Playhouse Playtime: Throwing a Party at Liz’s House

Liz's Bungalow Bash - featuring clothing and styling services provided by Bungalow Clothing, and jewelry/accessories by Chloe + Isabel by Alex.

Chicks do occasionally leave their Playhouse – but usually only for playtime at someone else’s. This past weekend, I took myself (and a haul from Chloe + Isabel and Bungalow Clothing) over to Liz’s place for a Style party that made my heart happy and my eyes glaze over a little bit with all the sparkle and shine to take in.

Here’s a peek:

Besides being tremendously good looking (*priorities*), I think this style shindig ended up being pretty darn practical, as well. Bungalow stylists send the clothes to you, so the result was a “Boutique in Liz’s Living Room” type of event; and a beautiful one at that. Trying on clothes and accessories NOT in a traditional department store dressing room proved relaxing and intimate – definitely a departure from the fluorescent lights and attempts to find someone (anyone!) to track down the right sizes.

I mean, I was on the job, and I still managed to find clothes for myself (and matching jewelry):

IMG_3098
My own special cup, selected with great care.

And can we talk about Liz’s tea-cup collection?  I’m shamed I cannot take even an ounce of credit for this gorgeously assembled set of mismatched china, but it absolutely MADE the day. They match the desserts!! And something about this eclectic tea party captures perfectly the style and air of this little adventure outside the Playhouse:

Sophisticated, Chic, and Grown-Up, with a side of Playing Dress-Up with your Best Friends. It was very girly. And perhaps that’s what made it so much fun.

A great big thank-you to Liz for letting me take over her abode for the day. And for hosting one killer party.

Get to know Bungalow better and host your own party – they’re a company to know. Plus, if you live in the Connecticut-area (or back near my nest in Chicago), I can be the Chick bringing the party to you! Get in touch, please 🙂 I’d love to plan another event like this one.

*Event photography by Alex Gilman-Smith*

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Current Fascinations: Pattern + Print

Today, I’m looking at the build-up of pattern + print in my own work, and the work of others.

Pattern – “a repeated form or design especially used to decorate something; the regular and repeated way in which something happens or is done; something that happens in a regular and repeated way.” (per Merriam-Webster)

I’m especially interested in pattern as it relates to creating texture. Pointillism, as a technique in fine art, is a terribly decorative one. Paint sitting on the surface, asking the viewer to pay attention not only to the image it’s created, but to the way in which it was applied – in repetition of one shape; one stroke. Unlike realism in painting, that would like its viewer to forget the artifice and accept the image as truth, pointillism’s tiny polka dots sing out loud and demand you recognize the paint itself.

Interestingly enough, capturing every detail is NOT the way to achieving realism through painting. In fact, the inclusion of every detail quickly gives way to a decorative flatness – pattern – and the illusion of reality disappears. I don’t know about you (you’re probably not as nuts as I am), but this really fascinates me. Reality in the fine-arts is often best achieved through suggestion. Surreality, then, can be found in the superfluous details?

The idea makes me just spark full of light and ideas and excitement. Plus, detailed abstraction is EVERYWHERE and it’s awesome.

Check it out! My current obsessions: 

*Click through for direct links and credits to all artists*

And some of my work:

*Note: None of these are finished works. I really want to make sure I’m sharing with you the PLAY that comes “Outta The Playhouse,” and that means the work is the thing. Hope you enjoy and appreciate 🙂

What are you into? Print + Pattern-wise, that is…

What I Do All Day: A Creative Freelancer’s Guide

Before we go any further, let me just address what you all must be thinking: this Chick calls herself a “creative professional.” What’s that crap entail? Well, as mentioned, I made it up, so it entails whatever the h*ll I want (that asterisk did a lot for subtlety, yeah?)

But for credibility’s sake, here’s what I do all day; in the name of progressing my Creative, Professional, Career.

So. Punk. Rock.  It's been my line since 13. Why change now?
So. Punk. Rock.
It’s been my line since 13. Why change now?

It’s my job description. With notes.

  1. I start with Yoga. It makes me feel human. And so my bones hurt less. Have you noticed your bones hurt a lot more past 25? I have.
  2. Then I screw around. For thirty minutes, at least. Usually, I pick some music and sing real loud. A lot of times I dance. No one’s here to see that. The joys of working from home. This is seriously the most important part of my day.
  3. I work on my style. This is actually work. I rep for Chloe + Isabel, What I Do All Day: Chloe + Isabel by Me; Alex!
    so I spend time daily designing displays, photographing pieces, marketing myself and my shop, booking Pop-Ups, and helping clients find their way through hoards of gorgeous jewelry. It’s a rough life. I also recently picked up with the lovely Bungalow Clothing, so I get my a** in gear and plan local in-home events for them, as well. Dressing-Room-Delivered is precisely the kind of motto I can get behind at my work-from-home desk. So, I keep up with the Joneses, and drown myself in pretty things all day. This is an okay thing to do for money.

    What I Do All Day: My Chloe + Isabel Display
    Yes, You can shop with me. Your prayers have been answered. Boutique and Styling links are over there in the Sidebar —>
  4. I paint, I write, I create. This is a daily goal. I’ll admit that it doesn’t always occur. I’m a playwright (no really, you can see my work on the New Play Exchange) and aspiring screenwriter – but degree credentials do very little for you in an industry based on who’s reading and who’s watching. I try to write everyday. Even if it’s just a sentence. I started a notebook at the beginning of this year – the 365 notebook – with the intention of writing one word, one sentence, one paragraph, or one page every day. What I Do All Day: The 365 Writing NotebookHave I missed a few? Yes. Have I written a lot? Yes. What matters, mostly, is that I have the thing. Keep your professional goals close, your dreams closer. Or something like that.
  5. Roll up in a ball. As long as we’re being honest – depression happens. Especially when you spend all day by yourself, and are then confronted by those who workhorse their way through a traditional 9 to 5. No matter what you do, some days, it just doesn’t compute as “mission accomplished.” Many afternoons, despite my best efforts, I find myself curled up in the fetal position, inevitably feeling the heavy weight of shame as Pretty Little Liars drones on in the background (if you don’t have an adolescent-soap-opera of a Netflix show to get you through these moments, I don’t believe you).
    What I Do All Day: A Little Self Help Never Hurt Anybody
    Seriously. They don’t. And reading this makes me feel better. So does the monkey.

    Best advice? I try to shake it off. Even as I type that, I’m thinking, Honey, you never just shake it off. It usually requires Van Halen’s Jump on repeat and a trip into the outside world, but it can be done. Lately, just a chapter from a self-help piece of choice can be the kick I need. Either way, employ Opposite Action, friends: if you’re down, get up. And don’t focus on getting back to work (you’ll just roll up tighter). Get back to something you can look forward to.

And you? What’s your play day look like, Creators? I’m curious what the more straight-laced, work-a-day folks are doing with their hours – at home or at the office. More importantly, how the heck do you get of your depressive moments? Share, please! Motivate me! Keep me keeping on!

Welcome to the PLAYHOUSE: We like Fun + Games + Art + Theatre + Movies + Style + Too Many Things for a Title…

It’s a New Year and it’s time for a New Playhouse.

OuttaThePlayhouse ReLaunch: How to Be Creative, Professionally

This may have been more effective on January 1 – the chronological start of 2015. However, between you and me, I don’t really get the gears set in motion for at least a few weeks in, so as for my New Year, it starts now. February 1st. When I’m really ready for it. Or, as ready as I’m going to be.

… Basically, we’re in it, it’s happened, I can’t get out of it. So here we go.

In sifting through everything I’ve read about blogging and branding and setting up the ideal Facebook page, I know that constantly changing your theme, mission statement, goals, look, opinions, is a terrible, terrifying, totally stupid idea. Therefore, that’s exactly what I want to do. Change. Screw up. Make a mess. Because I can.

… That’s a real bratty, Chicky-Baby sort of thing to do. Guess I am on brand after all.

So today, on February 1st, 2015, I announce the Unofficial Official ReLaunch (hereby known as the UORL – please pronounce that as an actual word) of a blog I started almost a year ago to help myself feel like a real, honest-to-God working professional. And I notice, despite its (many) inconsistencies, that it did manage to do exactly that: make me feel professional. 

And so I digress (I ALWAYS want to say that): what about this Playhouse makes me, a child in slightly larger children’s clothing, feel professional? Is it the routine? The pretending to have something important to teach all of you? Using an alter-ego borrowed from The PuppetLand Band to free myself? Is it having readers? Followers? (CREEPY) It certainly can’t be that what I do all day – which I’ve essentially branded as playing – is, actually, a profession?

Is creativity a job?

Can work, which I hate, be replaced with play?

And that’s how I came up with my new(ish) mission statement for OuttaThePlayhouse. Let me pitch it to you:

Playhouse Rules

by Chicky Baby (aka Alex)

I want this Playhouse to be a creative, imaginative, boisterous, *rock ‘n roll*, LOUD, off-the-wall, shiny, brand-new, unafraid, Brave and F**king FUN place to be. Rules of the Playhouse: Expect Creativity in All FormsLet this be the CBGB’s of the internet! A blog for the #hardcore punk-rocker in each of you. Come here when you want to explore, engage + rediscover the artist you were born to be. Put your hands in the air, wave them like you just don’t care, and realize that all work and no play DOES make you a dull boy and you must quit that s**t, ASAP.

Don’t think you can? Man got you down? I invite you over to play. Let the Chick and OuttathePlayhouse show you how to make everyday one big, bold, and professional, playdate. From here on out, let OTP (you down with OTP?) be your go-to destination for:

  • Creative Advice
  • Storytelling + Anecdotes
  • Van Halen Inspiration (No, really. This is a thing.)
  • Artist/Maker/Creator Introductions
  • Works in Progress
  • Really Cool Outfits
  • Things I Think You, Playmate, Should Know (I am your Chick, after all)
  • And, probably, more. Lots more.

So, this leaves you all thinking (#wtf #crazychick #yikes):

What can you expect?

Expect regular posts. Regular ideas. Irregular thoughts. With regular attitude. And, naturally;

Expect the unexpected.

Now, if that hasn’t explained everything to you – Good. Prepare to find out a lot more about me. And hopefully, a lot more about your creative self.

Happy 2015, Playmates. See you soon.

-Chick

It’s Way Too Early for Holidays, But Not for Pretty Shiny Things

Words cannot express my excitement. For my regular playhousers, know that I spend some of my creative time working for this lovely jewelry company Chloe + Isabel. And as lovers of good design, I KNOW you can appreciate how happy I get when our little Tribeca team comes up with gorgeous new additions to the line-up.

Here’s a video for my Launch Partiers over on Facebook. TINY sneak-peek- more to come!

If you’re not following me on Facebook yet, why don’t you head on over? Get yourself in on the Holiday Launch if you’re interested and you’d like to get to know a little bit more about my side project. I’d love to have you.

A Summer Blockbuster with Art Appeal

Hey Playhouse Fans – I know, it’s #TheatreThursday, so where’s your weekly dose of theatricality? What happened to the cheerleaders? What’s happening??

GOOD NEWS

There’s been so much response from the community, I have a LOT of new work to read by a LOT of new and emerging playwrights! This is wonderful! I am ecstatic! I cannot wait to share it with you 🙂

So, if you’d be so kind, give me today off so I can start reading, start writing, and start showing you what #TheatreThursday really can be! Cheers to ART!

In the meantime, to tide your artistic sensibilities over, please join my CinematicArts Boutique for an Art + Style SALE. With all marketing elements delightfully themed to one of my Playhouse Horror favorites, The Shining (JUST BECAUSE).

SummerBlockSale
Just click on Dear Little Danny’s face there to join the event!

What’s an online boutique, you ask? Exactly what this Chicky’s been working on for the last few months. CinematicArts presents original art from myself (Alex Landers), guest artists, jewelry and accessories from the lovely boutique brand Chloe + Isabel, and a whole lot more (jokes, that is). Join me in the experiment?

XOXO

The Chick

The Art of Updating

Playhouse life, as of late, is full of updates. Making improvements, harnessing change, moving forward – hoping every update is, indeed, an upgrade. As I look to make a physical move in the next few months (more details on that in a later post), I have been tasked with preparing myself mentally, first.

After all, I’m a homebody, and I tend to prefer my days a little more static than most – change is not my forte. Funny, because as an artist, my thoughts are intensely dynamic, never resting for more than half a second; I couldn’t not change if I wanted to. But perhaps this is how nature balances itself in us, and why I feel such comfort in having a space of my own.

So, as I visit my Connecticut home for a little early summer vacation (my posts have been sporadic, at best – this Chick appreciates your patience), I’m taking pleasure in really making this apartment in New London my own. A playhouse extension, if you will. And like any good visual artist, I find a design update to one’s space is a necessary reflection of what’s going on inside. Case-in-point, an obsession with changing my significant other’s throw pillows. (Full disclosure – these are actually my throw pillows, from college, and they’ve been decorating this couch for the past three years; it’s my fault.)

Sad pillows
Sad, lumpy, wilted old pillows

 

Design problem: They’re worn, they’re dull, they’re relatively “blah,” for lack of a better term (there is really no better descriptor than “blah”), and the shades of blue-grey on blue-grey are overly masculine and neutral to me. Also, they’re just dirty. Time for a wash, a spray of the Febreze and a trip to the Goodwill. Hopefully someone’s brighter colored couch will appreciate their addition.

In the meantime, boyfriend and I went on a hunt for something a bit cooler, and with a bit more wacky, standout pizazz. Just like us (or me… trying not to take over.) I’m usually the flea market-type, but I must admit, with pillows, I prefer something a little more factory-fresh. And when in doubt, I say, Crate and Barrel has my basic design needs met. Plus, they’re Northbrook based, and I will always be attached to the city I called home (from ages 0 to 3).

So we hit up the big mall in Providence and hit the shelves. My eye, and luckily boyfriend’s too, immediately found these doozies.

 

Texture (check), Pattern (cool!), Color (yeah!). Boyfriend maybe thought me a little ludicrous at first for my desire to mix patterns aimlessly (I do that a lot), but I thought him crazy for his attraction to crochet. However, we do have a nice red motif running throughout the place (pulled from his awfully stylish surfboard,

REAL surfboard (not mine)
REAL surfboard (not mine)

which is functional, and not an art piece – cause I’d hate to be those hipsters…) and if I can get a blip of that in there, I’m pretty sure it’s going to work.

And the finished product?

Happy, jazzy, perky new pillows
Happy, jazzy, perky new pillows

So it’s not all that different. It’s a little change. Quick update, quick fix, yet I already feel a little bit more settled. I look at that before and after and I feel a sense of extraordinary satisfaction. It would make a really satisfying gif… if I knew how to make a gif. I feel like I live in a new house. I feel like I occupy a new head space. I feel clean and fresh and new, and I suppose that is the benefit of any surface update.

You clean, you feel better. You do your hair in the morning, you look like a new person. You have a new piece of jewelry, you think that old outfit is just absolutely killer. Why didn’t you notice these things before? In reality, you’ve changed very little.

But this isn’t reality, it’s the Playhouse. And if you treat your life like the blank canvas it is – like the sad little couch that needed a new tune to sing – you can give your Playhouse an update, too. Inside and out. Ready for bigger, better and brand new things. (I’m metaphoring, get with it.)

The update – an artistic, creative, very basic practice that refreshes your person and subsequently, your environment. So what are you waiting for? What are your new couch cushions? No money? No problem. Draw something, put it on the wall. Clean something, feel refreshed. Throw out old files, start new ones.

Feeling stuck? A quick update, and I bet you won’t be.