Friday, July 30, 2010

The Style and Beauty Doctor!

One of my favorite style sites is 

The Doctor's real name is Danielle and is a 28 year old banker, image consultant, makeup artist, and President of Urban Glamour, LLC. ..... talk about busy! She still finds time to host a very popular feature on her site, where anyone can ask a style or beauty question. 
'Ask Danielle!'

This morning as I sipped my banana strawberry smoothie and caught up on Danielle's articles, my cousin's beautiful face pops up! I start snappin' in a circle like Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merryweather! Ebony McMichael is Gorgeous! She is The Style and Beauty Doctor's example of beautiful Summer Work Makeup!  Fabulous!!!!!

She says “Thanks again for the makeup ideas. I’m not up on the ‘fancy’ products yet (single mom… Chile please) but I went with the Almay concealer, Iman cream to powder foundation, drug store liquid liner, Bare Minerals mascara, Victoria Jackson blush, and Palladio eye shadows, and MAC Fix spray“.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Denise Fike Designs!

Hi! I'm super excited today! I finally have time to sit down and write about my visit to Denise Fike's studio! Ok.. let's start from the beginning.  I was at a photo shoot with John Wind, his home was being shot for a fabulous magazine spread... and as much as I love the click of the camera, I was distracted by a really cool portrait of John. So while the photography equipment was being moved to another room, I asked about the portrait.
  • Me- John, is this you?
  • John - Yes, its by Denise Fike.
  • Me - Really?
  • John - Do you know her?
  • Me - No, but I'll Google her tonight.
  • John - She's great, ... never without an important hat, high heels, and a smile. In her collage style, she does portraits mixing vintage wallpapers and fabrics with freehand brush work. You'll love her.
  • Me - Maybe we should get some shots for facebook

A week later we posted her portraits on the John Wind - Maximal Art facebook page..... It also gave me a reason to email her, let her know that I love her work and that John has featured her on his page.  One facebook message led to another and .... she says, "Oh if you want to see my work up close come to my studio". Oh Em Gee! Really? I am there!

Denise has a studio on Pine Street, in one of the cool neighborhoods of Philadelphia, and standing among her paintings feels like being backstage at a serious fashion show.  I'm completely surrounded by glamazon girls all standing at attention ready to stomp the runway.  

 And the conversation is immediately comfortable, we're talking about designers, her process, her teaching career... and .... wait for it, she says... Would you pose for me?  Everything that is cool about me went out the window..... and I'm just looking around like a lost puppy.  

Ummm.... Hell yeah, is what I'm thinking, but I say, Ooooh sure, of course!  I had questions prepared but after that, I couldn't put a thought together so we coordinate our schedules for the next meeting.

I float off to my next appointment with Kirk, author of The Marketing Fix: 100 - Words - On (are you following him? Seriously, if you're a blogger, have an Etsy shop, if you're trying to get your name, brand, or product some attention... you should be following this blog).  My appointment is seven blocks away near Rittenhouse Square, (glad I was wearing ballet flats) and the whole way there, I was thinking, what am I going to wear for this portrait? 

I know I want to wear one of John's statement necklaces, and platform heels, other than that... 
I really don't know.  I'm taking suggestions. 

Rhonda Ryan PR-Maximal Art
Special For the Style Shepherd Followers:

This weeks Giveaway is very special!  It's a John Wind Vintage Inspired Gold Brooch!  You're going to have to work for this one. To win, you must be a follower of the  Style Shepherd of course, follow John Wind Maximal Art on facebook, follow Denise Fike Designs on Facebook, and leave a comment with a suggestion of what kind of dress I should wear for the Denise Fike portrait.  All comments must be posted by Wednesday August 4th, 2010 11:59PM. The winner will be chosen by and announced Thursday August 5th, 2010. Comment as many times as you like (no translation yet, comments must be in English). Good Luck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Teaching in Uganda

Pope Benedict XVI called Africa an enormous spiritual lung 
for a humanity that appears to be in crisis of faith and hope. 

My Mother, Joann Ryan went to the beautiful country of Uganda to teach, donate school supplies, and to strengthen a cultural partnership between Saint Raymond's in Philadelphia and Saint Charles Lwanga Bubaare Parish in Ibanda, Uganda. I'm so proud of her! 

 After looking through 100s of pictures, I asked her, "What was the thing that surprised you most?" 
She answered, "The children REALLY want to learn, and teachers are so respected there. They are just so incredibly dedicated to learning, and they're just little children, ...the teaching experience was very different from teaching my American students."

Look who she ran into during her layover in Amsterdam! 
Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University Henry Louis Gates Jr.

 This little girl needed to see what was in Mother's handbag.
Girl after my own heart.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Queer Voice!

Philadelphia has been riding out a serious heat wave! Sweltering!

So, after walking six city blocks to the ICA I was melting, and opening the door to the Institute of Contemporary Art and getting a blast of air conditioning was heaven. One minute I was melting and the next minute I was standing in Super Man's Fortress of Solitude. 

I happen to get there about 1:30 in the afternoon, and by some strange coincidence I was there alone. Amazing! There was no peeking over shoulders or waiting my turn, each part of the exhibit was all mine. In the words of the ICA - Presenting video, installation, and audio works, this group exhibition foregrounds the voice as a material in contemporary art—in particular, a queered voice. Manipulated, mediated, or otherwise affected, the voice present in these works both signals a disengagement with gender norms and with everyday conventions of communication.
So it was all about voices that are different (in part of the exhibit, you can listen to your own voice as if you were a machine or robot, I sang a verse of It's Raining Men... I WAS there alone after all. Then much to the security guard's amusement I started saying Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate like a Dahlek.) All my antics aside the experience pushed me to really focus on each voice as if listening to it in a crowded room. That exercise, made me use listening muscles that I didn't know I had. 

This exhibit ends on August 1st, 2010, so if you haven't seen (heard it) get in there soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Barbara Stanwyck

While watching Carol Burnett on the Joy Behar show, love both of those gorgeous gingers...... Ms. Burnett told a cute story about the fabulous Barbara Stanwyck.  I've been thinking about her a lot, her 'tailored lady' look is all over the runways for Fall 2010.  Going to dig up one of my favorite Stanwyk movies, The Lady Eve' and watch it tonight.

Love this still from the movie. And Henry Fonda looks like someone I know, but he doesn't think so, ... so I won't mention his name.

from the Classical Gal Channel

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wedded Bliss!

Two of my high school chums were recently married, ..... one in Hawaii and one in Jamaica! ... and recently (June really is the month of weddings) through work, I've been reading more wedding blogs and wedding sites than I ever could have imagined. There really is a lot of information and help out there!

I'm not one of those girls who has had it all planned out from the time I was 16 (there will be at least 3 to 4 dress changes, a'la Diana Ross) so, I would need help.... and by the way, I'm not making any announcements. Let's move on.

There's invitations, location, menu, music, bridesmaids gifts, ..... Flowers! Oh God, the amount of flower choices available are mind boggling. A theme!!! Linens! The wedding shower, the bachelorette party, who is going to be your Maid of Honor.  Can you have four Maids of Honor?!  Well, if you're a heterosexual American it looks like anything goes! God bless us it's time for some real change, time for same-sex couples to be legally married in the United States. To learn more and get involved go to Human Rights Campaign or Lambda Legal.

So, where was I? Right, there are more sites than you can shake a tail feather at if you're going to jump the broom.  My favorites are The Indie Bride and Aisle Dash for helpful hints on EVERYTHING wedding related.

This gift from Panties by Post is the gift that keeps on giving.  Thank you Sydney Loves Fashion!

The contest on the Lucky Bride, are unbelievable! You can win this John Wind Pin Set just by leaving a comment on his facebook page about a wedding memory, or a fantastic wedding story. Hurry, this contest ends on July 9th!

Check out these cool sites/blogs too!
Weddings on the French Riviera
Bliss Tree
African American Wedding Hairstyles & Hairdos
Wedding Aces
Strictly Weddings

Rhonda Ryan PR- MaximalArt 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Big News from the Creative Connection!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July, 2010

Ahhhh BBQ at my Uncle Frank's! 

Normally, when I hear barbecue, I think..... Oh no, what am I going to eat? I hope there's enough sides to fill up my plate. How many times will I have to say, no thank you, I'm a vegetarian?

I feel terrible when the host has gone through hell and high water to create the perfect menu, and then here I am .... with a scoop of  potato salad and carrot sticks on my plate.  Well! I need not have worried because Uncle Frank was ready for everyone. Along with enough meat to feed a herd of lions, he also served two kinds of seafood salads, macaroni salad, two kinds of potato salad, yams, greens and more veggies than I could have imagined .... delicious!

This is me, doing my imitation of Wendy Williams', 'Hah you doin?'

The best moment of the afternoon was when I asked Aunt Bern when she was going to get a facebook account.  She framed her face with perfectly manicured nails and says, "Here's my face, ... let me know when you need to see it." 

We had a wonderful time!  Nothing like old school jams, good food, family and friends.