I could not believe it. It was a Thursday afternoon, and as I settled in at my desk at my day job, I opened the Gmail app on my phone to quickly browse my personal and business email account inboxes. My eyes got BIG and my mouth almost dropped as I held in a HUGE SCREAM. Instead, I clicked the email's "reply" button, and typed in, "Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh..." to begin my response. I was so excited to see that in just a few days, I would have the opportunity to attend Diddi Emah's "Hit the Stage" Workshop through NC Underground Dance's classes. I wasn't completely sure if I would actually take the class, but I knew immediately that I wanted to because it seemed like a "once in a lifetime" event.
Those that are close to me know that I have a major affinity towards Diddi's close friend and fellow choreographer, Sean Bankhead. The first time I came across his work could have been in 2011, when I saw his "Girls (Run the World)" video on YouTube. Diddi was one of the leads in this project, among many dancers referred to as the Bad Girls Club; and every time I did my own impressions of the dance, I WAS HER. See the video below in case you need a taste of its awesomeness!
Anyway, her workshop was amazing. She gave all types of industry advice, talked about her journey, gave us steps that challenged us to deliver, and spoke about her future endeavors. Before leaving, she let us know about her new music out and the #DakadaChallenge on Instagram. I was intrigued and decided this week that I would enter the competition in my own way.
You'll find a timelapse video I recorded and edited of the watercolor portrait painting process below. Her song is the background music, which has a great, uplifting message and catchy beat! The official video for it is pinned below as well. Thanks so much for checking out this post, and as always... feel free to leave a comment or any questions/concerns in the section below! The challenge ends on December 15th, so maybe you'll even feel inclined to join it, too.
What an exciting time it's been to continue to settle in at home, and make it [for the most part] everything I ever imagined while incorporating my own personal style. During this time, I've also had the chance to step away from social media and better manage my intake of everything going on in the world. It was a much needed break, and allowed me great amounts of time to slow down, refocus, and plan for the future. DIY projects are an awesome way to relax and get creative.
This door decor project was one of my favorite to do during my social media break. Though I am a fan of wreaths, which are commonly hung on doors... the beautiful arrangements whose ring or circular shape is meant to represent eternity are also laid on graves and often seen as related to death. Growing up, I would always hear my Mom say she (or Liberian people in general) didn't use wreaths for decoration on their doors/at home because of this. I was looking for a design that would be just as gorgeous as a wreath, but way different than what you'd typically see hanging on a door or at a funeral.
Within a few minutes of online searching, I found a design that I liked and looked easy enough to replicate. I skimmed through my craft supplies, frames, and outdoor spaces and scavenged for all of the materials I needed (needle, thread, small branches and twigs, faux flowers, pine cone, plexi-glass, frame, ruler wood burner/stencil cutter, chalk markers, sealant, 3M hanging strip, scissors, spray paint, water, a rag and hot glue gun)! After some short, sporadic sessions of putting everything together, I hung up the sign on my front door... for $FREE.99! To seal and weather-proof the piece on the door, I sprayed the chalk ink lettered design with fixative, but that left it with a foggy residue I was not happy with. I ended up testing which spray of the ones I had on-hand were the best on sections of the first piece. Then I redid the lettering on a new cut of the plexi-glass. Of the four sprays that were tested, Krylon's Crystal Clear had the best results. Pictures in the gallery below show a little of this project's behind-the-scenes process. Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed and/or feel inspired to create one of your own! Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments section if you have any!
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