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Signs aren’t the only thing greeting attendees at the entrance to New York Comicon. Amidst the registration booths and all too quickly emptied bins for lanyards ReedPOP has its own boutique, featuring the geek-chic fashion of Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe line.
Her Universe has become a significant presence at both the San Diego and New York conventions, which in turn reflects as place as a market leader in pop-culture inspired fashion. I had the pleasure of speaking at length with Ashley back at SDCC after her successful geek couture fashion show, and as an attorney I have to say that she is a role model for anyone who wants to incorporate copyrighted and trademarked material in their line. In a world where “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission” has led any number of creators astray, she has from the outset been conscientious (and ambitious!) in licensing characters for Her Universe clothes.
But that’s not the only way in which Her Universe reflects the better angels of geek community’s nature. Besides integrating the participatory spirit of comics-related media discussed in my last post, Ashley has also been a prominent advocate of geek fashion’s capacity to empower those who wear it, both through her clothes and her anti-bullying activism. Create, speak, show others who you are with fear – where the less imaginative may just see licensed properties, her community sees freedom woven into her designs.
Which brings us to the future of geek couture and its role in the community’s future. Walk around San Diego and New York Comic-Cons and you’ll see expressive fashion everywhere, from handcrafted TARDIS earrings and comic-related t-shirts carried in the ubiquitous TARDIS bag to sophisticated cosplay and brands such as Her Universe itself. As the Her Universe show embodied back at San Diego, the key to the future is to go beyond prints and other reproductions of licensed material to transformative geek-inspired design – in fact, for a useful indication of where things are going, watch the development of the co-branded Marvel line announced last July.
As I discuss in my Fashion Ethics, Sustainability and Development class for the Fashion Law Institute, when we wear clothes we wear ourselves – our values, our aspirations, our communities.* It should, then, come as no surprise that when we look at geek couture, we see the future.
*Check out Professor Susan Scafidi’s “Fashion as Information Technology” for more on this.
Over the weekend at the Long Beach Comic Con, Tamara Brooks found some officially licensed DC t-shirts that gave messages that were a bit outmoded, to say the least. Tom Spurgeon quickly labeled them “repulsive,” and everyone else was all like reducing Wonder Woman to a victory level on a sex video game, really? Well, after CBR wrote to DC “DC wrote back and said, we agree:
DC Comics is home to many of the greatest male and female Super Heroes in the world. All our fans are incredibly important to us, and we understand that the messages on certain t-shirts are offensive. We agree. Our company is committed to empowering boys and girls, men and women, through our characters and stories. Accordingly, we are taking a look at our licensing and product design process to ensure that all our consumer products reflect our core values and philosophy.
WHAT TH–! What century is this? Comic Book company, you are supposed to remain silent and just internally fret over these kinds of things, not step up and do the right thing by admitting it was not the best official message to send?
To be honest, I find the first shirt repulsive. I get that showing Superman is a bro who bang hot chicks is an upgrade for his bulgeless underpants image. But…not the best way to get that across. The second is reminiscent of other t-shirts where the wearer declares she in training to be a trophy wife or whatever. Kinda silly but not the worst thing I’ve seen. But yeah, maybe not the best message for a company that is clearly trying to del with a surge of new customers who are more sensitive to this kind of thing. So yeah, end of kerfuffle, before it ever really got going.
It’s Autumn now, and it’s been a long time since we attempted to ride the coattails of Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014’s breakout stars. But now that the weather is getting colder you may be needing a transitional jacket, for those snappy autumn days (or warming autumn days if you live in the South). Anyway, New American Jackets is selling pleather replicas of Starlord jacket from Guardians of the Galaxy — available in both mens and women’s sizes. It looks to be a nice detailed jacket in a flattering burnt sienna color. Men’s runs $140 and women’s $139 but both are “on sale” now.
New American Jackets sells various other pop culture themed coats, like a Rick Grimes jacket—inexplicably crisp and clean and not gore clotted, bu you can fix that my sleeping in in every day for a month—a Keanu Reaves Hellblalz er trenchcoat—hopefully to be upgraded with the new TV series—a Smallville duster, a Katniss coat, a Drive jacket with the scorpion and all. So whatever your Halloween or cosplay plans, they can be purposed as a practical if nerdy garment for even non-con days.
Natsko Seki collages lively, saturated scenes of urban life from her own drawings and photographs. Begging to be explored, each illustration is populated with human activity and contains clues left by a moment in time that—if only yesterday—is now lost. Iconic architecture stands as a grandiose reminder that Seki’s people are living in the shadows of history and are unknowing participants in the writing of their city’s centuries. Seki’s interest in architecture, fashion, and contemporary urban life has landed her commissions with Transport for London, Royal Historic Palaces, The Guardian, Bloomsbury, and Hermès. In 2013, Louis Vuitton published a book of Seki’s London illustrations as part of their travel books collection. Seki grew up in Tokyo and studied illustration in Brighton, UK. She now lives in London.
In August 2014 the world marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
A time of great upheaval for countless aspects of society, social, economic and sexual to name a few, the onset of war punctured the sartorial mold of the early 20th century and resulted in perhaps one of the biggest strides to clothing reform that women had ever seen.
The turn of the century began with a feeling of unease and fevered anticipation regarding the changing political climate; the ‘new woman’ of the fin-de-siècle and the clothes associated with her threatened to disrupt conservative gender values of the middle and upper classes. But the position of women was about to take an even sharper turn. As it soon became necessary to recruit women into the war effort, hemlines got shorter, cuts became looser, and the two-piece suit took centre stage for the first time, making way for more practical attire. Women experienced a relative degree of liberation, entering professions and industries previously dominated by men, which created the need for an entirely new ‘working wardrobe’.
Permeating mainstream and avant-garde fashion and fuelling the rise of the female’s role in the public sphere, fashion was about to move in a new, androgynous direction. Practical clothing influenced by men’s tailoring led the way and the suit, newly composed of jackets and skirts, developed its own identity as a women’s garment with soft, loose lines. In the world of high fashion, Paul Poiret and his taste for the ‘exotic’ firmly established the innovative trend for the tube-like silhouette, which reverberated throughout the fashion sphere more broadly. The kimono similarly burst onto the scene, reflecting the sentiment for looser and freer garments. Also, perhaps less well-remarked is the rapid development of the department store in Europe, which acknowledged the increasingly varied roles of women and made ready-made garments more available than ever before.
The changes were not only evident in Britain. Relationships between Germany and the French houses that dominated the fashion scene became increasingly fraught at the outbreak of war. As Irene Guenther remarks in Nazi Chic?, “the war was viewed as providing the perfect opportunity to unseat France, militarily and sartorially, from its throne. Because the conflict had slowed down the French fashion machine, a space had developed that the German nation was eager and ready to fill.” Luxury items imported from France, including silk, lace, and leather gloves were forbidden and a culture of “make do and mend” was established, which was set to echo throughout the Second World War that was to follow.
The Great War and its disruptions, dislocations, and recastings is rarely remembered for its creative output, but the war made way for innovative fashions and manufacturing techniques to suit a rapidly changing society and the new roles for the women and men who inhabited it. The sartorial changes witnessed in this turbulent decade became visual signifiers of the larger upheavals facing British and European society more generally, and we only have to look to our sartorial history from this period to sneak a peek at the way in which societal roles were uprooted and the face of women’s fashion markedly changed.
While at SDCC I could not help but notice the grumbling across Social Media of how little seemed to be coming out of SDCC in real time, and how deeply missed G4 was as a result. For those of us trying to bridge the gap, their seemed to be insufficient band width in Downtown San Diego for bulk loading from personal devices. This is a question worthy of its own article, but right now, it’s my pretext to finally upload more images from the Exhibit floor and Outside the Convention.
Julia Denos’ loose, colorful illustrations are sure to make girls everywhere ooh and ah. Her quick lines and saturated colors say a lot with a little and her playful evocation of texture and pattern is pitch perfect for children’s fashion. She has illustrated numerous picture books for girls like I Had A Favorite Dress, Just Being Audrey, and Grandma’s Gloves. Candlewick Press, HarperCollins, Penguin, RandomHouse, Scholastic, and Highlights are amongst her many clients.
Comic-Con hit TMZ after America’s Next Top Model winner and media personality Adrianne Curry, dressed as Catwoman, chased down and whip-punched a man who thrust his hands down the tights of another model dressed as Tigra. As horrible as Sunday’s attack was, could this incident help us deal with such harassment more effectively?
Curry’s superheroic response to the sexual attack on her friend Alicia Marie underscores the importance of taking sexual harassment at comic conventions seriously. Comic conventions have experienced exponential growth in recent years, filling not only convention venues but downtown city streets into volatile vectors for sexually inappropriate behavior. And contrary to the stereotype-ridden TMZ video, dorky fanboys are not necessarily the only culprits – downtown San Diego has become a five-day Festival, with the Red Hour striking anew each time you walk out the Convention Center doors.
How to deal with the problem of harassment within and without Comic-Con was attracting the attention of multiple media outlets even before the attack on Alicia Marie — in fact, after I scheduled this post for publication on The Beat, even Perez Hilton found the Adrianne Curry incident to be a source of moral outrage. Over the next couple posts I want to add a legal perspective, since this happens to be an area in which I have clocked a few villains of my own, albeit with words instead of a whip.
Before we do, however, I want to address a thought that may have popped into the minds of some readers, namely, the notion that women such as Currie and Alicia Marie are themselves somehow asking for it. I actually witnessed a vivid expression of this mindset when a cosplaying woman outside the Con tried to fend off a guy’s come-on by handing him a business card and promoting her own work. The guy responded by contending that there was no other way for a man to take the way she dressed than as a sign that she was looking to get laid.
This exchange stood in stark contrast to the professional discussion I’d just had with a longtime of the annual Comic-Con Masquerade, the amazing Broadway actress and theme-park entertainment designer Diane Duncan. Last Friday when we were walking through the convention chatting about cosplay she stopped to point out what she thought was a standout example of excellent craft, a woman dressed as Poison Ivy whose costume exhibited a number of characteristics that would have done well for her had she worn it for the Masquerade competition instead. The costume had a sensual vibe, yes, but that was an extension of the workmanship — whether the cosplayer’s aim in such artful attention to detail was self-expression, marketing a product, promoting her own business or a combination of all three, baiting men for sex was not the point.
As it turns out, the cosplayer was none other than Adrianne Curry, and as I read up on her and other models who cosplay I found myself in rather familiar territory. In advising on ethics and other legal matters in the fashion industry, it’s all too common to run across men who view what women wear as a sign of sexual availability, as opposed to a form of stylized expression that for many women in modeling, marketing, retail and design is an integral part of their professional identity.
The intrinsic connection between cosplay and fashion got me thinking about another connection they share: namely, unfortunate loopholes in current sexual harassment law. Although we often use the phrase “sexual harassment” when speaking of unwanted advances to cosplayers and fashion models alike, from a legal perspective the term typically refers to sexually inappropriate behavior in certain employment contexts. For example, because models are typically independent contractors, not employees, they are often not protected by sexual harassment laws, and a similar principle applies to comic convention cosplayers who are not there in the course of employment — regardless of how egregiously inappropriate the behavior may be, it technically is not a violation of sexual harassment law, nor would it fall under the purview of a typical harassment policy.
Within the fashion industry, this lacuna is being addressed primarily in two ways: through legal reform and private action. New York, for example, recently enacted a law that extends the protections in child labor laws to underage models, and efforts are ongoing to give volunteers and independent contractors new legal protections when sexually harassed. At the same time, the campaign against harassment within the industry is giving rise to new standards and practices that go beyond the limits of sexual harassment law while taking advantage of more general protections that other laws already provide.
We’re seeing a similar strategy evolve among cosplayers in regard to private action, most prominently in the work of Geeks for Consent, whose signs could be found throughout the convention center this year. I was glad to meet the group’s intrepid director, Rochelle Keyhan, briefly during Comic-Con, and have considerable regard for its efforts to call attention to this important issue. However, it’s also clear that a sharp divide persists between those calling for a more rigorous sexual harassment policy and Comic-Con itself, which has taken the position that a sufficient policy already exists. Awareness, as they say, has been raised, but the ideal provisions of a convention harassment policy remain a matter of dispute.
In my next post, we’ll take a deeper look at the Geeks for Consent campaign, the Adrianne Curry incident and existing law to see whether we can devise a new policy that will address the concerns of all sides in the ongoing debate. Meanwhile, if you have any opinions or experiences pertinent to this important discussion, please feel to leave them in the comments thread or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the popularity of geek culture and comic book movies surges, retailers have seen a significant increase in the demand for stylish, tailored geek clothing. That demand is responsible for the niche market of cosplay-centric, fandom-inspired fashion retailers, who compete to score the best licensing deals for their customer base.
“When I got into this business, girls fashion was one-size-fits-all baby-doll t-shirts. No one in the industry understood the power of marketing to the female geek,” said Ed Labay, a buyer for Hot Topic who has been in the industry for 17 years. Labay and other panelists at San Diego Comic Con’s The Business of Geek Fashion agreed that the last decade has seen a significant change in the way retailers approach geek clothing.
“15 years ago, it was all unisex,” said Mike Kochis from ThinkGeek. “Now we have a larger ladies assortment than men.”
The panelists also discussed the challenges of obtaining licenses and the slippery slope of running “inspired” clothing items without a licensing deal. Victoria Schmidt from Gold Bubble Clothing (established less than a year ago) said her company found success in going after smaller license deals with cult followings, like The Last Unicorn.
She said they had also launched some items that evoke the imagery of a particular fandom without ever mentioning it or stepping on a trademark, citing her company’s Bloodstripe leggings (which, she didn’t mention but buyers can deduce, bear a strong resemblance to Han Solo from Star Wars).
Schmidt’s fellow panelists disagreed with the approach, indicating the only safe way to handle the products was to obtain a licensing deal.
“It’s a slippery slope from fandom into bootleg,” Kochis said.
Panelists also agreed there had been an increased demand recently for menswear. Cameron Parker, head of marketing for Black Milk Clothing, which came to the scene five years ago and has made a name for itself by popularizing geek leggings, said they have recently been introducing options for men, like NFL-style jerseys and boyfriend-cut tees.
Samantha Terry from WeLoveFine said she’d been seeing men purchasing the women’s clothing due to lack of options.
“At anime expo I saw a lot of guys buying our leggings and tunic tanks,” she said. “There’s not much variety in men’s geek fashion.”
Labay said Hot Topic stocks both – and in some cases the results of buyers’ demands still surprises them.
“We sold almost as much male product for Twilight as we did female,” he said.
This year there are several high-profile fashion-related events and product launches at Comic-Con, which at the very least reflects how much the comics industry’s awareness of fashion has grown since the days when Batgirl was baffled by hemlines.
As some of you may know, part of my work as an attorney involves assisting fashion businesses, from emerging designers to multinational companies, and I also work with the pioneering Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School. Cosplay and such branded merch as t-shirts have long been part of the Comic-Con scene, but in recent years we’ve seen intriguing growth in geek-and-nerd couture. With that, of course, comes a host of legal concerns, including copyright, trademark and depending on the garment or beauty product, even design and utility patents.
Tonight I’m looking forward to attending the first Her Universe Geek Couture Fashion Show, which starts at 6pm at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The show, which is co-sponsored by Hot Topic and Nerdist Industries, will feature the work of 36 designers, two of whom will be selected to design a special Her Universe fashion collection. The founder of Her Universe, Ashley Eckstein, has brought on board an impressive array of licensed properties for her line, including Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead.
Tomorrow night brings another much anticipated show: the launch of the co-branded collection by GeekNation and COZDAY Clothing. COZDAY, by Leetal Platt Designs, features work inspired by pop culture, and GeekNation is the burgeoning media empire founded by actress Clare Kramer and producer Brian Keathley.
The Saturday-night Masquerade has been an established part of SDCC for years, and I’ll be covering that in more detail in a future post — for now, I’ll just note that one of the things that I’ve found particularly interesting about cosplay culture in San Diego is that for a number of cosplayers it as been a springboard for their careers, including movie makeup, film prosthetics and costume design.
The above list is hardly exhaustive. The Marge Simpsons MAC cosmetic line, the DC Comics x Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Fall 2014 line, roughly a bazillion TARDIS products: Comic Con is looking to be a productive platform for the fashion community — and, of course, its lawyers.
It is hard to say goodbye to an old friend. I am currently having to do just that. Sometimes, things deteriorate beyond salvage and the relationship must end. I have had this happen before, not very often – but it has happened.
In my younger days, I was a bridge-burner. I just moved on. I left high school and kept up with very few friends, mostly the ones who went to the same university. After four fun-filled years at college, I left those friends with every intent of doing better. I did not. Oh, I tried. For a year or two I kept up with some. But we all got scattered around the country and once-close ties severed. I predate social media, so we didn’t have that easy connection to tether me to my friends.
I have had to end relationships since then, though not as frequently. It was much easier to end friendships when I moved cities. I have lived in the same city for twenty-five years now and have no intention of leaving. So I can’t pack up and forget to give a forwarding address. Also, the aforementioned social media makes ending a relationship a public event. You have to be sure it is the proper thing to do before you push “unfriend,” or “block.”
What are some causes of ended friendships anyway? Here are some big ones. It isn’t an exhaustive list, you might have experienced other issues.
A trust violation – can be major or minor, equally damaging.
Priority shift – things become important to one and not the other.
Lack of support – a friend has stopped being there for you.
Selfishness – the friend who has all day to complain but has to go when it is time to listen.
Drift – Sometimes, friends just drift apart. It isn’t a willful decision on either side.
Friends can’t always be replaced. Depending on the length and emotional depth of the friendship, there can be a sizable void when the friendship ends. Pain. Regret. Panic, doubt, and second-guessing can even set in. Most of the time, there is even a grieving period when a friendship dies.
So it is with this friend. We’ve been through a lot together. There were entire days we spent together and I don’t regret them. They were good days… comfortable days. Never tight or strenuous, my friend and I got along perfectly. We fit together. I felt a certain contentment with this friend that I rarely feel. In fact, besides my wife, I’ve been closer to few others.
Why, do you ask, must this friendship end?
Is my friend moving? Did my friend betray me?
No, due to old age, my friend’s elastic waistband ripped through the soft, cotton fabric and my favorite pair of boxers is caput. The friendship is no longer salvageable. I could save it for a dust rag or staining cloth, but that’d be weird… unlike writing a blog post about underwear.
Photo attribution: Bert Kaufmann from Roermond, Netherlands (Loneliness Uploaded by russavia)
What should you do if you are at a formal event and realize the zipper on your pants is broken? Broken is too light a word – let’s say it has exploded leaving its jagged edges flayed open as a new source of entertainment for the party-goers.
A) Act natural – This probably happened to James Bond at some point (the Sean Connery James Bond, none of the imitations). James Bond would hold his martini, look suave, and say something pithy about horse prices. No one would notice.
B) Create a Catch Me If You Can-like diversion. “It’s all about the pinstripes, Frankie.” – I’m not talking about hurting anyone or defacing property. I am thinking more along the lines of spilling red punch all over your shoulder. That way, people say, “Ah, look at Jim. That guys is always making a mess,” instead of, “Is Jim wearing tidy whities? What is he, 8 years old?”
C) Go MacGyver – Borrow a paper clip, lighter, hairspray, and a stick of gum from people around you and create a subminiature welding machine that rigs your zipper so tight you aren’t sure if you’ll ever be able to remove your pants.
D) If you wore underwear, be glad and go with it. If not, run away.
E) Tinker with it in your seat as “discretely” as possible. Zip…unzip. Zip…unzip. Don’t obsess over it. Look up intermittently and pay a modicum of attention to the guest speaker. Zip..unzip. Keep messing with it while those around you give you disgusted looks and shift uncomfortably in their seats. Zip..unzip. Zip…unzip. Why would the disapproval of others stop you? Zip…unzip. Maybe this time it will close right. Zip…unzip repeat. Dogonit! Never mind that your monkey hands and sausage fingers are useless for anything besides clapping. Zip…unzip. Oh, and your mid-forties eyes can’t come close to focusing on something outside of five feet away, leaving the zipper’s intended path a fuzzy mystery. But this is a great plan. Zip…unzip. Why are so many people still staring?
I should have started this post by saying I had a formal occasion at the kids’ school where I had a slight wardrobe malfunction. I prefer not to discuss it. I’m no celebrity, so there certainly isn’t enough interest for it to make the news (my lifetime goal). But if it had been a zipper issue, which of the above-mentioned solutions do you think I arrived at?
I refuse to answer.
However, If you don’t mind, say a prayer for me Thursday at 10:30 when I have a meeting with the headmaster, three church elders, and a psychologist to answer some complaints about my behavior. Think they’ll mind if I wear sweatpants?
The Big Ticket Festival known to some as, the Christian Music Festival in Grand Rapids, will be located in Detroit, Michigan on June 18, 2014. It is going to be jamming fun in a good Christian atmosphere. The lineup for the artists is great, and seeing this festival back in the area is a wonderful thing.
This year’s Christian Music Festival in Grand Rapids will be headed by none other than Chris Tomlin. For those of you who do not know this young man, you are in for a treat. He is going to make sure that this Country Music Concert in Northern Michigan is one of the best yet. He has been doing the write ups for Christian Conferences in Michigan for quite a while now, and this is someone who knows how to entertain while keeping the focus on the Lord!
While room was once an issue there has been provisions made to accommodate the Christian Music Festival in Traverse City if the capacity demand calls for it. The area where this amazing Country Music Festival is located this year is a buzz. They are excited to welcome this event back to the area, and they are all hoping that it is home to stay. This is because the event actually originated as a major Country Music Concert in Northern Michigan. The Christian Music Festival quickly outgrew its location forcing them to relocate.
The Christian Music Festival in Michigan actually began in Gaylord back in 2006. It had to eventually be moved because of its rapid outgrowth of its original location. In 2011 it was relocated to larger fairgrounds. This 3 day and 6 stage event is something that you have to see to believe. It is a fun and powerful mission operated by Free Spirit Ministries with the help of numerous sponsors and nonprofit organizations.
The Country Music Festival in Michigan is simply an event that you do not want to miss. You can feel the spirit of the Lord where so many are gathered together in his name. This is a family event that is alcohol and drug free. There is something for everyone to do, and everyone will leave enriched from the experience.
People are encouraged to bring others to the event, as this is the perfect place to win souls for Jesus! With the fellowship, Christina love, food music and atmosphere it is the perfect time for soul harvesting. What an exciting thing to be a part of or bear witness to!
This year’s Christian Music Festival in Michigan lineup has artists like Jars of Clay, Third Day, the Sidewalk Prophets and Thousand Foot Krutch. Others are The Vespers, Chris Tomlin, Mercy Me, Flame, Beacon Light, George Moss, Rapture Ruckus, Matt Maher, Aaron Shust and Nine Lashes plus many, many more. The lineup is simply awesome. More artists are still signing up to perform! It will definitely be an event to remember.
This Country Music Concert in Northern Michigan is a 3 day event featuring 6 stages and more than 100 well known artists, and it has an attendance record that has previously reached 30,000 people. There are sports to play, activities, games, seminar tents and food. There is fellowship and places to purchase things to remember this Christian Conferences in Michigan, as well as to support their mission.
The Christian Music Festival in Traverse City is just an awesome gathering of Christian people loving the Lord and one another. It is great. Again, it is a must see event that you actually feel and leave having something inside you touched. It can be quite a moving experience! For some it is a life changing event and for others it is great family fun.
The welcome back for the Big Ticket Festival from the locals as well as from the Gaylord area’s tourism bureau and various local businesses was more than sincere. The families in northern Michigan need this experience, and even more, they want it. Northern Michigan is a location that craves brotherly love, and they are ready for change. A lot can be done in that location.
The Free Spirit Ministries said, “That mission is a critical part of who we are, and we found we just can’t recreate that experience anywhere else.” They too were glad to be “going home.” There is already a backup plan for larger crowds should they arrive.
The 2014 Big Ticket Festival will be held in Detroit, Michigan on June 18, 2014. It is a place where all Christians from all walks of life and of all ages will be able to come together in brotherly and sisterly love to glorify the Lord.
Again, there will be amazing live music, food and fun. There is a kid’s zone and lots to do, so call and book your spot in one of the largest Christian concerts and fellowship events in the nation.
The children will have an awesome time with Cran-Hill Ranch sponsoring and operating many fun things for them to do. There will be a ton of activities throughout the entire Country Music Festival in Michigan like Karaoke, Dancing, Kids music stages, a huge sandbox that has hidden treasures and a booth for funny family photos. There is also tie dying, puppet shows, inflatable’s, wall climbing and games with prizes just to name some.
For the bigger kids there are some extreme inflatables. Also no strangers to Christian Conferences in Michigan, the STAND Strength Team will be there. They are also a nonprofit group. They go to schools and promote anti-violence and anti-bullying across the nation.
STAND Strength also stands against things like peer pressure, alcohol and drugs. They teach the importance of respect for self and others as well as academic excellence. STAND athletes demonstrate motivation and positivity using strength. They reinforce making good decisions and offer a great motivational message.
Do not miss out on the pre-party events like Big Ticket Country either. The doors will open on June 18th at 5 p.m. and they will remain open until 11 p.m. at Otsego’s fairgrounds in Gaylord, MI. This year’s Christian Music Festival in Grand Rapids is going to be one for the record books, and we hope to see you there!
Please visit bigticketfestival.com for more information on this life changing event!
Hopefully by now you’ve all seen the debut of new contributor Kate Willaert’s column “By Its Cover” which looks at the best of the week’s cover designs—I’ve been wanting to add more craft-focused pieces to the Beat and this really fits the bill.
One thing that i found very interesting was the change in eye holes! If I were editing Spider-man, I would go nuts trying to remember what is “on model” or not. Props to all the artists who’ve made Spider-man a comics icon despite the complicated costume.
ALSO, no change in the costume from 1966 to 1984 — that must be some kind of record!
Amazing and flawless diamonds in Los Angeles are a rare find if you do not know where the upper crust lingers. Diamond & Estate Trust is a private and secure place to sell or purchase diamonds and other rare jewels. Now, finding diamonds in Los Angeles is a breeze, and the affordability of these precious jewels is remarkable too.
Purchasing diamonds in Los Angeles through Diamond & Estate Trust is a safe and private experience. You are treated fairly, and only the most experiences jeweler’s will be on staff to help you throughout the process. After all, truly knowing how to choose a diamond is an art.
A lot goes into knowing the true quality of a diamond or any other precious gem. You have to keep the four C’s in mind: carat, color, cut and clarity. Don’t cut corners.
Consider the budget and purchase the highest cut quality that it will allow. Your jeweler will be able to walk you through the charts if you would like to see them, and they can also explain the clarity and grade of the diamonds that you are considering.
You may want to look at the first diamond with more than the naked eye. There are 10X magnifying glasses available in most jewelers’ locations, and these will show the flaws in the stone. You do not want a stone with a visible flaw to the naked eye.
There are also color options like D grade, ice white and fine white just to name some. You will have a professional to walk you through these differences as well as they are significant to the price of the stones that are being considered. You will also want to inquire about the fluorescence of the diamond. If it is oily or milky looking under UV lights it could reduce the value of the stone considerably.
Carat is one of the important aspects of picking diamonds in Los Angeles. That is after all what the “good stuff” is measured by! The more carats there are the more money you are going to spend. While it is seemingly the underlying basis of value it should be the last thing considered. It is the “stone quality” that you need to confirm first.
So, have a budget in mind when you come in. Do a little bit of research on diamond quality and pricing. Leave the rest to the jeweler’s that are trained to help you make the best decision. They can even offer advice on popular cuts for different occasions.
Don’t take chances with your privacy or security, and always go with people that you know that you can trust.
Never shop online with a company that you have never heard of. You want to see, feel and compare the stones before making the investment, and diamonds are investments.
Diamond & Estate Trust is located at the Pershing Square Building at 448 S Hill St, Suite 415 in LA, CA. You can easily contact them by calling 213.622.9700 or 213.622.9711.
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This was another little experiment playing around with pattern mashups. I traced a favorite T-shirt to make a pattern, then played around with the shoulder width (the original shirt had sleeves) until it felt right. I finished the arm and neck holes with a banded treatment. I especially like the floral edging with the stripey part.
I’m pretty happy with the results, though there are plenty of imperfections. I’d like to try another using a walking foot on my machine. I think I can get a smoother finish that way.
Unfortunately the color didn’t come out so great on these photos, so I don’t think they quite do it justice, but what can I say? There are only so many hours in a day a girl can spend on modeling, am I right?
My nine-year-old wants to steal this shirt, so that makes me feel pretty successful. The fabrics are once again from Girl Charlee, and I love their softness and fun prints, but I’d also love to see more fabrics that are over 90% natural fibers and am willing to pay. It gets too hot so quickly around here to be wearing fabrics with a fair amount of poly. My two cents.
Okay, back to work. I have to prepare a presentation I’m doing with some fifth graders next week about writing an early reader.
Hope you have a great weekend. I finally have plans to see The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yippeee!
If you want to see more of my sewing adventures/ experiments, click here.
Biscayne Beach Project Strengthens Miami’s Drive for Metropolitan Status
The latest buzz on Luxury Condos in Miami Beach FL is the Biscayne Beach project, and it is stirring up a lot of excitement. Part of a new condo boom, the official sales office opened last week, but it has been attracting potential buyers for quite some time. Of its 399 units, 244 are already reserved, 10 percent of which are now contracts.
As Miami thrusts forward to become a major metropolitan city, the luxury condominium project Biscayne Beach will strengthen that effort when it breaks ground this spring.
Biscayne Beach will be completed in 2016, rising 51 stories high, and featuring 12 cabanas along its 344 linear feet of bay front property. These luxury condos in Miami Beach FL will boast amenities that include a zero-entry beach pool, tennis courts, full gym and spa, a restaurant, play and business rooms, and an additional pool on the sixth floor.
Luxury Condominium project Biscayne Beach, Brings the Beach to the City
Since Biscayne Beach luxury condos are located in the heart of the city of Miami, the airport is also accessible via the rapid transit, a great benefit to the Biscayne Beach project. Its most desirable asset however, is its location directly along Biscayne Bay, in the East Edgewater district, allowing Biscayne Beach luxury condominiums to bring the beach to the city.
The East Edgewater neighborhood is destined for high-end residents and to become a hub for exclusive shopping, dining, and arts and culture. The recent opening of the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the $35 million Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, currently under construction are indicative of this fast-growing, up and coming, first-rate area.
No doubt that these luxury condominiums will interest the many foreign buyers already attracted to the popularity Miami is gaining, as well as a growing number of buyers from New York, and even prominent locals. Preconstruction prices for the Biscayne Beach project range from $400,000 to million dollar prices for 885 to 3,789 square feet and high class penthouses.
The Biscayne Beach project is one of 47 new condo towers projected for the Greater Downtown Miami market. As buyers advance with enthusiasm to the newly developing area, these Luxury Condos in Miami Beach FL strengthen Miami’s efforts to be on the world map of major cosmopolitan cities to visit.
Tada! I finally worked up the nerve to finish this dress, after lots of fear over working with silk. It’s got plenty of flaws (ahem, wonky tonky hem), but I’ve gone ahead and declared it wearable because…I like it anyway. After all that work, I’m not resigning it to the closet.
The silk (crepe?) was gifted to me by a friend who was moving. The original color, blue-grey, was a bit too pale for me, so I overdyed it (click here for before and after). That was over a year ago!
I cut the pattern out way too big, I think overcompensating for fit issues in my first Anda, which was a wee bit snug in the booty. So then I had to cut the silk version down, but when I finished, the sleeves stuck out in the oddest, ugliest way. I’ve since learned how to use bias tape better—-that might’ve been the problem. Great bias tape tutorial here at Collette Patterns.
I cut off the sleeves and used the bias tape as a facing, which worked much better.
I’ve worked on the hem some since these pictures were taken, and I will keep tweaking, but I don’t know if it’s ever going to be just so. I’m okay with that. I found another tutorial at Collette Patterns about rolled hems, but it’s too late to re-do this one completely.
I have to say, working with silk really is tricky, but I think I learned a few things, and I’d try it again. If you’re sewing with silk, another helpful resource is Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch. She offers helpful silk sewing tips here. Now I need a tutorial on ironing silk. I swear, I did iron it before these photos were taken.
Sandals: gift from my friend (via Vietnam via Texas via Germany)
Necklace: a gift from my in-laws.
Photographers: my kids (5 and 9) Didn’t they do a great job? My primary photographer was, um, watching golf and could not be disturbed.
For more of my sewing, check out this link. This was my third Anda, the second being a linen colorblock one. I’m sure I’ll make more Andas, but I think it’s about time for me to move on to something else.
Have a great weekend! And oh, if you’re into Instagram, I’m finally actually using it, so you can find me there at emilysmithpearce. I’d love to see you there.
Been working like crazy this last year, but so much has been digital. Every so often I have to just step away from the monitor and splash some paint around in my sketchbook. Here is the result.
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This dress is fairly Eastery for September, but that didn’t stop me from wearing it when I finished it last weekend.
It’s a whole lotta pink! A little girlier than I’d intended. I just can’t seem to stop picking up pink fabric.
The pattern is the Lisette Passport Dress (Simplicity 2209) by Liesl Gibson. While it’s not a particularly intricate pattern, it’s the most ambitious one I’ve sewn so far, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s not perfect, but I’m proud of the finishing work and the fitting I did. Special thanks to my friend Amy G., seamster extraordinaire, who helped me figure out how to shorten the straps after I’d already completely finished them. That was the trickiest bit.
I had read that inserting the zipper as instructed was frustrating, so I ended up using an invisible zipper and this tutorial instead.
Besides the zipper part, the directions are very good, better than most commercial patterns I’ve used recently.
The linen fabric came from the fabric market in Hannover, Germany from when we lived there. Silver necklace from silversmith Gaines Kiker in Blowing Rock, NC. Silver earrings from a shop in Brookline, MA—-they’re over 10 years old so I don’t remember the name, sorry. Belt from Marshalls.
I’m already cutting out another version of the dress—if I can just figure out how to line it. For more of my sewing, click here.
In other news, I’ve really been getting into my nonfiction book project. So good to feel it finally starting to gel. A hint: it has to do with fashion.
Coming up on the blog: green beans! Craft books! All kinds of thrills.
Here’s one of my best sewing creations yet, from this Lisette pattern (the Traveler dress). Yet another pink-ish dress!
It took me a long time, but I did it! The buttonholes were the scariest part, but turns out my sewing machine salesman was right: if you practice twelve times (on the appropriate fabric) you can make them beautifully.
I made no alterations to the pattern other than to leave off the bottom pockets and to use two different sizes for the top and bottom (aha! That’s why I have trouble fitting in store-bought dresses).
My girl loves knits. She’s nine now, but ever since I can remember, comfort has been her style priority. More often than not, this means knit fabrics. I really hesitate to buy her anything that’s made of wovens.
Occasionally, though, I have trouble finding as much variety as we want. (okay, there’s Mini Boden, which I love, but I’m not in love with their prices). This tunic was an experiment that started out as a dress in my mind. Until I ran out of fabric. Actually, I think if the pattern sizing was anywhere near the mark it probably would’ve made a dress, no problem.
I thought I’d try making a raglan T-shirt into a dress by lengthening the bottom, since raglan sleeves can be easier to deal with than the standard set-in kind. I used See & Sew B4322, which is really a pajama pattern, but that was the closest thing to what I wanted that I could find in the fabric store.
The directions are nice and straightforward, but like I said, the pattern sizing is off by a mile. I know my daughter is slim, but she’s not far off normal store-bought sizing. We ended up with, like, six inches of ease on the sides and a Flashdance neck.
But anyway, I made it work. I hacked off the sides, took in the shoulders, and gathered the neck (this was pre-finishing). I added a wide waistband what I had leftover, and I’m actually pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s long enough that she can wear it with leggings, which was the goal in the first place.
I realize I could’ve done a better job with the bow pattern (I’m pretty unexperienced with patterned fabric) but Little Miss doesn’t seem to care, so I don’t, either. Next time, I think I’ll just trace clothes she already has, rather than use that pattern (though the directions are still helpful).
The fabric came from Girl Charlee. I’ve been enjoying sewing with their fabrics. They are good quality and very reasonably priced, cute selection. If you’re a beginner with knits, I’d recommend going with medium weights. They are easier to work with. I do love these bows!
For more of my sewing adventure, click here. Hope you have a great weekend!
I don’t even watch basketball, but while passing TVs of late I noticed some guy playing basketball who seemed to be wearing a sinister mask that made him look like Doctor Doom’s henchman. Turns out it’s Lebron James, who broke his nose a few weeks ago and has been wearing a protective device since then. It does kind of look like a Green Lantern type thing, but it doesn’t look very comfortable.
Despite his discomfort, Lebron was able to score 61 points against the Charlotte Bobcats the other night. (For non sports fans, that is quite a few points.)
Lebron is not unaware of the comics connection with his mask, telling the AP that he was going to “wear a mask like Bane, or some other comic book character. I’ve been talking to Marvel Comics for the last couple of days, and DC Comics, to try to come up with one of the greatest masks of all time.”
I don’t know how long he’ll have to wear the mask, but time may be running out, so Greg Land jumped right on it and tweeted his design:
If Lebron, one of the most popular athletes in the world, DOES show up i a superhero themed mask, I think it will be the ultimate “Milk Council” moment for comics. I’ve long said we don’t need a Milk Council any more, but there it is.
What comics artist would you like to see design the mask for Lebron? Personally, I’d go with Eichiiro Oda or Renee French…something like that.
Speaking of Comic-Con, Ashley Eckstein of Her Universe, the Star Wars themed clothing line, has announced a “geek couture” contest for designers at this year’s show. Eckstein showed up at a Pi Day party wearing a Darth Vader Dress and her website provided some sketches to inspire potential designers, such as the Transformers Windblade outfit (above) and the Captain Kirk frock (below.) While the clothing designs must be for women, the contest is open to all, and the skyrim is the limit.