dreamscapes

one of my friends here at the office told me about the artist kia neill, who makes these amazing installations of environments that are mysterious and magical.  using found materials, and lots of glitter, she creates worlds that you thought only existed in your imagination.  if you’re in the austin, texas, area, i highly recommend checking out these incredible environments at her show “terrain,” at the women & their work gallery january 16 – february 25.  kia was also kind enough to answer some questions for me about her work:

what was the inspiration behind the installations in the “terrain” exhibit?
“‘terrain’ is actually the continuation of a series of previous installations. with each installation the environment grows and is reconfigured. most previous to ‘terrain,’ i created ‘grotto’ at lawndale art center in houston, tx. the installation was a sparkly cavernous environment the viewer entered immediately upon exiting the elevator on the second floor. it was as though the viewer was enclosed in a gigantic geode. A geode is actually a good analogy for my work as with my synthetic versions of nature i want to create the experience one hopes to have. for instance if you’ve ever gotten one of the ‘break your own’ geodes, it’s a boring rock on the outside and you’re told it’s full of sparkly crystals on the inside. you fantasize about what’s inside, then you open it, and it’s never exciting as you imagined it to be. my work is what you imagined.”

“here’s a bit of my artist statement, which explains more:
i am drawn to extraordinary, almost extraterrestrial landscapes, such as caves and coral reefs, as well as the diorama of miniature collectable counterparts that serve in household aquariums, gardens, souvenir cases, etc…with my installations, i attempt to produce an environment that reifies metaphysical association and fantasy that such spectacular and bizarre landscapes can induce. my aim is not a realistic replication of nature, but to place emphasis on gaudy or absurd embellishment so to render an enhanced synthetic ideal.”

Grotto-7

what materials do you use to create the installations?
“cost effective and found. mostly paper mache, holiday lights, and i construct the crystals from cds i’ve cut and glued together. and of course, glitter, amongst other misc. craft material. i love hobby lobby, i really should be their spokesperson.”

Grotto-6

you also do intricate graphite drawings…what is your favorite medium to work with?
“hmm….that’s hard. i’ve worked with all kinds. drawing, painting, ceramics, digital imaging, animation, etc…i think no matter what medium i work in, i always have conceptually sculptural approach, even if it’s a flat 2dimensional image. though, i do love glitter, i love how it gets all over everything! it’s like residue or evidence! i also like working with flocking, which is a short thin fiber that when applied gives a velvet surface. that’s very fun.”

Grotto-5

what artists have inspired you?
“so many different artists have influenced me over the years, but i mostly look to everyday culture for inspiration. for years i have been fascinated by holiday decorations, kitsch, and all kinds of gaudy fake flower arrangements and home décor, especially those covered in glitter. my attraction to the aesthetic continually increases, i wouldn’t be surprised if my skin started to take on a gold plated tinge one of these days!”

Grotto-8

if you weren’t an artist, what would you do?
“dance, cook, sing…maybe be a geologist. who knows, art is all i’ve ever done. my family are all artists, so i’ve been surrounded by art since i was a little girl.”

Grotto-4

check out more of kia neill’s work on her website!

Rachel -Jan 15, 2010, 11:42AM
Kia Neill has a solo show at Women & Their Work Gallery in Austin. Opening Jan 16, 6-8pm. The show "Terrain" is open until Feb. 27th. Come by and see it if you can.
Rocio -Jan 06, 2010, 8:36PM
WOW!!! thats amazing. Is too bad that is so far.

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along with the new year comes new music for our stores! for tunesday, here is part one of the new store playlist…enjoy!


PlaylistRingtones
Create a MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com

kathryn -Jan 08, 2010, 10:29PM
hi, just wanted to say how much i enjoy the music you post! i used to be so into music and know all the amazing bands.. then i got married and became a mom! so i just don't have the time to seek out new music.. i've so enjoyed your blog for reconnecting me to great new music. it is really a highlight of my week! kathryn

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Post image for winter in wisconsin

the visual mit from one of our fp stores sent me these great photos taken at her home in wisconsin over the holidays…snow blowing across the lake and the reflection of trees in a foggy door.

so beautiful…thanks for sharing!

tabel20 -Jan 06, 2010, 11:56AM
great blog....
fp julia -Jan 06, 2010, 10:46AM
hi emily! you can send stuff to blog@freepeople.com!

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Post image for giveaway!

don’t you love this adorable little coin purse? well we want to give it away! all you have to do is tell us what your favorite blog post was from the past year! leave your favorite post in the comments section by the end of the day tomorrow, and we’ll pick one at random…just make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!

melissa dake -Jan 26, 2010, 11:33AM
I love the DIY posts!
Julia -Jan 09, 2010, 9:45PM
i loved your thanksgiving leftovers post... i thought it was such a cute idea... and it was really good (:

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Post image for bahston

so did everyone have a good holiday? i had a blast up in boston, and i thought i’d share some pics from my trip…

the drive up on thursday was long but fun…i love road trips!

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fireworks over boston harbor on new year’s eve.

if any of you want to share some pics from your holiday weekend, send them to blog@freepeople.com or upload them to our facebook page, we’d love to see them!

supra shoes -Jan 05, 2010, 3:50AM
very nice.
Chloe C -Jan 05, 2010, 2:20AM
yeah - even tho I just wanted to gloat about the Boston Bruins, loved that New Hope PA sign pic.

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2010

Post image for 2010

happy new year!

xoxo

free people

wholesale clothing -Jan 02, 2010, 8:41PM
Happy New Year guys!!!
Patrick -Jan 02, 2010, 12:52PM
You all look great and happy in the celebration... Hei Man! I like your colourful scarf most! Happy New Year and good health!! http://www.trendyclothingfashion.com

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Post image for happy new year!

i’m off to boston for the weekend, i’ll share some photos from the trip when i return! have a safe and happy holiday, everyone!

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fp julia -Jan 04, 2010, 12:21PM
chloe c - i had such a good time! ...despite the loss :)

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Post image for thursday poll – edition 75

hey everyone! you ready for the last thursday poll of the year?? last week i asked about your favorite winter whites, and the results were very close but the rows of ruffles dress just beat out the we the free little white tee with 34% of the vote.

i’ve been talking a lot about hair accessories this week, and how great they are to dress up a new year’s eve outfit. well we have some really great ones right now so i thought i’d ask which one you all like best…

the feather and gem headband:

the flower cluster sequin applique headband:

the gypsy sparkle bow headband:
gypsy sparkle bow headband

the rhinestone headband:
rhinestone headband

or the sequin wave headband:
sequin wave headband


Isabella -Jan 04, 2010, 7:13AM
I like first and second headband, if u r wearing headband, it is necessary to pay attention to your dresses also.
wholesale clothing -Jan 02, 2010, 8:45PM
feather and gem is the best!

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Post image for 2009 memories

today i thought i’d ask some folks around the office what their favorite memories from 2009 are, and of course i love any excuse to make a collage…

what was your favorite memory from the past year?

Katie S -Dec 31, 2009, 2:48AM
getting engaged <3

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Post image for wednes-diy

i can’t believe tomorrow is new year’s eve!  this year went by outrageously fast…i haven’t even had a second to really think about new year’s, let alone what i’m wearing, but luckily i’ve found some really great DIY ideas that i’m dying to try…

accessories are a great way to dress up a simple outfit on new year’s, so here are a couple of things you can do that will stand out, and probably start some conversations as well!

bleachblack had this brilliant idea involving fool’s gold (remember fool’s gold?) that would be a sweet new years eve accessory…all you need is an old cuff or ring, some pieces of pyrite (fool’s gold) and embellishing glue.  check out the tutorial here.

and i got to thinking, if gold isn’t your thing, this would work with any kind of crystal or gemstones that you can by at a hobby or crafts store…

hair accessories are big right now too…we have quite a few awesome ones on our website right now…but i also love these “wild” hair pieces i saw on design sponge that you can make yourself:

hair

these are made with items you can find in your garden or a store, or leftover holiday decorations- the top one is a peacock feather, poinsettia leaves and a sprig of evergreen wrapped in floral tape- i love it!  check out their full tutorial here.

finally, if you’re looking for a great holiday makeup look, don’t forget about our how-to video… watch it here!

Annie -Jan 04, 2010, 7:29PM
My friend and i made pieces similar to this for Halloween and they were a hit!
SHERRILL -Jan 02, 2010, 5:43PM
I've been looking all over for this! Thanks.

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Post image for what are you doing new year’s…

with new year’s eve just a couple days away, i decided to ask what some of our home office team members are doing to celebrate…if you’re still undecided about what’ you’re doing, maybe this will spark some ideas!

i’m taking my son to “new year’s eve with the kids” at north bowl in philly!  it’s a family event where kids can bowl and jam out to some live music, along with other activities.  it starts at 5 and ends at 8pm with a new year’s toast for the adults!

i will be ringing in the new year at the loews hotel downtown in philly!

bob baer

i’m going to see the radiators from new orleans at my club in ardmore…its called the palombaro club and was originally an italian club to help immigrants get settled here…it’s almost 100 years old. today it is more of a social club but we do lots of charity work.  last year our big project was raising money for the variety club freedom playground being built this spring.

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i’m going to boston! a bunch of us will be there to celebrate on new year’s eve, and then we’re going to the winter classic hockey game at fenway park on new year’s day!

lightsrebecca

i am going to see my favorite band, the disco biscuits, at the nokia theatre in times square! i have been seeing them on new years for 9 years, it’s become a tradition that i share with many friends around the country.  my boyfriend is the lighting designer and he’s amazing,  so it makes it even more special for me- i can’t wait!

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i’m thinking about checking out this warehouse/factory party in brooklyn that looks pretty interesting…www.newlostcity.com.

pig

in germany, where i grew up, the tradition is to eat a marzipan pig with a four leaf clover for new years, for good luck -  so that is “something” i will be doing!

so, readers, what are your plans for new year’s eve?

Chloe C -Dec 30, 2009, 9:04PM
oooh - so who is that, coming up to see the outdoor hockey game?!
piper -Dec 30, 2009, 1:34AM
i'll be playing with sparklers and drinking chai while my male friends set off fireworks in my neighbors' yards.. its a tradition.

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Post image for holiday craft swap wrapping up!

thank you so much to all 196 people who participated in our holiday craft swap!  you guys are so creative and i love seeing photos of your projects…i hope the craft swap brought you all some added holiday cheer!

make sure to check out our flickr page for more craft swap photos!

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Nasir -Dec 31, 2009, 11:54AM
very nice and coool :) By http://www.shopinsummer.com

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