March 27, 2014

Spring Break 2014 Recap so far

My Spring Break so far has been a stay-cation. I've mainly been in the house since Sunday struggling with a cold. I started to feel back to normal around yesterday. My mom unfortunately has been battling a cold also but the effects on her have been much worse. They were so bad my dad took her to the emergency room Wednesday morning just to have her checked out. She was having the shakes and always and complaining about possibly losing consciousnesses. So as of right now she is still in bed sleeping and just trying to regain her strength back. It's really taken a toll on her. My father and I have been watching over just to make sure everything is ok.

Besides dealing with this cold I've been able to get out and TRY to take some pictures. Which unfortunately have been met with disastrous results so far. I took my camera to a great camera store called Schiller's near my job and they checked out my Pentax K1000 just to make sure it was working ok. While I was there I purchased 3 rolls of  ISO 400 film and a salesman was nice enough to put in a roll of film for me so I could have it ready to go. 

So during the beginning of Spring Break, I went to Forest Park and decided to take a few shots to see if I knew what I was doing. I have two lens (50 mm and a 120 mm) so far and just ordered a third one (28 mm) a few days ago. So I complete a roll of film and I start to rewind it. Unfortunately I forgot to hit the button at the bottom of my camera and as I was rewinding it I was trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with my camera and I OPENED it up and exposed the film....So after forcefully rewinding it and while doing that destroyed some sprockets on the film, I take it to Schiller's that day to turn in to be developed. I informed the saleman of my problem and he asked me if I had engaged the button at the bottom of my camera. I immediately thought "NO", and I informed the guy and he told me that was problem. 

The next day I went in and a saleslady informs me that they were not able to get anything off of the film. With the sprockets destroyed and the film exposed there was nothing that they could find. So of course I was disappointed and heartbroken. She asked if I wanted to keep the film I told her No and to  just throw away. By the time I turned around I already had tears in my eyes and then by the time I reached my car all I could do was just sob while sitting inside. I keep thinking I'm not good at anything and I'm never going to be anyone that even I can be proud of.

So I  sit there in my car and think for 35 years I've not been able to master anything or accomplish anything of importance. I just wonder what in the hell am I even here on this Earth for. I can't even rewind a roll of film properly. Other thoughts start racing in my head. I feel like I've always had battles going on inside of my head for years and they just won't stop...Hell if I'm truly honest with myself for the longest time I didn't plan on being here past my 35th birthday and still wonder if I want to be. I wonder how I would feel if I wasn't around anymore and the only thing that scares me is that I wouldn't do it right and be worse off. Beyond that I honestly feel that I would be happier and I wouldn't have to worry about my warped mentality anymore. I feel my mind has become my biggest enemy and I just don't feel like fighting it anymore. Now all these damn thoughts are rushing out of me and this is just off of not being able to rewind a roll of film properly. You can not even imagine how my much of a torment my mind has been to me ever since my teenage years.

So I leave Schillers and go to Red Lobster to grab something to eat and then afterwards make my way home.

I mainly stayed at home to look after my mom and then decided to take another roll of film to load into my camera. Now there are a few books I have been reading regarding photography. So I don't know WHY when I decided to load up the 2nd roll of film I thought for some STUPID reason I had to advance the WHOLE roll of film through the camera WITH the back still open and THEN close the back and rewind the film BACK to the yea I haven't even taken any pictures yet and I'm PRETTY sure I've fucked up that roll of film as well. I don't know what I was thinking. So I still have that roll in the camera and wonder if it might still work since I was not outside when I put the roll in. I was just in my room with a lamp on.....Who the hell knows... 

Afterwards I decide to get out for a while and I went to the STL Galleria to checkout one of my favorite stores, SEE Eyewear to checkout the latest frames that they have for their trunk show tomorrow. I came across a few that I thought were cute but not totally sold on any pair. I have a Groupon code for $200 off a pair that expires in April so I might wait until then to see if any more new frames come in that I might like. 

When I got back home I started looking into packaging supplies for my shea butter mixtures. I'm thinking of starting a business and selling them along with my hair oil mixtures. Also am thinking about body scrubs, lip balms or/and solid perfume rolls. I was really excited about it then doubt started to creep through. I normally make it for my mom and myself. Can I really along with my small mixer really make up that many batches..

Well today started off with some rain and for the most part has been a cloudy day, which is pretty much matching my mood overall. I decided to get out this afternoon and take some more pictures. To see if I'm not a total fuck up. So I made my way to Kirkwood and got out decided to see if the roll from yesterday that I possibly screwed up was in fact screwed up. After taking pictures on that roll I decided to use another roll and proceeded to load that one into my camera. After checking to make sure it was loaded in I proceeded to take some pictures then after a few pictures I hear this strange sound as I try to advance to take another picture. It's not advancing the way it suppose to. I get nervous and know I shouldn't open up the camera or I'll expose all of the film, so I just start taking shot until I get to number 24. But the camera is still taking pics past 24 or at least it is still letting me advance so at that point I knew I had ruined another roll of film. So I opened it up to see what was wrong and see the film is not moving but the sprockets are every time I would try to advance the film. I closed it back up and rewound the film back out. I take it out, put it in my bag and just get back in my car. I've wasted 3 rolls of film about 16 bucks worth. 

What kills me is that I had also gone to Walgreens before going out to Kirkwood and had bought a 4 pack of film and I now I'm thinking I need to just return it back to Walgreens. I'm wasting my time and money thinking that I could ever learn about photography. If I can't understand the basics I sure as hell am never going to learn anything advance. If I can't understand how to use a vintage camera I definitely don't need to waste my money buying a digital one. So I now have two rolls of film that pretty much are useless just like the first one I dealt with earlier this week. I still plan on taking them in to see if there are ANY pictures at all.  

At home now just in a shitty mood. Not to mention my hair looks crazy. It's official I will not be using Design Essentials Natural Honey CurlForming Custard with Honey and Chamomile anymore in my hair. That should only be used on people with thick hair, which I just don't have. My hair still has the twists in it but as far as styling, there isn't any body to my hair. It looks like I have crazy stringy twist on my head even as I untwist them more to get more body. So my beautician wants me to see her tomorrow so she can see what it looks like so far..... Yea definitely don't think this will be one of my to-go to looks in the future. 

 Overall this week just feels like an epic fail. The only good that has come out of this Spring Break for me so far has been my bracelet and getting together with some high school girlfriends. Oh and I'm finally started feeling back to normal yesterday from that crazy bout of the flu.  Besides that I'm just done, I wonder what more punishment can come my way with three more days left in my vacation....

Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz

March 22, 2014

Shameless Plug: Bling Blam

Yesterday after my hair appointment I had the pleasure of meeting up with an amazing jewelry artist. He goes by the name of Ras Tree but he is well known through the Saint Louis area by his business name Bling Blam. A long time ago and I'm talking at least 5 to 7 years at least, I first met Tree at The Loft (a club downtown) and he was showing his jewelry and also doing custom pieces on the spot. So I was there with my girl Kamina along with some other friends to celebrate either her birthday or college graduation. If you ask any of my friends one of my weakness is jewelry especially unique pieces that are not mass produced.

So that night I decided on a few stones that I wanted to be made into a set: a pair of earrings, a ring, and a bracelet.

My favorite color is purple and since I happen to be born Mid February my birthstone is Amethyst. So pretty much whenever I can get something made uniquely for me with a stone 90% it's going to be with an Amethyst stone. So that night I picked out some beautiful purple stones for my earrings and ring, but decided on a different stone for my bracelet. He informed me that they would be ready within a hour so to check back with them around then. So I went back to partying with Kamina and her friends and sure enough a hour later I went back to check with him and I saw the beautiful masterpieces he made for me. Just for me. Ever since then whenever I go out I always receive compliments on them and some people even offer to buy them off of me. 

So back in November of last year I was at a performance at the Touhill Center on University of MO-St. Louis campus and the young lady that was in charge of choreography (Andrea Peoples)  for the play had on this AMAZING jewelry and I instantly thought of Tree. I had been thinking about getting a similar piece for a long time but always pushed it to the back of my mind.

Unfortunately I couldn't get a clear picture of it from where I was seated. But Andrea's Bracelet/ring combo and earrings were made for her as well by another artist, not Tree.

So I was drawn to Andrea's beautiful piece the whole time I saw her after the play and knew eventually I needed to get in touch with Tree to have a similar piece made for myself. So we finally were able to meet up yesterday and I met him at his place of business and I WISH I could have taken some pictures of his beautiful stones but unfortunately my phone was barely at 5% at the time.

I personally love dark purple stones and he had some small ones. I was hoping for a large one but he had some beautiful raw light purple stones that reminded me of lavender. So he picked out some that he suggested and also a white quartz that would also help compliment the set.

Other pieces that he has created

These as well

So shortly after he begins to work on my masterpiece and through it all he is measuring my wrist and middle finger. We talk and laugh while listening to some music that is playing in the background. I just have to say that the music he was playing was wonderful I told him when he goes back to New York to please ask the DJ who sold him the mix to see if they have a store online because I would GLADLY buy it and add to my collection.

So I digress, back to my bracelet. Within a  hour my beautiful piece is ready. I'm too giddy and pleased and Tree is just laughing at me:) I wore my other pieces he had previously made with me so he could see that I wanted it all to compliment each other.  He did an amazing job.

So after cheesing at my new addition, we took some more pictures inside and outside.

I felt so happy and on cloud nine with my new piece. I especially love how the ring stone looked similar to a heart. Not the kind you see on Valentines but  an actually biological heart. 

I went there with high expectations and Tree exceeded them through the roof!! I went there as an anxious customer but I left feeling like a GODDESS!!! 

So if you are in the market for a unique piece, definitely hit him up on Facebook.

I do hope in the near future he might consider an Instagram page so I along with his legion of fans can keep up with his beautiful pieces.

 As I was looking at some of his other photos on his Facebook page I think I might have found myself a future custom piece in mind.....what do ya'll think?:)

Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz

Natural Hair: It's that time again, to see my kinky kologist

Back on Feb 3rd I made my appointment to see Daisha yesterday just to make sure my hair was ok. I was so happy I actually ended up being thirty minutes early and just killed time by walking up and down the street on Washington Ave until around 8:55am. My appointment wasn't until 9:05am.

So a worker lets me in and shortly after Daisha comes up the front of the salon and checks out my hair. She is pleased with how well it's doing and I let her know I want to get a two-strand twist. So she sends me to the washroom area and a young lady preps my hair to go under the steamer for a treatment. I'm thinking I might need to invest in a full steamer in the future.

So after being under the steamer, my hair is washed out and I'm sent up front to Daisha's chair to have my hair twisted up.

 I will say looks sure are deceiving. While Daisha was doing my hair I could really tell that my hair is definitely in the middle or leaning slightly towards thin when she braided me up. Yet it doesn't look like when I normally wear an afro out.

So after she completes my twists I go under the dryer for a while and afterwards I go back to her chair.

But after she took out the rods she noticed there were still sections that were not completely dry at the root and others not completely dry at the tips, so I went back underneath the dryer.

So after they are dry I go back up to the front and Daisha finished up my hair. She instructed me that throughout the week to twist it back up and separate the twists more. So she wants me to visit her in a week so she can see what the twists look like. I also informed her that I was thinking about making a business out of my homemade hair products and I would bring her a sample the next time I see her.

So with this style I can possibly keep it up for at least 3 weeks to a month. So I'll be documenting throughout then to see what it will look like. Hopefully it will expand out with time. Yet my main goal is to make sure my hair is healthy and hopefully will keep growing. I'm having soo much fun with my hair journey and I'm going to keep having fun with it.

Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz

March 19, 2014

Natural Hair: More Florbella products

In my pursuit to have more options to protect my hair at night I decided to upgrade my satin pillow case and also buy a head scarf in the same high quality satin and design (Ginger Collection) that I had bought my bonnet.  So back on January 23rd I bought the duo from Florbella and I knew that it could possibly take 30 days for the items to arrive since the owner made them once they were ordered. When I bought my bonnet I did receive the item within 30 days and I was very pleased.

Unfortunately when I bought the pillow case and headscarf it took a lot longer in receiving the item. My biggest gripe when I order something is not being kept up to date on the progress. I would not have been so disappointed if the seller had initiated contact with me and informed me that there would be a delay. Each time I emailed I was informed it would be shipped either that day or at the end of that week. I was told this 3 different times, Feb 18th, Feb 25th, and March 1st. Eventually it was shipped on March 2nd.

My items

Once I finally received my package, I examined both items and I was quite pleased. I went to Walmart the next day to buy a new pillow (standard size) and also a protective case.

My pillow:)

So once I arrived back home I "assembled" my satin pillow with the other items.

I haven't tried out the head scarf yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll have plenty of use for it by the time the weather is warmer. So far the pillow feels wonderful:) So soft and it definitely feels better than the satin pillow I had before. I still use my bonnet on a regular basis, but it is nice to know that if I just feel like taking nap and don't want to throw it on, I have options and my hair will be ok regardless.

Like I said before the communication was my issue this second time around but as far as the product goes. It is great and I would highly recommend to anyone if you are thinking of upgrading your satin bonnet from the really thin material you find in the beauty salon stores to one made of chartreuse satin. Go for it, your hair will thank you in the end, especially your ends.

If you want more shopping options:






Or maybe you might be crafty and want to make one yourself (DIY):

Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz

March 17, 2014

Lift your voice and sing: Beverly Stewart Anderson

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a church that was putting on a Spring Musical Concert. Their main attraction was a lady by the name of Beverly Stewart Anderson. If you know me I enjoy all types of music but one of my favorite genres is classical music. I also enjoy listening to operas as well. Ms Anderson is a classically trained soprano and I had not heard of her before.

When we arrived at Rock Chapel AME Church I didn't know what to expect. It definitely looked more like a house because of the size and structure. My mother was invited by a former coworker and we arrived just a few minutes before the concert started. Introductions and a welcome was made by various church members. Apparently the entertainment that was to precede Ms. Anderson did not show but there was someone else there who was prepared to perform in their place and did a wonderful job.

Then Ms. Anderson was introduced to the crowd and can I just say that her voice was definitely something to behold. Her voice reminded me of Kathleen Battle. We were treated to some old negro spirituals and then some more modern songs. Between her songs she would tell stories. She also is a Minister of music at her own church and I tell ya the woman can preach! 

One story that really stood out to me was when she was in church one day and she had on an African head wrap. She was becoming a tad bit hot while singing and decided to take the head wrap off, well unfortunately her wig came off with it as well! When she realized that she could feel a draft going past her ears she looked back and realized her wig was inside the scarf. So she just laughed out loud with the rest of the congregation, turned around snatched her wig out of the scarf and plopped it right on her head and kept on singing. Now the real kicker was that this particular performance she was giving was also streaming on the church's website in which around nine thousand people were online and viewing. She stated she could have done one of two things: 1. walked off and be embarrassed or 2. laugh it off and continue. She chose to continue.

Her singing put chills down my spine but her words definitely spoke to my mind and heart. I actually recorded part of the last song she performed at the concert. I'll upload as soon as possible.

I wish she had a CD out of her voice but for now I will be just happy enjoying two other beautiful sopranos, Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman in my favorite performance of them: Spirituals in Concert.

The full video of their performance is here:

Besides these two powerful vocal ladies I also enjoy the amazing Denyce Graves.

Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman, Denyce Graves

But the Legend to Maria Callas 

I also enjoy Marion Anderson

Oh but then here this classic piece by Lily Pons

Performances such as these as well as the one given by Ms. Beverly Anderson are just simply amazing to me how the human voice can achieve such outrageous octaves.

Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz
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