Notes on a (blue hair) Scandal.

See what I did there…With the title? Yeah, I need to get out more. Before I start in to my epic blue hair adventures, I just want to thank all of my friends, family and anyone else out there who read my last blog post: “Blessed are The Cracked…” I struggled with posting it for a long time, as it went deeper than I usually go.

But when I posted a link to the article on my Facebook page (in an outright act of shameless self-promotion, and deleted it twice before I left it there) I was so blown away by everyones kind words and encouragement. I was walking around glowing for the entire day and it was such a boost in confidence that Im surprised I didn’t sprout peacock feathers out my bum! So thanks again.

Anyways, onto my latest mishap.

so this happened…

blue hair dye

blue hair, don’t care (but kind of do!)

I have been toying with the idea of dying my hair some crazy color for awhile now…and as a lot of my more hair-brained (pun intended) ideas begin, I was up reeeaaally late on pinterest where I created a board just for my crazy hair color inspirations and pinning away.

Now, I will be the first to tell  you, that I get quickly excited about ideas and don’t always think my them through. I just get caught up in the moment and fail to think clearly.

I convinced myself that I was mentally prepared to dye my hair because I went so far as to create a profile on Taaz.com (a website where you can try out different hair styles and make up using pictures of yourself). My idea of “thinking this through” was to  upload a picture and try out some different hair styles. I promptly found and tried the only blue hair color style available, (on the gorgeous katy Perry). This is the picture they had:

Katy Perry's blue hair

Katy Perry’s blue hair

Gorgeous right? Yeah. Aaaaaaand well, here is how mine turned out….just in case you haven’t laughed today…

hahahahaha

hahahahaha

Me and Katy are practically twins! :/ But really, the website was actually really great and these “virtual makeover” websites have come a long way in the years since they first came out and I did it in high school, a good 15 years ago (and I am glad those photos can never be unearthed). Taaz.com, allowed you to contour the hair style to fit better onto your head (as my head is huge and round like a basketball). but I wasn’t done yet! so my next step was to download a free iPhone app called Make With Beauty that allowed me to take a picture of myself and change the color of my hair already. I couldn’t figure out how manipulate the hair color effectively in the app and my hair always ended up looking like it would glow in the dark. but the idea was to see what  I would look like with a lighter shade of blue:

photo-21

Looks like I dipped my head in some radioactive goo…A little to neon/glow in the dark for me- but still closer to what I wanted.

so by now I was getting pretty pumped up about the idea…Maybe a little too excited because following morning, I woke up and went straight to Ulta, where I hastily picked up a bottle of Jerome Russell’s Punky Colour in turquoise for only $9.99.

2205826

And here is when things get sketchy…

in my haste/over-excitement… I didn’t read the directions or the label completely and carefully and what I thought was NON permanent was actually SEMI- Permanent (the back says 5-40 washes).Which is a problem because I needed my hair to be back to a natural blonde hair color by the following week for work.

The directions said to leave it in your hair for 20-40 minutes and since I wanted a lighter color of blue (that would wash out quickly) I left it in for only 15 minutes. Little did I know that my hair was the PERFECT type (damaged, bleached, blonde, dry) to absorb and hang on to allll of the turquoise color.

After I washed out the hair dye, I took a look in the mirror and spent the next few hours washing my hair over and over in a blue blur of anxiety attacks and hyper-ventilating. I called out for help from friends on Facebook and Instagram, and read several articles for home hair color lifter remedies (I wasn’t close t0 being able to leave the house). With friends help and a great article on Wikihow (which I highly suggest looking at if you find yourself in the same position as I did) I tried all sorts of home remedies: soaking my hair in crushed vitamin C tablets, adding dish soap to my shampoo, adding laundry detergent to my shampoo, , adding baking soda to dandruff shampoo and again washing. These helped to lighten the color somewhat  but left me with a new and even scarier problem: severe hair breakage!

It was during my cry for help from my friends on social media that my old college roommate introduced me to the amazing Alison and her blog The Alison Show. She had also dyed her hair a similar color, although she went the preferable route: to a hair stylist. She was so kind and reached out to me and said that she too freaked out when she first saw her hair in the mirror but that it washed out so quickly that she wished it had stayed longer.

After 48 hours of locking myself in my house and washing my hair over 10 times, I had resigned myself to my immediate future as a blue-headed smurf.

Within a few days I ended up really liking my mermaid hair and wishing I could keep it longer,

So here are some of my tips for if you want to dye your hair blue, green, pink or any other fabulous combination:

1) always READ THE LABEL carefully!

2) Before doing a semi-permanant or permanent color try something that will wash out in 2 to 3 washes such as:

Garnier Color Styler: Intense Wash Out Color (only $6.99)

Garnier Color Style Temporary Blue Hair Dye

Garnier Color Style Temporary Blue Hair Dye

or a chalk such as:

Temporary Hair Color Chalk

Temporary Hair Color Chalk

3) Try out different styles using a smart phone app or Taaz.com

4) Be emotionally prepared!

5) Consider the damage level that any hair dye does to your hair

 

have fun and dye away. If you have any pictures or stories about your wild hair dye adventures, feel free to email me at ourwildpreciouslives@gmail.com with pictures and your story and I will share it!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! Be safe and have fun!

Artist Spotlight Interview: Singer & Songwriter Kevin Andrew Prchal

I’ve noticed a trend in my Artist Spotlight interviews; I always profile individuals who are not only amazing artists but amazing human beings as well.  Kevin Andrew Prchal is a perfect example of the two. Not only is he an incredibly gifted singer songwriter with vocals that will make your cold heart melt but he is also an authentic person and a compassionate and loyal friend. I am thankful to know him and I guarantee you will like him too! I was able to snag Kevin and get him to answer some questions for me which you find below interspersed between some of my favorite videos of Kevin singing:

Kevin Andrew Prchal

Who are you and what do you do? 
My name is Kevin Andrew Prchal and I’m a student, a singer of songs, and a maker of chili.

Describe yourself in five words: 
Polka King of the Midwest

Do you have a favorite piece/song of yours? If so, why is it your favorite? 
I guess I’d say it’s the one in progress that means the most, not the one that’s already been written.

Any tips or inspiring words for other artists? 
Never defend your art. By defending it, you’re acknowledging criticism and by acknowledging criticism, you’re wasting your time. Just create, and let it be interpreted as it will.

Terrified! by Kevin Andrew Prchal shot and edited by Justin Thompson from Justin Thompson on Vimeo.

Can we find your music anywhere on the world wide web? 
Yes, you can learn more about me by visiting http://kevinandrewprchal.com or you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @kevinprchal

Any new, exciting projects coming up? 
My new album “Sorrow Sings” will be out this summer! It’s been quite a journey, so I’m both thrilled and relieved to finally have this thing finished.

What is your favorite: 
Color? Magnolia
Animal? Squirrels
Movie? Wall-E
Book? Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

What work do you most enjoy doing? 
Anything that gives me purpose, really. I’ve never been comfortable waking up and doing nothing all day. There’s always something to be doing, even if it’s cleaning the bathroom. Let’s just stick with that.


Name something you love and why?
Finding the candle aisle and smelling every single one of them. I’m partial to pine.

Whats the best advice you’ve ever been given? 
Stay weird.

Name something you don’t love and why? 
Gossip. It’s the poison to this world. It never has, and never will, solve a thing.

What couldn’t you do without? 
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

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

Tom Waits, Neil Gaiman and my Grandpa Bob. I’d love to see how their collective magics aligned.

Would you rather eat a handful of hair or lick three public telephones?
I’d much prefer to lick three public telephones, but I think it would be hard to find three public telephones. Maybe not. I just don’t want to swallow hair.

Thanks Kevin for your time! I hope you guys enjoy his music as much as I do. If you, or someone you know is an artist and would like to be profiled on my blog just email me at sunlightistheirfashionblog@hotmail.com

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.


Artist Trading Cards!

Ever since I got the “ok” to teach my art class, I have been WAITING for the session where I taught my students how to make Artist Trading Cards. And this last week, was FINALLY the time to do it! I was so impressed by the results….I loved all of them, they worked so hard on them. I was a little worried they wouldn’t take it seriously and give it %100 of their efforts but I stressed the importance of each card being like a mini-artwork….I loved how hard they worked and how unique all of them turned out…. 
How cute are these owls??? 
….I did a mini-lesson on creating “mixed media” pieces and showed them a couple of my favorites I have found via the web as well as some of my own ATCs. These are a few of mine: 
I brought in tubs of different materials including: magazine pages, fabric, yarn, glitter, watercolors, pens, markers, buttons, pom-poms…

I loved that each card never failed to showcase each students’ personalities…Here are a few of the ones the boys in the class did…they mostly stuck to markers and pens:
We are looking to SWAP with another classs….if you are an art teacher and have done or are doing ATCs with your students! Email me at jsheffield@kenilworth38.org

diy recycled wall decor

This is my take on a recycled magazine pages wall decor project that I saw the other day when passing by the window display at J. Crew. These are my favorite projects to do because they are CHEAP (well, basically free!) colorful AND green! A big BANG for a little bitty price. 
Here is J. Crew’s current window display that inspired me: 

Of course, they have done about a MILLION, so I have a LOOONG way to go until mine looks like that…and let’s just be honest…I probably will get bored of doing these, or find something else I want to do before I get enough to make a wall decoration!

All you need are some old magazines, rip out the colorful pages and accordian fold them. I used a glue gun to insure they would stay glued and to give it some rigidness.

I would love to see any pics of any diy art projects you have done lately around your house!

Felt-tastic Necklaces


Happy New Years!!!! I hope everyone had a fantastically memorable New Years Eve. Mine was definitely memorable but not so much fantastic.  We listened to a really horrible 70’s cover band (in TIGHT COSTUMES!) and watched a bunch of surprisingly limber, but incredibly inappropriate drunk old women dance.  Next year, I’m not even going to try. I will be at my house, with my husband and my dog; which is always what I wish I was doing when I am out on New Years Eve.

Anyways. Back to felt. fantastic felt! felt-tastic.

Felt. I love this stuff! I’ve been hearing a lot about felting crafts in the past few years- it seems to be what all the cool kids are crafting these days- but,  as usual, I am running a little bit behind with the “trends” and have only just fallen in love with felt! And fell hard! 
So I thought I would share this felt flower necklace craft that I’ve adapted from a couple of different crafters….I love Martha Stewart’s fabric flower necklace and have unsucsessfully attempted it several times but my flowers don’t look anything like Martha’s. And I KNOW for a fact that I picked up the felt flowers from some creative and inspiring crafter on the internet but I cannot find the website for the life of me! I’ll add the links in when I find them.  
Making the felt flowers are super easy. All you need are felt squares, which come in so many different bright and fun colors (Michael’s has them for $.29 per 8 x 11″ sheet), permanant marker, craft scissors, tacky glue (the clear kind works the best) and random circular objects of various sizes!  They come in so many bright and fun colors too.  Just trace various sized circular objects and cut them out. 

 The next step is cutting the felt circle by cutting in a circular spiralliing motion. Then, starting from the inside, with the smallest circle, overlap the layers to create wider and wider circles. Dab some clear tacky glue every once in a while on sections of the felt and then a dab of clue and the ending tip to keep it together.

Once you have a good amount of completed felt flowers, (as you can tell from the above pictures of my felt flowers, I got a little OCD and made way more felt flowers than is needed), then you need to make the base of the necklace. I’ve used a kidney bean shape to create a curve around the neck, but you can do anything really. 

 Using needle and thread, arrange the flowers and sew them onto the backing. I also threw in some

colorful beads. 
Thanks to my beautiful friend Mary who was nice enough to be my felt-tastic model!