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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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Spring Outwear: Lightweight and Versatile Longline Anorak Jacket

 

LA Hearts Pac Sun Longline Anorak Jacket

LA Hearts Longline Anorak Jacket available at Pac-Sun
LA Hearts Longline Anorak Jacket available at Pac-Sun

 

 

The women’s Longline Anorak Jacket by LA Hearts for PacSun and PacSun.com offers a draped fit with a zipper and button closure. I love the super light weight fabric and chic look and looks great dressed up or down available at Pacsun.com for $69.95. It’s one-size fits, which I was worried about because those never usually fit me but its REALLY big!

 

 

LA Hearts Longline Anorak Jacket

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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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Daily Affirmation: Live Colorfully (Free Downloadable Design)

 

 

live colorfully originalshort and sweet today, just wanted to share a little design I did last night using some abstract art I’ve been having fun playing around with.

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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 For Under $100: Shorts, Tights, Wedge Booties, Stripe Top & Cardigan

Greetings from Arizona! I am not used to this warm, winter weather but I am definitely making the most of it. It’s nice to see the sun and to remember there is such a thing as summer….

plaidsnordstromhortstightswedgebooties

 

Top:  H&M Short Jersey Top $9.95, Shorts: Forever21 High Waisted Plaid Shorts $16.50, Tights: TopShop US Glitter Tights, $18.00,Cardigan: Zara Wrap Around Cardigan $39.00, Booties: Nordstroms, Tom’s ‘Desert’ Wedge Bootie $89.99, Bag: Rebecca Minkoff ‘Moto’ Hobo Bag $325.00, Necklace: Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti Silver Pendant Full Heart, $150.00

wedgebootiesstightszaratopplaidshortsHere are a few similiar/different options of the same outfit:

Stripe Rib Crop Top by TopShop, $30.00

stripribedcroptoptopshop

Plaid Wool Trouser Shorts, Gap $39.99

Gap-Women-Plaid-Trousers-wool

Hue Over The Knee Chunky Stitched Ribbed Socks, Nordstroms $8.00

hue-nordstrom-knee-socks

Via Spiga Booties-Fabienne, Bloomingdales $168.00

via-spiga-bloomingdales-booties

 

Cardigan Jacket, Zara $79.99

zara-linen-cardigan-wrap-wool

 

Leather Bucket Bag, Zara $119.90

leather-bag-fringes-zara

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#OOTD: Double Side Split Top & Knee High Stockings

I’m trying out something different and just going to post more simple, short OOTD (outfit of the day) posts with the outfit details…bc sometimes I can’t think of anything really interesting to write about the outfit…unless you guys think of something.

overside baggy cardigan, tights and knee high stockings
overside baggy cardigan, tights and knee high stockings
deep, double side split top, tights and knee high stockings
deep, double side split top, tights and knee high stockings

outfit details and prices:

skirt: ZARA knit tube skirt, blush color, $79.90,

zara knit skirt

 

cardigan: Zara TWO-TONED wrap jacket, $79.95,

zara cardigan

Socks: Commando Up All Night Thigh High Socks, $34.00, Nordstroms

thigh high socks

Tights: Nordstrom’s ‘Love’ Sweater Tights, charcoal color, $28.00

or these American Apparel Above the Knee Socks available on Amazon for only $13.00

Click on picture to purchase in amazon

Nordstroms charcoal sweater tights
Nordstroms charcoal sweater tights

Boots: Madden Girl “Mistley” Combat Boots $34.99 available on 6PM.com

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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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It’s a Plaid, Plaid World!

plaid skirt, winter style

You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to use that title!

Maybe turning 30 brought some maturity to me finally, as seen in my new found love of all things plaid.

I don’t know.

But I do know that before this winter I have never preferred Plaid or any other “Classic” styles. But as in most things with me, I always go overboard with any new interest of mine, Whether it’s: painting, DIY projects, yoga, or clothing, I suck all the fun out of whatever it is I like, until I am sick of it. That’s probably how my new love of “Plaid” will end up, but for now, me and plaid are BFFs.

I have seen so many cute plaid scarfs, hats, and ect. on my friends and people I see out and about, this winter that I wish I could have taken pictures of some people I saw who inspired my new obsession for plaid. If anyone has any pics of them wearing their favorite plaid accessory or  clothing item to add to this post, or your opinion on plaid, my email thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com and I will add it!

But For now, here are some of my favorite plaidy plaids…

plaid skirtI’ve got a little pooch belly, but hey that’s okay!

Skirt is from Charlotte Russe ($19.99 or buy 1 get 1 for $10.00) which I bought in store and couldn’t find online but they have a similar one online (for $19.99):

plaid bodycon midi skirt

Knit short sleeve white top is from H&M from this summer but I found a similar top from H&M that I actually think would look better with the plaid skirt. Their Heavy Jersey Fabric Short Sleeve Top available online in black or light grey for only $17.95:

H&M heavy jersey light grey top

The boots I bought at Target, probably 2 winters ago, and are still my tried and true favorites (plus the heels are about 2″ so I can actually go wear them out without walking like I am on stilts ) I love the contrasting brown leather ankle strappy things that make it okay for me to wear with black or brown (at least thats what I tell myself..fashion experts would probably say different). But I found a very similar pair by Dv by Dolce Vita Brand, called their Jaxen Suede Booties available at Lord and Taylor online and on sale for only $64.48 (marked down from $128):

Dv by Dolce Vita Suede Booties

and if you’re a big spender I also love these similar Rag & Bone Harrow Suede Ankle Boots available on their website for $370.00. (I can dream, right?)

Rag&Bone Harrow Suede booties

 

My bag is Steve Madden Brand, and is called the Broyale Convertible Tote and is for sale at Macy’s online for $108.00, although I found it out shopping at Marshalls. 

steve Madden Broyale Bag


 

My second “Plaid” winter  outfit, is mainly just these pants I found at Forever21. I bought them online, (Got super excited and actually bought two of the same exact pair..so if anyone is interested in a free pair of pants…email me!) A lot of my style decision thought process goes something like this: “Should I really be considering wearing this?” “I look ridiculous.” and finally “Oh well, who cares!” and then proceed to checkout. And so it was with these pants:

plaid pants! These Gingham plaid pants are available at Forever 21 currently on sale for only $16.99. But aren’t for the faint of heart,  I’ve got some junk in my trunks and these pants def. don’t help to conceal that. :/ But they are red plaid pants for under $20 so…

A more conservative (and more expensive) choice, if I had the means are these lovely Petite Cafe Red Tartan Capres from J.Crew for $168.00:

J.Crew Plaid Capris


 

My final Plaid clothing collection (so far!)  is my new favorite scarf:

plaid scarf

The scarf is Forever21’s Frayed Plaid Scarf for only $10.80. And if you are looking for cute, cheap, plaid accessories, they are the place to go, they have well over 10 different plaid scarfs all at a a very reasonable price!

Thanks for sticking around to read this extra long post…as always I would really, REALLY love to hear and see what you guys are wearing this winter. Email or comment below.

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Fabulous Fall: 6 Autumn Fashion Fundamentals

I spent longer than I should have trying to fit as many words starting with the letter “F” in the title.. (Ill save you the counting: it’s four). I’ve been waiting alll summer to write this post. Because Autumn is my favorite. I’ve seen this Someecards Ecard floating around online the past few weeks:

pumpkinspice

And as a white girl who likes her yoga pants (they  are comfy and stretchy!) I have several objections. First off,  I don’t think an individual’s avid appreciation for the Fall Season has anything to do with the fact I am a white girl who likes her yoga pants on occasion (so comfy and stretchy!). Secondly, I don’t even like Pumpkin Spice Lattes (pumpkin candles, loaf breads, muffins and pancakes are another story). But, I will tell you my favorite things about Fall without you having to go through the trouble of saying “Pumpkin Spice Latte” 3 times. (Who’s the weirdo now? At least Im not the one talking to my mirror…amiright?)

I was thinking about what it was that made me love Autumn so much and I found this “Autumn Blessing” Affirmation on pinterest that resonated with me:

2c1fd8ef31dcbea3739a5f66b22664af

I never realized before that all the changes in nature that Autumn brings; (the crisp weather, bright colored leaves, the smell of firewood burning that permeates the air) really does represent a time of transformation and reflection. As a very sensory and visually orientated person, I appreciate the transformations to my physical environment that Fall brings. It forces me to acknowledge the passing of time, every time I walk outdoors.  I appreciate the Autumn season even more after being in Southern California for four years while at school. Looking back at that wonderful life experience, it feels like one really long summer and its difficult for me to remember exactly when my favorite and most precious memories occurred.  While the winter season is a whole other beast here in the Midwest, I’ve come to relish the Fall season even more.

Besides the beautiful weather (and the dozens of colorful leaves I find and put in my coat pockets and forget about and then spend the rest of the year pulling crumbled up bits of dried leaves out of various pockets) the other reason I love Autumn is for the fashion!

Maybe its because I remember all those end of summer clothes shopping excursions with my mom trying to pick out the perfect outfit for the first day of school, or maybe it’s because I spend my entire summers sweating through everything I wear the second I step outdoors and I’ve never felt comfortable in my skin in a summer wardrobe: shorts (the chafing!), bikinis (the shaving!) and tank tops (the arm jiggles!). I am much more comfortable covering up “all that” in scarves and over sized sweaters.

As usual,  I  got sidetracked on what was supposed to be a short intro into the main subject of this post: my 6 Fall Wardrobe Essentials.

 

I decided to make an inspiration board using my illustrations so here we go:

My Fall Wardrobe Essentials
My Fall Wardrobe Essentials

1. Leather (or Leatherette) Moto Jacket:

fallessential

Not so heavy or bulky as a winter coat and as the outermost layer of clothing, it’s the important in making a  “style statement.”  With oversized cardigans and slouchy, drapey sweaters and not to mention scarves, a simple, classic and fitted moto leather jacket keeps me from looking like a chunky pumpkin.

My dream jacket is this Veda Max Classic Tan Leather jacket Scuba Vintage Leather Jacket in Tan, available at Nordstroms

veda carmel

for (wait for it, wait for it) $890. I love everything about this jacket (the dramatic, asymmetrical collar or oversized lapels) and the color.  And if I  was in a position to buy it, I would and probably never take it off.

Another similar and more reasonable and equally lovely jacket is the BB Dakota Lillian Vegan Leather Jacket 

32427585_020_g

 

available at Urban Outfitters for $98.00. And it’s VEGAN, so you can feel good about not harming animals while wearing it!

 

2) A Bold (Tribal Inspired) Statement Jewelry Piece:

When I’m browsing for clothing or jewelry online, I always, 100% of the time, go with the more outrageous, the more colorful and bold option. Should a  30 year old be purchasing leopard print jeans? I learned the answer (it’s a big NO for me) when I showed up to the elementary school I was teaching at, only to run into  7th grader wearing the same exact pair as me (she was embarrassed, I was like “twinsies!!)  At these moments, I question my sanity and resentfully acknowledge my actual age. (I am 30, I am 30, I am 30). I am learning the beauty of simplicity but this is not one of those times. I give you the aptly named Falkor necklace from DylanLex.com…

dylanex

and my reaction to seeing this necklace for the first time can be summed up in the following picture:

Neverending-Story-Falcor-flying-with-Bastian-300x250

and the Falcor necklace can be yours for only $980.00!

the-neverending-story-the-neverending-story-690117_720_545

aaaand that’s the face I made when I saw the price.

Sorry, getting carried away again.

Urban Outfitters has some similar pieces like their Lalla Rhinestone Statement Bib Necklace for a fraction of the price ($68.00)

urbanoutfitters 32649659_007_b

Or you can do what I do, to wile away the hours and find some original and tribal inspired statement necklaces over on my favorite site on the web, etsy.

3. Boho Leather Handbag

Just recently I have re-fallen in love with bucket bags and leather backpacks as well as vintage tooled leather bags as well. I have been debating on fringed leather bags for years now and I still like them, although, they are becoming part of that festival season uniform- but my eye is always drawn to them.

Madewell makes a classic and simple style leather backpack- I don’t know why, but almost every leather bag I have ever owned is this carmel color. It’s definitely my favorite and saves me from having to decide wether to go with black or brown.

madewell

 

Madewell’s leather Rucksack can be yours for $298.00 at Madewell.com and also ShopBop! 

Urban Outfitters has the perfect combination of the fringe that I hate to love and is also a rucksack/bucket bag,  the Cruz Studded Fringe Bucket Bag, and is much cheaper find at $54.00 and is also available in red and blue!

cruzurban

I also love the vintage fabric woven tote/bucket bags/leather backpacks but have yet to find a patterned bag that is also a designer brand Etsy and Ebay are my stomping grounds for those unique and beautiful finds and the best part is they are usually one of a kind!

My heart skipped a beat when I saw this woven, Ikat, bucket bag on etsy: 

il_570xN.579586404_8jm2

I am sorry to say I had to purchase it but this Handmade Genuine Leather and Kilim Bucket Bag is still available from the Etsy shop: Puro Leather for $85.00

il_170x135.642443464_qksm

whew, sorry this post is getting long! thanks for sticking with me.

Fourth on the list of Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….

4. Oversized, Slouchy, Sweater or Cardigan:

My two personal favorite sweaters of this season (as well as the color contrast jeans) are both from H&M. Although not everything is carried in their online store…

fallessentials3

hmprod6

The Oversized Sweater is available online in both gray and navy blue for an absolute steal of $14.95. I love this sweater and am so glad it caught my eye, although I have to admit , I would have passed it by if the mustard color version hadn’t caught my eye in the store. I love the length and the lightweight texture. I also am a big fan of contrast colors (as you might have guessed) but the black sleeves are definitely pleather and not very breathable.

hmprod5

And here is the dark blue version also on sale for $14.95. I love the leather pants and really would like some of my own (imitation leather of course) but let’s hope this beautiful model’s leather pants are not made of the same pleather material as the sweater, or she is definitely sweating it out. What do you guys think about leather pants? Do you own any?

My second favorite oversized sweater is also from H&M, the Ribbed-Knit Sweater, which I got in Orange and is also nicely priced at $24.95. For the low prices, I am impressed with the quality of the garments I have purchased from H&M.

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and just cause a girl’s gotta dream about overpriced clothing items I will never be able to afford way out of my reach… my ultimate dream sweaters are both from Acne Studios (one of my new favorite “Dream” brands).

The Galactic Turtleneck Sweater is available at Barney’s New York and Also Acne Studio’s website for $620.00.

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Gaja Oversized Sweater ($500.00)  available online at Shopbop. 

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#5 in the Fall Wardrobe Essentials is….

Heeled Leather Booties

oh boots, bootie, boot, boots. I love boots….I can never have enough. What is it about women and their love for shoes and handbags? I don’t know, and don’t really care. In the past, I have always gone for tall, knee high length boots, but in recent years I am drawn more and more to ankle boots.

Basically every boot that Anthropologie has on their website is amazing. Their whole selection of boots, booties, ect, are kick ass, and usually always are.

I love the triple buckles and the price of the Vendaveles Boots (available exclusively online at Anthropologie) for $150.00.

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Since I am loving anything and everything color blocked this season I love both of these booties from Anthropologie: 

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above, The Metallic Colorblock Booties by Nina Payne, $290.00 (Also available only online).

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and the Coromell Booties, $130.00, also available exclusively online at Anthropologie as well.

FINALLY!

#6: Patterned Fitted Pencil Skirt

Goes well with an oversized sweater, tights and booties. And again, anthropologie stuns with their patterned pencil skirts:

4120336410577_079_b 2129634a695e35ba771e81300a090621Perhaps my favorite skirt at the moment (which I am currently trying unsuccessfully to persuade my boyfriend to buy for me for our 2 year anniversary)  is this beautiful Tapestry Pencil Skirt, $98.00 from Anthropologie, available online and in stores.

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I love the longer length of the new pencil skirts, like this Collection Stripe Skirt, from J.Crew for $128.00, but on sale right now for 25% off using the code: SHOPFORFALL.

Thank you for sticking with me through this incredibly long and incredibly materialistic post. I hope you all take the time to enjoy the first official day of Fall tomorrow.

Categories
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oxford love.

 

Ever since I was a kid I loved oxfords. I went through a phase where I was convinced 1950’s was the coolest time period for style because of poodle skirts and black and white oxfords (or penny loafers and rolled jeans)! Also, like almost every woman out there, I love shoes. But I also don’t have very much money- so finding a pair I like, are comfortable, and will last, for under $100 is a challenge for me. Here is a round up of some of my favorites…I really love colors and patterns and crazy prints but I also am trying to tone it down and add more pieces to my wardrobe that can go with everything.

 

my favorite oxfords for Autumn 2014
my favorite oxfords for Autumn

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1. The Free People Galaxy Oxfords  probably one of my favorites of the 6 that are pictured, and of course, above my price range. I could only find them for sale on the UK Free People website for 158 pounds which equates to over $250.00. Still, I love how unique they are, and how comfortable they look.

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2. Are Nickerie Oxfords  available at Anthropologie and also Shoes.com for a much more reasonable price of $37.00 – $47.50. Of course, the only problem with buying these cheaper, cute patterned oxfords, is they are canvas and probably will not last as long as the leather ones, especially in the rain.

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3. Are Nomad Leopard Print Oxfords and can be found also at Shoes.com for $49.00. If you like the style, but have a little higher of a budget or want a more quality pair similar to these that will last you longer, then you will probably love these:

j. crew collection calf hair oxfords

they are J.Crew Collection Calf Hair Oxfords for $350.00 and found at J.Crew.com

4. Are Rocco P. Laced Woman’s Shoes- Camel found at yoox.com for $375.00.  I love this color, it’s probably my favorite color for leather shoes because I feel like it can go with almost anything.

Although, those are my dream pair, I am seriously considering these Qupid Tuxedo Cut Out Lace Up Oxford Flats  from Urbanog.com

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as an alternative for a much more thrifty amount of $14.80 (what?!? maybe I will buy these now).

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5. My other favorites from the 6 I chose are these awesome Osborn Painted Oxfords , Artist Limited Edition for $168.00.


6. Are another pair of oxfords from Free People. They are the Rogue Darby black and tan and are $135.00.

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These are similar to the ones shown in the top picture that I am wearing, but again, the Rogue Darby oxfords are my dream pair but Classified Brand and unfortunately I can find them no where online!

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As always, I would LOVE to hear your feedback or if you want to be featured or have a question- hit me! I hope you all are enjoying these final days of summer.

Categories
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Art Lesson for Kids: Canvas Colorfield Art Journals

So, I’ve started my after-school art class at the elementary school where I teach. At first, I was nervously checking the office for completed registration forms and worried I wouldn’t have enough students BUT lo, and behold, I reached my limit of 20 students and went past it, ending up with 24 students in 2nd-4th grade!
In our first class, students created their own art journals using the “colorfield” technique of abstract painting and canvas. I found this lesson on Dick Blick’s website. Here is the link: http://www.dickblick.com/lesson-plans/color-field-sketchbook/
The finished art journals should end up looking something like this:

The kids LOVED making their journals but it was a little messy. I spent a good two hours after they left scrubbing the paint from the tables, stools, and floor. So, just wanted to CAUTION you if you plan on doing this with kids (or even if you do it for yourself) you will need LOTS of old newspaper, or trash bags, and paper towels. 
So, how to make these lovely journals you ask? All you need are various colors of acrylic paints, unprimed canvas, plastic cups, an empty spray bottle and some paint brushes. 
* For each color you want to use, squirt about tablespoon of paint into a disposable cup and then put about a tablespoon of water in the cup (less water for darker colors) and mix with a paintbrush until smooth. Choose 3 or 4 colors you want to use (remember that mixing more than 3 colors together in one place will create a brownish blah color) 
* Fill the spray bottle with water and spray sections of your canvas (this will help create the swirly patterns when the colors mix together with the water and the dry canvas). 
* Pour onto the canvas! 
Experiment with different colors and different “pouring techniques.” Try pouring from far away, to create a splash pattern. Use a paintbrush to flick a spatter pattern, or pour colors, then tip the canvas up, so that the colors create a “raindrop” or “drip” pattern. 
* Be careful of using too much water, or pouring too much, because it will pool on the canvas and mix with all the other colors to create an unpleasant brownish color. 
I spent way to much time on mine…I used a lot of white paint, because I found that it brightened the colors and kept it from becoming to dark. Here’s how mine turned out….I am sure if I was to make another one, it would be completely different. 
I think next time, I want to try a more simple approach; using only 2 or 3 colors and not worrying so much if there was blank canvas. 
These are just a few of the outcomes from my students..I love how unique and colorful they all turned out. I can see their individual personalities in the colors they used and how they mixed them: 

Binding these guys is a whollllle other story!