Rain Blanken is a freelance craft, travel and style writer. Her writing and editing credits include her tenure as the seven-year host of DIY Fashion at About.com, Barnes & Noble, Yahoo.com and her book, The Complete Guide to Customizing Your Clothes. Rain's projects and advice have been featured on FoxNews.com, The Huffington Post and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Through refashioning clothing, jewelry and furniture, creating cosplay costumes and building complex paper mache sculptures, Rain's life is driven by chapters of creation.
Crafts and Fine Art
Rain lovingly created a paper mache frame for her Fine Art degree before she even graduated. She lives to figure out how to turn nothing into something fabulous, ever-searching for that 'ta-da' moment that breathes a second life into the derelict. She is an avid picker, hunting for buried treasure at thrift stores, estate sales and, hey, even curbside 'trash.' With a little love and vision, one man’s trash is this lady's next treasure. Her preferred fine art medium is paper, and she specializes in origami and paper mache.
In 2004, Rain founded Kidz Jam, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing children with interactive art, music and conservation experiences. Kidz Jam’s crafts and activities focus on recycling household items to create group art projects and musical instruments. Dedicated event volunteers work to inform parents about stranger and hearing safety best practices at concerts, providing essentials like earplugs and water to families. Kidz Jam has been the official children’s area of Bonnaroo Music Festival since 2006 and has been featured as part of Bonnaroo on The Tonight Show.
Clothing and Jewelry Design
For Rain, one of her biggest pleasures is saying, "This? Oh, I made it!" Rain was the seven-year host of About.com’s DIY Fashion platform. She created the DIY Fashion site from scratch in 2008, bringing innovative style, customization and costume design to over 1.5 million readers per month.
Rain is the author of The Complete Guide to Customizing Your Clothes (Running Press, 2012), offering step-by-step photo instructions to teach readers how to design their own style from clothing they already own. Through unique processes such as discharging, cutting, adding studs and working with unique tools and materials, Rain shows the proper way to redesign clothing without any 'Pinterest Fail' results.
Costume and Makeup Design
Rain has created award-winning costumes and makeup since 2004. Her skills in face painting and gore makeup have transformed zombies for the record-breaking Michael Jackson memorial Thrill the World event in 2009, and her interpretations of characters such as Farscape’s Zhaan and Star Wars’ Female Tusken Raider have claimed competitive costuming awards, including Best in Show at Midwest sci-fi and fantasy conventions.
Rain has innovated some of the most popular fake blood recipes using edible kitchen items, and transforms kids into Spiderman and ferocious tigers with whimsical face paints at events and parties. Her favorite project so far? Finding a cheap wedding dress at the thrift store and cutting out the torso to add her own handmade latex gore plate. Found items are a fantastic canvas for innovated costumes, and Rain loves to share these unique tricks with her readers.
Travel Writing and Reviews
As a former travel agent, Rain knows the industry inside and out, and is ready to save money for her readers. Rain has professionally reviewed theme parks, hotels and events for DGuides.com, sparknotes.com, DaytonLocal.com and About.com.
For four years, Rain worked as a travel agent specializing in Disney travel. She is a Disney Vacation Club member and makes a point to visit Walt Disney World at least once a year. Her advice and travel planning has saved her clients hundreds of dollars on their accommodations, transportation, park tickets and meals. An avid penny pincher and mother of three, Rain loves to share her tricks of the trade to help any family make their Disney dreams come true.