Sunday, December 23, 2012

Crafternoon Project: Yarn Pom-Poms

How to make a simple yarn pom-pom in less than a half hour. As a kid, I used to make these pom-poms all of the time. I usually gave them all away, however my favorite (BIG) set of pom-poms I tied on to the laces of my roller skates. All you need is yarn,  scissors, a chunk of thinner but strong (cracker box) cardboard. It helps to make the "donut" forms if you have a glass or lid to trace around- but not required. (This is not PRECISION work!)

1. I traced around a glass, then drew in the center circles about the size of a quarter, with a marker.

2. I cut the "donut" forms out with sharp scissors.

3. I put the two forms together and began to wrap the yarn around the forms. This takes some time. I cut lengths of yarn from the can't wrap it directly from the skein. Just cut some yarn, wrap it, cut some more...and so on.

4. Keep scrunching the yarn close side-by-side and wrap a lot of yarn on (this makes them plush!) Do not skimp on the yarn now or you will end up with a thin, sad pom.

5. Once you have wrapped and wrapped...weasel your scissor tip in between the two donut forms (this make a nice valley for your scissors to cut through the yarn. Snip a bit at a time. It goes kind of slow.

6. Gently wedge the donut forms apart: just enough to open it to thread a length of yarn inside to wrap around the core of the yarn. Make this yarn long enough that it is easy to maneuver and leaves you length to hang or attach it to something!

7.Once it is tied....

8. Begin to slowly and gently wiggle the donut forms off the pom on both sides...You should be able to use the donut forms many many times...

9. Trim any loose or uneven ends to make it all even (there are always some rogue ends!)

I tied my pom to our dogs collar (temporarily) thinking she might enjoy a new pretty! But by the look on her face....not so much! To make larger or smaller poms than this medium size...alter the sizes of your donut forms.
This is a project that kids love doing too. If they are younger you will have to help them with the cutting but they will be good at the wrapping part.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Opulent Thrift: Spencer

Tall drink of water, our Spencer knows how to boyishly charm us at every turn. Great set of hand-tooled accessories by Rise Above Leathers by Preston of Cedar Rapids, IA. Lots of cool custom leatherwork on their Facebook page to drool over. And it looked so sharp with the sweet hand-designed and printed baseball tee from Cortie at White Rabbit in Iowa City.

Opulent Thrift: Coco

Literally "leather and lace", Coco embodies the ying and yang of beauty. 

Opulent Thrift: Emily

She looks stunning in orange, peach and bronzes. On a perfect Autumn day in Iowa City.

catalogTKA and Emily make the cover of Little Village Mag!

We are excited that my photo of tender and tough Emily was used for the designer cover of  Dec 2012 Little Village Magazine! It looks super cool. White Rabbit has a great selection of authentic vintage biker jackets by the way.
They can be hard to find!

Opulent Thrift Photoshoot: Alicia

Sass. Sweetness. Alicia is both. And more. Little Miss PunkAngelVintageSweetie. 

Opulent Thrift Photoshoot: Lindsey

Glamourpuss sexy kitten describes our vivacious Lindsey! Photography, Makeup, Styling by Tonya Kehoe-Anderson for catalogTKA. Hair by JoAnn for GSpot Hair Design. Jewelry by Jennifer Black Reinhardt for Age Before Beauty. Dress from Revival

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Salon Beauties

 Beauties at every turn at the Twin Image Open House last Friday night.
I was fortunate to be able to photograph many of the models and staff at the event.
Twin Image Hair Salon and Spa truly knows how to host a fabulous party with the best food and drink, products, models and people.
Packed house! ~TKA

Modern Baroque Brunette Topiary

Classic Beauty Updo
European-inspired sock bun hat with charming peekaboo auburn bangs
Romantic blonde twist with flower

Sock bun "mohawk" post-modern mane

Friday, November 9, 2012

You Can Tell A Lot About A Party By The Shoes

Today I enjoyed shooting the Twin Image Hair Salon and Spa Open House and Modeling event. While it was a long gig 3-8, I enjoyed every moment. All of the staff and talent were dressed like a million bucks and we all loved looking at everyone's pretty shoes. Here are some highlights:

Beyond Pretty!

Power Leopard booties!

Vintage Spectator-type stunners
(this actually from last week's GSpot shoot but I could't resist!)

Everyday Feminism, An Introduction of Sorts

I don’t know about you, but when I look at my closet and everything is clean and available I breathe a sigh of contentment and say to myself, “Look how great today is going to be! I have all these options and choices!” Now, we may not all be fashionistas with a shirt in every color and style out there, but you get the point: what instinctually feels better, the freedom and ability to choose or the limitation imposed by a lack of choices and options? Even if, for you, looking at my closet would be overwhelming and you prefer your own 3 or 4 standard issue costume changes, wouldn’t you rather have access to that choice than be restricted from it? This, kids, is the beating heart of feminism thinly disguised as a reason to applaud my walk-in.

Put aside all the garbage that comes to mind when you hear the word “feminism” for a moment, and journey with me to a blissful land envisioned by participants in the feminist movements of our time: a place where equality abounds for all and where we’ve wiped out the traditional heteronormative, sex-and-gender-dichotomous roadmap and set in its place every choice our imaginations could gin up… and the critical RESPECT that would make each and every one valid, celebrated and placed firmly within our reach. Harkening back to the closet (pun fully intended!), perhaps this would leave you feeling a little overwhelmed or unsure of how the world worked?  The beauty of this new world is that you can choose the traditional IF it speaks to and empowers you… you have unlimited choice.

Feminism is a four letter word in many parts of our society, long-suffering a bum rap pigeon-holing it into the camp of radical lesbianism (you know, those man-hating Feminazis you hear so much about) and mischaracterizing it as liberation for only the ladies. I’m here to tell you that when we lift damaging sex and gender stereotypes we ALL win, both women and men. Not sure I’m right? Give it some thought… how many men out there don’t fit that mold of hyper masculinity portrayed on every billboard and assaulting you on every gym advertisement? Maybe you’re rail thin and your look is more androgynous, or maybe there’s a lot of you to love and that pair of 30 inch waist jeans would comfortably hug your upper thigh at best. Maybe you weren’t blessed with an aptitude for sports, maybe you fancy the therapeutic touch of a good cry, maybe you’d rather be in the kitchen than out chopping wood? In any of these scenarios and millions more, you just don’t fit that traditional mold and it’s probably meant, at best, that life has been full of teasing and a search for community. On the flipside, maybe you’re the linebacker who took to ballet like a fish to water or the construction worker creating gorgeous furniture in your free time but afraid to ever share it. Who did those things to us? Made one narrow band of choices the only acceptable ones and left the rest of human behavior in the junk pile?

I can see lights going on over heads. This is Feminism 101, people. Society has a vested interest in us playing the roles that net forces in this world the most money and drive us the most quickly toward that all-consuming goal of populating our planet. The game is rigged that way NOT because nature provides and shows no alternative, but because it benefits someone (or those pesky corporations who now get peoplehood status, too). Why else would the color-coding start at birth (boys get blue, girls get pink… sidebar… ALSO a recent societal invention showing our gender mores DO indeed change!)? Why else would the gender norms be rigidly enforced via teasing and corrective action that alienates nonconformists? You may not fall that far outside the “norm”, but I’ll bet even you wanted a little extra latitude at some point and found instead a redirection back to your prescribed role and behavior.

Ask yourself what the harm would be in more choice and you’ve just started your own feminist debate. Welcome to the team!

Introducing Nicky Knockout

Hello Gentle Reader,

My name is Nick and while I've only known Tonya a short time, our combined fabulousness speaks volumes! She's engaged me to contribute here on what we hope to be a regular basis... I'm casually calling this the WORLD'S GREATEST EVER COLLABO!

About me: I live and work in Chicago, and writing about fashion and politics makes me insanely happy! I've been trying to find a way to take some of my individual Facebook posts on weighty topics to a larger audience, so here I am! I have a BA in Psychology, Sociology and Women's Studies from Cornell (the Iowa one), so if you were wondering why some of these topics appeal to me... well, now you know. I'm fascinated by the human condition in all its facets and in the exploration of topics other people deem "impolite". Just get people talking and often you find a way around differences, both large and small, through respectful and informed dialogue. That's why I'm here, that's what I'm hoping to create.

Hello, world. I'm ready for that close-up!

~Nicky Knockout

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Featured Hair Stylist: JoAnn LS of GSpot Hair Design, Iowa City IA

Meet JoAnn, she does hair. Great hair. And in the interest of full disclosure, she does my hair.

Last Sunday at the catalogTKA photoshoot, for Little Village Magazine, JoAnn created a series of beautiful hair creations to accompany the make up that I did on the 5 models we were working with. 
Somehow she makes it easy for me when I am styling and doing makeup to nail the exact right kind of hair look that unifies the clothes and face. 

Magic? It must be magic.
(or probably talent and ten years of experience)
JoAnn prepares Alicia's hair for her updo.

Sassy! I told JoAnn I was thinking a mix of classic and Janelle Monae. Boom!
(Photo by Heather Atkinson)

 As JoAnn was working on the models I could see that she was using many Bumble & bumble products like hair powder, hair spray and Sumo waxes. I personally love the essential oil scent of Tonic. She usually spritzes some on me before I get my hair done because it is like a mini spa moment.
And as busy as I am, I will take a millisecond of aaaaahhhhhhh whenever and wherever I can find it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Scarf Lessons! (for charity and fun)

Want to have fun learning about scarves? Ever see people wearing them in ways that turn you green with envy? I think we can remedy that problem!
Come join my SCARVERY workshop at REVIVAL! 
All proceeds go to The Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP).

Bring your own 

scarves and/or buy some new scarves at REVIVAL! 

Revival Clothing Store(Sheila-owner) and Heather Atkinson Art will be joining me to make this the best evening of scarf tomfoolery ever! 

Call Revival to RSVP - a $5 donation will hold your spot.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Opulent Thrift: a photoshoot and Holiday Style spread for Little Village Magazine

I love creating photoshoots. There, I said it. I love crafting a theme, visualizing the end product, scheduling the shoot, lining up talent (models and hair), pulling pieces for fashion styling from retailers and designers, doing make-up on the models, styling ensembles, doing interesting things with accessories, photographing the models, bringing out the best in everyone and bouncing ideas off one another during the shoot. 

The latest shoot is for a Holiday Style 4-pg color spread to be published in the December 2012 issue of Little Village Magazine. It is no secret that I am hoping and trying to become the editor of a Style section in the magazine (currently that does not exist and I am editing Food and Dining Culture). I hope to create a "What to Buy- What to Wear- What to Gift" type of  Style section. I am appreciative of the local retailer's support in my endeavor (Catherine of Catherine's and Iowa City Pop Up Stores (Merci), Sheila of Revival, Todd of Artifacts, Cortnie of White Rabbit, Codi at Home Ec and Niki at RSVP. 

My vision for this project was to showcase a unique and diverse set of models in wardrobe that is both accessible and aspirational. (From cheap to "I want that for my Holiday Gift!")

The shoot went as smoothly as ever (although we did miss Monica, a model who is a doula and had a client going into labor so she could not participate - ok, fine - a good enough reason) and with the help of my wonderful Personal Assistant (PA), Wendy, the day flew by and we had a wonderful time. 

We couldn't have done it as well without the generosity of GSpot Hair Design for allowing us to utilize the salon for prep HQ. 

I always like to work with my best friend, Heather Atkinson (of Heather Atkinson Art and Feedsack blogs) She makes me laugh, has amazing ideas and takes wonderful photos. We seem to complement each other's abilities and she always makes work like this seem like play. We are a great team. 
(She has joined catalogTKA as an admin and will also be contributing to the blog, super yay!)

As editing and curating photos for the magazine layout is taking place, we will be posting photos that are not selected for publication to share and enjoy with all of you. Why not?!

Lastly, thank you for following catalogTKA and supporting us with your readership, sharing of posts, and thoughtful comments. 

We appreciate it! ~TKA

Alica: our classic rock star and Billie Holiday-esque beauty prepares for some close-up shots.

(credits are on each photo)

Spencer: handsome and youthful, tall - with a touch of edge - wears a custom tee by Cortnie at White Rabbit (on Facebook) and a totally custom-made tooled belt and triple-layered leather watch cuff made by Preston at Rise Above Leathers. Rise Above Leathers does guitar straps, cuffs and all kinds of custom leather work ( also on Facebook) 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fashion Styling Mission: Curate Tina's Wardrobe (PHASE 1)

Tina is 30. Every morning, she looks at her closets (two large side-by-sides! Lucky girl.) and stares. And stares.

Her beloved is moving in soon and she knows she has to make some changes. Tina wants her closets to only hold "go-to" pieces that work for her. She is, like many of us, so dreadfully tired of not knowing what to wear in a jiffy.  A little background: I've known Tina for several years and she is a bright, bubbly, beautiful and accomplished woman and still, like many of us, she has found herself in a "clothes-rut." Can you relate? I know I sure can.

Her first step towards resolving this problem was simply to let me know. Initially, Tina asked me to come over and help her assemble some cute outfits. No problem! I showed up last Friday and we got right to work. We started with the first Phase. Phase 1 is probably the hardest one: going through the clothes piece-by-piece. This can be a tedious task, requiring the owner to let go of things and to be willing to try on clothes over and over. Clothes belonged, in Tina's case, in several categories:

1. Keep: The garment fits. It is something that looks good and fits well. It is in good shape. It conforms to her new vision of what she wants to wear. These items were tried on and got hung right back up.

2. Keep But Needs Repaired or Altered:  Many of her skirts fit well but were all an inch and a half too long. Her tailor will hem these up for just a few dollars a piece. Proportion is everything. So we made her a tailor and a cobbler pile.

3. Discard: Too worn, wrong color, does not fit into her new vision, time to give it new life by donating it to charity. This was a HUGE pile. She did not struggle at all with this pile. She recognized that she had gotten her money's worth and it was time to move on and hopefully help someone else out in the process. For other people, this is the sticking point: the hardest pile. Which is why I am there to help the client stay true to the vision.

4: Give To Her Sister: There were a few items she knew her sister would love (a couple of darling wrap-style dresses) and we set them aside.

5: Dress Up Bin: Tina hopes to have her niece and perhaps her own children play with the old bridesmaid dresses and accessories that she was keeping so we put them in a bin called "Dress-Up."

6. T-Shirt Quilt Bin: As a competitive athlete, Tina has amassed a lot of race and event tees. These tees are sentimental and she has a bin for the design portion of the tees in order to make a tee-shirt quilt in the future. The other tees that are perfectly good but not of sentimental value went to the charity pile. What a great idea to re-purpose those hard-earned tees! And a super sewing project for the cold winter ahead.

It took us about two hours to go through about 10 years worth of clothes. When I first arrived at Tina's house she showed me magazine pages she had placed in a folder. These were torn-out images of outfits and styles she liked. Wow! What a great help that was for me to see the direction she wanted to take this project. She is in a period of transition, like many of us experience, and wants her clothes to express where she is currently (professional, young-but-not-college-aged, modern, bubbly and hip). Quality fabrics and cuts, modern touches with layers, flattering, and comfortable describes her off-duty look.

I made a section dedicated to her work uniforms (she is a Fire Dept. Lt.), a section for skirts, blazers, dress shorts, dressy tops and casual tops. So, at the end of Phase 1, she could stick her hand in her closet and pull something out that she knows is good. Items that she knows fit her and that she likes. Once we had gone through it all, I discovered some real style gems. A black velvet blazer, a black fitted bustier, three or four nice jackets and much more.

I threw some outfits together very quickly before I left to inspire her and show her she has most of what she needs already! She was thrilled with what I put together. Her black Gap (I recommend these) leggings looked amazing under several dresses and tops. Her soft striped B&W infinity scarf went with so many outfits and was like the cherry on top!
At one point in the mirror, Tina squealed and smiled and instantly saw herself in a whole new way. She started to put things together herself and it was in her words,"life-changing."

I left with a list in my tote bag of garments that Tina needs to fill in gaps.  I will type up this list and send links to possible ideas (personal shopping) for her to consider on her own time. For Tina, we are looking at a few cashmere sweaters (these always go on sale in Dec and Jan) and some patterned leggings and some brown Frye boots.
This way she can budget out her needs as she sees fit while adding quality garments that fit into her new 30's.

Seeing the joy on Tina's face and her newfound enthusiasm was the most rewarding part of my session with her. Sometimes, we all just need someone to help guide us and sort things out. I know that my strength is in curating (whether in art, design, interior design, clothing) and editing. We worked together and also had a lot of fun.

So just what happens in Phase 2? We will go through her shoes and accessories. This is the stage where I come back over and we photograph Tina in some outfits (daytime, date night, going out etc) for reference. I will download them and send them to her in files so she can just look at them and either replicate them or use them for inspiration.

Remember that clutter is emotionally draining and an organized closet is a gift to yourself. I am continually organizing mine because I too, have to keep this in mind. I just feel better when I know that I have what I need, and what I have I like and looks great. I will leave you with this thought: if it is on sale but you don't need it, it doesn't fit well or isn't flattering- you have my permission to give it to charity (Crowded Closet in Iowa City is my charity of choice). It will probably make you feel better. Baby steps!

Bonus Photo:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cleaning house. Taking names

Dyson Vacuum In Flight: Afternoon Delight!

     At the beginning of this summer, I crafted a master list of all the tasks and projects that I wanted to get done by Labor day. Call it whatever you like, ("Horseshit that my PA should be doing" is what I call it), it is an ever-changing list that I live by every summer. This year it included over 20 boring jobs  items such as the following:
                                                   Paint entire main floor of rooms inc. trim work.
                                                   Switch out all outlet covers (old ones were yellowed)
                                                   Install shelves and crown moulding 
                                                   Backyard improvements
                                                   Clean and organize lower level.

     That last S.O.B.  item  took me ALL SUMMER LONG to complete. Today it is 90% done (exception is getting my fashion styling clothes and accessories collection shelved and hung in a spare closet. I think that can be done over a bad-weather weekend) 

     Whatever, let's get to the fun rehash of today's basement-cleaning festival. Lisa, my sister, came down around 10 am and she spotted my vintage silver and fur boots on top of a bag of fashion shoot gear. She couldn't kick off her sandals fast enough! All of the sudden she demanded for me to take pictures in the boots.

"Look what I can do- KICK!"- Lisa.
       Apparently, silver boot time was not over yet. This time it lasted even longer.
          Eagle Eye McGee (Lisa)  had found my second pair (OH.YES. I have more than ONE pair of vintage silver booties. These are embroidered to the max. They are perfect with 60's mini dresses and Raquel Welch-style racing jumpsuits).  Note she is wearing the one-of-a-kind peanut bracelet I made last year for a show. It is missing one google eye. She wore it home.

           Lisa has clearance to handle my glitters. Some of which are made from the tears of Italian Renaissance cherubim. (I think that is where Martha Stewart sources her line of glitters. Pretty certain anyway.)

      Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot Stuuuuufuf. Donna Summer 70's Rollerskating sessh redux. Complete with peanut bracelet and DUBBLE COMBS. You think she waited around long during slow skate? Uh no. Check it.
      Well, it wasn't all fun and games, besides being accused of "taking a pill (?)" when I was in fact, scratching my lip and looking up at the ceiling to see if the light was on...(I WISH I had pills to knock me out instead of being bossed around all day. Dang.) I got chastised for being a professional artist with this shitty paper punch. "Is this your paper punch? I mean it's like max one sheet at a time." Her revulsion is written all over her face. Jesus. I wish I had a better paper punch.

In progress: a Green Bay Packers "Overcharmed" charm bracelet I was making for her friend's birthday
             While she was sorting pens, markers, glitter, dead gluesticks, desiccated spiders and jewelry findings, I was making her friend a Packers charm bracelet because that is what she told me I had to do (Best not to question). I used a mix of vintage and new things in this particular one. I have a ton of disassembled vintage jewelry components with which I craft these kinds of bracelets and necklaces. I don't make earrings or rings. So no one ask.

      Final fitting. She wouldn't let me leave my "jeweler's station" until it was done. I was hungry. Tired. Super thirsty. Oh. Did I mention she is my bossy elder sister? She makes me look like a sleepy sloth? It's true.
      After I was released from the charm bracelet gulag, we took a trip to the 66 station to get her favorite treat ( Amish Glazed Popcorn) LAST BAG!

      I took my spoils. I mean, I paid for them and everything. But after all of that work, I splurged on an icy fountain Coke and some snacks. Bowling Alley Food Snack! Lisa bought me some Gold Rush gum (the nuggets in that little canvas drawstring bag as a reward). 

     LESSON: Sometimes all we need is someone to jump in and help you finish a big job. It's kind of the best gift in the world.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch

Getting to go to the TJ Maxx with Heather and I is kind of like hoping to win the lottery. You really want to, you think it would be super fun and everyone would be totally jealous if it came true! (Just play along). Here are 13 reasons why a day off with us is the most fun anyone could actually ever have.

1. Heather wears her pirate skull scarf AND locates Nelly's Apple Bottom Parfum in about 5 nanoseconds after entering the store. Good thing they have this brand on lock-down.

Double up on Ed Hardy Deodorant anti-stank solids for her two husbands (SJM and David always get matching personal hygiene items. Natch.

I dangled this sandalwood soap-onna-rope above her head so as to mesmerize her and to hypnotize her into buying me lunch. I was hungry for pho soup and it was only 9:35am. "You will get verrrrry generous....."

This forest scented soap had something addictive added to it because it kinda turned my friend into a fiend. "SNNNNOOOORRRTTT. Oh let's look at dresses. Snnnnnoooort."

 I can only keep one eye fully open as I breathe it in....feels so good. But I'm kinda gettin' 'leepy.

This should fit. It is hanging in the 14-16 part of the rounder rack. But it says size 2. Well, *where* it is hanging supersedes any dumb ol' size tag sewn in the garment, right? Goody!

 These are vegan?! 

Hip Hip Hooray. Ho. Hey. Ho. 

Heather struggles here to reconcile her love for the old south labels and Civil War  pickled egg treats with how gross the picked eggs must surely taste. I said I would eat them. I love pickled food. She said that they would only be a click above eating them out of a bar jar where some TB-encrusted trucker arm had been fishing around for pickled eggs about a million times. Sure, I replied, these would be more sanitary. No one bought them. I was sorely tempted however we realized it was 5 min to 11 and we needed to meet another pal for lunch. No eggs for me.

Melissa and Heather did not know I was taking this photo at the time. But they will know after they read this blog post. I am not drinking anything until I get my avacado boba tea! (see below)

A delicious vietnamese treat! Avacado boba tea with tapiocas!

Shrimp Pho. Insanely good. 

Before we left the restaurant, I treated Heather to an arm (gel pen) tattoo! It is of a "suicide tooth" - we made a pact at lunch that before we got left at a county nursing home when we are 100 years old we would craft a suicide tooth to sneak in and chomp as they wheel us through the door. Kind of like the astronaut's cyanide capsules. This tattoo is about 5 inches high. After lunch, she had to go to the vets office. So that was probably awesome for them to see. I told her I can draw it again if she ever wants it on there permanently. (Who wouldn't, right?)