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Art As Style Inspiration: My Collab with the Amazing Mom Edit

cool-birkenstocks-683x1024

If you’re a mom and into fashion, you’ve probably heard of The Mom Edit by now and if you haven’t yet, well, you’re missing out.  I’ve mentioned my love for Shana, the site’s creator, before and shared some of the art collaborations we have done together for The Mom Edit. Last month, we were talking about what direction we should head in this year for our monthly art/style collaborations when Shana suggested doing a mini shoot featuring both my style and my art. We were already at the beach, and a few glasses deep into our bottle of white wine so we figured why the heck not?! And then last night I got a text from my best friend who said she just spotted my feature on The Mom Edit, so I thought I would share some of the photos here too!

best-birkenstocks-683x1024 (1)

fashion-illustration

shoe-illustrations

I’m Wearing:

Top:

a63ee73fd883-333x400

Marylin and Main’s Batwing Oversized Tunic Top, $29.30 on Amazon.

Shorts:

striped shorts

Mango’s Striped Cotton Shorts, $24.99, Amazon.

sandals:

282-Birkenstock-Women-s-Yara-Oiled-Leather-Sandals-1

Birkenstocks’ Yara Leather Thong Sandal from Amazon, $105.99 to $149.99. 

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Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Summer Maxi Dresses: Ten of My Favorites for Every Occasion

It’s finally summer (hooray!) But of course, I can’t just enjoy the weather I’ve been waiting for all year long and instead I have to find something to stress over.

The summer weather poses a few problems for me:

1)  Blindingly white, pastey legs.

2) Lots of uncomfortable sweating in areas best left unacknowledged.

3) And Shaving, lots of shaving…hours and hours of shaving…

 Solution to this very first world problem: 

Maxi dresses!

1) Complete coverage of said sunless legs.

2) Comfortable breeze to sweating nether regions.

3) Coverage of lazily shaved legs.

romantic summer maxi dress forever 21 summer maxi dress

The above maxi dress is from Forever 21 although it looks like it’s not available anymore I found a similar dress also from Forever21 that I think I like even more than the one I purchased:

love21 white lace paneled dress
Love 21 Lace-Paneled Maxi Dress, $34.90

My Sandals are Enzo Angiolini Women’s Jeat Sandal, $84.80 available on Amazon:

Enzo Angiolini Women's Jeat Sandal

Now in no particular order ten of my favorite maxi dresses that I day dreaming of buying to cover up my pastey legs with this summer:

1. In a Dream Maxi Dress from Free People ($350.00):

In a Dream Maxi dress Free People

2. Serilida Maxi Dress from Anthropologie, $198.00

serlida maxi dress anthropologie

3. Maybe Lady Dress from Free People, $118.00:

free people maybe lady dress

4. Motel Wrap Front Maxi Dress with Thigh Split in Floral Print from ASOS, $95.00:

 

5. Chloe Silk Full Length Draped Dress, for *cough* *cough*, $3,660.74 from Far Fetched: 

chloe silk maxi dress summer 2015

 6. All Tied Down Maxi Dress from NastyGal, $68.00

all tied down maxi dress nasty gal

7. Lisbon Dress from Need Supply Co., $98.00

lisbon dress need supply

 

8. Tribal Print Maxi Dress from Forever 21, $27.90:

forever 21 tribal print maxi dresstribal print maxi dress

9. Faded Floral Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress from ASOS, $98.00:

asos faded floral flutter sleeve dress

 

10. Summer Solid Lady Maxi Dress from Free People, $148.00:

 

and one more that doesn’t do much to cover up the pastey leg problem but I am day-dreaming of none the less…..

11. For Love and Lemons Marina Maxi Dress available at Free People, $202.00:

Any “must have” maxis for this summer that you think I missed??

 

 

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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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spring style: fun, flowy, floral, boho dresses

hooray for all things Spring….Sun, flowers, rain, birds, allergies. I’ll take it all if it means I can stand outside for more than a minute without getting frostbite.  I’ve been waiting for a day that was nice enough to wear my Free People Parker Dress. Although there aren’t enough photoshopping or fliters that help my legs look less blindingly white and pasty.

free people dress black esparilldos

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite floral spring dresses I found online:

Free People Parker Dress, $69.00:

FREE-people-parker-dress-sage

MINKPINK Women’s Moon Flower Midi Dress:

mink-pink-midifloral-dress

Needle & Thread’s Summer Garden Floral Sequin Bodycon Dress ($360.00):

needle&thread-bodycon-sequin-garden-dress

Free People First Kiss Dress, $98.00:

free-people-first-kiss-boho-dress

 

Free People Embroidered Austin Dress, $148.00:
free-people-austin-embroidered-dress

Needle & Thread Gilded Filigree Three Quarter Sleeve Cocktail Dress:
needle&thread-gilded-filigree-dress

 BB Dakota ‘Heleen’ Print Fit and Flare Midi Dress ($98.00) at Nordstroms:

BB-dokata-heleen-floral-dress

Volcom Juniors Nevermore Dress

volcom-floral-dress

 

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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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Current Studio Art Wall Inspiration: A Spring Mood Board Refresh!

Today, the birds were chirping and the sun was out and the snow is melting into muddy lakes, but if that means spring is on it’s way…I’ll take it.

studiowall

Some much needed refreshing of my studio walls and work space. I’d like to try and change my art wall at least once a month but we’ll see how that goes!

art studio work space mood board inspirationThis one day of sunny weather has got me feeling all sorts of alive again.  

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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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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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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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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 🙂


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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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!