Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Paradise Metal Art

Q: Tell me a little about yourself! Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Do you create jewelry full time?

A: I am Diana Ishimizu, owner of Paradise Metal Art. I was born in Japan but raised in the US. I have lived in Long Beach for nine years. Aside from making jewelry, I also like to paint, go to shows, get tattooed and run. I work as a jeweler and custom fabricator full-time.

Q: How did you get in the jewelry business?

A: I have always been an artist, but I have been making jewelry since I was 14. I learned traditional techniques by Native Americans from Arizona. I decided to major in metal-smithing at El Camino College in Torrance, Ca. and I obtained my BFA from Cal State Long Beach in 3D Media-Metals. I started my business, Paradise Metal Art in the beginning of 2012. I started at Patchwork Festival in Long Beach at an $80 booth and the next year was in the Pool Trade Show/Magic in Las Vegas selling internationally.

Q: Do you have a favorite metal?
A: Silver is my metal of choice, but I also enjoy working with gold.

Q: How do you come up with pieces? What is your inspiration?
A: My inspiration for Paradise Metal Art is West Coast Native American symbolism. I am especially drawn to Zuni artists and in particular the artist, Effie. I enjoy researching iconography and symbolism and Native American culture and incorporating traditional aspects into my contemporary pieces.

Q: How did you come up with your label/brand/name?
A: It was Jorge Luis Borges that said, 'I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.' My paradise has always been jewelry and fabrication.

Q: Any special instructions or tricks people wouldn’t normally know? Storage? Care? Cleaning?
A: A trick to keeping your silver jewelry clean is to wear it a lot. Normal wear keeps the piece from oxidizing as fast. Buying a 'sunshine' cloth at a local bead store will also help clean your pieces without scratching them.

Q: What do you dance to by yourself?

A: Everything! I like a wide variety of music and I have no problems dancing like Elaine to any song.

Edited by Toni Mathews

Friday, July 17, 2015

Flossy and Glossy

Floss Gloss Ltd was founded by Aretha Sack and Janine Lee in San Francisco in 2011. After meeting in college at California College of the Arts, an instantaneous admiration for each other sparked as they bonded over fashion, music, color and an obsession for everything nails.  The ladies formed the nail crew ‘Floss Gloss’ after many late nights of painting and polish-mixing, rap music bumping and girl-time talking.  Deemed Floss Gloss for nails that ‘Flossed and Glossed like a Boss’.
  Floss Gloss strives to offer the contemporary nail polish consumer with the most rare, custom curated colors and shades paired with exquisite packaging and exceptional opacity and coverage.  Floss Gloss Ltd Pro Nail Lacquers are cruelty free and vegan friendly!  As well as 4-Free, formulated without DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin.  NEW! Any Floss Gloss Ltd Pro Nail Lacquer produced in 2015 and beyond will now be Camphor-Free!  Making the Floss Gloss formula 5-Free!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Thrifting with Vee * Guest Blogger*

Pro Tip: Dressing Thrift Without Looking Like a Walking Thrift Store
Originally published on on July 9, 2015
I’m flattered by the response I’ve received since starting this blog. Thank you, dear readers. Several of you have provided me with suggestions for future posts many of which include advice for thrifting and style. These things come very natural to me (thank you Grandmother Frances) so I don’t typically think too hard about them. In asking me your questions though, I’ve been forced to pause and consider the internal processes I use when shopping for and putting together an outfit. As it turns out there are some basic rules I use for myself that you may also find helpful.
7 Tips for Thrifting Without Looking (or smelling) like a Thrift Store
1. Fit is key. Bodies are different shapes and sizes and that is a beautiful thing! I think most of us know by trying something on if it looks good and feels good. I personally steer clear of tops that are made for bustier ladies and keep a special eye out for high-waisted skirts that hug my hips just right. Your rules for fit could be much different from mine. If you find yourself unsure of an item fitting you well, bring a friend shopping, or just ask a stranger at the store (sometimes they are more honest). In addition, here are a few online resources I found for further guidance: 1.  2.  3. 
2. Material should be in good shape. Check for fading and stretching. Nothing says, “Hey, I got this at a smelly old thrift store” more than a faded black shirt with a stretched out neckline! Also check for pilling (although there are ways to fix that). 
3. Check for stains and holes. Arm pit stains in light-colored shirts are THE WORST (especially if they’re someone else’s pit stains) Often, holes can be fixed but be sure you’re committed to doing so before making the purchase.
4. Smell it. Seriously (especially if it’s vintage). Most of the time you can get the smell out but I’ve bought vintage items that after 10 washes still smell like grandma perfume and moth balls. If it smells heavily of these scents, consider leaving it on the rack.
5. Check that zippers and buttons are all intact. Again, you can often fix these things, but just be prepared to do the work. I once bought a sweater that had 3 missing buttons. I ended up adding 3 fun mismatched buttons to replace them and I get compliments on that jacket all the time.
6. Don’t pay attention to the price tag until AFTER you try it on. (If you shop at Goodwill they have a weekly tag color sale. Ignore this too.) This will encourage you to only try on items that fit the above criteria first rather than talking yourself into something only because it’s extra cheap. This is a Jedi-mind trick, really.
7. Face the truth. Sometimes certain things are just better to buy new. Underwear and socks are obvious. Plain t-shirts and other basics are good to purchase new too. Personally, I buy most of my jeans new, it’s just easier to find the right fit. A few months ago I was desperate to find the perfect little black cardigan. I searched at about 4 different thrift stores before deciding it was better to go to Nordstrom Rack and buy one for $20 (the Rack ALWAYS has cardigans in like 35 different colors!!).  Time is money, as they say. And sometimes the ease of not having to hunt for the bargain just makes life easier.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sew magic

One of a kind Overnight zipper pouch’s

Q: Tell me a little about yourself! Where are you from? What are your hobbies? 
A:  I am originally from Germany. I now live near Hood Canal in Washington State. My hobbies have always been centered on creation; whether it is drawing, sewing, or gardening.

Q: How did you get into sewing?
A: I got into sewing from my Oma Johanna and my Mom. I started with embroidering handkerchiefs when I was seven years old. Later, I moved on to sewing Barbie clothes, which also introduced me to my love for fashion.  After high school I took a two year sewing course at Bates Technical, which was quite in-depth. At that time there were no real artistic schools in Washington. My dream was always to study fashion design in Paris. Ah well, maybe one day!

Q: How do you come up with designs? Inspiration?
A: I like to study all the stuff on the Internet and go with my gut as to what would be liked by my family members.

Q: Any special instructions or tricks people wouldn’t normally know?
A: I think most people don't realize the importance of the old fashioned basting technique. Also, when I sew something for someone, I always start out with the garment about 2 sizes too big and then take it in on the person for a custom fit.  

Q: Who was your teenage idol?
A: . Oh how many there were. An oldie was Burt Lancaster. He was young in the 40’s! Paul McCartney for sure, but lesser known is Rick Springfield when he was starting out in ‘65 in England. I lived in Germany during this time and he was as popular as the Beatles back then, he came much later to the states.

Q: Anything in particular you would like to add?
I wish women would realize the impression they make on others by the clothes they wear. I am a child of the 60s and believe in freedom of expression, but I think you could get your point across better if you took the time to wear quality clothes. I do like the wonderful new fabrics available, especially hand painted silkscreen, but have as yet to make anything for anyone out of this fabric. 

Edited by Toni Mathews

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Creme Deodorant

Many of you are under the spell of this hippie shit already, but those who are still on the fence: I urge you to read this interview with creator, Maren, It’s likely that after trying this product, you will become a follower soon. A variety of scents are available at the shop: Lavender, Lemony, Bergamot, and Yazmine Sage. Figuring out your fave is really like picking a favorite child: impossible.  
3706 E Anaheim Ave Long Beach, CA 90804.

Q: Where are you from? What are your hobbies? Do you create your beauty products full time?

A: I’m from Fountain Valley and I’m 35, a mom and a wife.  I enjoy thrifting with my teen daughter, Ruby, and cuddling up with my son Cruz to watch cartoons.  I don’t care for any popular “TV” shows; I’d rather listen to music.  I am a hair stylist and makeup artist first, and a natural beauty product developer second.

Q: How did you get in the pit business?

A: I actually was inspired to begin my natural product line by you!  Your article for Pastorale Magazine about deodorant spoke to me. The options, and whether we want to be stinky or slather cancer all over our pits.  After reading that, I was online reading everything I could about natural skincare, what folks were doing at home, and figuring out how I was going to incorporate that into my daily life.

Q: Do you have a personal favorite scent?

A: My favorite scent is Yazmine Sage.  It’s an acquired scent but after making batch after batch of Lemony and Lavender, something different is pretty welcoming.
Q: How do you come up with scents? Inspiration?

A: I typically begin developing scents around the antimicrobial essential oils first, and then adding secondary scents for a more aesthetic aroma.  Sometimes I get awesome suggestions from clients, which will inspire me to come up with something new and different. 
Q: Tell me about the ingredients you use.

A: I use organic pure essential oils, as well as organic coconut oil; however, the cornstarch and arrowroot powder is not confirmed to be organic.  I’ve found some great suppliers, most of which are in Oregon. My long-term goal is to connect with local growers and businesses to make my products in the future.

Q: Any special instructions?

A: I use my wooden spoon to scoop a ball about the size of a nickel and put one under each pit and put my arm down.  By the time I’ve applied to both underarms and screwed the lid back on, my body temperature has melted it and it creates a much smoother consistency for spreading with your fingers.  Also, should you have sensitive skin, applying Lemony on freshly shaved pits may cause a little burning from the natural citrus oils.  It doesn’t happen to everyone, just be cautious if you’re prone to sensitivity.

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Any John Hughes film is a win (yeah, original, I know). Tank Girl is a cult classic for me as well as Rocky Horror.

Social Media:
Instagram & twitter: @gstyleanddesign

Facebook: @Marengalindostyle 

Edited by Toni Mathews