38. Thankful – Good times, memories, and long lasting friendships

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There are only a few times of the year that my household tends to worry about laborious cooking and the display of fine dining. One of these times is during Thanksgiving. After my mom and I moved down to Virginia in the middle of my sophomore year of highschool we were excited to find that since we moved away from the family and now tend to have busy schedules, we no longer worry about making extravagant meals (though sometimes I do  miss her cooking, she once worked at a restaraunt.) This thanksgiving though, one guest changed things.

My mom decided to invite her boyfriend over to join us for Thanksgiving this year, and it has been a couple of years since I have been with her for this holiday due to going to school in Michigan. So this time the holiday was going to be extra special. so, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving we all decided what we were going to have for dinner. A list of turkey, green beans, stuffing, potatoes, dinner rolls, and cheesecake for the dessert. My mom instantly got started with the task of preparing the dinner while her boyfriend took on the task of making his first cheesecake.

First my mom’s boyfriend had to buy all the supplies and equipment for the cheesecake, but forgot he did not have a mixer and told my mom disappointed half way through making the dessert at his house that he would have to drive out and buy one just to make this cheesecake. Luckily, my brilliant mom told him that the blender has a similar mixing option and he could use that instead.

Next, was my mom’s turn she had gotten the turkey unthawed and was getting ready to cook it. While, she was getting the turkey ready for dinner she was also multitasking on the other items to get them timed to finish all at the same time. slowly as time passed and she was hard at work things got a little stressful as the cooking instructions for the turkey and stuffing got wet and stuck together, then we were unable to find a potato masher.

At this point I was beginning to wonder if all families got stressed while making Thanksgiving dinner, and how important this holiday actually is now a days. I sat down in a Scrooge like state of mind while my mom’s boyfriend came in the front door. I went back to helping my mom and her boyfriend make dinner thinking that this holiday really was going to be dull, until her boyfriend began to act silly, and started cracking jokes while cooking. I was making the gravy, which got screwed up completely, I am not a chef by nature like my mom and grandma are. He instantly poked fun at it and I began to relax again. Due to our new house guest my thanksgiving was saved, and yet again, I caught him wearing Levi’s this day.

I think he would make a great mascot for Levi’s. He is a calm collected man, a gentleman, hard worker, and knows how to make a good time out of anything. He also shows an all american side with his slight country accent, old American gentleman views, and not to mention helping out other American’s with his job as a state trooper, and swat team member. 

He would be for Levi’s what Jared was for subway for a while, or even the crazy guy for old spice commercials right now. He would have commercials based off the stories from his regular life, and on Levi’s twitter and Facebook account he will be able to respond to any questions customer’s may have and tell more stories everyday. I think giving a face to a product or a life goal makes the product seem more personal to people like me. In fact, it would be even better to get a group of Levi’s role models who will share stories about their lives showing why they make great role models, and they will be able to tour the world and volunteer for causes that the company of Levi’s feels fit. The rolemodels will come from many different backgrounds, personalities, and age groups. Their volunteer times will be video taped and put on a youtube Levi’s channel for everyone to see. These rolemodels will also be chosen through a contest placed out on t.v. and print campaigns by the Levi’s company.

Below: the extra place setting I made for Mike, my mom’s boyfriend, and where I came up with my idea.

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Ex. Black Friday – Where are my Levi’s?????

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This year I am excited to say was my first time actually participating in the craziness of Black Friday. My mom has always tried to avoid this day due to the amount of crowds in stores, and how completely ridiculous people act! I got to watch people fight over the shoes at JcPenny’s fustrating the employees. At Kohl’s my mom told me about two women who got angry at a worker for taking back their carts full of clothes, that they left in the middle of the store, and grabbed other carts to be able to buy even more stuff (you need two carts to carry all your clothes, really? and then just leave it in the middle of the store? lol people)

This does not include the craziness of the parking lot alone, did you know there is actually a thing called parking rage? This just blows my mind, people actually fight for parking spots? I guess riding around for 20 minutes in a parking lot following pedestrians leaving the stores in hopes for a close spot to the front doors is better than walking, heck who needs exercise in America….cough cough. Of course, I believe elderly and anyone who has trouble moving around should have a front spot near the door, and I can walk.

But none of this craziness bothered me. I had saved up three weeks of work money and was ready to spend it all. I made my mom get up at 4 am with me, and we both had the plan of just relax shopping instead of getting frustrated with people. In fact, we played a little game of spot the Levi’s in every store we went into and take a picture with my phone. Unfortunately, I found only two stores that had Levi’s displayed…..and guess what??? No sale for Levi’s on black friday? You have got to be kidding me! This is a big day for all stores and products to get as much sold as they possibly can, and Levi’s has turned their back away and are not participating? Sorry, but in my eyes this is not a good look. So I have created a coupon for them to get back into the spirit of the holidays of selling. (sorry but Levi’s are more expensive than I am usually willing to spend on pants. Thank you goodwill’s $6 and under pants)

I enjoy coupons that can be played with instead of just having the appearance of regular coupons that I just throw away. For this coupon there is a little suprise gift for every onlookers who pulls the tab, it could be a different percentage of sales off or for a special few it could contain a freebie. I guess you could say Christmas is coming early!

37. Independent – Foot forward

I am an independent woman.

I buy my own clothes, furniture, and even bought my first car.

I am not afraid to walk alone in the dark, nor nervous to eat alone at a restaraunt.

I am not the type of woman to rely all of my outings on my friends, if they become busy my plans will not change.

I am capable of cleaning my room and cooking my own food.

To me being independent takes more than just the idea, it takes the guts to put your next foot forward and take action.

I tend to wear out my favorite shoes with all of my walking around. Above is an example of this wear the sole actually broke off of my shoe while I was walking to the library to post some more things on my blog. Instead of being a wimp when I tripped on half of the sole while it was peeling away I decided to take my shoe off and rip the sole off the rest of the way. I have things to do and places to be so no small error like a ruined shoe will make me turn back now. My torn up heals are proof of my independence, I will wear them out until they are beaten to a pulp.

So, I decided to design my own Levi’s heels (tennis shoes would work too, but a few sneakers and even boots have already been created out of jeans.)

Below is a drawing of my design.

36. Independent – A close knit world

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One of the definitions for independent from an online source says and quote “not relying on another or others for aid or support.” When I think about this definition for a company it makes me imagine a world where everything a company needs and wants can be found all underneath one roof, and does not need reliance on other outside companies for supplies.

Imagine if for the Levi’s company the cotton could be grown under the same roof that the jeans were made? Under the same roof that their fashion line was revealed? Under the same roof that their final product could be sold?

Now that would definitely be a sign for independence.

So here I have decided to create a new version of Levi’s Factory based off the symbol of Levi’s logo and the taste of modern design. The top-level will be focused on towards scientific research and farming of the cotton. Each box shown below will contain a set amount of cotton needed for the creation of jeans. The top-level will be made out of a strong glass material that will allow sunlight to filter through and help the growth of these plants. Water will be given through spray pumps found on a line above the plants (Kind of like how grocery stores keep the fruits and vegetables wet.) there will be many rollable storage bins for the farmers to use while the cotton is being picked to provide time convenience and help the farmers from straining their bodies. Researchers will take note of all the plants and try to find ways to grow faster and fuller cotton stocks with a tougher cotton.

The second level down is for the jean making factory. Here workers can develop the product in a more appealing environment then before. Stations will be organized neatly and with the idea of comfort and safety for the workers in mind. The break room will be made for special comfort and relaxation with cushioned red seats that will be made in circular fashion to exclude a group from others for peace and quiet, or an option of set bar seating that will invite happy conversation. There will also be a hint of agriculture in the break room with trees towering over people and flowered plants lining the design of the break room in order to give a feeling of the outdoors being brought to them. I would like to take particular interest in the design of this level for the hardest of workers, who strain themselves everyday to make the product’s that America loves.

Here are a few pictures I found of old factories and the conditions the workers have worked in. Take notice in the cement walls, the dark and dingy appearance these workers have to face every day while laboring over the creation of jeans. I would like to create an environment that is more inviting and will make the Levi’s workers extremely proud to come to their job every day.

Photos: David Friedman

These sewing stations shown above for example would look better if the tables were attached together to create a larger work space. Each space would have a vibrant red or blue color rather than the dull white to liven up the place. (If I have free time I will draw out my idea for this and post it along with the design of the new building.) Also, I would like to change those horrible wooden benches you can see the workers sitting on above that I am positive leave wear and tear on your spine and butt for a more comfortable cloth like-material and the ability for adjustable seating so that the worker is able to sit at the sewing machine properly while leaving less stress on the back, butt, and arms. Finally, I would like to add some entertainment for the workers who tend to sit at a station all day and not walk around. For this idea at every sewing station you will find a headset that is hooked to the table giving the worker options of many radio stations from music to comedy to news and maybe even the ability to talk to other workers who may be sitting far away. If an announcement needs to be made or an alarm is set off in the factory the radio stations will be interrupted by the factories main line.

The third level down will display Levi’s history in an elegant museum. No jeans or photos will be hidden behind a glass window, but rather staged in front of people bringing them closer to the product and the story shown. Story telling will be done through pedestals with facts and headsets that will play music and have a narrator speaking that will come on every time an individual crosses a frequency line near a stage. At the end of the journey before customers leave the museum some celebrity worn Levi’s will be displayed in a row leading the audience to a small Levi’s embellishment station where the museum attendee’s will give back the headsets and embellish or sign an extremely large pair of pants. Over time, these pair of pants will change as more people come and cover the design of the previous attendee’s with their own. A video camera will be recording these changes over a period of a year, and at the end of the year the video will be displayed at the museum at the embellishment station.

The fashion runway will be for Levi’s exclusive designs with a few guest designer showings. The runway stage will be white on top with red sides, and the model entrance will be black. (yet again, if I find some extra time I will draw out this idea and post it to my blog.)

35. Independent – Pictures are really worth a thousand words?

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Pictures are worth a thousand words tends to be the saying when an incriminating image of a celebrity gone wild tends to go viral. I want to know if photos they really do.

While, looking through my mom’s old photo box for pictures I used in one of my progressive posts I was surprised on how many pictures I found of people in jeans, I guess I never noticed until I became obsessed with them for this blog project. In fact, some of the photos I spotted actually had a pair of Levi’s in them (thanks to the red tag, pocket design, and thick stitching found on the legs of the pants.)

Can you spot all of them in these pictures? How many could you find?

I placed each photo into a quick template I made using Photoshop to make the picture look like a quick Kodak shot. I think it would be interesting to see if the Levi’s company gathered up a bunch of old photo’s from people who happened to wear their jeans in a photo. After gathering thousands and thousands of these photos and copying them onto a Kodak template like mine and then take these photos out to the city.

Imagine walking down a busy city street and finding thousands of photos strung on lines through out the street with many different markers and pens beside each photo. The photos may look from afar like a million dangling flags blowing slightly in the breeze.

What would you do if you came upon these photos? What would you think? Would you stop and take a moment to look at them? 

…. I would

If people took the time to look at the pictures and used the markers to write and draw on the pictures I wonder what they would say. How would this help the company at the end of the day?

Well, maybe all of the information can help the company get to know the psychographics of people better when they see others in a pair of jeans, maybe someone in the large crowd of comments will put an idea down that will make the company think of a new idea for marketing or sway the design of their product.

I personally would enjoy seeing all of these photos with thousands of regular people and what they were caught doing in their jeans. It would give a sense of realism to me that a lot of Levi’s commercials don’t give (with their model-like teenagers, in places that you probably wouldn’t see them hang out.)

What if there was a festival, where everyone was down in the streets gathered for some type of event, and then from the top of a tall building people threw down buckets and buckets of these photos down to the crowds, like confetti? what would those people think? How would they react? would they extend their arms to catch one?

34. Independent the life of a college student

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If you have trouble viewing this video just click on this link: college life.

Becoming independent is a struggle at first. Especially when you are trying to balance every day things like cleaning your room, doing your laundry, and working at a job; while still trying to hold on to fun times with friends and family. It takes a lot of self-control and a good sense of time management.

Time management has always been my enemy when it comes to school and my home life. when planning on taking an hour out of my day to do something suddenly turns into a good 6 hours. Even when I am being productive the time I planned tends to get away from me. This video takes a little snapshot on my life and how a pair of jeans like Levi’s can save my day. When I am rushing around I have no time to think about doing simple things like the laundry. It just tends to stack up in my room, even my cat is afraid to go near the pile, probably thinking that an animal may be hiding in it…..who knows maybe there is an animal hiding in there somewhere, it would make one large den for one. Anywho, back to my idea. When looking for clothes finally comes to diving back into the dirty pile of laundry, because time is too short to wait for it to get cleaned, I am always in search of the freshest looking and smelling clothes I can find. Luckily when it comes to a pair of pants for the day Levi’s has saved me. All of my cotton pants had either dirt stains or were not very fresh smelling…..Yuck! A couple other pair of my jeans looked clean but did not smell as clean, maybe because they were made of a thinner material than my Levi’s.

Luckily I have just recently taken all of my clothes down to the laundry room, so I won’t have to search my closet for atleast another month. Sorry for the bad footage on this video, I had no tri-pod so it was fun trying to hold the camera and use my other hand for writing and throwing clothes and the files were all in HDI and umcompatible with any video altering software so i only had one shot with each clip.

32. Progression- Young Ones Continued

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Levi’s are for those who are not afraid to take a step further then others. For those who are unafraid to speak out. For those who are the first to pick themselves up after a fall. For those who “Go Forth.”

Thinking about some of my ideas I came up with in post 31 I instantly became curious at would it look like if we could bring all the children who wore Levi’s and followed the morals of the brand in one location, and then encouraged the children to go further. There is no easier place to bring people together then the online world itself.

I propose that a website be created specifically for families with children where pictures of little tots and their heroic stories can be shared with others. Using link for the photos many children will be able to be viewed by others, and when an individual decides to take a closer look at the picture the picture will appear enlarged on another window with the story of the child or how the picture came about in a side bar next to the picture. My hopes are that these pictures will not only entertain other families who may be visiting the site, but also inspire them.

Another link titled “Vote,” will show a window of all photographs and stories that have been chosen by the families to be placed in a vote every two months. Everyone who enters this link will be able to vote on their favorite Levi’s Little Hero. The winners of this run will be published in a Levi’s advertisement and receive special gifts, the runner-ups will also receive Levi’s clothing and gifts. Previous winners and their stories will be shown when clicking on the winners link.

Finally, for interactive fun, the family will be able to place their children’s photo into a book based off of fairytale stories where the children become the hero’s or heroines of their story. Ability to place the child’s name into the story will be created along with the ability to choose options of what happens through out the story. (example: Billy above chose to become a hero in Humpty Dumpty, He will be able to choose whether he should throw a pillow below humpty, get some glue to put humpty back together, or give humpty many balloons so that he safely floats back to the ground.)

I got the idea for the website layout from Levi’s ad campaign for “little tough ones” where Levi’s ads were based off of fairytale’s that told a different from the usual story. These are shown below:

31.Progressive- Young Ones

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While helping my mom try to find gifts for a coworker’s baby shower, I found a big stand for pants in the very front of Babies R Us. This stand was geared towards fashioning tiny tots with a pair of none other, then Levi’s. It held pants that were bedazzled with tiny little hearts along with other cute symbols and even had a few pair of jeggings. This made me wonder why I have not seen an advertisement from Levi’s based off of these tiny tots.

If  a “Go Forth” campaign was used for this audience too I could see a bunch of little ones sporting their new little Levi’s as they crawl around the house, trying to attempt great heights by reaching out for toys that are high on a table or trying to scale a couch for a teddy bear. Then, the scene would zoom out to the child making discoveries in the yard or at a grocery store.

Another idea I pictured was what if a black and white home video showed a little one in his or her first pair of Levi’s and continuously reveal examples of how this child would pursue greater feet and show leadership in games. Then, as the child grew up staying loyal to the pair of Levi’s, the videos will show the person’s greatest accomplishments and how they became their own Levi leader.

Below are some pictures I found from my mom’s old photo box that make me think of small examples of what a child would do for leadership, and how the progression of their lives will result in bigger rewards for being a true leader (for instance getting an award in highschool and graduating top of your class in college.) Unfortunately, I found no photo’s of me wearing jeans to help the visual. I was a very picky child when it came to fashion, and jeans were way too scratchy feeling to wear. I wonder if the new Levi’s for children above fit better than they did when I was little? I would have tried to figure that out but I was already getting awkward stares from people for taking pictures of the stand.

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30. Progressive – How To Poster

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Those who have tried to slip on a pair of super tiny skinny jeans knows the pain fashion can give.

Sometimes the progress of putting on a pair of jeans can be extremely difficult. Those like me who own a few pairs of skinny or super tight jeans knows this pain. Just trying to get the pair of pants above the kneecaps becomes an obstacle in itself. I usually take a break after I have gotten the pants past my plumber’s butt line. Then, after a moment of celebration its time to get back to the chore. Zipping up and buttoning the jeans becomes a life or death matter, hey if I got this far into my cute jeans there will be nothing to stop me from going the rest of the way. This is when the skills of acrobatics come into play, i may try jumping up and down trying to pull the last little bit of slack from the pants up to its place, if that doesn’t work then comes laying on the bed trying to raise my body to pull up the pants giving a weird yoga like scene. Finally, if that doesn’t work its time to scoot myself along the floor in an armless crab walk trying to pull the pants up…..Jussssst a little bit further….GOT IT! zip, button, and pray the zipper doesn’t fall down and the button does not pop off!

Below is a helpful poster that I have created to help others learn the old ways of putting on a pair of pants….Unfortunately however my model, was not the brightest apple in the barrel. Hopefully others will be able to do it the right way.

37. Thankful – Thank You Letter

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Thank you letters are an old-time classical way of showing a person’s appreciation for another. The idea of giving out this kind of gift has been around since the 1400’s from the Egyptian and Chinese culture through the way of writing on papyrus and then hand delivering it to its recipients. Currently, we are living in a more electronic age where sending these little thank you’s have been lowered to the standards of a short lifeless e-mail or was handpicked through a stationary stock of thank you’s that has been used thousands of times before by many.

I propose that instead of giving in to the quick and easy way out, let’s show those special people a real thank you that is hand crafted from our hearts. Today, I have created my own thank you card out of Levi’s of course. Now, the letter is not only hand crafted, but will also last a long time being kept safe under such a durable material.

Below is a slide show of the process I used to make this card. The final picture is the lay out I chose for my letter, which includes a space on the left for my letter to be pasted into the card, and holding spot on the right to hold pictures for a graphic in my letter. If you want to make one yourself use the slideshow, and the directions I have posted below as guidelines for your own. 

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How It was created:

First what you need to create this project:

  • A pair of old jeans (it doesn’t take much material so it can be from a pair of jeans you want to make into shorts.)
  • scissors
  • glue, spraymount, or even tape
  • a sharp blade (preferably box cutters)
  • a board to cut on (cardboard, illustration board, or matte board works too)
  • a straight edge ruler (if you don’t know what this is there’s a picture of this ruler on my slideshow next to the blade)
  • zipper
  • large red ribbon
  • button and clasp to hold the button
  • book making board (if you don’t have this yet again cardboard, illustration board, matte board, or even poster board will work.)
  • needle and thread (make sure you have a small needle and a large one the larger one is for where the tiny ones will bend and break.)
  • material for the inside (this can be any material and color you like, I chose a tan material that reminds me more of the inside of jeans pockets but feel free to go wild!)
Now let’s get started
  1. First I used a pair of scissors to cut out a rectangular shape out, I chose my piece from the knee area of the jeans. When you cut out the rectangle make sure it is a little bit larger then the card you are making so that you have extra space you may need later. preferably leave an extra inch on all sides of the rectangle
  2. Next, I took some of seaming from the jeans that are found around the pocket area or at the very bottom of the legs, and used it to create an upside down triangle (like how an envelope looks like) then I proceeded to to sew that piece in with a smaller needle (If you don’t like to hand sew a sewing machine will work too, and if you need to, use pins to hold the pieces in place, i tend to free hand my sewing.)
  3. Next, taking the two width sides of the rectangle I sewed on the zipper using the small needle again. This allows the recipient to unzip the letter and change the letter from being horizontal to being a vertical letter. I sewed the zipper a centimeter away from the zipper.
  4. Now, on the other side of the rectangle where the leg seam is (look at picture number 01 to see) i cut out to make a second opening where the button will go. ( make sure that both sides are even before you do this)
  5. after ripping off the button and its clasp from the pants I sewed on the pieces so that the button is on one side of the letter and the clasp is on the other (allowing the recipient to quickly open and close the letter.) Make sure that you leave jean space under the button for the ribbon to be place like the pictures shown in the slideshow.
  6. Now, using the red ribbon, measure out the height of your letter and cut the ribbon to size. then place the ribbon underneath the button. This is where you will place the recipients name. Sew along the edges of the ribbon with the little sewing needle on at least three sides in order to stop the ribbon from fraying.
  7. Next, is time to place on the name of the recipient you can either do this with embroidery like I have or you could use paint, paint pen, ink, or even a sticker should be able to hold on to the material. (mine is a surprise for someone so I am only showing the “To:” part.
  8. Taking the book making board or any hard board-like material you may be using cut out to rectangles to fit each side of the letter (the rectangles should be an inch to 1/2 of an inch smaller on all sides compared to the size of the jeans.)
  9. Place the pieces of board on each side of the zipper as shown on pictures 13-14 on the slide show
  10. Now, using the large needle. sew through each corner of the board to the jeans wrapping the thread around at least 3 times for steadiness (pic 15) I used a dark blue thread instead of a bright one so that it wouldn’t ruin the front and back of the letter. Also, this was the hardest part for me, since the needle did not want to go through so I pushed the needle through with the help of a hammer. If you have troubles with this step I suggest taking a small nail to hammer in the holes first before you try to sew it through.
  11. taking the material you have chosen for the inside cut out pieces to fit the board we have just placed onto the inside of the letter. Glue the material onto the board, and wait for it to dry. I cut mine out a little bit larger to shove in between the jeans and the board. (pic 16)
  12. Still using picture 16 from the slideshow, I used the ribbon again to decorated the inside of the letter. I folded the piece in half and the sewed around the edges to keep it in place.
  13. finally if you want to add in a place holder for pictures, just cut off the belt loops of the jeans and sew them onto the letter diagonally as in picture 21. just make sure the are placed close enough to hold the picture.