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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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Beach Day Essentials

 

 

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

h1BD6E152

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

beach day ootd

 

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

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

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

final beach day trip of the summer.

 

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

 

IMG_5073

 

 

 

 

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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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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

 

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Spring Outwear: Lightweight and Versatile Longline Anorak Jacket

 

LA Hearts Pac Sun Longline Anorak Jacket

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

 

 

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

 

 

LA Hearts Longline Anorak Jacket

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Some Pages from My Art Journal: Spring 2015 Edition

 

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


IMG_0918



sketchpagesketchbook page: playing with patterns

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

art journal quote and abstract art

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

journal page

 

abstract art version 2

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

monling lee  colorindex jcrew

Her name is Monling Lee and she is my everything.

monling jcrew colorblock

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

 

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

 

color block jcrew spring

 

 

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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

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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!