Ooh…It’s Almost Time


After weeks of working on “Upon Further Inspection,” it is almost time to walk it down the runway! I’ll make sure to post pics after the event on Thursday. Thanks to everyone for your love, support, constructive criticism, and suggestions to make the work better! Much love, Shani

La Vie Avec Mes Amis


I am so very blessed to have great friends. I got a chance to spend time with two of them today: Katrina by way of a lovely phone conversation, and Matt over a great meal & great conversation.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a review about a restaurant, but I could not let the day pass without posting about Le Grenier, The French on H. It is a lovely French restaurant in the H Street Corridor of Northeast Washington, DC. I have got to say that I loved EVERYTHING about this place: the interior, the ambiance, and of course the food! After the meal, our server Michael asked us what we thought, I told him it was “perfect.” It’s true…I could find absolutely nothing wrong. 

So, I will say this to you…Go. There. NOW. Here’s the address:

502 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

And their website….http://www.legrenierdc.com

I think I might even open up a YELP account just to keep on raving 🙂 

Until then, here are some pics until you get there for yourself…


“Le” Entrance, © Shani Simpson, 2013


The Absolutely Mahhhvelous “Odette Crepe,” © Matt Chubb (staging by Shani Simpson), 2013

Working Girl


These past few weeks have been quite busy….I have spent a lot of time manipulating materials to make a piece of wearable of art for the show Fashion ARTillery that will take place at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, FL in February.

My vision involves using everyday, household materials to make this piece of art. Paper clips, cardboard, and coffee filters take on a whole new shape—they have also overtaken the living room!

This has been quite the journey. I have been honored to be a part of a show that allows me to combine my love of art and fashion. Below are some pictures of my process…


Mosaic Skirt, close-up, © Shani Simpson, 2013 


Bodice Pattern, © Shani Simpson, 2013

A photo and a link walk onto a blog…

Well, I couldn’t good and well tell you about such a great day without a picture, now could I?!


Here my cousin and I stand under the presidential seal, surrounded by the beauty of the White House holiday decorations. It was truly an honor to be able to see them. 

As for the link…to find out more information about Fashion Artillery, go to:


What a day!

So with t minus 5 minutes, I write this post….

In between a White House Holiday Decorations tour, and reuniting a little baby on the Metro with his grandmother, I got a phone call telling me that I have been selected as one of the artists for Fashion Artillery, a show that will take place at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida in February 2013. I am so excited, as this was unexpected, yet pleasant news to hear. The deadline for notifications had come and gone, and since I hadn’t heard anything, I thought I did not get it. Well, I am giddy with excitement and looking forward to this new artistic adventure! More details to follow!

And so I continue…




I finally heard back from the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities yesterday about the grant application that I submitted earlier this summer. It was not the answer that I had hoped for, however, that will not stop me from continuing to work on the In Bloom photo series. I believe in this project, and I will see it through. Without the funds I had applied for, I project it will take me another two years. That’s okay though, this is my baby, and I will see it through to completion.


And so I continue…






Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!

As promised, here are the pictures of the soups that I made to help alleviate my cold symptoms. I enjoyed the free flow artistic process that comes along with cooking, as well as the plating process to make the creations look as aesthetically pleasing as possible. This is the first time I’ve presented my culinary presentations on my blog…Let me know what you think!


                   The two soups togetherImage              Coconut Milk Chicken Soup, close-upImage                       Chicken Soup, close-up






It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. I find that to be true…in my case tonight, it has been predicated by sickness. With the general malaise caused by the common cold, I turned to my tried and true remedy of homemade chicken soup, cooked with Jamaican touches. While perusing the aisles at Harris Teeter, a can of coconut milk caught my eye, and made me wonder if I could make a coconut milk based soup. I almost dismissed the idea, but I turned back around to check out the coconut milk, and to my pleasant surprise, it was on sale. Holla! So after some surveying of various cans, I put one in my cart, and went on my way.

Both soups are still cooking on the stove…I’ve gotta go check on them. I’ll post some pics of the two of them. When I cook, the process is akin to making art–very intuitive, and going with the flow. I’m excited for how this is going to turn out…yum!

I Could Be Up All Night…

This blog title is playing to the tune of “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. I’ve spent the past couple of hours downloading photos from my In Bloom photo series. This project has been a labor of love for many years…the initial genesis was for a residency at Strathmore that I didn’t get, however I couldn’t seem to shake the idea. Deep down, I knew this idea was good and that I had to pursue it. So, I have…I think it’s coming up on the two year mark since the idea first formed in my mind. If I am still writing about completing this two years from now, that’s okay too. I will work on this, however long it may take me. To date, it is the biggest idea I’ve had, in terms of the volume of work created,  the amount of time it has taken to complete, and the help I have received along the way—and it’s been worth every second.

Reviewing the images tonight made me recall how this idea was once a seedling in my mind– days spent riding on the bus or driving around town scouting out locations, shopping for fabric, jewelry, & hair and make-up now semi-distant memories. Now, the second phase of the project begins: selecting photos, adjusting the images, and deciding which ones will be selected once the time arrives for them to be shown. I really want these photos to be the content for my first solo show. I hope this show is able to take place next year…A couple of posts ago, I wrote how I applied for a grant with the DCCAH. This grant would help me complete this project A LOT faster. I have been praying very hard that I get it. The $5K that I’ve asked for would allow me to finish this project in the way I envisioned. If you’re reading this, please pray with me for this money. I am ready to finish this series on a high note!

* Speaking of notes, I have one to make about my previous blog entry…I have not forgotten about the piece that I started working the night of the posting. Trying to finish a work while exhausted, does not a good piece make. The elements are there, but putting them together in manner that is both beautiful and post-worthy is going to take more time that I initially thought it would. I’ll post it when it’s done. Cheers.

One more thing…I know I’ve written a lot about these photos, but I will not post any of them on the blog. Why? In my mind’s eye, they are to be viewed as one unit. That will take place when I show them all together…hopefully next year.

A Sense of Play…

Some time ago, I read or heard (can’t recall which) that adults don’t play enough. I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist of the piece was that we don’t take enough time to play and have fun. Now does that mean you should go to your nearest jungle gym and just let loose? Well, not exactly…although I must say that after viewing the newly built playground in the shape of a pirate ship on my bus ride home, I am most certainly tempted to do so 🙂

What it meant was to find something that’s fun for you, and find time to do it. For me, one of those somethings is making art. On the bus ride this morning, I saw swatch of brown leaves that hung like a curtain in between two trees. I’m gonna try and replicate that design tonight. I have an idea in my mind…we’ll see how it goes. 

I’m so grateful I can create this piece tonight. My pinky was in a splint last week, so making work wouldn’t have been possible. Gotta count the blessings! I’ll post what my work looks like later on tonight, or possibly tomorrow.