ArtDIY: Wrapping with Fabric

Getting sick of the same way of wrapping presents? Here is a fun technique that is a great alternative to wrapping paper: wrapping with fabric! The art of furoshiki gift wrapping is an ancient Japanese tradition that has dated back to the Nara period. It’s a wonderful way to re-use fabric originally intended for other purposes like a scarf, head piece, or even a tablecloth. Your friends will be blown away with this awesome technique! 
It is really quite simple to wrap this way:
1. Go to a fabric store and buy about a yard of fabric.
2. Place the cloth on a table at a diagonal, with the print facing down on the table.
3. Put the gift in the center of the cloth.
4. Take one corner of the fabric and wrap it over the gift. Repeat on the other side.
5. Take the two remaining corners and tuck them in a little bit so that you have nice gathers.
6. Pull each side up towards each other so that they are at the center of the gift.
7. Finally, tie the ends together using a square knot.  
Here is a video tutorial to give you a visual of what I am talking about:
Enjoy wrapping!
(photos courtesy of

ContestsMeet Never Shout Never!

If you may have noticed, is currently hosting an amazing contest featuring the band Never Shout Never. We thought we would give you a little introduction to the band, in case you haven’t heard of them yet!

Never Shout Never was started by Christofer Drew Ingle (above) out of Joplin, MO where he released his first EP through Myspace (remember that?). After touring with several bands, Never Shout Never was signed to Warner Bros. Records and released their first album, What is Love? in January 2010. What made this band stand out for us was not only their music, but their philanthropy and willingness to help others. During the Harmony Tour, they had their fans gather and donate food to help those in need.
Today is the release of the third studio album, Time Travel, which you can purchase over at iTunes. You can also win tickets to the Time Travel Tour, as well as a $500 shopping spree to Head over to our contest page, or check out the details below to enter!

GeneralHot or Not? Footloose 2011

We all know the plot: cute teenager, Ren, finds himself in a southern town that has banned dancing. (Uh-oh). The rebellious young punk (in this case played by Kenny Wormald) practices his killer moves in secret while also attempting to woo the local preacher’s mega-hot daughter (played by Julianne Hough). What is a young man to do?!
If you’re thinking “why would they remake one of my favorites?!”, you’re not alone, but let’s just take a minute to review all of the redeeming qualities here:

1. A Cute Lead Actor: he’s got an accent, an upturned collar and skinny jeans . . . c’mon, let’s not be TOO picky.

2. Lovable Friendships and Bonding: City boy meets southern boy and they teach each other about life.
3. Wild Dance Party Scenes: From line dancing to crumping, the trailer tells all!

It may never be as good as the original, but for a girl who owns Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, I’m definitely going to have to give it a whirl.
How about you, is Footloose 2011 Hot or Not?

InterviewsHigh Spirits: The Photography of Brooke Shaden


Ever wonder what it’s like to be an artist?
Today we have a behind-the-scenes interview with a fashionable artist:  Brooke Shaden!
1. So, you were raised in PA, what brought you to LA?
I graduated from college in Philadelphia in December 2008 and decided then to pick up my still camera. I went about creating self portraits, and soon after moved to Los Angeles to pursue film making. It wasn’t long after the move that I decided to do photography instead of film making, and have been living in LA ever since creating art!

2. Where do you get inspiration for some of the looks in your photos?

I am constantly inspired by timeless wardrobes. I love something that looks like it could be from any time period and helps to tell a story. I am inspired by long flowing gowns and the way that wind catches in fabric.

3. What’s your favorite time period?
I love the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood of painters, they inspire me so much!

4. Do you have an amazing dress and prop collection?
I like to think so! Though, admittedly, I have ruined most of them by dragging them through the mud or slopping them around in creeks. I have probably 20 or so dresses that I use on photo shoots and take with me to workshops, all of various styles but all of them timeless as well. 

5. What is your fascination with water?
Aside from my name being Brooke . . . I am fascinated with the way that water is a foreign element for the most part. We as humans are not naturally water creatures, and so water seems to be a place where a new world can easily be formed. I like how fluid it is, the way that it can softly pour over skin and hide body parts that are in the water. It has so many meanings associated with it, like life and death.

6. How long does it take you to prepare for a shoot?
I spend at least a few hours per photo conceptualizing and planning all of the details. I always know what I am going to shoot before I pick up my camera, so half of my entire process is spent planning while the shooting takes about 10 minutes.

7. What do you splurge on for your photo shoots?
Usually my big splurges come from props! I recently purchased a giant octopus for a photo, something that I had been wanting for a very long time but never had the guts to buy. I will splurge on a dress if I think it can be versatile enough, too.

8. One thing that is very unique about your photography is that you use solely a square format. Why the square?

To me, the square format allows for the viewer to see into a whole new world instead of a photograph. Suddenly the traditional photographic frame is gone, and instead of focusing on the medium the concept can shine through even brighter.

9. You also have a background in film and English, do you still write or film?
I have not yet jumped back into film, but I know that I will someday. I don’t feel that it is right quite yet because I don’t have the means to properly translate my ideas. I am infatuated with photography still, but I am sure that sometime, maybe soon, I will get the itch to make my images move. As for writing, I keep my blog updated very regularly with essays and musings. I love writing about photography and philosophies on photography. I am also writing a book which I hope to publish in 2012 all about inspiration and creating new worlds.

10. Tell us about your upcoming workshop in New York.
My workshops for the fall are numerous, as I will be teaching in New York, Los Angeles, Florida and Texas. The New York workshop is an 8 hour day full of hands on shooting and editing a levitation photograph. Each workshopper leaves with their own creation from the day. I go through my process, start to finish, on how to shoot and edit a levitation image. I teach how to make people fly!
Learn more about Brooke Shaden at her website and blog.

MusicLil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” Goes Platinum


Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV sold 964,000 in its first week, the second largest opening sales week of the year. By now, it has already sold more than a million copies and set a record for the most iTunes digital albums sold in its first four days! With a music career already spanning two decades, Wayne has already scored a reputation as one of the biggest moguls of our time. Featured on the album are his two smash-hit singles “6 Foot 7 Foot” and “How to Love.”
I couldn’t wait to purchase Tha Carter III‘s proper follow-up, Tha Carter IV, but the album surprised me by being one of my least favorite Weezy albums. Don’t get me wrong; there are a couple amazing songs, like “John” featuring Rick Ross, and “She Will” featuring Drake. What turned me off, however, was that at least two-thirds of the songs on the album were slow, including “How to Love,” “How to Hate” featuring T-Pain, “Nightmares of the Bottom,” and “So Slow” featuring John Legend. The album isn’t bad – I just prefer a more fast-paced Lil Wayne sound to dance to.
There are a lot of great features from artists like Rick Ross, André 3000, Drake, John Legend, and T-Pain; and even if you’re not keen on the pace (like me), these guest appearances make the album worth listening to.
“Thanks for giving us a whole ‘nother classic with Tha Carter IV,” huffs Busta Rhymes. “It’s important that you are more than welcome to Tha Carter IV, and y’all enjoy it,” advises André 3000. 
Shockingly, the 28-year-old artist has hinted at retirement and that this “may be the last album Wayne releases.” If this is true, then I had higher hopes for this album. Regardless, nothing will make this girl stop loving Lil Wayne, and I look forward to see how the rest of his musical career will evolve. 

Hear it for yourself! You can listen to the entire album here
(photos courtesy of