Friday, January 23, 2015

January 2015 Art/Design Opportunities Round-up

One of my objectives  with this blog is to help make emerging artists and designers aware of other awesome artists and designers plus share resources that I come across in my day-to-day life.
So to share the valuable resources that I am aware of, approx. once a month I will drop a "Round-Up" of art/design-related opportunities.
Here ya go:
Best of luck! Need an extra boost of motivation? View this vid!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to Incorporate Pantone's Color of The Year "Marsala" Into Your Life

Pantone has named "Marsala" the Color of the Year for 2015. It's a shade of red that we haven't really seen much of so it's FRESH! Marsala is a warm, mood-shifting color for me. Before I knew it was gonna be the Pantone Color of the Year, I had already bought a "Marsala-esque" lip color by Maybelline called "Plum Paradise" that I absolutely love. It isn't a "look at ME"'s more of a "LONG for me" red!  Instant sophistication!
 Here are some easy ways to bring this sultry, head-turning color into your life.
A great pair of leather pants by Rebecca Minkoff.

A solid dress ala Beyonce in a Marsala dress at the Billboard Women in Music Luncheon

Marsala home accents: rug and throw pillows
Marsala Love Seat
Marsala Nail Color
Mac and Nars both have a Marsala Lip Stick
How will you incorporate the color Marsala into your life?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Design Star: Malene B. of Malene B. Carpets

I met Malene Barnett approximately 2 yrs ago at a Tory Burch Foundation Networking event that mutual friend, handbag designer Nneka Saran, had invited me to. Nneka and Malene were both participants in the intensive entrepreneurship program that took place earlier in that year. As I was meeting women throughout the room and exchanging business cards, not one but ALL said to me, "You must meet Malene!" once I told them I was starting a line of home goods. So I marched over to woman with the tapered haircut, silky smooth brown skin and smile as bright as the sun; and introduced myself. Now, just so you know, that's not really my style. I prefer introductions because people can be cold and standoffish and downright rude when approached by a stranger but not Malene. She greeted me warmly. We quickly discovered that we were FIT alums and the conversation flowed smoothly. I asked her questions about approaching new stores with my line and she so graciously dispensed advice that still stays in the back on my mind to this day.

In the next few days I received my FIT magazine, HUE and guess who was featured? Malene B, of course! Her work has been featured in countless magazines and online publications and rightfully so. Malene B. Carpets are not just beautiful, they are soulful and come from a place of authenticity inspired by her travels. It has been an honor to have the opportunity to interview one of my favorite designers for The Lifestyles of the Authentic & Creative.

1. Please introduce yourself. 
My name is Malene Barnett and I’m the Design Director and Principal of Malene B Carpets. 

2. What do you create? 
We make handmade custom carpets and home furnishings for luxury residential and commercial environments.  Each product we create is inspired from my travels and passion for all things art and culture. 

3. How did you get started on your creative path?
My creative story starts in third grade when I was placed in an artistically talented program. The kids were encouraged to express themselves through drawing and painting.

4. What inspires you to create?
I love culture, rituals, celebrations and the stories behind these traditions. Combined with our planets landscape, these elements set the stage for creating the quintessential Malene B design.

5. How have you been able to make a living by being you authentic & creative self? 
I worked in the rug industry with major players for 10 years. And, before launching my business, I studied the design industry and the paths of its most renown entrepreneurs.  My personal savings were the foundation for opening Malene B Carpets. To date, I have not taken out a bank loans to support this venture. 
Prior to opening, I purchased a house.  Since my home was priority,  a grassroots approach to business building was its format.  I relied on word of mouth, heavily networked and developed great relationships with media. 

The first 4.5 years were really rocky. I had no credit cards -- maxed out on home renovations. I operated on a cash basis and only bought what was affordable.  If I couldn’t afford something, I created it or waited until I could afford it.  I trimmed spending to the basics: no cable, no landline phone and no vacations. My life had to be simplified to accommodate my entrepreneurial lifestyle.

6. What new projects are your working on
In the Spring of 2015,  I’m  launching a new collection of carpets, tile, wallpaper and decorative accessories all inspired by my mother’s homeland, the Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  Also, I recently forged
a partnership with Kravet, with whom I will launch a carpet collection in 2016.

7. How can people find and support your work?
You can visit my website:
instagram @malenebcarpets
Pinterest maleneb
Facebook Malene B

Retail Store:
Peace & Riot, Brooklyn, NY

Receive more frank business advice from Malene B. on this amazing panel of entrepreneurial women designers on February 15th in Montclair, NJ.I'll be there.

It's so inspiring to see how bootstrapping, dedication, building relationships, and creating a beautiful product line will pan out and bring our entrepreneurial dreams to fruition.
Many, many thanks to Malene B. for sharing her passion with us.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Art of Shoe-Making: Louis Vuitton

This video is a great explanation of the cost of luxury shoes. There is a huge difference between artisan-made and assembly-line-made products, as we all know, and this video beautifully illustrates the expertise that goes into crafting a shoe from beginning to end.

This takes me back to my days at FIT where I learned to make shoes from scratch.
Find a pair of beauties for your totally worthy feet at Neiman Marcus.

At Home with Supermodel Jourdan Dunn

I just love EVERYTHING about this recent video of Jourdan Dunn being interviewed by British Vogue. Her runway walk is KILLER. Let's all take notes. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Save Money & Money Will Save You!

I have had moments where I've turned my nose up to coupons, I admit. I thought they were for cheap people and I figured myself to be above petty penny counting. But as time has gone on, I now prefer to keep an eye on where my pennies are spent. Maybe it's the mom in me? Maybe I have read too many books like "The Millionaire Next Door" and "The Richest Man in Babylon" which both preach living frugally to reach financial bliss? Or maybe it is The Live Richer Challenge that I'm on, lead by the homie, The Budgetnista?

I know what it is! I recently went into Walgreen's and the woman in front of me had a cart full of paper towels and a national shampoo brand. And I mean the cart was stacked! When she got the the register, she handed the cashier a wad of coupons. She get it ALL FOR FREE! There had to be $100 worth of merchandise. Astonished, I couldn't contain my gasp! She turned to me and said proudly,! She said she never pays for full price for anything and usually she saves so much money that the stores owe her! Not one to waste time, I immediately checked it out. The site is super easy to use from a computer or mobile device. You just pick the coupons you want by clicking on them and then, when ready, they all print together, several per sheet...which already saves you money on printer ink and paper! :)

I now save on everything from flowers, to clothes, to groceries, and well, practically everything.

I keep all paper coupons in an envelope that I have in my handbag and this way I am always ready to receive new coupons from the stores I shop at and use the coupons I have stashed. If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready.

Since seeing coupons in action, I have a new found respect for them. And because I love you, I am passing on the knowledge. Wishing you a prosperous 2015!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dope Brand Alert! Taila.Made Artisan Soaps

I was nothing but thrilled when fellow blogger, Taila O'Neal of Haute Hemisphere, launched a line of luxury, handcrafted soap. I had to know what was her inspiration to do so...

Q: Taila, you have been known as the maven behind the successful blog, Haute Hemisphere. What made you decide to launch a line of luxe soaps?

A. Taila.Made was manifested when eczema declared war on my hands. I grew up with sensitive skin and eczema. As I got older, my case started to dissipate. During my junior year of college my hands began to develop super dry patches that would flake, peel and sometimes bleed. It was so painful! Doctors suggested radiation, and I wasn't for it. I wanted a natural alternative, so I made one.
Alas, I birthed Taila.Made - Earth Inspired Luxuries. 

My brand is a fusion of high quality natural ingredients known for their hydrating and healing properties merged with  the concept of treating your skin as the ancient (Egyptians,Persians,Arabians and Native Americans ) royals did. Cleopatra used Castor, Frankincense and Myrrh oils to keep her skin radiate.
Taila.Made believes we are all royal spirits and should treat our skin as such.

Taila.Made Shea Butter Soap Stone

I don't know about you all but I totally consider myself royal and worthy of the same treatments Cleopatra used.Treat yourself to Taila.Made by shopping the collection at
Follow Taila O'Neal on Twitter:@HauteHemisphere

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Make Something 2015 Challenge: Week 1

Yesterday, I was in the hospital for a same-day surgery. Being "put under" provided me with a ton of much needed rest! Luckily for me, sleep doesn't feel like time wasted because many of my designs come while I'm dreaming. I keep a sketch book on the platform ledge of my platform bed to sketch my concepts while they are fresh. I woke up and made these this morning.
The Leather Feather Anklet is my latest dreamy design. :)
I couldn't decide if I wanted them with or without studs so they're available both ways at

What about you? What have you made this week? Post it on the fan page for a chance to WIN

Friday, January 2, 2015

Make Something 2015 Challenge and Giveaway!

Bronze Sphere Earrings and its sketch, made Nov 2014.
I believe in the power of creativity. I believe our ability to make something new from our imagination is proof that we are direct descendants of God, The Creator, the Ultimate Most High. As upbeat and bubbly as I am naturally, I slump into a depression if I haven't created anything new in a while. I MUST MAKE SOMETHING! :)
So of course, I believe making stuff directly impacts our level of happiness, boosts self-esteem, and increases our abilities to solve problems creativity. Plus, it's just mad fun!
Whether you make stuff for a living, as a hobbyist, or as a student learning to make stuff, let's make stuff together in January. Every Thursday, I will post a project that I am working on, be it an order I am fulfilling for a client or just my design experiments, and I will tag it #WhatIsTerinaNicoleMakingToday and #MakeSomething2015 on IG on the LOTA-N-C fan page.
Post what you've made on the fan page, too. At the end of the month, I will pick 5 makers from the postings to send an autographed copy of ENVISION: The Young Accessory Designer's Guide to Collection Development, leather fringe key fobs, a Mink brooch or whatever fly thing I have on the Jypsea shelves. :)

Let's have a creative 2015!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflecting on 2014, Welcoming 2015!

As I reflect on 2014, I've found that it has been my year of BECOMING. It was a year of singular focus on graduate school and my near-future career plans. I began grad school at NJCU in September 2013 and through the grace of God, I am 90% done already with an expected graduation of May 2015 (just 5 months from now)!!! Deciding to go to grad school came once I hit a wall professionally. My vision for myself was greater than the tools I had in my arsenal. I wanted MORE for myself and my pumpkin. But the school I selected was almost 2 hrs away from the house I owned in South Jersey. This required some serious decision-making and rocket fuel! My house had passively been on the market for like 3 years. I had to be certain that it would be sold and I would have a new, safe, pleasant environment in North Jersey near campus that would be conducive to my attending school full-time and a place for my child to grow and thrive in elementary school. None of it was laid out for me...I had no family or friends we could stay with until I found a new place. I had to sell the house, pack up the entire home alone, find a new place, a p/t nanny and get us both in school in a matter of 3 months.

And believe me, some real live craziness occurred during this journey. For instance, my Volvo, which showed no signs of disrepair, engine died on me during one of my treks from South to North Jersey to handle the business of the move. Then, on the day of the move, my movers DID NOT SHOW UP and I had to hire a new moving company the day of, knowing I start classes on campus the very next day!
Annnnddd, the job I had for 2 years as a visual merchandiser, which depended on my having a car to get to all of the locations under my care, was now in jeopardy. My solution? Lease a livery car and run a limo service to cover my need for a new job and transportation to current one...killing 2 birds with one stone. Until I realized the car was a lemon and the owner of the livery car service was corrupt! Oh, and during all of that, there were "racial issues" with owner of the condo I was now renting and I had to find a NEW place within a 4 block radius of my child's new school so we could stay in the same school district we had JUST moved to. I was only a few weeks into my graduate studies, busy working and promoting a new biz venture and now this? Luckily, I found the townhouse I'm in now just one block away and a bumpy 2013 ended smoothly. We've been happy here for the 14 months we've lived here and 2014 has been rather mellow. My daughter is consistently on Honor Roll/Student-of-the-Month, has a TON of wonderful friends and I am kicking butt in grad school as a full-time student without a "job" at all. Life as a f/t student has been rather smooth since all of the initial drama ceased. There have been too many successes and blessings to count actually! God is GREAT. One of my favorite highlights of 2014 was getting a partial scholarship to go to Peters Valley School of Craft to spend a week learning furniture design.

Which leads me to my point: Life happens when we leave our comfort zone (for me it was a little house in the suburbs) to put it all the line and pursue our dreams. And just know that the devil will test your strength and resolve with a vengeance.  Big changes are not usually easy. There needs to be resistance, tests and challenges to force you to man up, stay prayed up and beef up your strategy.

This wasn't the first major change in my life, of course. I am divorced after all, but that's a post for another time. LOL

Being "jobless" (which I say with a smirk because I freelance now, which means that I have clients these days instead of a job) has freed up my time to earn a 4.0 GPA, be a very active mommy, take on fulfilling projects, and have a beautiful relationship with the amazing man in my life. I have peace and the mental space to pull off my biggest, wildest aspirations. So for 2015 there are no resolutions, just steady sharpening of my tools.

I wish you peace and abundance in 2015. See you at the top!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Make up by 1D (One Direction) Product Review

Yup, you read it correctly. The boy band that has your  daughter and her little girlfriends in a frenzy now have a make up brand especially for them. Before I could fully get the products out of the shipping box, my squealing 10-year old girl child was already texting her homies photos of the packaging! 
As a woman of a certain age, lip gloss that glows to neon red-orange under UV light just isn't my thing. But my child lives for such things.
I can say though that the lip gloss, which is enriched with natural oils and vitamin E, glides on so nicely and isn't sticky at all. It is glittery though so I wouldn't wear it outside of the house. Miss J though has been wearing it every day since. She especially loves Taken - their glitter pink lip gloss that glows neon orange under UV light. 
I allowed her to apply the hair mascara to the wispy ends of her Afro puffs and she looked totes adorbs! ;) And, the mascara is usable on both the hair and the lashes! Apply just to the tip for a touch of fun or go nuts and apply to all of your lashes to additional funk! Comes in 3 bold colors: 
Why don’t we go there- Shock of blue
Does he know?- Pinkest hot pink 

Story of my life- Amped canary yellow 

Yesterday we had a "home spa day" and after facials, we gave each other pedicures and applied the Nail Varnish. I love how super shiny the colors are and how nicely they glide on. We made a huge mess with the glitter though. They should provide an applicator for that because otherwise it spills/flies everywhere. The polish itself is great, though.

A range of makeup and cosmetic products celebrating youth, style, and the uninhibited lifestyle of a new generation. Celebrating life with bold shades, unique formula and infused with limited edition collectable packaging, Makeup from One Direction is fun, bold, often irreverent, with a touch of cheeky mischievousness. Offered at prices that every girl and woman can afford.
Available at:
Stage Stores
Beauty Brands
Lord &Taylor

Sponsored by BrandBacker

Tony Robbins: The Keys to Massive Success

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why I am Truly GRATEFUL!

Thanksgiving happens to be my favorite holiday of the year followed by the 4th of July. Family, food (both eating and cooking) and preparing for Christmas is fun for me. And it jump starts my holiday craft fair/pop up shop vending season with my line, Jypsea Leathergoods, where I get to meet my clients face-to-face and make new ones all while developing new friendships and professional relationships. All of this extroverted stuff that I love! Thanksgiving kicks it all off. 

But besides the busy-ness of the season, it is a good day to look around and reflect. Tonight my guy and I are headed to my mother's house in VA and meeting my siblings there with their spouses and children. I am thrilled to have the most important people to me under one roof, minus one. Sadly, this year my daughter goes to her dad, my ex-husband, for turkey. :( Nonetheless, I am grateful. I am grateful that she is healthy and happy and has a daddy who wouldn't dream of spending the holiday without her. I am grateful that my family gets to spend more time bonding with my sweetheart. I am grateful that my brothers- my day one best homies- are both healthy and strong and each the head of their own households with beautiful, supportive spouses and amazing children.
I have prepared my fave dishes: Seafood stuffed red snapper, Meca's Mean Greens, Fresh cranberry sauce, and a pitcher of Peach Sangria. 

I also have a DIY holiday project prepared to do with my nieces and nephews: Gold Pine Cone Garland. 

I never take for granted that we will have another opportunity to break bread together. So although I am hosting a pop up shop in Newark NJ on Black Friday, I am headed to VA tonight to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family just to return the very next day to meet and greet Black Friday shoppers, for whom I am also grateful for. Plus, there is one more month left in my current semester and I am one semester away from completing my Masters degree in Art (Design/Craft). 
Life is never perfect but it is very good, and for this I am truly grateful.
I am wishing you all health, prosperity and love this Thanksgiving. 

Gratefully your,
Terina Nicole 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

KISS Instawave Automatic Curler Review

As a woman with a head of hair and the mother of a little girl with even MO' hair, I am happy to be the guinea pig of any device that claims to make hair styling easier/faster. Even if the the gadget looks look it may not be for "our kinda hair," I'm willing to give it a try. Couldn't hurt, right?
Well, the KISS Instawave curls hair without you doing the work. You just slip the end of your hair on to the curler, press the button and it'll twirl it along the hot barrel for you. Let it sit wound around the barell for 3-10 seconds, tug gently downwards and voila! You've formed a perfect curl.
Or so that's the premise...
Here's a video: 

I used my daughter's head to test out the device. She has a head full of thick, luscious hair that could have used some taming so Miss J was just perfect...or so I thought.
Miss J's hair section & ready to curl.
I made several attempts to have the Instawave catch her hair and twirl it onto itself but to no avail. See my video here. It simply didn't work for us and the amount of smoke was worrisome. The device gets extremely hot (420 degrees), extremely fast. But it does automatically shut off in 90 minutes so no need to fret about burning down the house if you forget to turn it off when you rush out the door with your bouncy, fresh curls.

It claims to be easy to use from any angle and any hand....that anyone can use it and that length isn't a problem. Miss J has a ton of hair anyway, so maybe the matter is texture? I feel like there should be a clamp or something to hold the hair in pace while it twirls.

Besides it not working for us, the truth of the matter, I really don't understand the need it fills. Using one's own wrist to twirl a barrel hot curler is a simple task. I don't personally need anything to "twirl" my hair for me. Seems unnecessarily lazy, in my opinion.

I do wish it did work for us though just to see my princess with large, bouncing coils but because it did not, I gifted to a white girl friend whose hair texture is a lot more like the girl in the video.

But hey, don't just take my word for it, try it yourself. Get your own KISS Instawave here: or Target for $49.99.
*Sponsored post powered by Brandbacker*

Black Friday Launch of POP SHOP NEWARK

Now more than ever, it is time to support your own community. Shop local this Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and more throughout the year. Empower the businesses that IMPROVE, & SUPPORT the lives of those around them. 
at Gallery Aferro
73 Market St
Newark, NJ 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mary J. Blige: London Sessions. Album Review

My relationship with Mary J. Blige is one of a devoted fan. I was in the 9th grade the first time I heard "Real Love." DJ Red Alert played it on Kiss FM and I stopped in my tracks. I couldn't wait to get to school the next day and tell my girls about this new sound...singing over a hard hip-hop track. They only looked at me like I was nuts. It made no sense to them....until they heard it for themselves on the radio. I can honestly say, Mary changed everything. My girls and I would go to my mom's bedroom, because she had this widest mirror on her dresser, and make dance routines to "What's the 411?" and "Real Love" and danced in that mirror together all school year.
Later, in my freshman year of college, "My Life" dropped. I hated it initially. I had just turned 18. I wasn't ready. But by the time I was 20, I was "grown" and that album was the soundtrack to my so-called pain. In my studio apartment alone, playing it non-stop day and night for the better part of a full year.

So you see, I love Mary's music on a personal level. I've seen her in concert and she's so raw and giving with her life experiences and the lessons she's learned.
Mary is my fly, older cousin in my head.
Seeing her spinning out of control and reading her crazy interviews over a decade ago didn't scar her image, for me I love her more knowing she has evolved, beautifully.

I listen to London Sessions with my history with Mary in mind. Her voice is seriously better than it has ever been now. Polished but still Mary.
Just like "My Life," this album took several listens for me to get into it. Mary recorded it on a whim in 3 weeks in London with some of London's best talent, including Sam Smith and Adele. I love Yonkers Mary...the rawness, the funk, the swagger. This album felt bleak and too slow in my first listen but she recorded the album with a global perspective in mind. It doesn't sound like Yonkers, but that's OK.
The first song I heard was on the radio a few weeks ago. I loved the sound immediately but the lyrics were diabolical to me...was she talking about domestic abuse? Someone punched her in the stomach? What is going on???? But again, I just needed to sit with it. It's so good now.

My favorite song thus far is the 1st track, "Therapy." "Doubt" is empowering and a positive anthem with a good melody. "When You're Gone" is sweet song for long term relationships. "My Love" and "Hard Long Look" are the party tracks....much of the album is rather slow though. Some would call it "mellow" but others would say it's a dreary as London weather.
I rate it 7 out of 10.
But you be the judge.

Get the album:
iTunes: MJLondonSessions

I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of bLink Marketing Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

'Tis the Season to Give! Giveaway

Free SWAG BAGS!!! This the season for GIVING! So I'm giving out swag bags. Each is worth approx. $75 full of jewelry, hair products, beauty products, leather accessories and more from indie brands and major brands like L'oreal! I get a ton of free stuff as a blogger and from amazing sponsors of my events. I am clearing my stash and GIVING it ALL AWAY! Purchase $50 or more at, in person at the Artisan Cafe in Richmond, VA , or when you see me at Pop-Up Shops during the holiday season and a swaggalicious swag bag is yours! *while supplies last*