Friday, March 6, 2015

The No Pet Deflector

So, you really want a pet.  But, your parents say no (and grunt.) I'll bet you're saying,  "what do I do next, Windafire?" Well I'll tell you.  Say, "why not?" And Listen. 
These are some of the things you're gonna hear and good answers.

1. Keeping a pet is a big responsibility.
Well I always do my work even when I'm not told to do it.

2. Well, we have allergies.
If you want a mammal, well, try these kind of dogs. Havanese,  Yorkshire Terrier,  Poodle,  Xoloitzcuinle,  Brusseles Griffon,  Shih Tzu,  Bichon Frise,  etc.

3. Well,  I don't like dog stench. Ferrets, are even worse. And I don't want hair everywhere.
Then, let's get a fish.

4. Fish die easily.
If not fish, then maybe a Bearded dragon? Bearded Dragons don't stink. They are very cool and easy to care for. They are affectionate and live for nine to ten years.  But, we have to wash our hands after cleaning out its cage. Sometimes, their feces carry an infection, so you have to use a disinfectant soap.  (Which is just a generally good idea after dealing with any pet.)

The trick is to know about the pet that you want.  So, you should research a lot about that pet.  Have patience. There are lots and lots of different kinds of pets that suit people's different needs.

Let me know what kinds of special pets you know of in the comment section.


Monday, May 26, 2014

"An Evolved Sharing Consciousness" Tereneh Mosely

It took me a very long time to write this blog.  Way back in February, Miss Tereneh Mosely took time to come over and visit with me.  She is very busy right now, starting her own fashion line.  She isn’t starting just any fashion line.  She’s starting a fashion line with a collective of Masai women in Kenya, East Africa.

I’m still really thinking about everything she said.  I think that is what took me so long to write this blog.  But, I’ll share some of the notes my Mom helped me take from our visit. This blog is mostly in her own words.

“I had first gone to Kenya about 10 years ago. I had gone to a Masai village with a friend who had helped.  She was honored in a ritual.  The next morning some of the women were stretching out the hides. I asked to take a picture. They stopped and adjusted their clothes.  I wondered how to connect indigenous communities together. When I finished my teaching job in Asia, I used my last paycheck to go back and start this line.”

When Miss Mosely got to Kenya, she says “The Olorgesailie cab driver didn’t know where I was staying existed.  It’s near Tanzanian border.   Next to two extinct volcanoes.  Near a Smithsonian archeological dig which is part of human evolution site. It has the largest collection of stone tools.  

I take morning hikes and I see these amazing pieces of stone. the whole ground is ash.  During the day, when you look up at the sky or down at the ground your eyes are burning because the ash reflects the light.   There are stone tools everywhere.  It seems that back then, people would make it, use it and throw it away. No one had a toolbox.  The people who made these tools didn’t didn’t seem to live there.”

Like the stone tools which seem to have been left for someone else to use, Ms Mosely takes about the women she is working with on her clothing line. 

“They have an evolved sharing consciousness. They’ve taught me a lot.  For example when I talk to them about paying them for design.  Originally, there 24 women.  The number kept getting bigger.  So, I had to explain to them that we had agreed on one amount.  They responded, “WE would be more willing to get less individually than exclude anybody.” 

According to Ms. Mosely, this attitude applies to everything.  “The last day I was there, I had food left over. I had rice, salt, sugar. I asked if it be okay if I brought it to the woman. They said yes. So, when I came the next day, instead of each person taking the bag, they would take a handful of rice. A tablespoon of honey.  A teaspoon of salt.  They shared everything.  Here, in the United States, someone would take the whole bag. There they shared everything. It was an amazing look at a functioning community. It’s why they survived so long.”

We talked about the way fashion designers are taking ideas away from African and Native American people.  I wasn’t sure what else to ask about using the Masai women’s ideas and culture.  What she said makes me realize that her line is about being respectful and sharing.

“There is something about the Masai that I’ll never know or understand.  And there are secrets that I’ll never know. And I’m fine with that. There is jewelry that I can never buy, because it is just for them. And I’m okay with that.”

Of course we talked about ideas.  I think we are a lot alike.  She says, “I don’t get my ideas from fashion. I get them from nature, music, architecture, fine arts is a big influence. The idea of what that person’s life would be like wearing outfit. I think about where they’d wear it why how.  Theres something about how we dress about how we communicate our idea of self to the world.  For the evening gown for the first Masai collection, I’m thinking about someone going into the Oscars or a state dinner at the White House looking beautiful and like themselves and like no one else.”

I think being in Kenya and near that archeological dig is having an influence on her. “They way that I start of is I try to make it as small as possible.   I’m envisioning two nomads, one suitcase. I think we can use less stuff, not more stuff.  I started with an idea of having men, women and unisex stuff.  That people could share their wardrobes.  We have a day dress that you would wear to the office.  We have an evening gown.  Both are inspired by the Masai women’s way of draping the kanga...the wrap. We have a white shirt and black suit that are unisex that are based on the draping of the men’s shuka...the men’s fabric draping.  The suit jacket is going to have some hidden beading.  It’s Chanel inspired.”    

It sounds very exciting.   I can’t wait.  Now, you can see why I’ve been thinking and thinking about our time together.  She is very nice.  I am lucky to know her.

Lesson Learned: I am lucky to know amazing people.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Some Celebrities Do Care

I just went to Eras Of Black Style last night.  I loved it.  I met Beverly Johnson, Constance White and Tereneh Mosley.  I also got to see Demeatria Boccella and her partner Darnell McLaurin from Fashion Africana. I've been to their Pittsburgh fashion shows.  He had on the most fabulous silver shoes I've ever seen.  I would know because I've been wearing silver shoes since I was two.

Windafire, Christina Springer,
& Beverly Johnson
The reason why I am so excited about this is because Beverly Johnson is the first Black woman to be on the cover of Vogue Magazine.  That's a big deal because if she had given up her dream to be a model, people wouldn't think Black people could be beautiful.  She wanted to keep making money, because she knew that she wouldn't stay pretty for very long.  But, she was wrong.  She's still gorgeous! She picked a great fashion business.  And what is it you say?  Wigs!  If your hair doesn't match your outfit, or the color is all wrong, you don't have to dye your hair.  You can just put on one of her wigs.

Constance White & Windafire
in my original ensemble.
Constance White was the editor of Essence Magazine, style editor for The New York Times and Elle. She made sure the the word spread that Black people have always looked awesome. Look at your Vogue today! It has lots of Black people in it. Not Really! Just checking that you're still reading.

I learned a lot from her talking. Really,  from everyone talking.  But, she inspired me the most because she helped me look deeper at designers I should know about.  Stephen Burrows is one.  He was copied by European designers.  But, people like Constance remember and tell the story.  I also got her awesome book, "The Kings & Queens Of Style."  I also learned that my styles reflect my heritage because in lots of Black design there has always been shiny, sparkly, color, patterns, fringe and fur.  (I couldn't find a website for the book.)

And then, in the audience, sitting behind me was Tereneh Mosley! She is working in Africa with Massai women on a fashion line. They want clean water, food on a daily basis and electricity.  All of things we have everyday. This fashion line is going to help get them get this.  It's new for African-Americans to work equally with Africans to share profits.  Usually, like the diamonds that you are wearing today, are from some European who held a gun to an African's head and said, "Go work in the mine. Give me the diamonds. And we're not going to pay you that much." But, not Tereneh, she's sharing. 

All of them we so warm and nice to me.  They asked me about myself.  They shared information with me.  They cared.

Lesson Learned: We are Sharing People.

Let me know what you think in the comments. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tim Gunn Stinks

In October of 2013, I wrote a letter to Tim Gunn of Project Runway.  It is now 2014, on the 25th day of February.  He still hasn't written me back.  So, I'm going to share it with you.

Lesson Learned: Don't write letters to celebrities.  They just don't care.

This is the letter I wrote. What do you think?

October 15, 2013
Tim Gunn,
Project Runway Mentor
Lifetime Network
235 45th Street
New York, New York 10017

Dear Mr. Gunn,

I am ten years old.  I am home educated.  I am a young fashion designer. This year I hope to develop and market my own fashion line.  I am starting with up-cycled mini skirts and accessories.  These will be the seed money for my Spring Couture debut.  I learned a lot from Project Runway. Like the importance of pinning, not to only hand sew stuff, and never send a model down a runway looking like a zebra wearing a Cone Of Shame.

Here’s my problem. The new season has too much cussing and inappropriate behavior.  I know you beep most things out, but, words like the b-word and the a-word make me so uncomfortable that I can’t watch.  I have a hard time learning anything over the swearing and beeping. 

I was wondering if you could change your screening policy from choosing people who aren’t really appropriate to good designers who also interesting people.  I mean, if you want drama, just start a new show, “Project Runway: Dark Divas of Design.”  I won’t watch that one.