check out Taryn's jewelry on her website here and follow her on Twitter (@TrixyJewels) and Instagram (@trixystarr).

Thank you so much to Taryn Wittlin for giving me the opportunity to feature your creations and to Andy Cahill for taking the pictures in this photoshoot!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Reconstructing a Shirt into a Skirt

       The last piece in my Summer Reconstruction series is a velvet shirt that was desperate for a makeover. When I found this top, I really liked the color and texture. The velvet has a cool squiggly imprint, however the style of the shirt was all wrong. Using this fabric for a top is outdated, so I realized that what this garment really needed was a total re-purposing. I envisioned a piece that I could wear going out or on a date and created a simple, fitted miniskirt.

        To transform this shirt, I cut the top half off just below the sleeves. This left me with a piece of fabric almost ready to wear as a skirt, but in order for it to fit better, I needed to do a bit of sewing. I put the skirt on, pinned one side to fit against my leg, and sewed a seam there. Next, I folded the raw edge of the waist and sewed it for a clean waistline. Because the fabric is very stretchy, I needed to take in each seam a little more than most fabrics.

Thank you to Naomi Kolok for taking and modeling in the photographs featured in this series! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reconstructing a Skirt into a Dress

      My favorite piece that I've redone this summer is a skirt that I turned into a dress. I had a bit of difficulty deciding on the style I wanted because the skirt had so much fabric to work with. There were many ways I could drape it or add sleeves, but I finally decided to stick with a very basic style that could be worn a few different ways. This way, I could wear it with or without a belt, move the straps to one side, or wear it without straps at all.


       The skirt originally had a lining, so I cut it all off to make the material lighter and easier to work with. Then, I added straps at the waistband with thick, black ribbon. Lastly, I cut a long piece of thin ribbon to use as an optional belt. 

Thank you to my beautiful cousin Naomi Kolok for modeling in these pictures!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Reconstructing Another Button Down

      Here's another button down that I transformed. This shirt is a pretty basic button down in a comfortable, stretchy fabric. It fit really well, but had horrible, poufy sleeves.

         This time, it was a very quick fix. I took out the sleeve seams with a stitch ripper, ripped off the outdated sleeves, then sewed new seams along the armhole edges. Now, I have a simple, tank button down that's a perfect basic for summer. I like wearing it with the bottom buttons undone and tying the ends in a knot, retro style!

 Thanks to Naomi Kolok for taking these photos!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reconstructing a Scarf

         The next piece in my summer reconstruction collection is a shirt I made from a scarf. Technically, it was just a rectangular piece of fabric that I've had for a while, but this design could be made out of any large scarf.

         First, I cut the fabric into two equal, smaller pieces. I hemmed all the rough edges, and then placed the pieces on top of each other for the next steps. To create sleeves, I measured how wide I needed the neck hole, then sewed about two inches on either side. Then, leaving enough room for arm holes, I sewed along the sides about six inches from the edges (keeping in mind the shape of my torso). This makes the excess fabric flow down the sides and looks really pretty when it's belted.

Thank you to Naomi Kolok for modeling in these photos!