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April 2012 Archives

Earth Day 2012 + "Born To Be Wild" on DVD
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This Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day 2012 -- an annual worldwide event aimed at spreading awareness of environmental issues. You're probably already bombarded with information at school, on TV, and elsewhere on the Web about Earth Day and how you can help preserve our planet's precious and beautiful resources. We're going to bombard you just a little more: If you haven't already checked it out, please visit our section on Green Living and share your own thoughts on how to help the environment.

borntobewild.jpgWhen we help the environment, we're also helping our planet's co-residents -- the animals. As you probably know, the issue of helping animals and wildlife conservation is a big one for us, because it's a big one for IML'ers. There's something about the way animals touch our hearts and remind us of the incredible power and beauty of nature. We were on the lookout for something that illustrates this in a fresh way for young people, and found the IMAX film "Born To Be Wild," which has just been released on DVD and Blu-ray.

In "Born To Be Wild," we meet amazing people who are dedicated to rescuing and raising orphaned wild animals so they can be returned to the lives they were meant for. In the rainforests of Borneo, Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and her team care for baby orangutans who are the victims of deforestation, while in the savannahs of Kenya, Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick works to save and rehabilitate young elephants after their mothers are killed by poachers. The film, which is narrated by Morgan Freeman, made us laugh and go "awww" a lot (and even made us cry), really driving home the importance of the human-animal bond. It reminded us of just one of many reasons why environmental awareness matters.

Extras on the discs include wonderful additional footage, which is a good thing because you probably won't be able to get enough of the baby orangutans and elephants. It's a perfect DVD choice for your next family movie night, and unlike other things you might spend time watching, it will make you think...and hopefully act!

Advice on how to design your own clothes
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So it's spring, and that's a GREAT excuse to go out and buy some new clothes. A new season might mean a new attitude, which might call for a new style! But what do you do if you're on a budget and can only choose a few items? What if you're told, "You still have clothes that fit you, wear those!", but you're completely sick of them?

fashion-playtes.jpgThat's where the fantabulous art of embellishment comes in, and we know some of you IML'ers are already experts on that. Embellishment is when you take a piece of clothing that's rather basic and plain, then bling it up with graphic patches, iron-on's, and appliques, fabric ribbons and flowers, rhinestones and other shiny things. It's a really cool way to express yourself, shout your individuality, and explore your personal style. Think of it as "Project Runway" with none of the mean judging and all of the fun.

We were excited to discover a new website called FashionPlaytes that gives girls the opportunity to do this virtually, with the added bonus of actually being able to have their creations made! We asked FashionPlaytes founder Sarah McIlroy to share some tips for IML'ers who want to play around with clothing embellishment, whether it's online or on their own:

  • Start with a theme or color. This will help guide you through the design process and give you a good start and vision for what you'd like to design. If you have an existing piece of clothing you'd like to work with, let the style of it inspire you. For instance, a simple solid-colored t-shirt is a great blank canvas to do something fancy, while a tank top that already has ruffles and a pattern might look best with only one or two simple accents. Don't use too many patterns or colors that might clash with one another and distract from your design.

  • Don't forget that clothing's not the only thing that can be embellished. Purses, backpacks, tote bags, and other accessories like hats, scarves, etc. can also be spiffed up!

  • embellishment.JPGChoose your materials and get stocked up. Go to a craft supply store and check out all the things you can put on fabric: paint, pens, rhinestones, heat transfers, glitter, etc. Decide whether you feel confident enough to sew things on, or use fabric glue (hot glue guns and sewing materials may be things you need to use with an adult around to help).
  • Look for materials in a color palette and get comfortable mixing and matching fabrics and patterns. Don't be afraid to try something new like bright neon colors. It's fun to explore and see what other colors or patterns look good on you!
  • Practice makes better. If you're drawing a design freehand, try it on a blank piece of paper first. Do a test run of something on scrap material first if you want to make sure you get it the way you want it on the final product. Keep in mind, however, that there are no such things as mistakes! Your "goofs" may end up being your favorite part of the design.

  • Choosing and creating styles is a lot about learning to listen to yourself. Listen to how you're feeling that day, what makes you comfortable and confident, and most importantly, pick something that makes you feel good and try not to listen to what others say. That's the beauty of embellishment - learning to express yourself and wear clothing YOU designed, not something someone else told you to wear.
We hope that inspires you to go out and play fashion designer this weekend!