something quick and quiet to say

Today was the third anniversary of a very sad time for my family.

I spent some time this morning reflecting on the situation, and for the first time I wasn't filled with sad, haunting thoughts.  

Instead I was filled with a power I rarely feel within myself, a confidence I hardly recognize, and a level of inspiration I would trade many things to be in the company of on a more regular basis.  

We lost a member of our family in a tragic and confusing manner, and usually this is what dominates my memories of him.

But today I remembered what I was thinking the morning before I found out of his passing:  that he was the only one who ever truly encouraged me, and I am grateful for it. 

He was a quiet person, didn't say much.  But he could be so funny, and drew the best comics I have ever seen to this day.  He put rhythm to music and created the fine instruments that same music was made from.  Although I didn't know it then, I do now: 

He was an artist.  And he knew I could be, too.  

Sometimes it only takes a single person to change how we look at ourselves.  I only hope I can remember to see myself this way, every day.  

Photo borrowed from Ben Jones' page


SEPTEMBER: Downtown Provo Dance Walk and First Friday

I have some good news.

Did anyone else also notice how lively Downtown Provo has been--even before the students returned last week? 

Something very, very cool is happening in our city.  And I am so proud of it!  Good eateries, great music and wonderful people-- you won't hear any complaints from me. 

To celebrate, we are reviving the DOWNTOWN PROVO DANCE WALK for another First Friday!  

Don't know what it is?  Here's more info about where this was first organized...and below is a video piece about our first Dance Walk in Provo-- I still can't believe how many of you came out for this!  

Also, I can't believe that video ends on the entire crowd singing along to Call Me Maybe.  My heart is swelling with joy and pride (seriously).

Do you love to dance?  Do you love Downtown Provo?  Do you love neither but think you could be convinced to do so?

Then see you on Friday.   I hope you can make it because having a great time is just OH so important.  

Here is a Facebook event to RSVP to, or for you to share.  I would love it if you helped spread the word.  Let's make this a huge ordeal! 

Here's what you gotta do: 

1) Dress to dance.  Workout clothes, costumes, a gunny sack.  You pick!  whatever you want, just come comfy! 
2) Hydrate during the day.  It's gonna be hot Hot HOT!
3) Meet on the North side of the County building on the corner of Center Street and University at 6PM on Friday(across the street from Guru's, basically)
4) Bring your best moves!  Let's take this to the streets!  We will be following a route throughout Downtown Provo, dance walking it all the way!
5) Downtown Provo Inc will be making a video we can send back to Ben Aaron, and they encourage you to "Take lots of pictures and video footage before, during, and after the dance walk and send anything you come up with (professional grade or otherwise) to richelle(at)downtownprovo.org. Also, don't forget to use hashtag #provodancewalk on Instagram and Twitter."

We will provide some bottled water and the jams.  The Dance Walk will wrap-up just in time (close to 7 or before then) to grab some majorly delicious grub before the Rooftop Concert Series!  Which is great, since I am SO looking forward to it.  In fact, I will be live tweeting from @rooftopconcerts the whole night-- that is, if I don't get too caught up enjoying FICTIONIST//THE NEW ELECTRIC SOUND//JENN BLOSIL. 

This is an incredible free, outdoor concert series hosted by C.Jane Kendrick (love you, Courtney! Thank you!) and many other familiar faces in Provo.  


just for fun: two-weeks of dresses! join us?

I'm always complaining about not having enough summer clothes (or complaining about the ones I do have). 

But somehow I continue to ignore the fact that I own over 20 dresses.  TWENTY.  And I may have fudged that number a bit.  It could possibly be more.   

I wear them more often during the winter, but with the exception of Sundays I tend to forget to use them as a part of my wardrobe during these warmer months.  Cut-off shorts and band tee's are so much more convenient!   

Sometimes I'm deterred by a dress needing some sort of a simple alteration, or I don't have the right belt, or  the right shoes...or  they are all made from polyester and I don't want to die from heat exhaustion. Just about every excuse humanly possible has passed through my mind in order to avoid wearing these beautiful clothes.   

BUT NO MORE! I'm taking a stand...against myself.   And inviting you to do it with me!

Starting Monday August 13th, Beccy Bingham and I will be doing "TWO WEEKS OF DRESSES (or skirts)"-- she has already come up with some pretty cool outfits I am excited for you to see.  

(this is Beccy, in case you didn't already know)

You can follow us on Instagram using the hashtag "#twoweeksofdresses" and join us by using the same hashtag on your photos!  Blog about it if you want, do some Facebook posting whatever you please-- but I would love to see it!  Just leave me a comment below if you are interested in participating so I can follow you.

Slight disclaimer:  I don't spend all day in "real clothes".  In fact, I tend to spend most of my days in gym clothes...I don't have any expectations for everyone to be spending all day in a dress.  I would probably give up on this project pretty quickly if I was in a dress for 18 hours straight.   So if you see me around town in a dress, don't give me any applause.  It's probably just a 4-hour stint.  

I am looking forward to challenging myself to re-style and re-purpose some of my clothes, and excited to see what everyone else is doing!  



Downtown Dance Walk and a Week in Review

Hello, friends!

It's been a nutty week.  Really great in many ways and a little sad in others.

Let's start with today and work ourselves backwards...

DOWNTOWN DANCE WALK:  Many of you have been asking about the Dance Walk that usually happens on First Fridays.  After a few semi-sleepless nights I decided to cancel the one for this month, on account of James Christensen (remember the "Spiderman" proposal?) getting married to his bride, Shailee, today.  I simply won't have time to enjoy both events, and sometimes family comes first.   But it is surely on for next month!  Same song, next verse, see you at the Provo Historic Courthouse on September 7th!

(FREE) ROOFTOP CONCERT SERIES:  I will be making it back to Provo in time to live-tweet (follow @rooftopconcerts) this epic show!  Isaac Russell (full-band), Book on Tape Worm and John Allred.  Velour (aka Corey Fox) is a sponsor of this series, so you know it has our stamp of approval.  The first set starts at 7:30 pm, but the gates open at 6PM for you to place your blankets for some cozy seating and run to get delicious food from one of the many (very) fine food vendors in the alley.  Here is more info for you!

Now this is a sad one...STOLEN BICYCLE:  On Sunday night I took a quick cruise on my bike to go visit some girlfriends, and returned home at about 1AM, parking my bike on the somewhat-private back porch of my house (alongside several other mountain bikes belonging to my housemates).  On Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM I headed to the porch to retrieve my bike and ride it to my office in Downtown Provo.

My bike was gone.  I contacted all my roommates that could have kind of maybe borrowed it-- but no one had.  I have been riding that bike for six years, and ever since I sold my car 3.5 years ago to live car-free, it's been my only constant mode of transportation.   Not only am I a little angry someone has stolen it, but I am very, very sad.   I really love that bicycle!  And I am mostly angry I didn't yet build the bike rack for my house to lock all of our bikes on to this summer...

There have been a lot of bike thefts this year, and mine is just one of many.  But if you happen to come across it in your quest to buy a bike, or you see someone riding it around town...be sneaky, contact me and I will find a way to get it back.  There has been an outpouring of re-tweets and re-posts of the photos and I am so grateful for it all!  I haven't given up hope it might make it's way back into my hands someday soon.

Ok. Enough about the sad things.

(super hip) LITTLE BOYS CLOTHES GIVEAWAY:  I do a lot of things I enjoy, but I don't take great pride in many things.   However, on Monday I posted about a local designer who is producing cool, cool clothing (he already has a stellar little boys line, AVEN Clothing and some menswear in the works)-- I am incredibly proud of his work, and my photos of him as well.  Please take a second to check out the post and enter the giveaways (one is via Instagram!) for a few $50 giftcards to AVEN Clothing-- the deadline to enter is this upcoming Monday.

(photo courtesy of AVEN Clothing)

Have a great Utah weekend! 


AUDIO-FILES: Damien Jurado

I have made mention of this day coming before, but now that it is finally here I am not quite sure how to present this in a fashion that does this episode any justice.

So...I won't say much, just suggest you take a moment to watch and listen to Damien Jurado's AUDIO-FILES Episode.  If you need a teaser here is a clip (but a full-song) courtesy of AUDIO-FILES.  (Also, I happen to love this song so so much.  "Working Titles" from his latest album, Maraqopa-- released on Secretly Canadian).  Some of this was shot at Velour, but the rest of the episode was shot at locations throughout Seattle.

The full BYU-TV episode here (work friendly player!)  

AUDIO-FILES Facebook Page


Getting to Know: Designer Mitchell Harris and an AVEN Clothing Giveaway

Admirable local fashion design isn't easy to come by in my opinion, but it does exist.   While there is a growing territory of fashion-forward stylists, designers and consumers in Utah, happening upon an artist I admire and whose work I appreciate is still a rarity.  

Getting to know Mitchell Harris during recent weeks has been one of those rare and pleasant surprises.   He is the designer behind AVEN Clothing (a successful children's line launched just this year with partner and photographer Angie Monson) and has his own menswear and women's lines on the horizon.   Mitch took a sit with me recently to talk about AVEN, his background, and the inspiration for his work.

As is tradition with artist profiles, I will be hosting TWO giveaways (one here on SceneSister.com and the other--for the first time!-- on Instagram) courtesy of AVEN Clothing.   I hope you will check out their incredible clothes and submit for the giveaway at the end of this post.  


Mitch was always an artist at heart, obsessing over drawing or sculpting the human form during his high school years.  And although he had a defined interest and consciousness about fashion, it didn't seem like a tangible career direction at the time.   He attended UVU on an art scholarship and worked as an apprentice with an uncle who is a professional sculptor-- these environments seemed a natural fit for Mitch, until he returned home from a two-year mission with a complete loss of appetite for what he had been doing before he left.   After attempting to rekindle a creative fire, Mitch finally decided to change his direction and opted to head into Exercise Science and Personal Training (which really doesn't seem like too much of a departure) but always hoped the desire to create art would resurface in his life.  

Within a few years Mitch started drawing again.  An associate of his was interested in starting a clothing line, and knowing Mitch could draw, prompted him to create some early sketches.   While Mitch was trying to re-train his hands to create what he knew he used to be able to do, he was also confronted by the challenge of a new aspect of art within the fashion industry.  But even still, his friend took note of his skill and encouraged Mitch to apply to fashion schools-- going so far as to research schools in California (where they were working at the time) and setting up appointments for Mitch to meet with the advisors.   It wasn't until they were taking a tour at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, when Mitch's skepticism took a back seat and he felt drawn into the industry's art and atmosphere.  While walking through a hall of alumni sketches, Mitch was intrigued by the depth of artistic impact:

"...I never thought until that moment that fashion was incredibly artistic.  It struck me then there was more to fashion than a shirt and a pair of pants--The same principles of design used in drawing or sculpting were still applicable to creating clothing." 

With a new understanding under his belt, Mitch applied to FIDM and moved to LA to attend the school in 2009.   After a rigorous year and a half, Mitch graduated from FIDM and debated making a transition to Europe or New York City, but felt a stronger inclination to return to Utah.  Not a likely decision for a future in fashion, but surprisingly, a good move for Mitch.   Once back in the Beehive State his brother helped Mitch build a connection with photographer Angie Monson, who for years had been wanting to start an edgier and hip children's clothing line.   After some delays and working through developing their partnership roles (as all new and small businesses must experience), Angie and Mitch partnered up and AVEN Clothing debuted their first line in the spring of 2012.   (See more photos of the AVEN products below)


While Mitchell Harris' developing story is interesting and from what I can tell, fate-driven, what I find most intriguing is the way his mind works.  

Mitch sees much of the world in Black and White.  It's not the kind of black and white we first think of, which creates divisions and distinct barriers, but rather a spectrum within those fields opening up shades and depths.  Blacks and Whites fill Mitch's perception of spirituality, music, and art-- providing a course to an often-uncharted level of depth within each context.  

With this foundation in mind, Mitch's designs are inspired by war-era industrialism, founded by an inspiring timelessness and significance.   After talking more about this, it became obvious his grandfather (a WWII Veteran) has had a heavy impact on Mitch's designs and what the clothing emulates: a sense of military purpose and historical nobility, not a far-cry from Mitchell Harris himself.  

(Mitch's Grandfather, photos used with permission)

It seemed fitting to shoot Mitch wearing his own designs, on black and white film-- 

(this particular Polaroid portrait was taken by Alisha Stamper at the Salt Lake Farmer's Market.  Once I heard about the impact of Mitch's grandfather in his life, I thought it would be wonderful to show their two profiles in as similar mediums as possible.  Thank you, Alisha!)

(The AVEN Denim Blazer)

(The AVEN Grey Corduroys

(Shirt + Suspenders + Denim's-- all Mitch's design)

(Black Buttons.  No need for a tie)

(Jacket-- Mitch's design)

I love the gratification of instant photos, so I brought my Fuji Instax along on our shoot to get a few shots to take home.  Here are a few blog-worthy photos--

(Fuji Instax)

(Fuji Instax.  Love these shoes.)

I hope you enjoy the photos, his clothes, and Mitch as much as I have.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.  Congrats to Carolee Beckham and Raquel Callis for winning! And thank you to everyone else for their entries here and on Instagram! 

Want to see some of those happening AVEN clothes on your kids?  There will be TWO $50 Giftcard Giveaways!  Here are the deets: 
    1. "LIKE" the Scene Sister Facebook page
    2. "LIKE" the AVEN Clothing Facebook page
    3. Visit www.AVENClothing.com and pick a product you like
    4. Leave a comment on this post about which product you love the best and who you would love to see it on! 
    1. Visit www.AVENClothing.com from your smart phone
    2. Take a screen shot of a product you love
    3. Post it to Instagram, using the hashtag #AVENCLOTHING, and a comment about who you would like to see it on  (and if you tag @SceneSister that would be great, too!)  ENTER AS MANY TIMES AS YOU WISH! 
    • Share an AVEN Clothing photo, a link to this post, on Twitter or Facebook-- just be sure to tag the Scene Sister facebook or Twitter page so I know you have shared it! 
  • WINNERS-- will be announced on Monday, August 6th.  You may enter through 12PM on that day! 
Good luck!  Thank you for entering and thank you for supporting local art and commerce! 

(Photo courtesy of AVEN Clothing)


Sneak Peak: MITCH & Aven Clothing

I can keep a lot of secrets, but sometimes sitting on exciting news is one of the most torturous events in my life.

So, to relieve a little pressure off my thrilled little heart-- here is a sneak peak at the profile I will be posting next Monday:  

Meet Mitchell Harris, the locally-based designer behind the hip children's line Aven Clothing.   There will be a tell-all (just kidding...kind of) profile on Mitch, and as is true to Scene Sister form, some film portraits he let me take.  But to top it off, there will be an incredible giveaway from Aven Clothing!  So mums and dads, aunties and uncles... start scoping out this video and Aven's site for your wish list.  I'm sure everyone knows a few little boys who will look great kicking around in these happenin' clothes.