During my childhood and teenage years, I used to draw a lot. Yet, as I grew older I became disenchanted with everything (aka depression) and stopped drawing! About 3 years ago I pulled out my old sketchbooks and my palm began to itch. I picked up a pencil, began to sketch, and it felt like coming home.
Images from my Sketchbook
I’ve always been fascinated with roses. One day, as a child sitting on my grandmother’s front porch, Auntie Rubitha pulled out her notebook and sketched a lovely rose in full blossom. It was so amazing to me because I had been trying to draw a rose all day and it looked like a scribbled HOT MESS! Of course I added that to my mental list of “Reasons Why Auntie Rubitha Is So Cool.” 😀 Since then I’ve been a doodling rose on any piece of paper I get my hands on!
Rose From My Sketchbook
A favorite childhood song of mine is “Sweet Red Rose” by the Liberian Singer Harry E. I loved that song so much that my mother began calling me her Red Rose.
Some have asked, “Why did you name your brand House of Rubi?” Today I shall spill da beans!
My mother Rudene and aunt Rubitha inspired the name House of Rubi. Also, my mother’s birthstone is a ruby. Therefore, the House of Rubi brand color is deep red almost burgundy. Burgundy is also my favorite color. I’ve chosen to begin the brand with cocktail dresses because; Auntie Rubitha is what I like to call “Da Liberian Socialite!” She styles herself in stunning African prints and steps on the scene looking fresh! So I wanted to introduce House of Rubi with unique dresses designed for women who love to go out looking good. I focus a lot on world culture and style due to my mother’s influence. She used to travel to various countries on business trips (or so she claims), and return home with fabulous shoes from Europe and gorgeous outfits from Morocco! As a child, I always begged to travel with her. She would reply “No TJ I’m traveling for work.” Well I’m just saying,” Her trips couldn’t have been all business if she had time to shop!!!”
One of my favorite House of Rubi dresses is the “TJ Dress.”
“TJ Dress” Mood Board
“TJ Dress” features a braided organza bodice attached to a rose applique skirt.
This dress is very textured. I enjoy manipulating fabrics to create woven, braided, or folded textures.
Another of my favorite childhood memory, is of my Grand Uncle. We lovingly referred to him as “Uncou.” He stayed in the Liberian country side, but would sometimes come to Monrovia to visit. Uncou was a hard-working man. In fact, I don’t remember ever seeing shoes on his feet! He always wore worn out slippers with his feet coated in dust from long travels on foot! His face was worn and weathered from the sun. Everything about Uncou seemed so textured! On his visits, he would bring bamboo and weave mats to sell. I would sit for hours just watching him expertly lace cords in straight rows between bamboo strips to create a finished mat.
So, I experimented with strips of fabric for the “Mercedes Dress.” I plan to create another dress called the “Ika Dress” using the similar woven strips technique.
Check out the House of Rubi facebook page to see more designs!
ROSES COLORS AND MEANINGS
I learned this to feed my rose obsession. 😀
For more info on roses check out Morrison Gardens http://www.rkdn.org/roses/colors.asp
RED – Love, Beauty, Courage and Respect, Romantic Love, Congratulations, Courage & Passion
DARK RED & DEEP BURGUNDY – Unconscious beauty
RED (SINGLE) – I Love You
WHITE – Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness, Heavenly, Happy Love
PINK – Appreciation, “Thank you”, Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration, Gentleness, “Please Believe Me”
DARK PINK – Appreciation, Gratitude, “Thank You”
LIGHT PINK – Admiration, Sympathy, Gentleness, Grace, Gladness, Joy, Sweetness
YELLOW – Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me, Jealousy,
YELLOW WITH RED TIP – Friendship, Falling in Love
ORANGE – Desire, Enthusiasm, Fascination
RED AND WHITE – Given together, these signify unity
RED AND YELLOW – Jovial and Happy Feelings
PEACH – Appreciation, Closing the deal, Let’s get together, Sincerity, Gratitude
PALE PEACH – Modesty
CORAL – Desire
LAVENDER – Love at first sight, Enchantment
BLACK – Death, Farewell
BLUE – The unattainable, the impossible
SINGLE ANY COLOR – Simplicity, Gratitude, Utmost devotion
RED ROSEBUD – Symbolic of purity and loveliness
WHITE ROSEBUD – Symbolic of girlhood
THORN-LESS ROSE- Love at first sight
TWO ROSES ENTWINED TOGETHER- Marry Me
SIX ROSES – A need to be loved or cherished
ELEVEN ROSES – Assure the recipient that they are truly and deeply loved
THIRTEEN ROSES – Indicates a secret admirer