Miranda recently accompanied designer Kim Lewis and the amazing women at Touch A Life to transform what was once an abandoned house boat floating on the waters of Battambang, Cambodia, into a colorful space ready for creativity and healing. After months of planning and a furious few days of building and painting, Selah Art Center was completed! Working with their partners at Rapha House, together they joined forces in the fight to end human trafficking and exploitation though the creation of the Selah Art Center – a sanctuary and tool they will use to restore survivors of slavery.   Here, she shares a little bit about her adventure in Cambodia….take it away, Miranda!

When my friend Kim Lewis at Vagabond Designers asked me to join her on a trip to Cambodia to help her build two art centers, I responded with an enthusiastic YES! Anyone who knows me knows I’m always up for an adventure, and this sounded like a good one. It wasn’t until I had booked my flights and reserved my hotel rooms did I stop to ask, “Hey Kim… what exactly are we DOING in Cambodia?”

You Are Worth Gold! Shining a light on Selah Art Center in Cambodia (4)

Kim laughed in that high pitch squeal I love so much. Before striking out on her own, Kim used to be the lead designer on the TV show “Extreme Home Makeover,” which, In case you missed it, was a reality TV show that provided home improvements for underprivileged families as well as community schools in need of new hope. Kim is one of the most creative and talented people I know – and standing at 4-feet nothing, she is also the tiniest adult person I know! But this little lady has a HUGE heart. And her compassion for others and her talent for design is what ultimately led us to Cambodia.

The Cambodian art centers project involved several organizations coming together to achieve one goal – to provide a healing and creative space for young girls rescued from human trafficking. Kim had been commissioned by Touch A Life Foundation to design art centers around the world to bring healing to children that had been exploited. After completing the first one in Ghana several years ago, it was time for the Cambodian edition. Touch A Life teamed up with Rapha House – a safe home for rescued girls – and Art Feeds – an organization that provides therapeutic art programs for children. The plan was to build an art center at two Rapha House locations in Cambodia, where the kids could have a space for restoration through art therapy.

I really wasn’t sure what my role was in the project… until Kim said, “Miranda, you have to bring them Flash Tattoos! We need to let them know that they are worth GOLD!” That was all I needed to know. And so I flew across the globe to help share Kim’s message to the girls.

You Are Worth Gold! Shining a light on Selah Art Center in Cambodia (2)

As soon as we landed in Cambodia, we hit the ground running. The first few days were spent shopping for paint, fabrics, rugs, furniture, lighting and lumber. Then we got into the real work – transforming an abandoned houseboat floating on the waters behind the Rapha House into a space for creativity and healing. We each had a specific job to do, and mine was to build a stage and fill a few trunks with costumes, puppets and all the ingredients necessary for theatrical self-expression.

After an intense four days of painting and building, we managed to turn that boat into a giant ray of sunshine. I couldn’t imagine anyone more deserving of such a magical space than these brave girls who have endured so much. We couldn’t wait to show it to them!

I wish I could express how much the girls lit up when they saw their new art center. They squealed with excitement and couldn’t wait to try on all the costumes and create their first piece of art to hang on the wall. It was perhaps the first time in a long time that these girls had experienced the pure joy and delight of being a child. To be able to witness this moment was a true gift.

You Are Worth Gold! Shining a light on Selah Art Center in Cambodia (3)

Of course, I still had a little gift to give to the girls – the Flash Tattoos! While it always makes my heart smile to see a child putting on their first Flash Tat, this time was TRULY special. We wanted the girls to know how important they are, to believe that they are worthy, and to know that the actions of others do not dictate their value as a human being and as a woman. To remind them of this, we gave each of the girls a leather-bound journal to capture their dreams, hopes and desires. We also gave them a small, customized Flash Tattoo with the words “You are worth Gold” to apply to the outside of their journals. We can only hope that this simple reminder will help the girls regain the confidence and courage they need to leave the Rapha House and return to their villages.

We ended our visit to the Rapha House by releasing a cluster of wish lanterns into the evening sky. I’m not sure what any of these young girls wished for, but I know what I wished for – to be able to give them their childhood back.

A big hug, kiss and a thank you to the Rapha House for the amazing work they do to help rescue and restore these girls, and to Touch A Life and Art Feeds for building art centers and programs to help the kids heal. Also to Kim Lewis, for including me on this trip and for always being an inspiration. And last but most certainly not least, to all the girls – for showing me what it means to overcome adversity and continue to SHINE! They will always be in my heart.

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Photos by Pam Cope, Kim Lewis, and Laura Rhoades. For more info about the finished Art Center, head over to the Touch A Life blog.

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Flash Tattoos is proud to be an Austin-based biz, and we love how our city transforms into a mecca for people coming to talk and learn about the latest tech trends, music, film and even fashion! Today, Grandmaster Flash herself – our very own Miranda Burnet – is sharing a few of her fave local spots and festival essentials for all you out-of-towners coming to visit our fair city in a few short weeks!

1 //  “I’m think our new Emoji collection is just the cutest! It’s a whimsical mix of fun, fashion and social media…3 things that are perfectly embodied by SXSW. The golden poop emoji cracks me up every time I see someone wearing it!”

2 // “Treat yourself to a moment of zen, and pamper your tired feet just a few steps away from all the SXSW action with a pedicure at Lacquer salon.”

3 // “Made by artisans in Ethiopia, this buttery soft Vagabond Designs Azeb Leather Tote seems to go with everything in my closet – plus, it’s roomy enough to collect all the little trinkets you pick up throughout the day at SXSW!”

4 // “Understated Leather jackets are the perfect statement piece to take you from a day of panels and meetings to a fun night on the town. They’re made here in Austin, and I love applying a few Flash Tattoos to mine to give it some extra ‘wow’ factor!”

5 // “With the long fun-filled days and nights that come with a jam-packed SXSW schedule, I always bring a good concealer and pair of sunglasses to hide my tired eyes! My go to’s are the Bobbi Brown Corrector + Concealer Kit and my Ray-ban Aviator Flash Sunglasses.”

6 // “There is always a fun party happening on Rainey St – one of my favorite hang out spots in town. Enjoy some quality people watching at Lustre Pearl or Container Bar while sipping on a Paloma, and dance the night away!” (Photo: DesignLoveFest)

7 // “No trip to Austin is complete without a breakfast taco! Head to the new Torchy’s on South Congress or Veracruz All Natural Tacos for a legit taste of Austin that will start your day off right.”

8 // “Whether I’m taking tons of pics for the @flashtattoos Instagram, jotting down ideas during meetings, or jetting around town with Uber, I’m always on my phone. I boost my battery power on-the-go with this gilded Apelpi Gold Bar Portable Charger.”

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Before you get your “Spring Break” on, you’ve got to make sure you are prepped and stocked with plenty of glam goodies for your tropical vacay. Here are a few necessities and  accessories to keep you Flashy and fabulous while you’re having fun in the sun! What are the must-have items tucked away in your carry-on?

1. Nena & Co Jaspe Beach Bag // 2. Quay Sunglasses // 3. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm // 4. Waterproof Smart Phone/Digital Camera Pouch // 5. Lunar Love Flash Tattoos  // 6. L*Space Jaime Top & Tigress Bottom // 7. Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo Travel Size // 8. St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse Travel Size // 9. Kendra Scott Body Chain // 10. Waterproof Speakers // 11. Jean Shorts // 12. Sam Edelman Gemma Gladiator Sandals

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From liquid metals to 90s glitter, the New York Fashion Week FW 2016 runways were all about metallics…a forever trend that, as you know, we are huge fans of. Is there ever a thing as too much sparkle? Nope!

From Tommy Hilfiger to Burberry, glitter and glam is officially back for those cooler months to come…but we certainly won’t mind getting a head start on the looks. We couldn’t be more captivated with the beauty looks and fashion designs hitting the runway at New York Fashion Week this year.  All that’s left to do is to add a bit of Flash! 😉

Check out some of our fave glitter and metallic looks from the week, we hope you get inspired to sparkle and shine!

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This contest is too good to be true! We joined up with our friends at Alo Yoga, Gypset Goddess, Luxuria and Pura Vida to award one lucky winner (and their extra lucky BFF) with the adventure of a lifetime!  Up for grabs is one epic prize package, including:

So, if you want to #JETSETLIKEGYPSET and win this awesome giveaway, give your luck a try by entering this amazing sweepstakes here. Our only question is….can we be the BFF you bring along? 😉 Good luck to everyone who enters!

PS This contest is open to legal residents of the continental US only, 18 years and older. Entries must be submitted between February 27, 2016 at 12:01 am and March 19, 2016 at 11:59 pm PST….so hurry up and enter today!

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In with the new! We just added some fun new party bundles – we’re lookin’ at you, Feelin’ Lucky and Hamsa – for spring, and can’t wait to see you babes shining in them! Ward off some bad juju or add some sparkle to your St. Patrick’s Day ensemble 🍀, you’ll be as good as gold shining in these tats. Check them out, and let us know your fave new designs! xo

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Hooray, Spring Break is almost here and we have some fun Flash party bundles that will totally add some shine to those body shots you’ll be taking. If only we could live every week like it’s Spring Break… but we’re not sure if we could handle that much tequila. 😉

Order up some ready-to-ship Flash Tattoos bundles or you and your group of friends this Spring Break, and get ready for some serious fun. Warning: Flash mustaches may occur…and make for a hilarious selfie.

Looking for some jewelry-inspired beach bling that can’t get lost, no matter how crazy your days and nights? Check out a few of our fave Flash packs to accessorize your bikini here.

Plus, Flash Tattoos will easily fit in your overstuffed suitcase….so party and shine, babes! Make sure to send us your fab pics this Spring Break! xo

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Everyone loves a good sale! That’s why we’re spreading the love this Valentine’s Day by offering you babes 30% off your entire order on FlashTat.com (AMAZING!). Get gifting or treat yourself to some sparkle! Stock up on our most loved Flash Tattoos collections and zodiac cards, and enter code BEMINE at checkout now through 2/7. Shine on, babes!

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Time to pull out your fave red lipstick, put on your Louboutins, shine in some Red Ribbon Flash Tattoos, and wear that red leather jacket that you impulse bought after a couple of glasses of champagne…or is that just us? Anyways, it’s Go Red for Women’s annual National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5th, and we want to see all you babes rocking your most vibrant shade of red!

Diseases that effect women are very dear to our hearts since Flash Tattoos is all about fun and girl power – we’re a team of awesome #girlbosses who love what we do. Go Red for Women is a campaign run by the American Heart Association to empower women to take charge of their own heart health. On National Wear Red Day, the American Heart Association encourages everyone to wear red to bring awareness to the number of deaths caused by heart disease and stroke – which causes 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. That’s more than all cancers combined! What?! That’s an insane and scary statistic.

We can all help change this fact by educating ourselves and making lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease and stroke. To help make this change, Flash Tattoos is proudly donating 10% of the proceeds from each ready to ship “Red Ribbon” bundle purchase on our custom site to the valiant Go Red For Women campaign. Why not get Flashy while supporting a good cause?

Order your Red Ribbon today, and show us how you #GoRed on February 5th! We have a feeling that red looks great on you. 😉

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Get Flashy, call up your friends, and get ready to watch some football! However, we all know Super Bowl parties aren’t just about watching the game, so we thought of some fab ideas to score the ultimate party touchdown on February 7th.

1. Food
After intensive research, we have picked some of the greatest ideas to keep your guests nourished throughout the party that have simple preparation. We have included links so you can get the recipes!

Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Potato Wedges // Raspberry Chipotle Meatballs // Mini Mac & Cheese Bites // Veggie Crescent Bites

2. Dessert
Because there is always room for dessert…

Cookie Dough Footballs // S’mores Dip // Chocolate Covered Potato Chips // Rice Krispie Treats

3. Entertainment Ideas
Especially for those that aren’t really there for the football…

Rate the Super Bowl Commercials  // Bingo // Super Bowl Trivia // Super Bowl Photo Booth

4. Decor
Could these ideas be any cuter?

Super Bowl “Playing Field” Centerpiece // Football Field Table Cover // Football Flash Tattoos // Food Labels

Have fun feasting, getting Flashy, and cheering on your team on Super Bowl Sunday!!

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