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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 ūüôā 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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My Midi Dress Dilemma: 4 Tips for Wearing a Midi for the Body Conscious Woman

6 marvelou smidis(all 6 dresses available on asos top left: ASOS RED CARPET Premium Embellished Midi Dress With Plunge Front $227.40, top middle: Asos Midi Wiggle Dress in Paisley Print $113.17, top right: ASOS Baroque Embellished Midi Shift Dress $161.08, bottom left: Self Portrait Lucille Midi Dress  $473.75, bottom middle: ASOS Petite Wiggle Dress with Wrap Back $85.28,  bottom right: ASOS Gray Floral Drape Back Midi $94.75)


I really, really love the midi dress look and I emphasis the word look because the way a midi dress looks on a model (stunning) is not how a midi LOOKS on me. The models’ curves (or lack of them) are perfectly highlighted in the form fitting style of a midi and the length accentuates their slim legs. I don’t know if I really thought that I would look the same as the 100 pound 5ft 9 model did in the same midi.

Here is the midi dress I purchased:

jersey midi asos
Asos Midi Cami Body Conscious Dress

but…SURPRISE! I didn’t look anything like the model. It accentuated my curves alright, every friggin nook and cranny was on display. It probably didn’t help that the midi I bought was thin jersey fabric, which is probably one of the least forgiving fabrics there is. So I buried the dress in the back of my closet and tried to forget I ever thought I could pull the look off.

The thing is…I’ve never liked my body, but I also think most women in America have struggled with loving and accepting their bodies at some point.¬†I’ve been working up to writing about the journey I am on to loving myself and it’s been a long, bloody battle for me but….(and I swear all this has to it has to do with the midi dress!)

But since I turning 30 this year, it really hit me how much of life I have wasted and how many experiences I missed out on because I’ve been to busy disliking myself and caring to much what people think.Doing these self-absorbed, materialistic Personal Style posts was a coconscious decision of mine to do what makes me happy and to (try) not to¬†worry about whether or not people like it. Also, it’s nice to actually start caring about myself again ūüôā


So, when cleaning up my closet, I stumbling on the crumpled up midi dress of disappointment and gave it another go (outfitted in my spanx body armor) and decided to give it another try and I came up with a few different ways to wear a form fitting midi with more confidence.

#1 Oversized Cardigans like this one from Revolve Clothing, are your friends.

drapey cardigan

Wearing a big, drapey cardigan helps me feel like I have a layer of protection and it keeps all my lumpy areas that I am self-conscious about covered. But the open front still shows off the cute length and style of the midi.

midi skirt winter outfit

#2 Wearing shoes with heels (booties are my favorite for winter) add much needed length to your frame.

Here are a few pair of booties that give me the warm fuzzies and that I think would look good with a a casual style midi dress:

Joe's Cutout booties

 

 

above: Joe’s ‘Abby’ Cutout Leather Booties available at Nordstroms for $119.37 (40% off from original price of $198.95)¬†Sam Edelman booties

 

Above:¬†Circus by Sam Edelman “Talon” Booties¬†¬†available on sale at¬†Nordstroms¬†for $87.06 (originally $129.95)

wedge booties

Above: Naughty Monkey ‘Angle Tangle’ Toe Wedge Bootie also at Nordstroms for $129.95

For a dressier look here are a few heels I am currently drooling over:

Gucci Gold toe Heel

above: Gucci’ ‘Coline’ T-Strap Cap Toe Heels at Nordstroms for $398.98

capped toe heels

 

 

above: Joe’s ¬†‘Ali’ Ankle Strap Pump, on sale at Nordstroms for $72.95dark blue pumps

 

above: Louise et Cie ‘Sarmienta’ Pump at Nordstroms for only $79.95 (50% off)

Most midis cut off at around calf-level (depending on height) which I love but also has the tendency to make legs look shorter and bulkier.

#3 Layer it up to create different looks.

A midi is fun to play around with different looks and is a versatile dress that can be simple and classic or fun and trendy.¬†¬†Adding colorful layers, like my favorite crazy plaid pants, creates lines, and helps to “distract” the eye from those worry areas.


IMG_6163 - Version 2
midiandblacktopA split sided basic top is perfect to throw over a midi because it covers my least favorite areas (my tummy and the booty) and I like the look it creates.

#4: Spanx is also your friend.

Good ole trusty spanx, instilling confidence into the self-conscious since the dawning of time.

 

 

 

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It’s a Wrap: A Perfect Fall Skirt

wrapskirtI first spied this “Twisted High Low Skirt” skirt via the¬†DailyLook, where they called it their ¬†“Must Have Skirt of the Season,” for $32.99. I loved the comfortable jersey fabric, the dramatic, sweeping look and it’s versatility. Although, my version comes complete with a layer of tummy tucker underwear, spanx and tights. Im not entirely sure I could pull this off without any of my “special friends.”

WRAP skirt

Being the poor, cheapskate that I am, (not like $32.99 is a lot!!!) ¬†I found a very similar skirt on Amazon:¬†TheMogan Women’s Knotted Asymmetrical Jersey Fitted Skirt
in a TON of different colors for or only $13.00, which I purchased in “Slate”:

teal drape skirt

As of late, GoJane has been one of my favorite online fashion sites, with insanely cheap and trendy shoes and clothes.¬†I love their unique and flattering designs and funky patterns (I know this reads like an advertisement, but I def. don’t get paid for anything I write about on my blog).¬†GoJane¬†¬†has a ton of different color options for their asymmetrical twist skirts and a couple of fun different but similarly designed skirts that I am itching after,Like this “Knotty Satisfaction” Skirt for $16.50:¬†

102447-e-burgundy-0And the¬†“Tie-Dye Draped Skirt” for $19.50:

89973-e-ivoryblack-0

AAAAAAND the “Just Drape It Asymmetrical Skirt” for $25.80.¬†
101805-e-navy-0

What do you guys think of these skirts? Too much? Not enough? I do have to say that the one benefit of getting the higher-quality version is that it is mod likely made out of a better quality fabric that doesn’t show off every bump and crevice. :/ Would love to see your pictures of how you styled this skirt….

just email me at thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com, and I will post them on my blog!

Hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing, fun-filled weekend.

xxxoxo

jess

http://www.avantlink.com/affiliate_app_confirm.php?mode=js&authResponse=25f9bde4f6a525fe0fd49702dc3ba58973f319dd

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Six Life Changing Books

llife changing books

Books saved me. For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading. I genuinely cannot remember a time when I was without books. Even Before I learned to read, I made my mom read my favorite children’s books to me, over and over, until I had ¬†memorized all the words. I would stay up with my lamp on, flipping through each page and narrating my version back to myself.

‚ÄúAt one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book‚ÄĒthat string of confused, alien ciphers‚ÄĒshivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.‚ÄĚ

When I learned to read a whole new universe was open to me.¬†I still remember the first book that transported me completely and utterly into it’s world, a world I never wanted to leave: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I spent months after finishing that book, opening closet doors, shifting through clothes, praying to find a secret passage that would lead me to Narnia.

books

As a child (and still to this day) much of my reading took place late at night. Even as a kid, I had trouble turning my mind off, different anxieties and worries all piling up in my brain and unable to sleep. Books saved me and showed me for the first time, that I wasn’t alone.

Before the wonderful world Goodreads, I compiled a list of every book I read, including the date I finished it and a short review, in notebooks that sat on my night stand. In a separate journal, I still write down quotes and passages that stick out to me, in the books I read (although, Goodreads also has an extensive library of quotes from every book imaginable and allows you to create your own quote list).

A few months ago on Facebook, someone tagged me to come up with Five Books that changed me in some way and that got me thinking……so…. I ¬†came up with a list of six books I’ve read through out the course of my life that have changed me in some way:

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

Up until One Hundred Years of Solitude, the only ‚Äúclassic‚ÄĚ novels I had read were the ones assigned to me for classes in high school. ¬†In fact, it was Mrs. Barney, my English Honors teacher and favorite teacher who mentioned in class one day that One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of her favorite books‚ĶI checked it out from the school library that night.

One Hundred Years chronicles the epic rise and fall of the mythical South American town of Macondo, while charting the history of the extensively populated Buendia family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buend√≠a family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.” (Goodreads)

One Hundred Years of Solitude is the very first book I read as an adult, in which I became completely engrossed in the magnetic, magical, alluring world Marquez created, a world I never wanted to leave.

I had never encountered a writer like Marquez, a genius storyteller, brilliant writer, with questionable sanity. ¬†It created in me a passion for all Gabriel Garcia’s books and introduced me to my favorite fiction genre: magical realism.¬†Solitude was responsible for deepening and broadening my passion for reading and sparked in me a love of words. ¬†Gabriel Garcia Marquez taught me through One Hundred Years of Solitude how to¬†¬†to look beyond what you can see in the everyday to peer into the beyond.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Chbosky, Stephen [Paperback(1999£©]

.

 Where One Hundred Years of Solitude is vast and wordy,  making your head spin with detail and complexity, Perks of Being a Wallflower is breathtakingly simple and pure.

The main character and narrator, is Charlie, Perks of Being a Wallflower is responsible for introducing me to  is one of my all time favorite literary characters: Charlie, a shy, introspective, socially awkward, but highly intelligent incoming high school freshman, with a unique and refreshing view of the world.

While Perks of Being a Wallflower is no doubt aimed at younger audiences with it’s simplified style and diminutive number of pages, everyone can identify with the ‘coming of age” themes in the book and misfits trying to fit in.

What endeared me so much to Charlie and Perks of Being a Wallflower was his struggle to understand and deal with his fragile mental health. I am probably not the only one who sees themselves in Charlie, as he tries to understand who he is, why he feels so different from everyone else, desperate to find where he fits in, and to make sense out of life. I wish I had read this book while I was in high school, it would have saved me a lot of stress.

 

East of Eden

3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

East of Eden is undisputedly one of American Literature’s most esteemed masterpieces, Steinbeck’s “magnus opus.”

Out of some strange book stubbornness, I avoided reading East of Eden for many years. Post college, I think I had burnt myself out on trying to only ever read the classics, I was worried East of Eden would let me down, but of course it did not.

But in Steinbeck‚Äôs sprawling Eden, some of fiction‚Äôs most mesmerizing characters are born. “He expertly explores :explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.‚ÄĚIt is a sprawling story of two families and their intertwined destinies. ¬†East of Eden is often referred to as the “classic retelling of Genesis’ story of Cain and Able” through brothers Cal and Aaron. But Steinbeck goes much, much deeper.

Timshel, my friends, timshel.

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

4. The Waves by Virginia Woolf

One of my favorite past times is underlining beautiful passages in the books I read and write them in my journal….While skimming back through my old copy of The Waves, I noticed that almost every page had at least a few lines underlined, while other pages were almost completely underlined.

The Waves is a novel unlike any other. More poetry, than novel, The NY Times calls Woolf‚Äôs writing style in The Waves as‚Äúpoetic brilliance‚Ķa symphonic poem‚ÄĚ There are six main characters, although Woolf is not concerned in character formation and is written from the perspective of each character‚Äôs inner monologue, in which they think and express themselves in a poetic manner. The Waves focuses on the poetic symbols of life. The language is beautiful, sensual, lyrical ,deeply philosophical and life and nature are interconnected.

Geek Love

5. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn¬†is probably the most disturbingly dark and wonderfully strange books ¬†I have ever read (and I’ve read some weird stuff!) Let me explain why:

Geek Love follows the Binewskis, a ¬†traveling, carnival ‚Äúfreak‚ÄĚ show family. And by freaks, I mean freaks: ¬†the narrator and heroine, is Olympia, a deformed, albino, humpbacked dwarf, her brother is Arturo, the Aqua-Boy, born with fins for limbs, the Siamese twin sisters, Electra and Ipheginia, and Furtuno, who, in his family’s eyes, is born disappointingly normal. If that isn‚Äôt enough, the parents and the owners of the “Binewski‚Äôs Fabulon,” are also lacking in genetic flaws, but addicted to meth-amphetamine among other drugs, in hopes of creating more genetically mutated offspring to boost their business and beat out competitors.

Ahabs Wife6. Ahab’s Wife, or, the Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund

Ahab’s Wife tells the life story of the woman who would marry the sea captain who battles Moby Dick, but she is so much more than that. Ahab’s Wife follows her on her journey to find love and tranquility:

“A magnificent, vast, and enthralling saga, Sena Jeter Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife is a remarkable epic spanning a rich, eventful, and dramatic life. Inspired by a brief passage in Moby Dick, it is the story of Una, exiled as a child to live in a lighthouse, removed from the physical and emotional abuse of a religion-mad father. It is the romantic adventure of a young woman setting sail in a cabin boy’s disguise to encounter darkness, wonder, and catastrophe; the story of a devoted wife who witnesses her husband’s destruction by obsession and madness. Ultimately it is the powerful and moving story of a woman’s triumph over tragedy and loss through her courage, creativity, and intelligence.”

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Summer Reading List.

Zorba the Greek (3rd Edition) (Google Affiliate Ad)

 

Wuthering Heights by Bronte, E (Google Affiliate Ad)

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i swear we were infinite.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge book nerd. I think partly because I’ve always had trouble sleeping, even as a kid, and without a T.V. in my bedroom, I lost myself in books. Also, I have an extremely short attention span and I liked that I could read a few pages, put it down when I got distracted and pick it right back up. The Boxcar Children, The Babysitters’ Club, Little House on the Prairie…I read through all of them eventually.
¬†As I have gotten older books have continued to play an important role in my life. I’ve always had trouble “switching off” and “winding down” at the end of the day. I just can’t turn my brain off, thinking about everything I need to do, should have done, SHOULDN’T have done…ect. and reading before bed has been the most effective way for me to de-stress.
I’ll admit it, in college, I was a huge book snob. I felt that anything I read had to be a classic, a prize winner and challenging. ¬†While I read some of my favorite books during this time including: The Brothers Karamazov by Dosteovesky, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez and Anna Karenina¬†by Tolstoy…

I was halfway through Swann’s Way by Proust (and had almost no clue what was happening in the book) that I started to realize that I no longer was enjoying reading!

So, it was at this point that I decided..gosh darnit! I was going to read whatever I wanted and never looked back! Anyways, that was bit of a rant but there is a reason behind it I swear…about 6 months ago I picked up a book entitled Perks of Being a Wallflower¬†by Stephen Chbosky. I was heading to NYC for a quick getaway and wanted a book that I could carry in my bag….I admit I picked it up because it was a thin book and I liked the bright cover (okay, not the best reasons for picking a book but sadly I pick books based on their covers more often than I should). Needless to say, I started reading it on the plane and couldn’t put it down. I finished it that night in the hotel. I don’t like trying to summarize or explain what it’s about because I always do a lousy job and if I tried then you might not want to read it. So, I will refrain, except to say “YOU SHOULD READ IT NOW!”


The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Turtleback Scho Edition) by Chbosky, (Google Affiliate Ad)

For Christmas, I bought 6 copies of Perks of Being a Wallflower and gave it out to close friends and families. Some of these recipients might be classified still as “book snobs” (Sorry guys if you’re reading this but it’s true). I asked one friend if he had started reading it and he said he tried but writing style was too simple and thus, he said, he didn’t think the author was a very good writer. The book is written from the perspective of a freshman in high school named Charlie and he has a unique and fresh perspective on the world around him that is profoundly simple. Please, do yourself (And me) a favor and read this book. And then you can email me and we can talk about how awesome it was.

Anyways, it didn’t take me long to find that I wasn’t the only one who was so moved by the book. I find lots of lovely body art and artwork inspired by the book and I am including them here:

                                       http://literarytattoos.livejournal.com/990589.html

http://thisisrexxie23.tumblr.com/