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Beach Day Essentials

 

 

“Summer isn’t over, summer isn’t over.” I am hoping that if I keep telling myself, I can make it true,  or at the least live happily in my own delusion for a little while longer and the reason I am determined to do this post even though it’s practically September and everyone is about ready to gear up for Autumn.

h1BD6E152

Apparently my refusal to accept that summer is over is subconsciously coming out in the clothes I am choosing to wear. Walking down the stairs today, my boyfriend greeted me by saying “Ahoy sailor,” and saw that I looked like I was ready to set sail on a catamaran in the following outfit:

beach day ootd

 

not that I minded being mistaken for an overzealous mariner…..As a fairly new resident of Michigan, the magic that is summers on Lake Michigan has yet to loose any of it’s potency on me. I could spend all day walking up and down the Lake shoreline gathering driftwood and pebbles, or laying on the sand and reading cheap literature until my skin is burnt to a crisp and spend every night watching the sunset over the lake, and drinking unhealthy amounts of white wine with friends around a campfire….There is no better medicine for my soul.

So that’s my excuse for spending an absorbent amount of time putting together my first style board set on polyvore

on which I spent an unhealthy amount of time obsessing over and that I awkwardly titled “Final Beach Day Trip of the Summer:”

final beach day trip of the summer.

 

final beach day trip of the summer. by thiswildpreciouslifeblog featuring fragrance candles

 

IMG_5073

 

 

 

 

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Free Original Art Desktop Wallpaper Downloads

Hi everyone, this is my first attempt at creating wallpaper designs of my own, using my own art. .This has definitely been a learning experience for me, the wide world of graphic designing is a bit overwhelming  but I figure, I have to start somewhere.

I did three different designs and made two different pixel size versions of each….there are so many different display screen sizes out there (including the screen on the mockup photo I used…I still don’t know what size that is supposed to be)  so if any of the sizes don’t fit for your screen, feel free to email me at thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com and I will add one for you.

My next task is to figure out how to link a google doc or dropbox account directly to my blog so you can download from there but for now, just click on each individual image to save the wallpaper designs to your computer.

I hope you enjoy!
abstract art destkop wallpaper design mock up.001

 

 

1440x990 pixel version
1440×990 pixel version
2560x1600 pixel version
2560×1600 pixel version

free marbleized desktop wallpaper.001

 

1920 x 1200 pixel version
1920 x 1200 pixel version
1440 x 990 pixel version
1440 x 990 pixel version

abstract art screensaver background mockup.001

 

2560 x 1600 pixel version
2560 x 1600 pixel version
1440 x 990 version
1440 x 990 version

 

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Some Pages from My Art Journal: Spring 2015 Edition

 

"There is a wolf in me."- Carl Sandburg
“There is a wolf in me.”- Carl Sandburg


IMG_0918



sketchpagesketchbook page: playing with patterns

April 12th, 2015's sketchbook page artist: Jessica Ross
April 12th, 2015’s sketchbook page
artist: Jessica Ross

art journal quote and abstract art

"You touched me and I flew open."
“You touched me and I flew open.”

journal page

 

abstract art version 2

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My First Official Spring OOTD:Look Ma No Pants!

blue dress denim jacket leather backpack

Today when I stepped outside, I smelt spring and was about as happy as this baby and her camel:happpiness

I was outside in a dress, with bare legs and I was starting to believe this day would never come.  I swear if I see a single snowflake before Christmas next year, I will walk all the way back to California.


 

Anyways, after a few hours doing this:

happy kittyI was excited to bust out all the spring/summer clothes I’ve been daydreaming about and this is what I came up with:

 

ootd-blue-dress-knee-high-socks-leather-bag-favorite

This blue dress is MINKPINK Women’s Tiger Trail Dress, might be my new favorite dress for spring. Surprisingly, I found it on Amazon for $57.00.

Also another of my favorites for mild April Weather is my Life in Progress Denim Jacket from Forever 21 ($32.50).

forever21-denim-grey-jersey-jacket

And saving the best for last is my 18″ Genuine Leather Retro Rucksack Backpack College Bag,school Picnic Bag Travel also found on Amazon and bought specifically for all the outdoor activities I told myself I would be doing this summer:

leather retro backpack

What are your spring time essentials?

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OOTD: An Ode to Spring, All the Bright Colors, J.Crew, & My New Style Idol, Monling Lee

monling lee  colorindex jcrew

Her name is Monling Lee and she is my everything.

monling jcrew colorblock

She is an architect and urban designer with a passion for vibrant colors and a sense of style that is one of a kind.  I first discovered her via Instagram @monlinglee fell instantly in love with every single one of her photos.  She combines her unique and brilliantly colored personal style in perfectly coordinated urban environments. moonlingleecolorindex

 

By following her instagram account, I found out that she was teaming up with J. Crew to “Test-drive” Their new spring accessories on their blog: hello.jcrew.com. And was inspired to try to create my own color blocked outfit with my skirt I bought for a penny at Nordstroms Rack. JCrew and Monling Lee are having an instagram contest on how where you wear (and pair, and pile on) your J.Crew accessories with the hashtags #ACCESSORYFIX and #JCREWCONTEST for a chance to win one of three $1,500 shopping sprees. And although I don’t have a new spring accessory to actually join in…here are my outfits:
Processed with VSCOcam with 7 preset

 

color block jcrew spring

 

 

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Spring Style Trend: The Summer (and Spring) of the Sneaker!

spring sneakers style trend

Hallelujah! Finally, a shoe trend I can really get behind. Comfy? check. Stylish? Check. Versatile? Check. Fun? Check.

I’m a sucker for all things colorful and loud (It’s a problem I’m working on). so while scrolling through Free Peoples’ amazing online shoe collection,  I stumbled across these bad boys:

The New Balance Classics Women’s Precious Metals Classic Sneaker

precious metal new balance sneaker

and got about as excited as a guniea pig getting a special carrot treat:

guinea pig excitedSo,  I guess you could I got pretty excited. And because there was no way I was letting those suckers get away, I added them to my little shopping cart and kept scrolling and immediately saw these Asics trainers (also on free people):

asics trainers blue

It’s like they were made for me..kind of tacky and bright blue. So you can imagine how excited I was at this  point:
OTTER HAPPY LOL

happy otter level of excitement.


 

I figured since I found two pair of sneakers I loved by just looking at Free People, there were probably more I might love even more available to me on the world wide web….

Fast forward to about 4 hours later where I had roughly 20 different sneakers in 10 different shopping carts. Here are some of my favorites I found:

Nike Women’s Internationalist Mid in Metallic Silver/Black-Hyper Jade, available for pre-order on Nike’s website for $110.00

nike air pegasus turquoise

 

These New Balance Women’s Elite 90s Running 530 Classics Running Shoe, available on Amazon for $85.00

newbalancepurple

These Nike Women’s Air Pegasus ’83 Trainers for $119.00 on Amazon
coral nike air pegasusand also another color version of the Nike Women’s Air Pegasus 83 also available on Amazon

nike-air-pegasus-83-ltr-dark-obsidian-hyper-turquoise-03

These New Balance 620 Light Grey Sneaker

new balance grey

And one more brightly colored pair of nike womens air pegasus 83/30 running trainers available on Amazon

nike air pegasus 83 grape

 


After my evening of scouring the internet for the best and the brightest sneakers, I had to narrow down my options. I told myself I would only get one pair but my materialistic impulses won out in the end and I got two pairs and Interestingly enough,  I ended up buying the first two pairs I saw on Free People.  I really like idea of pairing white jeans with the Asics but of course it snowed the day I got them in the mail and the the ground was covered in over 6 inches of fresh snow, but not one to give up easy, I jumped!

asic trainers style

And although I found dry ground when I was trying out my OTHER new pair, I liked how the first picture turned out so I jumped again!

new balance precious metal

But here’s to hoping this trend sticks around for a bit so I can justify getting another pair…maybe purple? Or Turquoise?? The possibilities are endless.

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Style Tutorial: Three Ways to Wear White Denim in Winter

 

I don’t wear white often because of a few reasons (like being unable to go more than 10 minutes without spilling something) but the after Labor Day rule isn’t one of them . But, I’ve seen a lot of cool styling this winter with white denim or trousers and I don’t know if it’s becoming more fashionably acceptable to wear white after the designated time. I kind of think wearing white is perfect in the winter, especially when I am getting sick of all the black I wear in mourning for the summer.

so here are three different ways to casually style white denim jeans for winter wear….

winterwhitedenimoutfitonestripe-cardigan-fringe-bag-white-denim-zara-nordstroms-beanie-winterwinter-white-denim-style-inspiration
white-denim-suede-wedgesplaidscarf
winteroutfit3white-denim-wedge-booties-zara-plaid-scarf-nordstromHow do you guys feel about white denim during winter? Yay or nay??

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20 Original Winter/Holiday Themed Art Journal Ideas

20 artist journal page ideas

I put together a little Holiday Themed Art Journal Idea List, some of the ideas are a bit simple but fun.

I always find myself journaling and sketching a lot over the Christmas and New Years breaks. I think it’s my way of reflecting on everything that happened over the past year as well as gearing up for the new year ahead (also because I usually like to start the new new calendar year off with a fresh journal so I try to fill up the remaining pages in the old one). Also, I am one of those people who religiously comes up with New Years Resolutions every year…The older I get, the more it’s becoming a bucket list and a reminder for me that life is moving fast. I am a big list person too…I just feel better about my lack of organizational skills when I can cross off even the most mundane tasks.

I also rounded up some of my favorite journal pages from this year….they are nothing like some of the pages I see of other artists on pinterest or tumblr…but they make me happy 🙂 Some of them can fit as examples for the Winter themed list so Ill note them if they do…

 

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

e e cummings mixed media art journal collage page

One of my favorite things to do is write down  inspiring quotes, passages, poems r song lyrics I come across and then create some sort of art around it.

ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with inspiring quote
ink and mixed media watercolor shape collage with quote
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
watercolor flower bouquet and vase
succulent and cacti planters
succulent and cacti planters
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page
floral watercolor artist sketchbook page

mixed media artist sketchbook page

abstract watercolor journal page

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An Easy and Fun DIY Abstract Art Project Tutorial for All Ages!

abstract art ideas

 

I can’t help that my natural artistic impulses are the same as every 2 year old who has just been given their first ever box of crayons (to take all the colors, smash them together, color all the paper,  mess all over the floor and then take a nap curled up in the eye of the hurricane). I swear I have every intention of trying to become a decent artist when I get out my graphite pencils and little eraser to practice sketching. Somehow though, I always end up on the floor surrounded by paint in every color and shade available. But Im at my happiest and  most inspired making my kaleidoscopic messes…

Abstract Geometric Watercolor Artwork by Yao Cheng

I happened to spot the inspiration for this DIY art project in an advertisement in House Beautiful magazine for minted.com. I ripped it right out (don’t worry, it was my copy!) , taped it to my wall and started to go to work on my own version. Later, I was able to investigate further and discovered (thank you pinterest) that the Artist’s is Yao Cheng, she specials in beautiful watercolor paintings and her online store on Minted’s website is FULL of stunning watercolor prints. The above piece and the object of inspiration is “Hexagon Cluster,” and you can purchase  her Limited Edition of Hexagon Cluster print on Minted (or click through the links) for anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on size and finish.

Here is everything you will need to make it:

1) watercolor paints (the Kids Crayola watercolors work just fine) and paper (brushes and cups of water as well)

I suggest the following liquid watercolors for bright, vibrant colors:

Sargent Art 8-Ounce Watercolor Magic Set (10 different watercolors for $49.95)

click on picture to view in Amazon

or Dr. Phil’s Concentrated Watercolors (my personal favorites) They average about $5.00 a bottle or a set of 14 is around $69.99.

Dr Phil’s Concentrated Watercolors (click pic to view in Amazon)

2) Watercolor Paper Pad

For the best price and quality, I suggest Strathmore 360900 Cold Press 140-Pound 12-Sheets Strathmore Watercolor Paper Pad, 9-Inch by 12-Inch, which is only around $7.00, also available on Amazon

Click photo to purchase in Amazon

 

3) Thick, heavyweight white paper Mixed Media paper works well, just something to hold the weight of mixed media and glue without tapering.

4) Scissors and a gluestick!

The How To:

The steps to making this DIY project are super simple.  But since I’m not sure of how the original artist created her stunning piece so I’ll tell you how I made my version.

1) Get out your watercolors and watercolor paper and go crazy (this is one of my favorite things in the world to do). You don’t need any fancy paper or expensive watercolors. In fact, I mostly used plain old, reliable Crayola Washable Watercolors  (available in probably every single pharmacy and grocery store in America).   because I had just moved to Grand Rapids from Chicago when I got this project itch, I had none of my supplies and couldn’t wait a few days till I went home again.

* Try experimenting with colors…I love playing with colors and mixing and matching up colors I wouldn’t usually put together while doing this…I tend to lean towards bright, bold, colors but what I love about Cheng’s is that she uses subtle, subdued colors with a pop of bold color that makes the piece stand out. Her use of subtle tones and light/grey hues accentuates the rich blues and the  subtle use of warm orange colors all come together to create a vibrant, yet refreshingly simple and peaceful piece of art that would compliment many differently styled rooms.

2) Using a ruler or something to help you draw straight lines, trace out 20-30 hexagons (6 sided shapes). Make sure to make all different sized hexagons..the sides don’t necessarily have to be symmetrical or have all equal lengths..this will help to add to the abstract and organic feeling of the piece.

3) Arrange them in a way you like on your heavyweight art board..the only rule I used for myself was that each shape has to be touching another shape by at least one point..I think this helps adds continuity and fluidity of the artwork and helps guide the viewer’s eye from each unique hexagon to the next.

I also tried another technique and did one piece where all the sides of the shapes had to be touching sides perfectly..this one took a little more time and a lot of cutting down shapes to fit better…

DIY abstract art project

4) admire, frame and hang!

Here are a few that I did, as you can see, I have a hard time using natural and subtle colors- which I think makes my finished pieces a little to “in your face.” But to each their own!

DIY Abstract Shape Art Project

abstract diy shape project

 

And that is it my friends!

 

 

 

 

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Notes on a (blue hair) Scandal.

See what I did there…With the title? Yeah, I need to get out more. Before I start in to my epic blue hair adventures, I just want to thank all of my friends, family and anyone else out there who read my last blog post: “Blessed are The Cracked…” I struggled with posting it for a long time, as it went deeper than I usually go.

But when I posted a link to the article on my Facebook page (in an outright act of shameless self-promotion, and deleted it twice before I left it there) I was so blown away by everyones kind words and encouragement. I was walking around glowing for the entire day and it was such a boost in confidence that Im surprised I didn’t sprout peacock feathers out my bum! So thanks again.

Anyways, onto my latest mishap.

so this happened…

blue hair dye
blue hair, don’t care (but kind of do!)

I have been toying with the idea of dying my hair some crazy color for awhile now…and as a lot of my more hair-brained (pun intended) ideas begin, I was up reeeaaally late on pinterest where I created a board just for my crazy hair color inspirations and pinning away.

Now, I will be the first to tell  you, that I get quickly excited about ideas and don’t always think my them through. I just get caught up in the moment and fail to think clearly.

I convinced myself that I was mentally prepared to dye my hair because I went so far as to create a profile on Taaz.com (a website where you can try out different hair styles and make up using pictures of yourself). My idea of “thinking this through” was to  upload a picture and try out some different hair styles. I promptly found and tried the only blue hair color style available, (on the gorgeous katy Perry). This is the picture they had:

Katy Perry's blue hair
Katy Perry’s blue hair

Gorgeous right? Yeah. Aaaaaaand well, here is how mine turned out….just in case you haven’t laughed today…

hahahahaha
hahahahaha

Me and Katy are practically twins! :/ But really, the website was actually really great and these “virtual makeover” websites have come a long way in the years since they first came out and I did it in high school, a good 15 years ago (and I am glad those photos can never be unearthed). Taaz.com, allowed you to contour the hair style to fit better onto your head (as my head is huge and round like a basketball). but I wasn’t done yet! so my next step was to download a free iPhone app called Make With Beauty that allowed me to take a picture of myself and change the color of my hair already. I couldn’t figure out how manipulate the hair color effectively in the app and my hair always ended up looking like it would glow in the dark. but the idea was to see what  I would look like with a lighter shade of blue:

photo-21

Looks like I dipped my head in some radioactive goo…A little to neon/glow in the dark for me- but still closer to what I wanted.

so by now I was getting pretty pumped up about the idea…Maybe a little too excited because following morning, I woke up and went straight to Ulta, where I hastily picked up a bottle of Jerome Russell’s Punky Colour in turquoise for only $9.99.

2205826

And here is when things get sketchy…

in my haste/over-excitement… I didn’t read the directions or the label completely and carefully and what I thought was NON permanent was actually SEMI- Permanent (the back says 5-40 washes).Which is a problem because I needed my hair to be back to a natural blonde hair color by the following week for work.

The directions said to leave it in your hair for 20-40 minutes and since I wanted a lighter color of blue (that would wash out quickly) I left it in for only 15 minutes. Little did I know that my hair was the PERFECT type (damaged, bleached, blonde, dry) to absorb and hang on to allll of the turquoise color.

After I washed out the hair dye, I took a look in the mirror and spent the next few hours washing my hair over and over in a blue blur of anxiety attacks and hyper-ventilating. I called out for help from friends on Facebook and Instagram, and read several articles for home hair color lifter remedies (I wasn’t close t0 being able to leave the house). With friends help and a great article on Wikihow (which I highly suggest looking at if you find yourself in the same position as I did) I tried all sorts of home remedies: soaking my hair in crushed vitamin C tablets, adding dish soap to my shampoo, adding laundry detergent to my shampoo, , adding baking soda to dandruff shampoo and again washing. These helped to lighten the color somewhat  but left me with a new and even scarier problem: severe hair breakage!

It was during my cry for help from my friends on social media that my old college roommate introduced me to the amazing Alison and her blog The Alison Show. She had also dyed her hair a similar color, although she went the preferable route: to a hair stylist. She was so kind and reached out to me and said that she too freaked out when she first saw her hair in the mirror but that it washed out so quickly that she wished it had stayed longer.

After 48 hours of locking myself in my house and washing my hair over 10 times, I had resigned myself to my immediate future as a blue-headed smurf.

Within a few days I ended up really liking my mermaid hair and wishing I could keep it longer,

So here are some of my tips for if you want to dye your hair blue, green, pink or any other fabulous combination:

1) always READ THE LABEL carefully!

2) Before doing a semi-permanant or permanent color try something that will wash out in 2 to 3 washes such as:

Garnier Color Styler: Intense Wash Out Color (only $6.99)

Garnier Color Style Temporary Blue Hair Dye
Garnier Color Style Temporary Blue Hair Dye

or a chalk such as:

Temporary Hair Color Chalk
Temporary Hair Color Chalk

3) Try out different styles using a smart phone app or Taaz.com

4) Be emotionally prepared!

5) Consider the damage level that any hair dye does to your hair

 

have fun and dye away. If you have any pictures or stories about your wild hair dye adventures, feel free to email me at ourwildpreciouslives@gmail.com with pictures and your story and I will share it!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! Be safe and have fun!

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Strappy Heels and Jeans

blue heels and jeans

 

Sorry for the overload of personal style blog posts lately, but I am having so much fun!

With Autumn fast approaching, my mind has started to switch gears and I’ve started getting excited already about fall/winter styles. I think Autumn is my favorite “Style” season. I love layering scarfs, tights, boots, jackets..I feel like there is so much you can do and not have to worry about sweaty armpit stains like in the summertime.  I have loved the idea of pointy toe heels with jeans since I found a picture on Pinterest of someone in boyfriend style jeans and bright  blue suede ankle pumps from JCrew.

elsiejcrewpump

Unfortunately, I couldn’t justify spending the money on the “Real deal” heels from JCrew but I found some similar to what I wanted on Ebay. I paired them with light grey washed jeans from forever 21 and I’ve been looking for excuses to wear the combo ever since!

Besides the brightly colored suede pumps with jeans, I also love the look of ankle strap pointed toe heels with jeans…like these (some of my favorites I compiled):

ankle strap, d'orsay heels
ankle strap, d’orsay heels

Top left: Siren Heels from Anthropologie.com, $143.20, top right: Kristin Cavallari Chinese Laundry Caye pumps available at Nordstroms.com, $149.90, middle: Xenia pointy toe heels also available at Nordstroms.com, $79.95, bottom left: Joe’s Laney Pumps available at Revolve Clothing, $145.00, and bottom right: Jeffrey Campbell Solitaire Heel, available exclusively from Free People, $148.00.

As usual, all my favorites are above my budget, but I did find some similar that I love from DV by Dolce Vita, for $89.95. They are a little higher than I am used to, but well worth the struggle and pain!

shopping

 

I paired them with Super Stretch Legging Jeans from Gap.com and a white cutout floral 3/4 length top I got from Sheinside.com.

jeans and heels

I also tried the heels with bright orange capri skinny leg trousers from J.Crew and my favorite new slouchy, extra large, comfy sweater from Target

 

 

red pants and heels

Thanks again for stopping by, if you have any questions, comments, ideas, suggestions, ect…feel free to Email me at: forourcity@gmail.com

 

I hope everyone enjoys their final, beautiful days of summer.

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Feeling blurry.

Self portrait.

Summer flowers.