Odunde! Happy New 2017 Recap

On Sunday, June 11, 2017, my trek to Odunde had a few hiccups.  I walk allover the city of Philadelphia which means in an instant my plans change, arrival times vary, and I refuse to be frustrated because things will work out. As I approached 31st & Wharton two beautifully designed and maintained classic cars ride down the street.  Seeing these cars were just like finding a penny to me; it sets the tone that my day will be filled with joy.

 

Once at Odunde I bumped into my first cousin Michael while walking to meeting up with Lil/Big Sis and the children. The last time we saw Michael was over three years ago.  Odunde created the perfect opportunity for a Monroe Family Usie!

 

 

After a brief chat with the family we parted ways, I gorged on funnel cake with extra powder, and then it was time to start the vending adventure.

 

A Little Background: Normally I am an Odunde attendee. I get to see merchandise and haggle with the vendors. I am from a family of street vendors; however, most of them stopped in the 1990s. So each year I look forward to opportunities to assist vendors. Doing this brightens my day, brings back feelings of nostalgia, and increases their sales. 

In 2016, I had an insatiable need to fold so I offered to assist vendor Naturally Chic Fashion (NCF) with folding and packing merchandise at the end of the event. I enjoyed the 2016 experience so must that at the end of the event I offered my services for 2017. In May 2017, I emailed NCF to remind them of my offer and to confirm their attendance.

When I heard from Kevin, on Odunde Sunday,  I did not fully grasp that my 2017 experience would be predominantly as a vendor.  This year Naturally Chic Fashion had three booths. Kevin and I would be working the 21st & South Street booth together. 

 

 

It was fast pace, chaotic, fun, lucrative, and the best vending experience I’ve had in a long time. We had so many people attempting to make purchases that our team of two became three; my girl P.Battle jumped in to assist.

 

 

From A Vendors Prosceptive: We still got to experience the sights and sounds of Odunde. We partook in the delectable cuisine of the Caribbean Pot, friends/acquaintances/partners came to booth for hugs, we felt the reverberation of live drumming, and heard the faint sound of Whodini performing.

 

 

After a hard days work I was gifted NCF 2017 Statement Shirt Collection.  To see all the available statement shirts for purchase click on the my collection picture. 

 

My NCF 2017 Statement Shirt Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you NCF Crew for the experience and to P.Battle for your participation. Follow me on Instagram as I tour the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection rockin my MD gear!

 

What was your Odunde experience? Let me know in the comments.

 

Odunde! Happy New Year 2017

We are days away from one of my favorite New Year celebrations. Odunde is the observance of the Yoruba new year and is celebrated ever year on the second Sunday of June. Started by Mrs. Lois Fernandez in 1975, Odunde is the largest African celebration on the east coast.  I have been an attendee since I was a little girl and a vendor as a teenager.

 

The event starts of with a procession to the Schuylkill River to offer fruit and gifts to the goddess Oshun.

 

 

Every year offers participants exposure to international, national and new local brands, face painters, DJs, food vendors, etc. The marketplace and festivities span 12 city blocks starting at 23rd and South Street.

 

 

One of my cherished experiences each year is bumping into people I have not seen in forever and spending time with my girl/attendee P. Battle. We have met up for the last five years to shop, joke and enjoy the festivities. Last year she introduced me to awesome t-shirt vendor, Innovative Design USA.

 

 

Though Odunde is marketed as a one day marketplace there are events throughout the week.  They hold story telling, African Business Roundtable, Potter Class. On Saturday June 7, 2014, Odunde attempted to set the world’s largest Zumba class with the Guinness Book of World Records.

 

 

This Saturday Odunde is sponsoring a free yoga class from 10 – 11 am at Marian Anderson Recreation Center (740 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146). All you are required to do is register and enjoy the fun.

For more information on this week’s events go to www.odundefestival.org

 

Tell us about your favorite Odunde experience and if you will be in attendance this Sunday? Let us know in the comments.

DIY: Jewelry Organizer with Flower Wall

One day while shopping at Ross with the Lil/Big Sis, Ulise, we stumbled across a wall organizer. It had no knobs, was an unattractive color, no price listed, and I was drawn to it. I thought maybe with all the issues it had Ross should sell it for $5.  When we got it to the register the cashier requested a manager who quoted a price of $12. He was very clear that normally a piece like this may cost around for $40. So Lil/Big Sis had to talk me into buying it… I have a $5 threshold when it comes down to certain things.

So this lovely monstrosity sat in my living room doing absolutely nothing for a few months. I would randomly stare at it knowing that it had some use. It would be a useful thing of beauty, but I didn’t know what it would become. While recuperating from my surgery it came to me that it needed to be painted a beautiful shade of yellow and the cork board would become a flower wall (thanks YouTube). So this is how it went down:

 

Step 1: Find The Right Color

There are many shades of yellow. Rust-Oleum Lemongrass Yellow spray paint was my first choice at AC Moore. An older gentleman at AC Moore informed me that Wal-Mart sold Rust-Oleum for almost $3 less. After two quick calls to Wal-Mart and Home Depot, neither had the color. Still determined, I decided to check at Wal-Mart to see if they had anything comparable with Lemongrass Yellow. In Wal-Mart’s paint department I met Richard who offered to mix paint samples and he told me I shouldn’t settle for a color I really didn’t want. After one bad batch of Lemongrass that was more green than yellow, I decided to purchase Glidden High Performance Semi-Gloss in Buttercup.

 

Step 2: Paint the Darn Thing

Who needs to drop cloth when you have an old torn up laundry bag to cover your surface. We, my Bagel and I, painted the organizer and even my shoe cubby.  I set up a paint station outside and we put on two to three coats of paint. Attempt to allow each layer to dry before applying another.

Learning Lesson(s): Make sure to put painter’s tape on the inside of your drawer over the knob hole. It keeps the paint from dripping inside.

 

Step 3: Be Patient

My Bagel suggested we give the paint 1 – 2 days to fully dry.

 

Step 4: To Line or Not To Line

Though I didn’t care for the muted grey color all over the organizer; I did like the color inside the drawers. I chose to keep the interior of the drawers the original color and brighten it up by lining the bottom with Contact Quick|Cover in Talisman Gray from Dollar Tree.

FYI:  We did find three out of four of the original knobs inside of a drawer. I purchased this complementary antique brass finish knob to accent their beauty.

 

Step 5: So Many Flowers

The Dollar Tree Flower Center is the perfect place to find bouquets and bushes of fabric flowers. Choose an array of flowers (roses, daffodils, petunias, etc) that you think will look good together. I spent around $15 and I have enough flowers leftover to do a second project. The number of flowers necessary depends on the size of the project; it is hard to predict how many flowers you will need to fill the space.

Gently pull flowers from the stems and trim any excess material from the bottom of the flower. Be aware cutting the bottom too short can compromise the structure of the flower making it likely to fall apart.

 

Step 6: Glue, Glue and More Glue
While spinning my Saturday Night Fever album and Live Streaming Instagram, I started gluing the flowers to the cork board with E6000.  This is industrial strength glue takes a while to fully dry, so two heavy books (Old School Bibles) were placed on top of the flower wall. I allowed the glue to dry overnight in my guest room with the window slightly opened and the door closed. 

Learning Lesson(s):  E6000 glue has cancer causing chemicals and the directions suggest using a ventilated space and to not get it on your fingers.

 

Step 7: Measure and Make It Fit

I knew I wanted to hang the jewelry organizer at the entrance of my room. With my trusty leveler, measuring tape, calculator and pencil I marked and measured the space. Rather than using nails, Monkey Hook from Wal-Mart were used to hang the organizer. 

 

Step 8: Happy Dance

I introduced my jewelry to its new home and gave it a place to thrive with vibrant colors. I am ecstatic to have beautiful flowers in my bedroom.

 

 

Thank you L Boogie, Lil/Big Sis, Richard, and my Bagel for documenting and physically assisting me with this project.

 

 

What do you think of our Jewelry Organizer? Let us know in the comments.

In Loving Memory

Vinyl on Spin: 🎼 In Loving Memory circa 1969

In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

I dove into my father’s crates last night and pulled out a gem… In Loving Memory by Motown Records.

 

This album is a tribute to Mrs. Loucye G. Wakefield, Motown vice-president and sister of Berry Gordy. This album is the ultimate compilation of Motown’s top artists and a choir singing inspirational gospel songs. Every song exudes so much love from Harvey Fuqua “What Do You Choose” to Stevie Wonder “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”…. One of my favorite gospel choirs Voices of Tabernacle performs on this album.

 

This quote from the liner notes sums it up…

“This tribute to Loucye comes with the sincere hope that this album will find its way to a permanent pave among treasured collector’s albums… that it will serve as a laying memorial to Mrs. Wakefield” – Mr. Al Dunmore/Mrs. Regina O’Neal

 

Motivation, Inspiration & Creativity🎙,

J. Monroe 

Larry Young’s Fuel

Vinyl on Spin: 🎼 Larry Young’s Fuel circa 1975

I only had nine years with my father yet those years created an insatiable love for music within me. We listened to a lot of jazz & funk.

Larry Young’s Fuel

Larry Young’s Fuel

Fuel is a combination of both jazz and funk which heavily utilizes a synthesizer and percussion. My favorite song is H + J = B (Hustle + Jam = Bread).

 

I am not sure how my father got his hands on this promotional copy yet I’m happy he did!

 

Passion Driven Journey Minded,

J. Monroe

It’s Knitting Time in the City

In August while at Jo-Ann Fabrics perusing the yarn section I found a few treasures… skeins of discontinued yarn colors with an easy pattern. I was elated to take on the challenge of knitting until I realized I didn’t own the necessary needles and I forgot how to knit.😕 For some reason knitting techniques are taking longer to become second nature yet I am determined to become an avid knitter. So off to YouTube to brush up on casting on, casting off and the direction for knitting vs purling.

 

Currently,  I am knitting during my lengthy commute and creating One Skein Wonders. I want to share this nuance of My Journey with you. So I will blog about the patterns I’m trying and my prospective on crafting through the medium of yarn. 

 

Big Twist Chunky Thistle

 

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