The beautiful project


The beautiful project

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A blog covering fashion, technology and photography.

  • Ankara Fabric Designs and Styles Illustrated Fashionably 10 August 2012

    The Ankara pieces stand out like a work of Art.  A creation on canvas, the colours are flashy using the whole spectrum available on the colour wheel. The Ankara fabric patterns too are exaggerated in their expression and doubly accented that you may make them out even from a distance.  And colour blocking is used heavily, and no hue is off- limits as the rich blend of saturated colour abut each other in a stiff competition, yet oh so harmonious in their coexistence.

    How far the African textile industry has come.  The original Dutch wax, the Hollandaise, coveted by many and afforded by few.  Turkey seizing the opportunity to make what is now known as Ankara, essentially a more affordable replica of the Hollandaise.  A slightly inferior copy, the Ankara will run when washed, but not anymore, with advancement in dyeing technique.

    A fashion designer’s treasure, a versatile fabric that lends itself to intricate styling, mostly cotton at it’s very core, Ankara is turned into beautiful pieces.  Masterpieces.  Fit for special occasions.  Traditional or otherwise.

    The Ankara has arrived, standing on it’s own merit, so I will rest my case. For now…

    Photo credits: Clairadene.com, getty images

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • Nicki Minaj in Pink Bikinis, A Lesson in Poolside Manners 6 August 2012 Pink Bikini and lime green wig will be the wardrobe choice Nicki Minaj will make for her music video “Starships” filmed in Hawaii earlier on in the year. As the bikini season draws to a close, a subtle reminder that there will be another opportunity next season for poolside lovers to make right.

    The science of matching body type to bikini choice summed up as bikini 101, a comprehensive subject way beyond the scope of this blog and so the pictures shown here are for their esthetic value alone.

    Where the booty is generous, bikini colour choice ought to be darker shades and full bottom cuts providing as much coverage as possible.  The skirts or boy briefs come to mind.  Unless you are Nicki Minaj and the whole object of the wardrobe is to be as effervescent in colour choice as possible…

    Photo credit: justjared, flynetpictures.com


    Thanks for stopping by…
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  • Gabrielle Douglas, The Little Golden Giant of a Gymnast 4 August 2012

    Gabrielle Douglas stands at a daunting 4 feet and 11 inches tall and weighs some 90 lbs soaking wet at 16 years of age.  The real story is how quickly she rose from a mediocre gymnast to meteoric heights snatching the women’s individual all-around gold medal in a clutch performance at the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London.

    Gabby started training in gymnastics at age 6  in Virginia, taking after her older sister Arielle.  Her childhood fascination with the sport and years of relentless toil and training to overcome her inconsistencies under the watchful eye of coach Chow Liang will all come together seamlessly on the biggest stage, under the brightest lights, witnessed by the largest audience thus far.

    In 2010 it took some convincing before Gabby’s mom Natalie Hawkins will agree for her to move from Virginia to Iowa to train under coach Chow, the former coach for Shawn Johnson at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

    All that sacrifice away from her Virginia beach home, the home sickness and the moments of doubt  came down to last Thursday night’s competition where she chalked 15.96 on vault, 15.733 on bars, 15.500 on beam and 15.033 on floor, living up to her nickname “The Flying Squirrel.”

    The bubbly teenager with the infectious smile took her position on the podium smiling and waving to friend and foe as she soaked in the gold dust shower.

    She represented her self and her sport well at the games and made history in the process.  She is the first  African-American to win the all-around gymnastics women’s title, and that no doubt will earn her endorsement deals and name recognition.  Industry experts note that with her killer personality, vivacious energy and winning smile, marketing executive’s dream combination, she may well earn 30 contracts over the next decade possibly earning to the north of 90 million dollars.

    Gabby on her part says “I just want people to know it took a lot. It took a lot of hard days in the gym and determination, passion and drive.  Gold medals are made out of your sweat, blood and tears, and effort in the gym every day, and sacrificing a lot that you have to do.”

    Her path has and is not always paved in gold as her parents are currently in the middle of a divorce.  But through it all the tenacity , the physical and mental strength worthy of Olympic Champion should see her through.  The story of inspiration is Gabby’s and the students of future success will pay attention!

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • Food-Inspired Jewellery is a Fashion Fiesta 1 August 2012

    Mixing food and fashion can get messy really quickly unless the food is tastefully incorporated into jewellery.  The art of wearing your lunch is a fashion trend that will get you noticed.  And trust me there is no such thing as bad publicity in fashion where the object is to get noticed.  And beyond getting noticed, setting the trend in your circle of friends with some of these appetizing accessories might just be worth exploring.

    These miniature food-themed jewellery are often made from Polymer clay, a scultable PVC material which contains no clay at all.  Easily categorized as a choking hazard for the underaged, these brightly coloured jewels inspire gourmet ready names like tasty trinkets, chilli charms, cupcake brooches, and burger bracelets.

    A quick glance at the pink chicken wing necklace on Nicki Minaj shown above challenges anyone to pull this bold look off and not feel like a chicken wing, takes some courage I tell ya.  So if the pink chicken wing is too rare for your taste, how about some of the vegetarian flavours, like the sliced avocado earrings or the green apple finger ring?  Yup, fruit-inspired jewellery are healthy and haute, so put cherry-topped whipped cream ring on your finger and start strutting.

    Bon appetit fahionistas. Bon appetit!

    Cherry-topped whipped cream ring

    Sliced Avocado earrings

    Green Apple ring

    Sushi inspired pendants

    Sliced Orange earrings
    Layered Cake earrings

    Cookie Sandwich earrings

    Bacon Bracelet

    Sliced Strawberry pendant

    Photo credit: onchmovement.com

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • How Kente is Worn For Traditional Performances 26 July 2012

    I have done a few posts on Kente presented in contemporary fashion dresses.  The more traditional presentation of Kente is not as extravagant, but no less elegant.

    Earlier on in the summer of 2012, I attended  a wedding in Edmonton where this Ghanaian Dance Group from Calgary put on a show for the newly married couple.  The pictures I obtained in the difficult light conditions was nothing to write home about.

    But as good fortune will have it, I will attend another wedding one month later which will feature the same Dance group beautifully decorated in Kente Cloth, African Glass Beaded jewellery around their arms, wrists and ankles.

    Armed with a camera better suited for tricky light conditions, I had a field day photographing the Dance ensemble as they presented the Adowa Dance, of the Ashanti Tribe in Ghana.

    The traditional outfit of the Ashanti people is built around the Kente cloth.  For those traditional occasions the Kente cloth is wrapped around the body just underneath the armpit and secured in place.  The accessories shown here are the African beads, including the Krobo variety…

    The two finger wave is a signature Adowa dance move and this group executes so effortlessly on all the elements of the traditional Ashanti dance.

    I suspect that a little bit of Azonto dance was incorporated into the Adowa routine from the move captured below. That arm raised to me is textbook Azonto right there…

    I struggled to figure out the white fabric print with gold detail worn by these cute dolls shown here without success so I am going to leave it to my more knowledgeable patrons to leave comments below that we can share and learn from.

    If you have to have a wedding in the Calgary and Edmonton area, it will be worth using their services to grace your occassion with an authentic Ashanti cultural performance.

    The name of the group is Adehyeman mma and you may contact them at adehemanmma2011@hotmail.ca through the group’s mentor Margaret Boateng (Mama Peggy)

    Thanks for stopping by, and please share your thoughts in the comments area below…

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  • Jeffrey Campbell’s 2012 Resort Collection 20 July 2012 A beautiful pair of heels is not likely to wear comfortably.  But it sure will get you noticed. The 2012 Jeffrey Campbell’s Resort Collection is that and some.  You can argue beauty is in the eye of the beholder. True.  And then there are these elements of beauty that are constant among cultures, countries, continents, generations, genders and social class.  The obvious is bold colours, and symmetry and smooth lines and curves and sparkly things.

    When Jeffrey Campbell throws a bunch of these beautiful elements together for his 2012 Shoe Collection it gains universal appeal quickly.  Set in the flamboyant LA culture it is expressive.  Embellished in everything from studs, cowhide, metallics, glitter, it is exquisite. Titled “A love affair with Los Angeles”, the collection is less “plastic” and “fake” , and every bit authentic…

    Find JC shoes at Holt Renfrew

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  • Calgary Stampede 2012, The Western Wear 18 July 2012 The Western Fashion was in full display at the just concluded Centennial Calgary Stampede.  Dubbed the Greatest outdoor show, it was no surprise that a record 1.4 million guests walked through the gates during the 10 day event, July 6-15, 2012, beating the previous attendance record by over 147, 000 from 2006.

    The Cowboy fashion trend was unmistakable as you can see here, from the Cowboy boots to the hat with the plaid shirt and denim jeans, the Wild West was brought to life one more time…

    Cowboy hat from Los Cabos

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • Shoe Obsession, The Glossary of Styles Explained 14 July 2012 Nothing wrong with having an extensive collection of shoes.  Shoes never worn before.  Shoes collecting dust, while competing with other sister shoes for limited space on that wobbly shoe rack that has fallen over more than once when you walk by.  Shoes that still have tags on them.  shoes that you got on sale that don’t fit right.  Antiquated shoes that are out of style and will be better displayed at the city shoe museum. Shoes that can not be incorporated into any outfit even with the help of Polyvore.

    But each one of them hold a special place in your heart and when you will let your best girl friend borrow from your priced collection, so much strain is put on your friendship.  But can you tell your Oxford’s from your Mary Jane’s? Or can you make out a d’Orsay pumps?

    The first step to properly organizing your excessive shoe collection is knowing them by their names.  Their proper names.  Here is a glossary, very abridged glossary of some of the more popular shoe styles that are representing in your closet…

    The Stiletto

    Gold and Diamond Studded Stilettos

    Also known as Spike heels, Stiletto describes the shoe heel which is pointy, high and thin. The shoe of choice if you anticipate a confrontation later in the evening

    English: Red High Heel Pumps
    English: Red High Heel Pumps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


    Pumps

    This is the standard bearer of women’s shoes, with a low-cut front and closed back with nothing to help secure the shoe to the foot by way of straps, buckles, laces or ties, in the classic look.

    The shape of the toes can be round, pointy, almond-shaped, or square.

    2011 Dior Black Leather Platform Wedges
    Jessica Simpson Wooden Platform Shoes
    Melissa Shoes Designed by Vivienne Westwood
    Nine West Arnell Oxfords
    UK Tods Loafers
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  • Kente Cloth Versus Kente Wax Print 11 July 2012
     

    If you can’t tell the difference between Original Kente Cloth and The Kente Wax Print counterpart, you are not alone as  advancement in industrial textile manufacturing have blurred the lines leaving the inexperienced fashionista befuddled.  Allow me to explain.  First do a double take at these three Kente Dress Styles…
    Can you tell the real Kente from the print?  Well neither could I.

    I attended a traditional function a couple of weekends ago where I obtained pictures of these gorgeous traditional African dress styles.  I had to seek help from some friends, Kente experts, if I may to tell the legit Kente from the wannabe Kente.  I am not about to spill the goods on which Kente fabric shown here is the real deal but I will share what I learned from the questions I asked how you can tell the authentic fabric apart from the print version.

    Real Kente is hand-woven on a loom, an intricate and time-consuming process, the resulting fabric hence can be up to ten times more expensive than the printed version.  The more obvious difference however is the cleaner, sharper delineations of the geometric patterns seen on the Kente print.  If it looks too good to be true, chances are it is.

    The real Kente is woven using Rayon, a much thicker fabric than the mostly cotton or silk used for the Kente print.  As a consequence, the Kente Print is far more malleable, lending itself to more elaborate dress styles.

    So much for the differences.  The obvious trend I noticed at the traditional function is how folks wore their Kente.  Pinks and Blues were the common colours, and I am guessing it is probably a 2012 thing.  Notice how in the pictures a chosen accent colour is used for accessorizing the outfit to achieve a more elegant and modern look.  I am referring to the Gele, head gear, which adds a Nigerian dimension to the Kente ensemble.  If you like bold colours, your are going to appreciate these looks…

    I will explore the traditional way that Kente is worn by the Asante people in celebrating their culture and heritage in a blog post coming soon so visit the blog again if you like all things Kente.

    Thanks for stopping by..

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  • Aimee Copeland Starts Rehab In High Spirits 8 July 2012

    For Aimee Copeland, a graduate student, when it rained it poured and flooded, maiming her physically, but not her dreams and ambitions as she makes her way from Doctor’s Hospital, Augusta to begin six weeks of Rehabilitation.

    Aimee Copeland’s battle with flesh eating disease (Necrotizing fasciitis) was the result of a freak accident, zip- lining over a West Georgia River. Aimee, 24 went Kayaking on the Little Talapoosa River, Georgia on May 1st.  She jumped on a homemade zip line for a quick fun ride but the line snapped and she fell, cutting her calf on a rock.  Her cuts got stapled in an emergency treatment but contracted flesh eating disease a few days thereafter.

    The flesh eating disease claimed her left leg, right foot, and both hands as doctors battled to stem the tide of the debilitating disease.  When Aimee learned she will suffer amputations to save her life her response was “let’s do this” while inquiring about prosthetic devices in the same breath, an indomitable spirit that carried her through the painful amputations and skin grafts she received.

    Last Monday she was discharged from the Doctor’s Hospital, having spent some 59 days, received 200 units of fresh frozen plasma and red blood cells and a plethora of other life-support management care.

    At the Inpatient Rehab facility that will be home for Aimee Copeland for the next 6 weeks, she will learn to use a motorized wheelchair and eventually  prosthetic limbs, at the same time when volunteers are scrambling to remodel her childhood home to accommodate her new needs.

    Aimee Copeland is determined to complete her graduate studies by the end of this year and intends to walk on stage to receive her masters degree.  Thanks to a lot of support from her family and her community doors are opening to make all of this possible says her father.  Rob Ponder, a long time family friend, an Architect volunteered his services crafting the Aimee Wing, an extension to the Copeland home in Snellville, Georgia.  At her behest, the two-story wing will contain her bedroom, sun room and a study where she can complete her master’s thesis, and a gym to regain her strength and muscle tone.

    Volunteers have already demolished a deck and armed with the necessary building permit, work is already underway at a go go go pace to keep up with the recovery of a woman who has exceeded expectation at every turn in this harrowing saga, lest she is due to be released from rehab and building of her new home which will include an elevator, is not complete. This is how her community have been showing their support through fundraising for Aimee Copeland.

    Aimee Copeland’s upbeat reaction to all of this has brought tears to her father’s eyes and he explains, “I wasn’t crying because Aimee was going to lose her hands and foot, I was crying because in all of my 53 years of existence, I have never seen such a strong display of courage”, says Andy Copeland.  He added “I am the proud father of an incredibly courageous young lady.”

    Aimee Copeland to Rehab, photo credit Andy Copeland
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  • BET Awards 2012, The Finest Dresses 5 July 2012 The 2012 BET Awards concluded this past weekend at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles with some of the notable stars showing in elegant dresses flashing long legs and flaunting assets.  For Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Brandy there is no question they are enjoying motherhood, giving how fit they looked.

    Beyonce was dressed in yellow, the hottest colour of the night, with a long slit baring a lot of legs.  Her friend Kim Kardashian wore white, colour-coordinating with Kanye West, a tight fitting, very low back gown, but she pulled it off elegantly.

    Nicki Minaj who does not skip an opportunity to flaunt her booty busted animal print tights for her bottoms.  Mariah Carey and Brandy were relatively conservative in their ensembles but very graceful nonetheless.

    Kim Kardashian
    Nicki Minaj
    Nicki Minaj
    Mariah Carey
    Brandy

    Beyonce

    Photo credit: Getty images

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  • Nigerian Traditional Clothing And Dress Styles 2 July 2012 The Nigerian Traditional arrangement was in bold and colourful attendance at this Ghanaian function I visited recently with hopes of covering different Kente designs and patterns. The trademark of the Nigerian  traditional attire is the head wrap, properly referred to as the gele (pronounced gay-lay) made from stiffened fabric and elaborately arranged and held together with hair pins.  Though it can obstruct the view of anybody stuck behind the wearer, it is nontheless a beautiful thing to behold.

    Specifically, the Nigerian traditional costume has it’s origins with the Yoruba people who claim 21 percent majority of the Nigerian population.  The common fabrics used to make the clothing are lace, jacquard, ankara, and tie and dye.

    But there is more to the Nigerian traditional clothing ensemble. Here are the parts:

    • Gele is the headwrap
    • Buba is the blouse
    • Iro is the bottom piece which is essentially a rectangular piece of fabric wrapped around the waist, and
    • Iborun/Ipele is the accessory scarf

    So when it’s all put together, here is the look…

    Hope you liked the pictures, leave a comment if you please, and thanks for stopping by…

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  • Beyonce Knowles’ Fashion Style For The Curvy 30 June 2012 For Beyonce Knowles, the choice of designer clothing is a painstaking process, unless her mom custom tailor to suit her body type, a curvy frame that she embraces and flaunts with very little bidding.  Parading an approximate 0.7 waist to hip ratio, her dimensions sit anywhere between a pear and an hourglass shape.

    The hair is usually worn long and straight, or as an updo, big hoop earrings and tall pumps appear to be her staple to achieve a slimming effect.  And the body hugging clothes spell hourglass in bold and large font!

    Here is a sample, a select few from her deep fashion closet…

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • Feather Hair Extensions, Fashion Trend Not Fit For Fly Fishing 28 June 2012

    Feather hair extensions have been trending for a while, more recently popularized by celebrities and the world of fashion, evoking even stronger criticism from animal right groups.

    If for no reason at all to pay attention, Feather hair extensions are bold, beautiful and colourful.  The methods for procuring these flashy avian plummage, if you should believe the claims of groups like PETA, are not so pretty however.

    Special genetically engineered roosters are bred and feathers from the saddle (rear end of the rooster) are harvested and dyed to feed the hair fashion trend.  Note that it is the same saddle feathers that are used in fly fishing as bait, that has drawn far less scrutiny from the animal right groups.

    There are synthetic feather options thankfully, for the featherlock fashion trend lovers who are averse to animal cruelty, available in all shapes and colours here. The feathers can be woven into braids or your own hair, or could be attached by clips. In the case of this fashion accessory, less is more when you wear them. Just remember to steer clear of fish infested water bodies, lest you attract the fish the same way fly fishermen bait their prey…

    Share your thoughts, and thanks for stopping by…

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  • Beads of Bold Colour, Very Fashionable African Glass Beads 24 June 2012 The value of beads transcend fashion.  The jewellery of choice that adds value, class and statement beyond the traditional setting, glass beads continue to be a beautiful accessory that can elevate your game a few modest notches.

    Beads may be made from recycled paper or plastic, wood, glass or brass, stone or bone. The glass beads however are usually pressed glass made by placing ground glass into molds and heated till molten to achieve the desired shapes. There are three main types of glass beads, Translucent Beads, Powder Glass Beads and Painted Glass Beads.

    The Krobo Beads known for their bold hues and chunky units have gained mainstream acceptance as elegant fashion accessories. These include the 6mm and 10mm round beads that veritably embody African Art. Here I have assembled some pictures of beads in their full glory.  Share your comments below if you own any or will wear them.

    Wearing Glass Beads…

    • The Hair Beads For Your Braids

    • Necklace Beads For Adorning The Neckline

    • Waist Beads, A Feminine Touch

    • Beaded Bracelets and Anklets

    Beads, beads, beads till you are waisted in embellished grace.

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • Ingrown Hair, Why You Are Not About To Outgrow It Any Time Soon, And Some Coping Strategies 22 June 2012
    There is a premium to be paid to have that smooth silky skin – the beauty premium.  Not the least of which is ingrown hair. This whole situation of ingrown hair arose ever since we all joined the mammalian ranks earning the hairy badge. Every time you apply poor technique removing body hair, thanks to the laws of nature, you get a gentle reminder how far we have come.
    But there is more to ingrown hair than poor hair removal technique. The hair shaft whenever it is cut below the skin surface will have to find its way back through this tiny pore on the skin surface during hair growth.  When there is any structural obstruction in it’s path the growing hair may coil back into the hair follicle, causing painful irritation.  This may be itchy and the scratching and picking at it can break the skin resulting in an infection. The area of inflammation appears reddened, bumpy and unsightly enough to throw a wrench into your show-some-skin plans.
    Top 5 Reasons Ingrown Hair Keeps Coming Back 
    • Dry scaly skin that results from low humidity or not moisturizing your skin frequently enough.
    • Curly hair that increases risk of the growing hair being trapped in the skin.  
    • Poor hair removal technique or an overly aggressive approach.  This include skimping out on shaving cream
    • Not removing hair along the same direction as the hair grows,  shaving too closely to the skin, and use of those triple blade shaving sticks that cause razor burn.
    • Being a mammal surely is a lifetime risk factor!
    Let’s face it we are unable to prevent all instances of ingrown hair, but you can reduce your risk significantly by employing some of these sound habits…
    Preventing Ingrown Hair
    • Regularly exfoliating your skin to remove dead cells and clear skin pores makes it easier for hair to grow out of the hair follicle. Use a loofah or exfoliating creams.
    • Frequently moisturizing the skin.
    • Employing sound hair removal technique. There are a few things to say here. Exfoliate and moisturize problem spots before removing hair.  Replace your razor blade frequently. Shaving strokes should be in the same direction as hair grows. Use depilatory creams (hair dissolving chemicals) instead of shaving, the caveat mainly is to not leave the cream on skin a second longer than directed in the instruction manual. Also laser hair removal or electrolysis are options that can be used.  Laser hair removal keeps the hair from growing back for a long time while electrolysis is a permanent hair removal solution.
    • Manage your skin conditions with the help of your dermatologist.
    • Avoid tight clothing over frequently shaved areas. The constant fabric-skin friction can be a source of irritation resulting in hair curling back in the hair follicle.
     When your preventive measures fall short, some of these do-it-yourself methods may be enough to help manage stubborn ingrown hair.

    Treating Ingrown Hair
    • Tweezers work well when a portion of the trapped hair is accessible from the surface.  Bite the bullet and pull the hair out gently.
    • Use mild soap to moisten and help loosen dead skin cells clogging the hair follicle.
    • Use acne medication to control pus and reduce inflammation. 
    • Use topical antiseptic cream daily if hair follicle is infected.  If infection doesn’t clear after a few days it is imperative to go see your dermatologist.
    With a few of these suggestions you should be ready to take on the summer with a pair of silky smooth legs clad in a fitting pair of heels!!

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  • Vlisco 2012 Campaign Styling The Real Dutch Wax Print 19 June 2012
    Vlisco’s newest collection this 2012, Palais des Sentiments, promises to inspire a touch of rich romantic addition to your wardrobe with flowing lines and layers of fabric. Brightly coloured paisley patterns and vibrant floral textiles are the recurring theme in this campaign.

    These hollandaise superwax prints typically sell in six yard units, enough to sew the top, bottoms and leave some extra fabric for a head scarf.

    Some of the best looks shown here combine several fabrics in a single look to achieve that alluring effect that works both during the day and at night.

    But for those that embrace traditional African fashion, the opportunity to light up a room with these unique patterns and bright bold colours screams the beautiful you…

    Photo credit: Vlisco 2012 lookbook

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • The Nicki Minaj Bold Beautiful Fashion Style 16 June 2012 Her style is bold and beautiful to her fans.  The same style has been described as over the top.  Regardless of how you describe Nicki Minaj‘s fashion style, she turn heads and sells albums.
    Born to parents from Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago as Onika Tanya Maraj, she moved to New York City Borough of Queens at age 5.
    For Nicki it was the turmoil in her early life that will drive her to success. Her Dad, a chronic drug abuser piled torment on the family.  In one of the family lows, he set fire to their home in a botched attempt to kill Nicki’s mom. “I’ve always had this female-empowerment thing in the back of my mind because I wanted my mother to be stronger, and she couldn’t be. I thought, if I’m successful, I can change her life” was how Nicki will sum it all up in a powerful sentiment how you can draw strength and inspiration from adversity.
    She attended La Guardia High School of Music and Art where she developed her craft. She took on backup singing roles for some local New York artists to get in the game and then she started writing her own material.  When Dirty Money CEO Fendi listened to her music on her Myspace page, he signed her immediately to his label.  This will later lead her to Lil Wayne who will showcase her talent and style in various collaborations and the rest is history.
    Last year while in Playa del Carmen, Mexico I heard her Super Bass single off the Pink Friday album played so many times it grew on me, you can listen to it here. Nicki Minaj has collaborated with some of the best out there including Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Rihanna and Justin Bieber.
    Thanks for stopping by…
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  • Nikon d800, First Impressions With Sample Pictures 15 June 2012 Waiting a month and a half for the Nikon d800 felt like an eternity but after using it for almost a week now, I am mildly pleased with it’s performance.

    I ordered the dslr camera through Saneal Camera store April ending.  I counted two occasions that I called to find out my ranking on the waiting list.  Both times the news was grim.  Then last week I got off work, checked my voicemail and I instantly lighted up.  The beast is finally here.

    I changed plans and raced to the Camera Store with lightning speed. Along with the d800, I grabbed the Nikkor 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 and the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 lenses.  John at the Saneal Camera store, Southcentre Mall location was very informative and gracious in assistance.

    The excitement turned to reality quickly.  Mind-numbingly steep learning curve. A quick drive to Cochrane to see Paul and Janet, Nikon enthusiasts, was the inspiration I needed.

    For practice I brought the Nikon gear to Fish Creek Provincial Park, Calgary and managed a handful of pictures shared below.  My greatest challenge was keeping a steady hand before taking the shots.

    Overall my every expectation is met and I am happy with the d800 and the 28-300mm lens choice.

    Thanks for stopping by…

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  • iOS 6 Coming To An iPhone Near You This Fall 13 June 2012

    If at all you are on the market for a Smartphone, don’t pull the trigger on decision making until you have looked long and hard at the all new iOS 6  features announced at the WWDC 2012 by Apple yesterday, due to be released this fall.

    For starters the Apple iOS 6 update will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and the fourth generation iPod Touch and newer.  The only drag with upgrading from a system which is say a couple of years old is the noticeable slowing in performance as the antiquated hardware labors to keep up with the new operating software.

    Some of the new features are not revolutionary in themselves as Android Ice Cream Sandwich is already offering some of them, and the Microsoft mobile platform has plenty new features as well.  What usually sets Apple apart is the simple and elegant integration of all the different parts to provide an augmented user experience on a closed but secure  platform.

    There are over 200 new features arriving with iOS 6 but here are just a few of the more exciting ones:

    Passbook

    An alternative to carrying a big wallet stacked with cards, Passbook will aggregate boarding passes, loyalty cards, shopping coupons etc in a way that will simplify the process of finding a needle in a haystack of cards from your wallet.  There is an App CardStar which I use now on my iPhone 4 though not as extensive in it’s capability, provides an easy way to keep my loyalty cards in one place and I find it very useful.  Passbook seeks to go beyond that, where boarding passes and coupons will appear on your locked screen when you arrive at the airport or in the grocery store.



    3D Maps

    Google already provides StreetView in the Maps App, but here again Apple seems to forge ahead with relying less on it’s main rival in the Smartphone market. The new Maps App will bring Text-to-Speech feature, which is a spoken turn-by-turn navigation instructions along with ability to do a birds eye view tour of cities. Now I am using Mapquest Mobile  which is a free navigation app that provides text-to-speech functionality and I must say works quite well.

    Expanded Siri

    Siri will now be available on the new iPad, in more languages and more countries.  And it will open Apps so you can tweet and update Facebook status by voice commands alone.  My buddy Stacy who upgraded from an old flip phone to the iPhone 4S looks so productive dictating his text messages and setting up reminders, he now swears by this feature.  If you are not big on typing on small touch screens you will appreciate this solution.

    Facebook Integration

    The lack of Facebook integration in the previous iOS iterations have always been one of my gripes with Apple but I can rest easy now that the same integration provided for the less popular twitter is extended to Facebook.

    Facetime over Cellular Network

    Now you can make Facetime calls over your Cellular network as well as over Wi-Fi.  It remains to be seen how practical making Facetime calls over the networks will be considering how expensive data is right now.

    My friends on the Android platform will not trade in their phones for anything else and I find that to be the case with those using iOS.  If you are still  still on the fence deliberating which Smartphone to go with,   I recommend the iPhone only because I think it provides access to the largest App market and is also quite secure.  Plus I happen to own one, so excuse my bias.  The BlackBerry enthusiasts are also comfortable with their portion and I am happy for them.  Which ever platform you choose, don’t look back after you make the decision and enjoy it for it’s strengths.  Share your comments and thanks for reading…

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