Saturday, January 30, 2010

What goes around comes around

For almost a year now I've been a member of a local D.C. giving circle. What is a giving circle? According to Wikipedia, "giving circles are a form of philanthropy consisting of groups of individuals who pool their funds and other resources to donate to their communities and seek to increase their awareness and engagement in the process of giving." Two of my work peeps, Jamie and Katie, read about another local giving circle and were just audacious enough to think that it was something they could do. After a few lunchtime conversations, Revolve was born. I love that they were gutsy enough to try this and that they were kind enough to think of me.

Why should you care? Good question! We're nearing our big check writing party, and I almost forgot one of my duties. Recruiting friends! Who am I to deprive you from the opportunity to become a Friend of Revolve? Let me tell you a little bit about the two charities that rose to the top of our list. Last week they joined our meeting, and I can tell you that both of these organizations are run by people who have dedicated their lives to helping kids.

For Love of Children (FLOC)

FLOC's "mission is to provide young children and high-risk youth with the resources to achieve educational and personal success through a continuum of educational services that prepares them to become confident, life-long learners and contributing members of their communities." Through a combination of tutoring, leadship building and scholarship, they give kids the chance to succeed later in life. Personally, one of the things that struck me most about FLOC was the fact that, while the focus and goal of FLOC is getting students into post-secondary education, they won't shove a square peg into a round hole. The executive director told the story of a kid who really wanted to enroll in HVAC training, and it helped him do so. I can appreciate that.

A Space of Her Own (SOHO)
s an art-based program that serves pre-teen girls by providing yearlong mentoring through engagement in creative art activities and meaningful community service projects. The program focuses on fifth grade girls and also provides them with weekly "life skills" training and a good, healthy meal. You guys know the arts and crafts part gets to me; however, it was hearing the personal stories from the director and staff that really got me most. These girls bond and trust the staff and their mentors, and often the work they end up doing ends up helping the entire family or getting the girl out of a dangerous situation. Much like Trading Spaces or any other HGTV show, the pay off in the end for these girls is a complete room makeover...a space of her own in which to do homework, journal, or just be. a little browsing...a little thinking and consider becoming a Friend of Revolve!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I feel like I have so much going on lately and so many balls in the air that I've let some of my favorite pastimes slip. One of my goals (I have tons) for the new year is to get back into reading. Believe it or not, working part-time in a bookstore all those years* actually sort of killed the reader in me. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon two online reading challenges that were right up my alley.

After all of my talk of Nancy Drew, I had already decided I wanted to read the books again. It was fortuitous that one of my favorite twitters, Maud Newton, posted a link to the Nancy Drew Challenge. One year to reread all of the original Nancy Drew books. I'm in. I hope. Haha. Such a great idea by Deborah at Books, Movies, and Chinese Food.

The second online venture I'm hitching my wagon to is the Slow Readers Book Club started by Diana at In an ode to the Slow Movement, she calls on everyone participating to kick back and actually enjoy the books we're reading instead of finishing just to rush on to the next book. Bring it on. I'm a huge fan of the Slow Movement (despite the fact that I can't seem to actually implement it in my life).

Anyway, here's to a year of reading!

*Did I mention I finally quit? Woohoo!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finding my style

This past week was my first week of Style School. For some reason this feels like a big confession, and I'm not sure why. :-) Click on the link if you want to learn more about it. All I can say is that I'm having so much fun and love the self exploration aspect of it. One of the ongoing projects throughout the class is to keep a style binder* of everything I find that inspires me creatively in my crafting, home, life and wardrobe.

One of the introductory questions about my style icons really stumped me. I immediately texted Scarlet to see if she had style icons because, to be quite frank, I was coming up blank. Sure, lots of people inspire me, but to raise someone to the level of icon status seems like it should come with its own set of special criteria. Anyway, I was puttering around my apartment one evening, and it hit me. Spies...and detectives. I love the whole detective look! I'm looking at you, Nancy Drew**. Here is a girl who can solve crimes all while cloaked in cutest retro skirts and other outfits. I wouldn't go so far as to limit my style influences so narrowly, but there's something that clicks here.

A little modern day Nancy Drew...

*I actually think this is the hardest project. I've never been one for actually clipping or printing things.
**And Velma and Jennifer Garner in Alias and...

Friday, January 08, 2010

Movies that make me zha zha zhu

Do you have those movies that, when you watch them, you can feel your blood start to race and your toes start to tingle? Where you're loving the movie but are so excited you kind of want to stop and go do something? These are some of those movies for me (no particular order). For different reasons, they inspire and motivate me.

Where the Wild Things Are

I know it's new, but I can't rave enough about this movie. It was beautiful and tender and a creative wet dream. It made me want to make and build and PLAY. So glad for the kid in all of us.

Stranger Than Fiction

In addition to providing me with a quirky storyline, the use of graphics and text, particularly at the beginning of the movie, is delightful. The simple, almost monochrome color pallet even manages satisfy color-hungry me. Throw in an anarchist bakery owner and overarching themes of getting out there and living life, and I was hooked.


Who doesn't love Amelie? I almost didn't put on my list because I didn't want to be cliche, but good lord you can't leave it off. It's a lovely story wrapped in a feast for your eyes. And, hello, it co-stars a photobooth!


Honestly, I can't put my finger on why I find this movie inspiring. Maybe it's the diner, waitress uniforms and the pies.

(I'm not a movie critic, so my descriptions are about to increase in lameness.)

Julie & Julia

Follow your passions. For me, this movie was funny and uplifting...a story about perseverance. It also made me miss Paris in a big way.


Julie Taymor (who directed it) is, in my lowly opinion, a visual genius. And, while Frida Kahlo herself was a bit of a loaded gun, the movie is full of passion, flair and amazing use of color (can you tell I really like color?).

500 Days of Summer

Zooey Deschanel and her style are reasons enough. That aside, the use of illustration, interesting shots (pinhole effect when she's riding her bike), and the soundtrack rocked.

Movies that I haven't seen yet but am fully anticipating will give me that same zha zha zhu: Handmade Nation, Beautiful Losers, and Herb and Dorothy.

I bet some of you are shocked there are no dance movies on here. :-)