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This journal is a creative outlet of all the things Kali Brown loves, from fashion, diy's, art, museum galleries to even food.  I am not a professional blogger and the things I share are my sole opinion. Enjoy my creative voyage!

Filtering by Category: Photography

29 Rooms

Kali Abdullah

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This past weekend Refinery29 created one of the coolest interactive installations I've been to in a long time.  My favorite art enthusiast and adventure sidekick Cory and I were so stoked for this event that we talked about it for days and made sure we arrived there early to avoid a long wait and major queuing. Open for only three days (September 9-11) visitors had the opportunity to explore 29 Rooms and immerse themselves into a wonderland of fashion, beauty, design, art, and technology while being able to capture and share the amazing moments and obligatory selfies on social media platforms.

29 Rooms

The 29 Rooms event took place in a massive 80,000 square foot warehouse in Bushwick Brooklyn.  Each room had a different theme, some were designed by individual artists, and others collaborated with various brands such as Perrier, Ulta, Papyrus, Google and Michael Kors.  Some of the collaborators included artist Baron Von Fancy, Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobson, singer Tinashe, actor Adrian Grenier, artistic director for Diesel Nicola Formichetti, RuPaul, makeup artist Ryan Burke, and interactive artist Daniel Rozinare.

"Show Your Pride" room, photo by Kali Brown

"Show Your Pride" room, photo by Kali Brown

Ulta's "Beauty Wonderland" Room, photo by Kali Brown

Ulta's "Beauty Wonderland" Room, photo by Kali Brown

Lonely Whale Foundation "Turn the Tide" room, photo by Kali Brown

Lonely Whale Foundation "Turn the Tide" room, photo by Kali Brown

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Adwoa Aboa's "Gurls Talk" room, photo by Kali Brown

Adwoa Aboa's "Gurls Talk" room, photo by Kali Brown

The most popular rooms were those that combined interactivity with great photo opp's, such as the Gurls Talk room created by founder Adwoa Aboa.  The room had an installation with over 500 old-school pink telephone receivers hanging from the ceiling. 

When you put the gold phones to your ears you heard various voices. Later I learned that the people speaking through the phone were women that Aboah admires like activist Erica Garner, model Cara Delevinge and Denise Gough.

In the “You-niverse” room you could get an "aura photo" taken or a Polaroid portrait that reads your spiritual energy through color.  The line for this room was very long and you had to pay a $15 fee for the picture so I skipped that and just took cool photos in the room decorated like a moonscape, with tons of brightly lit stars and moon-like sand covering the floor.  

Perrier "Beyond the Bubbles" Room, photo by Kali Brown

Perrier "Beyond the Bubbles" Room, photo by Kali Brown

One of my favorite rooms was the “Beyond the Bubbles” room created by Perrier. It was filled with hundreds of balloon displays to give the illusion of bubbles. Also, I loved  RuPaul’s “Wig Out” room, which had these amazing over the top wigs that you could pose under in a salon chair.

Here are some of my favorite flicks while at 29 Rooms.

Ford's "Garden of Energi" room, photo by Kali Brown

Ford's "Garden of Energi" room, photo by Kali Brown

Ford was promoting its environmentally-friendly Fusion Energi car, in a glowing garden installation.  But what made Ford really win was the complimentary rides they offered to guest as they were leaving the event. Our driver Joe was awesome and got us to our next destination in less than ten minutes.

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In our complimentary Ford car

In our complimentary Ford car

Overall it was a wonderful experience. Some rooms were more interesting than others and it was a little sensory overload, but Cory and I had a blast.  It was a great event and I can’t wait until next year! 

Brooklyn Garden Party

Kali Abdullah

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I can't believe how fast summer came and went, it's already September.  I've been slacking on my blog posts (sorry), but I definitely had to share this party I threw a few weeks ago.  So my birthday was mid-August and I wanted to have an intimate gathering with my close friends.  After perusing Pinterest for endless hours for cute ideas I decided on planning my own Garden Party.  Of course, there were a few hiccups to consider, I don't own a home with a yard or have rooftop access (just a studio apartment in Brooklyn) and most importantly I didn't have a big budget to throw such a fabulous event.  But that didn't really stop me and fortunately, I was able to find a way to pull it off.  

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Venue. My homegirl who has a beautiful home and backyard oasis in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn was gracious enough to allow me to use her backyard for my gathering.  Keeping my guest list to around 20 people, my next big feat was how I would decorate it to accommodate everyone.  

Photo by Kali Brown

Photo by Kali Brown

My original concept was to have a seated family style dinner amongst friends. However, my friend had a huge 10 ft x 12 ft pergola that took up most of her backyard, so in order to get that seated dinner feel I had to make a temporary table that could fit all 20 of my friends on the pergola.  I'm pretty handy with building things on the spot so I went to my local hardware store and purchased two 8 ft x 4 ft pieces of plywood and some cinder blocks to make a low seated T-shaped table.  I cut them down a bit and then added 2x4 studs to the sides of the plywood to keep the table from warping.  I then stained the table a dark walnut because I thought it would make the table settings pop more.  I also purchased a few canvas drop cloths to place on the floor of the pergola and a bunch of $2 pillows and a few small rugs from IKEA for everyone to sit on.  I'm telling you guys the hardware store is my best friend.  The diy table, flooring, and pillows in total were just shy of a $100. 

Ambiance. For the table setting, I got these really cool sturdy plastic plates that give the look of white china.  I paid about $16 for a pack of 50 dinner/salad plates from Costco and purchased the plastic cutlery that looked like silverware from Target for $5.  Cups and napkins were purchased from the local dollar store.  You're getting the pattern here, right?  There are ways to look fancy without paying a lot of money.  The centerpieces where faux hydrangeas from Michael's, I put them in white painted clay pots. I didn't really come out of pocket for those because I already had them in my home. My friend Cory who also has  a background in decorating and interior design brought the glass whirlies and candles to add nice accent lighting for when the sun went down, he hung them from the top of the pergola.

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Photo courtesy of  Cory Spotswood

Photo courtesy of Cory Spotswood

Photo courtesy of   Taneda Ashaolu

Photo courtesy of Taneda Ashaolu

Photo courtesy of  Cory Spotswood

Photo courtesy of Cory Spotswood

Now my favorite added touch was the place cards that I made and printed myself.  Once everyone was seated and it was time to give the sentimental thank you for coming speech, I instead told everyone to turn over their place cards. On the back of each card was a personal hand-written note to each individual telling them what they meant to me and how much I appreciated their friendship. (WINNING).

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Photo courtesy of  Wendy Correa

Photo courtesy of Wendy Correa

I asked that all my guest wear white or cream light colors. My dress also white was adorned with flowers.  I made it myself with 2 yards of $5 white fabric and some artificial flowers from Michael's, but I'll do a whole separate blog about that.  

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Menu. I didn't really feel like cooking so I had several friends who can throw down in the kitchen prepare a few things for me and honestly the amount of money I would have spent on groceries where better spent paying my friends for the ingredients needed for their delectable dishes. 

Photo courtesy of  Joi Addison

Photo courtesy of Joi Addison

Photo courtesy of  Wendy Correa

Photo courtesy of Wendy Correa

The menu consisted of grilled lemon pepper chicken (with a little sunshine and magic) and the best mac & cheese I have ever had in my life. I also had turkey meatballs, salmon cakes, curried potato salad and a traditional salad. The food was so good I didn't even have a chance to photograph it before it was all gone. For dessert, my friend Nekia of Feed Me Seymore made homemade banana pudding (my favorite) and mini sweet potato cheesecake. We also had the tastiest spiked ginger lemonade cocktail, with lots and lots of vodka.

Photo courtesy of Wendy Correa

Photo courtesy of Wendy Correa

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My background is in photography, production and event management so I really wanted to add those elements to the party. I had a seamless backdrop set up in the corner where I personally took portraits of all my friends.  This was fun because everyone loves a photo booth. I also had a few props that I'd made from past Halloween costumes for them to add in their portraits.

As the sun went down the candles were lit, the drinks still flowing and the conversations continued.  The party was a great success and one for the books to remember.  Overall it was an amazing DIY garden party with family, friends and loved one. 

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