Sunday, May 26, 2013

Your Right To Bear...Children - 'Women Deliver' & How They Protect Women's Reproductive Health Worldwide

You know that feeling we all get from time to time,
like we're so small in the greater scope of it all,
and what we do couldn't possibly make "that much" difference
in the grand scheme of things?
I have a great way for you to get over that feeling right now!

The 3rd annual Women Deliver Conference is scheduled to 
take place May 28-30 in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia,
to emphasize the importance of women's maternal health,
as well as women's sexual reproductive health and rights around the world.

Their aim is to eradicate as many preventable deaths to women and girls
as possible by rallying for resource investments, political commitment, and 
further education to the general public about their program.
And there are several ways for you to get on board
with the cause and do what you can to make a difference:
Scroll down and I'll break it all down for ya
so you can just jump right in head first.

Women in the first world nations 
 benefit greatly from government funded family planning 
services and hopefully from child care programs. 
However, that doesn't account for 75% of the world.

That's where Women Deliver comes in.
Their plan for saving the lives of women with maternal needs 
and their children is as easy as 1-2-3:

 1. Access to family planning – counseling, services, and supplies
2. Access to quality care for pregnancy and childbirth
- antenatal care
- skilled attendance at birth, including emergency obstetric and neonatal care
- immediate postnatal care for mothers and newborns
3. Access to safe abortion services, when legal

With this 3-step approach,
they are bringing services to women who otherwise 
could become one of the 287,000 women and girls 
who are killed each year by preventable causes.
Want to know more? I'm sure you do...
Read all About it, expand your Knowledge,
and keep up with the News.

So where do you come in?
There are several options:

You can spread the word by sharing this article
and visiting this link:
You can speak out in your own community:
You can make a donation to an extremely worthy cause
and help your global sista's out:

Again, it's as easy as 1-2-3.
Watch this video to see how it all comes together and
works to make a world of difference for girls, women,
and mothers & their children far and wide:


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Save The Mermaid Parade!! - We're Talking About American Heritage At Its Freaky Best

What is the Mermaid Parade?
Well, kiddos, a long time ago, in the year 1983,
in the mythical world of Coney Island,
The Mermaid Parade was born.

The parade is the conceptualization of the Great Dick D. Zigun, founder of 
the non-profit art corporation Coney Island USA.
Their mission is to "defend the honor of American popular culture through innovative exhibitions and performances."
 But one of their largest celebrations is in peril!! 
So, again, what is the mermaid parade? Let me quote the source and 
hopefully that will paint the picture accurately:
"The Mermaid Parade is the largest art parade in the nation. A celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside, it showcases over 1,500 creative individuals from all over the five boroughs, opening the summer with incredible art, entrepreneurial spirit and community pride."
This holiday is free of religious, ethnic, or commercial affiliation.
"It’s a major New York holiday invented by artists!"
Make sure to visit This Page for the double scoop with a cherry on top.

Coney Island Mermaid Parade 2012

I'm a HUGE fan of the arts, festivals, and any combination in between. 
Especially when audience participation is encouraged. 
What else would we ladies do with all those pretty costumes and 
loads of make-up we hoard like treasure trolls?
Maybe that's just me and my girls, but it's never too late to start, ladies!
The Mermaid Parade is one of the best excuses in the nation to get prettied up in a way that would make royalty jealous and disgusted at the same time.

To quote Coney Island USA once more, the festival monumentalizes 3 goals:
"It brings mythology to life for local residents who live on streets named Mermaid and Neptune; it creates self-esteem in a district that is often disregarded as “entertainment;” and it lets artistic New Yorkers find self-expression in public."
Save the Memaids @
silver city light
Save the Mermaid Parade @ Animal New York
So why is this deliciously decadent celebration of the seas in jeopardy? Like so many other things, Hurricane Sandy destroyed the freakshow, museum, and performance space whose revenue provides funding for this year's parade.
This year, Coney Island USA set up a kickstarter to help raise $100,000 by July 3
Save the Mermaid Parade @

If the picture show hasn't gotten you 
all the way hooked yet,
watch the kickstarter 
video below to reel in
all you need to know:
to keep the march a-marching!

WNYC - A Peek At The Mermaid Parade


There are plenty of hands on deck helping to spread the word.
Do your part and donate, or commission your minion hoards to donate! 
For more on the current scouts of honor, review this itinerary:
Sourpuss Clothing

Want a really fun way to contribute? I'll take that as a resounding,"YES!"
This benefit show featuring Amanda Palmer is sure to 
blow the roof off the joint.
It's this Saturday, so get those hotdog buns a-movin'!

Why is this cause of such great importance to me?
Maybe it's the history of the place:

Photo courtesy of Deceptology
Maybe it's because I'm a fire-eater. If you think I'm bluffing...

 Ta Da!
(I'm even wearing my Mermaid Parade shirt 
from Lola Star in this shot.)

Or maybe it's the fond memories I have of Coney Island:

It's all of the above, really.

But more than all of that, it's about the children!!
Don't let our future generations suffer another loss 
of a Great American Tradition!

Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Support America's Freaky Arts and History!!
Tell your mama, your brothers, your sisters, and your friends.
And even (or especially) your weird uncle Randy.
If this place disappears before I have the chance to take my kids,
I will hunt you down.
Haha, just kidding. 
Or am I?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pink Hair Is Everywhere

I awoke this morning to the news that pink hair has officially become the "trend du jour" when I logged into my facebook today.
Thank you for the update, Mawi, my new fav jewelry designer
(who will soon be featured in another article).
I couldn't help but laugh ironically that pink hair has
escalated on the trend list.
Let me explain: I've had pink hair three times. Hot pink 12 years ago, 
coral 8 years ago, and baby pink layered with red three months ago (aka now).
That's it if you don't count the time 6 years ago when I died my armpit hair pink
as a somewhat stick-it-to-the-man, 
"I am Woman, hear me roar" kinda thing.
But of course now that I've finally come back to it, it's huge.
And for once, I'm extremely happy to be mere moments ahead of my time, 
because I have some super hot shares for you
when it comes to pink hair!!

Here's the quote that got my attention this morning from Mawi:
"Think Pink! Celebrities have been rocking pink hair for years 
but it has now become the hottest trend du jour."
I'm in! Care to join me?

If you want pink locks, there are two options in my book:
Real or fake?
For those of you with day jobs, you're in luck!
You don't have to go through multiple bleaching ('cause with pink, it pretty much has to be white)
or get a lecture from your boss. 
You'll still make it if you fake it.

Pretty Pink Wigs

Fit for a queen, this is one of the simplest styles by this magnificent designer.
Want more modern than Marie?
The options are vast and various.

These three master works are from
Visit her shop for all things 
faux-&-fabulous hair related.
Good luck choosing just one item.

 I'm keeping it as homegrown as possible
and taking the opportunity to
show off the unique
works of some of my favorite
Etsy crafters of coif.  

Dirty Little Laundry
Creepshow Cuts

Also mega-modern and with mega-vavavoom-vivaciousness,
pale to power-packed color gets you the lime light without fail.

Split Lolita Wig by
Dirty Little Laundry
Pink Bob Wig by
 M&M Beauty
Harijuku Lovers by

Size doesn't matter in this department.
From a pretty little bob
to princess-long locks,
people will be talking
about your larger-than-life
look with longing.


Pink makes your skin look more even, and compliments any eye color as well.
It's not only a great way to catch glances, but it improves all that fills the eye of the beholder.
If a whole head of pink seems intimidating, but the above concept seems intriguing,
you don't have to get immersed in a pink shroud to 
benefit from it's complexion-complimentary chroma.
Highlights of pink can do wonders while keeping you more down-to-earth approachable.

Pink an Blonde Ombre Extentions

These hair extensions keep things real without the hassle
and headache.
Fringe bangs frame your face in the shade of your
choice, bringing the focus to the front.
Pink Ice Fringe Bangs 

Purple and Pink Fringe Bangs

Dreads Extensions Kit

For those who favor punk over pretty,
or if you're a desert rose,
this dread kit will tie it all together nicely.
All four items above by Damnation Hair.

If you do choose to go real, make sure you get a good colorist who knows your hair or 
is willing to learn (the key here is willing).
If you're DIY-ing it, I gottcha covered.

Let's talk for a sec about bleach. If you're doing a darker pink, this will be less important.
For paler shades, this is of utmost importance, unless you want sherbet hair.
I mentioned you have to get it white. I wasn't kidding.

Kaleidocolors by Clairol
Use Kaleidacolors to address your specific color needs. 
You may need to bleach your hair more than once. 
I just went from red to white, so it can be done.
Do it in stages, following the instructions each time.
Test your hair strands after each bleaching. If they are stretchy, you're done for a few days.
Bad color is nothing compared to NO HAIR.
Follow the directions and everything will be fine. 

Start with the blue or neutral. 
Blue removes orange tones.
Natural hair bleachs much faster than previously dyed,
so your roots may end up white while the rest puts up the fight of a lifetime.
If you can't wait a day to get your hair lighter, at least deep condition before bleaching again.
If you still have orange after the first go 'round, then you may need to go with Blue again.
If you have only yellow left, switch to Violet.
Violet removes yellow tones.
Good stuff, right?
If you're platinum blonde after one go, curse your virgin locks,
you're ready to pick your pink!

Made in the Shade
I could go on for days about colors and shades, but I'd still be leaving stuff out.
If you need a default setting, go with Manic Panic.
They've been around the longest, and are known for not
dying the hell out of your 
skin, shower, and pillowcase. That's a big plus in the world of temporary dye.
I would still proceed with caution when wearing white.

I will be specific for those seeking the perfect baby pink, however.
My lastest, and possibly greatest, undertaking in the pink spectrum.
It's easy to get a vibrant hot pink, but pale pink can be tricky.

Cotton Candy Pink by Manic Panic
The best reviews for light pink go to Manic Panic's Cotton Candy Pink. 
It may come off strong at first, but fades down to a pretty pink.
After the initial fade, it's staying power is quite remarkable.
To avoid getting to bright a pink, leave it on for half the recommended time.
But if you want it to be around for awhile, it's worth the wait that it takes to fade.

Rose ColorBrilliance by Ion
 Brand new to the beauty world, Ion has recently launched a whole line of pastel colors.

I tried the rose, loved the color, but it faded pretty quickly. 
This is great if you want to switch back and forth from blond to pink,
or if you don't mind regular maintenance.
Possibly, weekly.

Pravana Hair Color Vivid Pink
Last but not least, I hope. Pravana also recently launched a line of pastels. The reviews are good.
I haven't had the pleasure of trying it yet, so girls, 
if you do, please do share.
Looks like a very yummy pink frosting, at a great price too.

Flower Power Pink
That just about covers all things pink hair related.
If you didn't like pink, you wouldn't be here.
But if you still absolutely can't see yourself getting aboard the pink hair train,
there is always the super subtle and safe route:

Petal Mix
Atelier Kanawa

Atelier Kanawa


A little flower never hurt anyone...
and these are certified gluten-free.

I can't help but feel like a vintage pin-up girl with a flower in my hair.
And that feeling by definition is just
plain and simple sexy.

Hope you enjoyed my post on more things to make pink.
This one particularly excites me because it's a sign of things to come in the style sphere.
The blossoming of pink hair to the forefront of fashion can only mean that we are on the verge of the resurgence of roccoco style. So make sure to check back for an update within the month on just that. 
I'll pull out the big guns on a fashion storm I've been anticipating for a good few years now.
And mark my words, I am relentlessly prepared for it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cross-Cultural Doll Match: Kokeshi vs. Matryoshka

If you were expecting a fight to the death, with chainsaws and axes blazing
between these two femme figurines,
with the victor standing over her slain opponent that now resides as a pile of toothpicks,
I'm sorry to break the news that my intentions are far from that fate for either
of these inspiration-filled creations.

I'm cashing in my cute card with this one.

As a girl, I grew up with a whole slew of dolls in my toy chest.
I went through many phases, but the ones that never lost their intrigue
were my Matryoshka and my Kokeshi.
I was hooked from the very beginning...
and as it would seem, I am far from alone.
In the past few years, these dolls have gone from children's play toys, 
to cult obsession, to fine art and high fashion!!
Who knew two tiny wooden dolls could make such a massive impact.
And, for some reason, both are of the wooden variety.

The Kokeshi and The Matryoshka:

The wheres and whens are a bit of a mystery when it comes to the creation of either of these iconic figurines.
Basically, these two distinctive dolls graced the presence of humankind about
150 to 200 years ago.
For an extensive history lesson, visit:

Mostly, they have been sold over the years as emblematic and interesting souvenirs. It didn't take them long to gain world-wide popularity, however, prompting a sense of nostalgia in the young and young-at-heart.
Appealing to our child-like awe for all things exotic, and of course cute, they have been adopted as collectibles by adults and children alike, some costing a very pretty penny.

And the interpretation keeps progressing in the modern era,
making it quite a challenge to narrow it all down.
Here is but a portion of the creme de la creme of this creative cross-cultural craze.

Fine Art
Check out how modern artists are redefining the decorative dolls:

Above and Below:
Doll Haus: The Modern Matryoshka
Above and Below: Gallery Nucleus: Kokeshi Dolls

Pistacchi Design

These are certainly not your grandma's wooden dolls.
Cutting-edge designes, but still delightfully adorable.
The child-like may be amiss, but the awe and intrigue 
are as present as ever.

Camilla d'Errico Kokeshi

Elsa Mora

Rockabilly Kokeshi by ToughLittleUrchin

Painting by Rommy Torrico

Vogue Russia 10th Anniversary Edition
Subtext Gallery

Some are super fierce.
Some are almost frightening. 
Some have a hint of fetish.
And others are just in-your-face

Bryan Rawling Erotic Russian Dolls Sculpture

This erotic interpretation of the nesting dolls appeared at the Hollywood Sex Museum
while it was still in it's glory days.
They are as big as they look.

Kokeshi Sculptures by James Watts

But these Kokeshi by James Watts are just as intimidating when it comes to scale,
just a little more toned-down
in the way of style.

If I've failed to portray the massive impact this models have had on the art world, 
perhaps these will portray their gargantuan influence:

Hanako the Giant Kokeshi
 @ Roppongi Art Night
Giant Matryoshka Display in Moscow’s
AFIMALL City shopping center

It's not King Kong...
these well-mannered monuments would never stray
outside of the their protective palaces.

Toys Galore
Fine art is just the beginning. These can be displayed in your home for a much more moderate price.

Sasha the Kokeshi Ninjette by Temple7e
Ninjas and Robots
@ Matryoshka Madness
Momiji Kokeshi Dolls

Sketch Inc. 'Little Neons" Matryoshka
Lucha Libre Matryoshkas @ Perpetual Kid

Ninjas, robots, and Luchadors
cover the taste of most of today's kids.
Even I couldn't resist the ninja nesters.

For something unique,
colorful and cute to boot,
custom works of art can be attained with just a little research.
(good ones to the right and below, hint hint)
Kokeshi by Julie West

Itsy Bitsy Kokeshi by Julie West @ My Plastic Heart

To take away the tedious nature of household chores,
these will make you whistle while you work.
Above and below :
Kokeshi Candles @ Hope&Me

These cute candles can be found in 
multiple colors
to match your at home mood.
Above and below:
S&P Ceramic Babushka Dolls @ Hope & Me

Kokeshi Lamp by MrMaria

Light up your life and 
drink it in...
everyday tasks get a face lift.

Drinkup Babushka Carafe Set
@ Fred Flare
Spitfire Girl Matryoshka Pillows

One of the only improvements left is to make them 
My Mimi Kokeshi Geisha Pillows

This is one way to enjoy time spent in the kitchen, if it must be done.

Limited Edition Red
Matryoshka Measuring Cups
Kokeshi Pink Apron
Matryoshka Oven Mitt

Kokeshi Sakura Mug @ Zazzle

High Fashion
For those with the finest taste, and pocket book to show it,
you don't have to sacrifice fun for frivolous.
Charlotte Olympia Anastasia Matryoshka Suede Sandal
Chanel Paris Shanghai Kokeshi Doll Earrings

Chanel Matryoshka Muff
Chanel Kokeshi Handbag

Body Artforms
And you can always be what you love, either for awhile or forever...
(Psst, this section is my fav!)
                                        Matryoshka Dolls Tattoo
Watermelon Kokeshi @ sideshowsito

Japanese Kokeshi Doll Makeup

Matryoshka Makeup
Fab Ur Nails
Kokeshi Nails
Kokeshi Tattoo
Matryoshka Makeup Inspiration

If you ask me, each of these blossoming babydolls has earned her place in the hearts and minds of millions.
Therefore the winner is:

Green Street Co. Folkart

The Mash-up!!!
Creative Commons License
The Pretty Pink Arsenal by Lauryn Otten is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.