WCW: Rosa Armstrong-The Project Chick

Rosa Armstrong is an accomplished interior designer whose expertise is in the field of “Do it Yourself” (DIY). Coined herself, “The Project Chick” she travels the country teaching people to take the old and tarnished and turn it into new and fabulous.  She is today's Women Crush Wednesday! 

I knew Rosa from 7th period earth science from high school and had the pleasure of doing PR work for her for her e-store The Bombshell Bodega.  I always admired her entrepreneurial spirit and sense of humor, it wasn't a surprise to me to see her drive get her a show on HGTV/DIY channel "Kids can Build”.

What makes Rosa's show unique to me is that she's a city gal, most of the DIY shows are shown in the suburbs, that's refreshing for a fellow city gal!  Rosa brings her Brooklyn flava collaborating in projects with her daughter Melania. 

In between projects, Rosa and I had a chance to catch up, check it out:

O.C.O: What inspired you to start The Project Chick? When did Melania get involved?

R.A: The inspiration behind the Project Chick really was just an evolution to who I’ve become in this arena. I found myself not knowing what to call myself like am I a carpenter, a upholsterer, crafter I tried so hard to peghole myself into a niche that I ultimately was like I can and do, do it all. I do projects I am a Project Chick! Melania was pretty much forced into this life I can always use a second set of hands when working and she became my unofficial apprentice. Thank goodness she enjoys building!

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BEFORE

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AFTER

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O.C.O: Where do you do most of your work on your DIY projects?
R.A: I do most of my DIY projects in my workshop. I have a space that I rent so I don’t have to worry about being messy

O.C.O: What was your first “big tool purchase”?
R.A: My first big tool purchase was a skill saw all magnesium circular saw I did so much research on it and was afraid to use it because I heard how much power was in it and afraid I’d get hurt. But I’m still here with all 10 fingers!

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O.C.O: Who are your style icons? 

R.A: Right now my fave style icon has to be hands down Tracy Ellis Ross omg she is giving me life. She’s all about street and chic fun and stylish feminine and masculine.

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 O.C.O: Is there a specific project that you'd consider a favorite? 

R.A: As far as my favorite project to this day I consider it my daughter’s bed. It was my first build and With all the experience I’ve gained since then it’s pretty unimpressive as far as skill set but it gave my the feeling of empowerment that I needed to start this journey of becoming who I am today and who I strive to be in the future a can do can learn conqueror

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Follow Rosa on Facebook and Instagram for the latest DIY projects and show announcements!

xo

Kos

 
 

Walking to New Orleans.......

I always thought about the idea of going on a trip solo for a while now (my niece “When Geeks Travel, did a trip a year before) it inspired me and I decided to give it a shot in May 2018.  It was a few days before my birthday, a year since graduating grad-school and I was itching to getaway. I was used to telling friends or family “I can’t go” because of a final and now I ended up with a lot of free time.  A few days before leaving for NOLA, I was nervous if I made the right decision to go on a trip by myself to a city that is known for partying. I figured I can’t turn back now and either way the experience would end up on the blog, ha ha!

Rather than running from attraction to attraction, I realized I am more of  fly under the radar, live as I would if I lived there type of traveler. New Orleans ended up being  the perfect city to break in traveling solo. The culture, music, food, and the coffee! The people in NOLA are friendly, warm, and welcoming.   Special shout out to my friend Allyson and my new friend’s from NOLA Scott and Robi they really looked out for this city gal!

New York Times listed New Orleans as the top place in the world to visit for 2018. With this year being the 300th anniversary of the city, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to check out. I’m glad I did! Check it out!

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Street Cars – The city still operates very old-school trams. Of course I got lost in one of them being Uber spoiled! Not only do they look cool but they also take you almost anywhere a tourist would want to go! At $3 for an unlimited day ticket or $1.25 single ride they are by far the cheapest (albeit a little slower) way to get around town.

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Cemetary Tours-Due to much of the city being below sea level, burying the deceased above the ground is common practice, making the city’s cemeteries a popular tourist attraction..  St. Louis Cemetery #1, was one of my first stops in NOLA. It is where the famous Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau, is believed to be buried. Book your tour though the nonprofit Save Our Cemeteries to help support their preservation.

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City Park – The largest in-city park in the US, (an easy uber or streetcar away) is also home to a fabulous art museum (mix of contemporary art and antiques with a great mix of well known artists) a pretty good botanical garden and a nearby sculpture park.

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French Quarter- Besides Bourbon Street (check out Acme for the Chargrill Oysters btw), there are more activities to do in the French Quarter.   Walk around (with a to-go cup from Pat O’Brien’s) and take in the beautiful Spanish and French Architecture. You’ll run into beautiful Jackson Square where you can have a peek into St. Louis Cathedral (oldest cathedral in the U.S.), watch cute old people dance, and most importantly make a beignets stop at the very famous 24-hour open Café Du Monde for your Beignet fix and frozen coffee. This combo was amaze I ended up here a few times during my 4 day trip. First time having Bourbon Punch too, Bourbon House specializes in that!

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Frenchmen Street-Walk down the street, listen to the open venues, and grab a seat and listen to music, swaying back and forth in your own world. The Spotted Cat was my favorite! Then check out the market!

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New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA): they have a mix of contemporary art. When I went to NOMA in May, I spent a good half the morning there with my lovely friend Allyson. The Alexander McQueen exhibit was EPIC! “A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes”  The exhibit showcased rare pieces from one of the world’s largest private collections from the designer. After NOMA stroll over to Morning Call-I kid you not they have the best Cafe Au Lait!

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Walking tour of The Treme:  The Treme' (pronounced Tre-May) sits adjacent to the French Quarter and is the oldest African-American neighborhood in the United States.   Treme' was originally settled by Free People of Color; often referred to as Creoles, whose unique experience helped shape the civil rights movement. It is the hallmark of African-American history not to be missed. Today, Treme' is home to artists, musicians, and craftsmen and is a living, breathing, joyful piece of New Orleans history.  The tour I went on, had a great balance of historical info and personal anecdotes from our local tour guide Robi, who is a resident of Treme’.  Robi was deeply knowledgeable (and passionate about) his community and it shined through in his analysis of cultural politics in the neighborhood.

Louis Armstrong Park: As soon as you set foot in the park, you have engulfed yourself in African American history that dates back to the 18th century. From Congo Square to the Mahalia Jackson Theater, every inch of the park’s grounds contain history that has become a vital part of New Orleans’ culture. The park’s history involves slave culture, music, dance and entertainers that have all made an impact on the Treme area.

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Magazine St. – I spent time on Magazine Street the final day before heading to the airport. I couldn’t get enough of looking at the Southern Style porches! This is a long stretch of street in the lower garden district with cute bars, antique shops, vintage stores and interior shops with stretches of residential colonial style houses in between. My last meal was at the Ruby Slipper, ahh it was amaze never had biscuits so fluffy and sweet. Thanks for the recommendation Scott!

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I am grateful for NOLA being my first solo traveler experience. I embraced my identity in a way I didn’t think was possible and eagerly submersed myself in the culture, meeting new people, and discovering things about myself.  I am stoked to plan more solo trips for 2019 and beyond!

Xo
Kosi

Love Of The Knit

Knitwear for women is a long-standing classic in feminine fashion, it’s so versatile. My love of knitwear comes from my wholesale experience with Qi Cashmere, it was my first job graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology. While at QI Cashmere I was able to see the design team playing with proportions, hues and wool thickness creating knits for all tastes.

In the summer my sister who is THE KNIT expert taught me how to knit. I am in the process of finishing up my first project: A COWL (a post on that is coming when it’s finished):

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The fall 2018 runway knits got me inspired months ago. Now that the weather is a bit cooler, I’ve stoked to have an excuse to wear a chunky sweater!

Prabal Gurung Fall 2018

Prabal Gurung Fall 2018

BCBG 2018

BCBG 2018

Check out my favs, that will make you certainly feel comfortable and look stunning!

Occasionally, sweaters can fall victim to pilling. Taking the sweaters to the dry cleaner can be costly and also the sweaters could lose it’s shape. To minimize the trip to the dry cleaner I suggest purchasing The Wool & Cashmere Spray or Wool & Cashmere Kit from the Laundress.

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Side note: The Laundress products are made with nontoxic, biodegradable and allergen-free materials. The spray in particular, works great as a natural moth repellent for closets, drawers, refreshing the scent on drawer liners, and long-term storage.

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Besides knitwear what items are you stoked to rock this fall?

xo

Kos