Blog Recap: Ananda’s Lifestylista Field Trip to Macy’s DC Spring Essentials Fashion Show

Ananda at Macy's Spring Fashion Show on March 28
Ananda at Macy’s Spring Fashion Show on March 28

Happy Digital Sisterhood Wednesday!

Since it’s Digital Sisterhood Wednesday, I thought I would share my lifestylista field trip  highlights from the Spring Fashion Show I attended last week at Macy’s Metro Center in Washington, D.C. The Fashion Show featured style expert and author Daisy Lewellyn

Ananda, Xina Eiland, Jazzy Jones, and Macy's Staff at Spring Fashion Show on March 28
Ananda, Xina Eiland, Jazzy Jones, and Macy’s Staff at Spring Fashion Show on March 28

Before the show, I met up with my Blogalicious digital sisters, Xina Eiland and Jazzy Jones. We had a chance to reconnect and talk about our plans for the spring season.

Style expert and author Daisy Lewellyn
Style expert and author Daisy Lewellyn

During the show, Daisy, the “Queen of Effortless Chic,” shared that she was a Howard University graduate (love that we are HU Bisons!) and gave five tips for Spring wardrobe essentials. Check out the photos and tips below.

Peplums are big this spring!
Peplums are big this spring!

Tip #1 – Peplum: Daisy recommended that women add a peplum top or dress to their wardrobe. The top could be paired with a skirt or pants. I love peplums. I wore them a lot during the late 1980s!

Lace is huge this spring!
Lace is huge this spring!

Tip #2 – Lace: Daisy encouraged women to wear colorful lace. I fell in love with the yellow lace dress. It reminded me of my Aunt Paulyne’s vintage 1960s peach lace dress I wore to my law school graduation at Howard University in the late 1980s.

Pullover sweaters are key to a woman's spring wardrobe this year!
Pullover sweaters are key to a woman’s spring wardrobe this year!

Tip #3 – Pullover Sweaters: Daisy suggested women incorporate pullover sweaters in their spring wardrobe. She used First Lady Michelle Obama’s sweater style as an example. I ADORE pullover sweaters especially the ones you can wear with a belt.

Printed pants are very in this spring!
Printed pants are very in this spring!

Tip #4 – Printed Pants: Daisy shared how women can add more color to their Spring wardrobe with printed pants.

Dresses are hot this spring!
Dresses are hot this spring!

Tip #5 – Dresses: Daisy talked about how dresses like the ones worn by First Lady Michelle Obama create a total look. I agree!

What are your five Spring wardrobe essentials?

DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Ananda’s #CreativityThursday Adventure: Fashion Field Trip to Macy’s

Photo Credit: Macys.com
Photo Credit: Macys.com

Since it’s Creativity Thursday, I thought I would take a fashion field trip to Macy’s Metro Center this evening to get some creative tips on the five Spring Essentials I need to enhance my lifestylista wardrobe.

Photo Credit: Macys.com
Photo Credit: Macys.com

I am excited about seeing the Spring Fashion Show and meeting Daisy Lewellyn, style expert, author, and TV personality, who will be sharing her spring style tips. Daisy is known as the “Queen of Effortless Chic.” I hope she brings copies of her book, Never Pay Retail Again.

Photo Credit: www.daisylewellyn.com
Photo Credit: http://www.daisylewellyn.com

I’ll be live tweeting during the event. So follow me on Twitter @anandaleeke. I’ll be using the event hashtag #5Essentials and including @Macys and @DaisyLewellyn in my tweets.

PS: I’ll post a recap blog about my Fashion Field Trip to Macy’s in a few days.

DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Happy Creativity Thursday! – Celebrating the 100th Birthday Anniversary of Photographer Gordan Parks

Happy Creativity Thursday!

Today, I am honoring Black History Month by celebrating the creativity and 100th birthday anniversary of Gordan Roger Alexander Buchannan Parks (November 30, 1912 — March 7, 2006), an African-American activist, composer, film director, journalist, musician, novelist, poet, and photographer. What a Renaissance man!

Gordan Parks
Gordan Parks

Parks made history in 1948 when LIFE magazine hired him as their first African-American staff photographer. Another history making moment occurred in 1969 when he became the first African-American artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, “The Learning Tree.”

Photo Credit: Gordan Parks for LIFE Magazine
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks for LIFE Magazine

I discovered him through his LIFE photo essays and work as the director of the 1971 film “Shaft.”

Gordan Parks' Shaft film
Gordan Parks’ Shaft film

I fell in love with his photographs of D.C. street scenes in the 1940s, the Black Muslim women from the Nation of Islam (1963), and Malcolm X.

Photo Credit: Gordan Parks - Street Corner, 7th Street and Florida Avenue, Washington, D.C., 1942. (Courtesy Library of Congress/ICP)
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks – Street Corner, 7th Street and Florida Avenue, Washington, D.C., 1942. (Courtesy Library of Congress/ICP)
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks - Ethel Sharrieff, daughter of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. Chicago, 1963
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks – Ethel Sharrieff, daughter of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam. Chicago, 1963
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks - Malcolm X in Chicago, IL in 1963
Photo Credit: Gordan Parks – Malcolm X in Chicago, IL in 1963

In 1997, I had a chance to see Parks’ work when the Corcoran  Gallery of Art mounted a career retrospective, Half Past Autumn: The Art of Gordon Parks. Click here to watch a video of the Half Past Autumn (1 hour 29 minutes).

Photo Credit: Gordon Parks
Photo Credit: Gordon Parks

To learn more about Parks, read his memoirs, A Hungry Heart: A Memoir  and To Smile in Autumn.

Gordon Parks memoir
Gordon Parks memoir
Gordan Parks' memoir
Gordan Parks’ memoir

For additional information check out the Gordon Parks Foundation and Gordon Parks Center.

Next week, Macy’s, the Gordon Parks Foundation, and American Black Film Festival are honoring Parks’ 100th birthday anniversary with an in-store celebration, art installation, and discussion about his work on February 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Macy’s Metro Center (lower level in Furniture Gallery) in Washington, D.C.

DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s Black History Month event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

 

#BlissDom12 Conference Blog Recap Part 5 – My Heart of Haiti Moments

Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos

Some of my best BlissDom Conference moments were spent supporting and celebrating the Heart of Haiti Campaign, a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.  It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake.  Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores.  The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans.

Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos

As soon as I arrived and settled into my room at the Opryland Hotel on February 23, I tweeted the Everywhere team, Danica Kombol and Britton Edwards, to let them know I was ready to put on my Heart of Haiti Blogger Ambassador hat and support their Heart of Haiti booth in the BlissDom Handmade Marketplace.  When I saw the booth, I was in complete AWE! Why?  Because these ladies know how to make a conference booth attractive and fun to visit.  And it’s not hard when you have the beautiful Heart of Haiti collection to work with.  Danica and Britton gave me a brief update on the new items in the collection and showed me photos from the #Bloggers4Haiti trip to Haiti in January.  Check out the photos below.

Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos
Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos
Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti photos
Ananda and Danica Kombol - Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos
Ananda and Britton Edwards -- Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos

While I was at the Heart of Haiti booth, I met and chatted with BlissDom attendees about my experiences as a Blogger Ambassador and February 2011 trip to Haiti.  Many of the attendees told me about their passion for using social media for social good and plans to support the Heart of Haiti.  Those conversations reminded me how important it is to tell people about the Haitian artisans who are using their creative gifts to make their lives and country better.  They also reminded me that I have got to get to Haiti in 2013!

Ananda and Emily FaliLv - Photo Credit: Everywhere Heart of Haiti Photos

Ananda’s Heart of Haiti Visit to Metal Artisans in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti

Serge Jolimeau’s Metal Artwork

Today, I am remembering my Heart of Haiti visit to Haitian metal artisan Serge Jolimeau’s atelier on February 26, 2011, in Croix des Bouquets, a town located outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  See the video above.  At first glance, I fell in love with Jolimeau’s artwork featuring La Sirene, a beautiful African-inspired mermaid and Haitian loa who rules the seas with her husband Agwe.  La Sirene brings luck and money from the ocean’s depth were she makes her own music.  She adores objects of beauty, jewelry, gold and diamonds.  She is also a seductress like Haitian loa Erzulie Freda and dangerously fierce like Haitian loa Erzulie Dantor.  Erzulie is the goddess of love and one of my all time favorite Haitian goddesses. Mermaids have always been some of my favorites (on my first night in Port-au-Prince, I purchased two paintings featuring La Sirene – see photo).  La Sirene and Erzulie show up in my own paintings, wire sculptures and books!

La Sirene paintings from an art gallery in Port-au-Prince

Did you know that Jolimeau’s  metal artwork is made from oil cans?  What a powerful way to recycle and recreate beauty!

Oil can used by metal artisans to create metal artwork

His artwork reflects his family’s farming background, fertile imagination, and passion for Haitian Voodoo and folklore, the human body, animals, and figures from mythology.  It is featured and sold in the Heart of Haiti collection at Macy’s.

About Serge Jolimeau:

Serge Jolimeau’s metal artwork

Jolimeau, a native of Croix des Bouquets, was born in 1952. Croix des Bouquets is the home of several great Haitian sculptors including the late Georges Liautaud and Murat Brierre, the brothers Louisjuste, and Gabriel Bien-Aimé. As a child, he as inspired by the blacksmiths in his village. After he completed high school, he worked as an apprentice under metal sculptor Serisier Louisjuste.  His work has been published in Where Art is Joy (Rodman, 1988), Forgerons duVodou/ Voodoo Blacksmiths (Foubert, 1990), and A Haitian Celebration: Art and Culture (Stebich, 1992). He has shown his work at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, LACITA in Biarritz, France, and in Germany, Haiti, and Mexico. Currently, he serves as a community leader for the Association of Artists and Artisans of Croix des Bouquets. To learn more about Jolimeau, visit the links below.

1) http://www.gardenartists.cc/leprimitif/one_of_a_kinds__serge_jolimeau.htm

2) http://www.indigoarts.com/gallery_haiti_jolimeau.html

3) http://www.folkartmarket.org/index.php/profiles/entry/serge_jolimeau

4) http://www.haitianpainting.com/hp.asp?page=ARTISTS_PORTFOLIO&id=31

5) http://www.haitisupportgroup.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=articl…

About the Heart of Haiti:

The Heart of Haiti campaign is a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake. Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores. The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans.

Watch Video of #HeartofHaiti Blogger Ambassador Ananda Leeke @ Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

February 26, my second day in Haiti, began with a visit to the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince.  As the van pulled up in front of the Palace, I heard the sound of a marching band.  Men dressed in matching band uniforms played beautiful music as I surveyed the earthquake damage.  I looked across the street and saw the tent camps in Champ de Mars plaza and wondered how could music be made in the midst of heartbreaking devastation.  The answer came in the form of a six-word memoir equation as I noticed Haitian people moving through their morning with grace and dignity.  Faith + Hope + Determination + Resiliency + Creativity = HAITI.

Watch a video of my visit to the Presidential Palace and Champ de Mars Plaza, the location of the largest tent camp in Port-au-Prince.  See below.  Listen to my audio blog about the visit. Check out photos from my visit below.

The Heart of Haiti campaign is a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. It was created to provide sustainable income to Haitian artisans impacted by the January 2010 earthquake. Through the partnership, the artisans create artwork that is sold as the Heart of Haiti collection in Macy’s stores. The sales from these hand-made products including quilts, metalwork, paper måché, painting and jewelry generate the sustainable income and provide trade instead of aid to the Haitian artisans.  Everywhere, a social media firm that represents Macy’s, sponsored my trip to Haiti.  Click here to read about my trip’s details.

Photos from Visit to Presidential Palace and Champ de Mar Plaza

Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Largest tent city housing Haitian people after January 2010 earthquake in Champ de Mars plaza in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Largest tent city housing Haitian people after January 2010 earthquake in Champ de Mars plaza in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Tap Tap Bus in front of Champ de Mars plaza, largest tent city in Port-au-Prince

Happy March! Watch Ananda’s Video from Her Heart of Haiti Trip to Jacmel, Haiti on 2/27.

Ananda at Jacmel Carnival in Haiti, February 27, 2011

Happy March All!

I hope your first day of March is filled with many blessings.  Mine has been filled with the blessing of memories from my recent trip to Haiti as a blogger ambassador for the Heart of Haiti campaign. The Heart of Haiti campaign is a partnership between Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

As many of you may know, I was in Haiti with a dynamic group of nine digital sisters and one digital brother from February 25-28.  My trip was sponsored by Everywhere, a social media company that represents Macy’s. The trip allowed me to visit Port-au-Prince, Croix des Bouquets, and Jacmel.  So many wonderful things happened.  That’s why I am going to take my time in posting photos, videos, and audio blogs about my travel experiences this week and next week.  I thought you might like to watch a video of me sharing what I learned from being in Haiti.  See below. It was filmed on February 28 in  Jacmel, Haiti.  For more updates on the Heart of Haiti trip, click here. Enjoy!

How I Plan to Keep the Heart of Haiti Beating in 2011: Way #2 – Support “Open your heart to Haiti today!” fundraiser on CafePress.com

Artwork by Ananda Leeke

“Open your heart to Haiti today!” is a fundraiser I launched to raise money for Renewal 4 Haiti, a 501(c)(3) grassroots nonprofit organization founded by Haitians committed to bringing medical care and skills training to Léogâne, the epicenter of the Haitian earthquake in 2010. I was inspired to launch this fundraiser while serving as an ambassador for the Heart of Haiti campaign, a “Trade not Aid” partnership between Macy’s, Fairwinds Trading, and BrandAid.  The fundraiser allows me to use my  artwork from my novel Love’s Troubadours – Karma: Book One on Cafe Press t-shirts, cups, and other apparel to raise money for Renewal 4 Haiti.  The artwork is a drawing of the Haitian love and healing goddess Erzulie’s veve, a symbol used during Vodun ceremonies. See photo on the left.

How You Can Help: Visit my Cafe Press web site to learn more about the “Open your heart to Haiti today!” fundraiser and make a purchase during 2011. The proceeds of each sale will be donated to Renewal 4 Haiti. ($3 on each sale).  FYI – I only receive $3 for each item sold.  So no money comes to me. It all goes to Renewal 4 Haiti!   Thank you for your support!

Join Macy’s Heart of Haiti and Girls’ Night Out Twitter Party on January 11 @9-11pm ET

Photo of Haitian artisan Pascale is from Macy's web site

 

 

Macy’s Heart of Haiti campaign and the fabulous women of Girls’ Night Out are sponsoring a Twitter party about giving back to Haiti on January 11 from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.  The Heart of Haiti campaign is a “Trade not Aid” partnership between Fairwinds Trading and BrandAid Haiti that offers Haitian artisans sustainable income for their hand-crafted artwork made from recyclable materials.  The artwork is sold at Macy’s.  Make plans to join me and my fellow Heart of Haiti ambassadors for this fantastic party.  RVSP in advance for the Twitter party by entering your Twitter link and ID: http://twitter.com/jylmomIF. On January 11, use the Twitter hashtags #gno and #heartofhaiti to participate and follow the conversations.

PS: There are going to be some giveaways.  Click here to find out more.

Heart of Haiti Artwork – Songbird Frame

 

009, originally uploaded by anandaleeke.

As a Heart of Haiti ambassador, I received the Songbird Frame, a beautiful hand-cut and hammered recycled steel frame created by Haitian artisans for the Heart of Haiti collection sold at Macy’s. The card that accompanied the frame stated that when the songbirds sing, they create a celestial language that attracts the presence of angels.  Click here to listen to my audio blog reflections about the Songbird Frame which now sits on my art studio desk: . My drawing of Erzulie’s veve from my novel Love’s Troubadours is placed in the frame. Erzulie is the Haitian goddess of love and healing. You can purchase it on Amazon.com.