Martina Lara ~ Our Lady Wrap Star!

Meet the beautiful Martina!  I (Andrea) have been so awed by her wraps, her zest for trying new things, and her personable style.  She is a cancer survivor and current fighter and I am inspired by the strength in her eyes and the pureness of her giving spirit.  She also makes wrapping look like so much fun!  (Which we all know that it is, but for someone going through such trials to make it into such a calling and art… just, wow!)  I can’t wait for you to meet her…

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Martina’s Story:
“I moved [to the US] from Germany in 1994 with my first husband,  who was American. We divorced in 1996 after 10 years together. It was an ugly divorce and that’s why I decided to stay here, rather than bring danger to my family’s doorstep back home. I found a decent job quickly and did pretty good for myself. I had a wonderful boyfriend and really thought I had it all when against all odds (according to doctors) I became pregnant at the end of 1997. It was a tubal pregnancy and so I lost my only chance at becoming a mom, which made me a spiritual seeker of sorts, since I wasn’t brought up with any religious identity and losing my baby made me look for proof that I might one day be reunited with or rather meet my child.
I had always been an animal lover, and so I did the next best thing and started adopting the animals I would find running in traffic, even while working as a bus driver! I would literally pull over a bus full of people to rescue a dog or cat! Then if I was unable to reunite them with their owners, I kept them, and that’s what has satisfied my maternal instincts over the years.

The first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer was in 2002. Luckily it was found early. I did my homework (research), opted for a lumpectomy, made the decision to refuse all other treatments against my doctors advice and moved on with my life as best I could. My wonderful husband and I met in 2008 and married in 2009. My second diagnosis came at the beginning of March of this year, a few weeks after my 13 year old cat Miracle was diagnosed with lung cancer. When she passed I fell into this hole of despair. The “woe me” feeling was overwhelming. My grief paralyzed me, made me want to give up before my own fight had even started. My husband’s love brought me back from the brink. We decided to take a more radical approach than the first time: bilateral mastectomy! Chemo! Sweet Lord! Because of my particular diagnosis, chemo had to happen first. The knowledge that I was going to lose my hair was worse for me than losing my breasts. I had long blonde curls that my husband and I both loved. On top of that I felt guilty for being so vain… I didn’t think I could survive watching it l fall out, finding hands full on my pillow, so I decided on having it shaved off and donating. I bought a hat on the way to the salon. How I made it through that and out of the salon without falling apart…I don’t recall, it’s a blur. I remember that I didn’t wear the hat afterward though, I decided to own it!
What made me look for different options was 1. my bus passengers’ silly comments about my bald look and 2. Medications that made me photo-sensitive. Back then I had a few hats and caps, wasn’t happy…looked online and all I found there for the first few months were hijab style wraps, which I didn’t think I could pull off, and African American women wrapping in a pretty particular style. So I experimented with that and liked it better than hats, but I’ll never forget the day I found Wrapunzel!!!!! It literally changed my whole cancer journey! I took to wrapping like ducklings to water, loved having a way for creative expression again! Before chemo, I had had long, strong, beautiful nails and loved to do nail art. The cancer took that from me. Now, with Wrapunzel, I reclaimed my self! I immediately knew I had found a game changer! Finding the Wrapunzel style allowed me to feel beautiful again! And I didn’t just feel beautiful, others could see it, too.
My husband complimented me constantly, as did my passengers and coworkers. I joined the Wrapunzel community, not saying much, just kinda watching…the kindness with which this huge, diverse group of women interacts, blew me away!!! And it began to change me… I found that I had a smile on my face all day, every day, and a completely calm and positive attitude toward treatment, surgery, whatever… I focused on myself and my cancer less, started treating people with more kindness, I mean going out of my way (the way it is modeled in the Wrapunzel community), my heart always full, seeing my creator at work in these amazing women who don’t just talk the talk! And I walk into the world each day with my wrap a visible sign of my belonging to this group and a reminder to represent the Wrapunzelistas well. I try to be a light onto the darkness wherever I go and especially at the cancer centers, where I’ve started to help other patients wrap, building relationships with social workers and the American Cancer Society.
My own style has evolved from the early days of barely managing to keep one scarf on my head (the pre-Wrapunzel days) without velvet headband or volumizers to being willing to try anything! I love just starting and seeing where a wrap wants to take me. I love matching my wraps and outfits… I love the waterfalls and color and I’m not afraid of big or elaborate, lol… I went from not being able to GET volume to not being able to get enough!  I had people ask me for tutorials…ME!!!!! WHAAAAT? Mind….blown!!!
My advice to beginning wrappers would be to relax and have fun with it. Definitely watch the video tutorials on YouTube, but don’t feel like you have to wrap like anyone else. Practice! Try different styles and colors, find what suites you, and I bet you will wear it with a smile…And when in doubt, come into the fan-group! The women here are amazingly helpful and supportive, someone is always here to give advise or just an opinion of what works🙂 “
Love, Martina Lara

Let Your Surroundings Inspire You!

Imagine a mulberry tree, with berries shining like jewels in all shades of purple.  The leaves are green with life, and the sky is blue.

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This is what inspired my look for today; two Shiny Licious, in bright navy and mulberry colors (the sky and the berries), combined with a green lace sash, like the leaves of the tree.  Let’s scroll down and check out the elements of this outfit:

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Here it is without the dominant green lace – which do you like better?

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The Berry Warm Poncho was just begging to be worn this morning!

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And the Aquamarine Stream necklace and Indigo Horizon earrings tied the whole ensemble together!

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As someone that used to be super strict about what matches and what doesn’t, (green and blue together?!  Never!)  I am loving how tichel tying is broadening my horizons.  Often we’re asked, how do I know what matches?  Should I just pair everything with black?  My answer lately is to look at nature and take my cues from there.  Check out these photos for inspiration!

Does this inspire adventurous ideas for you?  Please share!  Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Love, Andrea

May The Force Be With You! *Out of This World Tichels!*

Where were you when you first saw Star Wars? I was as a little girl, soon after the release of Return of the Jedi in 1983. It was this first viewing, when I was young and impressionable, where the entire world of sci-fi films opened up to me, and I began to develop a lifelong love of all things Star Wars!

There are plenty of other Wrapunzelistas who feel the same and with the recent release of The Force Awakens, we’ve seen an influx of Star Wars-inspired tichels that are mind blowingly cool!

Adina, Miri, Kathleen and Carie, sporting Princess Leia’s most iconic look!

The creativity we see in tichel-tying is seemingly endless and many wrappers love to use this medium for expressing both their passions and hobbies. Star Wars, as illustrated here, is no exception!

“Help me, ObiWan Kenobi, youre my only hope!”

I mean, seriously, how cool is this look that Jessica came up with?!

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“The force is strong with this one.”

Naomi, a fangroup member, truly went above and beyond, experimenting with various techniques, before developing her own version of Princess Leia-like Cloud City braids. This one is just begging for a tutorial, am I right?!

But that’s not all- Another member, Robin, expertly crafted our favorite princess’ braids from the final scene in A New Hope:

A beautiful princess. Absolutely incredible!

Not all Star Wars wraps have been influenced by the film’s beloved female lead. Many women have gotten their inspiration from other characters, such as Chewbacca, Darth Vader and R2D2!

Yasmine, Sam, Jana, Lila and another one of Sam’s, all looking excellent!

What fun! While these wraps might not be everyday wear for most, they certainly are fun for a night out or even Purim!

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Happy wrapping and remember… “the Force will be with you, always!”

-Rachel

Wrapunzel’s Best of 2015!

Hi, ladies! I had such a great time taking a stroll down memory lane this week, while reviewing my favorite tichels of 2015 and hope that you did, as well! As many wrappers know, whether you’ve been wearing headscarves for a week, a month or a year+, each individual wrapper’s style and technique can evolve over time. It’s fun looking back to see  how far we’ve come!

This week’s collage is full of so much creativity and beauty!  The process that each women took while choosing their favorites, led to much introspection and I’ve included some of the fangroup member’s thoughts here. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I have!

To join in next week, check out the directions at the bottom of this post. Thank you everyone for your wonderful year-end submissions!

Emma

It was a beautiful journey for me to be in this group. Though I see a several of my faces have been ‘shaped’ (oval,rounded, box) through variety of colours, scarves and shaper. But there is one remain, the smile. It reminds me the diversity of the cultures, histories and memories that have been shared among of us. But, there is one remain the same; the compassionate of each other. May the New Year 2016 grant us more compassion, strength and kindness. We are so beautiful when we love each other. Thank You Wrapunzel! – Emma S.

Judy Silkoff

I chose this one over others that were more exciting or involved more scarves because to me it represents what the essence of hair wrapping is – one beautiful scarf, elegantly wrapped, with the right ‘foundation’ underneath can make you feel like a million dollars, transform the way you feel about yourself, carry yourself and project yourself to others. Thank you Wrapunzel for this gift! – Judy S.

Katherine Bartlett

“I started wrapping this year and at first it was really hard for me to give up having my hair down. I was so used to doing different things with my hair everyday that I didn’t feel like myself without it. But after I learned you could do amazing things with wraps, now I feel like that expresses myself better and I am following Torah too! Wrapping makes me feel so much better about myself now.” -Katherine B.

 

For this week’s challenge, we’ve chosen a color that’s a tricky one for many. One with a complex history in both fashion, design and culture. A color that seemingly evolves with the times. Bruce Springsteen sung a song with this color in the title! Have you guessed it yet? Find out in the video below:

Would you like to be featured in next week’s collage? Head on over to the Wrapunzel Fangroup and share your pictures using the hashtag #wrapunzeledinpink. If you would also like them featured on next week’s blog post, make sure to also post them in the comments on the pinned post at the top of the Fangroup page, so we know to share them. We can accept up to 5 headshot-style photos per person – no collages, please! If you’re not on Facebook, you can also email us your pictures with the subject line “Challenge of the Week.” Can’t wait to see what you create!!

-Rachel

 

*An earlier version of this post misquoted the beautiful Katherine B. It has since been corrected.

Wrapunzeled in Lace!

Hi, it’s Rachel here and I must say that when we chose this past week’s theme for our Challenge of the Week (COTW), I was not as excited as I had been during weekly challenges of the past. While lace certainly is beautiful (and there are many women who wear it oh, so effortlessly!), I have never felt that it was really “me,” which led to nervousness about how I would be able to participate in #wrapunzeledinlace.  (keep scrolling down to continue)

” I love how these weekly themes challenge me to get away from my comfort zone and try different things, even if they’re not exactly radical.” – Judy S. (fangroup member)

As Judy so eloquently stated, these challenges were designed to help encourage us to wrap outside of our comfort zones, try something new and feed our inner creativity, all at the same time. While there is no one technique, color or texture that works for every single woman and her unique beauty (What’s simple to one, might be challenging to the next!), learning through experimentation helps refine our style and can sometimes lead to the discovery of a new favorite; one which might not have been otherwise revealed!

This week, our fangroup had many women who, like myself, enjoyed seeing others wrap with these deliciously delicate fabrics, yet were not fans of wearing lace themselves. Despite this, each participant gave it their all, which was truly a pleasure to see! Experienced lace-wearers and newbies, all sharing ideas and creativity, side-by-side. The beauty of the Wrapunzel community was so very evident to us all!

While I can’t speak for all of those who struggled with this particular challenge, what I can tell you is this: I have officially out-grown my bizarre, self-induced lace-phobia and will definitely be adding it to my wraps more frequently! However, if it weren’t for my participation in our Challenge of the Week, I would have likely remained in my own little lace-free bubble, sticking to my relatively “safe” tichels and not having the guts to try such a gorgeous, feminine fabric, to be sure! Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!

For this coming week’s Challenge of the Week, we’ve decided on a theme inspired by a specific fangroup member (Thanks, Rachel C.D.!). One that will honor growth, change, creativity and celebrate the upcoming New Year. But most of all, it will honor each woman’s beauty and individuality! To see what I mean, check out the video below:

Would you like to be featured in next week’s collage? Head on over to the Wrapunzel Fangroup and share your pictures using the hashtag #wrapunzel2015 . If you would also like one photo featured on next week’s blog post, make sure to also post it in the comments on the pinned post at the top of the Fangroup page, so we know to share it. We can accept 1 headshot-style photo per person – no collages, please! If you’re not on Facebook, you can also email us your pictures with the subject line “Challenge of the Week.” Can’t wait to see what you create!!

A New Method for Pleating

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Hi ladies, it’s Rachel here and I’m super excited to be able to share this brand new tutorial with you today! Many of you have probably seen Naomi Rose’s incredible video called Perfect Pleating, where, using painstaking detail, she shows us how to create the most perfect pleats ever (I’m not even exaggerating!) with step-by-step instruction. Her video is a must-watch for tichel wearers, yet despite Naomi’s meticulous attention to detail, many women still find creating pleats to be a challenging task. Until somewhat recently, I was included in that group and through experimentation with various ties, have come up with an alternative method to pleating, which I’m hoping will be helpful for some of you, who might be struggling like I have!

Like Naomi’s, this method will work if you need one pleat or many, but is not compatible with the One-scarf Zig-Zag wrap. You can check it out right here:

Have you developed your own method to creating pleats? What works for you? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!