New Moon Diary: It's Aries Season

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New Moon in Aries!

After a long few weeks of moody Pisces energy that sunk me into a low-energy depression, I am feeling like the winds of change are upon me. I drag myself out of bed with the frantic energy of someone with a to-do list. The New Moon is in Aries, and I feel like I am squirming around inside of my own skin. Trying to burst forth. Heaving myself against the walls and blocks that are standing in my way. Aries is the sign of action - it’s a strong fire sign, ruled by Mars: the planet of war. Aries love to be in motion, love to launch themselves into action. IT’s time to reset and start something new. Here we go! Big changes are in the air. The future feels open and unpredictable. My options are open.

Have you ever had that moment where you blinked and suddenly remembered, - “I’m my own person. I can do whatever the fuck I want - and no one’s gonna stop me!”

You can act however you want to.
You can be whoever you want to be.
You can love whoever you want to.
You can go wherever you want to.
You can make. your. damn. life.

Let’s do it.

a little writing about depression...

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I never know how to talk about depression.

How do I write about depression? Where do I even start?

I’m usually pretty open about my struggles with anxiety. But I am much more secretive about this dark side of my life: my struggle with depression.
If ever the subject comes up, I try to laugh it off or change the subject quickly.
But the truth is, depression is still so misunderstood.

For the past week, I’ve been having a depressive episode. Even though I take an antidepressant medication daily. Even though I had work and class and other obligations. Even though I have friends who care about me, even though I live with a partner who loves me.
Depression doesn’t care.

For five days, I was unable to do anything besides lay on the couch, drink tea, and stare at the ceiling.
Every sound irritated me. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me. I didn’t want anyone to touch me.

My partner glanced at me occasionally with concern from his desk across the living room, but mostly I was home alone with the cat. I ordered in takeout, or didn’t eat. I drank three times more coffee than usual, but my energy level remained in the dirt. I couldn’t move. I didn’t care.

Homework went undone. Dishes went unwashed. Emails went unanswered. I even had to call in sick to work one day.

I felt embarrassed, disappointed in myself, and self-loathing - when I felt anything at all.
I wanted to run away - if I could find the energy to stand up and move my feet.
When I finally fell asleep at night, I was plagued with nightmares.

On Saturday, I felt proud of myself when I mustered up the energy to watch two documentaries on Netflix.

This is the side of depression that can be hard to understand.

It’s a struggle, and every day and every week are different.  All we can do is make the decisions that are best for ourselves, try not to feel guilty or bad about our depression, and just keep going. We’re not alone.

The 3 Spookiest Cards in the Tarot: The Devil, The Tower, and Death.

Hey there, sunshines! I can't believe we're already nearing the end of October! Time really is flying this year - or is it just me? I've got a great Tarot Diary for you today. Some of my favorite Tarot Cards are the most misunderstood cards in the deck. So, in honor of my favorite spooky time of year, let’s talk about the 3 spookiest, most vilified, and most misunderstood cards in the Tarot: The Devil, the Tower, and Death.

Whenever I’ve done a reading for someone unfamiliar with the Tarot deck, they get wide-eyed when they see one of these cards. And if they’ve got all three? Forget it. Total. Meltdown. Of course, getting all three of these cards in one reading can mean big things in your life, but it’s not always bad news. Let’s dive in.

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The Devil: This is the card that always FREAKS people out. The Devil has some scary connotations, and the image on this card is pretty freaky as well. This card usually represents feeling stuck. It can signify addiction, co-dependent relationships, or some other kind of inner turmoil. That can seem like scary stuff, especially if you are coming to terms with it for the first time. However, my friend Veronica pointed out something about this card: the Lovers in the card seem like they are chained to the Devil, but those chains are huge. They can easily take them off from around their necks and leave this situation. So, what this says is: You have the power to change. You can break your chains, and change your situation. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, if you can only remember to walk towards it.

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The Tower: Another scary image - a dark background, lightning/fire, a crumbling tower. This card definitely means that something is going to get all shook up. But it doesn’t necessarily mean trouble or harm. Rather, it means that your foundations will be shaken - a big change or realization will take place that may break down your ideas about something. And change can definitely be scary! The truth can be scary, too. But there is no need to fear the Tower. The next card in the Tarot story is the Star: the card of Hope. You got this.

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Death: Okay. Just the name of this card is enough to shake anyone to their core. But then you see the picture: the Grim Reaper. You think, oh shit. Is he coming for me? But the Death card simply represents an ending. When I moved out of New York, I did a reading for myself and my roommates, and I pulled two cards: Death, and the World. Our time together in New York was ending, for sure, but a new world was opening up for us to start a new journey. And that is what this card stands for: with every ending, comes a new beginning.

There you go. There's really nothing to fear here. Change and endings can be terrifying, but they are a natural and necessary part of life, and can lead to better roads ahead. So go ahead and get that Halloween reading, and rock the rest of this month out!

xo Nikki Dee

behind the scenes at a photoshoot

This past Sunday, Sunshine & Bravado participated in a promotional photoshoot for a fashion show in November. It involved hand-dyeing my new samples from the Lotus collection, 4 hours in a salon, and an hour outside standing in the hot sun in front of a rusty, corrugated metal wall. It was lots of fun.
Arielle is wearing the Ink Dress in smoke, and the Aminah Kimono in Midnight. These are the first factory samples, and first dye samples of both pieces, but I think they look pretty good, no?

The Ink Dress was dyed with a dye salt solution, iron salt, and pomegranate. Black is a very difficult color to dye in general, and even more difficult with natural and plant based dyes. The recipe definitely needs more testing and adjusting, but I actually like the soft, faded, vintage-style smokey dark gray that resulted.
The Aminah Kimono is mostly Natural Indigo with some pomegranate, and tea.

Behind the scenes at the photoshoot: We did hair and makeup, and prepped the models at Cut N Blow Salon in Columbus. My lovely model Arielle is wearing Urban Decay Vice lipstick in Blackmail. I received an Urban Decay Vice lipstick tester palette from Sephora as a gift for ordering $25 worth of makeup online a few months ago, and it is AWESOME. All of the colors are great, and since I don't usually wear bold makeup every single day, it's nice to have a little bit of each color to try.

Anyway! The collection is looking great! But it is coming along very slowly... Unfortunately, I did not reach my funding goal on Indiegogo for the collection, so I am paying for fabric, samples, dye materials, etc. out of pocket as I save up money very slowly to put towards the line. As I keep working on the collection, big changes are coming to Sunshine & Bravado. I'm not going to talk about them yet, but I'll just say that they will be hard to miss! So keep checking in! Since the show is in November, the collection will be ready for purchase from my site - and hopefully at a few retailers, too! - by the winter holidays. Hooray!

In the meantime, keep checking in on facebook, instagram, and here at the blog for updates and events.  The ReDEFINed fashion show is on Sunday, November 13th at King Avenue Five in Columbus, Ohio. There will be a DJ playing music for a chill hour starting at 6pm, and then the show starts at 7! Contact me for tickets, or feel free to leave a comment so I can get in touch. There are 5 designers showing collections, and we are all SOOO different. We're like the Island of Misfit Toys, since none of our collective styles fit into "mainstream" ready to wear fashion. So it's sure to be a hell of a show. I hope to see you there!

Sunshine & Bravado: the Lotus Collection Campaign Update!

If you've been following me or my blog at all, you know that last week, I launched the crowdfunding campaign for my ethical clothing line Sunshine & Bravado via IndieGoGo. This is my first produced collection, it's sewn by women in Kentucky and hand dyed by me using natural, plant based dyes right here in Columbus, Ohio. All of the fabric is sustainably and ethically sourced, mainly organic cotton and hemp, and mostly grown in the USA.

Whee!

And if that wasn't enough, I'm also pairing up with TWO different non-profit organizations so I can donate a portion of clothing sales to their causes. They are:

Survivor's Ink, a Columbus based non-profit which helps survivors of human trafficking reclaim their bodies, by covering up scars and brands with tattoos. [photo via the Guardian]

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and Love Yourself Project NYC, an NYC based art therapy nonprofit centering on self love. [photos via their website]

Hell yeah!

Here's a rundown about the campaign:

  • The campaign goal is $3,500.
  • This will cover factory patterns & samples, beautiful fabric, dyes, labor, legal costs, and upgrading the website to support e-commerce.
  • If you donate to the campaign, you can choose your "reward". Rewards include personal thank you postcards, limited edition screenprinted tote bags, and a pre-sale of the full run of the collection. This means that you will be able to own a piece from the collection WAY before everyone else!
  • This collection is carefully designed to flatter and fit a wide range of sizes and body types.
  • This collection is seasonless, which means that it is not particular to a certain season, weather, or time of year, but the styles are meant for layering and wearing all year round, not for being a slave to the fashion system!
  • This collection is made in the USA, which means it is creating jobs and making sure that garment industry workers are working in a safe environment, being paid a living wage, and doing what they love.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you are unable to contribute financially right now, I totally understand (though even one dollar helps!) Here are some other ways to help if you are feeling the vibes of my mission:

  • Get the word out about the campaign. Share photos, share my video, share the link on social media! Tell all your friends! This will not be possible without you, and any tiny contribution or act of sharing counts.
  • Use the Indiegogo Share Tools!

Get in Touch

sunshineandbravado@gmail.com

www.sunshineandbravado.com // @sunshineandbravado on Instagram

#sunshineandbravado #ethicalfashion #fashionrevolution #whomademyclothes

This collection has been my dream for a long time, and I've been working on it for almost a year. All I want is to see this collection come to life, to create jobs and work with nonprofits, and to share it with the world.

XOXO Nikki Dee!

  • what's your biggest dream?
  • are you part of the #fashionrevolution?