Categories
abstract art adults adventure affirmation affirmations art art blog art ideas art inspiration commentary facebook inspiration love love wins marriage equality opinion politics pride quotes religion same sex marriage social change social media Uncategorized wiki WWJD

Love Wins. (I’m Just Gonna Set This Here).

you are so so loved.This is an easy one for me and maybe it is for you too. I know that if you have spent any time on social media these last few days, you’ve been bombarded by news of the the Supreme Courts’ ruling regarding same sex marriage equality nation wide. Unless of course you’ve been living under a rock and if that’s the case….is there room for me under there?)

It seems like everyone and their uncle (especially those cranky old uncles) have been putting their two cents in on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges that passed marriage equality rights to same sex couples Nationwide.


Why do I feel the need to add my voice into the mix? I probably don’t. No, I most likely don’t. In fact, I’m still trying to talk myself out of adding to the noise.

But after much thought, I begin typing…. if only just to settle my restless heart a bit….it’s important for me as I come from a religious background where my opinion is not popular.

And just to be safe, here is where I put my personal disclaimer regarding this post:

{I should state that I am only speaking from my personal experience growing up in the church.  My personal opinions on this subject (and others) differ quite a lot from the Evangelical Christian Church’s stance and I do not want to mis-represent myself by claiming that I speak any religious or political groups, these are merely my experiences and opinions}


 

I come from a family of pastors, Evangelical Christian preachers, to be more specific. Both of my grandparents were pastors. My father is a prominent, well known pastor in the Chicago suburbs as are his siblings in their respective areas around the States. My father and his siblings all pastor large congregations in various parts of the United States.

AND make no mistake- I love my family with all my heart. My parents are kind, generous, thoughtful, loving people. My father and his siblings are passionate, people of faith, who together have raised millions of dollars for all types of people in need around the world. I have witnessed nothing but integrity and love from my family.  I have also witnessed the Church when it is at it’s best- fulfilling it’s true purpose, being a community, and welcoming in and being family to many hurt and lonely people.

 


My dad pastored his first church in North Carolina, where I was born but remember nothing of because  We moved to West Texas when I was 11 months old where my dad pastored another growing church. At the age of 12, we moved back to North Carolina where my dad pastored a church for a few years until moving to Illinois when I was 15.


All of that basically to say that…you know those people on your Facebook feed, the ones who shocked you with their angry and sometime hateful posts about the perilous state of America now that same sex couples could marry legally? Yeah,  I know those people. Some of them I know better than I wish I did. I grew up in ‘Merica, amidst confederate flags, racial tensions, and Jebus.  Shockingly, I never learned about Evolution (other than hearing that it came from the bowels of Hell) until High school. I never allowed myself to even question the sheer awesomeness of the Universe because when I did, I couldn’t reconcile it’s magnitude with the the seventh day creationism I was taught in SCIENCE CLASS.

Sorry, I am already rambling on a bit… but needless to say, I was, and am a bit of a weird one and I never fit into the preacher’s daughter mold or the preacher’s wife mold even though I tried and wanted to, for my family’s sake. My parents always tried their best to let me be and to love me for me, and I have met some of the most amazing and loving people in the Church- who loved me at my darkest and most prodigal daughter moments (Wanda Burgund).

I was always surrounded by love and that is the message I chose to take away from the church. Love. I know if I was to walk into the church today, I would leave feeling loved. I read the other day that the young man (whose name I refuse to acknowledge) who walked into the Emmanual African Methodist Episcopal Church and killed Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54), Susie Jackson (87), Ethel Lee Lance (70), Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49), Clementa C. Pinckney (41), Tywanza Sanders (26), Daniel Simmons (74), Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45), and Myra Thompson (59), when being questioned after by the police he said he almost didn’t go through with his plan because of how nice everyone was to him while he was there. Wow.

http://sarahgreenillustration.tumblr.com
http://sarahgreenillustration.tumblr.com

It’s funny because as a kid I loved my WWJD bracelets, and was especially fond of my rainbow colored one, oh if only I could find that one now I would wear it with gusto. Because it is true- Jesus would love- not just love but he would be right up there shaking peoples hands at the Pride festival. In my mind he’s covered in glitter and shaking his bon-bon too but maybe thats a little bit too much of a stretch for most people. Who am I to judge someone, anyone else? I am a sinner- I am divorced, a sin. I have lied, a sin. I am guilty of gluttony and lazinessness, both sins. I have gossiped, I have been selfish and most recently I haven’t stood up for what I believe in to be right  when I know I should have because I was too scared of offending other people. Let love in, let love transform you. Hate and anger will harden your heart and destroy you slowly. And if that isn’t enough of a reason…

Let he or she that is without sin throw the first stone. So let’s all put down our rocks and use them to build something USEFUL together.

This is a place where all are welcome to voice their opinions…and you are most welcome to converse here about your own stories or opinions.., although anything hateful will be deleted. I would love to hear from you guys on this. Don’t be afraid of telling me how you feel.

Categories
80's 90's abstract art accessories acrylic activities activity adults adventure affirmation affirmations Alabama Shakes Amazon anthropologie antique arrange arrangement arrnage art art blog art gallery art ideas art inspiration art journal art lessons art studio art wall artist artists artwork Asics ASOS awesome backpacks badass bag bags beach beautiful beauty birkenstocks blog blogger boho boho chic boho style book cover art book list book reviews books boot booties bright bright colors bucket bag casual casual chic change chic children literature clothes collaboration collage color colorful colors coral craft creative creative inspiration creative process creative project creativity crossbody bag cute daily look decorating design design board design envy designs detail digital design DIY creative DIY project dolce vita download dressy dressy summer outfit eco friendly Electric Feathers espadrilles etsy fashion fashion blog fashion blogger favorite favorite books fitness floral flowers forever21 free free download Free People friends fringe leather bag gallery gallery wall Gap geeks gojane gold leaf goodreads Grand Rapids graphic graphic design graphics guest blogger h&m handbag handmade happiness happy health Health/Wellness hearts home decor home decorations Hope How To humor ideas illustration illustrations infographics ink inspiration inspiring inspo instagram interior design j.crew journal journaling joy jumpsuit jumpsuits leather Leather backpack leather bag leather sandals life life goals life list lifestyle blog Light on Yoga lists live living lol love lovely macys madewell marble marbleizing May minimilist style modern moleskine mood board motivation moving on murals music NastyGal nature nordstrom Nordstroms oil pastels OOTD OOTD Magazine OOTD Submit opinion organization original original art outerwear outfit outfit of the day oxfords PacSun paintings pants paper goods pendant people perfume personal style personal style blogger photography pinterest poetry pop culture portfolio quotes reflection relationships relaxing Revolve Clothing ring rompers rucksack sandals scarf seasonal decor self love shoes shopping showcase simple simplistic sketch sketchbook skirt skirts smile spotlight spring spring fashion spring outerwear Spring Style Springtime fashion street art street style studio wall style style blog style blogger styling summer summer style sunshine sustainable living template The book of awakening the waves tips To Do to the light house traveling travels trendy tutorial Uncategorized unique vase versatile wall art wall decor wallpaper wardrobe watercolor web design website wedges white words work space world wuthering heights yoga zen

The Monthly Inspiration Edit: The May Mood Board Mash-up (Jesus Sandal Couture, The Return of Fat Amy and Alabama Shakes)

 

I’e been wanted to create my own mood board since I discovered the wonderful world of digital mood boards. I’ve always loved making collages and inspiration boards in my journals and on my wall-I love the physical and visual process of creating collages and have spent countless hours absorbed in arranging and rearranging pictures…. something about the process is soothing to me and have found them to be a helpful tool for aiding in my creative process because I often find new inspiration for creative projects and ideas.
With online mood boards it’s like a whole new world of inspiration has opened up to me. There are so many talented, artistic designers and artists out there to find inspiration from-

I’m going to try and do a round-up at least once a month….

BUT

I would really love to see what is inspiring every one else out there and wanted to offer to anyone who might be interested in being a guest blogger and creating their own individualized mood board on This Wild Precious Life. It could be any handful of things that are inspiring you at the moment: books, music, food, shoes, movies, art, diy projects…and give you a chance to share here! If you are interested just email me at thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com with the subject title “my mood board” and we can work out the details!

moodboard may FINAL

 

So here is what is inspiring me in the month of May (2015)….

Wear- Jumpsuits and Rompers

 

 

 

free people flutter romper

http://www.freepeople.com/clothes-jumpsuits-rompers/flutter-romper/BCBGeneration Womens racer front jumpsuitBCBGeneration Women’s Racer Front Jumpsuit
BCBGeneration Women’s Racer Front Jumpsuit

electric feather green jumpsuit spring 2015

http://electricfeathers.com/collections/wardrobe/products/infinite-rope-jumpsuit-1

WALK- 

I’m really happy simple leather sandals (or Jesus sandals as I like to call them) are making a come-back. I don’t know why every time I see a pair of simple classic looking leather sandals I just want to be walking around in Greece or Italy…so the closest I can get to either of those places at the moment is a pair of my very own jesus sandals.

free people cafe wrap espadrille

http://www.freepeople.com/shoes-sandals/cafe-wrap-espadrille/

birkenstock mayari birkenstook
Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Birkibuc Sandal

http://amzn.to/1dqgBIM

FP collection Durango Metal Gladiator

http://www.freepeople.com/shoes-sandals/durango-metal-gladiator-sandals/_/PRODUCTOPTIONIDS/83886FE0-6740-46FF-AABD-B3BC062AB204/

STEVEMADDEN-SANDALS_DONDDI_TAN-LEATHER

Steve Madden Women’s Donddi Sandal

Blowfish Women’s Gill Fisherman Sandal
womens-steve-madden-d-band-cognac-multi-423403_366_45

Steve Madden Women’s D-BAND Sandal

LISTEN: 

Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes

Falling Faster Than You Can Run by Nathaniel Rateliff

Carrie & Lowell by Sufjan Stevens

Pitch Perfect 2: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Carry:

rebecca minkoff fringe backpack

Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack

jericho backpack free people

http://www.freepeople.com/accessories-bags/jericho-backpack-32078669/

patricia nash vasto leather backpack

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/patricia-nash-vasto-leather-backpack/3816140?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=2375500&fashionColor=&resultback=6239

 

the sawyer etsy bag

https://www.etsy.com/listing/184422924/the-sawyer-hand-made-leather-backpack?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=leather%20backpack&ref=sr_gallery_4

READ- 

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo

What Alice Forgot

a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805210318/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0805210318&linkCode=as2&tag=thiwilprelif-20&linkId=BP5TUZMGSEASXI5X”>

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

 

Categories
abstract art acrylic acrylic paints activity affirmation affirmations anthropologie apartment art art blog art gallery art ideas art inspiration art journal art lesson art lessons art studio art wall artist artists artwork blog blogger blue body art boho boho chic bright bright colors cactus cafe canvas circles collaboration collage color colorblock colorful colors craft crafts creative creative inspiration design design board design envy designs detail digital design diy art project DIY creative DIY project dots download easy craft easy craft idea esty ethnic fashion blog favorite floral free wallpaper gallery gallery wall illustrations ink journaling lines lists live live colorfully. living love lyrics minimilist style mixed media modern moleskine mood board motivation murals nature oil pastels original original art paint painting paintings paper goods pattern patterns pen pictures pinterest planter plants poetry pop culture print prints project quotes showcase simple simplistic sketchbook spotlight spring spring art Spring Style Springtime fashion statement jewelry statement necklace street art street style style blogger sunshine tutorial Uncategorized vase wall art wallpaper watercolor watercolors waves web design

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

Categories
affirmations beautiful beauty bright bucket list change colorful creative creativity family forgiveness friends inspiration journaling life goals motivation quotes reflection Uncategorized

The Continued Battle for a Life of Happiness

I’ve really struggled this month with staying positive and I’ve been feeling discouraged by a slight relapse into negative thinking patterns. I’ve also been saddened by the sudden lost a friend this week, who was a genuinely good person and had a kind authentic soul. But the other day I came across the following quote:

we create our own reality

and later on I found this: happiness quality of thoughts

These quotes helped to re-frame how I’ve been thinking lately and spurred the following thoughts I jotted down in my journal last night:

“I am just realizing I have been stuck inside my head these last few weeks and started to really believe that the negative thoughts I have about myself are the truth of who I am. I need to remind myself that I don’t have to live a life where I am unhappy and dislike myself.

I am responsible for my own happiness and for creating my own reality. I want to create a life built on love- love for myself and for others- a life where I find and focus on joy and happiness in every moment instead of choosing to focus on the negative. happy thoughts quoteI want to get back to the basics of life, an honest, authentic and unselfishness life invested in the happiness of the people around me- a life where I truly believe I am enough and worthy of love, worthy of happiness…A life where I choose to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made and the hurt I’ve done to myself and where I choose forgiveness towards others that I feel have wronged me instead of holding onto anger and resentment.

I can have that life. anyone can have that life.

I just have to continually remind myself of this especially when I start to feel I am sliding into the false world I created for myself based on negative thinking and behavioral patterns.

I am more than my thoughts & there is more to life outside my head and  self-obsession.

I choose to make a life of love and joy- and I choose to continue to fight for that life for as long as it takes.”

This is my mantra and affirmation for the month of January 2015.

p.s. (I’m not even sure if anyone else struggles to remember these things, but you aren’t alone if you do. )

p.p.s. sorry for the self-absorbed focus, but I guess that’s what a blog is aye?

Categories
abstract art acrylic acrylic paints art art blog art gallery art ideas art journal art lesson art lessons artist artists artwork bright colors cactus Canson change collaboration collage colorful colors craft crafts crayons crazy creative creative project creativity design design board design envy designs DIY creative diy gift idea DIY Holiday Gift Idea easy easy craft easy craft idea easy crafts floral flowers graphic design happiness happy humor ideas illustration illustrations ink inspiration inspiring inspiring quotes journal journaling life life list lifestyle blog lines lists living lol love lovely lyrics mixed media moleskine murals nature oil pastels opinion original art painting paintings paper goods patterns pen pencil pencil skirt pinterest poetry pop culture print prints questions quotes simple sketch sketchbook smile songs spotlight street art succulent succulents sunshine terrarium To Do tree trees triangles tribal upcycle watercolor watercolors waves wax pastels words

More of my sketchbook pages.

 

 

floral sketchbook page quote

 

The start of a new year means a new sketchbook. I get really excited about starting a new journal- especially at the beginning of a new year. It literally allows me to turn a fresh page in my life and re-organize, reflect and motivate. I’ve been slowly compiling pictures of some of my sketchbook pages from this past year or so and funny, I never realized before just how often my pages center around a quote or lyric that is inspiring me at that time. I think because a big part of the reason I keep a journal is to motivate me and to help me stay positive. Oh, I also apparently am big on bright colors and florals.

 

 

 

 

 

sketchbookpagejessross

also, I’m really interested to know (for any fellow art journalists who stumbles across this page)…what your favorite sketchbook/journal is(Mixed media paper, watercolor paper, bound, spiral, small, large….)? I have over 30 journals and have tried all different types and sizes and I am starting to narrow it down to my favorites but I still feel like my perfect sketchbook is out there somewhere undiscovered and waiting. just really want a large sized sketchbook with pages that don’t bleed through…I like the watercolor moleskine sketchbook but it didn’t have very many pages and was quite expensive.
Here are my go tos:

The Moleskine Art Plus Watercolor Album

(12″ X 8.5″) Professional Folio Series, Hardcover $27.37

click on the picture to view in Amazon

pros: thick, heavyweight, high quality watercolor paper, super absorbent and doesn’t bleed through.

cons: expensive & only has 60 pages while most sketchbooks have at least 100 pages.

 

The Canson 180-Degree Art Book ($13.79)

(8.3′ x 11.7″) 80 sheets 

canson art sketchbook, click picture to view in amazon

Pros:  Lays flat, nice design

Cons: Paper is not high quality, and poor quality paper, rips easily

Strathmore Hardbound 500 Series Mixed Media Art Journal

(11.5″ x 8.5″, 64 Pages)

Strathmore Sketchbook, Click picture to view in Amazon

Pros: Great size and Price

Cons:

 

stormsrootsstitched together quote rjournalpagemixed media sketchbook page lyricsWhat inspires you? Do you have a favorite medium when journaling? What is your go-to when you are sketching or journaling… I always wish I wrote more….  but I never do….abstract ocean blue sketchbook page
journal illustration page

Categories
abstract art acrylic acrylic paints activities activity adventure affirmations art art blog art gallery art ideas art lesson artist artist trading cards artists artwork asymmetrical autumn birds blog blue boho book list book reviews bright bright colors bucket list cactus casual change chic childhood children children literature childrens' activities christmas Christmas decorations christmas trees classics collaboration collage colorful craft crafts creative creative project creativity cute decorating decoration design design board design envy designs detail diy DIY creative diy gift idea DIY Holiday Gift Idea drawing easy craft easy craft idea easy crafts elementary ethnic etsy fabric faces fair trade fall fashion family fashion favorite favorite books feather fingerprint floral flowers free friends fun gallery geometric gift idea gift wrap glitter goodreads graphic design greeting cards gustav klimt happiness happy holiday holiday dresses holiday season holiday style holidays home alone home decor home decorations How To humor ideas illustration illustrations imagination infographics ink inspiration inspiring inspiring quotes j.crew journal journaling joy kids kids activity landscape laugh layers leaf rubbings lesson life life list lines lists literature living lol love lovely lyrics magazine markers Martha Stewart meditation mixed media mod cloth mood board movies moving on murals music native america nature nature walk New Years Resolutions ocean oil pastels original art paint painting paintings paper goods pattern peace peacock feathers pen pencil people pets photography pictures pinterest planter planters plants poetry pop culture pros and cons puppy quotes reflection relationships relaxing rustic seasonal decor self esteem self love shading shoes showcase silly sketch sketchbook skirt songs stars street art style style blogger succulent succulents terrarium the waves tie-dye tips To Do Top travel trees trendy tribal tutorial Uncategorized unique upcycle van gogh versatile vintage wallpaper watercolor watercolors wax pastels web design website winter winter fashion words world yoga

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

Categories
book binding book cover art book list book reviews books childhood children children literature classics design design board difficult education family favorite favorite books fiction Gabriel Garcia Marquez geeks goodreads humor imagination inspiring inspiring quotes john steinbeck life life list lists literature magical realism mood board opinion original art perks of being a wallflower poetry pop culture project projects questions quotes reading showcase spotlight the waves Uncategorized words world

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.

“At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.”

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 “classic” 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…I 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 Buendía 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’s sprawling Eden, some of fiction’s 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.”It 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’s writing style in The Waves as“poetic brilliance…a symphonic poem” There are six main characters, although Woolf is not concerned in character formation and is written from the perspective of each character’s 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 “freak” 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’t enough, the parents and the owners of the “Binewski’s 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.”

Categories
activities blog books bucket list change collaboration fitness friends health infographics instagram meditation nature organic original peace pinterest positive prozac questions quotes reading relationships relaxing simple smile stars sunshine teaching tips trees website wellness yoga

A Skeptic’s Journey to Falling in Love With Yoga.

As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved being active. I used to follow my dad to the gym and he taught me at about 6 years old how to use the cardio machines.  I’ve gone through many fitness phases throughout the years, but they always centered around a cardio machine like the elliptical or the treadmill.  In my craziest fitness days, I would spend upwards of 2 hours on the elliptical or running on the treadmill- slowly watching my calories burnt. No doubt, I over did it- and with severe lower back and hip pain (and sciatica) from an early age, all of the repetitive pressure I put on my bones, I ended up completely wearing my body out. Friends, family members and my chiropractor all suggested yoga and countless times and in my stubbornness, I refused, also countless times.

This past winter I hit a brick wall physically. I was desperate to go to the gym and sweat out my issues but every time I got on a treadmill, the pain quickly became to much to continue. So, I figured, okay, let’s try this yoga bs every one is talking about. Considering myself “athletic”(I’m about as bendy as a plank of wood) I had no time for the beginner yoga videos, and went straight to intermediate- where I managed within the first 5 minutes to pull a muscle in my back.

It wasn’t until a few months later when one of my best girl friends was visiting from Oregon, that I seriously considered yoga again. When I picked her up from the airport, I immediately noticed how fit and toned she was. She radiated good health and I wanted some of that…she had been practicing yoga religiously for the past few years and it showed.Every night and every morning she practiced and even had me doing a few poses.

After that, I found myself more and more drawn to yoga and I was determined to do it and do it right. (Which was NOT easy).  I bought an informative book of yoga,  Hatha Yoga Illustrated by Kirk, Boon, and DiTuro, with a short history of yoga, the different practices, meditation and a large index of poses with helpful tips. I also joined in on a yoga challenge on instagram with a few friends. I found that the more I practiced, the better I felt. I woke up one morning with no back pain at all- which hasn’t happened in over 20 years. I was also pleasantly surprised at the  sense of peace and calm that I found while practicing. I found that I loved practicing yoga outdoors, at night, staring at the stars and had some wonderfully blissful and content moments (which for me, is very rare).

I honestly think the world would be a much happier place if everyone practiced yoga. Hopefully, you will join me on this yoga journey! You can find me on instagram at: jessbobessyoga (I promise my account will make you feel better about your practice because I am not kidding when I say I am def. a beginner!) And as always, I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on yoga and what you find most difficult and most beneficial. Email me at: thiswildpreciouslifeblog@gmail.com.

Here are 8 tips I compiled to help those like me, who are starting out on their yoga journey!

I hope everyone enjoyed the beautiful super moon! A time for new beginnings!

helpful tips for yoga beginners
helpful tips for yoga beginners
Categories
art artist artwork blog cactus collaboration collage colorful craft creative creative project design diy DIY creative DIY project easy craft idea education elementary esty gallery handmade illustration inspiration inspiring journal journaling nature oil pastels original paintings paper goods people pinterest portraits project projects questions quotes relaxing sketchbook

art journals.

tried my hand at some abstract journaling.
tried my hand at some abstract journaling.

Ever since I had the ability to write (non-sensical scribbles of a four year old count) I have kept a “diary.” I don’t know where the compulsion to keep a list of the daily mundane activities as a child: “Today I had rice crispies for breakfast…” The older i got, the more they developed into a living memory box of my life at that moment in time; and perhaps it started as my first paltry attempt at creating a sense of order from my distracted thoughts and messy brain. I have over 30 completed journals, which is roughly one per year.  The style and format of my journals adapts to the seasons of my life. During college and Graduate school, my journal functioned as my day planner and the keeper of my sanity. During periods in my life where I have been happy, I notice that I do more art and very little journaling. During tough times however, my journals are filled with sad song lyrics, to-do lists and life questions.

Do you like to look back at your journals? If so, do you do it often? Is creating a written record of your life to reflect back on a reason for your journaling? I am very interested to know. I can honestly say that, that is not the case with me, as writing for reflection at a later period of time would require to much forethought and planning for me. My journal has become one of my few necessities which I carry with me at all times in my bag. It is given the impossible responsibility of keeping me sane (emotionally balanced and organized enough to survive) ..so when I complete one journal, I see it as a memento of the craziness which is my life- maybe one day, when I am normal, I will want to look back at my journals to feel sorry for my crazy self.

Here are a few of my own art journal pages:

my art journal page
my art journal page
my colorful cacti
my colorful cacti
one of my favorite quotes
one of my favorite quotes
Frida and Virginia from my journal.
Frida and Virginia from my journal.

Anyways, I love nothing more than seeing pages from other peoples’ journals. I feel like I am getting a naked glimpse at their soul. I am always so amazed and inspired by the creative, beautiful things that people put down onto pages. One of my favorite artists,  Geninne Zlatkis, has the most beautiful and awe inspiring journal pages. I love all of her work and I also LOVE how she adapts her art journal entries into a day planner. Genius!!

Geninne’s Journal Page

from her flickr account
from her flickr account (October Days) 
more of Geninne's beauty
more of Geninne’s beauty

Here is the link to her flickr account for you to check her out more!: https://www.flickr.com/photos/geninne/sets/72157594514015991/

Another one of my favorites is Guilherme Dietrich. I fell in love with the bright, bold colors and vivid pieces. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor after I saw these. Unfortunately, his flickr account is no longer active and the website I found him on, isn’t either. But here are some of his beautiful pages to feast your eyes at (pangs me to know I will never create something this beautiful)

879094f849e6a1dba2595504a41cbf7e

What inspires you? Why do you journal? I would love to see!

Categories
art artist beautiful books colors drawing feathers friends funny illustration ink inspiring interview journaling nature original pinterest quotes watercolors

Artist Spotlight: Natalie Jean Bauer

by Natalie Jean Bauer 
This “Artist Spotlight” post idea came to me one night when I was thinking of how so many of my friends are talented artists and besides that, they are all also pretty hilarious. This is my little way of exposing the world (or a few hundred people a month) to the amazing-ness that they bring to my world and how happy they make me. And hopefully share that with someone else! So, I came up with some questions (some I borrowed from other art blogs) and asked my friend Natalie if she would let me interview her and post some of her artwork on my blog. Natalie is one of the most humble artists (and also one of the funniest) that I know. I have (selfishly) asked her when she is planning on making prints of her artwork and selling them, so I can buy one…but not yet. I’m wearing you down Natalie! So, hopefully you get some enjoyment out of this post AND…
if YOU or anyone you know wants to be featured in an “Artist Spotlight” post, then email me at forourcity@gmail.com. Send me a couple pieces of your artwork (whether its music, paintings, photography, dancing, stand up comedy..it all works for me!) and answer the questions. I will feature you in the next post! 

 Who are you and what do you do?

I am Natalie Jean Bauer.  I try to paint, draw, and write as often as my big dumb brain will allow.
Describe yourself in five words:
Usually really terrible at this.
Do you have a favorite piece of yours?  If so, why is it your favorite?

No favorites, really.  They are all a labor of love and yet I am my own worst critic.  The entire process of creating anything has always been essential for me, but the second I finish a piece (be it a painting, story, comic, whatever) I still notice every rough edge, every single area that shows room for improvement.  This is good in that it always drives me to further develop whatever skills I may possess, but awful when it comes to confidence in my own abilities.  I’ll probably spend the rest of my life trying to shut this off.  I am ruthless and insatiable.
Any tips or inspiring words for other artists?

Find it in yourself.  Keep fumbling and learning and don’t lose heart.  Surround yourself with books and songs that make you want to scream and explode into a million stupid pieces because of how good they are.  Pile more love and effort on literally everything you’re doing.

 Can we find you anywhere on the world wide web?


Art-wise?  Besides Facebook, not really.  I don’t have a personal website, at least not yet.  I’ve always been intensely private and enjoyed my anonymity.  A bit selfish, probably, but so often I anticipate being critiqued in a way I won’t recover from.  I don’t handle rejection well despite all the practice I’ve had.
What is your favorite:
Color?  The particular shade of green usually limited to chalkboards; grey in the beard of a young man.
Animal?  My dog, Roxy Carmichael, is the obvious answer here.  She has the personality of Gilda Radner, the heart of Gandhi, and the eyes of everyone you’ve ever loved.
Movie?  “Santa Sangre” has been in heavy rotation for me lately.  Otherwise, Martin Short’s “Clifford” never fails to improve my mood.
Book?  I just re-read Virginia Woolf’s “The Waves” for maybe the fifth time and it is always such a task but so beautiful and worthwhile.
What work do you most enjoy doing?

Honestly, it depends on my mood and focus.  It all comes in waves; I’ll sometimes go weeks where I mainly focus on writing and finishing a story and not pick up a brush or pencil at all.  But then before I even know it, the opposite becomes true:  I’ll slave over new paintings or comics before I become conscious of the fact that I haven’t written anything in months.  It’s bizarre.  My Moleskines are erratic at best.

Name something you love, and why?


I love The Voyager Golden Record.  It’s this gold-plated record that was sent into space on The Voyager so that if any aliens ever found it, they could listen to this record and know what Earth was like.  The record had an introduction, greetings in fifty-five languages, and the sounds of our planet — a whale song, crickets, the sound of an earthquake, a volcano, thunder, laughter, footsteps, wind, water, a kiss, a wild dog, heartbeats I think.  It had twenty-seven songs on it from all over the world, including Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Chuck Berry, and Louis Armstrong.  At the end of the record there were brainwaves.  The wife of one of the men in charge of the record got hooked up to a machine and her brainwaves were turned into sound.  She thought all about the earth and the life on it, poverty, suffering, and some history she could remember.  At the end, she decided to make a personal statement.  The very last thing she wanted her brainwaves to send out there, the very last thing on this golden record that we sent into space for aliens to find and learn and judge about us, was what it felt like to fall in love.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

More often than not, I feel I have no truly creative ideas.  And everything I write, think, paint, or say has already been written, thought, painted, or said by many others.  And though I value the wonderful varied perspectives of people everywhere, it makes me feel like poo.  During a public internet meltdown of sorts, I had two people whose brains and artistic endeavors I admire impart two pieces of wisdom to me in such a way that it helped to hear at that precise moment.  The first was:  the truth is that all creativity amounts to in the first place is putting the basic stuff of existence into different patterns.  These patterns have personal meaning to us.  We ourselves constitute a changing pattern in relation to the rest of the universe.  Creativity is either infinite or ‘virtually infinite.’

The second was:  you just worry about making art because you’ll die if you don’t.

I try to remember both of these things in my worst moments of self-sabotage and doubt.


Name something you don’t love, and why?

I hate labels so much.  Here I am not referring to ethnic, racial, or other discriminatory and/or offensive tags (although OF COURSE I hate those, too).  Specifically I mean things such as price tags and the stickers on plastic bins that helpfully note “Sterilite Storage Bin.  For storage.  Store your shit up in this piece, mofo!”  I compulsively pick labels off of everything that is around for even a short time in my life.  This urge is slightly in opposition to my love of text — I like monograms, painting words on walls, having lots of chalkboards and papers and quotes and journals sitting around, just to put thoughts down on.  I guess it’s just that I want to control how many and what kinds of words and text are thrown at me in my home.  Everything outside is so coated in manipulative slogans and advertising (I mean seriously, you can’t even pee at a bar without forty flyers adding to the visual chaos) that I need to be able to look around my apartment without It’sallinside-Nobodydoesn’tlove-Refrescante-Eatfresh-Ownstheroad-Stayclosealittlelonger-Doubleyourpleasure-Choiceofthenew-Camitasmejors-Gentleman’sclub-Whatissexy-It’syourlife-Thenewalbum-Unböring-Unbroken-Undecided-Uncoordinated-Unlisted-Underground-Unrefined blazing across my retinas like Satan’s own stock ticker.

What couldn’t you do without?

It’s so clichéd of an answer, but there’s no way in hell I would have lasted this long without the people I am so blessed enough to call my friends.  I couldn’t have asked-begged-prayed-starved for better people to keep.

.

 You’ve been selected to go on an all-expenses paid drinking binge with one famous artist, one famous writer, and one free choice.  Who would you choose?


Dead or alive?  I think this answer changes daily for me.  So today I would probably go with Odilon Redon because stylistically I have never wanted to emulate someone SO MUCH.  His paintings are pure magic.  Oscar Wilde, because deep-down I identify with the burned-out view and the scathing insight.  And the free choice…  I guess it’d be that neighbor dog with short legs who runs the way shrimp swim. I like when there’s a dog at a party so my social anxiety doesn’t run down my phone’s battery
Would you rather eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?

Whose hair?  My own hair?  I think I’d sooner set myself on fire than lick a public ANYTHING, to be honest.  I probably ingest more than a handful of dog hair on a daily basis anyway, thanks to Roxy Carmichael’s proclivity for shedding.  I’m going with the hair.  I think I could better survive that from an emotional standpoint.


Categories
art artists chalkboard chicago crafts creative diy etsy holidays ink inspiration magazine mixed media pen pinterest quotes watercolors

Art lately.

 I saw something very similar to this on etsy and it inspired me. A friend has “commissioned” me to paint a large canvas for his new apartment and this was one of the sketches I was considering doing..later I added some sharp black lines. I really love making art with gemoetrical shapes.

 I found this in one of my old journals when I was looking for a password or something. I thought it would be a cool idea to do a gallery showing of artists’ journal pages. I would love to see something like that!

 This is my new chalkboard wall in my apartment (I hope my landlord hasn’t seen this!!) I had a quote by Emily Dickinson on the wall with some really bright framing shapes and colors and it was too much. Plus, I change my mind so often that this works perfectly for me! I can change it whenever I want. I try not to think of the hassle it will cause me when it’s time to move out! 

 glug glug.

 Okay, *le sigh* This is my latest project and has taken a considerable amount of time! A few weekends ago, my husband and I went to the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair, and I was feeling very inspired. One artist I particularly liked was Dolan Geiman. He did some beautiful and intricate artworks using magazine pages. I like the different textures and colors and a project like this is perfect for my OCD tendencies. I get to collect little scraps of paper and sort through old magazines cutting and gluing things for hours!

Okay, so..hahaha…As someone kindly pointed out to me: “isn’t it ‘Not all who WANDER are lost”? yup! It is! ah, well. I took things to a whole other level without even realizing it. Maybe my true calling is philosophy? No? okay…

Categories
art blue creative project design diy etsy geometric gift green holidays illustration ink inspiration instagram mixed media pinterest prints quotes watercolor

my art lately.

I have been struggling with an inner conflict in the past several months that has zapped me of any creative energy. I am easily inspired by so many artists and their styles but I always feel like I am copying or stealing from others when I make anything. I always feel that everything has already been done before and nothing I do will be original or thought provoking. I hesitate even labeling myself an “Artist” because most of what I create originates from an idea or a piece of work that I have been inspired by. Lately though, I have decided to just create whatever makes me happy because that is the reason why I love art.

 Nothing calms my soul and brings me a feeling of contentedness than when I am creating something. Often though, my OCD tendencies take over and I am usually unhappy with the end result..I find it too busy or scattered. I have begun to accept that while I may not love everything I make, it is a reflection of who I am and what I am feeling, and that is all the encouragement I need to get on with it.