Monday, April 27, 2009

Creepy Scrawly

I am fond of the creepy photos of Nikoline Liv Anderson's fashion designs. Thus, she served as my muse today. I also wanted to explore the oil paint function using my BAMBOO tablet and I think the fur turned out well. I just want to keep illustrating all day and night, but alas I must work and sleep...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Portrait de Monica

I told you, I can't get enough of my BAMBOO tablet! Monica is a really good friend and a complex character. She recently moved to Portland, OR and I miss her dearly. So, I did this portrait in her honor. I wanted to practice my BAMBOO technique so I tried to simulate an illustration that I found on the internet, I believe the artist is named Will Rail and I would like to thank him for the inspiration.

Bamboo Is Fun

I'm super excited about my new BAMBOO Wacom tablet! Craig and I have been talking about how great it would be to be able to use a Wacom tablet in order to do graphic art, since it is very difficult to draw with a mouse. I was apprehensive to buy the affordable BAMBOO tablet since I heard that it was like MS Paint compared to Adobe Photoshop in the tablet market, but the others are just too expensive. So, I decided to give it a shot, anyway. I've only had it for 24 hours and I am totally sold. It came with a Corel Paint program that has brushes that work exactly like oil paint, watercolors, markers and more and I absolutely love it. It makes doing art easy, fun and stress-free! I whipped up this little sketch in less than ten minutes and all I want to do is make more! Oh the possibilities...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Heart Art

Friday night was a blast! Not only did I get to hang out with my females, but I also got to see the upward evolution of Craig's space at The Emerald in the West Bottoms. Craig (my boyfriend) is part owner of a boutique gallery, Collective Kansas City, that is in its beginning stages. The raw space has a very industrial warehouse feel, like many of the spaces in the West Bottoms. To begin making money without any start-up capital, they began throwing a party called BOTNET every Saturday night that became an instant success with all the hipsters. Now the space is evolving into what it was conceptualized to become, an art space. Four KCAI students held their senior show in the space. They were allowed to completely transform the space and it really set the bar for art shows in Kansas City. The hard opening will be on First Friday in May and I'm sure it will be even more amazing. My photos do not do the space justice, but you can catch a glimmer of the vibe. At least I photographed my ladies well.

BTW, Rum+Fanta=Rumanta which equals delicious fun!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Project Bloodway

For National Laboratory Week at the Community Blood Center, we are treated to free lunches, bagels and treats, but my favorite part is the fashion show at the end of the week they dubbed Project Bloodway. Each lab could enter a creation that reflected the processes of the lab, the only stipulation being we had to begin with a paper lab coat. Pictured below, I am modeling a gorgeous oversized paper lab coat.

I wanted to take my design seriously, mixing fashion and function, like the designers do in the challenges on Project Runway. I had a good time trash talking my friends in other labs since that is a fun part of any competition. I even went so far to say that if I didn't win, I was going to quit fashion. Below, my friends and previous managers from the Product Testing Lab went with a wedding theme and had some great shock value with the cross-dressing, a major crowd-pleaser.

Second place went to the Immunohematology Lab for their multi-faceted design, pictured below. I was a little worried when I saw how much time they had put into their lab coat. Not only had I placed my career in jeopardy with my vow to quit fashion if I lost, but there was a shiny trophy at stake!

Below is the monologue that I wrote to explain the design and how it related to our lab work:

As you well know, saving lives is the new black, so we always look chic in the Components Lab. This cute little dress exemplifies Spring '09's hottest trends while depicting the workflow of our lab at the same time.

Stephanie, you spin us right round baby with that stylish ruffle skirt, the hottest look on the runway. The ruffles are placed at an angle to represent the spinning of the centrifuge, one way we separate the blood into its components, basically cryo, plasma and red cells.

Applique is very trendy right now and those snowflake appliques around the collar keep Stephanie looking cool while representing the frozen cryo that is collected at the top of the bag and is used to treat burn victims, for example.

Belts can really pull an outfit together this Spring. The plasma belt accentuates Stephanie's tiny waist, giving her a flattering silhouette, while depicting the plasma, the layer found below the cryo that is used by chemotherapy patients, for instance.

Last but not least, the red polka dots add a pop of color, while simultaneously representing the layer of heavy red cells that are collected at the bottom of the bag and used to save many people's lives. Thank you Stephanie for being a model of the smart and stylish Components Lab.

I will be continuing with my career in Fashion Design because I was deemed Top Designer for Project Bloodway 2009!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shaking and Stripping (It's Innocent!)

Nordstrom has created a wonderful environment for their employees and I learned a lot from my experiences there. I definitely have better social skills because of that job and those will serve me well in New York. However, due to the economy, I decided to go back to my prior job at the Community Blood Center. The Product Testing Lab that I was in before I went to Nordstrom was full, so they created a temporary position for me in the Components Lab. The pay and hours are good so I can't complain. However, if I was to complain, it would be because I shake bags of blood we call "Alyx" literally for seven hours a day. The bags have a long tube attached that fills up with blood, so I use the "strippers," in the upper right hand of the photo, to strip the blood back into the bag, clamp the tubing with the hemostats and manually shake the bags of blood, two at a time. After I repeat that process twice more, I use the tube sealer to make segments in the tubing in order for the hospital to test the blood before they use it.

Isn't that exciting? Nope, not really, but I can feel good that the blood I shake saves people's lives. That is what keeps me going day-to-day, that and my iPod, oh and the fact that I only have to do it for three more months because I'll be leaving for New York in August!!

Did you know that only blood products collected from unpaid donors can be transfused into hospital patients? If someone is paid for their plasma, that plasma goes to companies that produce testing supplies that blood centers use to test the donated blood.

Now, I need to get back to work on my creation for Project Bloodway, details to come.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Week in Style

I realized long ago that when I looked good, I felt good. Lately, since I've been taking photos of my ensembles, I've been more conscious of what I wear. Here is a week worth of my wardrobe and my reflection on each day.

On a Monday morning, you don't want to try too hard so this was a cute and simple outfit and I felt completely relaxed in it. The shirt dress is a great basic, it can be worn multiple ways. I can wear it belted, unbelted, with leggings, with jeans, or go bare-legged on a hot summer day. When I wear this I feel put together but not like I'm trying too hard and I will definitely wear this one again.

By Tuesday I'm ready for a little fun and experimentation. This dress is from American Apparel and as you can see, it is very tight. I was self-conscious about my body all day in this outfit, but I still like the way it looked. I knew I was wearing an attention-grabbing outfit and I just had to be confident and work it. I have more comfortable clothes than this, so this outfit won't be what I seek out in the near future.

After wearing such an extreme outfit on Tuesday, it was time for some extreme relaxation on Wednesday. This black linen tunic is so easy. It has a tie belt so it gives some shape but covers in all the right places. It is also a great basic because it can be worn in the same ways as my other shirt dress. I was feeling completely at ease midweek.

Uh, oops I did it again. After being so relaxed on Wednesday, I guess I was feeling a little angsty. I think I like this outfit, minus the boots. I've had these boots with straps up the sides for years and never wore them, until Thursday. After walking in them for 8 hours, I think the pain in my feet closed the deal, I kinda hate those boots. Without them, the clothes would have looked more appealing and less "motorcycle slut," pardon the term. Maybe with flats next time.

I was in need of a feminine Friday. My little black jersey dress, so comfortable and so versatile. I dressed it down with my belt and flesh-toned sweater, the sweater's length is perfect for dresses. As you can see, I love to mix black and brown and that was also reflected in my houndstooth tights. I was completely comfortable in this outfit and I'm sure I will wear a variation of it soon.

This was my favorite outfit all week because it was simple yet stylish, sexy but still modest. The ruffle top was a rediscovery, worn only a few times, the belt really set it off. The brown warms up the black and the feminine necklace adds to the softness of the ensemble. I wish all of my outfits made me feel this good.

Sunday usually calls for relaxation and my knit tank dress was just the number. I love wearing my black shirt paired with my black tights under dresses, it makes the look complete. I added this sequin scarf for a little bit-o-fun, I love the unique color of it. Ahhh, simple Sunday.